Getting stronger, part 3: Crash diet

3 weeks and 3 days since the last write up of my progress. A little quicker than the previous period, because my short-term goals and plans have shifted a little. First: The numbers.

24 july -> 17 august

  • Weight: 87,1 -> 88,3 (Slow and steady, good.)
  • Waist: 85cm -> 85cm (Very happy to see this.)
  • Left arm/Right arm: 38/39 -> 38.5/39.5 (Could be a measuring error… But a minor increase like this is not unlikely.)
  • Chest: 111 -> 111cm (I expected a little growth here.)
  • Left leg/right leg: 59/59 -> 59/61 (This suggests that I still use my right leg more than my left leg. I measured it several times, and I have to conclude that my left-right imbalance is still problematically present.)
  • Resting heart rate: No idea. I keep forgetting to measure it.

I decided not to pig out all the time like I did the period before, which went fine. My average caloric intake was around 3800 (whereas it was 4000 during the previous period, where I weighed less), with my highest intake being 5000 and the lowest being 3100. My protein intake averaged out on a daily 210 grams, with 265 on the highest day and 155 on the lowest. (Again, these are all estimates.)

My back injury kept coming and going initially, until I found someone who suggested that one of my lower vertebrae is probably unstable. This makes total sense since my whole body is as crooked as can be. Solution? Squat and deadlift every single day – with a twist. After warming up and before starting my actual workout, I do 2 sets of 5 of wide stance squats with a 3-5 second pause at the bottom, followed by 1 set of 5 sumo deadlifts. I started really light and made sure to focus on keeping my lower back tight and my hips centered between my legs. Lo and behold, my back pain is all but gone after a little more than a week. I’m keeping this up until the minor powerlifting meet that I have on the 7th of september. I want a bench press PR and I’ll see what happens with my squat and deadlift, depending on how my back feels. I’m secretly aiming for:

  • Double bodyweight squat. If I get to 85kg (178lbs) bodyweight, that would be a 170kg squat, I’ve done 3×164 before so that’s feasible.
  • 1.5x bodyweight bench press. That would be 127.5kg (280lbs), whereas my old PR is 122kg from a year ago and I recently did an easy 115kg. This is a good challenge.
  • Double bodyweight deadlift. If my back is not being problematic, this should be fine. Despite being horrible at deadlifts, I’ve done an, conventional 177kg (390lbs) before and a 200kg (440lbs) trap bar deadlift, the latter of which was ridiculously easy. My lower back is my weak link so working on that combined with going sumo style should allow me to reach my goals without problems.

I managed a few volume PR’s on upper body work, so I’m progressing nicely, but nothing worth mentioning since it’s just support work.

As for what happens now: Lose some fat. I probably want to lose a bit of fat and maybe cut a bit of water weight so I can reasonably make a double bodyweight squat and deadlift at the powerlifting meet. (I also have a nerd convention coming up in 2 weeks where I want to walk around dressed up as Wolverine. Don’t judge me.)


Lose fat? No cardio for me. It’s not that I’m against it, it’s just that I find it mind-numbingly boring and I feel I can spend that time doing more fun things, like eating and sleeping.


Of the things I mentioned in my previous update, the only thing I failed to do was work on my clean & jerk more. I will get in some more work over the next few weeks, but it won’t get much emphasis until after my powerlifting meet.

I do want to continue gaining strength so the next few weeks, this will happen:

  • Cut average calories from 3800 to 2000 or so (hence the crash diet reference).
  • Possibly lower my carbohydrate intake significantly, since I can manage my workouts just fine if I keep volume low, but going low-carb or cyclical-low-carb tends to help with cravings. (It also helps me avoid domino foods – I’ll explain that in a post later this week.)
  • Lower my training volume but increase intensity up.
  • Continue the wide stance squat and sumo deadlift thing and add weight every time.
  • Work on technical weightlifting exercises that I can do pain free. Going heavy only once or twice a week.
  • Start taking supplements again and hope I don’t forget taking them like I usually do. Fish oil, creatine, glucosamine/chondroitine/msm and truckloads of caffeine are on the menu. Caffeine tends to work as a great appetite suppressant for me, but the effects fade fairly quickly so I have to keep increasing the dose over the weeks.

In my next update, I’ll give some more details on how I lose fat – Including details on my ‘crash diet’.

“It’s support work. It’s like jacking off. Even if it’s awesome there’s still nothing to brag about.” – Paul Carter