Barbell Medicine - From Bench to Bedside

Ok, this weekend, I visited Tampa, Florida to watch my younger brother play his last “home” college baseball games. I got to see him crush the ball a few times, including a bomb to left-center field. (When I say “crush”, I mean “hoooooooly crap, did the short-stop just lose an ear?”.) The timing was great, as a scout for the Los Angeles Angels was there to watch him play. In a few weeks we hope to hear his name announced on ESPN during the 2012 MLB Draft.

Zach is a perfect example of someone who uses strength training to elevate more than just his physical appearance and overall fitness. Zach trains HARD to improve his game and in response, his body composition and health are top-notch because of it. This is why we encourage you all to compete every once in awhile. Having something to train for will only increase your motivation, commitment, and determination. You will locate a “broader picture” and navigate your way to success much more efficiently with a focus, knowing that each relatively insignificant “wrong-turn” will not deflate your tires, halting your progress.

Me?

I plan on competing in a powerlifting competition at the end of the year. From now, until then, my training and nutrition/lifestyle is focused on improving my strength while maintaining my health and currently lean body composition. Luckily, the nutrition formula for strength training is very similar to the formula for a lean, attractive body composition… M (meat) +F (fat) = results.

It really is that simple. Wish to lean out? Each day, eat at least a gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight from primarily meat sources, be generous with your vegetable intake, keep fruit and nut consumption to a minimum, and eat starchier carbohydrates at appropriate times (including post-workout and re-feed days; see ”4 weeks to Fabulous” post below). The meat intake should take care of most of your fat needs.

Would you like to increase your strength and join the Avengers as they fight all that is evil in this wretched world? (Anyone else excited to see this?) Congratulations, eat the same way, just more of it. We can get all nerdy with calorie intake and macronutrient ratios, but why not keep it simple until you have to? Keep your protein intake up, consume more fats in the form of coconut oil/milk, olive oil, and nuts, make sure you have a large sum of starchier carbohydrates both pre- and post- workout and you are set. Every 2 weeks increase your food intake by 300 calories or so if your numbers aren’t going up.

So how does one stay on track when out of town?

K.I.S.S. (Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.)

Meat, meat, meat, vegetables, and oh yeah… MEAT.

Let’s be real..You aren’t going to have the luxury of eating EXACTLY the way you would eat with a kitchen at your disposal, but I’m not pulling your string (and certainly not your finger) when I tell you that “it is EASY” to eat healthy on the road. It really comes down to your dedication and will to succeed. That’s the only obstacle. Yourself.

Is it impossible or are you just not willing to do what it takes?

Sticking with meat and vegetables will keep your protein intake high, thus preserving muscle mass and promoting thermogenesis, while also maintaining balanced blood sugar.

Before I scat, I included what I ate this past weekend in hopes of helping you all make the best out of your situation during your next trip. Again, the following is not perfect, but if you K.I.S.S. and stick to meat and vegetables, you will arrive home in the same condition that you left.

Remember, I’m all for “living it up” when the time is right, just choose your battles wisely and infrequently. For example, while visiting Chicago, you and your family are looking over the menu at the infamous Giordano’s Pizza. Do you pass on the pizza with the delicious, one-of-a-kind, buttery crust and opt for the dinner salad with chicken breast instead? Hell to the naw. Cheat and retreat. Do your thing and get right back on track the rest of the weekend.

-THURSDAY-

4am wakeup. 2 scoops of whey mixed with 1 cup yogurt + 4 tbs. almond butter

630-930am (1030 Tampa time)- Flight.

1230pm-Smoked quarter chicken, large serving of brisket and pulled pork, mom’s left-over pork, a bite of collard greens (gross), a few sweet potato fries

7pm-A few hot wings, large cobb salad with balsamic and olive oil (chicken, avocado, bacon, lettuce, spinach, etc.)

*handfuls of almonds and water throughout the day

-FRIDAY-

1030am-3 scrambled eggs, steak, 4 slices bacon, 1/2 cup grits

2pm-2 scoops whey protein+water and almonds (bought small bag of regular ol’ whey at GNC nearby along with a shaker cup)

7pm-fillet of cod, broccoli, loaded baked potato

11pm- 2 scoops whey + water, almonds

*almonds and water throughout the day

-SATURDAY-

8am-2 scoops whey+ water, almonds

10am-6 eggs, 2 sausage patties, 4 strawberries

1230pm- salad with chicken, grapes

5pm- 1/2 smoked chicken, large serving of brisket, a few raw carrots, a few strawberries

9pm-2 scoops whey+water, almonds

*almonds and water throughout the day

-SUNDAY-

1030am-3 scrambled eggs, 4 slices bacon, sausage, tomato, 1/2 cup grits

1pm- chicken salad w/ olive oil and balsamic

430pm- 4 bun-less burgers, almonds

8pm- 11oz steak, broccoli, side salad w/ balsamic and olive oil

11pm-2 scoops whey+ water, almonds

*almonds and water throughout the day

-MONDAY-

930am-3 eggs, steak, green tea

12pm-steak, peppers, onion, and rice bowl

4pm-cobb salad (chicken, avocado, bacon, spinach, lettuce, etc.), banana

7pm-(arrived home) apple

8pm-workout

930pm-whey+maltodextrin+dextrose blend

1030pm-2 scoops whey mixed with 1 cup greek yogurt and 3 tablespoons almond butter

*arrived late, so no whole food in the house until after shopping tuesday

About Jordan Feigenbaum

Jordan Feigenbaum, owner of Barbell Medicine, has an academic background including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology, and Doctor of Medicine. Jordan also holds accreditations from many professional training organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, CrossFit, and is a former Starting Strength coach and staff member. He’s been coaching folks from all over the world  for over a decade through Barbell Medicine. As a competitive powerlifter, Jordan has competition best lifts of a 640lb squat, 430lb bench press, 275lb overhead press, and 725lb deadlift as a 198lb raw lifter.

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