In This Article
- How carnivore has upgraded my gym performance
- A little diet hiccup, finding the fat ceiling
- Boosting the brain with the entrepreneur’s mindset
My Training Goals
This series is here to keep you in the loop on my progress towards an apex lifestyle. Stronger, smarter, and stress-free. I’ll be implementing the protocols I’ve laid out in the apex guides, so you’ll be happy to know that everything on my blog ends up weaving together. There’s no fluff on this site, as long as I can help it.
Everyone’s got their own story. Special circumstances that drives their training towards a particular goal. In my case, the issue has always been that I’m easily stressed and too comfortable on the back-foot. I’m nothing if not consistent.
As my training has evolved over the years, I’ve realised that putting all the eggs in one basket just doesn’t cut it. Lifting isn’t enough. Moving past the reactive mindset has become the focal point. So my programme is now split across three camps. Training. Diet. Resilience. I’ll be constantly testing out new strategies to make sure I’m pushing forward on all fronts.
The 14 Days Of Careful Bulking
- Average Calories – 3100
- Average Fasts – 20 Hours
- Carb-Ups – 1-2 Times Per Week
- Steps – 16,000 Per Day
- Weight Gain – 2 Kg
- Waist Size – Unchanged
- Cravings – Gone
- Mood & Energy – Peaking
This is the real test for carnivore. The shred’s over, calories are up. The settings are back to normal. I can finally assess whether my meat-affair has the legs to match its potency.
It’s been a few weeks since my last update, during which I’ve transitioned nicely from gaintaining, into the massing stage. I’ve decided to take my own advice on the dangers of going crazy on calories. The switch from maintenance to bulking has been a mere 100 calories. And I’ve rarely felt like going above that. Carnivore fills you up to the brim like no either diet. Despite having zero fiber. It’s a crazy situation for science, and the guys that preach high-volume meals.
If there’s one regret I had about my carnivore shred, it was the lack of heavy strength training to keep it company. I spent four months scrabbling together what I could on resistance bands, and inevitably that cost me more muscle than I’d like.
With that being said, considering I shaved a tenth of my bodyweight, my shape held up surprisingly well. And now the UK gyms are slowly opening up, the scene’s perfectly set for a long season of muscle gain.
This is hopefully where I camp for the next year or so. There might be a mini-cut thrown in every few months, but now’s the time to settle in and focus on bring everything back online. While the bands were great, training by the couch started feeling stale after a while. It became damage limitation, which is a mindset that’s never motivated me.
Read My Last Update – 8 Days Of Gaintaining
Each new season I like to do things a little differently, a fresh angle that keeps me motivated and forces the body to keep adapting. It’s those forward steps that make the daily grind feel validated. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work, with only apathy to fuel it.
Fortunately, the new run’s going to quite different.
My Training Programme
I’ve already trained for seven years straight, so I’ve tried most things that don’t include cardio and Crossfit. But this whole carnivore thing is a new beast altogether. And that’s not just regarding the diet, but the impact it has on performance.
After training flat out for a week, early signs are that eating carnivore has definitively changed recovery for the better. Whether that’s between sets, or sessions, there just doesn’t seem to be any build-up in fatigue. That’s particularly great because stamina is often the biggest loser during detraining. I fully expected to be crawling by the end of the warmup.
I can’t say much about its effect on strength yet, because as it is, I won’t be setting any PRs for at least a few months. My strength has been practically halved, and I’ll edging back up slowly. As I’ve written in the guide to regaining lost muscle, the first few weeks will be high volume and relatively low intensity.
So right now the focus is going to be the mind-muscle connection. Slow reps, never going beyond technical failure, and keeping the joints happy as deep into the restart as I can.
The Diet Finally Had A Hitch
On the plus side, and it’s a major one, the residual hunger from the diet has vanished. Only a few weeks after ending the diet, coming back from 7%, and barely having to eat a carb in the process. There were a couple of carb-up days, but we’re only talking white rice here. Not exactly something that sets off cravings and eggs on the relapse.
And now I’m struggling to work in those carb-up days. I’m feeling consistently great, recovery is perfect, and there’s definitely some muscle piling up. Nowadays I’ve made a point to only eat carbs to bump up performance, or perk the body up. There’s little justification for throwing it in on a frequent basis. Every four to six days, and then only in small amounts, seems to do the trick.
But it hasn’t been a smooth week. Over the past few days, I’d develop nausea late into the evening, hours after the last meal. That made for terrible sleep, and lot of judgement from my oura ring the next day. All those health markers that I’d been praising as vindication for carnivore, they tanked.
Luckily I figured out the issue after a few days of scraping through my workouts. I’d recently brought back ground beef for some variety, and added a healthy serving a butter to my meals. The fat bombardment exceeded the ability of my stomach to break it down. So the digestive troubles were causing all sorts of inflammation.
I’ll be reducing fats, and particularly rendered fats for the next few days, and hopefully everything returns back to baseline. If anything this shows how difficult it is to get fat on the carnivore diet. Eat too much protein? Good luck. Eat too much fat? There’s every chance it goes straight through you.
Building With Resilience With Fasted Sessions and Cold Showers
This may seem a bit ambiguous, but it’s a straightforward concept. Exercise is a form of building resilience. It’s the act of recovering from stress, and adapting to it. As a form of stress management, it’s far more effective than the strategy of stress-avoidance. Building resilience impacts both the metabolism, through AMPK-triggered cellular modification, and the chemistry of the brain itself.
This isn’t to say you should just write down all your fears and face them down. That’s more of an end-goal. Initially, a better plan would be to figure out a routine that lets you wade through discomfort on a daily basis. Initially, you might just have to endure it. Then the mind becomes accustomed to it. Eventually, you begin to thrive.
In my case, I practice fasted training daily, which is technically netting me two for the price of one. But I’ve been doing it for two years at this point, so it’s nothing particularly revolutionary for the mindset.
As of now, I’ve thrown in cold showers, meditation, and answering phonecalls as part of my daily practice. Alongside developing living the entrepreneur dream, I’ve also made a point to cut down on screentime. Which happens to be the biggest struggle of all. The last hour before bedtime is now saved for reading ‘The Idiot Brain’. Now that I’ve written all that down, it’s starting to sound cliche.