Well, it’s that time of year again. The Great Winter Bulk of Aught Nine has drawn to a close, and the thoughts and dreams of powerlifters across the nation are turning towards spring. And being able to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath.
My routine over the last couple of months has been largely successful; I rarely test for a one-rep max anymore, because it’s rough on the joints, but my bench press is up over 300 pounds, and my deadlift is over 500. I’m walking around at 280 pounds, and I’m noticeably more muscular than I was in the fall. But my pants are a little tighter than they used to be, and we’re fast approaching the part of the year where it’s more important to be able to run a quick 40 than to pick up a car, and that means it’s time to start dieting down for the summer.
That means my sangria is being replaces with almond milk, and the role of bacon is now being played by protein shakes. It also means that I’m going to be hungry, cold, and cranky for the next little while. Such is life.
I want to drop about twenty pounds in the initial phase, which should take me somewhere between four and six weeks. My diet will be low-carb, high-protein, and calorie restricted. The way I eat is very specific to my training routine and metabolism, so I’m not going to get into details with that. I don’t want anyone dropping dead from a myocardial infarction due to a lack of potassium.
Yes, that can actually happen.
I’m adding almond milk to my protein shakes, because almonds are great for you, and I’m also experimenting with soy milk, largely because of the study mentioned in this article. Soy is high in protein, and for a while it was a recommended staple of bodybuilder’s and powerlifter’s diets. There has been some controversy, though, because soy also contains phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals with a similar structure to female sex hormones, and which can bind to human estrogen receptors.
The fear was that phytoestrogens could cause an increase in breast cancer in women, and have feminizing effects in men. This study, though, shows that soy actually decreases risk of cancers – breast and prostate – and has no effect on testosterone levels in men. So, I’m willing to give it a chance. Though I will be greatly disturbed if I start growing breasts. Or excited. I’m not sure.
My training routine is based on a template created by Joe DeFranco, which you can find at the end of this article. I’ll also go ahead and pimp his eBook, Built Like a Badass. The name is stupid, but DeFranco knows his way around a barbell. His programs are designed for people that have limited time and some accumulated injuries, too, which is nice.
I’ll be posting periodically – maybe even daily – with progress updates, as well as any setbacks. Like the jerk that keeps bringing doughnuts into the office.
Here’s another article on soy that I found interesting.