My Re-comping Frustrations
The enigmatic thing about re-composition is that it gives no indication it’s working. In fact, if it’s working properly, it doesn’t appear to be working at all.
The scale stays the same. Your measurements may not move a millimetre. If you’re hardcore (not me) your meals are all boring equations. And for many regular - if not professional - lifters who set out to cut weight, training on a calorie deficit will mean little if any progression in the gym for even weeks at a stretch.
It can feel like you’re stuck in limbo.
I jump on the scale a few times each week. And cyclically, the reading is pretty much 132 kgs, (or 292 lbs). It may go up a kilo during one week and down a kilo in the next. But come Monday morning - without fail – I’m back at pretty much 132.
Really, I shouldn’t be so OCD about it. Early February I was happy to have reached 134, and a month later I’m two kilos lighter… that’s still certainly progress. But in late 2011 I was shedding a kilo almost every week! And my diet was not nearly as regulated as it is this year.
Proof it’s Working
I consume between 2000 and 2200 calories per day*. Not enough to build good mass and strength, at least for a larger than average guy like me… yet my lifts are going up, and as of this week I am officially stronger than I was last year (my presses need some work, but lower body and accessory training is all in the green).
And I haven’t been eating clean, either. I have Macdonald’s for dinner perhaps twice a week, and a healthy variety of meats on other nights. I don’t trim the fat off my steak. I don’t feel the need to munch on raw vegetables or drink eggs.
What I do is eat my steak, lamb ribs, or bunless double quarter-pounder with cheese, late in the evenings before a training day and earlier in the evenings post-workout (wherever possible; Wednesday night I try and eat both early and late).
I do this because it works for me. A late dinner (around 10:30 pm) gives me a definite boost at training the following night. I usually train from 6:30 to 7:45 pm.
I don’t have any expertise when it comes to nutrition, and I’m far from technical in my training style… the latest PubMed journal or scientific study from the Mayo clinic won’t often feature in my day to day… lift heavy, eat sensibly and don’t drink are my only rules.
*A more thorough examination of my diet indicates I’ve actually been in the 2000 – 2200 calories p/day bracket for some time, but now I consume a 150-200 cal. shake PWO also. So I’m making the cut-off 2500.