Monday, January 16, 2017

Macros and Back Rows (chest/back workout)

Let's talk macros.

People throw this word around a lot.  Tracking macros.  Counting macros.  Balancing macros.  It all can get really confusing and everyone you talk to will have a different opinion about the perfect amount you should be eating.  If you don't know what macros are, I will summarize it in the most basic terms possible:  (disclaimer: not a scientist/doctor/dietician, bare with me people) "macro" comes from the full word macronutrients, which are pretty much the substances your body and metabolism need to grow and function.  Basically, the nutrients that you need in large quantities (hence the macro) to live - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.  Again, that is a very basic definition.  But that's what bodybuilders, and people who want to lose/gain weight, mostly track.
A typical prep for me: steak, chicken,
potatoes, broccoli, turkey

The tricky part is that everybody is *shocker* different.  So everyone's body responds to different ratios of macros differently, and increasing/decreasing specific macros serves different purposes. Unless you consult a medical professional or dietary specialist, it's hard to know EXACTLY what macro split will work for you.  There's tons and tons of articles online that will sweeeear by high protein, or high carb, or low carb, or high fat (where my keto fans at) but again - every body is different!!! If you are trying a diet or hitting certain macros, and you've given it time to the point where you feel you should be seeing results (not just one week), maybe it's not what's best for your body type.  It takes experimenting and TIME.  Just like building muscle, perfecting your diet is a learning process and involves getting in touch with your body and paying attention to what makes you feel the best.  

If you're new to the macro world and have no idea where to start, don't fret.  Nobody knows what they're doing when they start.  Pinky swear.  Figuring out what worked for me and my body took time, and ended up being way different than what I thought.  That being said, if you're just starting out I have a couple pieces of advice.  From a real person, not a dietician.

1.  You don't have to go 0-60 overnight.  If you are drastically changing your diet, make a plan, but give yourself grace.  In my experience, people that say "I'm not eating any bad food ever again!!!!" end up giving up their diet in like, a week.  Have a donut every once in a while.  It won't kill you.

2.  Start with making smarter choices.  If you're used to having a burger and fries every day for lunch, aim for something not deep fried or covered in ketchup.  Not every meal has to be grilled chicken and rice and broccoli.

3.  Speaking of chicken and can make chicken and broccoli not suck.  For me, it's all about seasonings.  And garlic.  Lots of garlic.  Eating clean does not have to be bland!  And it'll save you from getting tired of the the same food everyday.  Trick those taste buds.

4.  Try to balance all your meals.  If you don't want to go crazy with the macro tracking at first, try to at least have a good source of protein, carbs, and a little fat with every meal.  For example, if you're going to have cereal for breakfast, have some eggs with it.  If you eat a muffin for breakfast every morning and feel like dirt by lunch even if you're not hungry, most likely you're body is just missing a proper energy source.  Muffins are mostly carbohydrates (sugar, in this case).  Get some protein in there!!

5.  Protein powder can be a godsend in the sense that eating enough protein during the day can be rough.  Nobody likes chicken that much.  However, don't become dependent on it.  If you have the opportunity to eat real, whole food, do it.  But protein shakes are good before or after a workout, or for an additional protein source.  

Easy peasy, right?  Right.  Not rocket science.  You just gotta get started.

And now, a chest and back workout!  An interesting split I hadn't tried until recently, but I've actually been lovin' it.  

Flat bar bench press
Incline bar bench press
Bent over barbell rows
Single dumbbell rows
Cable flies

You can mix up how many sets/reps/and whether you increase or decrease in weight as you go.  Usually I do 4 or 5 sets or each exercise and add weight as I go along, and do as many reps as I can at that weight, starting at 12 for the lightest weight.  

Thanks for reading, fam!  Start your week off strong!!  

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