Maximum Strength to Maximum Fat Loss

So my boyfriend and I just wrapped up Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength program (16 weeks) this past Saturday and promptly started the V-Diet the next day. We’ve done the V-Diet once a year for the last couple of years - this will be our third to get us all leaned out for summer. I posted the results from our first V-Diet here:

Just as last time, we took photos, measurements, and did the hydrostatic testing. Here’s my measurements:

Lower Belly: 31
Upper Belly: 26.75
R Thigh: 22.5
L Thigh: 22.75
R Calf: 14
L Calf: 14
Chest: 34.5
Shoulders: 40
R Bicep: 11.5
L Bicep: 11.5
Neck: 11.75
Weight: 126lb

I should note that the scale we have at home is retarded. At the hydrostatic testing, my weight was 130lb but in the interest of consistency, I’ll be posting the faulty-scale weights each week. Speaking of hydrostatic testing, they clocked me at around 15% body fat - I’ve got no idea how accurate that is in terms of absolute numbers, but we’ll be doing an “after” test in a few weeks so it’ll really be the comparison that matters.

Day 1 - March 28, 2010

Most of day 1 was pretty benign. Early in the day I felt fine, but toward the evening I started feeling a bit nauseous. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it might have to do with not being used to the HOT-ROX. It may also have to do with going from eating 2000+ calories to something like 1300. I took a little pepto bismol to help with the nausea, watched a couple of episodes of Season 3 of Mad Men with the boyfriend, then passed out early around 10:30.

One thing I did notice was that the sensitivity to smells started really early this V-Diet. When we were walking to Best Buy to pick up a DVD, the smell of barbeque, tortilla chips, middle eastern food, etc, was SO incredibly strong. It made me wonder why I don’t take more time to appreciate the smells when I’m actually able to go home and EAT food. You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone, I guess.

Day 2 - March 29, 2010

So far, so good. Woke up a little before 9, and walked to the gym with Josh (aka boyfriend). The first V-Diet workout was absolutely brutal. We’ve been spending 1.5 - 2hrs in the gym over the last few months lifting heavy with long rest periods. Switching to a 20-30 min SUPER intense and fast-paced workout made both of us feel like vomiting for a half hour afterwards. I chose weights that were probably too light for me on all of the lifts, but considering the shortened rest period, I didn’t feel like overestimating the first time.

Front Squat - 95lb
5, 4, 4, 4, 3

5, 5, 3, 3, 2, 2

DB Bench - 30lb dbs
5, 5, 5, 5

Ab Wheel
5, 5, 5, 5

Next week I’m definitely upping the front squat to 105, the DB Bench to 35lb dbs, and maybe raising my knees on the ab wheel. I saw some of the trainers doing a particularly torturous version of the ab wheel, where they attached a band from the squat rack to the ab wheel so that at the “start” position, the band was stretched - I might have to try that as well.

The other thing I forgot to do this time was sip Surge along the way. I think it really helps my ability to lift hard on such low calories/carbs. Anyway, I’m surprised I was able to keep the Surge down afterwards, considering that I had to spend at least 15min sitting in the locker room without moving until the urge to hurl passed.

Oops, forgot to add the side and back view…


Try this again… back

Hey! I didn’t see this before. For what it’s worth, I think you’re starting point is a lot better than it was last year in terms of muscle mass. You just look stronger all over, and especially in the legs and upper back. Plus your posture seems to have improved! Great job, it looks like the Max Strength worked well for you.

And regarding the sipping or Surge while working out. I know Chris says you can really do either, but that not sipping it is preferable. That being said, I’ve been sipping it throughout and have still lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks, plus my lifts have gone up. So, I’m kind of torn on whether or not it should or shouldn’t be done. There is an article posted on tmuscle a while ago by Chris himself ( that tested the use of Surge before/during/after training, and the consensus was that it did not hinder fat loss, and helped to preserve/build lean tissue. I use that as my reasoning for breaking protocol this one time. I think it all depends on what works for you really. I support it though!

Anywho, I’m off to work, at the restaurant, smelling delicious food all night, haha!

[quote]Chimera23 wrote:
Anyway, I’m surprised I was able to keep the Surge down afterwards, considering that I had to spend at least 15min sitting in the locker room without moving until the urge to hurl passed.

Hi, I just started week 2 of the V-Diet. That is exactly what happened to me during my first work out. I think that was compounded by the shake I had before the gym sitting in my stomach like a ton of bricks. The V-Burn Challenge was the worst yesterday. I was almost too embarrassed to post the results, but did anyway. It looks like you are starting out just right to look awesome when this is done. Plus, you have been lifting regularly. I started the V-Diet after being out of the gym for a while so I was sore everyday last week.

I have been drinking my Surge after the workout. One day last week I was so drained from the low carbs that I did drink half of the Surge before the workout and that really made a difference. I’m back to drinking it after the workouts though.

Polsen - Thanks! Yeah, I think if sipping Surge during the workout helps me push myself harder, it’s probably worth it. I’m not sure how you manage on this diet while working in a restaurant - you have some serious willpower, lady!

variable - I’m a little nervous about the V-Burn this weekend, but kind of excited too. The first time I did the V-Diet, the V-Burn wasn’t a part of it, and last year when I did it, I was working with a trainer, so I didn’t follow the V-Diet workouts. This will be the first time I try my hand at it.

Day 3 - March 30, 2010

I’m sick today! Though this is technically a bad thing, I’m a bit relieved because I’ve been feeling terribly nauseous the last couple days and being sick means it’s not related to the shakes/supplements. I’m also super sore today from the workout yesterday.

But aside from that, I’m in reasonably good spirits. I stayed home from work and watched some trash TV with the boyfriend. Now I’m trying to decide where to NEPA walk to today. It was so gorgeous and sunny outside yesterday - today is a little gloomier, so maybe I’ll walk to a coffee shop or book store instead of just around the neighborhood.

I’m still on track, diet-wise, but I have to say, I’m really looking forward to Easter brunch HSM this weekend. Deviled Eggs FTW!

Day 4 - March 31, 2010

Busy day. I had to get up earlier than I’d like to take care of some work things and tax things (boo tax time), then hit the gym for another whirlwind workout. Picked weights that were too light again, but with the shortened rest periods, I still felt humbled.

Reverse Lunge - 30lb dbs
9, 9, 6, 6, 6, 4

BB Bent-Over Row - 70lb
9, 7, 7, 7, 5, 5

Push Press - 25lb dbs
9, 8, 7, 7, 5, 4

Skull Crushers - 24lb (Okay, I know I’m supposed to do curls here, but my biceps are seriously dominant and I only -just- started feeling my triceps recently. I decided to sub skull crushers for curls since all the chins/pull-ups target my biceps more than enough)
9, 8, 8, 8, 7

Reverse Crunch
9, 9, 9, 8, 5

This workout was less pukey than the first one - let’s hope this is a trend and that Friday feels even better.

I had a work event this evening. There was an amazing spread of free food that I didn’t know was going to be there - everything from little burger sliders to chicken and beef satay to cheese, hummus, and veggies. If you know me, free food is one of my FAVORITE things. I don’t even need a ton of it - samples at the grocery store suffice (true story… I actually choose which store I shop at based on the likelihood of samples being present). But, no food or booze for me this evening. I just drank water and lived vicariously through others’ obvious pleasure.

Also got to see a good friend of mine this evening (one who still believes that cardio is the solution to all evils and who refuses to listen when I suggest she try wandering into the “scary guy section” of the gym). Spent a little time in the jacuzzi relaxing and chatting. It’s just about bedtime now though. Yay for tomorrow being Thursday!

Dang chick, you’re strong on that workout! I can’t do rows…or pulling of any sort. I keep working on it, but it doesn’t seem to be budging. I guess I know what people who can’t gain strength anywhere feel like!

That’s funny about the samples. I do that too!

Funny you say that about your friend…on Facebook, I had posted a link to an article from elitefts about cardio not being the solution to fat loss (I think I can say that here, they sell Biotest). My cardio “loving” (addicted is more like it) friend said she immediately started a strength training program and asked for my advice and if I could help her out. Said the article made a lot of sense and thought that she was the girl the author was talking about in there. I’ll PM you the link.

Day 5 - April 1, 2010

I finally invested in some cashew butter (which is surprisingly expensive) and it has been a nice change from the peanut butter today. I wish I could just weigh out the proper amount of almonds or walnuts or something rather than needing to have nut butter.

NEPA-ed with the boyfriend to our chiro to get a little ART this morning, then went in to work. None of my coworkers know that I’m on this diet - I’m not exactly hiding it, I just don’t like discussing my dietary preferences with people. I do get asked pretty regularly (not just when on the V-Diet) why I don’t partake in the office pizza that sometimes gets delivered. I just feel like it’s too judge-y or personal to tell them I’m not interested in their junk food because I’d rather be healthy and fit.

Pretty lazy day aside from that: took a bath, watched some L Word, and generally just lay around in PJs. The workouts are making me sore in places I haven’t been sore in for ages. I’m looking forward to seeing how tomorrow’s workout will kick my ass!

Good call on not telling your co-workers…sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself. Worked well for me last year…and this year. I just drink away!

And regarding the cashew butter…I don’t know if it concerns you at all, but i investigated the full nutrition facts, and it has 8g of carbs, only 1 fiber. This is opposed to the 4g carbs and 3 fiber in almond butter or the 3/2 in PB. Just a heads up. I didn’t know that - which surprises me, because I usually know that stuff. I knew there was something that wasn’t as great about cashews, but I thought it was just the slightly different fat content.

Strong workout Chimera! Amazing what a strength based workout program prior to this thing will do for your numbers. The cool thing about it is that you will probably feel stronger every week, despite the shorter rest periods. Pretty cool.

Do you enjoy ART? I’ve seen it mentioned a few times, but don’t really know a lot about it. Is it expensive? If so, is it worth the price? I have some pretty bad flexibility/mobility issues, as well as a lot of scar tissue built up around my muscles (I think). I guess its probably beneficial for that huh.

I put a bunch of money into my flexible spending account for this year with the intention of going to a chiro, but I haven’t used a dime of it yet this year. Maybe I should get on that

Polsen - Interesting factoid about cashew butter. Definitely good to keep in mind - I’ll probably be mostly having peanut butter, and use the cashew butter as a once-a-week treat or something to mix things up.

VTBalla - ART is great. Insurance covers some of it - I think it ends up being about $25 that I have to pay per session. It’s super-beneficial for flexibility/mobility stuff - my psoas is really tight and ART has helped a ton with making it more flexible. I only wish the sessions were a bit longer - if you could combine ART with a deep tissue massage, I think I’d be in heaven.

Okay so I didn’t really cover yesterday yet, so I’ll do that first:

Day 6 - April 2, 2010
Yesterday was deadlift day! I absolutely adore deadlifts. I just recently switched (like 3 weeks ago) to pulling sumo instead of conventional so my numbers are still a bit low for those to make sure I’ve got the form down. Aside from that, the workout left me wiped, but in a good way.

Sumo Deadlift - 135lb (gonna try and bump this up next week)
8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6

Decline DB Bench - 35lb dbs
9, 7, 7, 4, 5, 5, 3

Neutral Grip Pullup
No assist: 7, 5, 3
Pulldown @ 85lb: 7, 5, 5, 5, 3
[Goal for these is to do ALL of them as pullups and no pulldowns]

Hand Walkout
9, 9, 9, 8, 5

Hand walkouts aren’t so much hard as exhausting! Anyway, after I showered and worked, I got a massage! It was sooo nice to have my sore muscles taken care of. Then later in the evening, I went to see How To Train Your Dragon with some friends. It was a cute movie, nothing bad to say about it.

So, I really hate sounding like a whiner because keeping a positive outlook on this diet usually makes it much easier to deal with but damn, for some reason I haven’t been able to kick this post-shake nausea that’s been plaguing me for the last week.

It’s not going to derail me, but things would be much easier if every meal wasn’t a battle with my stomach to keep it down. Oh well, it’s not going to kill me - it just makes me that much more disparaging of the people that quit.

Day 7 - April 3, 2010
Measurement day! I have had a few tiny reductions in inches, though not much and not much scale weight lost. I’m not too concerned about it since it pretty much mimics all the other times I’ve done this diet. I’ll see bigger changes in week 3 and 4.

It’s a tiny bit frustrating since my boyfriend lost 7lb and a bunch of inches, but he’s bigger than I am so it’s sort of like comparing apples and oranges. Anyway, I’ll post some pictures up at the end of week 2.

Lower Belly 30.75 (-.25)
Upper Belly 26.5 (-.25)
R Thigh 22.25 (-.25)
L Thigh 22.25 (-.5)
R Calf 14 (no change)
L Calf 14 (no change)
Chest 34 (-.5 sad face)
Shoulders 40 (no change)
R Bicep 11.5 (no change)
L Bicep 11.5 (no change)
Neck 11.5 (-.25)
Weight 124lb (-2lb)

So, my HSM is going to be tomorrow (instead of technically during week 1 like I would have liked) so that I could have an Easter lunch with my family. We’re having a deviled egg contest - my mom, my boyfriend and I are each making a batch of deviled eggs and then having a taste test to see whose recipe is the best (since we all make them so differently).

Part of me wanted to try Chris’s avocado-deviled-egg recipe, but since I can’t taste test what I make before the meal, I’d rather go with my tried and true recipe. Anyway, making the hard boiled eggs and grilling chicken for a salad in preparation for tomorrow’s meal was a bit like torture for my senses. I cannot wait until solid food!

Nepa was hiking up a hill (that I will be using for sprints when I’m not on this diet anymore) with a friend.

Oh, and while technically the V-Burn should have been today, since my workouts are Mon/Wed/Fri and since tomorrow I get solid food, I’ll be doing it tomorrow after my meal instead.

Day 8 - April 4, 2010

HSM Day! Oh my god, it was like waking up on Christmas morning, I was so excited. My boyfriend and I spent an hour and a half preparing deviled eggs and a salad with asparagus and chicken breast to bring to my parents’ house. HSM was a few deviled eggs, some salad, ratatouille (which my mom makes as a tradition on Easter for some reason but is DELICIOUS), and some berries for dessert. No problems resisting the bread, potatoes, or chocolates what so ever.

Afterwards, I came home and did my first ever V-Burn. It is deceptively simple-looking. I didn’t think it was going to be very hard, but by the end I had to lay on the ground in a puddle of my own sweat for 10 or so minutes to get my heartrate back down to a reasonable level.

Since I was using my iPhone to time myself, I counted “laps” as once through the circuit so I actually managed to get my split on all the rounds. My total time was 20:23 with my longest “lap” being the first one at 3:40 - I attribute this with not being totally familiar with the order of things and needing to refer to the computer a couple of times during the circuit. I suck at clap pushups so I just did plyo pushups (I can’t come off the ground high enough to clap in between). During the first time through, I did the hand walkout and the pushups from my toes, but dropped to my knees for 2-6 because my shoulders were wearing out.

Now I’m just laying around being lazy, putting off drinking my last shake of the day. Might NEPA with the boyfriend a bit later - we shall see. Very good day, though, I am pleased.

[quote]Chimera23 wrote:
Day 8 - April 4, 2010

I suck at clap pushups so I just did plyo pushups (I can’t come off the ground high enough to clap in between). During the first time through, I did the hand walkout and the pushups from my toes, but dropped to my knees for 2-6 because my shoulders were wearing out.

I do the same thing. Girls just don’t have the upper body strength that guys do. I mean, I could do those leg exercises forever and not get fatigued! Whereas a guy can do regular push ups forever and not get fatigued!

PS…what app do you have for the timer? Do you recommend it?

Yeah, the leg exercises are like rest compared to the upper body stuff. I actually am not using a special app - the clock app has a “stopwatch” which, if you hit start on, allows you to record laps. It’s not perfect, but it totally works for this application.

Day 9 - April 5, 2010

Just about 1/3 of the way through this thing! Yay! It was pouring rain this morning so I thought I might have to do indoor NEPA but it cleared up by evening so that I could walk to an from the gym instead of driving!

Work for most of the day, and then evening workout-time! I think that even though Monday’s workout has the least number of reps and exercises, I find it the most difficult. This is because front squats brutalize me and I feel totally inept with DB Bench.

In Phase 2 of Maximum Strength, we had to do these cluster sets of Front Squats. You take your 5RM and do 2 reps, wait 10 seconds, do another 2 reps, wait 10 seconds, etc until you’ve done 10 reps. Then you do that 4 or 5 times or so. I HATED them, and this workout reminds me of that.

Front Squat - 105lb (woo, up 10lb from last time)


DB Bench - 35lb dbs (30s were too light last week, but 35s was tough)

Ab Wheel - elevated knees

Drank some Surge, now I’m having some PB and flax. No matter how many times I do this diet, and am impressed by the results, about this time I start to have doubts. What if this doesn’t work? What if I lose NOTHING? All the torture will have been completely useless.

Anyway, it’s definitely stupid in-my-head crap, and I’ll get over it, but it’s still annoying. That is all!

[quote]Chimera23 wrote:
Might NEPA with the boyfriend a bit later - we shall see. [/quote]


Ok, so on a more mature note, I’m surprised that you find this workout the hardest after being used to cluster sets (which is basically what this is). I find Monday’s workout to be the best, but that’s just because I really hate doing more than 5 reps at a time of ANYTHING.

The short rest periods are an ass kicker, but I’ve found that I can still get the reps in pretty decently. Plus its a heavier day, which makes me happy :slight_smile:

Stop second guessing yourself about the diet. You know it works, you’ve done it many times and have seen the results for yourself, as well as the others that have completed it with you. Just woman up and get it done! Keep up the great work.

Are you going to be posting progress pics?

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