Deadlift day and breaking through a weight-loss plateau

Despite my relative successes within the ongoing process of dropping my bodyweight from a high of 299 lbs in November 2007, I have struggled with breaking through a 'set point' of approximately 240 lbs.   In August of 2010, I managed to get down to 228 lbs  but yo-yo'd back up to 250 by January 2011.  I got back down to 231 lbs in August 2011 but yo-yo'd back up to 240 by the end of September.  I started monitoring my diet in earnest on November 1 and finally managed to break through my August 2011 low point with a weigh-in this morning of 230.5 lbs.    If one were tracking my body-weight over time as if it were a stock price, the 231 lb mark would probably be described as a line of support.   Finally breaking through is a big emotional victory for me and really allows me to visualize my goal weight of 205 lbs.

In addition to following the slow-carb plan described in Tim Ferriss' book, Four Hour Body, I'm also following an intermittent fasting meal protocol where I 'fast' for 16 hrs and eat my meals in an 8 hr window.  I've gotten very used to this schedule over time and think it has definitely contributed to reducing my overall food intake.  If I eat soon after waking, I'm liable to keep eating all day long.  Even if I'm eating protein and vegetables, if I eat all day long, I'll easily overwhelm my caloric maintenance level.  

Today ended up being an unusually long fast.  I had planned on meeting a colleague downtown for lunch but we both got tied up at appointments and plans were cancelled.  Too bad, as we were going to try out a burger place (definitely not a slow-carb compliant meal) called The Burger's Priest.  Anyways, by the time I got back to my office it was after 3:30 so I figured I'd just wait till I got home to eat.  I ended up eating my first meal of the day at 6:00 pm, a fast of approximately 21 hours.  I've fasted for longer when trying to cut weight for a competition but this was the first time I'd done it as a matter of routine.  Turns out it wasn't that bad although I did notice a slight lack of energy with tonight's workout.

Tonight was deadlift day.  Since I had decided to go back to doing cluster singles, a scheme I had used when I competed back in 1988-1992, I also thought I'd go back to my old deadlift schedule of heavy one week, lighter the next.  This was supposed to be light week but when I got to the gym, I decided to keep the work weight the same as last week but shorten the cluster from 5 singles to 3.  After warm-up sets with 315x3, 405x3, and 495x1, I did three singles with 545 in under 6 minutes total time.  The last repetition was a bit of a grind.  I felt like I needed to do more work so I stripped the 25's off and did another cluster of 3 singles with 495 in under 6 minutes but stood on a 45# plate to introduce a small deficit.

Truthfully, the cluster singles also work well because my gym, in their infinite unwisdom, decided to replace all of their round plates with 12-sided plates.  I know DnD nerds probably get a boner with 12-sided things but turning a loaded deadlift bar into a 12-sided die isn't my idea of fun.  Doing singles is easier than trying to control the ricochet of the bar when plates hit the ground and re-setting for another rep.
12-sided dice, good for playing Dungeons and Dragons
12-sided plates, terrible for deadlifting

The deadlifts gassed me pretty good combined with my extended fast so going for an overhead press PR was out of the question.  I just did some work sets and called it a night.  Overall a good workout especially considering my dropping bodyweight and the unplanned fast.


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