Leki's Health Journey Vlog - Episode 7 ft. Aarvi
Catch up on what I wrote about last time - HERE.
Today will be an interesting post for you as both Aarvi and Leki will describe their personal health strategies to keep in good health and great well being.
Hi guys, Aarvi here
This is my first initial health blog post, therefore I will be giving a bit of background of what last year had in store for me which had a few bumps on the road and I’ll also give you guys an insight of what my current game plan is and what I am planning for rest of the year.
So in short my current state is that I am sitting around 84kgs and am just in the maintenance phase, with my main focus being on not dropping any more weight and playing at the Sikh Games which is over the Easter weekend.
So what did 2018 have in store for me?
Last year was a really big year for me in strength and size.
So early 2018 I was doing weights at the gym and got into F45 and did a 12 week challenge which made me the fittest I have ever been going from 13% body fat to 7% however my weight had dropped down to 78 kg from 83kg!
I was doing weights 2-3 x a week and back-to-back sessions at F45 most days
This was something I was super proud as I never had been such a low body fat percentage and even thought to keep going and compete in natural bodybuilding competition.
But I chose not to as I was in my final year of my masters degree and trying to work in the hours I had free. I feel the decision I made was the right one as competition prepping is a very stressful period for yourself and loved ones who have to deal with the mixed emotions, so kudos to everyone that has competed before.
Around mid-year I had a few weeks off from Uni and had planned a trip to Europe with a couple of friends. The trip was amazing and such a great experience, however I came back with a beer belly and had added a few kilos as I did little to no training and enjoyed all kinds of food.
On a side note to anyone that knows me all I do is eat!
Returning from Europe I was feeling slightly upset with myself in regards to how I was looking and that all the hard work I put in was all gone.
After a few weeks I came out of my holiday blues and started to train again and joined up again with my gym partner at local gym.
Towards the end of 2018, I was training very hard training usually 2x a day and was eating in a caloric surplus. I got up to 91kgs and was lifting a lot heavier.
The Christmas and New Year period came around and I unfortunately once again slacked off with my discipline and attended a couple of functions and festivals which affected my diet and training significantly.
This led to my weight dropping down to 82kgs and increased body fat percentage/”skinny fat” as they call it.
This was a really frustrating time but being surrounded by positive people who have similar interests helped me and got me back into it.
Since then I have finally got the motivation on training as hard as I was before and therefore this brings me to my current state, I have had a couple of downfalls but definitely have learnt a lot especially with training volume and diet.
I have allowed myself to have a good work-life/social/gym balance which I think was my biggest mistake last year as I would go from one extreme to another.
My current status is in maintenance phase and I have altered it slightly due to the Sikh Games (Easter weekend) where I have added 2-3 circuit-based and/or cardio days but other sessions still trying to lift as heavy as possible for the required reps and good form.
Monday (S) - Squats and accessory quadriceps in morning and chest/cardio in afternoon
Tuesday (S) - Deadlift, hammys/glutes
Wednesday (S) - Shoulders and circuit
Thursday (H) - Chest and arms
Friday (H) - Legs
Saturday (H) - Shoulders and circuit
Sunday - Rest and/or practice soccer game
(S) are heavy days with more compound exercises and working between 3-10 reps
(H) are more hypertrophy days 8-15 reps and adding more isolation exercises
Currently not counting my Macronutrients - Carbohydrates/Protein/Fat - however I think it is very beneficial in tracking and helps so much with everything and would highly recommend if you want to progress to the next level.
That being said that I have been doing this for 4+ years and know what food is what. A great tool to track is myfitnesspal which can be easily accessed on computers and/or on smartphone
So I am eating around 3200 calories with more on cardio/circuit days and aiming to eat 200+ grams of protein, 300g Carbs and >100g fats daily.
So what diet do I actually follow? If it fits your macros diet (IIFYM)
It is a type of flexible dieting that focuses on weight loss or muscle gain by focusing on macronutrients.
Rather than focusing on calories, IIFYM tracks macronutrients instead — namely protein, fat and carbohydrates.
This allows for much more flexibility since all foods can be enjoyed as long as they fit into your macros for the day.
Following the IIFYM diet is pretty simple, and only requires a few steps: I will discuss further in next health blog post:
Calculating your macros
Meeting your macros
Maintain and get fit until Sikh Games then go in a slow incremental caloric surplus until the end of the year whilst still trying to maintain a bit of cardiovascular fitness!
Leki’s up now...
First of all I’ve got 2 x young kids and so time is an important factor me. I need something that gives me maximum health results with the smallest outlay of time.
So what’s my game plan?
It’s a 3-pronged approach - eat well, exercise moderately and practice daily discipline.
I follow a cyclic ketogenic diet. I’ve been following this particular eating strategy for 3 years with great results. Read more about how I go about this HERE.
Early on it was all about weight loss. I’m at a place now where it’s more about the quality of life and longevity (prolonged life). As I’ve stated before I believe I can live beyond 120 years old and still have energy and vigour of a 30yo. No joke!
My preferred exercise strategy is one that doesn’t take up too much time and is something I can perform at home.
The result? Gymnastic Strength Training (GST). It’s an online exercise program which follows the programming of a 30+ year National USA Gymnastics coach. I’ve been making steady gains in traditionally weak spots of the body. I practice GST 4-5 x weekly which takes about 30 mins each time.
Layered on top of GST I also practice High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) stationary bike riding on my wind trainer at home 2-3 x weekly. I follow a simple 45 sec ‘on’ and 30 sec ‘off’ for 10 mins where ‘on’ is going as hard as I can and ‘off’ is coasting as slow as I like but not stopping.
That’s all I do exercise wise right now but I plan on going to a yoga class fortnightly but I’ll touch on that later on.
My belief in health is that having discipline will allow you to achieve the results that you’re after.
If you want big muscles then you need discipline with how hard and how often you train and you pay attention to the food and the nutrients you feed your body.
If you want to live longer and you also need discipline with food choices, paying attention to your blood markers and family history risk factors and practicing daily well being like being mindful/meditation with regular exercise.
I write at length about my daily disciplines such as keeping a daily journal. I find this helpful as I can read journal entries from the same day in 2018, 2017 and 2016. It gives you some real context of how much you’ve grown as a person. My first journal entry was Jan 22 2016 and I would say I’m hovering at 90% compliance meaning I’ve kept a daily journal entry 90% of the time which I’m happy with.
Another daily discipline is measuring my glucose and ketone levels on my Abbott Precision Xtra Blood Monitor. This gives me real numbers on where I’m at with my internal health. It’s one thing to look physically healthy but it’s another thing to be internally healthy. My average glucose reading is 4.5mmol/L and average ketone reading is 0.3mmol/L.
Lastly my last daily discipline I’d like to shed light on is my fasting routine. I practice intermittent fasting and it has been a slow but steady process. I started layering intermittent fasting on top of my cyclic ketogenic diet in 2018. The reason why I fast is to help my goal of living longer (longevity).
I first started restricting my eating window to follow a 16:8 ratio where I eat within an 8 hour window and fast 16 hours. Then after I achieved adaptation I moved to a 20:4 window where I ate within a 4 hour window. Over the last 3 months I’ve been practicing One Meal A Day (OMAD) where I eat only one meal within a 2 hour window (22:2).
I’m not suffering in starvation because I still have great nutrition from healthy food and electrolytes that keep me happy in the longer fasting windows. I can shed more light on this down the track but it’s important to note that I didn’t achieve this overnight. I have allowed my body to make the slow changes over 3 years (with keto) and then 1 year with intermittent fasting.
I’ll be keeping a running review of my health efforts on our podcast called The Physioism Podcast. Check it out!
So in summary - why do I go at length to do these things? Because I want to stay forever young :)
Pretty happy with my results so far but the journey continues.
So there you have it.
Aarvi has his health strategy which makes him happy and gives him great results and you’ve just read through Leki’s. The common denominator is that we’re both happy and healthy in our well being pursuit.
What’s your game plan?
Strength training, lose weight, bodybuilding, mobility and flexibility, balance work, injury rehabilitation, getting toned and lean or just feeling good?
Whatever it may be we hope you’ve found some value in what works for us.
Have a great day.
ProPhysio+ team mates - Aarvi & Leki
PS. We’ll give you updates in the future on how we’re progressing with our health goals