Operation Lard-off

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Operation Lard-off

Post by irontamer » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:34 pm

In late 2003 Garm did a series of posts at DD detailing his use of a cyclcal ketognic diet to quickly drop some weight.

He dubbed it "Operation Lard-off". Following are the details of the log
Last edited by irontamer on Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"With 135 on the bar you don't get to be called "Bro", unless it is curls or skull crushers." -PL54

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Post by irontamer » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:35 pm

Garm’s Notes On CKD From DD forum

I'm posting this as background information for the diet and training logs that will follow over the next few months. The objective of the process is to show one way to deal with the issue of being a self-coached strength athlete who wishes to be at the top of his game but desires to compete in a lower weight class in the future. Hopefully, an integrated diet and training plan that results in the achievement of aesthetic/health goals as well as athletic ones will be instructive. As always, I will be happy to answer questions about program design, runtime course-corrections, strategies, etc. I have followed a similar path multiple times in the past with good result, so if you disagree with the diet, please argue with multi-time world powerlifting champ and cuurent diet guru to the world's strength elite, Dr. Mauro DiPasquale, not me. The only part that pertains to the nutrition forum is the first few months of weight loss focus, after which I'll go back to posting logs on the other side.

Goals: Reduce bodyweight from today's 298 to 270 pounds by 1/1/04. Retain as much muscle mass and limit strength as possible. Win my division at the AAU Raw Nationals in the 275 pound weight class on 5/23/04.

Strategy: After much analysis, I think it's best to diet down as quickly as possible. There will be a strength hit as the result, so I believe that I should maximize the training time that does not include power-robbing strict diet and cardio after I have made weight. It is easier to maintain weight and strength train than it is to attempt to lose and gain at the same time. So, I'll be using an extreme diet for a short period in conjunction with a training plan designed to maximize calories expended while maintaining strength levels as much as possible. After that, it's back to a pure Powerlifting diet and training regimen, which includes 5-6 small meals per day, each with high animal source protein and a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and starches.

Key Dates:

11/2/03 - AAU World Powerlifting Championships
11/3 to 11/10 - Off. No exercise, eat junk food, relax, be a slob.
11/10 to 12/29 - Weight loss phase. Take a break from PL specific training via below "football" style program, designed for strength maintenance/gains and dealing with specific weaknesses (deadlift priority).
1/5/04 - Test near-max in 3 powerlifts
1/12/04 -5/17/04 - Powerlift training and maintenance dieting
5/23/04 - AAU Raw Nationals

Diet - low calorie, high protein, carb-cycling approach, integrated with training. To wit: Caloric intake is always less than maintenance level. Carbohydrate restriction is performed to force ketosis. This is the quickest way to burn fat, but also consumes muscle. Folks who want to look pretty can afford this, I can't - paid too high a price for the meat I have, thanks. Proteolytic processes are instantiated via the intracellular dehydration caused by ketogenic dieting, in addition to that caused by caloric restriction. The partial antidote is the weekly carbohydrate loading phase.

Carb loading is performed as per the below schedule, and rehydrates the muscle cells. This stimulates protein synthesis. Further, insulin sensitivity is increased via returning to a normal level of blood glucose after dietary deprivation. Additional anabolic stimulus is provided by this hyperinsulinemia. Basically, it all boils down to trade-offs - ketosis is fat consumption by definition. That's good. Caloric restriction is necessary for it to occur as the consumption of adipose tissue. That's the law. Caloric restriction will always result in some lean tissue consumption. That's bad. Carbohydrate loading cycles coupled with properly timed intense exercise will minimize the overall burning of meat. That's theory, but it works. Watch the logs and see.

This is a miserable way to live, so I want it to be over as fast as possible. As quick as I can get down to 270 or so, the better. I'd like a five pound cushion so that I can eat enough to sustain some heavy training in the late winter and early spring. I have another date with Smolov in 2004, and that's no time to be dieting!

Specific diet/training integrated schedule:

Monday - (near) zero carbs. Medium training.
Tuesday - (near) zero carbs. Off.
Wednesday - (near) zero carbs. Off.
Thursday - zero carbs through day. Begin carb loading right before workout. Carbohydrate objective is infinity (no joke). Heavy training.
Friday - infinite carbs. Light training day 1.
Saturday - infinite carbs before workout. Begin (near) zero carbs immediately after workout. Light training day 2.
Sunday - (near) zero carbs. Off.

On 'infinite' carb days I will be strictly adhering to the 'whole, fresh, raw' rules, but you can expect to see me eating lots of whole grain breads, bags of oranges, etc. Zero carb days will be meat, fish, nuts, etc. 1 gallon of water per day, every day. At my current bodyweight (297), maintenance is about 5,800 Kcal/day, so it will be easy to be well under this. Dropping the gallon of whole milk per day cuts 2,000 or more. Zero carbs is easier than 30 grams, from a planning and living perspective. I do not wish to count calories, and will therefore be eating 'clean' and trusting this fact to result in below-maintenance intake. If you notice the caloric cycling similarities between the DiPasquale/Duchaine/ MacDonald approach and Hatfield's Zig-Zag diet, you have a good eye.

Training - 4-day Heavy, Light, Light, Medium breakdown. Heavy workout follows the beginning of carb loading. This will give me the energy necessary to complete a man-sized workout. Two light days follow, also in the carb-up phase, which ends at the beginning of the second light workout. The second light day takes the place of a Duchaine-esque 'depletion workout', which is designed as a nasty circuit that forces the consumption of any stored sugars. Mine is not so aerobically extreme, but my goals differ from the bodybuilder's, and the longer time spent working harder should have the same results. The medium day is actually easier than either of the light days, except I add one or two sets of three reps at a high intensity to arrive at a 'medium' average intensity. The below description of the training plan will show the 8-week cycle.

Every Day - AM cardio 30 minutes. I'll probably just go for a light jog.

Day 1 (Thursday - heavy - carb loading begins) - squat, 5 sets of 5 reps - work up to a heavy 5. One down set of 8. Bench press, heavy high volume, but change the rep and set scheme every week (5x5, 10x3, etc.). Deadlift heavy 5x5 every other week (alternates with heavy power cleans, clean grip high pulls, etc.) Incline dumbbell bench press, 5 sets high reps. 20+ reps for two sets each adductor, leg curl, leg extension, abs.

Day 2 (Friday - light - carb loading continues) - power snatch 3x5. High pull 3x5. Military press, heavy high volume, change rep and set scheme every week. 30+ reps for straight leg and seated calves and abs, 2 sets. 4 sets of pull-ups, max reps each set.

Day 3 (Saturday - light - carb loading ends) - front squat heavy 3x3. GM 8x4. Incline bench, heavy high volume, change rep and set scheme each week. Dips, tris, bis, adductors, leg curl, leg extension - high reps 2 sets each.

Day 4 (Monday - medium - carb starvation) - squat, 3 warmup sets of 5, two sets of 3, top set is 10 pounds more than top set of 5 on day one. Next day one, 5 what I 3'd today. One down set of eight. Overhead SQ heavy 3x3. Power shrugs 5x5. BP 8x4, 2 reasonably heavy doubles. Close grip BP 8x4. Bis and abs high reps.

In case you are wondering, 'light' is a function of the 1RM in a real exercise. For example, I could do max singles or reps to failure in front squat or military press all day every day without overtraining, since the weights used for such exercises will be less than half of my 1RM in back squat or bench press. I'm banking on some deadlift carryover from both these exercises, BTW, and especially the power cleans, power shrugs, high pulls, and power snatches. Since I stole most of the concepts of this routine from Bill Starr, I might as well use a variation of his 'no deadlift' deadlift approach, too. Read Dan John's 'One Piece' concepts for details on why this should work - the bottom line is that if I can SQ more than I can DL, the problem lies in my ability to generate full-body tension without an eccentric movement.


Week One:
Monday - 1,280 calories of fat only. fish oil, sour cream, whipping cream, pork rinds, etc. in 5 +- 200-Calorie 'meals'.
Tuesday - 1,410 Cal, same foods. Was in ketosis by 2:30 PM, 40 mg/Dl. Note that without the fat fast, it often takes me 9 days to register any unused ketone bodies in urine. This is a very effective kickstart program. Smaller folks should keep Calories scrupulously under 1,200 and all fat. Some discipline is required for this approach.
Wed - fast entirely until 5:00 PM, which is when I was finished with my yearly physical and bloodwork. Will post data when I get the results in a few weeks. After that, 2,860 Calories of beef and sardines in two meals.
Thu - 4,200 Calories. All fat or protein, maybe some trace carbs.
Fri - 4,830 Calories, same.
Sat - 5,210 Calories, added a pint of heavy cream for some extra calories.

In mild to strong ketosis every day since Tuesday. Fuzzy until Thursday, OK now. Will begin cycling carbs next weekend, allowing 2 full weeks of metabloic adaptation. The theory is that once fat adaptation fully occurs and 'takes', it cannot be undone with only two days of glycogen supercompensation. So, this is basically the first week of a DiPasquale "Assesment Phase", customized with a Kelwick "Fat fast" to get things moving as quickly as possible.

No training this week, recovering from PL meet last Sunday.


Week Two - 11/15/03

Sunday BW 285 (-11.5 pounds)
BF % 21% (-7%)
Metabolic Index 16.2 (+3.4)

Since these numbers show an 11.5 pound total BW loss and a 22-pound BF loss, fat measuring error is profound. I'm going to buy and use an electric BF measuring device from now on to minimize this. Due to my body construction, the number will not be accurate but it will hopefully be consistent and provide better tracking - as long as the reported BF% goes down, I'm in business. Note that I can indeed now fit into the 40" waist trousers that I had to closet a few months ago for the 44's. I've lost at least 4" off my waist in two weeks (the above metrics are at one week).

Diet Log

Meat and fat only every day until Saturday. Roast beef, sardines, Olive oil, Macadamia nut oil, pork rinds. Supplemental vitamins and minerals, garlic and milk thistle (see below). Ephidrine is a banned substance in the AAU, or else I'd be on the ECA stack 3x/day, 4 on and 3 off. Calories less than 5,000 per day, maintenance should be about 6,000 .

Looking forward to the weekend carb-up. Will have an IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity breakfast with plenty of syrup and canned strawberries first thing tomorrow, but after that it will all be fresh fruits and vegetables, maybe some rice with the sushi and spuds with steak. Carbs unlimited Saturday and Sunday, resume misery Monday AM.

Training log

Monday - SQ 225x5, 260x5, 295x5, 330x5, 365x5, 295x8; BP 225x5x2, 315x3x5, 275x8; Barbell Row 135x5, 155x5, 175x5, 195x5, 225x5; Incline Dumbell BP 150x12x2; 100x20; Kneeling cable crunch 160 (stack) x33 (max reps). Adductor machine 160x20x2; Leg curl 180x20x2; Leg extension 270x20x2;

Tuesday - Power Snatch 95x5x2, 135x3, 155x3, 135x3x3 (form sloppy and slow at 155 - need to concentrate on speed); High pull 235x3x5; Military Press 95x5x3; 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 155x3x2, 135x8; Calf press 540x20x2; Seated calf 90x20x2; Chinups 2x4; Swiss Ball Crunch 180x27 (max reps)

Wednesday - Front SQ 135x5x3, 225x3x3; GM 235x8x4; Incline BP 225x3x10; Dips 10x4; Standing situps green band 37 reps. Adductor machine 160x20x2; Leg curl 180x20x2; Leg extension 270x20x2;

Friday - SQ 225x5, 260x5, 295x5, 375x3x2, 295x8; BB Shrug 225x5x5; BP 275x8x4, 315x2x2; Close grip BP 225x8x4; HLR 23 reps.

Move through all of these as fast as I can - minimal rest between sets and exercises. Form is terrible on all the Olympic moves and overhead pressing (it's been decades since I've done any of these). Goals for the first month or two will be simply to improve form and speed. Ill be keeping the weight low and working on form and speed until I get these down pat. Weak as hell from the dieting, as expected.

Front SQ is a real bitch - a lot of wrist stress, and I can't get my elbows pointed forward to save my life. Very deep, but my elbows hit my knees and stop me a few inches before rock-bottom. I'm sticking with the OLY grip until I get it right though, even though the weight is way too light for my legs. Back SQ all done ultra-wide and as deep as I can, following Jim William's (and Jack Reape's) advice. I'm breaking parallel, but just barely.

Cardio after every workout - got lazy and decided to forego the morning runs. 30 minutes on the elliptical thingie at a reasonably slow pace. HR typically around 160 after the fast weight workouts, stays about there throughout the cardio sessions. This is above my 'target heart rate' for fat loss, but the target number should not apply to a person in ketosis - I should be burning fat or muscle at all times.

Week Three:
Mon BW 285 (-0)
Fri BW 283 (-2)

Will weigh on on Friday from now on, since the weekend carb-up adds water weight.

BF 22.3%, using my new Omron BF Analyzer. The thing varies by .1% with measurements two seconds apart, and is certainly not accurate. All I care about is consistency, and as long as the percentage goes down over time, I'm in business. Anyway, no way to compare to last week, so next week's numbers are the beginning of viable week-to-week comparisons.

Training - same as last week. Lifting 4 days, cardio 6 days.

Diet - same as last week. Attempting zero carbs and 60% of calories from fat on weekdays, and 1,000 calories under maintenance. Tried a bunch of different oils, and the verdict is in - walnut oil tastes the best. A shake with water, 2 scoops of unflavored Designer Protein, and 1/4 cup of walnut oil actually tastes pretty good. Still, I'm cycling oils by buying a bunch of different kinds and not going back to the store until they are all gone. Got olive, sesame, walnut, macdamia nut, grapeseed, etc.

Supplements - milk thistle 400 mg 3x/day. Thymus gland extract organic - 1000 mg 2x/day. Selenium 400 mg/day. Dandelion root - one quart of tea daily. Alpha-lipoic acid 300 mg 2x/day. Organic liver extract 1000 mg 2x/day. Green tea extract 500 mg 2x/day. Fish oil capsules 10 g / day. Cut and paste the following url if you want the details of supplement selection:

http://www.msnusers.com/irongarm/Docume ... 20Wars.doc

Feeling good, no carb cravings, no fuzziness, in ketosis all the time. Heading out for that big stack of syrup, strawberry, and whipped cream laden pancakes first thing tomorrow. Veggies and fruit only through the rest of the weekend. PS - I would have expected a sugar high and bonk last weekend, but it didn't happen. First carbs were a quart of OJ, chugged straight down. No weirdness at all as the result.


Week Four:

Friday BW 281 (-3)
BF% 21.4% (- 0.9%)
Metabolic Index 15.75 (+ 0.47)
Lean Mass 220.87 (+ 0.2)
Adipose 60.13 (- 3.20)

Diet - same as last week: 3,000 - 4,000 Calories meat and fat on weekdays, unlimited carbs on weekend. Burning in excess of 5,000 per day on average.

Training - same as last week. 4 days lifting, 5 days cardio. 30+ minute sauna after every workout.

Notes: I don't believe the accuracy of the BF% measurment (I think it's high), but at least I get a reasonably consistent error. Using an 'Omron HBF-306' impedance unit. It is interesting that the lean mass is going up while I'm dieting so hard. It must be due to either error or the vastly different exercise protocol. Zero hunger, zero sugar highs or bonks, zero fuzziness. 8 weeks to go, I'll be able to get under 275 with ease.


Week Five:

Friday BW 274 (-7)
BF% 22.3% (+ 0.9%)
Metabolic Index 14.74 (- 1.01)
Lean Mass 212.9 (- 7.97)
Adipose 61.13 (+ 0.97)

The BF measurement appears to be in error, via observation of undergut musculature. If true, the calculated metrics are also bad.

Diet log: same as last week - no carbs on weekdays, unlimited carbs on weekends, 60% caloies via fats on weekdays.

Training log: entered 3/28 Virginia State PL Championships at 275, so I switched up my training this week back to a PL focus. 3 days lifting, 3 days cardio. Using entry-level Sheyko program with 90% of my last best contest bench and 80% of SQ and DL. Dieting has affected both strength and endurance, so I'll use the light weights to get back into shape, then repeat with actual last maxes, maybe with a less strict diet.

Mon: BP 155x5, 185x4x2, 215x3x2, 230x3x5; SQ 210x5, 250x5x2, 295x5x5; BP 155x6, 185x6x2, 200x6x4; DBFly 60x10x5; GM 135x5x5 (close stance, knees locked, weight on toes, bar way forward of feet. Changed this up to ensure a good ham stretch, sore as hell all week as the result).

Tue: Cardio 60 min. Elliptical thingamabob.

Wed: DL 185x5, 225x5x2, 260x4x2, 280x3x4; Incline BP 175x4x6; Dips 5x5; Rack pull from knee 185x5, 225x5x2, 260x4x2, 300x3x4; Lunge bodyweight 5x5; Standing situp 10x3

Thu: cardio 60 min.

Fri: BP 155x7, 170x6, 185x5, 200x4, 215x3x2, 230x2x2, 215x3x2, 200x4, 185x6, 170x8, 155x10; DB FLy 60x10x5; SQ 185x5, 225x4x2, 260x3x2, 280x3x5; French Press 95x10x5; Seated GM 225x5x5.


Week Six:

Fri BW 272; 11/2 BW 296.5; Total Change -24.5
Fri BF 22.0%; 11/2 BF 27.6%; Total Change -5.60%

That's 24.5 pounds lost, 21.99 of which is adipose in 6 weeks. Pretty much the definition of a good plan. Still haven't decided whether to do this for 8 weeks or 12.

Diet log - same as last week. zero carbs on weekdays, unlimited on weekends.

Training log - had a horse needle stuck in my liver on Tuesday afternoon, so this was a short week.

Mon - SQ 186x5, 225x4, 260x3x2, 300x2x5; BP 155x5, 185x4, 215x3x2, 245x2x6; Pushup with 45 pound plate 10x5; SQ 205x3, 240x3, 280x3x4; GM 225x5x5

Tue - swim laps 1 hour, moderate pace

Thu - swim laps 1 hour, moderate pace

Fri - SQ 185x4, 225x4, 260x3x2, 280x3x6; BP 155x6, 185x5, 215x4x2, 230x3x2, 245x2x2, 230x4, 215x5, 185x6, 155x7; DBFly 70x10x5; French Press 100x10x5; SQ 205x3, 240x3, 280x2x4; Seated GM 225x5x5

Closing thoughts:

Friday BW 264

Diet - same as last week
Training - same as last week

Stats - lost 32.5 pounds in 6 weeks. 26.4 of that was adipose.

I do not know whether to continue or not. I'll never see 242 again (the next lowest weight class), and if I get much more under 275 I'll be at a competitive disadvantage. I'll think it through over the weekend.

On a personal note, it is getting damn boring being right about every subject all the time. Maybe I'll write a diet book.

My goal when I began this was to diet down to the 275 pound class as quickly as possible, and for most of the lost weight to be adipose. Quick was important, because I lose strength while dieting and needed time to get ready for a 3/28 qualifying meet and subsequent 5/23 national championships.

The strategy - Kelwick fat fast followed by DiPasquale CKD - has been one I have used many imes over the years to make weight. I have been consistent in stating my belief that such diets are not healthy in the long term, and have detailed the reasons why here for years. These diets clearly work for rapid fat and weight loss, as demonstrated, but should not be considered anything but extreme.

According to my admitedly inaccurate measuring devices, I started at 296.5 and 27.6% on 11/2/03, and am now at 264 and 21%. This is a 32.5 pound loss, of which 26.39 was lard. I have certainly achieved my goals, and now have 14 weeks to prepare. Thus, Operation Lard Off is declared successful, and hostilities have ceased 2 weeks earlier than predicted.

For those interested, I will be returning to my personal WFR diet and monitoring BW. If it goes up much past 280, I'll be surprised, but will address this by calorie reduction. Experience shows that I can dehydrate off 5 pounds in 24 hours and not lose strength, so 280 is a fine top weight. However, mass gain is not a current goal and experience further shows that it is nearly impossible to put on a lot of weight with WFR.

Anyway, since this will not produce spectactular results, I'll stop reporting diet logs. Weekly training begins today, via the Boris Sheyko 14-week bench press program, which will have me peaked and tapered on exactly 3/28. Smolov's SQ program begins next week, ends the same date. I will not train deadlift at all, since it now appears that heavy and frequent SQ training carries over to my deadlift all by itself. See weekly logs in the training section from this point forward.

"With 135 on the bar you don't get to be called "Bro", unless it is curls or skull crushers." -PL54

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Post by Garm » Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:51 pm

Goddamn I impress myself!

Anybody who reads this should know that I was diagnosed with HCV a week or two after I started the diet and did not lift competitively as planned, since I started on antiviral drugs in January '04 and was pretty sick for the subsequent 15 months as a result. It also bears restating that I believe that ketogenic diets are unhelathy in the extreme and only approved for personal use for short periods of adipose loss.
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Post by Grandpa's Spells » Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:58 pm

There was a 19 year old poster on DD this week who collapsed with chest pain after following a 60%+ fat diet for a long period of time. Doc tells him his diet is causing it and he is showing signs of heart disease. The geniuses on DD nutrition posit that there must some "processed carbs" in the cream, bacon, and beef that make up his diet.

Fucking idiots.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.

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Post by irontamer » Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:40 pm

I thought it was transfats in the peanut butter.
"With 135 on the bar you don't get to be called "Bro", unless it is curls or skull crushers." -PL54

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Post by Garm » Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:43 pm

The trouble with diet idiots is that the results of their stupidity take too long to catch up with them, allowing them to reproduce and continue the dunderheaded line. You should encourage them to take up firearms as a second obsession.
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Post by stosh » Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:01 pm

I collapse with chest pain at 19, there's two things I won't be doing:

1. Going to DD for advice
2. I won't eat this:

3 eggs
2 strips bacon

1 beef patties fried in LOTS of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
probably like 10 slices of swiss cheese
3 teaspoons of PB

Steak fried in butter then slathered with butter and olive oil
1 cup of heavy cream
6 teaspoons of PB

I get chest pains reading it. 19 year olds should be eating anything and everything.
A novice is someone who keeps asking himself if he is a novice. An intermediate is someone who is sick of training with weak people and an advanced person doesn't give a shit anymore. - Jim Wendler

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