Hello! It’s SUMMER!!!!

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from writing for CROF, my apologies. Within the past two weeks sans CROF Weekly Update, a LOT has happened on my end.

Some moments have been so fun I’ve forgotten to capture them. Other moments have been quite personal and generally speaking a lot of good exciting things have come my way, as of recent.

To start, after an incredible Memorial Day Weekend, I spent many hours getting my #Daretoeat Summer Fat Loss Group up and running. So far everyone has been doing an incredible job, the discussion is engaging and members are making SOLID progress!!! ROCK ON GROUP MEMBERS!!!

DTE dinner

one of the group member’s excellent out-to-dinner meal choice posted to the group page for accountability.

As for me, I kicked off my Memorial Day Weekend with a rooftop hangout with a few girlfriends only to have it be crashed by my crazy (but endearing) neighbor and his friends. (He’s the neighbor that has shown up at my door, shirtless, on a hover board, with tequila in hand, in our time as neighbors, if that gives you an idea of his ridiculousness).

The view was OK.

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Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend was epic and the only reason I’m going to give you a quick synopsis is because it pertains to the nutrition part of my post today– I ate out for all three meals on Saturday.

I started with brunch at Tatte in Beacon Hill with my friend Paige. In the afternoon I went to Loco with my friend Candace and then at 9 p.m. I threw on a backless, jean romper (yes, all jean romper) to go to Barcelona with my cousin and her husband.

Needless to say, I have a lot of tips, tricks, and yummy details to share in the nutrition section– don’t skip it!

Over Memorial Day Weekend I also played volleyball with my team Light Blue Balls.

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Team Light Blue Ball post three game win.

It’s pretty neat to be on Team Light Blue Balls. You see, the eclectic group of us (doctors, scientists, future dentists, fitness professionals and technology consultants) all have a very clutch understanding when it comes to out team strategy: let Garrett serve as much as possible and cover for Garrett (as she swiftly ducks) anytime the ball comes her way.

Hey, at least we all own our strengths right? We won three of three games.

After our win(s) we went to a bar briefly after the game. It was hard for me to be in a dark place when it was so pretty outside; naturally I escaped and ran off to meet my friend Candace at the beach for an hour. We tanned until we couldn’t take the heat anymore and ran off to Loco to tell old college stories while we smashed tacos.

Dinner at Barcelona that night was lovely, even though I was kind of still full from lunch, and I ran into a few #Daretoeat clients.

Sunday I went to two of my clients’ engagement party, and managed to snap this and save it!

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I was so proud! It was a really cool time. I loved meeting the people I email with every single day. The couple served oysters, a low-cal egg and ground turkey bake, cheese and crackers, and pain au chocolats!

Make sure to check the Client Spotlight below to see what Sarah’s been working on!

In more personal news, it’s official– after months of trying to figure out where I was going to move, if I was going to move etc. I resigned my lease! After it had been on the market for a month, I was lucky it was still mine to keep. I love where I live and can’t wait for more summer nights on the roof.

The same day I decided to re-sign my lease an old colleague of mine in the real estate business reached out and approached me with an exciting opportunity: help Caffe Nero expand in greater Boston.

After sitting out of the RE game for about a year now, this opportunity excites me as it will challenge me in ways fitness does not. It works a bit of my finance muscle I don’t often train. Last week I met the founders/CEOs of Nero and went on a tour around Boston too look at some epic spots. If you follow me on Snap, now you know why I was snapping construction zones in Seaport. More to come there.

The same day I decided to work with Caffe Nero, I also found an editor for my book, Dare to Move. We’ve decided to work together for the next year (maybe more, maybe less) and I hope to get my website (already created) DTMthebook.com live by next spring of 2017.

I’m currently writing to you from a lovely Southwest plane, headed back to Boston. I was home for a funeral this weekend to support one of my long time friends who lost her Dad. I was so proud of the speech she gave in his honor and thankful to get to see her and her family, and my family as well.

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My mom <3

This week I have an article tentatively titled “Lean Habits” coming out. If you want to get it first, sign-up for my newsletter and it will be emailed to you first!

Cheers!

Training:

The past two weeks have been a juggling act of “keep my powerlifting training, but listen to your body + get outside because it’s beautiful.” To put it simply, I’ve been strategically trying to keep the big three in my programming without going too hard. My back has been in a precarious condition for a few months now and ‘m trying my best to stay strong, and get stronger without hurting it.

I’ve been doing more cardio exercises just to enjoy the outdoors, too.

Instead of giving you a total play by play of the last two weeks of training days I’m going to share some highlights. Don’t miss the “Plate Conditioning Workout” at the end of this section.

Going all the way back to Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend I wanted to deadlift but my back felt off. I decided to go for volume, hitting four sets of 185 for 8 reps. The same week I did squats, and also went for lighter weight, but more volume.

Last week, when it came to deadlifts I decided to try and go heavier, but managed to only get 225 for 4 sets of  4. I followed it up with 1.5 RDLs and single leg squats to a box (unweighted) because  the day I did 185 for 8, I did speed work, and I alternate 1.5 RDLs, banded deadlifts and/or speed work every week.

My front-squat day two weeks ago was manipulated slightly, as directed by my Chiropractor to try and sit up taller. She suggested I try some plie squats and I did them to humor her. HOLY BURN I was sore for three days. These were a huge reason why I didn’t get to go heavy two weeks ago not he back squat.

The following week my “mixed day” included regular front squats, chin-ups and frog pumps, weighted, as shown below. Because it was my “mixed” day, I added in some single arm floor presses, for volume with the same bar.

Last Friday my back squats went well at 170 5×5. I did warm-up sets of 5, hit 170 5×5, then three back off sets with 135 for 10-12 reps.

I rested Saturday, doing literally nothing besides watch movies. My mom and I went to “Mr. Lobster.” Do not see it, unless you want to spend five hours analyzing it afterward. You could teach an entire semester of college on that movie alone.

Because I didn’t bench the past two weeks due to a crazy schedule (only managed heavy DB press and weighted chin-ups) I benched yesterday. But really quick– last week I was doing weighted chin-ups with a DB in-between my legs, like the video below.

Operation total upper body obliteration complete ✅ Today's workout included (but was not limited to): # 5×5 bench press 3×8 narrow bench With 4×5 heavy Chins Neutral grip seated rows 4×5 with double kettlebell overhead presses 4×8 Lat pull-down with bicep curls and paused push-ups # And finally, the main attraction: a conditioning circuit (fueled by eating calories and not fighting a deficit): # *light sets of 10 front squats * 20 battle rope slams *12 heavy KB swings (36kg) (5 rounds) ?????? #daretomove #daretolift #mymomdidthiswithme Thankful that my mom was my training partner today!! @copperexplorer58 #chinups #lifetimefitness #indy #benchday #newprogram #powerlifting #powerbuilder #nike #justdoit #npcbikinicompetitor #benchhair

A post shared by Garrett Wood (@garrettnwood) on

On my third set of three with a 25 pound DB I had a coregasm. Has anyone else experienced this? It has happened to me four times in my life, always unexpectedly and luckily in places not so crowded. However, it’s such a weird experience. I always want to talk to someone about it, so I figured I’d ask you guys if you’ve ever experienced this?! Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook or email me! Google it if you are confused.

Yesterday was my bench workout at home:

  • chin-ups (bodyweight) 8 reps
  • 20 incline sit-ups
  • 10 bench presses with 90 pounds
  • 20 squats holding a 45 pound plate
  • FOUR ROUNDS

After four rounds I decided to bench heavier, because I found more weight! My workout then became:

  • 4-6 bench presses with 105
  • 8 chin-ups
  • FOUR ROUNDS

Then I did a conditioning circuit, all using just one 45 pound plate.

  • 7 Plate swings with right hand on top (shown in Exercise Spotlight), 7 with left hand on top
  • walk 100 steps with plate overhead (shoulder BURNER)
  • 30 steps of right arm farmer carry
  • 30 steps left arm farmer carry
  • single-leg burpee to candlestick
  • FOUR ROUNDS

Try this conditioning  circuit when you don’t have access to a kettlebell, or other dumbbells!

Nutrition:

As noted in the opening comments, I ate out at restaurants three times on Saturday alone, of MDW! Please know that you can let eating out stress you out about your diet, OR just listen to your gut, guided by your goals! Staying lean doesn’t have to be hard, it just takes strategy and the belief that you CAN.

Not sure what I mean? I will walk you through how I made my decisions on Saturday, for example purposes.

Brunch: Tatte In Beacon Hill

Tatte is known for it’s avocado toast and it’s Shakshuka. Shakshuka is a low calorie dish in most cases, and one I often use for fat loss. It’s filling, but, it’s served warm. On a hot, sticky, summer morning the idea of something warm was not appealing. I also saw that the Shakshuka was served with a ton of bread and cheese. I was unsure if it had a lot of oil so I went with the avocado toast because it was served with two eggs– one per piece of toast. I figured I could have 1 egg and the whites of the other, and eat only the avocado from one of the pieces of toast, have one piece of bread and add extra greens to the side. It worked out perfectly!

tatte toast

Late lunch: Loco in Southie

Loco is known for its tacos, but my friend Candace informed me that the plate of cauliflower and beets was too die for! I ordered two servings of the cauliflower (ate most of it) shared ceviche with Candace (making sure to only have 5 chips) because I wanted to eat the tortilla of at least one of my swordfish tacos. The swordfish tacos + ceviche gave me the protein I needed and I filled up twitch low calorie cauliflower en lieu of tortilla chips. Always check to see if the restaurant serves any sides of veggies you love; veggies are low calorie and filling! At steak houses, it is easy to find sides of mushrooms, for some reason I always notice this.

Dinner: Barcelona in South End

Barcelona is a tapas restaurant where you share everything. For anyone trying to keep their waistline, it can be stressful if you try and track everything or it can be REALLY mentally relieving, if you have the right frame of mind. You get to have a TASTE of so many things. But, make sure you put everything on your plate first, then begin to eat. In my case, my cousins and I decided to split the veggie paella, but before that, in order to feel full we had scallops, lamb chops and sausage+fig plates in order to get ample protein. I didn’t feel much like drinking, so I decided to indulge in bread with olive oil, (after all I had done 45 minutes of cardio, played volley ball and walked 30 minutes to dinner); I had the calories to spare. When the paella arrived at our table, I tried to scoop out as many vegetables as possible.

I would go back to all of these restaurants in a heartbeat!

Takeaways:

  • prioritize protein
  • listen to hunger cues and take into consideration your activity level that day
  • find veggies on the menu and fill up on those
  • pick one indulgence, (bread basket, cocktail, or dessert) pick TWO if it was an active day.

Another strategy I’ve been using, is the “take-home and plate it,” I’ll call it.

You see, I LOVE the Whole Foods salad bar, it is VERY convenient for me, and it allows me to get a wide variety of vegetables I wouldn’t necessarily cook for myself each day. However, I am back on the same numbers I was #16 weeks out from my first every bikini competition, and so in order to make sure my portions aren’t to liberal, I grab a bunch stuff I want at the salad bar, throw it in a container and when I get home, I “plate it” on a small plate. This way I get a better idea of how much I am going to eat. If I want seconds I make sure to drink a full glass of water and then decide if I am still craving more.

pollock, pork tenderloin, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, green beans and peas.

pollock, pork tenderloin, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, green beans and peas.

I also love bringing it home so I can add my own fat-free parmesan on top, liquid amigos, ketchup etc.

What I’m Reading:

  1. 6 Tiered System: Win the Fat Loss Battle via Revive Stronger
  2. 5 Negatives of Bikini Prep via Crossroads of Fitness
  3. Why performing 1&1/2 reps will alter your life forever via Tony Gentilcore
  4. Genetics and Strength Training: just how different are we? via Strength Theory
  5. Calories and you: is is calories in or calories out? via Kevin Mullins Fitness
  6. The Top 4 Way to Measure Fat Loss via Nick Smoot
  7. How to Conquer your “feels” when dieting via Anyman Fitness
  8. How your Genes Affect Your Jean Size via Girls Gone Strong

Exercise of the week: Plate swings

 

If you have a plate with holes in it, and no access to kettebells, use your plate as a kettlebell, performing swings for posterior chain work.

I did these swings in the conditioning circuit listed in the Training section. The only downside of these swings is that one hand has to grab above the other. In order to stay balanced, I do 7 swings with my right hand on top, then 7 with the left hand on top.

Client Spotlights:

Kimberly’s 1.5 Daretoeat cycle  progress!

Kim1 to 2nd cycle

I am so darn proud of Kimberly. She did a 12-week Dare to Eat Program last winter. Despite being a newly wed, riding horses regularly, house hunting and more, she made incredible strides. After 12 weeks she spent about two months keeping the weight off on her own. However, with summer around the corner, she reached out to me 8 weeks ago, interested in doing a quick cycle to fine-tune things for swimsuit season. I *always* allow any former Dare to Eat client to come back on board for short increments of time (4,6,8 weeks etc) once they’ve completed a 12-week cycle.

As you can see above, Kimberly looks incredible!!! The left was her first ever “before photo” and the right photo is after her 8 week, pre-summer Dare to Eat cycle. I’m so proud of her for crushing it despite moving into a new home and attending several family celebrations! Go Kimberly! Way to set a goal and see it through!!!

Sarah’s push-ups!

My client Sarah is currently close to the end of her Dare to Eat program. She’s a real go-getter and decided to start the Dare to Move program in tandem with Dare to Eat on day ONE. She started working on push-ups by doing them to a bench, and now, with consistent effort and much practice you can see her repping out push-ups below, with excellent form. I can only imagine how much stronger she’ll get in her third Dare to Move strength cycle! Way to go, Sarah!!! PS: she’s back-squatting 120 for 5 reps!!!

 

Honorable mention: Congrats to my clients Denise and Phil who tied the knot last weekend! They looked handsome and beautiful and incredibly fit! I am so proud of them!!! Their daughters, sister in laws, cousins etc all looked amazing in photos too 🙂 (I work with six members of the family!!) I loved stalking the photos! Congrats everyone!!

 

 

 

 

 

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