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Week 4 - ASSESSMENT

 

Just watched the finish or London Marathon. Fast monsters

Had a nice 2 hour run in the countryside. English countryside can be the prettiest thing - provided there's a tiny bit of sun.

Had a huge awwwww moment, when I ran past a field with a herd of about 40 cute lambs and their moms. And as always when there's a great picture to be taken, I had left my phone home.

Knee is fine, feels good to be back in a half-decent running shape.

 

Anyway, good 4th week and figures are great: more muscle, less fat!

You have to be cautious with those, but at least it goes in the right direction.

 

Not much change visually, maybe I shouldn't really bother taking a picture every week.

Will keep on going for those 12 weeks for the record.

 

Stats

 

Weight 66.8kg (+1.2kg)

Body fat % 7.7 (-0.2%)

Hydration % 61.5 (+0.5%)

Muscle weight 58.5 kg (+1.3kg)

 

Photo

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/eukmx0.jpg

 

Nutrition

No change as these macros are working for now.

Low carb day is probably not optimal for sustaining growth, but right now it's a 'rest' day where I don't need to eat as much as the others. I'm not big on eating more, although the things I listed below do work.

 

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,000 kcal

prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal

fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal

 

Medium carb day, on cardio days, 2 days/week: 2,500 kcal

prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal

fat 30% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal

 

Low carb day, on rest day, 1 day/week 2,100 kcal

prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal

fat 40% 90g / 810 kcal

Carb 30% 150g / 600kcal

 

 

Here's what I found to help get more calories in:

- smaller meals (up to 7-8) every 2-3 hours.

- drinking carbs: oats go down easy in shakes or smoothies.

- smaller portion of veggies. While veggies are awesome, they are very low calories and can be bulky. Alternatively, they work great in smoothies.

- increasing fats: olive oil and nuts are concentrated sources or calories.

- using bigger plates : portions look smaller

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Week 5 / Session 1

 

BACK

 

Hell of a long workout, managed to lift heavier on everything, except the pull-ups where I used only bodyweight to give form the priority.

Pretty happy with it!

 

My left wrist lacks strenght and gives up early when I could sneak another 1-2 extra reps.

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/29opfo8.jpg

 

 

What healthy bastards eat

Scrambled tofu with avocado, and a spinach smoothie with soy milk - tasty!

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/2a0gkle.jpg

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Week 5 / Session 2

 

LEGS

 

Good work out, interesting to see that resting times for legs exercises are now half what they were in the first 3-week cycle.

 

Still keeping weights low on front squat to get the form right first.

Toe feels better, so got calf raises back, with low weight.

Left ankle is mildly happy though.

 

Exercises in italic were added by me, following the same form and tempo principles that apply to the regular exercises.

 

http://i63.tinypic.com/2vv2ltv.jpg

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Week 5 / Session 3

 

ARMS + DELTS

 

Wasn't really focused, I think I pushed cardio too much yesterday and felt a bit tired.

It's easy to lose track of the number of reps and sets, while keeping resting times and lifting tempo in check.

Everything has to be written down or I get lost soon!

 

The program for this week only includes 3 workouts instead of the usual 4, wonder whether I should stick to it and rest, or have an easy mix session tomorrow?

If I'm fine and in the mood I'll give it a quick go I think.

 

Exercises in italic were added by me, following the same form and tempo principles that apply to the regular exercises.

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/2nlagex.jpg

 

Yesterday cardio: 45min

 

HIIT Bike: 30mn.

 

I usually improvise some HIIT on the bike or the cross-training machine.

So yesterday was for instance:

 

5min warm up

20secs max effort / 10 secs rest x 8

2 min rest

20secs max effort / 40 secs rest x 4

2 min rest

20secs max effort / 1.20 min rest x 4

Remaining time: cool down.

 

Stair climber: 15 mn easy

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Been away for the bank holiday week-end, but didn't stay idle!

 

 

Saturday:

 

Week 5 / Session 4

 

BACK

As that session was an extra and not part of the program, I simply picked back 6 exercises I like, and kept the effort in the medium range.

Good news is that I managed 13 extra pull-ups at the very end, while I used to be able to do only 5-6 when tired.

 

Hadn't seen my girlfriend for nearly a month, and she noticed my legs have got quite bigger

 

 

Sunday:

 

Ran the Chatsworth 10k with my girlfriend, a hilly race in a the park of a castle near Sheffield.

Didn't rain for once, which was nice!

Time is not much to speak of, we finished amongst the last ones ahah.

 

Found a health food shop in Bakewell, a small touristic village nearby. Was cheaper than supermarkets and waaay cheaper than those mean b*stards from Holland And Barett, so filled the cupboards up.

 

http://i64.tinypic.com/2qv4n0g.jpg

 

 

Monday:

 

Back home and rest.

Think I caught a cold yesterday, feeling quite tired with an aching throat.

Will do week 5 assessment tomorrow.

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Week 5 - ASSESSMENT

 

Good 5th week and still going in the right direction : more muscle, less fat.

Weight slightly down though.

 

Stats

 

Weight 66.5kg (-0.3kg)

Body fat % 6.4 (-1.3%)

Hydration % 63 (+1.5%)

Muscle weight 59.1 kg (+0.6kg)

 

Photo

 

http://i68.tinypic.com/mubvc2.jpg

 

Nutrition

No real change as these macros are working for now, only tweaked a bit carbs and fat on medium day.

Getting used to eating more, more often.

Might increase calorie intake next week.

 

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,000 kcal

prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal

fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal

 

Medium carb day, on cardio days, 2 days/week: 2,500 kcal

prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal

fat 30% 90g / 810 kcal (+10g)

Carb 40% 250g / 1000kcal (-20g)

 

Low carb day, on rest day, 1 day/week 2,100 kcal

prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal

fat 40% 90g / 810 kcal

Carb 30% 150g / 600kcal

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Week 6 / Session 2

 

LEGS

 

First leg session without any tape, left knee is perfectly fine.

YAY !

 

Lifted a bit more but not heavy yet, and took intensity up for the abs exercises too

 

http://i63.tinypic.com/14imoo1.jpg

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Week 6 / Session 3

 

BACK

 

A shorter session with less sets, which was just as well as feeling quite tired this week.

That said, added a bit of extra (italic stuff) as I feel like a fraud if I spend less than 40mn on a session.

 

http://i68.tinypic.com/awz5sz.jpg

 

Yesterday: run/walk in the woods.

Great early morning run, the woods are so quiet and peaceful, all bathed in a smooth yellow light!

Those morning runs give me a massive rush of endorphines. I'm more quiet, more focused, more confident and more patient after them.

They make me a better person, basically

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Week 6 / Session 4

 

ARMS + DELTS

 

Good session, managed to lift more on 3 exercises.

The decline plank with toe touch is a great core/abs exercise.

 

http://i63.tinypic.com/8yb0gk.jpg

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Week 6 - ASSESSMENT

 

Half-way through the program!

OK six week, continual improvement at the gym but feeling tired.

The workouts are draining and I sleep only 6 hours/night, no matter what I try to sleep better and longer

 

Weights and body fat are far up this week according to scales, seems a bit odd as nutrition and exercise have been the same as last week.

 

Although I'm getting stronger, very little change visually on upper body.

Photos are not great due to bathroom being gloomy, but still I expected more than that.

I leave the gym with pretty much nothing left in the tank, so I'm sure I'm pushing myself hard enough.

Defo more muscles on legs though, as confirmed by gf.

 

Taking calories up a bit for the next 3-week cycle. Any advice or suggestion would be welcome!

 

Stats

 

Weight 67.9kg (+1.4kg)

Body fat % 8.5 (+2.5.%)

Hydration % 60.7 (-2.3%)

Muscle weight 59.1 kg (+0.0kg)

 

Photo

 

http://i68.tinypic.com/2qncumo.jpg

 

Nutrition

 

Taking medium carb day up a bit and killing low carb/lower calorie day.

Calorie surplus goes from +250/day to +400/day. Maybe I'm too shy and should go higher.

 

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,100 kcal

prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal

fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal

 

Medium carb day, on cardio days and rest day, 3 days/week: 2,700 kcal (+200)

prot 30% 180g / 720 kcal (+10g)

fat 30% 90g / 810 kcal

Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal (+20g)

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Week 7 / Session 1

 

DELTS

 

Started a 3 week cycle focusing on shoulders.

This week will be tricky as I'm off to France on Wednesday night, back Saturday morning, and a half-marathon on Sunday

 

So first work-out : tough one. The 10 sets of 10 dip reps were hard, only managed 8 reps on 3 final sets. Was worried than my shoulders wouldn't be happy with such volume, but I kept proper form and it went down well.

Very strong arm burn as the dips were superset (is that a verb?) with bicerps curl.

Giant shoulder set to finish the session.

 

http://i63.tinypic.com/s24av7.jpg

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Hi Hobbs,

 

The problem i and many others found with high volume training, is that wear and tear issues dont manifest until years down the line, by which stage...the damage is irreversible. When it comes to the shoulder, their reffered to by surgeons as "delicate articulations" which give up stability for mobility, their involved in some shape or form on every upper body movement.

 

Anyho, which ever path you pick, best of luck:)

Rob

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Cheers for the feedback Rob.

I check you log now and then and see that you tend to go for shorter sessions and heavier weights - they make me feel very small

 

 

Usually I don't do volume of training : it's more lighter weights with lots of supersets/dropsets and short rest, so it's a bit of a cardio session as well.

 

I'll see later later how it goes and if I keep high volumes or not. In the mean time I'm super careful with form and pay a lot of attention to how my body feels. Can't stand niggles, not to mention injuries!

 

 

Here goes today's session

 

 

Week 7 / Session 2

 

LEGS

 

Good session in spite of very little sleep, and knees are still doing great.

 

http://i67.tinypic.com/15fz1c.jpg

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Indeed mate, shorter workouts with heavy weights. When training with maximal intensity, nature dictates the workout be short. Guess my body has become adpated over the last 20+ years HIT, Every now and then a i'll invite a sceptical friend (some of whom have had years ofmtraining experience) for a workout, within 15-20 minutes their usually spending some quality carpet time lol.

 

When you avoid the none productive aspects of training, such as poistions of disadvantaged leverage, momentum / inertia, balance / skill development etc, and focus your efforts into large gravity circuts of resistance directed at a muscle...its a whole different ball game man, size and strength follow fast.

 

Best

Rob

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Cheers! I'll try a few sessions of yours when I'm done with my plan

What do you mean by 'large gravity circuits'?

How long do you rest in average between sets?

 

Today's workout:

 

Week 7 / Session 3

 

DELTS

 

Shorter session.

That superset really wear muscles out, even with low weights!

 

http://i68.tinypic.com/111837l.jpg

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Large gravity circuts is precisely focused overload. It requires minimal to zero motion / joint dynamics and no momentum / interia. I was always told "thou must lift weights through a full range of motion", well, as it turns out, we have the ability to contract our muscles against far greater resistance / overload than we can lift through a full range of motion, given that were limited by how much we can move through the weakest range, I.e. positions of disadvantaged leverage. If we do or must use a full range of motion, for whatever reason, use a slow, controlled cadance with smooth turnarounds.

I take as long as I need between sets / holds, enough to get my breath, resist both physically and physiological. 2 max holds is my limit or one omega set, any more results in diminishing return for most, it only takes a little of the right type of exercise:)

Best

Rob

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Thanks for those providing details Rob.

 

Back from Paris this morning, used to go to uni and work there, and it's always good to be back.

Such an amazing city, plenty of élégance and raucousness!

 

Quite hard to stay vegan while on the move, and even harder in France where cheese and meat are virtually everywhere, being a vegetarian is a bit weird, and being vegan is a bit offensive ahah. Did my best to stick to diet plan while I was there.

 

Back to the gym anyway for this week's last session:

 

Week 7 / Session 4

 

CHEST + BACK

 

Got to the gym a lot later than I usually do. I found if a lot harder to focus at times there are more people around. Also add a small bowl of oats before hands, and carbs before weights definitely does not work for me. OK session anyway.

 

http://i64.tinypic.com/2jfk1tf.jpg

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Week 7 - ASSESSMENT

 

Tricky week, what with travelling abroad and running a half-marathon on Sunday (a slow job I did with my gf, who's not fast yet: 2h50).

Managed to complete all workouts, but sticking to macros and calorie intake proved tricky when not eating at home or at work.

 

Lost a bit of weight, muscle very slightly up.

Body fat seems to go down when hydration is up

 

Stats

 

Weight 67.6kg (-0.3kg)

Body fat % 6.6 (-1.9.%)

Hydration % 62.9 (+2.2%)

Muscle weight 60 kg (+0.1kg)

 

Photo

 

Took pictures for the record, but posting does not make sense if no significant change, so maybe more later!

 

Nutrition

 

No change.

Doesn't seem enough to trigger significant change, but feeling often quite stuffed already, so keeping the macros as they are.

 

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,100 kcal

prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal

fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal

 

Medium carb day, on cardio days and rest day, 3 days/week: 2,700 kcal

prot 30% 180g / 720 kcal

fat 30% 90g / 810 kcal

Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal

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Week 8 / Session 1

 

DELTS

 

Very average workout - barely managed to complete all reps, especially on the dips.

Very little progress with weights too.

 

Had breakfast a bit later than usual and I just don't well with a full or even a half-full stomach.

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/9pq7af.jpg

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Catching up after a few busy days at work.

 

Week 8 / Session 2

 

LEGS

 

+

 

Week 8 / Session 3

 

CHEST + BACK

 

2 good workouts, lifting a bit more every time while keeping a decent form.

I'm sh*t at hanging leg raises, only manage sets of 6 -7 reps instead of the 12

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/2z6i9f4.jpg

 

+ cardio yesterday - random HIIT on treadmill and staiclimber

+ some rowing for the arm pump feel

Total: 40min

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Week 8 / Session 4

 

UPPER BODY

 

This week only had 3 sessions, but was up for an extra one, so I mixed it up and tested new supersets and variations.

 

Superset 1

Kneeling close-grip E-Z bar curl 6 reps x 3 sets

Decline close-grip EZ-bar triceps extension 6 reps x 3 sets

 

Superset 2

Kneeling close-grip E-Z bar curl 10 reps x 3 sets

Close grip bench press 10 reps x 3 sets

 

Seated row 24 reps x 3 sets

 

Weighted hammer grip pull-up (12.5k) 3 reps x 3 sets

 

Superset 3

Cable hammer curl 10 reps x3

Diamond push-ups 50 x 3

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Week 8 - ASSESSMENT

 

Progress with strength, but not in this cycle's priority area, shoulders.

I think my lagging areas are arms and shoulders, chest and back are ok.

 

As always scales say body fat seems went up as hydration is down.

Muscle weight down, but same thing, might be caused by hydration. Scales are a tricky tool

 

Stats

 

Weight 68.2kg (+0.8kg)

Body fat % 8.7 (+2.1%)

Hydration % 60.8 (-2.1%)

Muscle weight 59.3 kg (-0.7kg)

 

Photo

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/241mrm9.jpg

 

 

Nutrition

 

Adding 50g maltodextrine in post-work out shake (+200kcal).

Calorie surplus on average : +500.

 

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,300 kcal (+200)

prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal

fat 20% 80g / 720 kcal

Carb 55% 450g (+50) / 1800kcal (+200)

 

Medium carb day, on cardio days and rest day, 3 days/week: 2,700 kcal

prot 30% 180g / 720 kcal

fat 30% 90g / 810 kcal

Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal

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Week 9 / Session 1

 

DELTS

 

Not great, performance is dropping on dips . I was actually doing better on the first week of that cycle.

Got a better form on curls though, dropped weights on shoulder superset to get better form.

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/14cy3o4.jpg

 

Cardio yesterday - random HIIT

Bike 15mn : 30secs max efforts + 1min rest x4

Cross-trainer 15mn: 20 secs max efforts + 40 secs rest x3

Then felt lightheaded, so went outside for fresh air and finished with an easy run in the nearby park.

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Week 9 / Session 2

 

CHEST + BACK

 

Same weights at last week but after trying I felt it was too early to take it up and move to 26kg dumbbell.

Hanging leg raises still not good, my wrists give up way before my abs.

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/vgh35i.jpg

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