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  1. Hey everyone, Long time since last update, but I haven't been idle Martial art: Got into karate and enjoying it. 1 session / week which is not much so I also practice katas at home and punches/kick on the heavy bag at the gym. Very good cardio work out too, those tired of running/swimming/cycling can give it a go for an solid action fix! With karate - and probably just any other martial art too - you also learn quite a bit about anatomy and body mechanics, the learning curve is HUGE. Anyway, I want to go up to the black belt now. First graduation sessions coming up in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I get rid of that horrible white belt ahah. Also starting Brisith martial art training next Monday. It's a mix of kickboxing and muay thai. Looking forward to that to. http://www.britishmilitarymartialarts.co.uk/ Running I had planned to do a half-marathon with my gf (hey ) in a fancy costume, but she dropped out of the race, so I decided to try for a personal best instead. Did 4 sessions of hills/speed work + two 18.5 k to get ready, but even with that if proved to be a tough one I was already knackered halfway but managed to hang on and keep going, which I'm quite proud of So improved my PB by 30 secs and finished in 1.44.42 The good news in that my knees were perfectly fine. I reckon recovery was due to a mix of: - regular stretching - regular foam rolling - core exercises recommended by physiotherapist: quadruped and lying quadruped - strength training (hello squats and hamstring curls) - mixing-up running with other types of cardio (spinning / swimming) - taking running up gradually. Will post about weight training a wee bit later.
  2. Yeah, Krav Maga defo goes for effectiveness. It's pure self defense. Loved the trainer, a small muscular black guys who looks deadly as fuck, but actually very gentle and patient. Class a bit too far away though. No kickboxing nearby so far, but met a local trainer who could start a class soon if we recruited a few more people. No muay thai either. I'm looking for some something local and mostly geared toward fitness. Self defense is a bonus, as I haven't been in a fight for about 20 years ahah. Also had my first class of karate tonight, loved it! It has no more than 8 students, and it's next door to work. I think I'll go for that for now, and keep an eye on kickboxing. Rob - yeah I enjoy it, my muscles not that much ahah. I haven't gone to very high weights/very short contraction time yet, I'm more between 10 secs and 30 secs, trying things and see how it goes. Works very well for quads on hamstring curl machine for instance. Feels odd to get out of breath while not moving Say, how's Wing Chun ? There's also a class near home. Ta.
  3. Up! Summary of the past 3 weeks: Weights I've bee doing the leg cycle as described in the method I used before for the 12 week challenge: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Ultimate-Body-Transformation-Plan/dp/0008147914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468749380&sr=8-1&keywords=nick+mitchell The program for a week was as follows. I periodised it to increase weights and decrease reps every week: http://i65.tinypic.com/34odbgy.jpg Pull-ups on arm day: a personal trainer I met while on holidays told me to try and do as many pull-ups as possible in 15mn in order to become stronger. Apparently once you can do 100 pull-ups, you can do a set of 20 reps. So far I my record is 70. It's really taxing and I was super sore the first time I tried. Not sure it's working for me. Max contraction training I read the Max Contraction training by John Little, upon HIIT Rob's suggestion on this forum. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Max-Contraction-Training-Scientifically-Building/dp/0071423958/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468751065&sr=8-1&keywords=max+contraction+training The idea is that you can decrease reps and training time by going for very high weights while keeping the muscle contracted for a very short time. I intend to give it a go later on this year, but out of curiosity I started trying it already on various machines to see how it goes. It's intense! Nutrition I switched to carb cycling between 4 high days (weights days) 3 and low days, for an average calorie intake close to maintenance (2600kcal) After 3 years vegan I decided to try a vegetarian diet, adding eggs and cottage cheese. Didn't notice any increase in performance, recovery, or body composition. I went for organic stuff but even like that I didn't feel really comfortable buying animal products, so it's back to a vegan diet. Rounding things up: High days: 3000 kcal: 170g prot - 25% 380g carbs - 55% 70g fat - 20% Low days: 2000kcal 170g prot - 40% 55g carbs - 10% 100g fat - 50% Stats Not much change, although my legs are more muscular: weight: 68.4kg fat: 8.7% muscle: 58.4kg Cardio Started doing spinning class once a week, more demanding that when I do intervals on my own. With the instructor shouting at you, the loud shit music and the group around, it all really pushes you to do more than you would on your own. Whenever I do classes, it seems they are far more girls than guys, so singles: give classes a go Also signed up for another half-marathon in Warrington in mid-September. Planning to do it in a fancy costume, maybe Jack Sparrow or a dinosaur, just because. Also really want to get back into martial art for fitness and cardio. I used to do taekwondo, but the time and the class didn't really suit me. Had 1 lesson of krav maga this week which I enjoyed, very friendly people and supportive atmosphere - in spite of all the aggro Next 3 weeks: - weights: I'll start another 12 week plan by the same trainer https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-Week-Body-Plan-MagBook-ebook/dp/B00GO6BST6?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc - nutrition: get back to a vegan diet, stop relying as much on protein supplements and take carbs up for macros like: prot - 15% arbs - 65% fat - 20% - cardio find a martial art class I really like and fully get into it, for 2-3 sessions/week if possible. I already planned to try: karate, kickboxing, and muay thai. Thanks for reading!
  4. Hey yes started another 3 week leg cycle finishing tomorrow, I'll post an update this w-e.
  5. It was just brilliant. Quite the opposite of Manchester and work
  6. Go there! We used couchsurfing.com, you lose some privacy but it's always far better to stay with locals, they can show you stuff most tourists will miss. Waiting for amazon to deliver my max contraction training book
  7. There was 1 leg workout / week. So for instance on an Arm cycle, it was: 2 sessions arms 1 sessions chest/back 1 session back. Started the Leg cycle, and it goes like that: 2 sessions legs 1 session chest/back 1 session arm Rob : Finland is great. Really lovely, friendly and generous people, forest and lakes everywhere. We've had such a good time we're already planning to go again next year Last day was picture perfect Finland: we harvested wild blueberries, went to an old sauna before jumping into the lake: http://i67.tinypic.com/9asr41.jpg Anyway Back to business: I tought I'd list the exercises / variations / supersets I found the most interesting during the 12 week program: Back: Cable face pull Lying sideways dumbbell pullover Triceps and arms: close grip bench press Wrists: Dumbbell wrist curl Cable wrist curl Behind back dumbbell wrist curl Core: Decline plank with touch Superset: neck bench press + incline reverse dumbbell row Seated dumbbell shoulder press + 60 degree hammer curl Decline close-grip E-Z bar triceps extension + Kneeling close-grip EZ bar curl Triceps dips + 45 degree dumbbell curl Shoulder superset: Cable face pull + Seated lateral raise + Seated Scott press + Incline reverse lateral raise + Seated behind the neck press +
  8. Week 12 - FINAL ASSESSMENT Stats Weight 67.6kg (+0.4kg) Body fat % 7.2 (-1%) Hydration % 62.2 (-1%) Muscle weight 59.5 kg (+0.9kg) 12 WEEK PLAN ASSESSMENT So as a reminder: for the past 12 week I've been following the plan as described in Nick Mitchell book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Ultimate-Body-Transformation-Plan/dp/0008147914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466227740&sr=8-1&keywords=mitchell+12+week Nick Mitchell website: http://nickmitchellblog.com/ This is a 12 week plan, made of 4 3 week cycles, each cycle focusing on 1 body part (2 workouts/week) + 2 extra workouts for the rest of the body. The user is free to choose the body parts he/she wants to focus on. The only rule is not to focus on the same body part for more than 3 weeks. My cycles were: arms back delts chest Cons and pros of the method Cons: - Not for beginners. Workouts are quite demanding and require a certain gym know-how. It's clearly stated in the method and the author gives a routine plan to follow for few months for people who have spent less than 2 years at the gym. Also if you miss a piece of equipment or your gym does not have a specific machine, you need to be gym savvy enough to come up with a suitable alternative, as the author does not give any. - Workouts cannot be reasonably done at gym peak times. Workouts call for plenty of supersets, which is all good except you can't really hog 2 pieces of equipment at peak times in a gym. So you need your own home gym, or go to the gym at less busy times, early in the morning or at night. - Nutrition plan is a vegan hell. Nick Mitchell basically killed Bambi's mother, then ate Bambie the day after, for brekkie. The meal plans calls for animal protein at every meals, adding carbs only post-workouts or at night. So if you're vegan or vegetarian, getting close to the macros requires a large use of protein powder. Pros: - It keeps on changing. You change the body part you focus on every 3 week, so just when you're getting comfortable with a routine, it's time to change again. Withing a cycle, rest times, number of sets and number of rests change as well. No way to get bored. - Teaches proper form and tempo. The author puts a lot of emphasis on form and tempo, so you make sure you target the right muscles and ask a lot from them. The eccentric part of the exercises is always done slooowly (often 4 to 6 seconds), so you have plenty of time to feel the pain - Teaches interesting takes and variations on exercises. For instance, I feel that kneeling when doing E-Z bar curls helps targeting biceps a lot more than doing the same exercise standing. What went well... or wrong. Well: - I can endure quite a bit more pain when it comes to lifting. I don't give up as easily as I used too. - better wam-ups. I use to warm-up with some cardio. Now as specified in the method I warm with low weights, slowly increasing the weights and lowering the number of reps. - better form. My shoulders does not hurt anymore after bench press for instance. - legs workout made my legs stronger, which help with my old knee injury and running - stopped drinking 4-6 cups of extra strong coffee in an effort to get an healthier life style on the way. Now I just have 1 cup before working out. Wrong: - I didn't not eat enough to gain real mass. I don't like to feel stuffed, and I get stuffed really fast! Also part of me still thinks as an anorexic, stupidly associating calorie intake with self-worth and cleanliness, all that non-sense What I should have done differently: - eat more! - take measurements to help assessing progress - take photos of these bloody legs too! - do less cardio, especially in the early days of the program, and forget about running a half-marathon. Anyway... did that method work? To some degree, but not as much as I expected. Stats summary: The first couples of week (italic) are not really reliable as I was using crappy scales http://i63.tinypic.com/o6frwl.jpg Not much change is the upper body, some clothes feel a bit tighter. Noticeable changes in the legs though. But I didn't take pics of those I'm quite stronger though and I'm able to lift 10 - 20% heavier than when I started. So I'd say I've gain more strength than mass. http://i64.tinypic.com/sbucdd.jpg What's next? - off for holidays today : 1 week in Finland! - when I'm back : do the 3 week leg cycle I haven't tried yet. - follow the same plan, but changing the macros and go less protein/fats, and higher carbs. Something like: 15% protein, 70%carbs, 15% fats - try the previous 12 week method by the same author https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-Week-Body-Plan-MagBook-ebook/dp/B00GO6BST6/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466232766&sr=1-4&keywords=nick+mitchell - try shorter, very high intensity workout and max contraction training as described on this forum by HIT Rob. http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=35421&start=390 That's it, thanks for reading!
  9. Catching up! Week 12 / Session 2 CHEST http://i63.tinypic.com/dc4tx5.jpg Week 12 / Session 3 LEGS http://i65.tinypic.com/kf39dx.jpg Week 12 / Session 4 CHEST Quite a short workout, added a superset, in italic below. http://i67.tinypic.com/2gwhr7p.jpg
  10. Week 11 - ASSESSMENT Stats are roughly the same, weight still down in spite of the calorie increase. Wonder how accurate my scales are. Onward to final week anyway ! Stats Weight 67.2kg (-0.8kg) Body fat % 8.2 (+0.9%) Hydration % 61.1 (-1%) Muscle weight 58.6 kg (-0.4kg) Nutrition No change High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,300 kcal prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal fat 20% 80g / 720 kcal Carb 55% 450g / 1800kcal 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
  11. Saturday: I had signed up for a free British military fitness session in the local park where I run sometimes. Various bodyweight exercises like lunges or squats, but all done to failure, and then a bit more Some running in between exercises. My legs and abs still hurt 2 days later, so it's nice kick in the arse. They regularly organise free sessions all over the UK, defo worth a try: https://www.britmilfit.com/ Then Sunday: Week 11 / Session 4 CHEST http://i68.tinypic.com/2j1wwhg.jpg And this morning Week 12 / Session 1 ARMS Was supposed to go for heavier weights and long rest but I wasn't into it at all so went the other way with higher reps and low rest. http://i64.tinypic.com/2v8iza8.jpg
  12. Week 11 / Session 2 LEGS Weights going up, still finding front squat hard on wrists. I think sumo squats holding a dumbbell work better for me. http://i67.tinypic.com/6ejb41.jpg Week 11 / Session 3 ARMS Same weights but an extra rep for all sets. http://i66.tinypic.com/2ypam95.jpg Cardio day: Ramdom HITT Sprints on treadmill 15mn Sprints on bike 15mn Jog/walk in nearby park 20mn
  13. Great stuff , fitness is a matter of trying different things and finding what suits your level and life style the most. It seems you found a plan that works for you. Workouts should be a bit demanding and fun. Keep a log of of your workouts and try to do a bit better every week, while always keeping good form. When you can't do better, it's probably time to change your routine and do something different. Machine feel safer indeed, make sure you set them right. I recently discovered - after 4 years of gym - that you could change the seat settings on leg extension Go for walks or an easy bike cycle in your days off.
  14. Week 11 / Session 1 CHEST Weights slightly up on that session. http://i66.tinypic.com/106dmbk.jpg Had my first swimming lesson in a while last night, felt great
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