Programming, Update

Progress Update

Hello everyone, I’m now 2 weeks into my new Program and it’s going very well! I have also cleaned up my diet and started using My Fitness Pal again. I’m down from around 111 kg in June, to 104.2 kg now.

For added fun, I was able to get my body fat and other biometrics measured. Currently sitting at 104 kg/239 lbs and 26.6% body fat. Not the worst I’ve ever been, but still far off where I would like.

My next goal is to be under 220 lbs and 18% body fat. I’ll be posting updates as I work through the first six weeks, and hit milestones along the way. In the mean time, here’s a progress picture of my back, from May 2016 (right) to April 2017 (left).

Programming, Update

New Training Program Ready!

After 3 weeks of testing and tweaking, I have finished the first trial-ready version of my new training program. Starting on Monday, I will be running through a full Six Week cycle, and keeping notes of my progress and the program itself. I will be scrutinizing:

  • Effectiveness – my overall progress through the 6 weeks
  • Efficiency – how well the program utilizes recovery time and upper/lower body rotation
  • Exertion – the perceived difficulty of the program, ideally strenuous without over-taxing recovery

So stay tuned for updates! If you’re interested in testing out the program, even though it’s in its early stages, message me. If you have any questions feel free to comment or message me below.

Be sure to follow my Instagram for progress pictures and videos.

Cheers,

The Bear

Programming, Training, Update

New Training Program in Development

I sat down over the weekend after a long period of thought and wrote out a rough first draft of my new training routine. It’s a little ambitious, and I’m currently testing it to see how well-balanced and functional it is.

The program is based on a three week rotation, with two cycles of the heavier Week A, followed by one of the lighter, more hypertrophy and bodyweight-focused Week B. Due to the circumstances surrounding my access to training facilities, the program is based around basic gym equipment for general strength-building, with an event session to be rotated in every three weeks. This is not going to be an effective program for developing strongman techniques and event conditioning, but it is suited to my current needs.

Today is Day 2, Week A. Day 1 was a overall quite good, but requires some changes.

For anyone interested, once I have finished a three-week rotation and spent time editing and refining the program, I’ll be looking for people willing to help me test it. If you might be interested in testing my developmental program, or have any questions about training, please leave a comment below, message me on IG, or shoot me an email.

More to come.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Update

Finally Cooking Again!

I’ve been living in Taiwan since mid-October, and I finally caved and bought some basic kitchen equipment: hot plate, frying pan, etc. Up to this point, I have been eating out all the time. Food is very cheap here, so eating out wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, but I put on around 15 lbs in 3 months.

Cooking my own food again feels great. Not only did I miss cooking, but I now have significantly more control over the composition of my diet. Eating out all the time, it was impossible to get the protein I needed without a huge amount of carbs tacked on. Seriously, Taiwanese food is ideal for bulking – fried chicken everywhere, dumplings, noodles, rice with every meal. And everywhere you look you can find a street vendor selling these delicious snacks: a fried egg with your choice of toppings inside a fried green onion pancake. My favourite vendor makes me one with corn, cheese, and bacon in the egg. I dubbed it the Taiwanese Wisconsin. Still not exactly sure what that means, but it’s delicious.

Now that I have my hotplate, however, my meals have returned to much leaner fare: eggs, meat and vegetable fry-up, and the like. I’m hoping to shed some excess weight quickly. I would like to be back down to around 225-230 lbs, to be within an easy cut of competition weight.

That’s all for now! If you have any comments or feedback, leave  a message below. If you have any questions about life in Taiwan, or being an ESL Teacher or a strongman, please feel free to message me.

Cheers,

The Bear

Update

Down and Out for the Weekend

Came down with a nasty head cold and I’ve been down and out all weekend. No training for me. But I’m feeling on the mend, and should be back at it again tomorrow. In lieu of a training update, I thought I’d share some of the difficulties I’ve faced in adjusting to life in Taiwan.

The main problem has been the language barrier, which impacts my main concern for training: getting enough food. I don’t have a kitchen in my apartment, and eating out seems to be the norm here, but it’s very difficult to eat properly without being able to prepare my own meals. The biggest struggles I’ve encountered have been: 1. everything is sweetened, and 2. restaurant food and take-away is very sodium-rich.

Number one is a huge problem because getting enough protein is difficult enough when I can’t speak Chinese to order food, but is made doubly hard when every milk, yogurt and soy product is crammed with sugar or fortified with fiber. I’ve been slowly adjusting, have found some easy alternatives to my previous diet of home-cooked chicken and vegetables. I now rely more on skim and soy milk to provide the bulk of my non-meal protein. I wasn’t able to pack any of my supplements or equipment when I came here, and I’m now getting a much larger proportion of my daily protein from solid food, as opposed to protein shakes.

Number two is less of a problem, but still annoying. All the food is quite salty (for my own taste, anyway) and I’m drinking a lot more water as a result. But many buildings and areas of Taiwan have antiquated plumbing so while the water is clean, the old pipes make tap water non-potable. So any drinking water must be bought bottled, or else boiled. I have a small boiler pot and I keep my supply up, but it’s an extra hassle that can be quite frustrating at times. Drinking bottled water is not very expensive, but seems like a needless expense. Granted, coming from Kamloops, with one of the best water filtration plants in North America, I suppose I got spoiled.

That’s all for now, hope you’re all training hard. I’ll post more later this week. I found a small boxing gym near my house, and signed up for a gym membership. I’m now planning to do 2-3 sessions there during the week, for general strength, and then make the trip to Formosa for strongman training on the weekends.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Thoughts, Training, Update

Life Changes, Moving Forward

Sorry for the long absence. I had always meant to return to this blog, but life always seemed to get in the way. For those of you who stuck around, thanks!

In the intervening time, I never managed to finish the Starting Strongman 12-Week Program. After 5 weeks, I finally got a new job, and I moved to Taiwan!

So I am currently living abroad, and really enjoying it. Fortunately, thanks to Starting Strongman, I found a gym in my area that has TERRIFIC facilities. Yoke, Log, Farmer’s Walk Handles, the works. Everything  but tires and stones. Only downside is that it’s about an hour and a half travel time from my apartment. But so far I do weekly training sessions, on Saturday and either Sunday or Monday. I plan to continue this for the year that I’m here, with a heavy focus on training events. Since I have access to the event implements, I will be focusing on working with the equipment and developing my technique.

Cheers!

Thoughts, Training, Update

New Training Regimen; Looking Ahead

Since this summer is slowly winding down, and with two competitions under my belt, I find myself looking ahead to my future in this great sport. I have enjoyed myself immensely, met some amazing people, and challenged my preconceptions of what I am capable of achieving. I have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but I also have plenty of time to get there.

Looking ahead now means preparing for next season (as well as a competition or two I am thinking of doing in September). My own training schedule is hand-crafted and forged from my own experience. I have had trouble both sticking to it, and balancing all the elements I need in order to have a successful program.

So I have decided to let the experts at Starting Strongman guide me. This Monday, I am starting their 12-week basic strongman strength training program (available for free on their website). I am very excited, and the program, while simple, looks like it will give me everything I need to increase my overall strength, and target some of my weaker points.

I will do my very best to post training videos and updates weekly.

Cheers,

The Bear