New PR, Training, Update

Training Update, Life in Taiwan

Training has been going well, and life in Taiwan has settled into a comfortable rhythm.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine set a new Deadlift Pr back home  in Canada, and that inspired me to take a bash at setting one of my own. I’ve been rebuilding my Deadlift lately, having fixed up my form and corrected some serious errors I’d been making.

My lats and upper back suffered from under-development, and I did not engage them during my Deadlift, which always left my lower back overtaxed and feeling burnt out after Deadlifts. Learning to engage my lats had helped greatly in engaging my entire back, and my Deadlifts now feel better than they ever have.

I managed to pull 170 kg/374 lbs at 99 kg/218 lbs bodyweight. That was a huge success for me, being:

  1. the heaviest BW Ratio I have ever pulled, at 1.7x Bodyweight
  2. close to the heaviest I have ever pulled, and at a lighter bodyweight.

In the summer of 2015, I pulled 405 lbs, but that was wearing a belt, and with absolutely atrocious form. This was smoother, and felt like much more of a victory.

 

Life in Taiwan is settling down. Work leaves me plenty of personal time, which is fantastic. I renewed my contract for a second year, which means I won’t be back for a while yet.

I also registered for my first coaching certification, and I’ll be working towards becoming a Kettlebell Coach over the next two months, preparing for the course in November. Very excited for this, and I’m looking at it as the first step on my journey to becoming a strength coach and eventually a gym owner.

That’s all for now, thank you for your continued readership!

Cheers,

The Bear.

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Programming, Thoughts, Training, Update

One Week To Go! / Looking Ahead

Well I have one week left to go in my 6 Week Program. I have been controlling my diet well and it has been going quite well! I’ll be posting my results next weekend, but I can say, looking at the numbers, that my lifts and rep ranges have gone steadily up across all my primary lifts.

This is hugely encouraging, as I’ve managed to shed about 15 lbs in the process. I’m very happy with how things have come together, and I’m excited about my future progress.

Looking ahead now, I’ve been happy with my progress, but I also feel like I went a little easy on myself. I know, deep down, that my body is capable of much more than I usually push it to achieve.

To that end, I’m going to be reprogramming next weekend. I am continuing a total-body program, aimed at increasing my general strength. I’ve been looking in to Linear Progression programs as explained by Brian Alsruhe. My brother has been using his program and really enjoys it, and I think that it will be what I’m looking for.

Here is the video, if you’re interested. He lays out the basics of the program, and how it benefits his training. It sounds a little daunting, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ll put my program together this week, and let you know how it goes!

Keep checking back for the wrap-up of my first 6 weeks, and train hard!

Feel free to message me any questions, or leave them in the comments below.

Cheers,

The Bear.

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.