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, Training

Programming and Dieting

Since I’ve been too cheap to buy a bathroom scale, I finally found a place where I can get weighed. Apparently, the BMI is taken very seriously here, and many pharmacies offer general weight checkups. I went to check it out and got some surprising results:

  • Weight: 104.2 kg
  • Body Fat: 26.6%
  • Muscle: 31.1%
  • Body Age: 51 y/o
  • BMR: 2141 kcal
  • BMI: 31.3

This was a little disheartening. I had been eating cleaner and exercising harder since June, when I weighed in at 111.4 kg. So the loss was encouraging, but these measurements put me far above where I would like to be.

So I have resumed using My Fitness Pal to track my calories and Macros, and have been working through my new training program. It has been feeling really good, and I’m looking forward to next month’s weigh-in.

My next goal is to be under 215 lbs/ 97 kg and/or 18% body fat. So far I have been able to shed the weight while maintaining or improving my lifts throughout this training cycle. Hopefully I can continue this trend, and work on building up my base musculature while I continue to shed the excess fluff.

That’s all for now, wish me luck!

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).

Thoughts

Training Focus: Motivation and Discipline

For this entry, I have decided to focus on a key part of Training that I have personally struggled with for a long time: Motivation and Discipline. For the first three years of my weight-training life, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I slowly learned as I went, and began to research. Slowly, very slowly, I came to a better understanding of what Training looks like, and more importantly, just how long it takes. When my ‘beginner gainz’ stopped showing, and my progress slowed (no training program-doi!) I quickly got disheartened. My Motivation withered, and my training became even less focused, less intense, and I eventually gave up and would fall off the horse for weeks at a time.

This was because I relied entirely on my Motivation, my desire to see quick results, and my belief that I would see those results, if only I would just go in and kill it, today. Obviously, this is not sustainable in the long term.

Motivation and Discipline are the two key driving forces behind any training program. They answer the two most important questions:

  • What do you want?
  • How are you going to get there?

Of the two, Discipline is the more important. Even without a program or routine, a disciplined, regular gym user will still see improvement and development. However, without a goal, a broader vision, Motivation will erode over time, making discipline harder and harder to maintain. If you aren’t working towards a goal, then you are just working. That is the easiest way to start to fee stuck, frustrated, and disheartened.

Motivation is very important, especially since it usually precedes Discipline. If you are not a regular gym-goer, and even if you are, you know the moment when you wake up and say: “I’m going to the gym today!”

Usually, you’ll go, have a good workout, get sweaty, and spend the day eating right. Then, if you are like I was, you’ll hurt like hell the next day, decide to take a ‘rest day,’ and not go back for a week and a half. This is where Discipline becomes important. Motivation can get you started, can inspire you, but Discipline is what keeps you going, moving forward.

Discipline is harder to form. We have all heard the adage “you’ll get hooked, brah,” in regards to developing a gym or training routine. Sadly, going once a week and flinging weights about is not enough to ‘get hooked,’ or see any long-term progress. When your Motivation wears off, and you have no Discipline to fall back on, you will stop.

The best things you can do to help build Discipline are:

  1. Get a gym buddy – they well (hopefully) keep you accountable, and keep you coming back.
  2. Get on a training program – this will give structure to your workouts, and let you see progress over time.
  3. Alternatively, get a coach or trainer – they will fulfill both functions of keeping you accountable, as well as providing you with a structured program, and Motivation.

Motivation is important. It can get you up and moving when you really need to be. But without Discipline, Motivation isn’t enough. Motivation will get you started, Discipline will carry you through the follow-through; the long, hard process.

 

Thoughts, Training

Weekly Training Update, December 17-18.

It’s been a good week for training. I had two solid upper body sessions at Contender Boxing Club during the week, and a great lower body and event day at Formosa Fitness on Saturday. Everything is feeling pretty good. And to top it all off, I found a new training partner, which will be a huge help.

I did some deadlifting on Saturday, since Formosa was running another certification class, and I could only use the open area for 3 quick sets of Farmers Walk. I was quite nervous about how my deadlift would be, since I haven’t actually deadlifted in nearly 4 months. But, while far from my all time best, I managed 150kg for a clean, beltless single. I’m quite happy with that, since I used to struggle quite a bit locking out anything heavier than 140 kg, and 150 went up smoothly. This means my lower body training, focusing on my glutes, is paying off. I have always suffered from a weak ass, and I’m really focusing on fixing that.

Here are my workout reports for the week:

Tuesday, December 13th

Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 15
  • 70 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 8
  • 90 kg x 5
  • 95 kg x 3 (3)

Seated Z-Press (straddling bench, no back support)

  • 35 kg x 8
  • 40 kg x 8
  • 45 kg x 5
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 2.5 (very nearly a 3-rep PR!)

I finished this workout with a Pump Out, supersetting three variations of bicep curls, lat pulldowns, and chest and shoulder flys.

Thursday, December 15th – Upper Body

Warmup

Incline Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 8
  • 50 kg x 8 (3)

Dumbbell 1-Arm Rows

  • 15 kg x 15
  • 18 kg x 15 (2)

Standing Military Press (Strict)

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 35 kg x 12
  • 30 kg x 12 (2) – Wide Grip
  • 30 kg x 8(2) – Narrow Grip

Upright Rows

  • 35 kg x 15 (2)

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 40 kg x 12
  • 40 kg x 8

Saturday, December 17

Straight Bar Deadlift

  • 50 kg x 10
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 95 kg x 8
  • 115 kg x 6
  • 132 kg x 3
  • 150 kg x 1
  • 140 kg x 3 (3)

Farmers Walk, 20m, Drop and Turn at Halfway

  • 47.5 kg x 2
  • 57.5 kg x 1
  • 77.5 kg x 1

High Bar Squat

  • 60 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 5

Paused Front Squat

  • 60 kg x 3 (3)

Zercher Squat

  • 55 kg x 6
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 85 kg x 3

Log Press, Strict (Clean Once)

  • 30 kg log x 10
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 5
  • 60 kg x 3(2)

Log Clean

  • 70 kg x 3
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 80 kg x 2

Flat Log Bench Press

  • 80 kg x 5 (2)

When I tried to squat, my chest was still very tight from all the chest work during the week, and I couldn’t get comfortable under the bar, so I elected to move to Front and Zercher squats. Overall I’m quite happy with this weeks training. Now it’s time for a couple days rest, and I’ll be back at it on Tuesday.

Cheers,

The Bear.

 

New PR, Training

Starting Strongman Program: Week 3

Week 3 of my Starting Strongman Training Program draws to a close, and I enter my first de-load week. It’s shaping up to be a much-needed break from the intensity, as well as good timing for me to get settled into a new job.

So far this program has done an excellent job in challenging me to push myself, and my limits. It’s hit my weak points, particularly my abs, upper back, and glutes, quite hard. But I am enjoying myself immensely. The supersets of Hammer Curls, DB Shrugs and Tricep Pulldowns that finish my Thursday workouts always leave me with a terrific pump.

Last week called for a new 5RM on my overhead event. I hit 165×5 on the axle quite comfortably. My previous best was 155×1, since I did not have access to an axle before. My strength is slowly and steadily increasing, and the strength I’m building in my core and back make all my overhead pressing feel far more stable and secure. I can’t wait to see what I can do at the end of these 12 weeks.

Cheers,

The Bear