Thoughts, Training

Training Focus: Conditioning and Cardio

I’ve always been a heavier guy, literally since forever. Chubby baby, chubby in elementary school, straight up fat in high school. Since then, I’ve become…less fat. And it was entirely due to paying attention to Conditioning and Cardio.

First of all, when I talk about Conditioning and Cardio, I am referring to different things. The official nomenclature might be different from my definitions, but as far as my understanding goes Cardio is general cardiovascular health and endurance pertaining to steady-state cardio exercises (running, elliptical, cycling, etc.) Conditioning, on the other hand, is a measure of endurance and recovery in reference to your specific sport, event, or discipline.

Cardio has always been key to my weight-loss success. This isn’t true for everyone, but my body responds quite well to jogging as a booster to my fat loss goals. And I have always used running as my go-to method for fat loss.

I hate running, which is why all my previous fat-loss has been temporary. As soon as i dropped 20-25 lbs, I no longer hated myself more than I hated running, and the motivation stopped. I had never heard of a training program in those days, and so I had no discipline to take up the slack when my motivation waned.

These days, I incorporate cardio as an accessory activity, aimed at promoting a slight addition to my calorie expenditure to help speed up some fat loss. My primary focus is now on conditioning.

In the case of the Linear Progression/ Giant Set method, conditioning is a key component of the training regimen. With set rest times between exercises, and super setting 3 exercises at a time, my conditioning is tested every training session, and has improved markedly since I began. The emphasis on set, and minimal, rest times, has done an enormous amount for my fat loss.

I also find, since conditioning is specific to events and disciplines, it feels much more dynamic and frankly, interesting and enjoyable, than steady state cardio exercise. I still finish every workout with 10 minutes of steady-state cardio (typically stationary bike or elliptical trainer) and try to go for a 5km run at least once a week.

I encourage you to try limiting your rest times to incorporate more conditioning work into your typical workouts, and to add cardio to your program. You will always be surprised by what your body can deliver once you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

That’s all for now, keep training hard!

Cheers,

The Bear

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Programming, Thoughts, Training

6 Week Program Wrap-Up & Looking Ahead

Way behind on posting! Sorry again, a thousand times.

Finished off my trial run of my 6-Week Program and I really enjoyed it! Anyone interested in trying it out, or looking for some help with programming or training feel free to contact me on FB or IG

The Program felt good, and I’m happy with the results. However, since my last post I’ve moved on to new things.

I’ve been running through Brian Alsruhes Linear Progression Program. It is a beautiful program, which challenges strength and conditioning. I have adopted his Giant Set principle into my primary training, and it has benefited me greatly.  The video is quite informative, and I encourage you to watch it.

My body weight spiked quite a bit when I came to Taiwan, rising up to 115kg, which is close to the heaviest I’ve ever been. That wasn’t doing anything for me. If you follow me on IG, you’ll know that I’m working on dieting down to the u90kg weight class for Strongman. I’ve come down from 115 kg to 100 kg, and I’m feeling fantastic.

Training is going well, and I am aiming to be at my target weight by November, when I plan on taking a Coaching Certification course offered by the best Strongman gym in Taiwan, Formosa Fitness.

Sorry for the long absence, hope this catches everyone up. I’ve got a lot coming up in the future, and I’m going to be more diligent with this blog.

That’s all for now, keep training hard!

Cheers,

The Bear

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).

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