01/11/2014 Check – In Month 5

First thoughts;

  • Stronger
  • Leaner
  • More focused
  • Happy

This week I have been looking at myself in the mirror for the first time in a while and I took a few pics to compare with some older pictures.

 

Trying to pose my back better…

 

 

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Body fat

Pic on the left is when I was at my peak cut in May. Pic on the right is now. I am clearly holding a bit more body fat now, but for the extra strength I have compared to when I cut, my daily attitude, focus and general well-being is incredibly better than then.

My diet is simple now and I do not do any cardio specific exercise. I eat what I feel like eating and this is determined on how my body feels at that moment in time. I won’t use the word bulking for what I’m doing, as I have done that many times in the past and just got fatter and fatter without gaining any strength. This time I am listening to my body and It seems to work well.

The word bulking is another way for me to say it’s time to relax, eat junk and palm on a ton of excess body fat and to be lazy with food. I’m not saying bulking is bad, but for me personally, a sensible diet is much more rewarding! If I had an extra 1000 calories a day I don’t think I would of gained much extra muscle anyway. I have always tried it before so that’s why I am confident to speak like this.

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Legs

My legs have always been my most hated part of my body. The majority of my fat was held around my upper legs, stomach and bottom. This is something I know psychologically and now my mind has been programmed to push beyond my limits to improve them . I’m not saying that I have great legs, I’m simply saying that I’m slowly improving at my own rate.

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I’m looking forward to progressing in all areas, but I’m mainly looking forward to cutting my body fat as far as I possibly can for May. Before then though, I would love to hit a 400kg leg press just for the hell of it. Dropping my body fat seems to be the rewarding part and I hope that I have a much better head start this time and a better understanding of how to eat a bit better to help my cut.

Skin fold

  1. 8mm
  2. 8mm
  3. 12mm

Bits this month

  • 350kg leg press
  • 140kg deadlift for 6 (at end of back, biceps and triceps session)
  • Failed 180kg deadlift  (at end of back, biceps and triceps session)

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 Future Goals

Ok, I am looking forward to competing next year in any show. I’m doing what I have to do to be what will hopefully be my best and that’s what it’s all about. I am planning on giving it 100% to my knowledge and I have been planning it for a long time as I wanted to compete before the end of my 30th year.

Travelling, with FIBO a couple of weeks before the competition and BodyPower the week after the competition, we have a lot going on. I really do enjoy the expos and so it is going to be hard staying focused on competing. Nutrition is going to be very hard!

Whatever happens, I can always do my own pictures at home again like I did this year and compete in a natural show in July. I just want to compete in May as that’s my goal.

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Cheat Days…?

22/10/14

My strength has gone up over the weeks and this is great, but I’m not feeling like my mind is in the game. It’s difficult to explain what I mean. It’s a similar feeling to when I cut and was low on carbs/fats…

My diet has been consistently good’ish’ for quite sometime now and I think that is the problem. I listen to my body and I respond to how it feels and feed it accordingly. I don’t do cheat days as I just don’t feel that I need them at the moment. However, I think it is very important for me to have a a few days of eating much more general food. I have added some seeded baps, burgers, hash browns to my diet in hope for a noticeable increase with my head in the gym.

I’m not having a spontaneous pig out for the hell of it. I’m quite sure I need to do this for my body. I have no cravings or anything other signs that I have to have some different foods in my diet, but this is something I need to do and monitor to see what happens.

I had a burger, hash browns, waffles and so on last night and only increased my calories by 450 from what I normally have and my macros were around right too. I think I am around a good body fat to allow myself to pig out a bit. I don’t see the point in having a one off cheat meal and so I’m having 2 days of eating different foods to my standard diet.

These are also the days that are after back day and before quad day. I will monitor how my mind to muscle connection is tomorrow in the gym and go from there. It will also be good to see how my body looks after a good fill up with different foods.

I try to keep a standard decent diet that I have tailored for myself over a few years of trial and error. The reason I’m blogging this is so that I have to think about what I’m doing for my improvements, rather than just pigging out because someone said I have got to have a cheat meal.

Some people wait to the weekend for a cheat meal and that’s what I will do when I cut if I desperately need to, otherwise I do it when I feel my body is asking me for it. I also know the difference between NEEDING something and being lazy or bored.

24/10/14

Update…

After a good 48 hours of pigging out on burgers, waffles etc I hit the gym. The question I need to ask myself is, did it make a difference and was it worth while? My answer is probably yes, but I don’t want to be eating mass amounts of white baps and other junk that doesn’t agree with me personally.

The more important question is, what do I want from the sport? the answer is difficult, but the first and most important thing to consider is the amount of fat I carry daily. Until I have competed on stage and got a base for myself to beat the following year, I really don’t see why I can’t just enjoy the journey relatively lean.

I’m sure I could put on much more size if I ate like a pig for 10 months, but I want to stay lean as I’ve had enough of carrying excess fat.

As I am natural, I believe that I have to work off everything that I put in my body with no help from enhancements which help you to burn body fat.  I need to enjoy my journey and this is how I chose to do it at the moment.

Clean diet, train the best I can to the knowledge I have whilst enjoying it and monitor how my body reacts to what I do.

Final note…

Pigging out when I NEED to is the way I need to do it. I will work with my body and adjust my diet accordingly. I could quite easily get addicted to this type of food and that’s what I’m most afraid of. I have control over myself now though and I won’t let myself go the other way…

 

08/09/2014 Chest, Shoulders, Abs , Diet – Week 15

0809f 0809t

My weighing scales have been demolished by the kids and so I have decided that I am going to wait till my 4 month check-in on the first Saturday of October to check my weight. In the mean time I will do what I feel is right to build strength and to eat well, whilst maintaining my body fat. (I want to maintain my body fat, not my overall weight)

Diet

I’ve got in the habit of eating decent throughout the day and pigging out at night. This is not causing me to gain any unwanted excess fat or making me feel bad in anyway. I have monitored what I eat up to bed time and it’s usually around 1000 calories from chocolate peanuts etc. I know that I can eat these of the evening and it will not cause me any issues at all. I feel stronger, more energised, happy and so on.

So why do I want to give up my snacks at night? the answer is simply down to self discipline! I have some in the house along with other junk and I refuse to eat them to just make sure I can control my cravings. I found it extremely difficult to not snack on junk last night, but I did it. Just like I will for the next few nights.

 

3 Month check-in…

For my reference…

First thoughts

  • I feel stronger
  • More energy
  • More focused
  • I feel that I am pushing harder each week
  • Diet is off track

My legs seem to have got much stronger over the last 3 months. I have a put on enough body fat to bulk, yet I don’t think I have piled on excessive amounts of fat for the progress I seem to be making. However, if I don’t get my diet back on track tomorrow, I can see me putting on much more excess body fat quite quickly without really noticing. (That’s why I do a monthly check -in, so I can sort everything out before waiting 6 months and realising I’ve gained no strength and piled on loads of fat)

My legs have always been my most uncomfortable part of my body as they held the most fat and still do. I never wore short or showed my legs in public until a year or so back. This just gives me more drive to push harder with my legs and turn my worst part of my body into one of the best parts.


 

3 month comparison (old – New)

Chest

  • Decline smith – 60kg x 8 -d- 40kg x 4 – 70kg x 6 -d- 40kg x 6
  • Seated Press – 90kg x 8 – 100kg x 7
  • Incline dumbbells – 32.5kg x 6 – 35kg x 8

 

Shoulders

Seated press -22.5kg x 8 (Slight decline seat) – 25kg x 6 (Vertical seat)


 

Back

  • Narrow pull downs – 77kg x 6 th – 70kg x 9
  • Pull overs – 70kg x 9 – 90kg x 9
  • Pull downs HS – 80kg x 10 – 110kg x 8
  • Iso Row – 90kg x 8 – 100kg x 8
  • Seated Cable rows – 60kg x 7 th – 65kg x 8 
  • Bent Over row – 100kg x 6 th – 130kg x 6 th (100kg x 8)

 

Legs

  • Leg extensions – L16 x 11 – L 20 x 11 
  • Leg Press – 180kg x 11 – 300kg x 15
  • Hack Squat – 60kg x 12 – 82.5kg x 8
  • Lunges – 5kg x 8pl – 40kg x 6

These are only the final set weights and I haven’t added them all in due to changes of routine over the weeks. On most of my exercises I am starting of with the weight I was finishing on 3 months back.

Left

  • Bicep 35.5 – 36.5
  • Forearm 30 – 31
  • Quad 54.5 – 59
  • Calve 37 – 39

Right

  • Bicep 36.5 – 37.5
  • Forearm 31 – 31.5
  • Quad 56 – 61
  • Calve 39 – 39.5

 

  • Chest 99 – 103
  • Stomach 75 – 79

Skin Fold

  1. 7mm – 12mm
  2. 5mm – 12mm
  3. 11mm – 16mm

 

Findings.

I have put on size and strength overall. I’m not saying this is a good thing when it comes to size, as I have put on a fair bit of body fat which will obviously take up more room when it comes to using a measuring tape. By looking at my body fat percentage, weight, skin fold and strength I think I’m going in the right direction. I’m certainly not falling in the trap of thinking that the bigger my measurements are the more muscle I hold. I will be able to give an accurate reading of progress when I am back down to my cut in May 2015.

My quad measurements have been the biggest difference in terms of measurements and strength. I am also very aware that my legs hold the most fat and so the reading will always be inaccurate until I cut down again.

I have also used my measurements from when I was at my lowest body fat percentage. From next month I will use my measurements from the end of month 1. I can’t use them yet though as there is not enough time between the two measurements to see what’s going on.

My main focus now are my shoulders!

TBC…

29/08/2014 Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs +Diet + New Personal Best – Week 13

Today has been a great day. I finally managed to hit a squat of 150kg for 3 reps. I have been working towards a 150kg barbell squat for the last 2 years. I moved away from the barbell and moved to machines for legs in January 2014. After squatting with a barbell for 3 weeks, I have finally managed to do 150kg. the best part is that I managed 3 reps too after doing extensions, leg press and hack squat!

I don’t do any single rep exercises now as I am aiming to bodybuild rather than power lift. However, I finished my reps of squats and just tried it for the hell of it. I’m not going to try and beat 150kg for a while, but I am going to progress rep wise with 110-140kg.

It is always exciting when accomplish something that I have had in mind for a long time as it shows progression. Thinking about it, when I got my last personal best of 145kg for one rep, I did this as a stepper stage of single reps right up to my max. This time I had already exhausted my legs and only did 2 full sets before the final push to hit one rep of 150kg. Hitting 3 reps is an incredible achievement FOR ME! When I hit 145kg before, I was over a stone heavier too if that counts.

This is the thing with bodybuilding, I seem to have a very stale patch for a few weeks or months and then I find something like this and it gives me such a massive boost. Clearly I don’t do all this for a hobby, it’s a lifestyle and it comes before anything else that I have choice over.

 

2908t

 

2908f

11.13 stone


 

Diet

I have been eating a reasonably decent diet over the last week but I have not recorded all of my food because I just haven’t been bothered too. sometimes it’s difficult when it is a lifestyle and not something that I get excited over monitoring. It’s very annoying scanning bar codes and measuring portions 6-7 times a day. however, I feel that I need to monitor my diet as it is the most important part of my journey.

Clean it up

I have sorted my diet out now and swapped out the little enjoyable things that I eat. My night time will now consist of an extra meal of rice and chicken at 6pm and then a snack before bed.