08/06/2015 – Competition…

I need to start this post by saying that I have absolutely no interest in competing with others on stage at this point in time and I have a lot to learn about myself before I even consider doing a show…

Ok, I have a philosophy that may sound crazy, but I’m going to say it anyway. I look down at myself and all I see is a skinny, pale white boy. I walk past a mirror and see the same as what I just described. It isn’t until I am in the gym training or looking at pictures which we have took, which I then see progress and feel proud of where I am and what I have accomplished through joy and passion.

I have never found it a chore to go to the gym and lift weights, but my diet is another thing. It’s very easy and rewarding when I have a relaxed diet and casually eat what I want, whilst trying to lift heavier at the gym. The challenge for me is eating clean and discovering a diet that works for me specifically and something that I can cope with, as-well-as allowing me to work towards my goals.

I seem to have developed a system which allows me to separate my mind from my body. Or to put it another way, my mind is much stronger than my body. I feel that I have almost full control over what I eat, drink, crave and how I train. It’s harder to explain on here just now, but over time I will be able to explain it to others.

My diet is very basic at the moment and it has been for the 2 weeks which I have been on it. I have lost fat, but not strength. I certainly haven’t got any stronger, but compared to how I cut last year and how I have a steady diet now, there is simply no comparison with what I have discovered with my body and what I need to do to reach my goals.

Why don’t I want to compete?

I don’t feel the need to. As arrogant as it sounds, I am in a very happy place right now and I would never had dreamt I could have got to this stage. I have a lot that I want to do with myself and I find that my motivation comes from looking back at how I was and the fact that people laughed at me when I got to a stage where I could see changes, but I still looks terrible compared to what is expected from the sport.

People need to understand that everyone starts from the beginning. It doesn’t matter what level of the sport folk are at, all that matters is people are happy. I keep this specific to health and fitness/bodybuilding etc. If your very happy sitting in the pub and eating tasty food then I know you wont be here reading this. I used to live for that lifestyle and absolutely loved it!!!

What next?

To have full control over my body. I almost feel that if I want to lose fat and seriously want to in my head, no matter what happens, I will lose fat as my body will simply listen to my mind and follow it. It sounds really crazy what I’m saying and I have stopped myself from talking about it for some time, but I feel that I have hit a point where I’m comfortable to explain myself.

Just like someone would modify a car with spoilers, vents, tuned engine, new clean interior and so on, this is how I picture my body with my mind. I can do what I want to it if I really want to.

Just before I make myself sound crazy, I still have a very long way to go to where I desire to be. I can’t get to where I want to be naturally, but I am prepared to push myself and try anyway. I don’t want this post to come across in any other way, other than what I’m learning and discovering with my own body.



 

These pictures are just random with no preparation after training chest, delts and triceps…

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All my supplements are DY Nutrition and I have see some great gains with my body since I started using them correctly. Clearly I swear down by them and will do a post on them very soon!

As I have a huge log of photos from set times of my journey, I have them to look back on and see where I am going…


 

The photo on the left was after my first real attempt of cutting. My strength was quite down/poor. The picture on the right is what I hope to maintain and maybe even build some muscle with. I’m still feeling strong in the gym and even beating some of my old personal best records as I have found my own diet that allows me to do so…

May 2014                                                                            now

  • 30kg hack squat                                                         120kg
  • 60kg rows                                                                   120kg
  • 160kg leg press                                                          400kg
  • 80kg front squat machine                                           200kg
  • 30kg x 6 incline dumbells                                           42.5kg x 8

The part that I find difficult to understand is the fact that I am leaner, and weight less than I did back then. Anyway, I’m just going to carry on and do what I enjoy…!

Just one last thing, I train with my wife…

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05/05/2015 – Strength to Weight

I am currently carrying the least amount of body fat that I have ever had in my adult life. The question for myself is, how is my motivation inside and outside the gym?

My training is going really well. I haven’t noticed a drop in strength or focus during training and my head and body still have focus and energy outside the gym. I’m not trying to cut the body fat as such, I’m simply plodding along eating what I want, when I want to and sticking to a relatively sensible diet that I have found for myself over time.

Yesterday I went for 40kg incline dumbbell press and managed about 8 reps with help. I was very pleased with this as my max for reps is around 42.5kg. I though I was lifting 40kg and they are 47.5kg from what the owner says. This is great for my head as I know that if I focus hard enough in the gym, I can do what I set out to do. I was pleased by 40kg at this point to be honest.

The big day for me is leg day. This is what shows me how my body is performing with my diet. Last week I managed to do 380kg leg press, where my best is 400kg for reps. This time last year I wouldn’t even get to the leg press during my workouts as I were simply too fatigued from trying to lose the fat.

When I cut last year I had one goal in mind and that was to drop the body fat by any means possible. This year I haven’t had to try to drop the body fat and my strength is still good for being at my lowest body fat percentage.

I am very happy with where I am now and I want to keep a relatively low body fat all year round. I understand that I need to up my calories enough to build muscle, but with what I’m doing now, I think I can keep my body fat low and build lean muscle over the years. Obviously I will have a few bad weeks and this is normal for me. My goal is not about getting fat all year round and then cut for a show. I want to be happy daily and if I then fancy a show I will go for one. I ain’t focusing my life on a show that doesn’t really interest me at the moment. I simply want to do a show when I’m ready and not focusing my life on just one day. (As it stands at this moment in time)

Another note to pick up on is my condition. Sure I may look ok in a photo under good lighting and after training, but I know for a fact that I would never dream of walking on stage holding this much fat. Condition is something that fascinates me and unless my fat is sub 5% I will never do a show. I know naturally this will be challenging as it is for most bodybuilder who are on all sorts of enhancements, and that is simply why I won’t think about competing yet.

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**Update** 09/05/2015

I held fire before releasing this blog post as I wanted to make sure I didn’t have a fluke session like I do sometimes and then end up being ill the next day. Fortunately I had a great week of training and I’ve managed a new personal best leg press of 402.5kg + the cradle for reps. This is excellent as I have also done my weekly weigh-in this morning and I am at my lowest body fat percentage that I have ever had and my strength is up and I’m not on a strict weight loss diet either. I can maintain this for most of the year round without too much problem.

 

To sum it up, I’m leaner, stronger and hold a little bit more muscle than I did a year ago after cutting. I’m happy with how it’s going and that’s what counts…

Almost A Year Changes…

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I’m just looking back at the last year and seeing where, when and why things have happened for the good or bad with bodybuilding for me. From the 2 pictures above there is a huge difference that isn’t quite so obvious. The picture on the left was after giving everything I had last year to drop as much fat as I could. That went on for 14 weeks which I lost 24lb in total. The picture on the right is just a casual/good diet (for me) that I have found I can keep my strength up, energy levels up and also steadily drop the body fat.

The other main difference is my posture and the way I hold myself. I find that I have gained strength and muscle over the 11 months and I’m still getting along now really comfortably with what I’m doing. I know I gained a little strength when I was on a so called bulk diet and I have kept notes on here and in my book with all my training weight, sets, pictures and so on. I did this so I could refer to it later down the line and compare what’s changed and throw out the bad and keep the good bits.

I’m still struggling to lose the fat on my legs as it’s where I held my most fat. I’ll see how I get on over the next few weeks and go from there.

The main point of this post is that I feel that I am on the right track and feel hungry for more over the next year…

All my supplements are from the Dorian Yates range. I’ve spent hours of time looking and buying different supplements and I have been settled on these through out theyear. If you need any info then track me down on social media and I’ll be happy to tell you more.

Most of my food comes from the Dr Zaks range. We use all there products because they are simple every day products that are convenient and contain good nutrition.

Protein Bites are always perfect to have on hand, especially at night!

oh… and I train with my wife… 😀

 

20/04/2015 – Where Am I Now…

This time last year I was coming to the end of my first serious attempt of cutting the body fat. I planned to do a 14 week cut and see what I could achieve over that period of time. I started the cut casually as I didn’t know what to do at that point in time. As the weeks went by I slowly started to enter new territories which allowed me to experience and push my body as hard as I could at that given time. I managed to drop 28lb over the 14 week, all down to trial and error. The way I cut was very hard work mentally and physically, although I wanted to keep it this way and I also wanted to kept my mouth shut and get on with it alone. I didn’t tell anyone until my goal date came around. (apart from the folk I were around everyday)

This year I am simply plodding along. I am stronger than I was this time last year, my body fat is continuing to slowly drop, yet my every day life is still easily liveable and I have a good balance and a better understanding of how my body works which allows my head and energy levels to be more human that the last few weeks or so of my last years cut.

This year isn’t too difficult as I have half as much body fat to drop and my goal isn’t to drop the fat like I did last year. I hope to feel better comes May this year as I haven’t really tried at all yet and I’m not far from the body fat that I had last year.

I’m enjoying plodding along and taking it easy, rather than stressing myself out with no real reason too. I have my diet set and it’s easy at the moment. I know that as time goes by and as the body fat drops, so will my motivation and then things will get harder.

I hope to casually drop a few percent body fat over the next 4 weeks and I can’t see why I won’t be able to. I do my 30 minutes fasted brisk walk every morning with the help of Black Bombs, I have a big bowl of oats for breakfast and the rest of the day is meat/eggs and veg of some sort. I aim to hit around 2000 calories a day and vary it depending on my cardio/ training etc. Friday after legs I had 4 potato waffles covered in cheese, 4 full eggs fried in coconut oil and a tin of beans on top. I simply felt like I needed it.

My recovery from training is still ok and so is my strength in the gym. It’s all about learning, trying, failing, altering, trying again and again until I figure out what works for me. The hardest part is getting the right frame of mind for the goals that I have set for myself. Eating and lifting is really easy, cutting and lifting is completely different and extremely challenging.

From my calculations I am around 10% body fat at the moment. I know that if I was aiming for a competition that everything would be different and I am very fat for stepping on stage. This is not my goal at the moment though, so that’s irrelevant.

I have a huge issue with my upper legs from when I was fat. I have lots of lose skin at the moment and I expect it to get worse as I drop the fat. If it’s anything like my stomach, I will be ok when the skin is stretched (standing up) but when I relax (sit down) I will have a lot of excess skin hanging. Obviously this is what I have to pay for from them years and years of ‘living my life’. Booze and junk food are the culprits…

I have a long way to go before I hit my current goal. I also feel that I will continue this stage of the journey for as long as I need to. I’m still not happy with my body fat level and really need to stick to this goal and make closure on this chapter.

Lean bulking is what I hope to do in the future as it will keep me disciplined and in reasonable shape throughout the year. I hope to continue this philosophy whilst I am natural…

 

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IMG_9455 IMG_9473 20150408_135448My legs hold the most fat and always have. I am working on this and hope to get them in a better shape over the coming weeks. My mind is set and there’s only me that can determine the outcome…

04/04/2015 – General Ramble

The last month has been very relaxed in terms of diet. This is due to a number of reasons with the main one being the sickness bug passing through all of us. It’s been difficult and I can hold my hand up and say that I could not eat clean no matter how hard I tried. I had a huge craving for sugar and there was no stopping it.

I’m back on track now and I’ve only put on a sensible 6lb on since my lowest body fat a few weeks back. I would like to think that my diet is around 80% of what I plan it to be like and hopefully today or tomorrow I will be at 90%. I can’t be 100% with my diet as I don’t have that level of knowledge and so I need to leave space for improvement. This works in my head so that’s all I need right now.

I aim to drop a little bit of body fat over the next few weeks and I think I will do with a relatively relaxed diet. I’ll keep monitoring myself weekly and go from there.

I almost have my head back in the game and so I will challenge myself to see where I can get to over the next few weeks by eating as much as I can and dropping the body fat a little bit. Dropping the body fat fast is easy, I just want to try and do it right from what I have discovered with my body over the years.

End Of Cut, New Plans, Pics etc

The last few days has been quite exciting. I’ve been wanting to drop the body fat and see what I could do with myself between January and mid march. I managed to get an opportunity which was the main part of this goal and that was to compete with myself, where I’m happy and comfortable.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want from the sport and what my short/long term goals are. My real focus and drive comes from wanting to build a huge knowledge base up from the sport and to help others change their life through health and fitness.

My next challenge is going to be about tweaking my diet to stay lean and build muscle. I will have this nailed over the next few weeks and I will continue to monitor myself monthly so I don’t stray to far from my goal.

This cut is around 6 weeks of easy dieting and walking for cardio. I’ve dropped around 14lb and that’s with just the use of BlackBombs, clean eating and determination. I found it very easy to get to this point and therefore know that I can switch on when need be and know that I can drop the fat without killing myself like I did last year.

I had a huge blow out snacking every single night towards the end of last year. I just ate the foods that are better alternatives to chocolate and potato crisps etc. For example, Quest bars over mars bars, Protein Bites over Walkers…


 

Week 1                                                                         Week 6

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These pictures are from the end of 2014 and yesterday. I’ve dropped a good stone over the weeks and I haven’t really tried to be honest. It’s been very easy to lose that excess fat and I know how easy I can switch on and drop the fat if need be. I feel disheartened as I didn’t get to really push myself to get very low bodyfat, but my time will come one day when I really need to do it and all these feeling will power me through the hard times then.

I’ve said it many times before how much BlackBombs have helped me and that’s why I keep going on about them.

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I have all my weeks pictures and measurements on it’s own page called ‘2015 cut’


 

My final stage to this cut was at Temple Gym. I wanted to be somewhere I was happy and with the people that I feel comfortable around. I’m a big fan of Dorians accomplishments and training style, so I had to focus on what I needed to do and that was to be down Temple Gym and have Dorian watch/help me. It’s now very clear to me what I need to do over the next year. I was sort of plodding along before to create a base that I could work on and now I feel that I can start to pin point certain areas and work on parts that are lacking which I wasn’t aware of before.

I have set another goal to work towards and this will keep me busy over the next year. I’m not going to do drastic weight fluctuations. I’m simply going to challenge myself to a clean lean bulk. I think It will be quite a challenge doing so, but It’s exactly what I want and need to do. I want to stay in reasonable condition and build muscle. Getting fat and building muscle isn’t much of a challenge or even something that interests me.

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I know what I need to do and that in short is to build muscle naturally. I don’t find anything to do with the sport hard work or a chore to be honest and make the most of the knowledge I have at that given time and use it to try and better myself.

There’s 2 main things that I will be working hard on and those are my quads overall and my lat spread. I’m finding it difficult to spread my lats, yet I know I can do it because I have pictures of me doing it in the past. Practice makes perfect anyway, so I will continue to work on my poses forever. I find that posing gives me an excellent idea of all the muscle groups, how they work and what their functions are.

There is absolutely no doubt I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m on the right track and that’s what counts. Trial and error is my preferred method. I don’t need a quick fix, I need and want knowledge…


Last but not least, I’d like to just point out that we do 3-4 hours (closer to 3 hours) a week weight training max which covers all muscle groups. We usually blast through everything after a warm up set and every set after is full on. I’m really excited to get back in the gym with energy and even more excited to push past my limits and see what happens over the next few years…

 

 

24/01/2015 End of Week 3 Cut

My diet is roughly where it was during the best times of my last cut. I am slowly cutting out the bits of junk and by the end of January I hope to be having 6-7 solid meals per day and even wake up and eat fish/chicken/beef/eggs etc

I haven’t really progressed well over the last 3 weeks and I haven’t been trying hard enough, to be fair with myself. It’s a slow process of cutting the bits out that I crave for and changing them to ‘boring foods’. I have a few ideas with meal preps that I have discovered since the last cut, that may make it a bit easier.

I’m not prepared to cut everything out my diet that makes me feel snappy all the time and which depresses me. I’ve set my goal date for the 14th of March. I can change this date but that wont make sense as I have to treat it as my own competition.

I don’t really need to cut to be honest. I just find it extremely challenging and it gives me time to study my diet and energy output. I love going to the gym, eating what I want and trying to get stronger. That’s the fun part that I really enjoy. Cutting is just depressing at times…

After checking myself today, I feel that I have had the kick I need to try a bit harder. There’s only 6 weeks left till my goal date and I’m much further behind than I first anticipated. I will be gutted if I have to move my goal date back to May as that will result in me not trying hard enough for what I want. Time is the key component and I hope to stick with it and get in my best shape possible naturally and without diuretics this time around.

I know what I need to do…

 

17/01/2015 End of Week 2 Cut

Plodding along. It’s much harder than I thought and I thought I was further in my cut than I first thought. Another 2 weeks and I will assess everything…

The picture below is where I got to in May 2014 after a 14 week cut. Comparing myself as I am now to this picture, I am carrying way too much fat. It’s going to be very hard work to get back here naturally, but I will have a go…

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10/01/2015 Week 1 Cut

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This is a more accurate reading of my body fat. I messed it up on New Year and I was well aware of that. 

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This has been a tester week. It’s all about tweaking my diet and consuming as many calories possible, whilst losing the body fat. I am taking in around 300 carbs per day at the moment and the last time I had this much body fat whilst cutting I was on 80 carbs per day. I am eating as much as possible, whilst trying to lose the body fat. I have dropped 2lb since New Years day which is nothing, but I can feel the skin on my stomach is starting to tighten up.

It’s still early days, I have a lot that I can do with my diet and I still seem to have a enough strength and motivation to get through life. Again, the last time I was here I felt like death warmed up. I did go on a very strict (silly) diet and it did go on for 14 weeks though.

I want to be below 10% body fat by the end of January. I don’t go just off the scales, I use a few methods to monitor my own progress.