Dave's Gym

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Mobile, agile, hostile. Death to Dave’s gut.

One of the nice things about having already shifted a smidge of my ponderous bulk is that I already feel lighter on my feet. Compared to the cumbersome behemoth I was at 19 and a half stone (273lbs or 124kg) I now feel positively spry and nimble. Stairs no longer fill me with dread. Putting on my socks is no longer a Herculean labour of will and contortionism. I walk with a spring in my step, a glint in my underpants and a knowing smile on my lips. And this is with just 17lbs lost – if I get too much lighter there will be no living with me at all.

I have to remind myself that losing weight is not the objective here – I couldn’t give a rat’s arse as to what my actual physical weight is. What I want is to have a body that has huge slabs of granite-like muscle with a corresponding low amount of body fat.

It’s not that much of a big ask really, I already have the muscles, all I need to do is to remove the generous layer of marshmallow that obscures them.

The problem is that your body is hell bent on holding on to the fat that it has thoughtfully laid down in case of future famine or catastrophe. Oh yeah! Come the apocalypse I’ll be sitting pretty on my throne of skulls made from the victims of my previous meals. Until then I need to convince my body that it’s alright to jettison some of the extra baggage it’s holding on to whilst not torching away my beautiful muscles.

That’s the problem in a nutshell. If you diet and exercise in the traditional way, which is to say you deny yourself calories and do endless hours of soul-crushing cardio, then your body will burn up lean tissue for fuel and ferociously hold on to it’s lard reserves.

My diet this week has been going pretty good. There has been no deviations from the plan (see here for more details), although I could do with a bit more variation just for the sake of my sanity. One of the cool things about this particular eating plan is that you don’t ever feel hungry – the exact opposite holds true most of the time. If you are even a little bit interested in following this plan I heartily suggest that you check out mynetdiary as it is an excellent, and piss simple, on-line food diary. It’s also free – which was it’s big attraction to me.

Training – ah yes. This was the week where it all began to take shape. I’ve had some great sessions this week that have helped shape the direction that I want to take my training in. Here’s a  quick breakdown on what I’ve been up to this week.

Monday – I wrote about this already. You can check it out here.

Tuesday – leg day. Whoop, whoop. What I’m planning to do for most of my weights workouts is to superset a heavy, low rep, explosive exercise with a higher rep, constant tension lighter exercise. The supersets are to be performed for opposite muscle groups and with only as much rest as it takes to gird the loins, grit the teeth and get back under the bar.

Overhead squats s/s with lunges – 5 reps of O/H squats 20 reps lunges. Add weight to the O/H squats each set until technique begins to deteriorate and then change to . . .

Front squats s/s with walking lunges – as above but with more sweat and swearing. Again, keep adding weight until form turns to crap and then change to . . .

Back squats s/s with jumps – as above but with more whimpering and muttered utterances to Odin for a quick and merciful death.

It was about 20 sets of squats all in all and what with the associated lungey, jumpy nonsense it made for a grim and grisly workout.

Wednesday – My gym manager and mate Mr Matt Strong asked if I wanted to join him for something unpleasant to help kick start his pre-season rugby training. I said yes and was overjoyed to find out that it contained a lot of really hard leg training,

“Squats?” asked Matt.
“Can’t wait.” I replied.
“Front squats?” says he.
“Rather.” I confirm.
“With bands?” he enquires.
“What’s the harm?” I spit through my clenched manly jaw.

Good grief it was a horrible session. We did something called E.D.T, which stands for Escalated Density Training. A bloody stupid name, if you ask me, but there is no doubting it’s effectiveness.
What you do is pick 2 or more exercises (I think 2 is best), and perform quite heavy supersets with little or no rest for 12 minutes. This is what we did:

Banded front squats (probably one of the hardest exercises in the universe) for 8 reps supersetted with romanians for 8 reps. Then all you need to do is not stop for 12 mins. Try to select a weight that is a genuine nightmare to handle. If you hit failure don’t reduce the weight just do fewer reps.

Dumbbell bench press for 8 reps supersetted with lat pulldown for 8 reps. Same drill as above.

Random core and anti-rotation savage action – Matt has been doing some Strength and Conditioning work for the Cardiff Blues Rugby team and had some vile new moves to inflict upon me. I’ll get a bunch of them filmed and post up a video for your perusal.

It doesn’t look to bad written here in black and white but trust me it was absolutely disgusting and we both came close to quitting at several points during the session.

Thursday – this was similar to Mondays workout. I started with seated partial shoulder press for 5 reps which I supersetted with 10 rep lat pulldowns. As on my other workouts this week I kept adding weight to the pressing exercise until I maxed out.

After that I did some reverse band bench press, which I think is the greatest tricep exercise in the world. I supersetted these with bent over rows for 20 reps. I’m not entirely sure how many sets I did but it must have been 5 or 6.

Friday – yet more leg training! My legs were still feeling a little mashed from all my exertions earlier in the week so I opted for high rep rather than high weight. It was nasty.

Leg extensions – 3 sets of 20 and 1 set of 50 reps.

Leg press – 2 sets of 25 reps. It was going to be 1 set of 50 but my quads had other ideas.

Squats – I did something quite interesting here and I have Ben Lloyd to thank for it. Put a moderate amount of weight on one bar (I used 110kg) and do 10 reps of lovely deep squats. On another bar do a 1 rep Zercher squat with a light weight. Go back and forth between exercises, adding weight to the Zercher squat each set until you get to your max effort. This took me 10 sets and an end weight of 110kg on the Zercher squats. This was pulverisingly hard.

A good week.
Yours with the legs of Bambi on ice,
Dave Carter.

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