And Now For Something Completely Different…
January has gone, it has passed and left only the never-ending rain in it’s wake. The rain round this neck of the woods at the moment is ridiculous. There seems to be no end to the sheeting torrents that fall incessantly from these dark, leaden skies. But now February is upon us and phase 2 of my most cunning of cunning plans comes into place.
This past month has been about establishing a routine. Regular training and regular eating has been the name of game and the game has been good. Well, goodish. I have been carefully counting the calories and eating 6 small, regularly spaced meals throughout the days of the week, but, on the weekend I have been less then perfectly virtuous. Not that I have strayed far from the path of righteousness but the odd treat sneaked in below radar.
Having a cheat day, or a cheat meal, once per week is a widely accepted way of being able to stick with what would otherwise be dreadful, dreary, dull as ditch-water diet days. I have to restrict myself to a cheat meal because if I were to truly let rip on a full day of cheating I could easily eat enough to sustain a small family for a week. Remember: I have trained quite hard for nearly 30 years and yet I’m still too fat.
Speaking of being too fat I thought I would share with you some photographs of where I’m at so far. These were taken yesterday (3 Feb 2014) after 1 month of Bodybuilding style training.
Soooo… what we have here is a large back with no shape to it at all. Mass is all well and good but definition is what I’m currently looking for. If I can get those love handles to scoop in a bit and keep most of the muscle size then I’ll end up with a half decent taper. Bodybuilding is all about illusion. If I can make my waist several inches smaller it will make my shoulders and upper back seem considerably wider.
Big Triceps, big chest, big belly. No single part of me is small and dainty but my gut is where I carry the vast majority of my blubber. Not pretty.
The front on shot is the worst of all. My lack of any definition flattens out all of my muscle size and makes me look like a tube of meat. Now, this might come across a little bit like I’m all dejected and miserable about the state of myself. But I’m not. Not even slightly. It’s been the plan all along to do a great body transformation piece using myself as a test subject. I spent the last 3 months of last year bulking up and now I’m going to, hopefully, slowly flay off the layers of fat to reveal a sculpted Adonis beneath. Or something.
Which brings us back, neatly, to phase 2 of my Grand Plan. Doing a month of Bodybuilding training is about all I can manage before I start to get bored and it stops working. So February will see the introduction of some strength training but not, unusually, with the goal of getting any stronger . . .
. . . which may sound a tad odd, but bear with me.
Your body is a highly complicated, contrary and convoluted mechanism that has only one setting: “Adapt or Die!”
You might be able to throw in “Breed” and “Fight” into the mix but adapting is what we’re really good at. For soft, fragile, hairless monkeys with no natural built in weapons we’ve done a pretty good job of infesting most parts of the planet. So adaptability allows us to eat pretty much anything and live pretty much anywhere. But it also can be detrimental – especially where weight loss and muscle building are concerned. It’s the thousands of generations that have gone before us that have made us such proficient horders of fat. Hundreds of thousands of years of not knowing where your next meal is going to come from means that when we have an abundance of food we convert as much as possible into fat. Your fat ass, and my fat belly, is there because our bodies are preparing for the oncoming Zombie Apocalypse. See previous posts for more ranting in a similar vein.
If I restrict my calorific intake and double the intensity of my training then my body, fearing the worst, will hold onto it’s precious stores of fat and burn the easily replaced muscle for energy. This is bad. We need to trick the body into sparing the muscle and burning the fat.
One way I’m going to attempt to do this is with diet. 6 meals per day with protein included with every meal give my body a constant supply of amino acids that it can use as energy instead of muscle. The other way is to use heavy weights.
Lifting heavy (greater than 80% of your 1 rep max) causes a great deal of stress to your entire body. The muscles, Central Nervous System, tendons, nerves – the whole kit and caboodle – are all involved in stabilising, moving and (above all) withstanding the heavy, crushing load. Because of the stress caused it means that your body wants to hold on to as much muscle as possible just in case it ever happens again. Which it will. Regularly.
A two-pronged attack in fat obliteration then. 1) Keep protein intake high and frequent. 2) Lift heavy stuff.
Here’s my current workout:
15 mins of cardio.
Squats – 5 sets 3 reps with a weight that makes it all seem really hard.
Pull-ups and Dips – 12 minutes of EDT. (Escalated Density Training. Apart from the World’s most pretentious name it’s a great way to do fitness training with weights. Pick 2 exercises and do 8 reps on each as many times as possible for 12 minutes. Next time try to beat your total rep score.
15 mins cardio.
Bench – 7 sets of 2 reps. Heavy.
Leg curl and lat pulldown – 12 mins EDT.
15 mins cardio.
Rack pull deadlifts – 10 sets of 1 rep.
Front squat and overhead press – 12 mins EDT.
On top of that I will do at least 2 other workouts that will be cardio only. Nothing too insane just 30 minutes of steady state work.
Thanks for reading,