Journal: Day 2 of my full body split

Today’s post is short and sweet, following on from my last post covering day one of my new, low volume, high frequency split.

I’ll cover the programming for the workout as a whole in a final post at the weekend. For now, I’ll just detail the workout I followed last night.

Overall, it was a pretty solid session, especially for a first run through. Balance seemed about right, although I found the single leg box steps left me feeling like more was needed for the legs, but I was also nowhere near my capacity there, so I’ll reserve judgment on that one until we’re working harder.

Read more

Journal: First of three: Day 1 of my full-body split

Coming off the back of a torn hamstring (long story), a recent hernia repair and yet another bout of travel, I’m finally heading back to the gym!

For the last year, I’ve been hammering myself pretty hard following a variety of high volume programming. And truth be told, while it has worked, by some definition of “worked”, it’s also left me feeling pretty beat-up and generally decrepit.

To be fair, some of that is not about the programming, some of that’s squarely on me either pushing too hard, training through [the wrong kinds of] pain or including exercises because I think I should have them in my program.

So over the coming months, we’re again changing things up.

Read more

Before you hit “publish”, are you adding value?

Frankly, this post was tough to title. I toyed with a variety of options, but most just came off as condescending. I’m still not sure I like the title as written, but it’s at least one of the points I was trying to make.

The idea behind this post was to talk about what goes into writing useful and enjoyable content in the fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding space. Hence my struggle with the title. I could have titled it “A guide to writing content for the fitness industry”, or some such; but that’s where I draw a line, of sorts.

Tackling a post of this nature, you’d be forgiven for assuming I’m a successful personal trainer, fitness icon or otherwise accomplished writer. Fair, but wrong. It would also be reasonable for you to assume I perhaps have a science background, or qualifications in physiology, kinesiology and maybe nutrition. Again, no.

Well this dude better at least be jacked, right?

Alas, merely bumps in the right places, with a vein or two, and even some abs, when viewed under scientifically controlled lighting.

Read more

Exactly one month into the cut

IMG_20150607_085456It’s been almost a month to the day since the end of my last bulking phase. If you recall, I ended the bulk at 187.75lbs, a couple of pounds shy of my 190lb target. Truth be told, I have far from mastered the art of the bulk, and I was grateful to see it end. Still, we’ll do better next time.

As bodybuilders, we say a lot of things that need added context to make complete sense, especially to the novice trainee. For example, consider some of the things I say regularly:

  • “I’m not even dieting yet”
  • “I don’t do any cardio at all”
  • “I don’t track my macros”
  • “I pretty much eat what I want”

All of these things are both completely true, and yet, very misleading without context and some added narrative.

Hence, the goal with this update is to be very specific about what I’ve done during the last month, and evaluate where we are as we head into the second half of this cutting phase.

Read more

Cravings, failings and goals

Goals help you control your cravingsI got an email from a good friend over the weekend who is struggling with lack of progress, and in particular with food cravings. Moreover, the psychological impact of both stalling on progress and giving in to cravings is starting to take it’s toll on his well being.

Now, anyone that’s been around the iron long enough will know that cravings and disappointment with progress are commonplace and effect all of us from time to time.

What’s important is that we learn to embrace these things as part of the life-style and not “label” ourselves as weak or failures.

Read more

Bodybuilding diets made simple

Bodybuilding Diets Made SimpleI see a LOT of posts every day about the minutiae of dieting; macros, calorie tracking, food journaling, nutrient timing, feeding the anabolic window, fasting, carb cycling … the list is possibly endless. And, truth be told, I’ve tried some or all of these techniques over the years as I work toward my physique goals.

However, over the last six months in particular, I’ve come to the realization that bodybuilding diets are, in fact, incredibly simple.*

Read more

Progress update: Week two of the mini cut

Today marks the end of the second week for my cutting phase, and I was both pleased and unnerved at the result. I weighed in at 184.5lb on the morning scale, that’s about 3.5lb down from the start of the cut.

Pleased?

Well, this is a cutting phase after all, so seeing the scale move is both desirable and appropriate. I was also largely happy with the number. While 1.75lb per week is a little on the high side, I’d expect to see that rate of loss drop-off in later weeks… at least not without another significant change.

But why unnerved?

Read more

YOU must take responsibility for YOU

on-teaching-responsibilityInspired by the prolific writing schedule of James Clear–who posts every Monday and every Thursday without fail–I just wanted to share an insight that’s been nagging at me for a while now.

I’ve been in the iron game long enough now to have seen just about everything. From bodybuilding in the Golden Era right up to the latest science-based protocols of today’s bodybuilders and athletes.

In the last couple of years, I’ve also managed to find myself a fantastic circle of trusted friends, advisors and industry leaders to guide me in my pursuit of bodybuilding, people like Adam Bornstein, Bryan Krahn, Sean Hyson, Jim Smith and Dave Dellanave to name but a few. And if that were not enough, the extended network around these individuals is rich in information — so much so, you can never really keep up.

Read more

Full cutting program

arnold-bicepsOver the last couple of weeks, I’ve been posting individual workouts I’ve been testing as part of a new cutting program.

Today, as promised, here’s a write-up of the entire program, largely for your convenience.

Before I’d finished the last bulk, I was already thinking ahead to this next phase and how I’d approach it. I shared my thoughts in a post as the tenets of my cutting program. So far, I’ve held true to those tenets.

Read more

Last of the cutting workouts tested

IMG_20150122_172105Ran through the last of the new cutting routines last night, a row oriented back, traps and biceps session.

I didn’t have time for a full run-through, partly due to a time crunch, and partly because my gym partner wants to move the chest session to Monday.

My solution was to run through the back routine last night and test the programming, with the view to repeating it again on Wednesday for real.

The routine as written breaks-down like this:

Read more