I guess it’s like the circle of life up in here. Earlier this week it was the death of the keto bulk, as it turns out it’s also the birth of deload weeks for me. I’ve been hearing over and over from very credible sources that I need to start introducing deload weeks to my routine in order to let my body recover and to make continuous gains. Every person I’ve talked to who started deloading has told me it’s been worth it even though it’s hard to strip the weight at first. So I’m finally going to listen and give this thing a shot.
So this week I’ve been taking it easy. I don’t think many understand how tough that is for me. Okay if you follow my blog or facebook page with any regularity at all you probably do know. I like to go HARD, I think it’s embedded in my DNA. It’s a tough concept for me to accept, making gains by doing less. Some people have trouble making gains because they aren’t willing to force themselves to work hard enough. Here I am forcing myself not to work so hard to make gains!
I get the concept of the deload week, I really do. I’m just having a hard time accepting it. Your body grows from resting and recovering from the abuse you put your body through. If it doesn’t get adequate rest your growth will be diminished. As the saying goes – train hard, rest harder.
This week was a good week to try deloading out as my body was getting tired. I went hard, even harder than usual last week which finished with my heavy deadlifts on Sunday. My whole body has been tired and I have plenty of little nagging things on my body that could use the rest. It’s actually felt pretty good to take it easy, but I definitely miss the training. Hopefully the extra rest will help an elbow issue I’ve been having and get rid of this constant soreness I seem to have with my grip muscles. Probably from, you know, never getting enough rest for it to recover!
So the plan currently is to do three or four days of rest and three or four days of active rest on deload weeks. Today I got to the gym to work some legs but it was so boring going through the motions without ever really pushing it. That’s the hardest part of this whole thing, I want to lift and I want to push it! But sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good right? I sure hope I show up next week with some serious energy… At least I’ll be good and rested up for our first baseball games this Sunday!
For all of you out there who currently do deload weeks, any tips? Any ideas for how to keep the workout lively and fun without really going all out? I could definitely use some advice on this subject. Workout ideas would be great too!
Six and a half weeks ago I started my experimental keto bulk. The plan was to go at least 2 months and re-evaluate from there and most likely cut up for the rest of the summer at that point. Well in a rare situation for me, I’m throwing in the towel.
There was one thing I didn’t know about ketosis that has played a huge factor in this. Apparently it decreases your appetite quite a bit. Makes tons of sense considering most people use ketosis to lose weight. However when you are trying to bulk relatively fat free, which was the goal of this little experiment, not having an appetite is a bit of an issue to say the least.
I eat and I eat and I eat, but never do I want to. I don’t have a big appetite to begin with, so when you decrease your appetite on top of that and have to eat the same foods over and over and try to eat between 3000 and 4000 calories depending on the training that day, it’s not very fun.
I’d say as far as how the results went it was pretty successful. I gained 5.5 pounds in 6 weeks and stayed really lean. I’m sure there was some fat gained as well but not as much as a normal bulk for sure. It would take a much longer period of time to know anything for sure but it’s just not worth it. Especially knowing it’s not something I’ll ever do again.
So now I’ll go through a week or two of maintenance and then start a full on cut again and continue to lean out as much as possible during the summer. I will be staying in ketosis for a while, but I’m not sure how long yet. I’m already in ketosis and it’s pretty much made for cutting, so I might as well utilize that for a while. I probably won’t stay in it all summer but I’m guessing I’ll probably do it through June.
Then in September I’ll begin a bulk again but this time will be much different than the one I did last winter. This time when I bulk I will be BULKING. After many conversations and advice from Matt I’ll be going on a long ride of bulking for about 8 months. The purpose is to really add some serious muscle this time around. Instead of bulking and cutting so quickly and really minimizing any muscle gains this way I can focus on building big time. I already know I can cut fast so I don’t have to worry about gaining too much fat and not being able to get rid of it. I definitely have to work a lot harder to build mass than I do to cut fat, and I mean a lot harder. All the more reason to give the bulk more time.
One thing Matt pointed out that he noticed I was making a mistake with was that I always seem to eat like I’m on a fat loss diet no matter what I’m doing. Meaning I tend to eat the same types of foods either way and just eat more or less of it depending on if I’m building or cutting. I need to focus more on fast digesting carbs when I bulk and lower the amount of protein and fat I eat. This will also help me with my issue of not having a big appetite because the proteins and fats are keeping me full as well as the complex carbs. I’m kind of at the point where to make big changes I have to get drastic, and I think he’s right that this will do the job.
Part of me is a little apprehensive about it because I like being lean (and we have a trip to Mexico for our ten year anniversary in December) but I know in the long run it will be worth it. If I want to build I need to build! Putting on substantial muscle when you have already gotten to a pretty muscular state takes a lot of time so I need to give it the appropriate time.
So I’m excited about it, and now I have a plan in place already which helps. Now it’s time to get ready for the summer and enjoy it! I’m also happy I tried the keto bulk thing even though it wasn’t for me. Now I know, and the only way you’ll ever know is to try!
Well since yesterday’s post I managed to clean up my reader like I wanted to. I can’t even begin to explain how good it feels to have that done and to look at my reader and see nothing but blogs I want to see! It’s going to be so much easier for me to keep up with what I want to keep up with now. My blogs followed went from almost 400 down to 64. I feel so much better after yesterday’s post. I think it’s exactly what I needed to get myself out of my blog rut. If you haven’t read it yet I recommend going back and doing so, it would explain a lot.
I really hope I didn’t unfollow anyone I didn’t want to. WordPress doesn’t exactly make it easy to figure out exactly who each blog belongs to so I ended up opening up each one individually in a new tab and making sure I know (or didn’t know) who it was. Sometimes it didn’t show anything and made it look like it was an inactive blog. After a while I discovered that wasn’t true so hopefully the ones I unfollowed at first was nobody I wanted to keep. If so I’m sure I’ll realize it in time and find you again!
So anyway a few things happened as I went through each blog. 1) I post much more frequently than I thought, at least in comparison to what I was seeing. Even only posting once per week, although that’s not enough for me. 2) There were a lot of blogs that hadn’t made any posts in about 4 months (can you say New Years resolutioners?) 3) I came across a handful of blogs that I used to really like a lot but they haven’t posted in months. I tried to reach out to some of them and see if I could spark something for them. Some of them when I tried to do that I found out the blog didn’t even exist anymore. Of course my mind goes right to they fell completely off the wagon of fitness, but I definitely hope that not to be the case. If they did, I hope maybe just maybe hearing from me can help.
Okay that’s enough about my clean up of my blog. Now it’s time for some more exciting news! Today was back and hamstrings day. I decided to take my phone with me to take some video of Derek and myself doing deadlifts. The idea was form check, see how things are looking. However as we got going both of us were feeling REALLY good. My first set I knocked out 9 reps at 315, 2nd set was 5 reps at 365. Last week my 3rd set was 5 at 345 and I felt great last week, so given I knew I was doing big things for myself I thought today would be a good day to try and set a new personal record.
I deadlifted 405 lbs last July which was a PR for me. The next month I messed up my knee at baseball so deadlifts ended up being out for quite some time. It wasn’t until the last couple of months that I started going heavy with deadlifts again. I was doing plenty of deadlifts, just not all that heavy. Anyway today I set up to try 405 again but then thought to myself “Why in the world would I attempt to TIE my PR???” So I threw a massive 2.5 lb weight on each side and gave 410 lbs a shot. With Derek recording I was able to get it up! I want to clarify, as you can see below, that this is using straps. So it’s a cheater 410, but I’m not letting anyone take it from me anyway!
In looking at the video the form was a little sloppy, and there was a reason I had a struggle in the lockout. Usually my lockouts are strong but I made a mistake with this lift. Coming off the ground was REALLY strong, way stronger than my previous 405 lift. I think I let down my guard a bit when it came off so strong thinking I had it easy. I lost momentum at that point and I had to use a lot of back to finish it off. The good news (besides the fact that I got it) was that 410 lb lift came much easier than my previous 405. That lift was a struggle from start to finish I was literally seeing stars and dizzy from it. It took every ounce of energy I had to get it up, while this lift was much smoother, despite my mistake. After that my boy Derek crushed 405 himself which was a big goal of his so he was pumped and so was I. He had never really maxed out before and the most he had ever lifted before that was what we did two weeks ago when he did 345 – 4 times. I did give 425 a shot after that but it wasn’t there. I got it up about an inch off the floor knowing it wasn’t there so I just set it back down. Safety first!
I attached videos of both of our PR’s and my 9 rep at 315 below. If any of you power lifters out there or anyone who is a deadlifting expert sees anything in my form in either video please let me know! I seriously want to learn and want to know if there are things I can improve. I’m quite sure my form isn’t perfect. I think I may actually be starting too low? I also don’t like how rounded my back was, which I think came from letting my guard down. Anyway keep crushing it and I hope everyone had a great Mothers Day!
So I jumped on here to add a new post and when I got here I saw it said I had 99 published posts. So yeah, I guess being the mathemagician I am adding this post would make it number 100. It’s a pretty fitting time for a “milestone” as I was coming on here to talk about how I think my blog needed some kind of overhaul. I feel like it’s in a rut and I haven’t been digging what I’ve been posting lately. I especially don’t like how infrequently I’m posting. I need to start giving my blog the time and effort it deserves. Not only have I been posting very infrequently but when I do it’s just brief updates of what exercises I did and I feel like it has very little substance. I find myself blogging just so that I blogged, and not knowing what to say. So I need to try, no I need to fix that. I hate the word try.
Perhaps I’ll change the layout or add some pictures to the site. That’s not really what I’m talking about though. I want my posts to have more meaning. I want them to hold me accountable yes, I’ve found that absolutely works for me. That was the original intent of it anyway. I know that if I tell you guys I’m going to do something I’ll almost assuredly do it, so it’s great for that. I find it’s easy to let yourself down but much harder to let others down. I sure as heck don’t ever want to have to come on here and tell you guys, especially the ones who say I motivate them with my willpower and focus, that I failed. I also want it to motivate and inspire others. I think that’s really been lacking from me lately.
Yes I’m busy, but who isn’t busy these days? We are all busy and we all have things to do, it’s about prioritizing. I love this blog, I love many of the blogs I follow out there and the community that surrounds fitness blogging. There are many blogs out there I love to follow and I haven’t been reading them lately either. I think part of my problem is that I’ve always felt like I had to return all favors. What I mean by that is if you follow my blog I automatically followed yours. Unfortunately that has created quite the mess for my reader and trying to sort through the blogs that I want to read and everything else. So I have to stop doing that. I have to realize that people follow my blog because they want to, and if they only follow me to try and get a follow them, well then I don’t want to follow them anyway.
I admit for a while early on I cared about building up a big audience and having nice stats and all that. As I’ve done this longer I care a lot less about that. As long as I always have my core group of people (you guys know who you are) and we have our community, that’s all that matters to me. If this blog somehow blew up and made it big time, well great and I’d love that because I love fitness and helping and inspiring others and to have tons of people to talk to about it would be awesome. That’s what I love about my blog and my page on facebook, it’s the interaction with others. A bigger audience would make that a lot more fun. Although going big time comes with it’s own sets of problems too, and being “famous” is not something I’ve ever desired. So having a big following is not something I strive for, I love it just as it is. If it ends up happening so be it.
With all that said I’m going to clear up my reader so it’s much easier to get the blogs I want to read. I’m going to start going through and unfollowing blogs I rarely pay attention to or from people who I never see on my own blog. If you follow my blog and interact with me I’ll undoubtedly check out yours and do the same. If you follow me I’ll definitely check out your blog and see what it’s all about. If it looks like something I’d really like I’ll check it out. I’m not doing anything based on stats though, I don’t care about that. I feel like if I go about things this way I’ll do a better job of keeping up with my blog and the blogs I like. If it means I lose “followers” so be it. I want to do this for interaction, motivation, support and inspiration (from me and for me.) That’s not coming from people who play numbers games. What good would 1000 followers do if only 10 of them ever talked to you anyway?
So for all of you guys out there who support me and motivate me, I say thank you very much. When I started this blog 100 posts ago I had no idea what a great group of people I’d meet and how much it would change my life. I promise I will start doing a better job keeping it going and being a part of this amazing community! Keep chasing your dreams!
Hey everyone I hope your week has been going well. My wife the jetsetter left today to visit her friend in California until Sunday so I’m playing single daddy again for a few days. I was able to sneak to the gym before picking up Cy from daycare today and got a tough quads workout in. Tomorrow I hope to get out for lunch to hit up some abs. Saturday I’ll have to figure something out at home. Probably a ton of different kinds of pushups, maybe I’ll do a P90X video. Couldn’t tell you the last time I did one of them.
I didn’t really have it today for my workout. Probably because I had a couple drinks last night, 2 gin and sodas. I hardly ever drink and I’m sure my body was not happy with me and I paid for it today. Still got through it though and it was a great workout nonetheless. Limited time today and I also tried some new squats and did single leg leg press for the first time in a long time. Let’s take a look:
Back squats – 4 x 8 – Light weight, 3 second negative and then hold for 3 seconds at the bottom, explode up. Brutal! Oh yeah, last set had a 20 second pause rest and then cranked out as many as I could with no pause.
Single leg leg press – 3 x 12
Smith machine lunges – 3 x 12 (This may be my least favorite exercise ever. Usually I love anything that burns like crazy, this one I hate. Worth it!)
So only 3 exercises, and I struggled the whole way but I was still left with Jello legs and had a serious sweat going on by the end of it.
Tuesday I had a phenomenal bis and tris day. It’s so much fun to finally be able to do that again with my tendinitis healed up. Last week was the first week and since I was testing it a bit I didn’t go TOO hard. Tuesday I got after it big time and really punished them. My biceps felt like they were going to rip out of my arms by the end, felt so good! I think it was August of last year the last time I really hit biceps hard by themselves like that.
Well just a quick update today, hope everyone is staying on their programs!
Whether you like it or not here comes Monday people! Don’t let it get you down though, Monday’s don’t have to be such a bad thing. Sure it’s the start of your work week and there are things you’d probably much rather be doing, but it’s also the start of a new week. It’s another opportunity to start getting your life in order and start doing all those things you always say you’re going to do but never do. Tomorrow is the day people. Today is your very last “I’ll start tomorrow.”
Your clock is ticking people. Minute by minute, hour by hour, time is running out. No more dragging your feet. No more wondering what if. No more holding yourself back. No more worrying about what you aren’t sure you can do. No more waiting for some magical motivation to come around and change your ways, be your own motivation! Tomorrow you start to find out exactly what you CAN do. I guarantee you it’s more than you think. Start your journey tomorrow and make sure you don’t look back with regrets.
Yes, tomorrow is Monday. Wouldn’t it be something if you could look back for the rest of your life remembering how a Monday is what changed your life forever? It could happen.
Tomorrow is Monday, what are you going to do about it?
What’s up guys once again I’m just back for the weekend yet again to keep my blog going I guess. Busy, busy just like everyone though. Part of it these last two weeks has been I’ve put in a lot of time and energy and research into the carb-backloading series I’m writing for Lifestyle and Strength. Part 2 came out yesterday, I’d appreciate it if you checked it out. Even if you have no plans of ever considering backloading, I think there is info in there you could learn from for fat loss and muscle gain.
So my training this week was really good. I mentioned last weekend that I was changing up my training split and it really is amazing how your body responds to such a simple change. I’ve had something, actually many things really sore on my body all week… and I love it! Having that separate bis/tris day was a lot of fun, my biceps and forearms/grip were tired for days after. It shows the importance of switching things up, because it’s not like the muscles used are different. It was really fun being totally fresh for biceps and going heavy. I haven’t done heavy isolated biceps in what seems like forever! The bicep held up just fine too, woohoo!
Thursday was quads day and we overloaded them big time. I haven’t had this sore of legs in I couldn’t even tell you how long. Take a look below, give it a shot if you want, but don’t forget your walker!
Back Squats – 15/12/10/8 (admittedly only got 6 on the 8 set, upped the weight but guess I wasn’t ready!)
Front Squats – 3 x 12 – I’m starting to get the hang of these bad boys, man you can really feel it in the tear drop during these and you can get SO LOW on them.
Single Leg Smith Machine Lunges – 3 x 20 – There is only one thing to say about this exercise, BRUTAL!
Leg Extensions – 3 x 15 using constant tension training, did a pause rest to burn out on the last set.
At this point I was completely spent, but these calves aren’t going to grow themselves so let’s hit them too!
Calf Raises on Squat Machine – 3 x 20 (squeeze hard at the top and lower slowly)
Seated Calf Raises – 3 x 10 – bounce each set at the end of the 10th rep until you can’t go any longer.
Single Leg Bosu Balancing – 3 sets for as long as possible on each leg.
Today was chest and shoulders, dropped the weight, slowed down the pace and focused on the negative portion of the lift on most exercises. Left it all in the gym again today, no regrets people!
Incline DB Chest Press – 3 x 10
Bodyweight Ring Flyes – 3 x 8
Bench Press – 3 x 10 constant tension training, last set included a 20 second pause rest and then pumping as many as possible, going 5 past fatigue.
Low Pulley Cable Crossover – 3 x 12, last set had a pause rest.
Arnold Presses – 3 x 8, last set had pause rest.
Front Deltoid Raises – 3 x 10
That was it for today. Planned on at least one more set of shoulder work but it was clear I was cashed and starting to cheat and would be risking injury if I pushed forward. I was pretty much cashed after chest actually but pressed on.
After that I came home and watched the Bulls game and nearly had about 12 heart attacks watching one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Go Bulls! The rest of the day was spent playing with Cy as Mama is out playing tonight. Lots of Mario Kart Wii on the agenda.
Tomorrow is back and hamstrings, pretty much the only parts on my body that aren’t sore! I loves me some DOMS!