2012 has been a very interesting year for me training wise. We all need to change our routine now and again to stimulate growth, add mass, burn fat, keep ourselves interested or motivated right? Well recently I’d say I’ve found my new direction. In the quest for new routines I’ve found myself doing yoga, various cardio routines and even balancing on 4 med balls trying to do push ups. I appreciate all disciplines of fitness but I must admit it can sometimes be hard to cut through the bull. The cool and branded marketing ploy routines versus the tried and tested old school, less cool routines. Well I’m only a couple of weeks into Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength routine and not only do I love it, the simplicity of it is making my body respond and I’m excited about what lies ahead. I stated in a previous article I love to chase numbers. I must admit I’m guilty as charged of vanity, but I’m sick as f@#k of seeing myself in the mirror! Aesthetic goals will be reached this year to some extent I’m sure, but they are on a back burner for my new love……chasing weights. Give me a number and I’ll lift more next week, and the following week and the week after that. Rinse and repeat. I love it! Starting Strength is actually meant to be a beginners routine but I thought since purchasing a new free weight setup including an olympic bar, why not reset myself and build some new foundations? Starting Strength is going well and to be honest, I only need to use it until January 2013, that’s when I switch to doing the Wendler 5 3 1 routine [...]
Well, the moment has arrived. I’m now a Body Beast graduate. What a journey this has been. First of all I think this is a fantastic workout regime and would recommend it to anyone who has previous gym or other Beachbody workout experience. Throughout Body Beast and indeed the last three months of my life I have learned a great deal. Training, discipline, different angles, nutrition, people…the works. I learn something new about each and every one of these aspects throughout every workout regime. One conclusion I came to a good while ago was evident throughout this regime. Humans were designed to be fat. Fat isn’t something that was scientifically created to repel fellow humans from our aesthetic appeal. That is something the complex nature of the human brain has developed a perception of over the years. Instead, fat is intended to be part of our ability to survive as a species. I’ll not delve any deeper into it than that for this post but I do believe it’s nature’s intention to have us all storing more fat than we deem aesthetically desirable. People who like to keep fit and stay in shape can almost be considered to be ‘the resistance’. Ironically that sounds like an Arnie movie or something but let’s face it, evolution and nature’s wishes are winning. The majority of people are fat, obese, overweight or however you’d like to put it. The same complex brain structure that decided fat was aesthetically undesirable is fighting back. We are the fitness resistance and thou shalt not be obese! We are outnumbered of course which is why we constantly have to dodge the bullets and snipers of society. Face too thin, what are you [...]
Chest and triceps with Iron Mike Tyson! Well, not quite but after having the honour of meeting the guy on Tuesday night I thought I’d stick a picture I had taken with him up in my gym. This may well be a bit tacky, but knowing Iron Mike’s watching will spur me on and give me that monster one more rep kind of feeling. The end is nigh and I smashed chest and triceps this morning. It had everything, top weights, great form and a good pump. I know it’s time to try another workout now as I even managed to pay a quick toilet visit between sets without pausing the DVD. I was floundering around all over the place in the early days of Beast. I remember at the start I barely had enough time to change weights! My chest is up a good few inches and while my triceps have never been diamond cut, the overall density of my arms has improved. My only fault with this week is that my results week has fallen on a week whereby I’ve had 3 nights out. Hmmmmm, hardly good for photographs is it? Nevertheless, I will take some on Saturday. Tomorrow is my FINAL BEAST WORKOUT!! Back and biceps and then I’m done.
A bit of calendar switching has been required this week. I’m actually going to have a go at playing badminton tonight so I didn’t go in the gym this morning. I’m calling tonight my cardio session. It’ll be the first competitive sport I’ve tried since making a mess of my ankle 3 weeks ago today. I’ve managed to adapt and perform my gym workouts with a minimum of fuss, but actually playing a sport and getting caught up in the moment is entirely different. I hope it holds up! I’m slightly nervous about it to be honest. Tomorrow and Friday will wrap up my round of Beast with chest/triceps and back/biceps respectively. Even if I’m limping I’ll just about be able to do those workouts! They will be fuelled by me meeting with Iron Mike Tyson last night. As corny as it is you can’t help to be inspired by meeting a sporting great. He is very much a Beast himself! A bit of ferocious power never does a workout any harm.
This was the third time my shoulders have been hit directly in four days. Sagi Six ways and the underhand EZ presses really get the blood flowing. This week I’ve actually dispensed with all my worksheets too. Call it a treat if you like but I’m just going with the weight I feel I’d keep perfect form with. 80+ days into the regime I’d become too obsessed or preoccupied with studying previous weeks efforts. My decision has allowed me to concentrate on the job at hand. Besides during the bulk phase I hit the 14 stone mark, was taking creatine, pre workout supplements etc. Now I’m on a lot less calories and the only supplements I’m taking are whey/BCAAS. This morning’s body fat reading came out at 7.7%, although I still look way higher than that. I must also not be preoccupied with Body Beast itself. During my commute to long term fitness, I need to remind myself Body Beast is simply a vehicle I’ve jumped on in order to get from A to B. I may well complete the schedule this week but I’ll move swiftly onto to my own workouts next week. After all my new goal will be to get to destination C. I’ll use whatever workout and nutrition vehicles I need to use in order to reach destination C swiftly and safely.
Another early start and my final leg workout in the bag. An early start after a heavy day out yesterday I might add! No excuses though. I pushed hard and the workout seemed to fly past, something which hasn’t happened in the past during leg workouts. My body fat % is dropping all the time and I’m hoping to keep some momentum behind this particular trend. As planned I swapped leg and shoulder days around so I didn’t have to do two shoulder workouts in three days. I’ll leave my final build leg thoughts of this round with you……Bulgarian squats and step up lunges are horrible! So my lineup is now, shoulders, cardio, chest/triceps, back/biceps and I’ll be done. This may be the final week of Body Beast, but definitely not my final week of doing whatever it takes!
In a last minute change of mind, I decided to throw in the lucky 7s workout seeing as I hadn’t encountered it before. It’s a short, non stop total body workout. You perform total body circuits, 1 rep through to 7 reps. I’m really glad I decided to do this one instead of Beast cardio. I found it enjoyable and ended up pumped and satisfied. Well…..that’s me done! 84 days of Body Beast in the bag. I could finish here, but I’m doing the additional bonus ‘competition week’ too. I’m going to swap things around for that though. Yesterday I did bulk shoulders and tomorrow I’m due to do build shoulders. Not a good idea. I’ll do build legs tomorrow, build shoulders on Tuesday, use badminton as my Wednesday cardio workout, build chest and triceps on Thursday and finish off with build back and biceps on Friday. I’m out on Tuesday and Thursday night next week too, I’m hoping that wont hinder my progress. I must avoid dodgy food and the temptation to have too much alcohol on Tuesday. The two nights out couldn’t be any more different. Tuesday I get the chance to catch up with a good mate (it’s been too long) and meet the one and only Iron Mike Tyson. I can’t wait for that. Thursday is just as ‘rock’ as that. Wait for it……..we’re taking our daughters to see Disney on Ice! Lol. Call me easily pleased but I’m looking forward to both occasions. Speaking of occasions, I’m off out this afternoon to hopefully see Newcastle United beat Manchester United! Adios for now, back tomorrow for my final leg session
That’s my final bulk workout done and dusted. I went quite heavy today too. The mirror is starting to throw back evidence that my vascularity is returning. There were pipe cleaners everywhere during that workout. Some people hate to see veins, I’m not fussed really, I just know they are a sign of low body fat so the more veins the better for that reason. I have Beast Cardio tomorrow. Afterwards I have a mammoth lads session on the cards as Newcastle United play Manchester United in the Premiership. So long as I do my workout first I’ll stay on track! I can’t wait for each workout to come along now. I’m nearly into Sagi’s ‘competition week’. Bring it on
Wowzas, those preacher curls hurt performed at 6 seconds up and down. I actually decreased the weight from last week. I must’ve been in nutter mode last week! I’ve been through two weeks of using the tempo workouts now and I like them. In further rounds of Body Beast I think I’ll rotate them with the conventional build workouts in micro-cycle style. One of the things I’ve picked up during this round is to ensure I have a light, medium and heavy weight for each exercise. During the build and bulk phases I progressed into a medium, heavy and stupid weight range. During round one there’s a bit of tempting the ego out of your body. Round two can be a case of now he’s out and exposed, give him a slap and train with your brain again. For this reason I’m starting to warm to the idea of micro cycling workouts, using different rep ranges, tempos, weights each week. This is meant to prevent plateaus and take the focus away from the mindset of ‘the only way I can progress is to lift heavier’. Of course it is an area of progression, but it certainly isn’t the only one. It’s a bit like exposing your abs, the less you obsess about it the more likely it is to happen. Sods law and all that. Here’s the lineup for my final week. If I get through these workouts…..I’m done! Saturday 06/10/12: Bulk Shoulders Sunday 07/10/12: Beast Cardio & Abs Monday 08/10/12: Build Shoulders (yes, only 2 days after the previous shoulder workout) Tuesday 09/10/12: Build Legs Wednesday 10/10/12: Build Chest & Triceps Thursday 11/10/12: Build Back & Biceps Friday 12/10/12: Beast Cardio Saturday 13/10/12: Results day. No workout, just plenty of [...]
Here we go again. From no cardio to this little gem popping up seemingly every other day. I can tell too as it’s actually starting to improve my cardio conditioning. I’m not where I was after Asylum, probably nowhere near but I’m an entirely different shape to what I was then too. Having said that I’m starting to get into the groove again with the odd cardio workout. Beast abs was performed with weights throughout. The mere ten minutes is such a relief when you’ve been hit with 16 minutes of Ab Ripper 1 & 2, Cardio Abs, Killer abs etc in the past. I’m really enjoying the sharp intensity of Body Beast. I love short workouts. All Beast workouts fall between around 30 and 50 minutes. I’ve even noted how long each one lasts on the notice board in my home gym! I remember Asylum being relatively short too. Remember 90 minutes of P90X yoga? Sometimes this is necessary but I may be developing a bit of a bad habit here. If it’s over an hour long I’m not interested! To be honest I’m completely spent by then too. I often see people posting up that they’ve done two, three or even four workouts in a day. I’m certainly not going to have a go at these people, in fact I’m in awe of how fit they must be. I’d like to think these people know what they are doing and what works best for them. Good luck to them. What I will say is that this wouldn’t work for me. It’s not sustainable for me and we start getting into overtraining territory. I’m 38 and know my body. I can unleash all kinds [...]
I’ve decided to swap my rest day with cardio and abs. I’m resting today and will do Beast cardio & abs tomorrow. The reason behind my decision is that I have a huge attack of the DOMS from yesterday’s bulk legs workout. I’m not ready to do all the squats required in Beast Cardio. Bulk legs just had to have the final say didn’t it? I’m secretly happy as it means I really went for it. During the first few weeks of Beast the DOMS were incredible, but now I hardly feel any at all apart from today. Maybe I’m starting to plateau….or maybe it’s because my head has been turned and I’m looking forward to my next workout schedule. This doesn’t take anything away from Beast, I always seem to feel like this towards the end of a mammoth workout series. After all, I’ve been doing this for nearly quarter of this year! It’s a bit like a boxer fighting the same opponent all the time. Beast has prepared me to take on more heavy weight opponents. I have my next one lined up and I’m more than ready. It doesn’t matter how good a workout schedule is, I’m always ready for a new challenge by the end of it. I remember being grateful for the results I had from doing P90X2 whilst not really enjoying most of the workouts or format. Beast is different to that, I’ll be grateful for any results I get but I also enjoy the format of the workouts too. Never say never but I can’t see myself doing P90X2 again in the near future. I will definitely do Body Beast again in some shape or form. Everyone is different of course. [...]
That’s me DONE with bulk legs (for this round of Body Beast anyway) and boy am I happy! To mark this momentous occasion I upped the weights and went out with a bang. If my legs aren’t big now then they never will be. Actually, they aren’t big but they aren’t the tooth picks they used to be either! Front to back lunges are killers, dumbbell squats are fine, sumo squats are killers, EZ splits are killers, stiff leg deadlifts are fine and those pesky side to side dumbbell squats are killers! Calf raises are fine and spelling out words of profanity instead of Beast is my reward for enduring such an ordeal each week. So I have 11 days left of Body Beast but in terms of the overall plan it’s all falling into place. My Beast results will be revealed in less than 2 weeks but they are by no means the be all and end all. I plan on doing my own compound training as soon as I’ve finished Body Beast. I believe I finish on Friday 12th October. I’ll give myself the weekend off to recover a tad and then throw myself at some heavy compound moves on a typical Mon/Wed/Fri split for two weeks. I’ll break this up with small bouts of HIIT cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I continue on my shredding plan. Then on 29th October I start Kris Gethin’s DTP 4 week plan with my Team Immortal pals. This is a mass builder and if I stick to plan exactly as it has been designed I’ll require 3700 calories per day. Depending on how lean I am at the time I might go for the 3700 [...]
I really enjoy this workout. It’s a case of slowly does it. You can feel all the tissues and striations stretching throughout the workout. It’s only the second time I’ve done this workout so I forgot about all the in between set ab work. 50+ minutes of Body Beast followed by a few miles out with my pooch. That’s a great way to start a day in my view. It’s a pity I have to drag myself through the rat race of traffic to trudge to work. It’s about time I just worked from home. That’s another matter altogether, but even the Monday morning trudge seems more doable after my morning’s fitness efforts. This really is gathering pace now. At around day 40 of a 90 day workout you feel like you’re floating in no mans land but now I feel like it’s flying past. I can’t believe I’m now into my penultimate week. I’m also excited that my next workout schedule has been decided upon. It’s a 4 week mass builder and I can’t wait to do it. I’ll definitely do another round of Beast but I think I’ll get more out of it by sandwiching a few other workouts between rounds. I love mixing it up as it stimulates your mind and hits your body from multiple angles. I’ll be doing this workout as part of the Team Immortal Facebook group. We start this on 29th October so when I finish Body Beast I’ll be happy to have two weeks of slotting in my own workouts. Fitness is a revolving solution, you always need to change it up, both nutritionally and workout wise. Static solutions can be utilised in with your rotation but [...]
Beast Cardio seems to be popping up very frequently in this phase. It’s a decent little workout. Half an hour of cardio with strange lengths of breaks but it still works up a sweat. I’m still strapping my ankle up but I believe I’ve treated it in the best way possible. Two days of rest and then straight back on it. I adjusted workouts to suit it at the time but always stayed on course with the Beast schedule. After all, we are not robots. That little thing called life sometimes sweeps you sideways and forces you to adjust your plans a bit. Having said that, yes I’ve switched a few workout days around to accommodate injuries and stag dos but….I have not missed a single workout. As long as you adjust, you can stay the course….or become a zombie! Read on to find out more about that. I officially now have two weeks left. Next week is my final conventional Body Beast week, then a bonus week as outlined in the book of Beast will take me up to the full 90 days. Sometimes I look at the ‘outside of fitness world’ as zombies. Maybe that’s a tad harsh but it’s true. ***warning, sweeping generalisations about to be stated!!*** If you think about it, people in general tend to allow surrounding elements to dictate their life. It’s even more noticeable in the world of fitness. When talking to friends, family and basically anyone they keep on stating they don’t have time, can’t eat a certain way, can’t get up early, can’t workout late, don’t like to diet, have a busy job, are a bit stressed at the moment and blah blah blah. Sound familiar? [...]