Let’s get brawny!

I have been doing Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength program since June, and have made some good progress with my strength. I had almost completed Phase 4 when an exciting opportunity came up to take my training to the next level. I was able to sign up for Precision Nutrition’s Scrawny to Brawny program!

Now wait a minute; I thought you were fat! Well, I never was skinny, but I was always weak and almost always had a paunch growing up. Once I started lifting weights, I’ve gained some muscle, but never at a good rate, and almost always with more fat than I want (which is the reason why I had to drop the fat when I started this blog). This time, I’m putting my trust in the PN guys, that over the 12-month program they can teach me how to put muscle on the right way. The actual program started on November 12th, and so far, so good.

Let’s get brawny!

Day 1191: End of Mission 6

Day 1191

Today is the start of the one-week rest period at the end of my current program, which is the Huge in a Hurry “Get Big”  program.  I measured my weight this morning and got the following:

Date Body Mass (kg) Body Fat % Fat Mass (kg) Lean Mass
Start of Mission 5 2010-08-07 73.8 14.3 10.5 63.3
End of Mission 5 2011-04-09 67.0 8.4 5.6 61.4
End of Mission 6 2011-10-17 71.3 11.6 8.3 63.0

So it looks like I gained back most of the lean mass I had before I started my last leaning phase, but I also gained more than half of the fat back! I have to review what I did during this last program and determine what I need to adjust in order to gain muscle without gaining too much fat back.  I checked with the guru of fat loss himself, Tom Venuto, on building muscle without gaining fat.  I admit that I didn’t count calories during this phase and tried to play it by ear.  I think I may have gotten too aggressive with eating, so it’s either I try to cut back a little bit next time I go on a mass-building phase, or add some cardio to burn off the excess.

This rest period should allow me to plan my next attack!

Day 1112: My 32nd Birthday Update

Day 1112

I’m currently on Phase 2 of Chad Waterbury’s Huge in a Hurry “Get Big” program.  I like how the program’s focus on lifting fast and with whole-body coverage every workout.

I decided today, on my 32nd birthday, to just take a milestone, for tracking my year-to-year progress.  I admit, I haven’t been taking progress pics nor bodyfat measurements lately, since I have been trying to focus on gaining lean muscle mass.  Training is a blast, but my nutrition and supplementation could be improved.  Tight finances mean that I have not been able to but my regular protein powder for use after my training sessions.

Right now I am at around 70kg at a height of 1.68 metres.  I haven’t measured with my calipers yet.  I’ll reserve that for when I finish Phase 3.

Day 1112 - Front Day 1112 - Back Day 1112 - Side

Day 1043: Precision Nutrition Result and Plans for the Future

Day 1043

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been months since I updated my blog!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I participated in Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating Program.  The program uses it’s own web application where you are asked to log on every day.  In addition to the training plan for the day, on most days, there are lessons for you to read on nutrition, training, and building good habits to practice on the road to becoming self-sufficient.  The website also tracks your adherence to the training program and habits which you are asked to practice.  Since I was already logging my progress on the Lean Eating Program website, I felt that I didn’t need to do my own logging/blogging, which explains my extended absence.

When signing up for the Lean Eating Program, they ask you for a minimum commitment of 6 months, in order to give yourself time to build the habits that will get you on the right track for life.  I stayed with the program for a total of 96 weeks, and I had some pretty good results with it.  There were times when I had to take a break for travel, and times when I got sick, but I got back as soon as I was able.  When I get more time, on my next post I will post the results of my last training phase.

After I opted out of the Lean Eating Program, I began looking for my next one.  First on my trial list was Chad Waterbury’s Huge In a Hurry, which is one of several books that I have collected in my fitness library.  As preparation for the main part of the program, there is a four-week familiarization phase (“Get Ready”) in which one gets familiar with how the training program works.  Unfortunately, during the very first session, I aggravated a shoulder injury that I got during the end of my last program (while doing overhead squats with a little too much weight), which resulted in my having to totally lay off from training for two weeks in order for my shoulder to recover.

Since returning to training four weeks ago, I have been slowly building back the pain-free range of motion, continuing the “Get Ready” phase while watching out for pain in the shoulder.  However, on the next two weeks, I am going with my family to visit relatives on another island down south.  At the moment, I just finished packing my bags!  When I get back from travel I’ll be raching to go back into the gym to train again!

Day 759: Two weeks into a new program

Day 759

Sorry, I haven’t been posting for the past three weeks.  I’ve been busy catching up on things:  I finished my project in Peru, the flew home, arriving two weeks ago.   As soon as I arrived I started a new program, the Lean Eating program from Precision Nutrition.   The first two weeks are about building good habits and laying the foundation for later training sessions.  I’ll be writing more about it in the next few weeks.

Day 738: Weightless again after being in the clouds

Day 738

Yesterday, I arrived back in Lima after a few days of holiday in Cusco.  I was able to see the famed ruins of Machupicchu, which was fantastic!  It wasn’t all pleasure though.  The high altitude in Cusco (3310 meters) and surrounding sites (from 2200 meters up to 3800 meters) caused me some headaches and dizziness (classic symptoms of altitude sickness), but the effects were reduced toward the end of my 5-day stay there.  I also had a cold while I was there.  However, the scenery was worth it.

All that climbing up and down stairs and terraces at the many sites in the thin air were also workouts in themselves.

I was supposed to fly home today, but the client here asked me to stay for another week.  I had wanted to go to the gym, but couldn’t find the lock I use for the gym lockers among my newly-unpacked luggage, so I opted to do another bodyweight workout inside my hotel room.

  • Box jumps
  • Pistol squats
  • Jackknife pushups
  • Pushups
  • Russian twists
  • Planks

Day 731: Weightless

Day 731

It’s my penultimate day at the client’s office in Lima, and with it, a lot of work that still needs to be done.  The day after tomorrow, I am leaving with my colleague for five days in Cusco to see the pre-Columbian ruins in the area, including Machu Picchu.  We leave very early in the morning, so I decided not to go to the gym today and instead do my workout inside my hotel room so that I can sleep earlier and prepare for the week ahead.  Here are the exercises I did:

  • Squat jumps
  • Supine hip extensions (single-leg)
  • Horizontal pull-ups
  • Windshield wipers
  • Plank walk-ups

It’s supposed to be a “pull” type session today, but since I do not have a pullup bar in the room, nor anywhere to hang from vertically, I had to skip the vertical pull movement.  Luckily however, the overhang of the (inbuilt) bathroom sink did provide enough room for me to do the horizontal rows with head under the sink and my hands supinated.