Day 99: Mission 2 Begins!

Day 99

Today I started mission two: Bigger and Stronger!

Here are my stats as of this morning, October 20th 2008:

  • Height: 168.5 cm (5ft 6in)
  • Total mass: 66.2 kg (145.6 lb)
  • Bodyfat percentage: 8.7%
  • Fat mass: 5.7 kg (12.6 lb)
  • Lean mass: 60.5 kg (133.0 lb)

As you can see, I have gained back about 0.9 kg of fat mass over the past two weeks (and gained 0.7 kg of lean mass) after I completed Metabolic Surge‘s Shredding phase and switched to the Strength and Recovery Phase. That is okay as aside from the strength training workouts, I have returned to a relatively normal eating plan (including eating foods like cake and cookies which I avoided during MS) and layed off on cardio (except for the two sessions over the past four days) in order to let my body recover and “reset” itself. As Tom Venuto says, one trains to reach a “peak”, but the peak by definition is followed by a trough, as peak condition cannot be maintained. The dedicated physique athlete then works on getting to a higher peak on the next cycle. That is my aim!

If I add at least 0.25 kg (0.5 lb) of quality muscle per week for twelve weeks while getting my fat mass to equal to or lower than at my previous “peak”, then my body composition would look like this:

  • Height: 168.5 cm (5ft 6in)
  • Total mass: 68.3 kg (150.3 lb)
  • Bodyfat percentage: 7.0%
  • Fat mass: 4.8 kg (10.6 lb)
  • Lean mass: 63.5 kg (139.7 lb)

This would get me to a new peak.

So now I’m buckling down and moving toward this new goal.  My plan looks like this:

Nutrition: Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle plan, between 100 to 110% of maintenance level calories

Resistance Training: StrongLifts 5X5 Beginner program, 3 times a week, plus Flatten Your Abs core training

Cardio: 1 to 2 times a week on rest days (HIIT or steady state) if needed to control bodyfat levels.

For those who are not familiar with it yet (I’m still learning too!), the Stronglifts 5X5 training plan calls for whole body workouts three times a week, focusing on increasing the resistance on the compound exercises such as squats, bench press, deadlifts, overhead press, power clean, and pullups/chinups.  The goal is to increase the resistance by 2.5 kg on each exercise, each workout, using a 5 sets X 5 reps protocol.  The author recommends starting with an empty olympic bar (20 kg) on all the bar exercises with the exception of deadlifts (40 kg) in order to learn proper form.

So that’s exactly what I did today.  On the training plan were squats, bench presses, power cleans, and pushups.  I went to the gym, swallowed my ego, and did my workout with the empty bar!  Surrounded by big guys, it felt a bit unnerving.  However, I knew that if I don’t miss a workout and don’t stall, then there would be an increase of 30 kg of resistance every four weeks.  In twelve weeks, I can be squatting 110 kg for 5X5 with proper form (hips below parallel), which would be more than what I can do now for 1X5 using crappy form.  I did find that I could focus on proper form and balance the loading on my muscles when working with the empty bar, so that’s good.

Eat clean, train hard, and expect success!

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10 thoughts on “Day 99: Mission 2 Begins!

  1. Hi Ron,
    Just read all aboutl your new workouts and PLAN, and it sounds so good. so glad you finally decided on what to do and how….so good to have it all clear. Good luck to you. Know you´ll have lots to do and think about.
    Lylnda

  2. Hi Ron! So glad to know finally what you’re up to! Can’t wait for your daily comments and your results! you’re so disciplined that I just know you’re gonna succeed!… compound movements.. once my speciality (a couple of years ago :0|) I’m deciding to give you my blog adress… I got so motivated by your results on Metabolic surge that I decided to start right on!, I’m on day 15 and I think it’s working.. my blog is in spanish as I was to shy to do it in english and show it to so many people… just something that I have to deal with… so, keep going boy…

  3. Thanks Lynda. I too am glad to have another mission going. Didn’t want to go too long without any sense of direction, as that’s a recipe for disaster.

  4. Hi Celina,

    When you’re ready, let me know your blog address… I could use some Spanish reading comprehension practice 🙂 No, seriously, I look forward to seeing you achieve your fitness goals too.

    P.S. I am inspired by you saying that you were a weightlifter at sometime too! So Mission 2 is primarily about strength and technique.

  5. Mehdi knows of what he speaks. I have never seen muscle gains like I have seen on the SL 5×5. Even way back when I was in great shape. That is what I have been doing for 64 days now. The squats are the key. Glad to see I picked a good plan, after all if it is endorsed by Ron the “super shredder!”

  6. Aw, shucks, Eric, I’m not quite worthy of that title, Adam is! I didn’t know you were doing SL 5X5; it does look like it’s working well on you! I did pick it as I wanted to go back to basics and use progressive overload, and I think this one is progressive overload pure and simple. And I do love doing big movements like squats, deadlifts, and even dabbled in power cleans a few months ago.

  7. Hey Ron, when you come over to WA, how long will you be here? We’ll have to organise a weekend or something for you to come down (you will be welcome to stay at my place). I can then put you through the gruelling pain of using a Quad Blaster. Something to think about and plan for.

  8. Ron

    It looks like we are both starting strong lifts around the same time. I know he recommends an empty bar but I punted on that and started at a weight I knew I could easily do the 5 – I’ve been lifting a long time and I didn’t see the point of doing something so easy. I’ll be interested to see how it works out for you.

    Just for reference, I am doing the stronglifts program. On off days, I plan on doing bodyweight/resistance band stuff just to keep moving – the key will be to NOT tire myself out on those. Eating-wise, I am doing paleo/evolutionary fitness eating. I usually fast 2x a week, but I am forgoing that for this phase as I a trying to put muscle on.

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