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 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.

Day 728: A good day of work at the gym

Day 728

I was (and still am) quite a bit sore before I went to the gym today, but decided to push through anyway, making sure to do a good dynamic warm-up routing.  I did my exercises a little out of the usual order, as the squat rack (and the space around it) was being used, and that is the only place I could do my explosive movement exercises.  It was not a problem, however, as the fellow using it was quite friendly and notified me as soon as the rack was free for me to use.

  • Reverse-grip bench press
  • Hang jump shrugs
  • Split squats
  • Dumbbell push presses
  • Corkscrews
  • Planks

I was able to push myself quite hard today, especially on the hang jump shrugs and split squats, where I was able to increase my loading by a significant amount.  I also noted some improvement in the reverse-grip bench press, and a little in the dumbbell push press.

Day 726: Sore but still pushing it

Day 726

Things have been busy, busy, busy at work.  It’s my last few days working on the project here in Lima, and there are still quite a few loose ends to tie.  Nevertheless, I made sure to get to the gym this evening, and do the following exercises.

  • Hang power cleans
  • Single-leg back extensions
  • Horizontal pullups
  • Side-to-side pullups
  • (Medicine ball) 1-2-3 throws
  • Dynamic planks

My legs and glutes were still sore from doing Bulgarian split squats two days ago, and I was thinking of not pushing myself too much.  However, my right wrist has sufficiently healed so I did not feel any pain when doing the catch portion of the power cleans.  I thought it was a good time to try to progress the loading on this exercise and set/rep combination (4X5), and I almost succeeded, just missing the very last rep.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to push myself as hard with side-to-side pullups.  Perhaps I used up my power on the power cleans, perhaps it was the different set of pullup bars.  I do know that pullups are much tougher when done toward the end of the session instead of the beginning!

There were no medicine balls at the gym I go to here in Lima, so instead of throwing a medicine ball, I substituted with a dumbbell instead.  I made sure to hold instead of throw it in the “throw” movement though!

Day 724: Turning Bulgarian

Day 724

  • Dumbbell snatches
  • Alternating sets of
    • Side-to-side pushups
    • Jackknife pushups
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Cable push-pull rotations
  • Planks

I was on my first set of split squats when I felt that the initial weight I put was too heavy.  I thought I was just having a bad day, so I decided not to increase the weight, but instead, decreased the weight a little in the third out of the four sets.  When I looked back on my training notebook, I realized I was doing Bulgarian split squats (with the rear foot raised on a bench) instead of split squats (with the rear foot on the floor).  Even with the reduced weight I was close to my best weight for 6 reps on this exercise, so it turned out ok.