After a 5 week forced layoff due to my work hours, I'm back at the gym with a regular workout schedule.
During the 5 weeks off , I managed to get to the gym at least once a week, sometimes two. I lost some size and strength, but not much. I did however, gain some bodyfat.
Even though I lost some size, the layoff seems to have been a good thing. My motivation and concentration is better than before, and the gains and strength are coming back quickly. I'm staying on a building phase for 6 weeks, then I'll work on cutting down.
My last workout plan was great, at least it felt great going back to heavy workouts. And combine with the 4X10 on some exercises with 30 seconds rest, I made some progress. But after 8 weeks, it is time to change things up.
However, I am working on a new project for work right now, and the hours are long- 16 hour days, 6 days a week. And this will happen for 5 week. So I only have one day a week for the gym. I hate full body workouts because it seems like I never fully work anything. But I don't have a choice and I can only hope I don't fall back too much.
Maybe a light workout/layoff is a good thing; I'll be that much more motivated in 5 weeks.
So I'm one week into my new workout plan, and it feels great. I love going back to some heavy lifting. On a new workout, I always take a step back in weight the first week so I can concentrate on form. However, since I haven't been doing heavy work for a while, I underestimated my weights on arm day.
Here is an overview of my new workout. It's based on a book called "Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout" by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson from IronMan magazine. It combines heavy work with drop sets, and 4X sets (4 sets of 10, with 30 seconds rest between sets). It combines the heavy, low rep principals with high rep/long tension times. It's a four day spit: Monday- Chest, Calves, Abs; Tuesday - Back, Forearms; Wednesday - Quads, Hamstrings; Friday - Delts, Triceps, Biceps, Solus. The spit may seem a bit odd, but it gives you a one direct hit and one indirect hit per muscle group, per week. For example, direct chest on Monday and indirect on Friday with Tricep work.
Also, I'm doing one day of cardio a week right now. I'm really not sure if that should be two days, but I'll see how one goes for now.
I have been on a business trip for a few months now. For the first month, I did not have access to a kitchen and had to eat all my meals out. That really sucked. However, my workouts have remained strong. My current workout is taken from principals of IronMan magazine. It involves traditional heavy workouts and 4X workouts, and using X-reps and Negative Accentuated reps on some exercises. This workout feels great; the pumps are amazing. I'm making size and strength gains, but not as fast as I'd like. Are we ever happy with the rate of our gains? But at 44, the reality is that its working well.
One possiblitiy is that I'm not sure if I'm eating enough. But I have this fear of eating too much and getting fat (again). I've worked hard to get the BF down, and really don't want to loose that. Plus the business travel makes eating properly a bit of a challenge.
Any diet advice out there?
I had been on the same workout plan for 8 weeks, so it is time to change things up. My strength went up on most exercises, but I didn't make the size gains that I had wanted on the last plan. In fact, I have had a few size setbacks. There are a few possible reasons. The first is that a lot of the exercises were to be done in 4X style and I wasn't strict on sticking to 30 seconds rest; its easy to take longer without realizing it. The second is that I had an 8 week, out of town, business trip and was not eating enough; I hate eating in restaurants all the time so I use a lot of meal replacements such as 2:1 bars and Muscle-Link's muscle meals. However, I wasn't getting enough calories, and dropped weight. A third possible reason (although its a push) is that I was out of Muscle-Link Cort-Block; its a great supplement that helps protect from muscle loss, especially when work days get long and crazy. However, it has been out of stock everywhere for over 2 months.
I really want to add size and need to add calories to do it. But I enjoy having my body fat so low and don't want to loose that. I will experiment to see how much I can add and still keep the body fat down. Anyone have any advice on that? And I think that my Tanita body fat scale lies; the measurements change by the minute.
The 4X workout worked well and was a great change from the heavy weight, low rep workouts. But it got stale and the gains stopped (and I got bored). I wanted to go back to the heavy workouts, but still wanted to incorporate the 4X ideas. My new plan is based on "The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout" from an e-book by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson of IronMan magazine. It combines the traditional heavy pyramid work with 4X work. And as I progress, its a great basis to add additional intensity methods like partial reps and negative accentuated reps. I've been on it for two weeks and it feels great.
I started a new workout plant this week. I felt that I need a change, and something different from the heavy weight, low rep workouts. So I decided to try the 4X plan in an issue of IronMan magazine. It uses lighter weight but higher intensity. I'm not convinced that this will build size yet; it does go against the traditional beliefs. But I'm going to give it a try for four weeks. I have done two workouts so far with this plan and they are intense. Afterwards, I have felt muscle soreness in new ways.
After two months of very long work days (16 hour days, 6 days a week), I lost some size and strength since I could not get to the gym as much as I wanted. However, I did manage to keep eating well. For the past two weeks, I have been back to working out hard, and I managed to get back to where I was. Now I'm well motivated to move forward - to build new size and strength.
I just finished a heavy building phase, and I gained some size. But my body fat went up also, from 8% to 9.5%. I still have the vascularity but my abs are not as pronounced. Keeping proper nutrition has been difficult the last month due to my work schedule: 12 to 16 hour days. Things are lightening up right now for a few weeks, so I'm keeping better track of it.