Well, after being on BodySpace for 4 years, I have learned some great stuff from everyone. But I've always had to fight against my preconceived notions, old patterns, ego and hunger.
When I first started out on BodySpace, I was pretty fat. I had been bulking for who knows how long. But my arms were big, so I was "happy". I still wanted more. I started taking pics of myself after every workout and posting. Immediately, I was hooked...., on me! The feedback from everyone on the site was just addicting. But I always gave back. I felt and still feel part of a really cool community of fanatics like me. Soon, I started cutting for the first time in my training life, I mean REALLY cutting. From the advice of different programs on BodyBuilding.com, I began a diet where I only had carbs in the form of a preworkout and postworkout shake. I only took in fruit juice. Other than that, I ate nothing but veggies and lean meats with a little bit of olive oil. But I did allow 2 cheat meals a week. (They were pure heaven). If you look at my 2009 photos, I was pretty cut up, but not like a lot of the folks on this site. Problem: My clothes were just falling off of me. I had to cinch all of my pants and my shirts fit so loosely. I looked great post workout and with my shirt off, but I had eventually lost too much muscle.
So I bulked back up and down, just trying out different things for another 2 years. This year, I found myslef kind of broke. I tried vegetarian eating for 3 months. Actually, it was ovo-lacto vegetarianism; eggs here and there, but a lot of Greek yogurt. And guess what. I was able to keep my complete proteins high, my amino acid levels good and I felt great! My head was clearer, I slept better, etc. Plus I was saving between $25-30 a week on groceries. Oh, and it started leaning me out while I kept some great mass.
Well, I stopped the vegetarian eating when I took on my personal trainer friend's program with macronutrients. I couldn't take in the carbs like I had had to do in order to get a complete protein along with the veggies. And here is where I am today. As of the day I'm writing this blog, I have finished week 6 with my trainer's program and diet. Again, I have dropped below 180 lbs at around 12.5% body fat. So what's the diffference? Mass. My pants all fit the same as always and I fill out the sleeves of my shirts just fine! In other words, when I followed my old veggies and meats diet in 2009, I dropped a ton of weight and was defined, but started getting scrawny. Now, I'm holding onto the mass but staying lean. And seriously, it's a pleasure to go to the mall and pick out clothes. I spend WAY too much time checking myself out in the mirror. By the way, my current plan doesn't call for a ton of carbs, but it does call for 100g of good fats on workout days and 135g of good fats on non-workout days. But all in all, I think the balance is really good.
The other thing that I started doing about 2 years ago, and now my trainer emphasizes, is compound exercieses; almost exclusively. They just trigger overall growth. Are bodies don't get the same kind of reaction from just isolated movements which are great for detailing or bringing up weaker body parts. But if you look at UFC wrestlers, for example, these guys are just balanced and cut. And ALL of what they do is compound exercises.
So that's where I am. I'm planning on holding where I am on the body fat while slowly seeing about massing up. I'd like to get my body used to not having a lot of fat so that it will not try to catabolize while I increase the intensity.
For information, below is my macronutrient breakdown. I basically choose good options and vary, but always follow these levels. My trainer is Aaron Sanchez of Austin, Texas.
Workout days: 375g carbs, 100g fats, 220g protein
Non-workout days: 290g carbs, 135g fats, 220g protein
(Professional Intensity Training Techniques)
I have recently embarked on a training technique like none other I've ever seen. However, I have witnessed it's efficacy from a German friend of mine who has done this technique for 1 year and has never been this muscular in his life. So I thought I'd give it a try as well.
PITT was invented by a German trainer and competitor, Karsten Pfützenreuter. And so far ALL documentation about the technique, including his book, is in German. But Google's translator can help with that.
Essentially this technique is designed to stimulate the entire body at once to grow. It doesn't focus at all on isolation but is driven on the premise that if you stimulate major muscle groups, testosteron production will go up and the whole body will grow. You therefore want to only perform movements that involve multiple muscle groups.
The basic execution is as follows: you pick a weight for the movement for which you can handle 8 repetitions. You will only do 1 set for this movement, but you will do 20 repetitions total for it. You push/pull 1 rep and then pause for 1-2 seconds. Do another rep, pause. Repeat. After the 8th or 10th rep, you're pauses will start to grow longer. You want to reach the 20th rep pushing past failure. If your pauses go past 20 seconds, the weight is too heavy. If you're pauses stay under 20 seconds and your form is still good, you need to increase the weight the following week. You will only perform 5 total exercises per workout, and the workouts will be 2 or 3 times a week only. Believe me, you will be exhausted from this type of training if done right.
One PITT website suggests these routines for 2 and 3 day weeks:
Training Group 1:
- Inclined Press - Cable Tricep pulldown
- Pec Flies - Standing Calf Raise
- Cable Delt Raises
Training Group 2:
- Squats - Rows
- Leg Extensions - Scott curls
Training Group 1:
-Cable Delt Raises
Training Group 2:
-Standing Calf Raises
Training Group 3:
-Cable Tricep pulldown
Karsten's PITT training site gives a lot more details and tells how to order the book:
I'm curious to see the results 3 months from now.
More to come ....