It has been a while since I last updated this blog with what my current training looks like. Considering that, this section at least, is a place for me to put pen to paper on what I’m currently doing with regards to my training, nutrition and general activity levels, I’ve decided that some more frequent updates may be a good idea. As mentioned before, LiftLargeAndProsper.com is very much in a transition phase right now and I’m still deciding exactly what I want it to be. As part of that update, more personal posts on what I’m up to will become a feature of the blog section of the website.
To that end, here’s a run down on what I’ve been up to the last number of months and what my aims and hopes are for the months ahead.
October, November and December
From October to December 2014 I was very much in fat loss phase. This was not due to any real need to get lean or anything, but was more of a situational consequence. At the start of october I had become a member of the Renegade Strength Club, the paid access community that Jason Ferruggia offers, which is an area where people looking to improve their physique, mindset, skill sets and ability to maximise their potential all seem to gather. Its choc’a’bloc with a serious number of inspiring and knowledgeable people all interested in strength training and becoming awesome at all aspects of life – both inside and outside of the gym.
A benefit of being part of this community is access to Jasons most up to date programing recommendations and community competitions. For those who don’t know, the majority of my time strength training has been done following Jasons programming so joining this club is a no brainer.
Halfway through October a fat loss competition opened up, with the winner getting an all expenses paid trip to California for an awesome weekend of hiking, training, eating and laughing with the man himself. Although that would have been awesome, I entered with the aim of learning to see how my fat loss progress is when including what I would have previously considered to be a high number of carbs along with the added benefit of leaning out somewhat before the absolute gluttony that would be my christmas holidays. My training stayed more or less the same, with some extra emphasis on conditioning and sprinting, but most of the work coming from experimentation with my macronutrient breakdown.
From this exercise I learned that I really can tolerate a large volume of carbs and still lean out, so long as those carbs come from high quality sources such as potatoes and rice. Because I was still pounding the carbs, my gym performance was not affected and I still continued to make progress with my lifts and felt better than ever. It was a huge change from what I had previously experienced where I had gone zero carb and let gym performance falter.
All in all, although I was happy with the progress despite not getting quite as lean as I wanted, I was more happy with what I had learned which was the main aim of this period. A success on both counts in my book!
I finished out the year, and introduced 2015, with a nice long break. Although I’d usually take a week completely off strength training every 6-8 weeks to recover, mainly mentally, I decided that between not having a deload in a while and having a very successful year to take three weeks off and hit 2015 hard when I returned. This was a nice break to have which allowed for optimum time with Friends and Family, which is the best part about the holiday season.
January, February and March
Similar to the far side of the new year, I dedicated the first three months of this year to some experimentational learning. This was the complete opposite to the pre-Christmas period in that I am now looking to gain weight. Again, this has taken some experimentation but overall progress is good. So far I’ve kept Carbs high, moderate protein and fat low which has yielded some good results.
Alongside this I took a step away from Jasons programming and decided to create my own program for the period. Although there are some variations between the three phases, it mainly consists of some squats, deads, pressing and power snatches. I’ve thrown in some accessory work such as sledge swings and farmers walks making the program quite a heavy one. It’s a mix I’m enjoying and although it won’t be something I’ll keep going much longer, I have enjoyed the program very much.
Overall, I’m still learning a great deal and still know very little about what I should be doing to really gain weight, but I’m up 2.6Kg with only 0.5″ on my waist which isn’t too bad, I think. Anyway, regardless of weather it was perfect or not, I’ve still learned a great deal of what I wanted to with this phase of my training, and as such, things are going well!
Going forward, I have a somewhat clear idea of what I want to do. When it comes to training and programing I am going to return to Jasons works of magic, however not the weekly ones he offers in the RSC. Instead I am going to run with the three of his specialisation workouts, one each for the back, chest and arms. I have loved all the previous ones of his I have completed and I trust these will be no different.
Alongside this, I also have never really looked to direct my training to one particular area over another. Up to now I’ve mainly trained for strength and health, with the side effect of physique changes being a positive overflow of that. Moving to programming which is directed to being a bit more vein in the end goals will be fun and a nice change of pace from what I would call the norm.
Nutritionally I’m also going to make some slight changes. Rather than bouncing back and forth like a yoyo, I’ll be looking to just dial it back a little bit. Initially I will be looking to lose some fat that has found its way onto me over this last three months, but from then I’ll simply be looking at eating like a horse but doing my best to not let body fat be affected too much. Really, it will again be a period of learning and experimentation to try and find what works for me and allows me to get stronger and faster whilst also allowing me to stay as lean as I want.
All things considered, I’m in a good place. Training is going the best it ever has and I’ve never felt stronger. I’m loving the pace I’m going at and heres hoping to many more months of it ahead!