One of the downsides of living and working in Longford was the lack of a gym in the area! There was a few around the place alright, but they were all hotel gyms. These are usually gyms that are fitted with every machine under the sun. Machines that claim to isolate x, y and z and get you huge in minutes. There usually surrounded by soul and joint destroying cardio machines and the only bar in sight is locked into the dreaded Smith Press (For those who do train with a smith press, STOP. This machine limits the bars movement to only vertically up and down, removing the natural horizontal movement required to not destroy your joints in any exercise. It also allows the user to ‘lean into’ the machine, reducing the amount of work needed to lift a weight). This along with dumbbells that are more paperweights than anything proves for a pretty poor workout.
To over come this, as frequent readers will know, I directed my training to body weight and kettle-bell exercises. Admittedly I did make serious gains with this workout and I’m proud of myself for not just saying “Ah screw it”. Although I did enjoy it, it’s not my true love when it comes to working out. For me, you can’t beat lifting heavy stuff. Stuff so heavy that when you go to squat or deadlift, its like you’ve hit a brick wall when you go to lift the weight. You mentally go, “Sufferin succotash, that shits not light”. But then, when you rep that sucker out, despite it being so hard you feel like your head is about to explode, only to be followed very soon after by your arse, you don’t half feel like a man. I love heavy barbell training, and hopefully now that I’ve access to a great gym, I can do it for the foreseeable future!
Because of this, it was easy for me to decide which direction to go with a program. I wanted something that’s fun, hard, and will help me lose this last bit of fat that I’m carrying around. My long-lost training partner Rory just happened to be finishing up the first phase of a Jason Ferruggia program called “Classic RBC”. If I’m honest, I’m not sure what the RBC stands for, but that doesn’t really matter. He said the first phase was great fun and seriously hard work. So, I decided to start phase two with him. This would also lead to a “removed training partner” kind of set up, where we could bounce ideas and weights off each other and spur each other on. Seamed like a great idea to me, so with that, I had my program chosen.
I wont go into the program in huge detail, but just the main points I’ve seen so far. For one, Rory was right. This program is hard, but so fun. I’m really enjoying being back, and barbel training is all that I remember it to be. For the most part, I’ve not lost a huge amount of strength. For most of the exercises (It has stuff I’ve not done in about 4 years, like curls) I’m only about 10-15% off what I was back when I was in Ben Dunne’s Gym in Dublin which is good considering it’s been a year of training outside a gym since then. I suspect that I will pick back up that loss in the coming weeks pretty quick.
Something that is really annoying is my major lift strength which has dropped hugely. I’m now so far off my personal best deadlift of 147.5Kg its depressing. Im only at about 80 Kg now or so, and really really pushing it at that. Form is a huge effort and really, Ill prob back off 5 Kg this week to make sure its 100% before going forward again. Squat is similar, with me being at about the 80Kg mark with that too. These are complex heavy lifts though, and hopefully they will come back quick. I love doing them, so I don’t mind working hard at them to get them back up, but its still depressing to be so light in the lifts. I guess thats the price you pay when you’re not doing heavy lifting for a year. Heres hoping it not too long, and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.
In good news though, my bench is only about 10% less or so, maybe 15%. I can’t recall exactly, but I think my max bench was close to 82.5Kg, which was still 10Kg off my body weight at the time (I could be wrong on these figures now). Today, the program called for benching and the heaviest I went was 70 KG for 6 reps. Considering my BW atm is 69 Kg, that’s my bodyweight bench ticked. Huge milestone for me and I’m delighted to have made it. However, I know I have more in the tank, and with a couple more weeks of this, Ill be sure to be looking back at this 70 Kg and laughing. So here goes!
Anyway, that’s the gist of the program and coming up before the end of the week will be a picture progress post. So all you followers looking for some bank material, keep checking!
Over and out!