As January comes to a close, we’re already starting to see a slight decline in gym attendance. No surprise, really – that’s just how it goes in this business. The good news, however, is that I’m seeing more people sticking to their guns than I’ve ever seen before! A nice change of scenery for yours truly has probably aided in that. Since September, I’ve been taking clients – and primarily working out – at one of Knoxville’s top small gyms, Exclusive Fitness.
While I don’t work for Exclusive per se, I feel a great sense of pride getting to associate my name and my business with them. Owner Wade Wilburn was voted Knoxville’s #1 bodybuilder in Knoxville and a number of the area’s top bodybuilders train either at Exclusive or under Wade. We’re also home to Knoxville’s number-one yoga instructor Michelle Aycock.
I’ve done some of my work on this program at the gym where I hold a membership – National Fitness Center – but my best work has been done in the humble-yet-professional gym in Rocky Hill. It feels nice to have such great pride in the place where I do business – it’s truly been a blessing to JTF’s Viking Army, that’s for sure!
Anyway, these posts are supposed to include updated body comp readings, a training report, changes to programming and/or nutrition and current progress photos so I guess I’d better get started.
The first week of training was hard. The volume of eight sets of five on progressively heavier weights was difficult to get used to. I also realized I was spending a crazy amount of time in the gym on my two cardio days (90 minutes or more). During the second week, I got some kind of stomach bug. My notes say Sick as hell. Lost five pounds puking and shitting myself to death. Basically skipped the entire week. Not a great roadblock to hit during the second week of training, but I’m past the point of falling off the wagon.
Week three was actually my week two and it felt good to be keeping food/drink down and picking up heavy weights. It was during this week that I changed the weekday that I would be taking my weekly weight from Mondays to Fridays. I find this is more beneficial for folks who like to enjoy their weekends with some beer or pizza, speaking mostly for myself, of course. Fortunately, I was able to gain back the water weight I lost from my week of pure dehydration. Unfortunately for me, however, I wasn’t watching my nutrition as closely as I would have liked, so I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted during the first month of this program.
Changes to Programming/Nutrition
Nothing to change on nutrition other than being more cognizant about my tracking and being sure to consume enough protein during the day. I intentionally cooked meals last week that served six even though there’s only two of us so I’d have plenty of leftover chicken to eat as protein snacks throughout the week. SMART!
I’m making several changes to the training (you can see the original plan in this blog post). My previous program had me lifting 4x8 and bumping the weight up every week on the main lifts. I just took that program over into this one and quickly reached a level that was extremely difficult to perform 5x5. Keep in mind, squats are designed to go up a whopping 15 pounds per week if you can finish the sets with other main lifts going up 5-10 pounds per week! It didn’t take long before my numbers for bench press and overhead press were taking me to failure before I could finish the set, which is a style of training I simply do not believe in.
With that said, for the next month, I’m going to be following the same routine, but instead of 5x5, I’m sticking with 3x5 with further progression coming in month three.
Cardio is also changing. When I was doing my HIIT cardio on Mondays and Fridays (after strength training), I was finding myself at the gym for nearly two hours, which just isn’t feasible for someone who works two full-time jobs, even if one of them is at the gym. I was also reminded of why I do not use exercise bikes and why I stopped running. Moving forward, I’m doing my HIIT cardio in the form of boxing on my Tuesdays and Thursdays.
After one month of training, here are my stats on the Unruly Old:
Current Weight: 228.8 (-1.6 pounds)
Current Body Fat: 17.8% (-0.2%)
Call it: 3,400
Workout Days Calories/Macros: 3,400 calories, 215g protein
Non-Workout Day Calories/Macros: 2,900 calories, 215g protein
Being down 0.2% body fat maybe doesn’t seem like much but the lower you get on the body fat % scale, the slower the decrease you’ll experience. I’m attaching my month-one progress photos to indicate where I’ve noticed some decrease in fat and increase in muscle structure.
From the anterior view, I can see reduction in the suprailiac area. My anterior deltoid region has gotten noticeably more cut, as have my biceps and quads. The anterior view also shows some growth in my lats. The posterior view doesn’t show a lot of change, unfortunately, though it does highlight the definition in my posterior deltoid. Finally, the lateral view shows a noticeably slimmer gut and a much sexier beard!
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Until next time, ever onward.