The time has come for my new journal!
The last year I've done a lot of maturing in and out of the gym. I've relearned to stay open minded with bodybuilding. There are dozens of ways to achieve each and every goal, and following someone elses advice, even if it's the right advice may still be the wrong advice because it isn't applicable to yourself. I've learned how if you want to be the best that you can be at a given aspiration (and in my case bodybuilding) that every angle must be covered. Meaning to truly excel in bodybuilding, I have to grow and progress in aspects of life one would on the surgace seemingly think completely unrelated to the goal at hand. When you devote every ounce of energy into one goal, into the glory of potentially one day I've learned you're setting yourself up for diasater. When the first thing doesn't go according to your believed to be perfect plan there is no backup solace in life.
Theres more to life than hitting that PR, gaining that LBM, dropping that BF.
For the last 8 and half years all I have known is 7 1/2 months of intense bulking, followed by 4 1/2 of intense cutting. My cuts have been made more difficult than they need be by bulking that hasn't been focused enough. And my bulks have been less than optimally focused by cuts that have driven me to mental and hormonal insanity.
Goals I'm leaving these vague, and short purposely. I'm still very undecided on the exact route of my next year. But as general goals go:
- Get healthy and stay healthy. Right now I have a very worn out body. I have aches and tight muscles and pains all over. I need to train smarter and push myself only to my physical limits, not past them hampering recovery or potentially compromising joints etc. Additionally my endocrine system is taxed. It's is still offbalanced and skews my thinking and rationalizing. Leveling this out before making serious pushes I believe is very important.
- Maintain a leaner offseason weight
- Become more well versed in training. My training has changed very little in the 8 years I've done so seriously (other than increase in volume). I want to stay open minded and possibilty even work with specific programs
- Become more powerful, flexible and overall healthy individual. My 8 years of training has very little carry over into real world applicability. I may look better than the guy next to me, but in reality there's practically nothing outside of the gym that I've excelled myself in through bodybuilding. I love the idea of strongman and or GPP type training. Whether or not I have the time or energy/recovery to incorporate some of this realworld style training in I don't know. I would like to attempt to though.
- Be a better a friend, brother, son, coworker. I need to stay real with myself be there for others. So much of my life is devoted to bodybuilding that in the past when my family has asked a favor of me that could potentially interefere with my bodybuilding I get irritable and upset about it. I need to remember what is most important in life and that is far from any bodybuilding aspiration. Additionally I need to maintain a healthy enough year round balance that my cutting season makes an actual worthwhile employee. My productivity at work in the last two months of cutting this year was literally 1/3 at best my potential. And that is just not right. To basically cheat my employer because of my selfish ambitions to be shredded.
- Finally to just be human. To live life for once. To not be bouncing from extremes. To hang out with friends year round. To be a person who is constantly challenging himself in ALL aspects of life. Not just the gym!
That is really only a brief summary of my ambitions. I'm sure more will be iterated in time as this journal carries on.
Now for some lifting details. Right now I'm around 190lbs, 13%. Yes, that high. Am I bother by it? Minimally. I know when my hormones are whacked. I've essentially crash dieted for 8 years and never really came off it healthily. At times it's taken months to feel normal again. In the past month I've definetly improved. I have some libido, I don't think about food 95% of time. More like 30-40%. I have energy at work again. My setpoint without lifting is well over 20% bodyfat. I know this because two times in my 8 years I've gone for long stints of not lifting. Once in the fall of 2006 I stopped for 6 weeks and crept to 20ish%. And last february when I cracked my ribs my bodyfat crept up to 20-22%. In 2006 when I came back to lifting after my layoff even with 0 diet modifications my bodyfat dropped back down to 15-16%. I've also evaluated that in bulking times in the past when my volume and intensity was prepetually at it's peak I can comfortably maintain 12-13% without any real diet modifications. Once I feel more hormonally leveled out I my plan is to keep my lifting split an extensive one that keeps me in the gym often, with a few minor diet changes that allow me to 1. still live a normal life, and 2. possibly stay in the 10-12% range. I've been experimenting with an IF style of eatting as of lately. I'm not sure I will follow this to a T in the offseason but I know from the past that my body does in fact partition calories extremely well post workout. Almost mesomorphic. I think simply a shift of even some my calories to later in the day around my workouts will merit me lower offseason bodyfat alone. Whether a shift in the majority of the calories IF style will be necessary and/or net me less BF is something I am anxious to experiment with.
Lifting split If you followed my previous journal you'll know I trained extremely instinctually. I didnt have a monday "x bodypart" day or a thursday "train this" day. I simply kept the same rotation of workouts and trained the upcoming one when I felt I could. For now I'm reverting back to a standard weekly split. that will look like this
The biggest change in this split is it merges my leg training back together whereas over the last year I've trained quads and hamstrings seperately. While I think that had some advantages I also know it took a toll on my joints, especially when I was cutting. A big thing was that in order to isolate either quads or hams I was using leg X and leg curl heavily. Both of which I think took a toll on my knees and tendons. Combine that with high impact HIIT running I was doing and they're still beat up. The leg workout I have planned for the current time is power dominant. I don't think there is any question that to get my legs where I really want them to be that some serious progressive overload is going to be key. I can squat respectibly in a bodybuilding style but when opened up to a powerlifting style it's quite pathetic. I'm unbalanced in the quads vs posterior chain. The leg day I developed is simple, yet I feel appropriate. Consisting of box squats, SLDLs, then walking lunges.
I also plan to get into some foam rolling and stretching both now for rehab, but also keeping up with it for prehab.
There you have it. I have no doubt this upcoming year will be my best yet! Stay tuned!