So quite a lot has changed since I last posted about working out. As many of you have shown interest, I’ve, by request put together an update and some things I’ve learnt. Hopefully this is motivation and might get some butts off couches etc.
So, the main thing that has changed is my mindset. I don’t have an end goal in mind – My theory as was, is to get happy with myself, trim the excess and keep something that isn’t too much maintenance which remains. The difference now being that I’m more so enjoying the gym than thinking of it as a chore. Everytime I learn something new I want to get to the gym to try it and see where I’m at with it.
So the Major change has been from moving away from a cardio focused routine into something more weight orientated with targeted work outs. I’ve been watching on Youtube a guy called Larry Wheels, whos moved from body building to power lifting and strong man comps. Hes got a great channel I’ll link further down. The main thing is taking his work outs and making them something I can manage. For me I’m not going for personal records everyday so I’m not trying to lift the most I can, so much as lifting enough that by the end of the set I’m well pumped and that seems to be working.
For example, Dead lifts.. I never really knew how to do any of these properly and I knew form was going to be more important than hucking weight around and the last thing I want to do is risk injury right now as I know it would set me back. So I watched some videos on how to dead lift properly. I started with just the bar, got my form right.. then threw on 40KG’s – its not much but it gives enough resistance to know if the form is working. I’d do 5 sets of 5 like that then once I can feel whats burning and whats working to make that work I’d up the weight to 80kgs, then 120kgs – I’ve done 175kg’s like that working up doing less sets between adding weight and by that 175kg I only managed 2 reps. So now, when I have dead lifts on my agenda for the day I’ll start at 80kg and go to 140kg doing 3×5 sets the whole way and not push past that. The main reason for not pushing past that level is that I don’t really need to and the risk of getting it wrong out weighs the personal glory of doing it, of course as I get stronger and better at them those numbers will creep up but I’m in no rush at all I’m enjoying the ride and the process.
So that should give you an example of how I’m experimenting with things,
It’s been the same for other things, the slowest of which to come was squats. The main reason squats were hard for me was after my shitty shoulder reconstruction I had a lot of trouble getting my arm to the bar behind me, but after a 2 months of rehab-ing it while at the gym I finally managed to get it back to a point where it didnt hurt and could support the bar so I’ve so far only managed 80kgs but I’m stoked that I can add that to my routine.
In terms of day to day, I’ll allocate different areas to each day. but there is a process.
First thing I do is go stretch, I’ll work everything from head to toe. I’m hyper flexible anyway but i’ll still work everything as far as I can, I use a lot of Yoga poses for that but with many years of martial arts I’ll focus on those stretches. It’s a good way to wake up those muscles and let them know they are about to work.
Then something I started lately is to use super light weight to wake up joints, mainly my shoulders as that’s a problem for me, just to warm them up and not smash them hard from the get go, often i’ll do a bit of a cross training with free weights hitting all the majors just to get the ball rolling. For me I feel best to go do the real work once I’ve had a quick pump to get things fired up. Kinda like when I hit the bike park the first lap is a wake up lap then its on, if that correlates ? that’s how I think anyway.
So for an upper body day i’ll focus arms shoulders and chest. Each group will get at least 3 exercises so Biceps will get 3 at least, triceps will get 3 at least and so on, then to chest will get about 5 as there are so many ways to work chest. What I’m buzzing on right now is learning all the different ways to do things. For an incline bench press, I’ll do 15 reps, first 5 are slow down fast up, the next 5 are fast down slow up and the last 5 are crusiey but controlled. A Similar thing I do for Biceps where standing with a bar i’ll do curls, the first 5 come up to half rep, the next 5 do the upper half of the movement and the last 5 do the full movement. That will happen 3 times while swapping back n forth Bicep exercise to Triceps and back etc.
If people are really really interested I can write up all that rep for rep but I think people get the jist?
Anywho once I’ve done all of those mid level weight exercises I’ll always finish up with some cardio, I was told that cardio at the end is better but not to over do it on the heart rate. My focus is to get to and maintain 135bpm for however long I decide to go for, my runs are pretty consistent time wise and I’ll make a call depending on how much I’ve done that day as to how far I plan on running, 2.4km takes about 15 mins at that level, 5km can take about 25-30 mins. so i’ll dail in a distance, crank up some heavy shit on the headphones and just switch off to everything else and monitor the heart rate.
Outside of that, Food hasn’t changed a huge amount, I eat more often and what I put in I try do as clean as possible. I was watching what Brian Shaw ( strong man ) eats and its a fuckload of protein and like sweet potatoes, i’ll link that video its crazy, but I used to be a breakfast and dinner kinda person and eat big in the evening. These days I’ll make sure I’ve got a moderate size breakfast and i’ll avoid anything that’s gonna give me trouble working out, Bacon for example sits in your gut and your body is constantly yelling FUCK YOU FUCK YOU till its processed and that takes hours, the only time I do it would be if I’m having a chill morning and I make a big omelette and i’ll throw some diced up bacon in that, but i’ll use shoulder bacon as apposed to streaky and dice it up and throw that in.
Dinners are dinners, The thing I’ve said to myself all along is that I don’t want to compromise happiness for results, and in that it means if I wana go review a new burger i’ll do it. If I wana go smash some sals I’ll smash it, I don’t want to get in a situation where I’m depriving myself to achieve a goal that at this stage I’ve not realized what it is / could be. I love food, I love cooking and that’s not something I’m willing to give up. That said, Sugar is a huge one for fat loss, and I’m known to be a bit of an energy drink fiend, I dont drink coffee so my caffeine comes from energy drinks. I’l start the day with one but that’s it now, I know that’s going to show big results and I can find substitutes like sugar free coke if I want something sweet. I did order some Gfuel online, I should really order some more. you can check it out but basically its like energy drink raro from fruit extracts with next to no calories and no sugar, and because the energy / mental boost comes from plants not processed sugars its absorbed differently and bypassed my caffeine tolerance and was quite effective yet quite expensive to try in a small order.
As far as powders and supplements go I’ve not had any, just food. I’m not against them, I’d probably personally avoid a pre-workout but I just don’t personally see the value in supplements vs good clean food I’m sure there are many good reasons since so many people use them, I’m just not about spending all that money on them ( sponsor me? haha ) my next investment would likely be lifting wraps and a decent belt, there are belts we can use at the gym but I’d want a ratchet one cause they flick off super fast and get instant relief, of course both of those mean relearning things but that’s cool this is all a learning curve right now.
And I guess that about brings us up to date, still no end game just enjoying the journey and seeing what changes, starting to see some results which is awesome and certainly and more importantly for me, I feel better in myself, stronger and more focused. All of these things combined help overall happiness and mental health so its been a real good thing being back at the gym. Speaking of which I’m training at Forge Fitness in Helensville, main reason is its the closest one, The guy that runs it is great, really supportive and not in your face when you’re busy. The vibe overall is pretty chill, no real meatheads on roids like the last one I was at. I never set out to make friends, I’ve chatted with a few people but its not a social visit for me, that and I think I have resting bitch face but I try smile when I make eye contact with people. The Gym itself has most things I want, sure there are always other things that would be nice to haves, I’m considering doing a sauna at home cause a post work out sauna is so damn good, but most things can be done with free weights so far.
I guess if there are questions feel free, and again if there are things that require more information and I’m more than happy to elaborate, if this gets some butts off couches I’ll consider it a win. This is just how I’m doing things for me with the research I’ve done, if you can, get a Personal Training session and set some short term goals, and build from there. I’ve learnt there is quite the evolution to it and if you set smaller goals earlier they will be easier to get and you’re less likely to give up.
In terms of my inspiration, here’s Larry Wheels,
He’s got a bunch of instructional videos, and a lot of vlog style videos following around his work outs with others and he’l always explain things really well so I’ve learnt a lot that way.
So this is another guy I watch a lot of, Shaw Strenght, he seems like the nicest big guy out there. Of course this isn’t ideal for eating everyday but it gives you an insight as to what the mindset is of someone whos really pushing the limits and putting all the science into it. Personally I’m on 3 meals a day and if I’m still hungry at 9pm I’ll snack on mince and pasta or something along those lines, i’ll do a separate video on mean eats about that maybe its super tasty.
Then there is this crazy cat, which is what kicked off me finding all these people, JujiMufu, You’ve probably seen some of his viral videos but what these guys acheive is impressive, that and they are constantly challenging each other which is a great way to make progress
So I’ll leave you with all that, and happy to answer questions here and the social media pages – keep pushing team! start today