Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

General Summary:

As previously mentioned I am trying to make my blog as reader friendly as possible so in an attempt to do so my weekly updates will be much shorter and sweet starting from now with all other general posts coming throughout the week under other categories. I will also look to include more progress photos and videos.

With regards to last week, it was time to get back to the grind I decided to step it up a notch and start trying to tighten up my condition.

I was slightly unorganized last week in terms of my schedule which doesn’t suit me as I tend to get slightly nervy and stressed when I find that my plan is not laid out ahead of time. Nonetheless, I had a general sense of what I wanted to achieve last week and I put it into motion.

Below is the usual weekly overview of my weight and workouts, this image will be changed next week and I will expand on why in a later post when I breakdown my current diet.



Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Main change in my diet was the slight decrease of fats and slight increase of carbs. Throughout the week I aimed for my diet macros (P: 215g , F: 60g, C: 235g) with only one day where my macros were slightly tweaked as I ate out where I didn’t track my meal.

With regards to supplementation – oh my did I miss my coffee the week before! So glad to have started drinking coffee again, not only because of its benefits in regards to energy and focus but also for the taste! I’ve also included again my other performance supplements into the stack.

Health supplements – MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D

Performance supplements – BCAAs, Creatine, Beta-alanine, Citruline Malate, Caffeine

Whey Isolate also forms part of my stack however I see this as more of a diet related supplement.


My training programme changed as I came off my deload week and also decided it was time to step up a notch. In attempt to keep my strength throughout this cutting I have decided to start again the Jim Wendler 5/3/1 programme with a bodybuilding training style twist to it. I will break it down in a post how I have adapted this into my needs. With regards to my workouts I had 5 workouts in the week with 2 cardio sessions (1 HIIT with Kettlebell work, 1 LISS on treadmill).

Week ahead:

Lucky me I’ve got both Thursday and Friday off so I will be having myself a long weekend and hopefully this will allow me to get some personal bests in the gym but we will see.

Anyway my plans for this week is to have a more structured plan of attack to my workouts and give you a general update on my current diet approach.

I have also recently purchased a Polar watch to be able to track my calories burnt and heart rate during the workout – more on this to come soon.

Weekly Motivation:

Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson


General Summary:

Firstly let me wish you all a very Happy Easter, hope you all had a great time with the loved ones and enjoyed yourselves.

I myself had a very positive and relaxed week which I took the opportunity of the few days off work to schedule in a de-load week.

As I had suggested last week, I scheduled in my first de-load week since I’ve started my cutting which consisted of a de-load inside the gym as well as outside it. At times I struggle with de-load weeks as I find a lack of motivation to go to the gym and not push myself to the limits which than impacts my commitments outside the gym i.e. my diet; however last week I found myself on top of it and really motivated to face the de-load.

Given that my week was of a lighter touch than usual I won’t go into the usual details breakdown. As you are able to see below, I technically only had 3 deload workouts in the week on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I then decided to take 3 days completely off with hardly any energy expenditure. In terms of my diet, I kept the same macros that I have used for past weeks and completely de-loaded off my performance supplements (including not having any caffeine apart from a green tea here and there).

I have excluded yesterday – Sunday the 20th of April; from last week because I actually started my new training cycle on that day for convenience purpose and will include it in my next weekly update. However for future updates (after next week’s), I will start the week on a Monday and ending on a Sunday for the weekly update purpose.

I also decided to not focus too much on my weigh ins throughout the week as I knew that the reading may have been slightly above average due to lack of energy expenditure. This could have potentially lead to negative thoughts.

Remember it was a de-load week of everything – including all the stress built up!


Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Week ahead:

So my week ahead actually started yesterday with the first training session of my new routine. I felt fresh in every aspect and really relinquishing the opportunity to push myself further! I have taken last week to re-assess my progress so far and to re-think my approach.

Having done this I have decided that I want to really push further now and improve my conditioning further and slightly quicker. Therefore I will now start including some HIIT as well as LISS conditioning work into my weeks schedule. I have also decided to slightly change my macros for the foreseeable future and start including re-feeds.

I will breakdown my new diet and training approach on a post later this week.

Also I mentioned in my post about The Importance Setting Motivation Driving Goals; which you can find here: ; that I failed to include target dates for my original goal so I decided that last week was the first check point. I will therefore hereby announce that my next checkpoint will be May 31st (in 6 week time). Until then I will stick to my new diet and training approach, unless of course I start seeing regressive progress in which case I will address it asap.

Weekly Motivation:

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Diana Scharf Hunt

General Summary:

On the back of doing some thinking around convenience and suitability for my weekly update I’ve decided that Monday will be a more suited weekly day to post my weekly update, reason being twofold:

  1. I will change my the starting day of my average weekly weigh to the Monday as opposed to the current Sunday therefore noting that Monday is the start of a new week
  2. I have found that posting my weekly summary on a Monday is a great way to start the working week give me that extra bit of motivation to start the week and take steps towards my goal- the caption below pretty much sums up how I feel every Monday!
Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday


Following on from my mid-week post: The Importance Setting Motivation Driving Goals; I did have a slight regressive week in terms of progress last week mainly due to my less composed approach to diet. I put this down to mainly accumulating all my negativity of the week prior and letting it all out on a uncontrolled re-feed day on the Saturday of that week. Therefore, as to avoid demotivation, I decided to not weigh myself Sunday as well as Wednesday as my diet the day priors to those weren’t exactly in line with my expectation.

Having said all that, I did start each and every day of the week with on thought which was POSITIVITY – which I found truly helped me putting behind the week prior. Obviously had a slight setback for the week but nonetheless I feel that it has only motivate me to come back stronger!

Weekly Update

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Current Macros

Current Macros

So my macros were meant to have remained unchanged throughout the week, sticking my original numbers. However as I have mentioned above the Saturday prior was not great and I let myself indulge with no control and I also did slightly change my macros on the Wednesday – no real reason behind this, just felt like increasing fats and reducing carbs on the day.

Apart from the Saturday priori (which by the way is not part of that week´s weigh in however it does have an effect on my weigh throughout the week) and the Wednesday I had a decent week as I manage to hit the macros within the 5g range for each.

In terms of my supplementation here is the list:

Health supplements – MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D,

Performance supplements – BCAAs, Creatine, Beta-alanine, Citruline Malate, Caffeine

Whey Isolate also forms part of my stack however I see this as more of a diet related supplement.


Repeated the formula from the previous week with the main highlight for the week being finally joining the 200kg Deadlift club! Managed a modest 3 reps on the 200kg deadlift. Here is the break down of my workout sessions not in order:

1 upper power day –using RPE scales and %s of my predicted rep max

2 half power half hypertrhophy lower body days – 1 focus on hamstrings (deadlift) and another focus on quads (squats)

2 upper body hypertrophy days – split into: 1 day back and tris, 1 day legs and 1 day chest, shoulders and biceps.

2 rest days – with some light cardio and stretching to get some energy expenditure as well as some blood circulation to assist on recovery

Week ahead:

So it’s the week of Easter weekend coming up and this has coincided with me taking a step back and re-evaluating where I am and how my progress is coming along. With this in mind I have decided to take a de-load week both inside and outside the gym.

So inside the gym I will be doing a little less intense and heavy workout, working more on form and mobility whilst adding some more volume work to ensure that I am still growing.

My de-load outside the gym consists of de-loading of all performance supplementation I take which I always find a struggle especially with having to de-load from coffee as I love the taste of coffee! Nonetheless I feel that it is really helpful to now and then just allowing yourself a “detox” week. I will still however be sticking to my macro counting diet and although I will be eliminating caffeine from diet I will still get a small kick from drinking green tea.

I will be using this week to re-assess all aspects of my progress including diet and gym approach. I will share my thoughts and plans on a post later in the week.

Hope you all have a motivated start to the week and keep it up throughout the week and remember that the Easter Weekend is upon!

Weekly Motivation Statement:

“Progress has little to do with speed, but much to do with direction.” Unknown

So I’m sitting here on a Thursday evening, watching football whilst indulging in my post-workout meal after a killer shoulder, chest and bicep session; and I can’t help but assess the progress and failures over the past couple of weeks

I can honestly say that once I get inside the gym my focus has been spot on and I’ve been progressing nicely and getting some new personal bests.

However it is what I am doing outside the gym that concerns me most, especially in the two main areas I wanted to focus on: diet and mobility work.

Over these last two weeks I’ve had a couple of days where my diet has not gone according to plan, that’s not to say that it has been absolutely appalling but it has for sure impacted my progress towards my goal. Also another personal goal of mine is to work on my mobility and flexibility which, just like my diet, I have my good and bad days.

In my mind I can’t help but find excuses for these deviations i.e. I’m feeling slightly tired or ill so I’ll have extra calories, I need to rest instead of stretch so I won’t bother, I will have a heavy gym session tomorrow so those extra calories can be put to good use then… and all other sorts of excuses. But as I dive deeper into my thoughts I find that this lack of composure has a great deal to do with my motivation levels.

If you have followed my journey thus far you will be aware that I am currently on a cutting/shredding phase in an attempt strip layers of fat with as much limited impact as possible in relation to muscle loss.

So in a very simple tagline my goal is: lose body fat in a slow and steady process.

Now it seems I have got a conceivable goal to work towards and I know how I will get there (in my instance through the training and diet)- so I have a direction to follow and I know where I want to get to. Till here it’s all very well and dandy and my motivation should be there as I work towards achieving something. So this is where I have found myself asking why am I slacking on some aspects of my journey?

Well in this post I want to share with you my view into goal setting and its effect on motivation. There is a lot of literature out there which underlines the pure fact that motivation is key to achieving goals. While this may stand true there’s also a reverse relationship which many times may be overlooked. What I mean by this reverse relationship is the mere fact that the goals you set yourself should in fact also support your motivation levels.

I strongly believe that when setting any goals in life (not just fitness!); they should drive a hunger within therefore creating an elevated level of motivation whilst you are on your journey.

Through my experience I have found that the presence of three elements are fundamental when ensuring that the goal setting is of a motivation driving effect, these being:

  1. Achievable – A goal should be ambitious yet attainable as well as traceable. This way you should be able to track your journey along the way and you know that you will be able to measure the achievement at the end
  2. Adaptable – Many times there are factors in life that you will not be able to control therefore ensuring that goals are adaptable will be important as it will allow you to adapt your goals to your life priorities
  3. Have a target dates – Some people work well under pressure, others prefer the freedom of a non-pressured environment; setting target dates doesn’t mean that they have to be target dates for you to reach those goals but they can be of a goal reassessment nature in which you look back at your journey thus far and re-assess changes that may be needed to continue on the right path – unless these are dates that you really have to deliver something i.e. stepping on stage to compete, delivering a work project

In this instance I’d like to recall on my current fitness goal and its effect on my motivation. As I have mentioned I’ve had two weeks where at times my motivation has not been all that great which has impacted my work outside the gym.

Assessing my fitness goal across the three elements mentioned above I’d say that my goal is both achievable and adaptable, however the pure fact that I have set no target dates I have seen my journey impacted. Let’s take a look at the diet factor as this has a direct impact in my goal. With no target date in the back of my mind I know that I have no pressure of achieving it so, whilst during the day and in the gym I am highly motivated as my mind if highly occupied with the thoughts of achieving that goal, the true challenge comes when I am more passive and just sat around watching TV or reading – reason being that my mind will start gathering thoughts around the fact that I have no target dates therefore no pressure and it will start formulating all sorts of excuses to binge eat i.e. next day I will make use of the extra calories in the gym, I am feeling slightly under the weather so extra calories will help…and many others (repeating myself here).

With this specific case it so happens that the element missing is the target dates however the same would stand true if the goal was missing one of the other elements whilst still meeting the other two, so for the goal set to be of a motivation driving nature I believe it needs to tick 3/3 elements mentioned above. So my current goal obviously is lacking in one substance and I will therefore be re-assessing my goal this weekend which I will post on my weekly update.

I hope this makes sense to you and you will find it useful. If you have experienced similar or completely different cases and would like to share please do get in touch. Again this is my personal take on it and it’s purely based on my own views.

Right straight to the point today, was slightly later in the gym today then usual due to work commitments so energy levels may have been impacted slightly. Nonetheless not making excuses and still got it done as it was the last day of my third week of the Jim Wendler´s strength programme before I do a de-load week next.

Nothing in particular to highlight from today´s workout so here it is:

Overhead Barbell Press a.k.a. OHP – Delts & Traps

Warm Up: Extensive Dynamic stretching
* Exercise specific warm-up: a few reps on each exercise on a light weigh

1. OHP Week 1 of 5/3/1
Set 1 @ 50kg x 5 reps
Set 2 @ 55kg x 3
Set 3 @ 62.5kg x 7
Behind neck OHP – Decided to do back off sets however behind the neck to try and further develop my rear delts
Set 4 @ 42.5kg x 10
Set 5 @ 42.5kg x 10
Set 6 @ 42.5kg x 10

2. Rope Face Pull 3:1:1
2 sets x 10 – 12 reps

3. Seated Lateral DB Raises
4 sets x 8 – 10 reps

4. Cable Front Raises [Straight Bar] 3:2:1
2 sets x 12 – 15 reps

5. Barbell Shrugs
Set 1 @ 100kg x 10
Set 2 @ 100kg x 10
Set 3 @ 100kg x 10
Set 4 @ 100kg x 10
Set 5 @ 100kg x 10

6. Plate Shrugs
2 sets x 20 reps

As opposed to Monday where my motivation level throughout the day was probably 7.5/10 , today I really just felt a complete lack of motivation during the day and probably would say that I was at a motivation level of 2/10 during work – perhaps contributed by the fact that I am limping around because of said dropped dumbbell on my feet! It is really bugging me but I´m still not able to tell what the actual damage to the foot/ toes is/are as the main pain it´s currently coming from the skin that got ripped off my toes.
Anyway this is not a complaining journal so upwards and onwards! So I nearly adapted my schedule today due to this silly injury and almost didn’t do Deadlifts. However… as I got to the gym, for some reason I felt that perhaps my foot injury wasn’t going to impose and my motivation level all off a sudden increased so I decided to give it a go!
And I am glad I did as it proved to be an absolute tremendous session! Probably hit my PB for deadlifts at 162.5 kg for 10 reps and felt that I could have perhaps even go further. In terms of the workout routine itself, the only real change from last week’s deadlift and back session was at the abs ection where I decided to finish off with a circuit with no rest in between. I was feeling particularly good during the workout so decided to limit the usage of straps and belt to only the one heavy deadlift set.
Also something I noticed that might have impacted my workout today was my pre-workout meal so I will keep that in mind and see if repeating the formula on tomorrow does indeed give me that energy boost during my gym session.
 Here´s today workout log
1. Deadlift Week 3 of 5/3/1
Set 1 @ 130kg x 5 reps
Set 2 @ 145kg x 3
Set 3 @ 162.5kg x 11 (with straps and belt)
Back Off Set
Set 4 @ 125kg x 10
Set 5 @ 125kg x 102. Bent-Over Barbell Row Overhand Grip – Explosive
Set 1 @ 85kg x 8 straps
Set 2 @ 85kg x 8 straps
Set 3 @ 85kg x 8 straps
Set 4 @ 85kg x 8 straps

3. Double D-Ring Handle Cable Vertical Row 3:1:1
2 sets x 12 – 15 reps

4. Wide Grip Pull Down 3:1:1
2 sets x 12 reps

Abs Circuit: 3 sets of non-stop

Lying leg raises x 15
Side Oblique Crunches x 15 each side
Reverse crunches x 15
Broom Twists x 50

Hi everyone, hope you all having a great weekend! I know everyone says it but it does feel like weekends just fly by!

On Friday I had a few too many drinks which lead me to spend saturday on the sofa watching TV. The only form of exercise I did yesterday was  a nice long stroll around to get some bits and pieces. Also relaxed in terms of diet and an uncontrolled refeed day eating way above what I was meant. Nonetheless I ensured that those extra calories were put into good use in my session today where I enjoyed my usual leg day. Nothing major to point out regarding today’s session, a few modifications in sets and one change in one of the exercises but on the same lines as last week’s Squat day.

Today also marked the start of my last week of the 5/3/1 programme before a supposed de-load week. At the moment it is looking likely that I will take the reload week next week to reassess some aspects of my training as well as my diet. Will you keep you posted on this throughout this week as I start gathering my thoughts together.

Have a great start to the week!

Legs – Quads/ Hams & Calves

Warm Up: Dynamic stretching and mobility work

1. Squats  Week 3 of 5/3/1
Set 1 @ 107.5kg x 5 reps
Set 2 @ 121 x 5
Set 3 @ 135 x 7
Back Off sets
Set 4 @ 100kg x 11
Set 5 @ 90kg x 11 (-10% previous set)
Set 6 @ 80kg x 11  (-10% previous set)

2. Explosive Deep Machine Hack Squat
3 sets x 15 reps

3. Hip Abductors – tempo 3:1:1
2 sets x 12 reps

4. Leg Curls 3:1:1
3 set x 12 reps

5. Single Leg/Arm RDL
1 set x 10 reps

6. Standing Machine Calf Presses
5 sets x 8 reps

7. Rotatory Calf (30 – 45 Sec rest between set)
3 sets x 15 reps

7. Barbell Walking Lunges
2 Sets x 10 reps (each leg)