Posts Tagged ‘Progress’

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


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.

General Summary:

Another week gone and more progress made. Felt fairly motivated throughout the week however encountered slight setback over the weekend. My average weight for the week again reduced over the previous week and I felt that my strength is still there or even improving which is positive.

My only negative annotation for this week was Saturday where it was a scheduled rest day however it also ended up being a not scheduled refeed day where I didn’t fully track my macros for the day. I went out Friday night into the early hours of Saturday and even though I only very few drinks I felt slightly under the weather on Saturday, perhaps mainly due to the lack of sleep, and towards the end of the day I ended up binging. Still these sorts of excuses won’t get me to where I want to get and although the damage was limited I know that I cannot afford these!

Anyway now that I have admitted to guilt, I shall start the week strong and ensure I make full use of those extra calories consumed.

.Here’s a recent post on my Instagram account of my latest progress photo (yes… a selfie), still a long way to go in this cutting but ever slight improvement on previous weeks conditions:


Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Current Macros

Current Macros

Main highlight – which in fact is a low point; for the week was the unscheduled refeed on Saturday. Otherwise I have kept my diet and nutrition pretty structured around the macros stated above hitting the number within 5g range of each macro nutrient.

As energy levels are good and average weight for the week – 175.5lbs/ 79.6kg was below than previous week I will be sticking to these macros for the foreseeable future.

In terms of supplementation the current supplements I am taking are: MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, BCAAs, Creatine and Whey Isolate when needed for macros.

Something I haven’t mention is that until recently I’ve been a great fan of taking all sort of pre-workout (i.e. BSN No-Xplode; ON Platinum-Pre; Hemo-Rage and so on) as I had become slightly addicted to these and felt that I couldn´t get a good workout in if I didn’t take them before. However just over a month ago I decided to stop this addiction and go back to basics hence why I now mix my own pre-workout mix based on the most proven ingredients.

So in addition to my BCAAs I’ve also added Citruline Malate and Beta-Alanine to my stack which I take pre-workout for its performance enhancing ability. Also I am a big fan of coffee! Caffeine is known to be a great anti-oxidant with many proven added health benefits taken in moderation obviously. So this effect I aim to have a maximum of two cups a day, one in the morning and another 30 minutes to an hour pre-workout for that extra bit focus. I still occasionally have other energy drinks and will use these pre-workout at times that I feel that a coffee may just not be enough for that day.


Training Split:

1 lower power day, 1 upper power day – both using RPE scales and %s of my predicted rep max. I want to try and maintain my strength as much as possible during this cut and even increase if at all possible.

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

2 days rest – doing some sort of activity i.e. walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes

This week was no different to the previous week in terms of workouts. Only differing factor may have come on the Saturday where my energy expenditure was not as high as the previous week as the only activity I did was some walking as I spent most of the day just sitting and watching sports.

Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Week ahead:

I am already a day late for the weekly update and my aim to actually change my weekly updates post to the Saturday as opposed to the current Sunday which make this post two days late. Anyway this week I plan to stick to my current program and avoid any binging or unplanned re-feed days. Nothing in specific to highlight of the week ahead but only hardwork and focus needed for yet another productive week!