Posts Tagged ‘Strength’

So here is my weekly update summary. Decided to get some structure to it so that makes it easier to track what I am actually doing at the different.

General Summary
I feel that I had a good week, kept myself on track throughout the week and decided to have a slight silent week on the social front which obviously always helps progress.
Main point to mention is that at the beginning of last week I started to question whether tracking my weight and aiming for a predetermined % of weight loss per week was the most adequate approach from a practical as well as mental perspective. So instead I decided to some what change my goal:
New goal:   Drop body fat, maintain muscle and strength – Slow decrease of average weekly weight
Daily 500 daily caloric deficit (+/- 15% below maintenance calories)
So I will still be tracking my weekly average weight and ensure that it is dropping however without having predetermined %s it won’t be playing in the back of my mind if a week’s average ends up not hitting a target weight. Besides as I have previously said I have no end date to this cut so I much prefer the slow and steady approach.
Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:
Last week I toyed with the idea of mixing up my daily calories and macros depending the activity level on the day. I have decided against this for now and I will keep my macros consistent day in day out for the time being. This might change over time if I find myself hitting a plateau.
On the whole nothing much to report on here as I had a decent week and met my goal of dropping my average weekly weight. Only deviations were provided by the fact that n the 15th of March I was way below my average for that week due to a social event which lead to other incidents and having had a slight up in calories on that day, the 16th of March I started slightly above the average.
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.
Currently keeping my training follows a simple split of:
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 (and I mean literally walk) or cleaning or something of that sort to just ensure there is some calorie expenditure as otherwise I will sit all day and actually my overall energy expenditure for the week will probably not put me on the required deficit.
The assistance movements on Power Days and most of my hypertrophy days routines don’t have an exact  preset exercises I follow as I like to change. At the moment I’m not incorporating any cardio sessions into my workout as I am still managing to see good progress.
Week ahead:
My initial plan is to stick to my current split in both the training program and diet front. Hoping to see some further progress on some of my lifts. Next week I am intending to start tracking my lifts on an excel spreadsheet so that I can share those with you as well. Got a few posts planned to release this week as well so keep an eye out for them. Also intending to start having some progress pics on here and potentially even some videos in the near future.
Also I do update my twitter and instagram quite constantly so if you want to follow my journey more closely you can find me @lausef
Also you can follow my food diary on MyFitnessPal by searching for me @lausef
Have a great start to the week everyone, get some PBs but most importantly have some fun and enjoy it!
Happy weekend everyone!

As I have previously mentioned I am still working on my blog’s format and content so thanks for bearing with me on this front.
As opposed to my daily workout routine comments, I will now be posting a weekly update here which I will cover all aspects of my week.
For today’s post I will keep it short and sweet. I had decided last week that I was going to start my cutting season – meaning that I am now officially seeking to lower my body fat to get in that much desired Summer shape. I have no deadline as to when I will be ending this cut and the main reason I for this cutting cycle being that I want to find out how I look with a lower body fat given my current muscle mass.
In terms of nutrition I will be approaching it with a flexible diet/ IIFYM 80% – 20% approach (more on this soon). Over this last week I kept my macros constant everyday using the workout day macros (picture below) with no change from training and resting days.
Starting this week I have decided to incorporate a slight change to this to include a slight lower maintenance calories for the non-workout days which therefore will mean slight lower Diet calories, I might also include a refeed day depending on how I feel during the week.
I am taking my weight most mornings in a fasted state as well to keep tracking this as my main objective is to lose 0.5% to 1% of bodyweight per week  (regarded as ideal in terms of losing fat and maintain muscle mas) I will however be primarily using the mirror to judge my progress.
The picture below shows the basis of I have workout my calories and macros as well as including my tracking of my weight and additional notes. I will break it down and explain more on another post soon!
Calories and Macros
Regarding my training schedule I am using a PHAT based programme scheduled by myself and fully utilizing RPE scales (again more on this soon). This week I have not done any cardio and I will only be introducing this as I see needed hopefully later on during the cycle. So this last week I did 5 gym sessions: 2 power days – lower and upper; 3 hypertrophy days – 2 upper and 1 lower.
I will be looking to not lower anymore the calories intake and avoid cardio as I have mentioned as I want to ensure that I only include this into my programme when I feel that my progress is becoming stagnant.
Anyway this will be all for today. I will be explaining more around my nutrition and diet soon but if you have questions meanwhile please feel free to fire them away. Also I will be posting progress pictures to share with you this journey I am on.
Hope you all have a great start to the week!
Live Healthy, Lift Heavy!

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

Beautiful day here in Madrid, sun out… blue skies… that feeling of Spring is up in the air!

To celebrate I went and hit some chest and arms today in the gym. Throughout work today I was feeling really up for the session however today really was one of those days that I just don’t even feel like writing about.

Had an extremely poor session and ended up not hitting the reps and weights I wanted to in the bench press.
And just to put the sherry on top I dropped a 36kg dumbbell on my feet, still not entirely sure on the final damage but it is swollen and not looking great (tempted to post a photo of it but it is looking utterly disgusting…).

In all honesty I do feel that today’s session may have been somewhat impacted with the slight modification to my peri workout nutrition specially the pre-workout meal – reduced carbs and upped the fats. Although I felt lack of the initial energy I did feel that as the session went on my energy was actually quite constant throughout as opposed to an usual decline that I get towards the end of the sessions. Anyway I still decided to end my session today after arms and leave abs for another day mainly due to the pain my foot was in.

Tomorrow is meant to be a rest day however I am considering attempting to do some HIIT and Abs – feet permitting obviously. Hopefully a few pain killers and I will be able to get some sleep.

Hope you all had a cracking start to the week!

Bench Press – Chest, Arms (Bis & Tris)

1. Bench Press Week 2 of 5/3/1
Set 1 @ 72.5kg x 5 reps
Set 2 @ 82.5kg x 3
Set 3 @ 92.5kg x 4

2. 15º Incline DB Press – Back Off Sets: dropping around 10% weight on each set
Set 1 @ 40kg x 6
Set 2 @ 36kg x 9
Set 3 @ 32kg x 8 * Dropped the weight on my toe when re-racking the 36 kg DB and in the pain I rested about 30 seconds between this set and the last so did hit the reps I was hoping for

3. Weighed Dips – tempo 3:1:1
Set 1 @ 15kg x 8
Set 2 @ 15kg x 8
Set 3 @ 15kg x 8
Set 4 @ 15kg x 8

4. High Cable Cross-Overs 1:2:1
2 Sets x 20 reps

5. Standing DB Single Arm Curl
3 sets x 12 reps (each arm)

6. Standing overhead Single Arm DB extension
3 sets x 12 reps (each arm)

7. Strict form Single arms Cable Tri Push Down (No Handle)
1 sets x failure + 3 forced reps

8. Strict form Single arms Cable Tri Push Down (No Handle)
1 set x 15
1 set x 15 + 3 Forced Reps

Thursday… that day of the week that feels like the weekend is here but not quite just yet! Anyway once my gym music goes in the whole world is switched off and it´s me time in the gym!

Prior to my session today I read through my last weeks post I decided to slightly drop the weights in some of the exercises to ensure that I got a fuller muscle contraction. Goes without saying that I didn´t do this for my OHP as this is part of my 5/3/1 program. In terms of the exercises I did, I ended up doing pretty much the same as last week apart from shrugs where I split my sets into two shrug movements as opposed to just one.

On another note, I´ve been a meal about an hour just before my workout which I felt that has made me feel slightly bloated throughout the workout so today I had it slightly earlier to avoid that bloat feeling. I feel that I am having slightly excessive amount of carbs at the moment and by the end of next week I might re-calculate my macros depending on my weight.

Here´s today workout:

Overhead Barbell Press a.k.a. OHP – Delt/ Traps & Abs

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 @ 45kg x 3 reps
Set 2 @ 52.5kg x 3
Set 3 @ 58.5kg x 10
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 8
Set 2 @ 100kg x 8
Set 3 @ 100kg x 8
Set 4 @ 100kg x 8
Set 5 @ 100kg x 8

6. DB Shrugs
3 sets x 15 reps

9. Hanging Leg Raises
5 Sets x Failure

10. Side Oblique Crunches
2 sets x 20 reps each side

11. Broom Twists
1 set x 100

After last week´s frustration when I got told off not once but twice for dropping the weights, I needed to ensure that I left last week´s session behind and got myself geared up for a good session.

In order to avoid another telling off, I took the comments on board for today´s session by slightly changing my deadlift to ensure the smoother transition of weights. This meant that instead of only focusing on the explosive pulling movement I was actually taxing my muscles more than usual by ensuring I wasn´t dropping the bar onto the precious padded gym floor.

I felt that today I had a slow start and was feeling slightly lazy however as I started my first few warm up sets of Deadlifts I started feeling pumped and in the end really felt that a very good workout. Now time to recover and get ready for tomorrow’s OHP and shoulder session!

Anyway, today´s session didn´t vary much from last week. The main changes were:

  • Inclusion of some bodyweight pull ups and lower back raises in the warm-up drill
  • Extra back off set for Deadlifts
  • One extra exercise – 3. Double D-Ring Handle Cable Vertical Row

Deadlift – Back

Warm Up: Extensive Dynamic stretching and mobility work
Bodyweight pull-ups and lower back raises – not counting sets or reps, just getting some blood flowing and ensuring specific muscle were warm and ready
* Exercise specific warm-up: a few reps on each exercise on a light weigh to just ensure that the muscles are ready for the lift – I tend to not go beyond a maximum of 5 reps on a light weight to avoid fatiguing the muscles before the actual exercise

1. Deadlift Week 1 of 5/3/1
Set 1 @ 120kg x 3 reps
Set 2 @ 137.5kg x 3
Set 3 @ 155kg x 11 (with straps and belt)
Back Off Set
Set 4 @ 120kg x 10 ( 8 overhand and 2 alternate)
Set 5 @ 120kg x 10 (all overhand grip)

2. Bent-Over Barbell Row Overhand Grip – Explosive
Set 1 @ 82.5kg x 8 straps
Set 2 @ 82.5kg x 8 straps
Set 3 @ 82.5kg x 8 straps
Set 4 @ 82.5kg x 8 straps

3. Double D-Ring Handle Cable Vertical Row
2 sets x 12 reps

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

5. Cable Pull Overs 1:2:1 – holding at contraction point for 2 seconds
1 Sets x between 15 to 20 reps

Ended with some further stretches and lower back exercises.