Month: September 2011

EvO-XD: Legs (HEAVY), Chest/Calves, Back, Legs (LIGHT), Arms

It’s been a few days since i’ve had a proper chamce to sit down & collate all the info from last weeks workouts, but i’ve finally managed it. I will post each part separately, to avoid any confusion on what was performed in each workout.  Last week i trained Delts on Monday, with calves Legs on Tuesday, Chest on Wednesday, Back on Thursday, Legs again on Friday & Arms on Saturday.

I’m currently training my legs twice, just because it’s an area i’d like to develop more & lets face it, who really enjoys training their legs? So in training them twice, i will learn to love them (at least that’s what i tell myself as the blood rushes from my head & the sensation of nausea overwhelms me!)

I’ve split my leg training up to accomodate it being hit twice. Instead of the usual Hams & Quads split however, i have split it between a heavy, all out session & a lower weight/higher repetition session, with the occassional occlusion style training thrown in on the lower weight days as it is an ideal time for it.

Below are the training worksheets for my sessions.

CHEST & CALVES

BACK & TRAPS

Hamstrings & Quads

As you can see from the worksheets above, I am getting a little frustrated because I am limited by the equipment & weights available to me.  There are many ways to get around these problems, some are included in the worksheets, however it always pays to find a gym that can meet the demands of not only your training, but is affordable.  Sometimes you may have to travel a distance to find the ideal place, something i feel I will probably have to do soon.  Another key thing to think about regarding a place to train is the times you will be training. Try to check out gyms at the time that you yourself will be going to gauge how busy they will be on the equipment you prefer to use.  Although there are always variations & alternatives to exercises, if you can’t get on the equipment you like to use the majority of the time, it can be very easy to lose focus & become frustrated which in turn leads to a drop in motivation.

I am currently weighing up the pro’s & cons of switching back to my former gym (pro’s; one of the best equipped gyms in the UK, top of the range equipment & a wide variety of machines, dumbbells go up to super-human sizes. Cons; 30 mile roundtrip, opening times are more limited than my current 24hr gym, more expensive membership). Another positive is that my former gym is a great venue for recording training videos, so this could tip the balance in its favour.

I will also be giving a fixed date as to when the EvO-XD Training System will go live, which will coincide with a series of videos & a new website update. I will also be developing the members section of the website, which will see exclusive content & regular updates. More info about this will be coming soon.

EvO-XD Training System; Delts

I managed to get into the gym alot earlier than I have been doing recently, slowly adjusting my timetable & meal timings till I get them how I want them.  Many people make the mistake of trying to change too many variables in one go.  This can lead to one of 3 scenarios, the body taking too much time to adjust to so many things all in one go & an eventual curtailing of your training, too many things being adjusted at once so you are unaware what is actually working for you & what is working against you and lastly that you are unable to form a habit properly as too much is being changed.

I’ve slowly been adjusting macro nutrient ratios (currently on 40:40:20 split) calorific intake (18 calories per lb bodyweight) & my training routine.  This week I had considered changing things around a little, however I have decided to stick with my current split until I see such time that the improvements are tailing off.  Then I will shock the muscles by switching it up.  As it stands I am currently training 5 or 6 days a week as follows

  1. Monday –  Delts
  2. Tuesday – Legs (Heavy)
  3. Wednesday – Chest
  4. Thursday – Back or Rest Day*
  5. Friday – Legs (Light) or Back*
  6. Saturday – Biceps/Triceps
  7. Sunday – Rest

*Depending on whether I am training 6 days a week or 5 days, Legs may be trained twice.  Having a heavy day & a lighter, low intensity day will help you to improve areas that you perceive to be weaker, therefore any bodypart can be substituted for dual sessions.  I would probably avoid training smaller bodyparts such as biceps twice, as they are used when performing other body parts such as back & even a little bit in chest (depending on the exercise).  If a lighter session is done, at least one session in 3 is done using the occlusion method.  This is simply because much smaller weights can be utilised, saving wear on joints & tendons, whilst still stimulating the muscles for growth.

As I have mentioned, today I trained delts & was happy with my session as I was able to lift a significant amount more than last weeks session & in some cases an increased amount for more reps than last time.  This not only gives me more confidence regarding the training system in general, but also increased motivation with my training.

Here is a basic overview of what I did, using the TBS Training Worksheet available from the TBS Store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the session was a good one, & i feel good with the steady progress I am making.  Today I prepared all my meals for the day in advance except for my dinner this evening as I am having a few King Prawn Kebabs & I prefer to cook prawns from fresh.  I will add some images of the kebabs to my twitter & facebook feed so look out for those.

I butterflied some chicken breasts this morning, cooking them in a chilli & garlic marinade, along with some sweet potato, which were cut into wedges & cooked with garlic.  I also chopped up some red pepper & pan roasted some asparagus.  All the meals were cooked & placed in seperate 6pack bag containers & have been eaten according to my Nutrition Planner, again someting available on the TBS Store.

Tomorrow I will be again training Legs.  Now, last week i pushed myself to the point of very nearly puking. SO lets see if I can actually push past that & maybe even vomit a little this time haha!!

EvO-XD: Back & Traps

Over the past few days i’ve unfortunately been snowed under with work & have been unable to get to the gym like i had wanted to.  So today i made the effort to get in & catch up the back workout I had missed out on earlier in the week.  I’m still playing around with small aspects of the training system, however everything is starting to fall in to place & today I really looked forward to trying out some things on 2 of my favourite bodyparts to train, back & traps!

At the moment I am using a simple small pad of paper & pen (old school shall we say!) to keep a track of the weights i am using, intensity levels etc.  However, I am hoping in the future I shall be able to develop an app for both android & iphone handsets, which will do all of that & so, so much more!

The problem I have training my back at my current gym is the lack of variety & accessories available, as well as the quality of them.  I have tried work arounds these small problems, even requested certain things, however they were dismissed. So, to end my small frustrations I went away & bought these things myself.  Now, you will more than likely have things like V-Bar attachments in your gym, however almost all the attachments in my current gym are of nylon material & unfortunately have seen much better days.  As i like to do alot of pullup work when I am training my back, using various angles etc, i felt a few pounds was not much to invest in something which would definitely last.  So, below is an example of what I purchased, along with the dipping belt I also invested in to add resistance to my pull up work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armed with myequipment, i knew the next 55mins were going to be tough & I wouldn’t of had it any other way.  As I only had an hour to spare, I wanted to be in & out in the that time.  Here is a run down of the exercises I used today.

 

  • Pull Ups (Wide-Grip)
  • Pull Ups (Close Grip w/ V-Attachment)
  • Single Arm Cable Rows
  • Lat Pull Downs
  • Seated Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Behind back Smith Machine Shrugs

Have to say that I really pushed the levels, going beyond failure a couple of times to make up for the fact i’d skipped out on doing this session earlier in the week.  I had half of my postworkout shake literally seconds within finishing the final set, i actually left it 15-20 mins before i finished it off.  There is no real major reason for doing this, some people believe that it by splitting the shake up you will increase the bodys ability to synthesise it, I don’t really believe that.  The body will utilise it regardless of whether you split the shake or not.  My main reason for doing it is that I seem to get a little discomfort in the stomach area after drinking over 50g of dextrose (dextrose is my main source of post-workout carbs). So i prefer to split my shake up.

After I had finished my workout I decided to hit Nandos, as the kitchen is flame grilled & fresh chicken breast meat.  However i passed on the chips, bread rolls & other carbs available, sticking with the XX hot sauce instead.

Tomorrow i’ll be back in the gym. Tonight I want to look over the weeks worth of training records I have & maybe change the order around a little.  Until tomorrow…

EvO-XD Training System: Chest

Todays session was a mixed bag in all honestly. Too much frustration at my failing rotator cuff, half-arsed gym goers taking up time, space & dumbbells & being lifting a little more than I expected to for parts of the workout.

My main problem is my right shoulder. It’s a problem i’ve had for a number of years, all based on my rotator muscles in within the shoulder.  Unfortunately, they will often fail way before my chest, regardless of my form, exercise & weight used.  I often come away from a workout disappointed that I have been unable to push as hard as I have wanted, not really managed to get the pump that I wanted & despite my right side being the supposed stronger side, it will often fail before the left.  It’s a constant struggle for me & a constant stream of frustration.

I invested in a shoulder horn, had it imported from Germany.  It was recommended by none other than Dorian Yates & it has helped me alot when developing the strength in this area. The picture below shows you what this piece of equipment looks like.  However, I still struggle to really get a big pump in my chest.  Unfortunately that was the case today too.

The exercises I used today were as follows

  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Flys (Angle slightly less than the presses)
  • Pec deck (I wanted to use the cable x-over machine, but it was taken)
  • Smith Machine Incline Presses.

I did manage to squeeze out a few sets on the cable x-over at the end of my session, however my shoulder had all but given up on me & I was ready to hit the shower.  Again, i was in & out in under 45mins & that includes the warm-up, having to chase around after dumbbells etc

Tomorrow, i will be hitting arguably my favourite muscle groups, Back & Traps, so I am highly motivated to improve on todays session which, if i’m brutally honest about, I only give a 7/10.

No less than 10/10 tomorrow though!! Next week I am hoping to purchase a flip camera to start with the videos.  They may coincide with the moving to pastures new in gym terms!

Till tomorrow…

EvO-XD Training System: Legs

I am now able to write this blog, as i have recovered enough to not be within running distance of a bucket or sink.

Yes, this is exactly how i felt after the final rep of todays workout.

Some of you maybe aware that last November i damaged my back quite badly, slipping a disc between L5/S1 vertabrae.  Due to this not only was I unable to get myself into top condition & compete at the Fitness England Championships & therefore miss out on competing at Fitness Britain this past weekend, but I have been worried about my ability to train my legs ever since. I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times i’ve trained my legs since last November, something I am very very embarrased about.  The truth is I let the fear win, something I will no longer do.

Armed with a ‘bucketload’ of motivation (unfortunately the bucket was not literal in this instance, however it maybe necessary in the future!) I headed off to the gym, hoping that the workout would be as quick as yesterdays (almost) & as intense (definitely).

Now, although I have kept most of the details of my system quiet thus far, i will say this. My last 2 exercise were a Hamstring exercise – Smith Machine Deadlifts, & a Quad Exercise – Smith Machine Squats. 1 set. 80 reps done in a rest/pause style. It very nearly killed me. I am embarrassed to admit that i bottled out on the squats. I got to 60 & knew i should carry on for one more big effort, but i didn’t. I guess it’s situations like this that a training partner can help, & despite the fact 30 seconds later I had my head over a sink ‘gipping’, i sit here now knowing that the guy that was waiting to use the smith machine after me that said “come on just another 20 reps” was right. But hey, this was my first true leg session after a very long time & i’m taking the positives from it. I completed the workout, legs were pumped & I know I have more to give.

The exercises i utilised today were as follows

  • Deadlifts w/Olympic Bar
  • Front Squats
  • High-Feet Leg Presses
  • Standard Leg Press
  • Seated Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Smith Machine Deadlifts off a box
  • Smith Machine Squats

Although I managed to get a great workout in, I know that it is not going to be long before I am getting frustrated with the lack of variety & weight available at my current. Unfortunately, I have to travel over 12 miles to a much better (although more expensive) gym. However, if you have to travel a little to use a great gym, you should.  I will stay with my current membership for the coming couple of months, then I will move on.  One of the positives of the new gym is that it is owned by former IFBB Professional John Hodgeson, someone with great contest pedigree.  Due to this I will be grabbing an interview with John in the future, now that he has called time on his competition career, coming 2nd at the British GrandPrix. He also competed in the inaugral 202 class at the Mr. Olympia, in doing so fulfilling a dream of competing in one of, if not THE biggest Bodybuilding event in the world.

Tomorrow is Chest, a bodypart I enjoy training. Till tomorrow…

EvO-XD: Delts

Today I was back in the gym after a little bit of time off.

Although I knew it was going to be tough to use the same kind of poundage that i’d used in my last delts session a few weeks a go, I was really motivated.

I’ve been reading a lot on Intermittent Fasting recently & although I do occasionally train fasted, I’ve never really incorporated it into my whole regime as a long running plan.  However, as of today I am doing just that.

I set off to the gym with nothing but some BCAA & whey/casein shake, with the slow cooker on ready for my return!

I have often had trouble with my delt training, as i have long suffered with rotator cuff problems, which always cause my stronger right side to fail before my left.  This ‘affliction’ can affect many of my workouts, whether it be presses for chest, pulldowns & pullups for back etc.

Despite this, I have a new found love of delt training since i started incorporating some of the principles of the system I have been working on, as the intensity is very high, yet the workouts are just long enough to cause the required stimulus.

I have to say that the session itself was a little disappointing. Not from an intensity point of view, but due to the weeks off, the weights I used were a little lighter than I had been able to use in my last workout.

When this is the case, it is much better to train smart than train with an ego.  Sure, I could probably of used the same, or even heavier dumbbells for my shoulder presses, but the form & the ‘stimulatory’ effect I would of gained would of been less than optimal, the use of other muscle groups would of come into play & as I was training ‘Delts’ & not Delts/Back/Chest, I felt the smart thing to do was to lower the weights a little, keep the intensity high & focus on the form & the stimulating the right muscle groups.

The key exercises for me today were;

  • Seated Dumbbell Presses
  • Upright Rows w/ Olympic Bar
  • Inclined Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  • Seated Smith Machine Presses

I am currently debating whether to incorporate a ‘Functional Fitness’ aspect to the system, as I feel there is no point having muscle mass if you can’t really do anything with it!  Therefore I will be trying a few things out during the following weeks.

I’m also hoping to purchase a video camera over the next few days & will begin filming workouts, as well as a video blog.

If there are any areas you would like me to cover, please go to my website http://www.totalbodysculpture.com & click on the contact tab.  Here you will find an easy to use form which you can utilise to ask for info.

Tomorrow is Hams & Quads, so here is to struggling to walk for a few days!!!

Almond Butter, Moroccan Meatballs & a cheeky glass of red…

I’ve recently been trying to shake off a brachioradialis injury, which flares up every time I seem to train. To that end, i’ve been sorting out a lot of other areas of my life, clearing out clutter & preparing myself both physically & mentally for the next few months, which although I know I will enjoy (I love a good challenge & to push myself), they will be hard.

But today was all about preparation. Whilst sorting out nutritional plans for some clients, I found myself realising I was low on Almond Butter. Now, almond butter in Manchester is expensive. Raw almond butter even more so. So, why not make my own? I mean, how hard can it be?

It turns out, not very. So I did!

Buying up packets of organic, raw almonds I was ready.
To make it you do the following;

*Place the nuts in a processor and turn it on.
*That’s it….

Ok, so there is a little more to it, you do have to keep an eye on it, keep knocking it down from the sides when it builds up etc.
It will go through 3 distinct stages, crumbs, doughy & eventually creamy.
Adding as much or as little salt as you wish (I added a little Cornish Rock Salt) it allows you to cater to your own taste.

After I had made up a batch, i stuck it in a nice air proof jar & stuck it in the fridge, ready for adding to protein shakes, oats, nutella (well we all have our vices!)

 

After I had finished my work for the day, i set to cooking dinner, which I decided was going to be a nice healthy & nutritious meal (as always) so donning my Fit-Chef hat, I set to work on my popular Moroccan Meatballs.

These are really simple to make & are full of flavour as well as a nice meal to share!

Ingredients

  • 450g Minced Turkey Breast
  • 1 x Can (400g) Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1x Onion chopped
  • 1tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 300ml Reduced Salt Chicken Stock
  • Flaked Almonds
  • 100g Oat Flour
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1x Smoked Turkey Rasher
  1. Add the oat flour & the turkey rasher to a blender, blending till fine.
  2. In a bowl add the flour and rasher to the turkey mince & season.
  3. Form balls with the mixture.
  4. In a large pan, cook the meatballs in 1 tbsp of oil for 4-5 mins or until browned
  5. Remove from the pan & add the onion and cook for 3-4 mins.
  6. Using a mortar & pestle, mix together the seeds & spices.
  7. Add the spices to the onions, cooking for a further minute.
  8. Add the tinned tomatoes and stock before bringing to the boil and reducing the heat.
  9. Add the meatballs back to the pan, season then cover & simmer for 20-25 mins or until the sauce has thickened & meatballs are cooked through.

I had these with couscous, which I had made with sundried tomatoes, garlic & soaked with 160ml chicken stock & flaked almonds on top.

As of Monday, I will be documenting both my nutrition & my training. I have a goal to reach, which has only increased in desire after recent conversations with the new WBFF Pro Muscle Model Champion, Micah Lacerte. Plus I start 12 weeks of EvO-XD Training, which I am confident is going to push me to my physical limits, as well as produce great results!

So stay tuned!!

Oh & if you want to know where the glass of red came into it….. what do you think I have in my hand as I write this? It is Friday night after all!!