Health Revisited

Well, my first six-week cycle is over. Thank God!

Turns out, commiting two weeks at a time to the three systems does not produce satisfactory results - my training logs show reduced performance across the board

It was almost as if segmenting my training as I did actually resulted in strength/power/agility regression.

I can say, however, that the only positive result of my training was kinetic efficiency and improved balance.

I will have to re-evaluate my training technique for the next month and a half, though most likely I will do a 3-day-split incorporating all three systems.

Stay tuned.

Progress Update: The leanest I’ve ever been in 2 decades weighing in at 65kg - TIME TO BULK!

(Please excuse my horrendous Photo-Shop skills)

Revisiting Health

I’ve been dabbling with both kettlebells and barbells for the past half year with great results.

Since I haven’t found a definitive resource for a hybrid program of calisthenics, kettlebells, and barbells, I will have to experiment on my own to see what works for me. Granted, there are already a plethora of MMA-inspired workouts touching upon two or more of aforementioned prerequisites, none seem to go into great detail in how to properly periodize for maximum gain, and minimal conflicts.

My main issue with a hybridized program is that a specific body part can easily be overtrained. For instance, say I’d do handstand pushups (I’m not entirely there yet…) one day, and then kettlebell snatches the next, I would definitely be overtraining my delts. Trying to further incorporate strict military presses into my routine would be disastrous.

In any given week, there are five workout days to implement all three systems, and so I have decided to focus on each system for two weeks at length - creating a six-week-cycle. The general rules for progress in said systems are as follows:

  • With barbells, one must train at least twice a week per body part for any gains to be made, and I have found this to be true based on personal results.
  • Kettlebells can be trained everyday apparently, but I find this to be illogical, and I’d factor in at least two days of rest between sessions. With full body kettlebell circuits, this would also create a four-day allocation for KBs.
  • Exclusive calisthenics can be performed everyday.

There has yet to be a definitive book/blog/article on how to approach all three systems effectively, and I’d invest in that knowledge-bank were it to exist. While I understand that results and effective training methodologies vary from one individual to the next, I’m saddened that there hasn’t been extensive research into the field. A lot of mixed-martial-arts coaching advocate use of all three methods but only to a limited extent in favour of attributes that can help win a fight. As I don’t plan on participating in the game that is UFC-or-other-tournament any time soon, and as my training is mostly strength based, I have to discard 80% of said coaching ideas.

Strength was my focus for the past year as I was an avid intermittent-fast-er. In order to maintain my lean muscle mass, strength-based training was a must. In order for me to obtain a lean look, my workouts weren’t geared toward hypertrophy, so low rep ranges worked quite well for me. The kettlebells were introduced to develop functional strenght, and to get me down to an even leaner body mass. I became addicted to making strength gains.

Sure, there are definite advantages to how MMA-artists train given how well-rounded they appear to be, but they must make great sacrifices (in terms of maximum potential of each attribute) in order to stay well rounded. Martial artists have loftier goals, and have to outwit and outperform each other, but their training methods are designed for the worst-case-scenario - fighting an unorthodox fighter.

My goals are much simpler, with my primary goal being functional-strength (hence barbell compound lifting,) and the side-affects of calisthenics and kettlebell training in developing other physical attributes are more than welcome.

Fat-loss progress update @ 75.5 kg:

I have a long way to go yet!

20 Months Past

Today’s pre-dinner weigh-in had me at 90.2 kg.

My most recent photo:

From 110 to 90kg in 20 months meant I lost, on average, 1 kilo a month.

Truthfully, I rapidly lost the most weight during the first 6 months (the honeymoon phase). I’d lost 12 kilos, but my weight-loss methods were not sustainable. I would bulk up again during the winter months (June-onwards) and there was absolutely no consistency in my fat-loss.

Looking back, those 2-hour-long 6-day-per-week sessions of the Upper/Cardio/Lower split variety really took its toll on me both physically and mentally.

My sex-drive was non-existent, and I was constantly either moody, weary, or sleepy. I’m sure I put my wife through hell.

I can now understand why a majority of gym-memberships in January barely survive beyond 3-months. Most obese people (myself included) tend to take an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to trying to lose fat. They give it their all on the treadmill, see no visible changes from one week to the next, then stop trying.

Knowing this fact, I sought to perservere for 6 months through the gut-wrenching training. I was fortunate enough to implement enough resistance training to maintain my muscle mass during my weight fluctuations.

I will now limit my sessions to 4 times a week for an hour at a time, for example Push/Cardio/Pull/Cardio

2014 New Years Resolution

This year I chose to watch the fireworks display from the comfort of my own home. I didn’t really want to go out and celebrate, as I was utterly miserable. My wife had taken several candid photos of me the night prior while I was doing my own thing, and moments before the fireworks were lit I chanced upon those photos.

Up until that moment, I had no idea how obese I had become. I knew I was getting chubby, but no one had taken a photo of me with my shirt off.

Lo’ and behold, my jolly ol’ self at 5’9 110kg:

Now, barely 2 minutes into the New Year, I have resolved to undo years of alcohol and food abuse. This year’s resolution is dedicated to my family.