Monday, 31 March 2014

No Pain ... No Gain!



Morning routine: back - 20 minutes rowing / 6 * wide grip chins / 4* reverse grip chins / 4 * bent over rows / 4 * lat pull down / 4 * reverse grip pull downs / 10 minutes rowing / 30 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 40 minutes spinning bike

06:00 The alarm went at 06:00 and I jumped out of bed like a coiled spring. I'm going to make sure that I get up before sunrise every single day this month. I did well in March and probably only overslept maybe 5 or 6 days, but for early April the alarm is set for 06:00 on the dot. Halfway through the month it will move to 05:30!!

I have performed this training/diet regime in previous years and have been down to around 88kg in the a couple of times in the last 5 years. Unfortunately this always seems to co-incide with the start of Summer and the start of the professional beer drinking season. This has previously meant that I then proceed to drink myself silly throughout the Summer and end up back at 100kg by Xmas. However this year a few things have changed:

  • it's not quite Summer yet so I feel less inclined to go out on the piss
  • I'm more focussed on getting ripped this year and hitting that elusive sub 85kg mark
  • the last of my local boozers closed last year so my options for drinking locally have been severely diminished, plus the fact that the remaining pubs are shite-holes
  • I want to get super fit for my usual cycling/beer drinking trips down on the coast
  • I'm getting to that age where keeping myself in shape gets more and more important every year

I've always enjoyed training and going to the gym, so that part of the program is quite easy for me. The gym that I joined is fairly basic but has all of the necessary equipment and weights etc and also has the added advantage of being relatively cheap, local, having a good heavy bag and a sauna. So in April I'm going to make the most of it and make sure that I do the following:

  • train at least 5 days per week in the gym: I tend to warm-up on the heavy bag for at least 30 minutes and this gives a great cardio and shoulder workout without having to always do leg based work such as running or cycling. It's also a great stress reliever and I love punching stuff!
  • increase the cardio: I'll finish each session with around 15 minutes of cardio at a very low intensity to burn some extra calories and to act as a warm-down.
  • stretching: I have only just started to incorporate stretching into my routine. Way back in the day I did a bit of Kyokushinkai karate and was quite flexible so I need to get stretching again.

My diet was pretty good in March. I cut out biscuits, cakes, fatty foods such as egg/bacon/sausages/burgers/kebabs etc. I also dropped my carb intake and hardly touched bread or cereal. In April I'm going to go super strict and pretty much follow a pre-contest bodybuilders diet. This means:

  • almost zero carbs: no bread, no cereals, no sugar. My main weakness in this area is that I often wake-up in the middle of the night craving carbs. This is usually followed by a trip to the kitchen and a bowl of cereal ... well no more!
  • protein: my main sources of protein have been boiled chicken, tuna and egg whites. Now I normally eat tuna in oil which has a relatively high fat content, in fact over 10%, whereas tuna in spring water has less than 1% fat. Tuna in oil also has twice as many calories. Now I munch through quite a few cans of tuna every week so I'm going to substitute tuna in spring water for tuna in oil, although to be honest tuna in spring water tastes fucking horrible!

I do like a cup of tea every now and then, but this means that my milk intake can be quite high. I really like soya so I have switched to soya light which is 22 calories per 100 ml as opposed to 65 calories per 100 ml for milk.   

10:30: tuna & 1 egg white
14:00: boiled chicken & broccoli
17:10: tuna & broccoli
20:45: boiled chicken & 1 egg white

Stretching: 10 minutes


Morning routine: quads - 20 minutes bike / hack squats (max 70kg) / lunges / leg extensions / 10 minutes bike / 20 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 30 minutes spinning bike

06:25 Both the diet and training were spot-on yesterday. I just need more of the same for the next 29 days!

I woke up at 03:00 and took the opportunity to dig into some tuna and broccoli before going back to bed ... oh yummy!

OK, let's get some insspirational videos stacked up for this month ...

Hit the gym at 08:00 and did a 20 minute warm-up on the bike followed by hack squats (maximum weight now 70kg), 4 sets of lunges and then a few sets of leg extensions to failure. Then warmed-down with 10 minutes on the bike followed by 20 minutes in and out of the sauna .... and I felt fucked!!

03:00: tuna & broccoli
12:00: tuna & 2 egg whites
15:30: boiled chicken & 1 egg white
19:00: tuna &  1 egg white



Morning routine: chest, triceps and calves - 20 minutes heavy bag / incline dumbell bench press (max 24kg) / 4 sets of dips / 4 * machine bench press / 4 * cable flyes / 4 * pec dec / 4 * tricep push downs / 4 * reverse grip tricep push downs / 4 * press-ups / 10 * calf raises / 30 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 35 minutes spinning bike

06:05. Had a great night's sleep. My biceps were aching from my back workout 01/03 so hit the gym and concentrated on chest, triceps and calves. Had a good workout, came home, ate and then had a great hour or so sleep.

06:15: boiled chicken & 1 egg white (try eating that shit at 06:15 = yuk!)
11:00: tuna & 1 egg white
14:15: tuna & peppers/chillis/onions/tomatoes (tastes like crap and starting to test my resolve)
17:45: boiled chicken and a few small pieces of potato

I just really do fancy a 1/2lb flame grilled juicy burger with lots of bacon, cheese and burger sauce.


Morning routine: hamstrings and abs - 20 minutes rowing / bent over hamstring raises / 5 sets of lying hamstring curls / 4 * hanging leg raises / 4 * crunches / 4 * leg raises / 4 * planks / 30 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 25 minutes spinning bike

06:02 It's nice to be able to roll out of bed and get the garden door open and enjoy the fresh air. OK, it's not a perfect morning weather or even smog-wise, but it's still nice and relaxing. Getting up this early also means that I can prepare my food (chicken is boiling) and get my gym stuff ready.

I did wake-up at around 02:30 and felt hungry, so had some tuna and even a slice if bread (as you do) but then had some of those weird dreams that you tend to have if you eat just before you sleep. Unfortunately none involved fit young woman prancing about without any clothes on ....

Hit the gym again this morning and trained hamstrings and abs. Finished with a go in the sauna, came home, ate and had a 90 minutes kip.

02:45: tuna & 1 slice of bread
10:45: boiled chicken & 1 egg white
13:00: tuna & 1 egg white
17:00: tuna & 1 egg white
23:00: boiled chicken & 1 egg white & 1 slice of toast 

My willpower with regards to my diet is now really being tested. My daughter is currently frying some chips and all that I can think about is kebabs and burgers .... arrrgghhhh!!


Morning routine: back - 20 minutes rowing / 5 * wide grip chins / 6 * reverse grip chins / 4 * hammer grip chins / 4 * hangs / 5 * upright rows / 10 minutes rowing / 35 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 45 minutes spinning bike

05:50 Sprang out of bed forgetting that I had reset my alarm for 05:45 ouch! I was in the gym by 07:20 and had a good back workout even though my energy levels were super low.

Journeyed down to my local Asda and bought myself some porridge and bananas which I think I'll take in a small quantities before my workouts. I also purchased 8 donuts, unfortunately not for me but for my grandkids who unsurprisingly love them! Other goodies that made their way into my trolley were Mars bars and chunky Kit Kats .... all for my youngest son who moves scaffolding around all day, so he needs the extra energy.

Now I would have weighed myself but my scales decided to completely fuck up. One minute I was around 89kg and then 2 seconds later I ws 87kg! Now I really wanted to know how much I weighed, and all this bollocking about started to fuck me off. I tried jumping up and down on them but this only made things worse. There was only one option left ... I took them out to my garden and beat the shit out of them with my sledgehammer and then threw the mangled remains in the bin. The missus seems to think that I have some sort of anger management issue? Suppose I'll have to pop down to Argos tomorrow and get some new ones!

06:00: tuna & 1 egg white & 1 slice of toast
11:30: boiled chicken & broccoli & 1 egg white
14:30: boiled chicken & broccoli
18:30: tuna & boiled cabbage & leeks yummy
21:30: boiled chicken & 1 egg white

I think that I need to get some low fat/low carb protein powder so that I can take on protein every 3 hours without having to force chicken and tuna down my throat at every meal time.



Morning routine: quads - 20 minutes bike / 4 * lunges / 6 * leg extensions / 4 * 25 bodyweight squats / 10 minutes bike / 15 minutes sauna

Evening routine: 50 minutes spinning bike

06:05 Felt pretty knackered this morning. Trained quads and there was no-one else in the gym!

Shot down to Argos to get my scales, got home and wieghed-in at 89.8kg, so finally under 90kg hurray!! Apparently the scales can also measure body fat percantage so I'll give that a go once I work out how to do it.

03:00: 8 tablespoons of porridge & 1/2 banana & 1/2 ring donut!
06:15: boiled chicken & 1 egg white & 1 slice of toast
07:15: 1/2 banana
10:00: tuna & boiled cabbage & leeks
13:00: boiled chicken & 3 egg whites & 1 slice of toast
16:45: tuna & 1/3 jacket potato
20:15: tuna & 1 slice of toast
21:00: 8 tablespoons of porridge & 1/2 banana


89.1kg / Bodyfat 28%

Morning routine: chest, triceps and calves - 20 minutes heavy bag / 4 * incline dumbell press (max 27.5kg * 4 reps) / 4 * dips / 4 * cable crossovers & press-ups supersets / 4 * machine bench press / 4 * tricep presses / 4 * planche stretches / 11 * calf raises / 30 minutes sauna

Lunchtime routine - 30 minutes bike

Evening routine: 30 minutes spinning bike

06:00 In terms of my diet I think that this is where it will start to get hard. I've let a few carbs creep back into my food intake over the last few days, but now I need to make a push over the next week or so to get down to sub 88.0kg as the last time that I was that low was over 15 years ago.

I purposely don't check my physique in the mirror every time that I go to the gym or bathroom as I think that it's harder to spot the gains. I always wear sweatpants and a sweat top while training (that's until I get ripped) and the last time that I checked my physique was last possibly last Tuesday. So I'll take a look after training today and see if I can afford to tighten-up my diet a little in terms of portion sizes. I'll also do my BMI and fat content on my new scales and maybe take a couple of update pics.

11:00 Just back from the gym and I think that my physique has definitely improved over the last week.

I jumped on my new scales and weighed-in at 89.1kg but I was shocked to see that my body fat was reading 28%. Now that seems well high as I'm getting fairly defined in the abs. I suppose that I will have to monitor this reading and even if it is incorrect at least it's a starting point and I'll obviously be looking to decrease this figure over the coming weeks. I'll also stick to my current diet as the weight seems to be coming off nicely, so I'll be looking to hit sub 88.0kg by 16/04.

06:15: boiled chicken & 1 egg & 1 slice of toast
11:00: boiled chicken & 1 egg
15:00: tuna & 1/3 jacket potato
19:00: chicken & broccoli
23:00: 8 tablespoons porridge

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Summer is Here!


Not too sure what my weight is at the moment. I'm possibly sub 94.0kg but I'll check tomorrow.

I have adjusted my scaffold for my heavy bag as it was a bit too low and it seems to be just about right now. I've probably had 3 sessions on it this week in between 30 minute sessions on the spinning bike and my diet has been good. I started by doing 30 minutes stints on the bag but upped that to 35 minutes this morning and felt like my arms were about to drop off!


I was up mega early this morning, 05:45 to be precise. I did 30 minutes on the bike and then some manual work in the garden. It's 13:35 now and I'm fucked!!



Up at 06:21, jumped on the bike for 30 minutes, had a nice hot soak in the bath and then weighed-in at 93.4kg so well happy.


Had a great 40 minutes session of boxing on the heavy bag in the morning and then jumped on the bike in the eveniong for a 30 minutes spin


Put the bag up and did 30 minutes in the morning followed by 30 minutes on the bike in the evening.


Did 20 minutes on the bike, took a nice hot bath and then weighed-in at 93.4kg! It looks like I'm going to have to lower my carb intake to practically zero for the next 2 weeks in order to go under 90kg by the end of March



Trained well yesterday and threw in some simple calisthenics to spice things up a bit. Diet was super strict ... tuna, chicken, broccoil and hardly any carbs.

Stumbled across this guy while looking a fitness stuff ...

Morning workout was 30 minutes on the heavy bag.


Routine: chest and triceps

I have trained the last couple of days but my last update was lost (think I switched the PC off before I saved it).

Joined my local gym this morning and had my first workout with weights for quite some time ... and everything felt super heavy! I'm looking to ease my way back into things over the next couple of weeks and I should be quite defined by the end of April ....especially as my diet means that I'm now sitting here eating boiled chicken and an egg white ... oh yummy.


Routine: calves and quads

Hit the gym again this morning. Did a nice warm-up on the heavy bag and then eased my way into some light calf and quadriceps exercises. They have a hack squat free-weight machine there ...

... and I know that these differ slightly in angle etc but back in the old days at my peak I could hack squat 280kg (7 * 20kg plates each side) ..... this morning I did 1 plate each side! Finished with 15 minutes in the sauna.


Routine: back and abs

06:02 Up and out of bed and made it to the gym well early this morning. Did another 30 minute warm-up on the heavy bag and then trained back (mostly chin-ups on the bar) and abs (leg raises), followed by a total of 20 minutes in the sauna and then back home for some lovely boiled chicken .... oh yummy!



Routine: hamstrings and abs

Hit the gym again and did another 30 minute warm-up on the heavy bag. Followed this with some hamstring exercises and a few ab exercises and then spent 30 minutes in and out of the sauna (mostly in).



Was on on the piss last night, and even had a Big Mac!!, and got home just before 02:00, so didn't feel up to going to the gym today.


Routine: chest and triceps

Back to the gym again this morning. Only managed 20 minutes of light work on the heavy bag as I felt like crap. I then did some incline bench press on the Smith machine (maxed out at 50kg), dumbell bench press (maxed out using 22lb dumbells), dips, triceps extensions and didn't feel too bad once I had finished. Obviously the weight that I am using is well below what I have done in the past (100kg+ bench, 100lb+ dumbells) but it's only my first week back and I'm also a lot older!. Spent some time in the sauna, come home and went to bed!

I haven't had a shoulder workout yet, but I'm finding that my shoulders are pretty much taken care of when I do the boxing.


Routine: quads and abs

Sunday morning and back down the gym. Did some more hack squats, lunges and leg extensions and totally fried my quads. Finished with 20 minutes in the sauna.


Routine: back and calves

Struggled out of bed and down to the gym this morning. I've decided to up my cardio slightly and drop my food intake in order to get to sub 90kg by the end of the month. My diet has consisted of tuna, boiled chicken, broccoli and the occasional slice of bread or small bowl of cereal. I'll try and drop the carbs completely and also slightly drop my protein intake.

So this morning I did 35 minutes on the heavy bag as a warm-up and then did some wide grip pull downs, reverse grip pulldowns, seated rows, upright rows and then some calf raises. I finished with 20 minutes in and out of the sauna and felt knackered, so tomoorrow might be a rest day.



Routine: hamstrings

I was just SO knackered last night that I went to bed at 19:30. Got back up at maybe 22:00 and then went back to bed at 01:00.

Felt OK this morning so hit the gym again. Did 30 minutes on the heavy bag mixed and my punch speed, footwork and head movement is already improving quite a bit. Also did some leg stretches (I really do need to focus on stretching as my flexibility is non-existant).

Hamstrings today so did some bent leg deadlift type exercises with light dumbells. I stand on an aerobics step platform and stretch down as if I'm touching my toes, hang loosely and then come up again about 3/4 of the way just by squeezing the hamstrings, it's a good one! I then did some normal lying hamstring curls. In the changing room I could hardly lift my legs when seated to take my socks off! Finished with 10 minutes in the sauna.

Paid a visit to Asda to buy some chicken, tuna and more broccoli and just finished some tuna and broccoli .... yummy.

I'll jump on the scales in the morning to see where I'm at ....



Jumped into a nice hot bath this morning and then onto the scales .... 90.9kg so well happy. That's a loss of almost 10kg since the start of the year

I'm going to have a rest day today and then smash into it again on Thursday.


Routine: quads and abs

Yep, back down to the gym this morning. Did some hack squats (max 60kg), lunges, leg extensions and some out of the seat work on the bike at maximum resistance. Finished with some crunches and 30 minutes in the sauna. My body is finally starting to take some sort of defined shape and I reckon that if I can continue with the same effort and keep to my diet then by the end of April I should be on my way to being ripped!


Routine: arms

Hit the gym again this morning and worked arms. This consisted of a 30 minute warm-up on the heavy bag followed by dips (max 10), barbell curls, tricep push-downs, narrow grip lat pulldowns, preacher curls and some exercises for my forearms (just hanging from a bar for as long as possible for 4 sets). Jumped in the sauna for 30 minutes and hey presto.

I think that my arms are possibly lagging behind the rest of my body, so in April I might blitz my arms as often as possible to see if I get get any gains.

PS Might even chance a home-made chicken curry tonight as I'm quite confident of reaching sub 90kg by 01/04.


Routine: calves and hamstrings

Saturday morning and back down to the gym. Had a quick warm-up on the bike and then did quite a few sets of calf raises followed by hamstring curls and dumbell hamstring raises, all finished off with 15 minutes in the sauna.


Routine: abs

Sunday morning, clocks forward and back down the gym. Heavy bag for 30 minutes followed by leg raises, crunches, 15 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes in the sauna. Now knackered ....



Felt knackered this morning so skipped the gym and stayed in bed. Did 30 minutes on the spinning bike when I eventually crawled out of bed. I'll jump on the scales tomorrow and take a few pics and then set some sort of schedule and target for April.