Week 2 wasn’t much different than week 1. It was an adjustment continuing to get back into shape but I can already feel my body responding to the workout. So far I’ve completed just 6 training sessions (3/w x 2 weeks).
Rest, sets, and reps were unchanged for week 2. I continued doing 2 sets of each exercise while rest periods also stayed the same at 45 seconds.
You can see from the picture above not much changed with regards to body compostion. Only 2 weeks into a training program you can’t expect to see results just yet. I do however expect week 3 to get interesting. In the past I’ve normally felt great at or around the 3 week mark. At that point your body is getting stronger and more effiicent with the training.
My diet over this week was still an adjustment. Like I’ve said before getting used to very little carbs takes some time. I slacked off a bit with my vegetable intake and I also cheated once! So I had a small breakfast sandwich one morning which went against my low carb rule (would have been no problem minus the English muffin). The important take away here though us simply moving on. Did having that sandwich derail the progress I’ve making for the 2 weeks. Absolutely not, because I won’t let it. Now IS NOT the time to dwell on that fact I cheated. Forget about it. Move on. it was one slip up. So remember this, if you cheated on your diet plan, get back on track immediately . Don’t let one small insignificant mistake throw you off course.
Here’s some pictures of what I’m eating lately:
Pork tenderloin with white mushrooms
Ahi Tuna with broccoli and white mushrooms
Typical lunch veggies (with ranch dip) , and some lunch meats, and beef jerky, with cheese.
My body weight is hovering around 167 lbs. My body fat scale is reading at about 18.5 bf %. So not much of a change from the start.
Week one is always hard when you’re coming back from a layoff of even a few months. It doesn’t take long to lose strength and muscle. That being said our muscles are actually pretty smart. Yes, muscles do have memory so don’t get down on yourself if you’ve stopped exercising. Getting that first, second and third workout in can do a great deal in propelling you forward.
The biggest challenge during the first week getting use to my new diet. I completely cut out sweets, pop, and carbohydrates. Basically all that shit that brings nothing to the table when trying to build a great body.
I actually figured eating low carb would be a nightmare on my body and a big shock, and at first it was. I felt tired, especially after my workouts this week. I literally laid on my floor after my Wednesday workout in my own sweat. I didn’t want to move. Thankfully, as the week went on my energy levels got back to normal and as an interesting side effect I start sleeping a lot better than I was before starting this challenge.
The actual work outs were very tough but I tried not to think about it too much and just do it. You don’t want to psyche yourself out and start thinking this is too hard for me. Power through with everything you’ve got because it will get easier as your body get’s stronger.
I didn’t notice a visual change after week 1 and I certainly didn’t expect one.
I was pretty good with my nutrition plan, sticking to the foods I laid out. A typical breakfast would include 3 large eggs, some cheese on the side, and a couple strips of bacon.
Water intake is something I forgot to mention in week 1. My goal is too drink at the very least 3-4 litres of water daily. I love drinking water so this isn’t a problem for me. *Dehydration directly translates into decreased performance, so you always want to be well hydrated.
I am pretty excited week 1 is done and was a success. 11 more weeks till this transformation is complete!
- Build muscle, lose fat, and improve overall health. More specifically I want to get my body fat down under 10%.
Keys To Success:
- Consistency will play a large role in my progress. I need to get my workouts done, quickly and efficiently, but need to stay equally focused on my diet/nutrition plan.
I am using a nutrition strategy that is essentially low carb. Simple idea here is to re-train my body to use fat. I am following this principle for the first 4 weeks. I’ll be eating lots of vegetables, protein from sources like eggs, chicken, beef.
I will also be completely cutting out junk foods, pop, desserts, basically anything with sugar in it.
I’ve planned out my workouts down to the duration, rest periods (big one) and times per week for the full 12 weeks.
- My training program will take place 3 times per week; Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. I will NEVER train without resting at least a full day in between. So Tues, Thursday, and the weekend will be my recovery days. Remember, muscles don’t grow while you’re working out, they grow while resting.
- I won’t be doing “extra” cardio like running aimlessly on a treadmill for a couple reasons. First, my weight training workouts are designed to be intense enough I simply won’t need too. Second, traditional cardio is boring and time consuming, and I’m not looking to add more things to do, I’m looking to save time. Third, did you know studies show that doing an intense weight training session will elevate your metabolism for up to 36 hours after you’re done training? Think about that, powerful stuff!
The Actual Workout:
First and foremost I need to warm up, stretch, and get my muscles firing for what’s about to come. I achieve this by doing a quick 5 minute dynamic warm up. I won’t be doing any old school static stretching. Static stretching simply doesn’t work nor does it increase performance. A dynamic warm up primes your body much better for an intense workout that, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
The first 4 weeks I’m putting myself through a conditioning program. It looks something like so:
Weeks 1 Through 4:
1A Static Lunge…15 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
1B Incline Dumbbell Press…12 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
2A Hip Extension…15 reps…1 set..45 second rest period
2B Dumbbell Row to Neck…15 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
Ending with about a minute of core work.
* 1A…1B..represents alternating sets. Simply means I’ll do one set of exercise A….rest for 45 seconds…then move to exercise B…
- I’m using very basic equipment throughout this 12 week challenge.
an incline/decline bench
chin up bar
- I got all my equipment locally through kijiji so I didn’t spend a fortune. I think I paid around $80 for a very good used bench that would have easily cost $300 new. The dumbbells were not that cheap but I have steel hex dumbbells that are very good and will pretty much last a lifetime. They range in weight from 10lbs to 60lbs. Quick piece of advice about shopping for dumbbells. Stay away from those old Weider plastic cement filled weights. I know they are cheapest, and they are also the worst quality. I used them when I started training at age 16 and I can still remember like it was yesterday how frustrating those things become.
Stopwatch – a stopwatch is a definite must have. It only cost me 10 bucks and it help keeps me accountable to the rest periods I’ve laid out in my training program. I like to think of my stopwatch as my coach. If I was working out with a coach he would be standing over me, timing my rest periods, then telling me to GO time to start a
Workout Log – another big piece to the puzzle. Over the years I have always used a training a log to track exactly what I am doing each week. I record sets, reps, weight used, the training date, etc. I’ve worked out in several commercial gyms over the last 10 years and It amazed me looking around that hardly anyone was tracking their workouts!
Keep in mind a workout log can simply be a piece of paper. You don’t have to get fancy and get the latest iphone fitness app (which then just becomes another distraction making your workout longer). I use a small plain workbook from the dollar store and it does the job.
Overall Fitness & Conditioning:
One of my goals during this challenge is to improve my health. So I went to the doctor and got some blood work done (cholesterol, fasting glucose, etc) so I can gauge the overall effectiveness my training/nutrition is having on my cardiovascular health. I also booked a follow up appointment 4 weeks later so I can compare the results.