At ~191lbs, it almost time for me to jump into a mini-cut. The goal is solidly get into the 192 range, then cut back over 2-4 weeks down to ~187lbs. Just in time for the holiday to Oz! 🙂
Definitely starting to feel the extra fat build up around my stomach and lower back. I should really be comfortable with holding a little extra fat as I bulk, but I just don’t feel athletic and in shape enough to sign up to that. Plus, mini-cuts are proven to help preserve your muscle gains and make cutting less dramatic by keeping the fat percentage in check throughout the year.
I’ll post on this Micro-Blog and Instagram a pic just before cutting – keeping it raw and honest, even if the photos are less than flattering.
Here’s the rest of last weeks’ update…
Dealing with the Knee Pain
After having a word with myself, and chatting with Bryn, I confessed to all the bad habits that I’ve allowed to return that have caused the flare up on my left knee again. Too much sitting down at my desk, not enough position changing and not enough focus on posture and mobility drills.
So, I’ve been doing some foam rolling on parts of my quad, doing more priming work pre-workout and a little more dynamic stretching in the evening, such as Super Couch and flossing/distraction whilst lunging. I’ve also been doing a little test and retest work between sets, to see if I can make inflight adjustments.
The net-net is I’m finding I am able to get into better positions and more confidently load my legs without the pain. I’m not out of the woods though, as I did some split lunges with a barbell on my back and my left knee starting giving me grief again when my left leg was trailing. Pretty sure is a kneecap tracking issue, thats caused by tight hip flexors and quads, and weak(ish) quads. I’m able to train, and day-to-day my knees are fine, so just got to keep on the regime of rehabbing and correcting the imbalance in my body due all the desk-bound work.
Took Full Body Measurements
See below. Compared against Nov 2017, where I had a mini-cut and Xmas period in-between. I’m pretty happy with the progress so far.
- Weight – 191.2lbs (+4.4lbs)
- Body Fat % – 10.6% (+0.9%)
- Lean Mass – 170.9lbs (+2.9lbs)
- Arms – 40.5cm (+0.9cm)
- Chest Circumference – 111.1cm (+1.8cm)
- Shoulder Circumference – 126.6cm (+0.3cm)
- Upper Legs – 61.2cm (+0.2cm)
- Calves – 40.5cm (+1.0cm)
- Waist – 84.9cm (+0.6cm)
- Hips – 99.1cm (-0.2cm)
Adjusted My 8-week Training Block for Remaining Four Weeks
We’re playing around with a 5-day training program, with an Upper, Lower, Upper, Lower, Arm configuration and messing around with rep ranges daily and weekly. It’s quite complex to be honest, but we’re experimenting for the benefit of learning, plus you kinda need to do these things after the honeymoon newbie gains period ends. You can check out Feb’s training by visiting the AdapNation YouTube channel.
It’s important you enjoy your workouts, and feel you are getting maximum return for all your effort being put in. So, at the halfway point, Bryn and I decided to mix it up a little. I’ll actually write up a full review or do a YouTube video of the full 8-week training block so you can understand what I’m doing and the the why behind the programme design.
Some of the changes included
- Going from High Bar to Low Bar Back Squatting (should also help the knee)
- Including more quad strengthening exercises such as Pistol Squats, Split Squats and Dead Start Barbell Squats
- Getting a little more Bicep action by adding in Side Hammer Curls
- Making Pull Ups more challenging by holding in the top and middle positions
- Tweaking some of the rep schemes
Sleep & Skin Issues Incrementally Trending Positively
Another positive week in terms of incrementally adjusting my sleep and recovery efforts back to optimum. Still not perfect to be honest, but definitely trending in the right direction. Sleep up to 6-7h a night, but quality is not brilliant. That’s got to be down to working pretty much up to going to bed, and drinking too late too (causing me to wake up a couple times to pee).
Definitely feeling better, more able and in a more productive and happier mood. The gym sessions are good, but there is definitely an inner energy I’m yet to unlock in 2018.
Importantly, my flare up of dry flaky skin on scalp and face is subsiding. It’s incredible how quickly it can return and retreat when I nail the sleep piece and stay hydrated.
Mentally preparing for the Mini-Cut – I love my food, and like to eat a lot. I’m currently on 3,500 calories daily and will need to drop to ~2,800 calories. Thats pretty much a meal! I’ll be looking to enjoy my last week of big meals and dessert etc, before having to be more careful and rationed with my calories.
More Knee Rehab – As above, I need to commit to more work to get this back into optimal shape, so I can attack my squats again with the same commitment as I have previously. Will like to return to my heavy weight of 132.5kg for 6 reps (4 sets) soon. Lets see.
Lots more Dining Out! – Mums Birthday, Mothers Day, Friends over every weekend. Lots of great time with friends and family, and always brilliant food. Will need to practice my techniques described in the Diet & Eating Out – Have Your Cake & Eat It! Article.
I’ll let you know how I get on… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.