3 weeks Post Competition

69-frank-17-of-30This past week I increased my macros and continued training with the superset program.  I had one day that was a higher and somewhat looser re-feed.  It was still not an all out free for all with eating everything under the sun.  Instead it was just being a bit more free with my choices and mostly increasing serving sizes of foods I was already going to eat.   Then on my 3 lifting days I had increased my macros, while on the 3 remaining days, I kept those macros where they were from the previous week.

My goals is to increase size and strength in the gym, consume more calories, keep my metabolism burning the extra intake efficiently while keeping the increase in bodyfat down.  I have been using the scale and mirror once a week to judge my progress as well as taking notes of my clothes and how my strength and energy levels are in the gym and throughout the day.

As of this week, again my weight has remained unchanged from the previous weeks, even though I am increasing calories.  In the gym, the weights and or reps are increasing on every exercise and I feel good in there.  The weights themselves are lighter but the intensity is there with the supersets and we are making the most of every rep and set.

Again this week I kept my cardio session down to one 20 minute jump rope session.  The routine I have been doing is a bit more intense than just jumping straight for 20 minutes and involves a variety of jumps including double unders.

In this week’s evaluation, my conditioning is still there; the striations, definition and vascularity.  My strength levels have gone up, as evidenced in the workouts.  A few weeks before Worlds I had to add a notch to my belts to better keep my pants up as I was leaning out.  At the moment, I am still using those same notches.

All in all I am happy with the progress of this reverse.  I have been changing up meals, using a variety of foods to meet my nutrition goals each day.  My energy levels are good and consistent and the training is right on track.

This coming week is Thanksgiving and my birthday in the same day.  I will use that as my high refeed day so I can enjoy all of the foods I want.  I will keep my lifting macros the same and perhaps a bit higher, while keeping the 3 off days at the lower levels this week. Cardio will remain the same this week too, with just one cardio session.

After this week, it will be time to increase macros again depending on how this week goes and also I will end the superset program and write up the next workout program to start building muscle and making improvements.

 

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Holy HIIT!!!

Cardio is always a part of my overall training plan, but it is something that has been strategic and used with a purpose. I have never been part of the “more is better” thinking, doing hours upon hours of cardio each week just to “lose weight”.  Rather, I want to use cardio to burn fat, but how much and what kind is determined by the larger picture of nutrition, training, and also my goals at the time.

Often, hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio is included in my cardio plans.  These are short, but intense sessions that are very taxing with great after benefits in terms of fat burn.  However, I use these wisely as I do not want them to interfere with my gym workouts.  There is a place for both HIIT and for more lower intensity cardio routines in an overall cardio training plan.  I have used various methods for my hiit training – treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, tracks, stairs, and some bodyweight tabata-style stuff as well.

Since the fall, I began using a jump rope routine I had searched online to start some hiit training.  I had used it twice a week, about 17-23 minutes each time. As I became more adept at using the jump rope and doing various moves, I would change up the routine to make it more challenging and still continue to push myself.

Over the past month, I have taken on two new challenges hill sprints and prowler sled pushes.  Both of these have been demanding and as much as I hate thinking about doing them, I absolutely love it when they are done.  I love the challenge and pushing myself each and every time.  The battle is as much mental as it is physical and the workout is unreal.  There is a great hill in a park near my house, which serves as a popular sledding hill in winter.  For these I charge up the hill as fast as I can, and then walk/jog/bounce my way back down, careful not to fall on my face.  Moving down the hill is my resting period and as soon as I hit the bottom, I race back up for the next round.  I have only used the prowler sled once so far, but for this one, it was a similar routine.  Push the sled down a length of pavement and back, and that was one round.  Rest while a partner pushed the sled and once the sled came back, it was go time again for the next round.

In both workouts, I was not sure what to expect before I started, but I knew what I had hoped to accomplish in the end. I wanted to be pushed physically in terms of conditioning, heart rate, and to be breathing hard/gasping by the end.  I knew the session would be over when I could not do another round with any such intensity to the point where my running was now walking and even that was slow.  In the end, I hit those goals and with each following workout the goal is to push out more rounds that last time.

If you want something you have never had, you must do something you have never done.  I am continuing to find new ways to push myself and improve in order to become better than ever before.  ~ Rise and Conquer! wp-1467208087761.jpg wp-1467208108811.jpg