|Image 1: "The Rock", Dwayne Johnson, certainly looked less "disgusting" as the Scorption King in The Mummy Returns ;-)|
7 weeks out and getting closer: Separation, veins and grainy muscle
I am now 7 weeks out and I have been very pleased with my progress. Day by day, I'm seeing more and more separation in my muscles and in certain parts of my muscle, the fibers begin to show through the the skin. In view of the current low carb craze and the notion that even the slightest amount of sugar will make you hold tons of water it is quite ironic that it was the re-incorporation of carbs into my post workout meals, which made my muscles not only look fuller, but also much harder. And while I cannot tell whether this is simply a result of the increase in muscle glycogen, the measuring tape tells me that my arms have grown! Last I checked they were 17 ¼ and when I measured today, they are now 17 ½ … whatever the reason may be, it certainly feels and looks neat ;-)
Here are some current progress pictures, and will probably be the last that I post in a while until I get closer to show time. I feel I can still make some significant changes in my physique, and I want you, my dear readers to be able to see the difference from now and 7 weeks later…
previous blogposts, here at the SuppVersity, I am a firm believer in constant progress. There is always room for improvements, and here are those I know I can and am determined to make in the seven weeks to the show:
- Although I am starting to notice that my lower back is coming up the way I want it (you may remember the issue if you listened to Dr. Andro's and my interview
with Carl Lanore, last week). Still it seems like a long shot, but I’m
making it a priority to do weighted chin-ups 2x a week to try and really
stimulate my lower lower lats and maybe even the lower trunk muscles in
the back... well, at least that part of those muscles, that actually
still respond to the signals my brain is sending. It's somewhat awkward
not to know if the whole problem is a result of the spinal cord injury
or just me not paying enough attention to a muscle, I rarely use, as I
simply cannot do those exercises which are the most demanding for the
stabilizing muscles of the lower back.
- Despite the fact that my muscle separation has improved
significantly over the last couple of days, I am positive that I can
still improve it - particularly in the area where my biceps, triceps and
side deltoids meet and tie together.
- The same is true for my abdominals. They look neat, already.
The separations are showing, but still... I have even begun to include
regular ab exercises in my regimen, this week. I know that I have
mentioned before that you don't actually have to train your abs to get a
six pack, and that diet alone will bring your abs out and shine in
their full glory. For someone who cannot to squats or deadlifts,
however, a few crunches could in fact make a difference. And since I
don't want to leave anything to chance, I rather spent the additional
five minutes on ab work then later see an "L" instead of a "Win" in the
column on the score boards.
- At the same time, I am still trying to perfect that "super" vascular, grainy and disgusting look *lol* I got 7 weeks to make that happen and certainly will spare no effort.
A brief note for those who have not followed the whole series: For the past months my training regimen consisted of escalating density (EDT) and 5x5 training - low reps, heavy weights. Aside from what my diet obviously did, I feel that the low(-er) reps and heavy(-ier) loads have helped me a lot to increase my strength and gains, while still being able to cut significant amounts of body fat, something, which is obviously not common, when you are on a non-negligible caloric deficit.So, I thought to myself… "How can I increase the volume in my training, yet still maintain lifting a heavy load as I did with EDT and 5x5 training?" From my experience with high volume training, you often think that you lift as hard as you can, but with the high amount of reps and sets on your mind, you are always leaving some gas in the tank, so to say, and end up settling for moderate weights and ever-increasing amounts of half-heartedly executed reps.
Reverse pyramid training - a routine about as ancient as the Pyramids on the Giza Plateau
I was not looking for a concrete routine, as you know that I like to build those around the moves that work best for me, but rather for a "training style", something like EDT, or 5x5, a "training paradigm", if you will, that would allow me to train at a higher volume, but still at maximal intensity. The thing that eventually caught my eye is something many of you will probably call an old hat: reverse pyramid training (RPT).
|Image 3: In case you think there is something wrong with this picture, you probably have not heard of the famous "reverse pyramid", right?|
Making a routine "my routine": More sets, more reps more exercises
At least those of you who are not new to this series will yet know that whenever I "apply" a new method, be it diet or, as in this case, training-wise, I make a few tweaks and adjustments according to my contemporary goals. Therefore, you may be surprised to hear that the only real "adjustment" I made, is to add in even more sets and reps... and I know what you are thinking now: "Still more? Adelfo is going crazy! That's too many exercises, the sessions will be too long and at best this is going to be un- at worst counter-productive." In that, you are probably making some good points, but like I said: This is what I feel will work for me at this point in time... and if I am wrong? Then I will keep tweaking until it works ;-)
|Tables 1-2: My new RPT routine; due to the fact that I do the Gironda dips unweighed, I don't use the pyramid in this particular exercise.|
My body was done after Monday and Tuesday’s workout! I haven’t felt that sore in a while.
|Image 3: Adelfo during his firefighting days before the accident. While he was not exactly athletic, he never had weight issues with all the physical labor. If you want to know more, read up on Adelfo's SuppVersity Student Spotlight|
Even when I started out doing EDT training, I wasn’t that sore. The last time my body felt this... I guess, "painfully good" is the right way to describe it, was when I came home from work after a day of hiking mountains, digging fire lines, and fighting forest fires. So, in case you are someone with a masochistic vein, I suggest you grab your gymback and give my routine a try... ah, and if you can, let me know how you feel when you are done. A pros pos, I am done for this week, at least as far as my weekly blogpost is concerned. Until next Thursday, then - same time, same place!