Diet Has Started...
Post Cardio Ramblings "The Human Body Is Amazing"
So "diet" started almost two weeks ago and with that comes an increase in cardio. I'll post up my food diet tomorrow for those who are interested. Weight is down 1.8kg/4lbs in 11 days, heading for a guest posing spot in June and hopefully my first Pro show in July. For cardio I have one must-do session of fasted cardio before breakfast, then extra cardio which comes from dog walk midday-ish and non exercise activity through cleaning the gym for an hour or so. To give you an idea of where this all fits in: Rising time Mon - Friday is 4.30am to open up the gym for 6am, then first cardio session will be around 6.15/6.30am. Followed by gym cleaning, then dog walk later that day. Plus weight training in the evening. I'm somewhat a creature of habit so when it comes to my afternoon dog walk, Biggie and me stick to a few well worn in routes that I roughly know the time they'll take depending on how much cardio is needed. During "off season" cardio is kept pretty much to a minimum apart from slow dog walks...avoiding hills or anything taxing at all costs lol. Cardio can usually be done in one of two ways: LISS - Low Intensity Steady State, eg a walk, swimming, stepper, cross trainer, bike etc all done with an elevated heart rate for a certain duration 30 mins say. HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training, short bursts of maximum effort sprint intervals in between steadier state intervals. For example on the cross trainer an interval would be one minute at around 50 RPM followed by 30 secs at around 85-100 RPM. When it comes to LISS you want to try and get your heart rate up into your fat burning zone (generally between 110-140 bpm - age/fitness depending) and keep it there for the duration. So when it comes to dog walking (or similar) you'll need to do something slightly more intense to start off with to get heart rate up. In my case, I like to take this particular route which starts off up a steep hill and certainly gets your heart rate going. The first time going back up the hill a couple of weeks ago after a long while off was extremely difficult, I even had to stop half way and by the time I got to the top I literally had to "have a minute". One week in, it was still challenging but I could make it to the top comfortably. Two weeks in and I'm going faster up the hill and reaching the top with no problem. So what is the point I'm trying to make? ADAPTATION The way the hill walk had gotten so easy so quickly got me thinking. The human body is extremely clever at adapting/conditioning itself to situations that we put it through. So when it comes to physical feats that we wish to excell in (cardio, the gym, Powerlifting...anything) it's important that we periodically introduce new challenges/exercises/routines in order to constantly progress. Ask yourself this, do you still look the same as you did this time last year, or even two years ago? If yes, do you come to the gym and do the same routine with roughly the same weights for weeks on end? (You may be thinking "who does that?" but trust me, some people do) This could be the reason for your lack of progress/ improvement. Yes we need to be consistent with what we do in order to get better at it (stronger/look better), but we also need to recognise when our bodies need change in order to keep making improvements. Now I'm talking about general muscle hypertrophy/bodybuilding here, strength training or the like would be slightly more complicated. Let's take bench press as an example... Say you come in and do a few warm ups then 4 sets of 10 reps with a particular weight. Then each week for 8 weeks you add 2.5kg a side and get all of your reps out, and when you reach a weight where you can no longer progress what do you do? Carry on with that weight getting 4 sets of 10 each week? Or, swap out the exercise for another flat movement (flat dumbell press say) so that your chest is doing something fresh and will start to progress again. Whilst you are still improving at a certain exercise it is almost inevitable that you are laying down new muscle tissue. Keep that movement in until it stalls or starts to go backwards. When something stays the same or starts to regress it is more than likely that you will not improve that body part. Change it out. Our bodies are amazing. If you want to be better than you are now then you have to refresh your routines/exercises regularly. So what are the key points here? ▪️ Be consistent - stick with an exercise as long as you are making progress. Progress meaning still moving up with weight and reps. ▪️ Know when to change - if an exercise stalls, change it out for a different movement for that body part. ▪️ Challenge your body - introduce intensity methods such as drop sets and rest pause into your workouts. ▪️ Try something new - e.g sled, farmers walk, walking lunges, kettlebells all challenge the body in a completely different way to regular weight training. It may be hard to start of with but guess what? Your body will adapt. 😉 Don't be afraid to challenge yourself for fear of hard work. Nothing worth having ever came easy!
Want to see what my mass gain diet was like? Check it out here www.musclefactoryswinton.co.uk/post/off-season-mass-gaining-diet
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