|Part 1 | Part 2|
Getting into the greatest shape of my life at an unsurpassed competitive bodyweight of 180lbs ripped is becoming more of a reality as the week's progress. In my last installment, I had just begun the first week of Program One and had a healthy skepticism regarding the kind of results I was told to expect over the ensuing weeks.
I am about to begin the second week of the third of the three two-week Program One cycles, as prescribed. In this short space of time all assumed adaptations have occurred, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Around 14-weeks out from the first of several 2006 competitions, my body fat levels, as recorded on the November 22, had dropped from eight to 4.7-percent, while bodyweight remained steady on 177-pounds.
This represented an increase in lean-body-mass of 6.38-pounds and a corresponding decrease in body-fat of 6.38-pounds. Today, one week later, bodyweight is 178.5-pounds at the same 4.7-percent body fat measurement. It seems 180-pounds of ripped muscle is not out of reach for me, as first thought. In fact, I have been told 185 is not out of the question, but I am not holding my breath on this one just yet.
After five weeks on Program One training, the changes are as follows:
1. Improved Work Capacity.
Both aerobic and anaerobic systems have been improved with this program. The high rep days have sufficiently taxed the cardio respiratory system to the extent that aerobic fitness levels have improved significantly.
My ability to handle heavy weights has improved to the point where I have to be careful not to overdo things due soaring strength levels and superior recovery abilities.
2. Improved Mood & Concentration Levels.
When beginning this program, I suspected a drop off in concentration and negative mood changes due to the exclusion of aerobic work. However, the opposite is true in that I feel great most of the time and improvements in mental acuity have been noticed.
3. Healthier Complexion & General Health.
In five weeks, vascularity and cuts have come through highlighting my individual muscle groups and creating a healthier appearance. Energy levels are high most of the time.
How I Achieved My Initial Results
Given this complete periodized program is structured into specific phases, with the first of these - Program One - coming to completion one week from now, further dramatic results are expected. However, the ones I have witnessed at this point probably represent the greatest progress I have made in my bodybuilding career to date.
How did these come about? What follows is a break-down of exactly what I did to gain over 6.38-pounds of muscle in five weeks. Greater gains are expected. I will keep you all posted on this.
An Effective Training System
In hindsight, I believe my muscles had been under stimulated all these years despite regular high intensity training sessions. Before Program One, my bodybuilding regimen included training each body part once per week, with around two to three sets per exercise. I used two to three exercises for larger muscles, one to two for smaller ones in an effort to avoid overtraining.
Having adopted a higher volume method, which includes training each body part twice per week with a larger number of sets and a variety of rep ranges (for full program refer to article one), my muscles have adapted, and grown rapidly. My thinking has always been Heavy Duty oriented but I have now discovered that with higher volume and greater variety, the muscles, in my particular case, are forced to grow.
The metamorphic effects, which can be seen in the accompanying photos, have come, I am told, as a result of having my trillions of cells primarily focused on lean body mass production. The dramatic fat loss that has occurred has come as a result of the weight training methods used, as this program has no aerobic component.
In fact, previous programs have featured regular aerobic work with a view to burning fat. In hindsight, this may have had the opposite effect for me in that with oxidative (aerobic) training it has been shown that the body actually favors some subcutaneous body fat storage in most people.
This is the primary fuel for conditioned slow-twitch muscle fibers and the body wants to store more of it. Aerobic training also burns some proteins for fuel. This is obviously counter-productive when gains in muscle mass are wanted.
It seems that my muscles are in a constant anabolic state with this program. Before, my muscles would appear to shrink after several days without a sufficient stimulus. Now, they appear constantly pumped, and look full all the time. This can be attributed, in part, to four main training factors. Refer to article one for the full program.
1. The Right Exercises:
In acknowledging the importance of balance and symmetry, virtually every muscle in the body is trained with specifically selected exercises. No stone is left unturned.
2. Heavy Weight/Low Rep Sessions:
The idea behind heavy weight, low rep sessions is to stimulate the fast twitch muscle fibers that are responsible for large increases in muscle size. Increased muscle density has occurred throughout my entire physique.
Learn More About Muscle Fiber:
3. Moderate Weight/High Rep Sessions:
The high rep days are beneficial for muscle growth in several ways. Firstly, they permit a greater range of motion and allow for maximal muscle contraction without fear of damaging the muscle via heavy exertion. The greater the range of motion, the greater the neuromuscular benefits and resultant muscle growth.
Higher reps also stimulate connective tissue growth, allowing for heavier weights to be lifted on low rep days, and adding to the total bodybuilding effect of Program One.
4. High Intensity Workouts:
Despite obvious differences, as outlined above, all sessions on Program One have one thing in common: all sets are completed to failure to generate the highest intensity possible. Appropriate weight selection is important here as muscle failure must be reached within the prescribed number of repetitions.
As a result of the high intensity required for this program and the variation in weight and rep ranges, all weights have increased over the five week period.
A Targeted Diet With Specific Supplements
Without the right kind of diet and supplementation program, Program One will not have been able to exert its powerful anabolic effects. Throughout my transformation process I have learned not only specific training principals that clearly work in my case, but certain nutritional facts that have completely changed the way I view the traditional bodybuilding diet. These dietary modifications follow.
1. Whole Foods:
Previously I placed a great deal of emphasis on supplementation at the expense of nutritious whole foods. I have now cut back on various supplements, while increasing the content of high protein foods such as eggs, chicken, fish and steak in my diet.
|From The Bodybuildin.com Nutrient Database|
Whereas once I would have had various protein powders and bars at, at least, half of my six daily meals, I now eat primarily whole foods.
This seems to have worked very well. Whole foods, in the right qualities, contain all the co-factors need to support growth and stimulate the metabolism. A reliance on supplements might cause one to lose sight of the unequivocal importance of whole foods.
2. Enough Carbs:
In previous programs I would cut back on carbohydrates in the evening, and even at other times of the day, for fear of adding fat to my physique. Now carbs feature prominently at every meal, and fat loss continues to occur. Carbs are an important growth-supporting element and should only be cut, to a greater or lesser extent, during the final stages of a pre-competition phase.
If the right training program is undertaken - as with Program One - and the right supplements are taken - as will be explained soon - the metabolic rate will continue burn fat. Without sufficient carbs, the body will begin to burn protein as a fuel source as I had found before the commencement of Program One.
3. Find One Supplement That Works & Stick With It:
I have experimented with many supplements over the years and have found some to be good and may to be bad. This may just be an individual thing, but I truly believe that the closer a supplement comes to replicating the actions of whole foods, the better the response the body will have to it.
This is why various meal replacements and whey proteins are at the top of my list. The one product I have found to work perfectly for me is a new supplement called Explosive Growth Blend.
Since the beginning of program one, I have taken Explosive Growth Blend three times a day, usually one hour before a main meal, and it has lived up to all it's claims.
As mentioned, my body feels strong and my muscles feel full and tight most of the time. I have never felt this way before. It is almost as if my body is in an anabolic state 24-7.
Since witnessing its effects, I will continue taking Explosive Growth Blend as a regular part of my bodybuilding plan.
Before taking the growth blend I took all the usual supplements such as creatine, glutamine and whey protein. I no longer have to take all these things - in fact, it would be counter-productive to do so - as Explosive Growth Bend has them all in precise ratios.
4. Drink More Water:
With this program, the intensity of training and addition of powerful supplements means a greater intake of water is needed. I aim for 12-15 glasses a day, more on training days. This may seem a little excessive but it has definitely helped to keep my muscles hydrated and functioning at a high level.
As shown above, Program One has given me the kind of results that have eluded me for over ten years. The training and nutritional truths I have learned along the way have will benefit me for years to come. Program Two will begin in two weeks and further positive results are expected, so stay tuned and I reveal all in a future installment.
|Part 1 | Part 2|