When Trainer and I met last week to do measurements, we also made a plan for the 49 weeks left until the August show. We divided those 49 weeks into seven intervals of 7 weeks. During the first 4 weeks of an interval, I’m going to follow my normal, pretty clean diet that is 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. And during those 4 weeks, I’m going to have energy to lift like I love to lift – as heavy as I can. The sets will be reduced to four per exercises, 12-10-8-6 reps. I should build muscle, but I also need to keep losing fat. I will do 30 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I will also do another 30 minutes of cardio after my afternoon lifting workout. During both of these cardio sessions, my body will not have carbs to use for energy, so it should burn fat for fuel.
The last three weeks of the seven week interval will be all about cutting. Carbs will be cut back. Cardio will increase to 45 minutes each time. I will still be lifting, but I’m assuming my weights will drop when the carbs are cut.
Body fat target is 10% by May 20th. When I get on stage in August, I want to be at 8% or lower. We set intermediate goals set for each of the seven week intervals from now until May.
This week’s lifting has been super fun. Took a couple of days to get the glucose back into my muscles. Once they were replenished, I started moving heavier weights. All the exercises went better this week than they did in the previous three weeks of 15’s – which is predictable. Yesterday, I dead lifted 175 pounds, six times! That’s a personal record. Today, I lifted 125 pounds on the Smith machine overhead press – I think that’s a personal record, too.
August was a bad month for me. Paul was gone three weeks and he had to deal with an extremely difficult situation, so I was worried about him. And I had to start planning to go back to teaching. I also had to navigate my workouts around the desk job at the gym. I missed working with Trainer. I still do. August was when I had to figure out how to do this alone. I lost my focus and screwed up my own program. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. I felt lost. I got hurt. I cried a lot in August.
But I’m excited again. I like this program after working it for a few days. I like moving forward with a plan. I love having goals. Goals inspire me to work. Goals help me get up before the planet wakes up and get to the gym. And those goals get me back to the gym after working all day.
I’ve learned a ton in the last year, but I’m still struggling with the mental toughness required to be a bodybuilder. To be honest, I haven’t had to be as mentally tough as I need to be now. Trainer carried a lot of that water for me. I was passive in my own program. I’ve been talking like a badass, but that bravado has been mostly to pump myself up. I think a better plan would be to use prayer to find a quiet place in my mind each day where I can focus only on what I need to accomplish that day and hold distractions at bay.