The great thing about creating your own training program is that you can try new techniques to see how your body responds. One thing about our bodies that is really great is its ability to adapt to the environment. In the training realm, this can be positive or negative. In an effort to gain more muscle, or shock the system, sometimes we have to try something new. Since December, I have been doing the typical 5-6 day training split and usually sticking to one or two body parts during each session. My rep ranges are anywhere from 6 up to 15. This is 5 months of the same type of training. Lately, I have started to feel like I needed a change. Not just for physical stimulation but for my mental sanity as well! Even though I am training for another show, weight lifting is something I plan to do for life. If I want to keep going, I have to try new approaches. Bodybuilders tend to get stuck in their ways and don’t try new ways of training. But, when you think about athletes of various sports and the way they train, you can clearly see that there are many ways to elicit muscle growth. Athletes may do some bodybuilding work or they may do full body splits. Crossfit Athletes do a lot of power work and Olympic lifts and they have amazing bodies. The same applies for track and field athletes.
So…change is good. This morning I tried my first training session of German Volume Training. After thorough research, I figured out how to implement this into my regimen for the next 5 weeks. I even read an article about a figure competitor who trained this way during the first part of her prep. Several bodybuilders have used this technique as well. The plan is to lift only 3-4 days per week but that is all you need because it is so intense. In my plan, I pick 2 body parts to train in one session only using 4 exercises. BUT, I perform 2 of the exercises using 10 reps for 10 sets. That is 100 reps! It seems easy at first but once you get to the 4th or 5th set it is extremely challenging. You cannot use heavy weight…maybe use about 65% of your max. I add in a couple of auxiliary exercises with fewer sets to finish.
I am writing this post at 10 am…I worked out five hours ago at 5am…and as the time goes on, I am getting sorer! I have not been this sore in a while. I see why you can only do 3 or 4 days a week. Your body couldn’t handle more. I have also changed up my cardio routine. I can’t do a lot of drawn out cardio with this type of training. I am sticking with short, high intensity circuits, sprints, and spin class a few times a week. After these five weeks, I will be off of the GV training and will add a bit more cardio to tighten up in the last month before the show.
I am looking forward to trying more training styles in the future and learning how my body responds to each one. 9 weeks to go until show time!
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson
I heard a message this morning that really made me think. We get so caught up in our daily lives and trying to get the dream job, dream house, dream car, and even the dream body, that we don’t enjoy the process. I have thought about this in regards to my prep for this next show and also my career. Of course, I have big goals and positions that I would like to see myself in. Ultimately, I want to make a career of teaching others how to make healthy lifestyle changes, not just temporary changes for a show or an event. But, I realized that I am getting so caught up in reaching the end or dreading the beginning, that I am not truly enjoying the journey.
For the next 10 weeks until my next competition, I have a plan to enjoy the journey more. Here it is outlined step-by-step.
- Share my experience in more details by writing in this blog
- Record training sessions of myself and my clients
- Implement a new training style for the first six weeks (German Volume Training…more on this in a separate post)
- Read more literature on nutrition and competition training
- Take my cardio outside on nice days, walking outside, or running at the lake
- Include yoga back into my routine once a week
- Include meditation
- Pray for more patience and strength to enjoy each day
Don’t ever get so consumed with the FINAL result that you forget to enjoy what it takes to get there. If you enjoy the process, the task will be less arduous and stressful in your everyday life. If you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, don’t just think about that last day of the 3rd month, think about what you are doing to get there. What will your workout plan involve? What new and creative exercises can you add to your regimen, and what types of creative meals can you plan. How will you be a positive influence to those around you while you are pursuing your goal? Yes, it will be hard and yes, you may slip and fall….but just keep going and please enjoy the ride!!!
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”-Greg Anderson
Sometimes it takes years to learn a lesson. We either learn through joy or pain and most people learn through pain. I have twelve weeks left until the competition. For the first four weeks, I kept thinking…” Oh my God, I have this many weeks to go…” Then, I read an article of another competitor who said her coach told her to make the best of her prep time. She can either get through it begrudgingly, or enjoy the journey.
So I am taking one day at a time. But, I am enjoying the journey. I’m being creative with my food, and experimenting with my training. Rather than thinking about being alone, I think about being in control. I have lost 9 pounds which is awesome! And I don’t feel totally horrible. This prep is a part of my life but it does not control my life. That is the difference this time around.
The first week is always the hardest but if you make it through without cheating on your diet, going crazy at work, and being nice to your spouse…you should be good! Lol! It was a little rough because I had some major cravings. Each morning I got up to workout and realized I couldn’t have a granola bar, honey, or any of my usual pre-workout treats. I managed to get by with my chicken, tuna, sweet potatoes, oatmeal (YUMMY) and vegetables.
I have found a new thermogenic that really helps control my cravings and provides enough energy throughout the day. (MHP Dopamite). My cardio is not full on yet so I’m not exhausted. Starting 16 weeks out allows me more time to lean out so I am not rushing the process. I have already lost 4 lbs which is great! I will weigh again in a few weeks….I am never doing every week again because I refuse to drive myself crazy. Plus the scale does not tell me what my bodyfat percentage is. When I go back to the YMCA, I will have them measure it.
This week’s meals include stewed chicken and tomatoes, tilapia, chocolate protein powder, coconut oil, coconut flour,
spinach, kale, cucumbers, oatmeal, grapefruit and sweet potatoes.
Off to a great start!