A lot of people who have posted on my thread in the physique and performance photos forum have mentioned they would like to know more about my training and nutrition. Several have asked about what I did to get ready for my contest, and several about wht I am doing now.
I will start with what I am doing now. After my contest was over, I took advantage of extra calories as all bb's do, but quickly got back on the horse...not to diet but to see waht I could accomplish muscle wise as the dry sponge we become after a contest.
The first thing I did was modify my nutrition. I upped my calories from pre contest style to barely over maintenance style. There was no need to pig out, as I have kind of a freakish metabolism that actually allow me to build muscle on a calorie deficit if I eat a lot of clean foods with high protien.
I do model though, thus necessitating periods of deficits to trim and deplete a bit, the muscle gaining phases are filled with calories. Just a few rules for my off season muscle building weeks...
1) at least 160-185 grams of prtotien a day
2) roughly 2000-2200 calores on my weight training days (which you will read later lack no hardcore qualities
3) about 1800-2000 calories on cardio days
4) eat lots of carbs around my workouts - no ifs and or butts about it
5) supplement with vitamins and a BCAA/Creatine water drink during and after my workouts
For me, keeping my fat intake somewhere around 20% and NO MORE than 30% seems to work well for me. Any more than that and my body starts storing unecessary fat.
For training, there are two schemes that I alternate between. The first invloves a split and looks something like this:
M: Heavy CHest and Back, light Bi's, tri's and delt's
T: cardio - Low intensity intervals only while building up my muscle mass
W: Quads, Hams/Glutes, Calves with a possible widowmaker set of squats
F: Heavy Shoulders and Arms, light chest and back
S: Light legs (as a recovery workout) and/or cardio
I use this scheme to properly stimulate my nervous system to maximize recovery and growth. It works incredibly well. As I progress from week to week on this scheme, I will in crease my sets and decrease reps. by keeping volume up but varying your load, you can continue to get growth more effectively for a longer time frame.
I firmly believe that switching your workout too often will minimize potential gains from any training time frame. Yet people are plateau-phobic. This scheme allows for maximum gains.
The other scheme I use is one that only a ceratin type of genetic/metabolism can handle without overreaching/overtraining.
If I could not handle three full body workouts in one week, after my first cycle I would just go on the exact same plan, only on a two day split
(working LOWER heavy and upper light on Monday, then work UPPER heavy and lower very light Wednesday) and when I say 'light' I really mean light - like 1-2 sets per body part, light weight 12-15 reps...just for some muscle stimulation.
HOWEVER, for me...
I am a FULL BODY WORKOUT LOVER. Right now, I am doing three full body workouts per week. However, they vary in intensity. Let me describe...
M: POWER/STRENGTH DAY - Heavy weights, low reps, basic movements
Week 1 and 2: 3 sets, 5-6 reps
Week 3 and 4: 4 sets, 4-5 reps
Week 5 and 6: 5 sets, 3-4 reps
(does the volume load idea look familiar?)
W: PUMP-DENSITY/REST PAUSE DAY - 5 sets, 5-12 reps with 20 seconds in between sets, going down in weight if I can't pump out 5 reps at any given set
F: TRADITIONAL BB WORKOUT -
Week 1 and 2: 2-3 sets, 10-12 reps
Week 3 and 4: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Week 5 and 6: 4 sets, 6-8 reps
Plus, 1 intensity technique set on the last set i.e. partials, flushing, drop set etc..I do not like to use intensity techniques a whole lot, because they mostly just make you more susceptible to injury, but when not over utilized, used in moderation, (i.e.when you have two days to rest) they can be very effective.
By now, that volume variation should look real familiar
I do this workout one of three ways:
1- Standard straight sets
2 - Different exercises for each muscle each and every set
3- Supersetting appropriate uscle groups
This full body workout scheme works well for someone whose nervous system can stand that kind of stimulation and who is willing to eat the calories/macros necessary to build muscle mass! The various intensities and muscle fibers that are hit my training this way can seriously instigate enourmous growth.
Conversley it can throw one into a state of overtraining in a fast hurry if they are not genetically suited to handle it, do not rest or eat sufficient calories.
One other thing, even I do not repeat the full body workouts for more than one cycle. Switching back to plan 1 not only gives me a break, but the immense response I will get by going back to plan 1 makes it all worthwhile!
I'll cut every few/four weeks and up my reps and lower my weights for a break (typically before a photoshoot, then back on the muscle building train...
I hope it wasn't too long, but there you have it folks, Jen's official off season plans!
Train smart...train hard...but most importantly - have fun!