I'm beginning to plan a personal transformation over the next six months. I'd like to use this thread to post ideas, get feedback and document my progress. My fiance is likewise going through a transformative process, so we will be acting as each others coach and encouragement. I'll post a link to her thread once she's started it.
Brief bio. I started lifting 9 months ago at 146lbs (yep, I was a skinny bastard) utilizing a full-body, primarily compound, EOD regime. I'd like to move towards a more advanced and focused training structure while getting my diet under strict control.
I have no doubt that changes in my body composition will be significant with strict adherence and dedication. I'll be starting the transformation in about three weeks, once I've had a chance to plan my diet and training schedule. This week I'm keeping careful track of dietary intake to develop a plan of attack from a diet standpoint. I'll post the diet info and plan once I've completed the week of tracking. I'll also put some focus into what supplementation I'll use.
Money is a bit of a consideration, I already spend an inordinate amount of money on food so I'm guessing it's going to be limited to whey, casein, creatine and udo's perfect oil.
Current stats: 31yo, 6', 168lbs, <10% bf (unsure of exact, but I have definition, striations and abs are showing)*
Goals: 185lbs, <8% bf*
- is there anyway/where to get an accurate but inexpensive assessment of body composition and fat percent?
There's one issue that is going to make this a wee bit more challenging, but all the more motivating and powerful in the process of overcoming it... I have crohn's disease.
This means that diet, protein absorption/utilization and cortisol response all come into play a bit more than normal.
I've been largely in remission for the last few years, with one brief flare a couple months ago that required me to take a short course of prednisone. I'll be off in two days. Leading up to that course, I lost 10lbs dropping from 172 down to 162 due to abdominal pain and reduced food intake. In the last month I've gained back 6lbs to sit at 168.
And finally, my left leg has a peripheral neuropathy caused by a misplaced epidural during a bowel resection for the crohn's. I've gained quite a bit of strength back and don't limp anymore. The only significant effect is that it makes squats a bit more difficult, as my right leg has to compensate somewhat and the flexibility is limited due to foot drop. You'll notice that I can deadlift a lot more weight than I can squat.
It's not an excuse and I'm not looking for sympathy. It does, however, have an impact on my diet, training and progress. What does matter, is that I have a goal and a series of challenges to overcome.
Each day that I push a little bit against those challenges and climb a little higher is day that I can look back on with a smile and sense of satisfaction knowing that I can shape my will into a weapon.
OK, enough of that... let's layout the plan of attack. I'd like to add some lifts that I haven't done before, so for the next few weeks I'm using minimal weight and attempting to focus exclusively on neurological adaptation and good form. I'm doing this even on lifts that I feel relatively comfortable with, primarily to ensure that my form is spot on before moving back into heavy lifts. I'm not sure what effect this is going to have on my strength, but for reference my basic lifts are currently at:
Bench press: 120lbs
I'd like to utilize a 4-day split routine with one day of active recovery. I've considered using a 4 or 5 week periodization, but don't really understand enough about it to make an informed decision. I welcome input from everyone on how best to frame and implement any aspects of my training plan. This is what I'm proposing so far.
Monday - Back & Biceps
Bent over row
Incline dumbbell curl
Reverse preacher curl
Tuesday - Chest & Triceps
Barbell bench press
Incline barbell press
Cable push down
Reverse wrist curl
Wednesday - Thighs
Cable hip abduction
Thursday - shoulder, Calves & Abs
Standing calf raise
Lever seated calf raise
Lever rear delt row
Dumbbell push crunch
Weighted incline twisting sit-up
Friday - Off
Saturday - Active recovery
Sunday - Off
I've tried to mix each muscle group, muscle heads, lift type and power curves (i.e. free, lever cable). No doubt I'm over-thinking the whole thing. However, I am investing a huge amount of time and effort into this part of my life, from diet to planning and execution, so I might as well make it the best it can possibly be.
I'll take some photos and measurements and post them soon so that my progress can easily be charted.
I'm amazed at what I've accomplished in the last 9 months on my own, now I'm looking to this community for guidance and feedback. Help me hone the tools I've developed to completely reshape my life.
-- F (my real first initial...)