T Nation

Serge Storms - Shapeshifter

bodybuilding
nutrition

#201

When I stopped worrying about how I thought I should look, and focused instead on gaining the strength and agility required for skills that inspire me, everything else fell into place."

–Jessie Graff

I found this after watching her fail on the final obstacle on American Ninja Warrior tonight.

I like the quote, although I personally don’t really find the goals of looking great and doing awesome shit to be incongruent in any way, especially if your ideal physique is one that a gymnast would have.

MONDAY - 2230 calories

230g C
207g P
58g F

No workout.


#202

That’s a big beafy muscle, so you need to load it heavy. Pistols are probably not your answer. This probably is the generic obvious answer, but 10x3 front squats or high bar back squats. Pauses would be good. Heavy hack squats or leg presses if you don’t want to squat. High reps will obviously work too, but you need to load up the weight. True RPE7-8.


#203

Good stuff, thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah, pistols are for pure performance, I’ve been working on them for about 10 years and I don’t think they change the way my legs look at all.

In my entire lifting life, I’ve probably only once or twice made it a goal to grow any part of my legs (except calves). This could be fun.


#204

“If you’re a naturally skinny-limbed dude, consider your expectations. Can you expect to develop the body of an NFL running back? More often than not, the average 5’7 to 6’0” guy looks much better at 165-185 pounds and 8-12% body fat than at 200-plus pounds at 15% body fat or higher."

–That came from today’s “tip” article from Eric Bach.

I definitely fit this description. Naturally skinny-limbed, about 5’11 ish. And for sure, I do not look very good at 205 and 15%. I look not horrible, but not good.

Training Today -

Arms, chest, shoulders. Can’t do anything for legs at the moment, as I’m working around a minor injury/medical issue that needs a few more days to resolve. Very minor, but a total pain in the ass.

One thing I did do, which I’ve been doing often, is a super-slow pull-up as a finisher at the end of my workout.

I only do one, but I go slow. I’m able to slow it down so it lasts about 45 seconds in each direction. It’s a bitch. Body starts shaking and it becomes a true test of how long I’m willing to grind it out. I think I need to get better at relaxing and breathing if I want to start taking this to the next level. I also mix it up so that sometimes I’ll use the widest grip available, sometimes medium, sometimes close grip.

After I was done, I had a guy start asking me all kinds of questions on how I built up to being able to do that, how many I can do, how often I do it, etc.


#205

You’ve made it, slap a catchy name on it, make a cool million.

In all seriousness, that’s some solid body control as well as mental fortitude. I really enjoy your log as it is such a far cry from all the training I’m really familiar with and do for myself.


#206

I might be able to hang from the pull-up bar for 45 seconds.

Basically the same thing, right?


#207

Glad you enjoy the log.

You’re right, I should package it up and sell it. Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda beat me to it, though.


#208

VOIDH?


#209

Thursday

2300 calories; 230g C, 215g P, 65g F

Travel day, so lots of protein bars.

2x Powerbar Clean Whey
2x Quest Cookies n’ Cream
1x MetRx Big Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I had some real food, too, but not much.

Workout

Pull-ups

A lot of reps, many different kinds
Cable delt work
Lateral delt machine. Burn outs. I have discovered that the basic delt raise machine with the arm pads is offers WAY more options than the standard movement pattern. I played around with a lot of front-delt stuff today. Mechanical drop sets until failure. Delts were cashed by the end.

LOTS of acro-yoga-capoeira-gymnast style stretching and floor work today, as I am still a bit limited by a little injury issue and can’t do any leg stuff or full-body stuff that involves “bearing down” if that makes sense.

No rope, bike, or stairs, either.

Oh, I also did some band work on a break earlier today. Curls, mostly. Found a bicep contraction angle that nearly had my biceps peak cramping on-command. Bands can make for a damn good workout and a good pump.

I thought bands were supposed to be easy to recover from, but I find that they make me a bit sluggish and they require some decent recovery time.


#210

3 weeks until I start cutting.

I’m coming for you, chubs.


#211

Thank you for the reminder. I will adjust my lighting and angles appropriately.

What is our target date again? I have to figure out when to start my cut. If our date falls on a Friday, I’m thinking I’ll start that Wednesday.


#212

Friday 2700 calories

40/30/30 macros

AM walk
PM band/dumbbell workout

183 lbs


#213

Training Saturday

Today I felt fresh, so I started right into my body weight circus trick routine before anything else. Just a very short stretching warmup, and then I started working on hand stands and other hand balancing tricks, breakin’ moves, and a few insanely slow pistol squats. I also did a ridiculously slow descent from a handstand onto my chest. Maybe the next step here is to go back up. That would be pretty impressive.

After the circus act, I headed to the pull-up bar. I did a few sets of holds and slow reps with a wide grip, but before I got too burnt, I wanted to try to beat my record on the super-slow full-range close-grip pull-up.

And wow. I crushed it. I am FINALLY figuring out how this is supposed to feel. I’m trying to focus all of the tension into my back, keeping my hands, forearms, biceps, and shoulders as relaxed as I possibly can. Now that I’m getting way better at this, the limiting factor really becomes breathing and mental fortitude.

After the stupid human tricks portion of the workout, I did some volume work for chest. Mostly single-arm flies on the pec dec. For these, I swivel my body so I’m facing more sideways. So, sideways to the right when I’m working the right pec so I’m really stretching across my body. This creates a tension in the chest that I have not been able to duplicate with anything else. I did some drop sets and of course all kinds of partial-range contraction technique stuff. Crazy pump.

Pump also enhanced by a triple dose of forskolin pre-workout, one scoop of Mag-10, one serving of vanilla Life cereal, a few pills of my favorite GDA (REALLY wish Biotest would bring theirs back), and a scoop of pump stuff with glycerol, nitrosigine, and taurine.


#214

I may need to withdraw from this competition.

I have discovered something called “Angry Mills caffeinated protein infused peanut spread”.

My life just became a permabulk. I’m done.

-chubs


#215

It sounds like they’ve finally developed the perfect food. Science!


#216

ehhh I don’t think we ever really discussed one.

I was planning starting the diet on the 9th of October up until just before xmas. That’s ten weeks which I’m hoping should be enough time. It has been in the past, but who knows how my ageing metabolism will hold out.

Still not 100% on my plan of attack either, but the start date looms ever closer.


#217

Sunday - 2800 calories

204g P
312g C
63g F
72g Fiber

Sunday - Workout

Lots of side and rear delt work today. And traps. Just reps and reps and reps.

A tiny bit of hand stand work.

60 minute bike ride.

183 lbs.


#218

I am loving 183lbs right now.

As long as I don’t go out and get hammered on the weekends, it seems like I can hold 183 easily. It’s a weight where I feel like I look good flat and dry, but also when fully pumped and hydrated.

2600-2800 calories seems to be the sweet spot for holding this condition, but I need to hit that number consistently with the right foods to really know for sure. Working on that.

I feel like I’d rather recomp or “reverse diet” my way to additional leanness from here, rather than try to force myself to a lower body weight. Even in just holding this weight for a few weeks, I’m seeing some improvements in leanness. At the same time, when fully pumped, I’ve still had a few “my head and neck look way too small for my body” moments. So I’m in the right zone.

I am also adding two supplements to the mix to really maximize what I can do while holding 183 lbs. The first is a topical 11-keto. When Biotest used to sell the 11-Spray, it was my favorite of all time. Something about that stuff makes me feel good. Immediately. I always notice some tightening up and some enhanced vascularity. Over the years, a few companies have sold different versions - after a while, I figured it was totally banned, but I found one and I’m using it now.

The other is something that I almost feel silly for even admitting, but in the spirit of transparency, I will share. It is a topical fat-burning solution that seems to be used pretty widely in contest prep circles. I have always been fascinated by topical fat-loss substances…and kind of confused as to why they haven’t figured out how to make them work. Well, I’m giving this one a shot and will report back with some results. Spot reduction is real? There is a T-Nation article with that title, so obviously it is true.

If I buy a set of shake-weight dumbbells next, somebody call for help.


#219

Oh, I forgot. Recomp until December 18th. Then a 5-day minicut and a minor lighting adjustment so I can out-shred Yogi in our big contest.

Hopefully he doesn’t go full Arash Rahbar on me and show up like a shredded monster.


#220

Peace.

I wanted to drop my carbs just a bit without dropping calories, just to see what happens. I came up with a target goal in the 33/33/33 range, still shooting for 2500-2700 calories.

With a goal of 33% fat, it can be easy to let some shitty food choices in. Not that I’m gonna start pounding doughnuts and pizza, but the more fat, the more tendency that a food will be more hyper-palatable. Those tend to be trigger foods that derail a day of otherwise good eating. So for me, increasing my fat target means I need to be extra vigilant about my food choices. Whole eggs, a bit of peanut butter, a bit more butter in the pan, slightly fattier meats…those are okay. Fast food, high-calorie protein bars, bacon, peanuts, and chocolate - those never lead anywhere good unless it’s at the very end of the day and I have room.

TODAY: 2,000 calories

Workout - 45 minutes, 500 calories burned (that’s a relatively intense workout).

Lots of chest today.

Flame-free confession time: I might have to watch Dancing with the Stars this season. Why? It started when my wife told me Lindsey Stirling was part of this season. Huge fan. Then I saw Nick Lachay’s partner, Peta. Woah. Instant fan. Has she always been on the show? Smokin’.