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Troubles in China-Get Me on Track


Short bio so you know where I'm at:

I was involved in wrestling through high school and two years of college, at which point I left to focus on my grades. Since then it has been a bit of a roller coaster. There are times when I was very good at staying on track with a program and times when I wasn't.

I am plagued with perfectionism--if I do not have my diet perfect and clean, my routine structured with the exact amount of sets, reps, weight, and rest periods, I end up convincing myself that it is not even worth it to go.

Consciously I know that if I just lift hard and stick fairly well to a good program I will do well, but it is still a major hurtle. I became a registered CSCS through the NSCA last year (minored in Sports Medicine in college), but it has kind of been a mixed bag. I have a lot of technical knowledge, but it also fuels my perfectionism.

Now for recent events. I peaked with my weight at about 165 lbs (I am 5'9", bodyfat around 8-9%). I have always been pretty lean and had trouble putting on weight. Recently however, I herniated a disc (L4/L5 I think it was), and it put me out of commission for quite some time. In fact, I didn't even realize it was herniated and just dealt with the pain for about 4 months, until I finally got an MRI. Now I'm trying to rehab it doing Yoga--yeah it's girly, but it helps my flexibility (which is awful) and improves my core stabilizers.

So here is why I joined the boards: I've been reading some of the stuff, and this place certainly fits the bill for intelligent training. What I'm hoping for is advice and support regarding my motivation and some practical knowledge. I am well-acquainted with the theory, but I've never been involved much in the way of hands-on work.

While I am totally familiar with the kinesiology, principles of periodization, rep schemes, endocrine responses,etc. I'm not so good with the little tweaking that is done. Like--when should I break off my arm day into a separate workout or what works best--macrocycle , or short cycle periodization.

Also, my training has been in general athletics, not specifically for bodybuilding. It's these little things (and the psychological aspect) that I'm hoping to gain. In return, I hope to contribute with my knowledge of the theory and more scientific aspects of the discipline.


Oh yeah, forgot to add why I titled it "Troubles in China". One more wrench to throw in with my weird problems what have been holding me back--I currently live in China and will do so until this coming July. There are advantages and disadvantages to this.


1) Biggest by far--Time. I only work about 18 hours per week, so I honestly should have no excuse to miss a workout. I am studying Chinese intensively and doing a few other things, but I honestly should make it to the gym.

2) Free gym. Technically it's not free, but no one questions foreigners when they go in there so it's free to me.


1) Nutrition/diet: There are no nutrition labels on the food, and with a lot of the food I'm only dimly aware of what I'm eating. I have an incredibly small kitchen, so cooking is not much of an option (especially since I cannot navigate around a market). Thus I have to eat out most of the time. They do not have much meat here and what meat they have is damn expensive. Same with eggs. The main source of protein I now get is from tofu, which I try to eat in fairly large quantities.

2) Lack of access to supplements: This includes vitaminsI am paid a Chinese salary. It is decent, but you have to understand that no one here uses supplements or vitamins, so while I can find a shitty knockoff brand if I look hard enough, they are at Western prices which is about five times normal Chinese price. I eventually sucked it up and bought a sports drink so I could have a quasi-PWO shake, but even that stuck the wallet.

3) Moderate facilities. I'm not sure I should put this as a disadvantage because they aren't bad, just not great. For example, they don't have a squat rack (they only have a Smith machine) or dumbbells that go very high.

The big problem is nutritional aspects I think that will cause problems here.


So, is this an intro to the forums or do you have a nagging question? :wink:

If you want help with your current workout or training macrocycle, you'll have to add some more information. And if you want bodybuilding-specifics, I'd recommend heading over to the bodybuilding sub-forum: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/category.jsp?categoryID=39&pageNo=1&s=forumsSidebar


do they have milk? particularly chocolate milk is a great substitute for post workout protein drink from what i hear.


"Oprah, that's the craziest thing I ever heard."

On protein: If you have to buy cheap knockoffs at western prices anyway, you can simply order from overseas, can't you?

Besides, milk and eggs are quite a good start.