I've started a new training program, it's obviously still very high in intensity (as you can see below), but less volume overall. It's based on "German Volume Training" which as far as I can tell, has been made popular by Charles Poloquin. It's a far more structured program than my last, involving undulating periodization which is something I utilized a lot during my dieting last year. I'll let the man himself define it for you:
"In a nutshell, GVT targets a specific group of motor units and exposes them to an extensive volume of repeated efforts; specifically, 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to such extraordinary stress by hypertrophying those muscle fibers. I’ve found that when used exactly the way I prescribed, GVT can result in gains of 10 pounds or more of solid muscle in six weeks, always associated with a decrease in bodyfat.The above article explains exactly the protocol I'm following for the next 6 weeks.
More specifically, the goal of GVT is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight for each exercise. Obviously, you couldn’t start with a weight that you could barely complete for 10 reps, because by the 10th set the accumulated fatigue would prevent you from performing 10 reps for the later sets, and therefore you would tap into a different motor unit pool. As such, I recommend that you start with a weight equal to 60 percent of your best single or, to put it another way, a weight that you could lift for about 20 reps. Therefore, if you can bench press 200 pounds for 1 rep, you would use 120 pounds for this exercise." (Poloquin)
This program as explained above is far more detailed than the last, allow me to explain: this program follows a 10 sets by 5 rep scheme for the first 11 days, then you increase the weight and move to 10 sets by 4 reps for another 11 days, then similarly again you go with 10 sets by 3 reps for another 11 days (undulating through this schema for 55 days total). This is obviously far more progressive than the program I was previously on. One benefit I've also noticed is the increased recovery, both between muscle workouts (about 4-6 days) and periodized workouts per week. You work: Monday on, Tuesday on, Wednesday off, Thursday on, Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off which my other program might also have done but I wasn't able to follow that structure, living where I did, now that I'm 5 mins from the city, this program is possible. Let me tell you, the extra recovery is both noticed and welcomed!
Another difference in this program is the specific focus on concentric, eccentric control. Poloquin recommends a 40X0 movement time which means 4 seconds on the "eccentric" phase (eccentric refers to the muscle lengthening, or the downward phase of a movement) no pause at the bottom, then explode through the "concentric" or shortening/upward phase of the movement. Poloquin explains the justification for this:
"Advanced trainees, because of their enhanced neurological efficiency, should only use explosive concentric tempos." (Poloquin)It should also be noted that the supplementary work ("B1" and "B2") are done at 3 sets by 6-8 reps with a same or similar tempo.
|Chest/Back- rest 100s|
|x10 sets/ x 3 sets x6-8||Wk1|
|A1: BB Bench||90kg|
|B1: DB Inc Bench||32.5kg, 35kg-|
|B2: BB BO Row||60kg, 60kg-|
|A1: BB Back Squat||80kg|
|A2: Lying Leg Curl||55kg|
|B1: DB Walking Lunge||20kg,20kg,20kg|
|A1: DB Alt Curl||20kg|
|A2: CG Bench||80kg|
|B1: Preacher Curl||37kg,37kg,37kg|
|A1: BB Inc Bench||80kg|
|B1: DB Bench||35kg,35kg,35kg|
|B2: DB BO Row||30kg,30kg,30kg|
The diet has been OK, I'm officially almost a week without nachos, living clean and loving life. For serious though, the dropping of nachos is helping with the waistline, but I fear with so much damage already done, I'll have to be all the more stringent for the next couple of months, I'm even considering an interval day although standard convention would dictate to avoid that (too much CNS stress).
I've discovered vegetarian options such as sausages and bacon, which have been nice. They taste pretty good, are high in protein (though it is soy) and reasonably low in carbs. I've been largely living on smoothies, which has made me feel pretty hungry a lot of the time, so the addition of some solid food has been nice.
Breakfast: 1 cup of oats with 1 scoop protein powder, Hilo milk, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. 700mL of water. Vegetable smoothy- 1/3 of a cucumber, handful of alfalfa, a carrot, handfuls of beans, peas, corn, spinach, a few sticks of broccoli. 1 tablespoon of creatine in milk.
Post workout shake: x2 up n go "energize"'s, 30g of protein powder. 500-700mL of water during training. 1 tablespoon of creatine.
Post workout meal: X2 fried eggs on wholemeal toast (x2 slics) with low fat butter.
Meal before afternoon shift: Smoothy- 1/2 cup of berries, 1 cup of mixed veggies, 1 banana, 1 pear/apple, 1/2 cup of walnuts/cashews, a touch of cinnamon, 750mL of water, 1 cup of yogurt, 150g cottage cheese, 3 broccoli stems, handful of cherry tomatoes, lentils, chick peas (or various other types of beans/lentils). I also forgot to note, this makes 2 shakes that I have over the course of the day, or I have the leftover one the next day.
Dinner: Various vegetarian options such as vegetable sausages, bacon etc.
Pre bed snack (sometimes): Second vegetable smoothy.
Supplements. 3-4 fish oil tabs with my afternoon smoothy, and I've started taking a multivitamin supplement once-twice a day.
Poloquin C., A Look Back, and Ahead, at German Volume Training: How to get the most growth out of this proven training system. Retrieved 31/04/2011.