At the start of the year I set myself the goals of simply getting stronger and smarter. Since then any one following my posts will know that is the direction I’ve been moving in. However a recent Facebook post by a good friend and advisor Chris Shelmerdine a great upcoming fitness model and competitor (please follow his blog) about the wisdom, or lack there of, of bulking and cutting rather than just adding muscle mass cleanly and staying lean all along has made me really sit back and reflect on my whole plan. See my longer term aims are all focused around obstacle racing and improving at that, so whilst this year I have stopped racing to focus on this improved strength the longer term goal was to use this added strength to help my up and over obstacles etc. (as well as looking better in the mirror).
The problem with my current plan you see is similar to the bulking and cutting argument, this is made worse by the fact that the type of muscle fibres I am generating and growing at the minute do not necessarily transfer across to my muscular endurance goals, so I’d be essentially building the wrong kind of muscle. This is a HUGE over simplification and I know not 100% accurate but the principle is.
So why spend the whole year gaining size that will actually slow me down when I return to racing, also I will have lost my mitochondrial density that is after all the backbone of my current abilities and I’d have to spend all winter regaining that lost CV fitness.
With all this in mind I enrolled on an induction class at Caveman Training (similar to cross-fit, just better). During this induction we did a 15 min circuit and all of my worries were born out. Whilst I am most definitely stronger and can lift the weights with greater ease, I have lost huge amounts of conditioning and was gassed out in very short order. It was very humbling to be honest and I HIGHLY recommend anyone in the Staffordshire area to check the guys out, they are the real deal for sure.
So where now?
I intend to continue with my current training plan of Wendler 5/3/1 BBB, followed by Jim Stoppani’ superman workout. Both of these will be 4 days per week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
I will now supplement these with 1 Caveman session a week on a Sunday morning and 1 other Muscular endurance workout or CV training on a Wednesday, this will most likely consist of either a Tapout XT workout or hitting my local trails for some hill running and sprints.
As I mentioned in a recent post I have really dialled back on any limits in terms of nutrition, however, this has been a bit disastrous with me gaining 4lb of fat and only 1lb of muscle in just 7 days, I said I’d give it 24 weeks but with the change in focus on my training there had to come a change in focus on diet. I intend return to my paleo style of eating, with the added carbs in the evening in the form of potato (white & sweet) and rice. As usual I won’t be counting calories of macros but simply monitoring how I look, feel and perform. I will be using the IF protocols but not everyday and more just if I’m busy or not hungry then I’ll skip a meal, if I’m hungry then I will eat until satiated.
On waking I will continue to add 10g of chocolate Whey isolate to my morning coffee, along with some coconut oil.
3x 3g fish oil tablets 3 times a day.
Pre-workout will be 20g of whey protein isolate, 10g of creatine, and 200mg caffeine.
Post-workout 20g whey isolate, 10g hydrolysed whey, 10g casein, 10g creatine, 5g leucine, 25g dextrose and 25g Maltodextrine.
Evening snack of Greek Yogurt and 25g Whey Isolate
Pre-bed cup of Pukka night time tea and ZMA
I suppose the point is that your training and nutrition should match your goals whether they are performance or aesthetic, and why do something that will later need to be undone to achieve that goal.