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SLVi3x3: Maintenance for a year?.. Not................

Monday, July 08, 2013

The anniversary of me hitting "maintenance" or target weight is here - well two weeks off. By this time last year I had sweated in the gym, lifted heavy and controlled my diet to end up at a weight of 189 pounds.

So 12 months later where am I?. I had planned for this. I long since realized that my "diet" to lose weight was eventuality my maintenance diet. Sad but true :(.. My diet is healthy -- I get a good amount of protein, fats are made up mostly using nuts. Nearly all my carbs come from fruit (five a day minimum). I have a protein shake every day (as a fast meal and because I like them :) ). By the time I've done this I am at my maintenance and usually hit calories.

For all the books on dieting in the world - it does seem that if you want to get all the fibre and vitamins you need and balance your macros - you actually have very limited choice in what you can eat... In simple terms - by all means have those chocolate cookies but if they are 300 calories then you must spend 25 minutes on the treadmill to work them off..

Yesterday I had an apple and blackberry pie with cream and a bag of candies (300 calories). These was justified as I cycled 15 miles up and down hills on rough terrain with a mountain bike... I enjoyed both he food and the biking - and enjoyed them both all the more because one justified the other..

The gym was something I had to take control of. The SLVi3 programme (see my spark group) was put together to keep my gym time down.I some respects that target has been hit - in other respects not.. As soon as my workload increases or I have a bit of free time then I am very bad and tend to wander off to the gym. My tracker in the sparkteam shows as much:

In truth SLVi3 goes into an intense strength phase towards the end where I try - for four weeks - to bulk up and increase strength. I then recover with a cut - I up the cardio and lighten the weights - increase the reps and reduce food intake a bit.

I am also on a macro period - part of a yearly cycle... I had planned to do three SLVi3 prgramme a year (done = 120 gym sessions) - whilst this time of the year I aim to get out more on the bike -run more outside and use bodyweight exercises. This is happening - it maximizes my quality of life.

So - physically where am I now? It was weight day today and I cam in at 189 pounds.. spot on where I was last year.

My strength... I have just come out of a big lifting session lasting a couple of weeks. It looks like I have put on around 20% on my maximum for all the big lifts over 9 months. This is slightly above target but I guess as the cut takes it toll I'll lose a bit. My speed running will be assessed in early August. I feel a bit faster but at the moment I am cycling and rowing more than running to preserve my knee which still complains at lengthy runs..

It seems I've got stronger. My shirts are tighter across the shoulders - my waist is the same if not slimmer. Of all things my biceps have got bigger. This is really odd as I do bicep curls once every ten days or so. I suppose its an effect of deadlifts and squats...

My abs are still a shambles. My legs and shoulders/ arms look like I am 12% bodyfat - my stomach is tight but my abs are still a long lost dream. Maybe this summer cut will show them...........

Looking at pictures from last year - in truth I did look tired. a 50 Pound weight loss actually wears you out - this year I am more athletic looking.

What next for the following year/? It seems the same. The routine is varied enough and it does the job and in a reasonable amount of time. Whilst my children are approaching the peak of their life physically - I am leaving them behind more and more on bikerides and walks.. :)

The second year of maintenance will present different challenges. Boredom - too much routine - these may all conspire to break my habit. I must focus on this mini bulk cut cycle I have going and KEEP returning tot he scales once a month. That works..

My sadness is that by my estimates abs will be out for two years :(


SLVi3: Archery:Nuts to calories: 10 months of

Sunday, June 09, 2013

My monthly weigh in was due this week. Over the last three weeks I have been on a minor bulk. I'm eating just above maintenance as my lifts are getting heavier and more demanding. I can't lift heavy without the food - I've long since learnt that.

All in all it seems that I put on just over a pound in four weeks. However my lifts do seem to have outstripped my meager weight gain - I am lifting heavier ... My shoulder and chest have filled out more.

My bulking diet is simply three bags of raw mixed nuts extra a week. It's surprising how this little extra males a difference.

The programme I am following is proving it's worth. See the image for gym attendance this year:

There have been a few tweeks - notably downward in time spent in the gym with more efficient exercises. The success is not only the improvement in physique but, more importantly - it is easy to keep going. The routine has been severely tested over the year by bad workloads and long days. But there is always time for those three hours.

My weight is no longer a game of concern. I am a pound off the target weight I made last year but I intend to put on two/three pounds over the next four weeks as my liting regime intensifies. I'll then cut into a bodyweight/cardio routine for summer... Enhanced with mountain biking, hiking and running.

The psychological war is in hand. Nearly one year into maintenance/physique improvement and things are going to plan. My dearth of blog posts here is testimony I guess to success. I still track exercise. I still watch my diet but its now gone from an obsession to get better - to a controlled, mechanical habit.

Archery still preoccupies me:

I grind away in a discipline manner. Arrow after arrow. Every shot draws my complete focus and I'm able to do about 4 hours training a week. Some weeks are bad - some are good - I try to learn from both. Recurve Archery is all about your body and peripheral senses. How you breath, how your balance unfolds during the shot cycle. All very interesting. As ever I tend to be apart from the rest of the archers. Many question my ability/need to be so considered and repetitive about every shot and how I am able to shoot so many arrows, so systematically without getting bored. In truth it seems a pastime which is completely concentrated on my bodies actions and responses. It's not really dissimilar to power lifting in that respect.

My new years resolutions seem on target. I am mindful that the last year has gone by swiftly. I am pleased that my athletic ability is improving but aware that the coming years are likely to go by quicker and quicker. I must strive to draw out every once of quality of life..........


SLVi3: Cardio makes you fat..

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My programme (see my (Staying Power team where it outlined) has been devised using years of experience and actually does a pretty good job. it is easy to do, time limited and returns results in strength and speed over a sensible time period (months/years). It is sustainable, measurable targeted and generally SMART.

A thread on the message boards here and a few casual observations in the gym led me to this blog.

I got accused of being a body builder (by a serious power lifter). I'm not. I aim to get athletic - the natural consequence of this is that I have leaned out and built well defined muscle slowly. My lifts are not as large as they could be. I don't eat enough for that to happen and I do about 40 minutes of intense cardio a week. Established wisdom is that this will suppress muscle gains. I don't care. i want good CV capacity.

The power lifter was traing with an old student of mine who has gone down the bulking route. A very male thing to do. He is now strong ( stronger than me!) but.. he does no cardio. I challenged him to get on the treadmill for a VO2 test - her refused- he can't run at all.

Today a young women joined me at the next treadmill. She had a good layer of fat ( actually well proportioned) What stood out was that her speed over a period of time easily matched mine. Watching her after I assume she must have been a good runner at school..her movement was spot on. However, she finished the run and then did a few small bicep curls on a machine.

Both have the benefit of age over me. Both can beat me at their chosen discipline. Neither have balance.

If form follows its path.. both will gather weight as they age. The male power lifter will find himself in a "bulk" cycle gone wrong and the women will find time is too short for her long runs. So few people find the right balance..

The SLvi3 programme is working. I'm halfway through the third card since August. I am stronger faster and in control This August will see the one year anniversary of my "maintenance"..

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERGBA7 5/13/2013 1:27PM

    Yes, I agree that for once health and overall fitness it is best to very the pleasures and training sessions, although I am more of a "fat" runner than a "bulked" lifter.
You go!

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/12/2013 10:58AM

    Balance is the key....lift heavy things for strength....get your body moving fast for endurance.

Now if I would only work in flexibility as diligently.....

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GLUECIPHER 5/12/2013 7:24AM


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SLVi3: weigh day: death: motivation.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Gmail beckoned and my monthly weigh-in ensued.

My diet has been on course this month - not much changed. I lost a grand total of 0.5 pounds over four weeks. I am now two pounds off my lightest ever.

I look to NSV's. At this weight I am light and my diet doesn't chop away fat. In the gym I had a very good week. For reasons I don't understand I saw a burst in strength improvement (as judged by compound lifts) and substantial increase in running speed. Clearly improving towards an athletes build is not a linear process..

Morbid thoughts unfortunately - I bumped into a former work colleague (nice bloke) two years my junior.. went off to take on an intense job five years ago... he was always a overweight and worked too hard. He has just taken four months off work because of a double heart attack. He does not look well.

More upsettingly the young girl who I trained with in the gym (she was a regular) who spent hours pounding out lifts and on the handbike in an effort to mitigate the rapid onset of muscular dystrophy has gone. She can only have been 20. Her last few sessions in the gym were heartbreaking - she always underplayed her affliction and worked so very hard in the gym despite it. Sheila (not her name) was there when I started my weight loss quest - - so very sad..

There but the grace of god... draw inspiration where you can and recognise what real strength some people have..

I found a website.. the result of a few minutes play was this... enjoy..

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERGBA7 5/5/2013 5:28PM

    oh muscular dystrophy is an ugly thing... very said indeed. Those people can teach us a lot about life!
Congrats on your maintenance, consistency, and fitness increases!
emoticon emoticon

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SLVi3: Striving for improvement

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I am now 20% through the THIRD run of SLVi3. There have been minor modifications - all logged in the group. The key to this routine is consistency . My sessions in the gym from last September indicate that i have won that!

A heavy first term saw me operate at base ( lead up to Christmas) I bulked a little - put on five pounds of muscles over four months and the recent flurry of activity show an effort to cut with extra cardio sessions ( helped with a reduction of calories). My body fat has fallen

So is it working - after 8 months am I the Adonis I set out to be? Well frankly no.. Looking at pictures of me when I hit target weight last August - I did look drawn and even tired (although obviously at a healthy weight). Now I look better (same weight lower bodyfat thanks to the muscle). I am stronger - I lift more - however I haven't made the progress I could have. THIS WAS PLANNED. In my view it was better to take a controlled , sustainable approach to bodyfat reduction than "go for broke". My cardio capacity is good and I know that by pushing my cardio I am slowing muscle development. However this is a price I am prepared to pay as a varied approach mitigates the possibility of injury and improves me "athletically. Although I have drawn on bodybuilding science - this is not a bodybuilding programme. There are people in the gym who are stronger than me as judged by lifts - but they are not as fast as me when it comes to short/long distance cardio.

My diet is as it always has been - controlled. Many would find it boring but food has never been a thrill for me.

8 Months into "maintenance" and I have improved. The mindset to weight loss is different and I can see now why many people fail at this point. Key for me has been to moderate the gym and stay on top of the diet. What ever I do in the gym - it is clearly the diet which challenges......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERGBA7 4/29/2013 3:55PM

    Congrats! You are still going strong!
Diet... hm... a word I really don't like to hear but we can not live without controlling it.

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