Part 2 – A Rant, Training, Supplements and Making it Happen!

Following on from yesterday’s post I was going to just details my routine and nutritional aspects of my training plan but after spending 45mins in the gym today listening to some bloke complain about how he has no time to do anything and resents anyone who has time “to make a well earned beer belly disappear” and then to have a go at me for apparently making him look bad by walking past him (!?) I got annoyed. He literally spent 20 mins in there, 10 half arsed minutes cycling on the machine then 5 complaining and another 5 pretending to row. Fair do’s, I’ve nothing against it, at least he was there doing “something” but don’t come in and start having a go at other people who are actually trying and putting in the hours.  It wasn’t as if he was someone who didn’t want to get into shape either, from what he was saying, he did, but just complained about it to me and the other lad in there so I wanted to rant on here for a bit… cheers. I even suggested to him to sign up for a charity race to give him something to train for… usual answer back really was “he doesn’t have time for that nonsense!”…. couple of words came to mind at that point but I’ll leave it there.

Training for any sport, whether it’s football, gym or maybe getting into shape with zumba or any other group based class requires some form of discipline and commitment. After all, nothing in life worth having comes easy and all that… So many people each year start on their new year’s resolution, planning to get into shape, giving it everything for about 2 -3 months when it all goes back to normal again. Gyms are packed with people, classes fully booked up and streets crammed with those eager-beavers setting off on their yearly 10 jogs.  Too many of these people then quit but some don’t…. Those some stick at it and continue with their classes… they continue in the gym, they keep their alarm set that hour earlier and they make time for it and those people get their results! It’s hard work yeah, no one said it would be easy, but soon they start to maybe enjoy it. New part of life open up, new sports, new adventures, new people and life seems easier all of a sudden. Health is improved, people have more energy, more up-beat, they feel good about themselves and it shows!! It’s these ordinary people who stick at it that we should take our hats off too. Getting into shape is not a short term thing, nor is it be a once a year new years resolution. It should be a life style change for the better. It’s not about starving yourself of food, running 3 times a day and thinking this is what its going to be like every day until I’m in shape…. It’s about starting off making small changes, finding what works for you and improving every time and building on it. Getting out of your comfort zone and sweating it out for 30 mins not starving yourself and spending 2 hours in a gym! It’s about feeling good at the end of the session and looking forward to improving on the next! Most of all its about creating a better you to live your life with and feeling up for anything, not sitting there saying – “I really need to do that”.

Rant over, well almost… So many people think they don’t have time with work commitments, family, friends, other hobbies etc but it’s simply not true. If you want to do something that much you will make time for it! Simple. It takes commitment though. I hate the excuse that people will do it tomorrow… yeah it might be raining outside, its dark and you haven’t even started on tea yet but what will 30-60mins difference make? Next time that happens, don’t think about it or say you’ll do your run or go to the gym tomorrow – just throw your trainers on and go out and do it!! As soon as you’re out there and running you’ll warm up quickly and at the end of it you will feel a million times better than you did before you left. I guarantee it. Unless that is, you get hit by a car or something, in which case – sorry.

Another point with training is that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, someone thinks they know better than you or in their opinion you’re not doing something right because so and so does it this way and so and so says this… Regarding my training, I’ve been told several times now that training for a marathon and training to build muscle won’t work yet all the people who have told me this have never tried it themselves or even considered trying. Fair enough, if it doesn’t work then great but I’ll never know unless I try. I know for a fact that some people, who view my workout routine to come in a bit, will criticise it to themselves for perhaps the order in which I have planned it or the exercises I have chosen and that’s fine. It may not be to their liking but it works for me and its tailored to what I want to get out of it. I like to think i’ve done enough of my own research over the last 4-5 years to know and it’s worked for me so far! There was a good example fairly recently of a world class body builder who posted his workout routine onto a body building forum together with his diet only to have it criticized by members and advised to change parts of it for growth etc. I’ll try and find it again and post it on here as its interesting to see! The lesson being here is that it doesn’t matter what you read, or do, there will always be someone who says it’s wrong and with an alternative.  You see this every month with Mens Fitness and Mens Health magazines… month on month they contradict each other. Eat this not that, ditch this move, do that… There is so much information out there, some will work for you, and others won’t. It’s all about trial and error and sticking with it… but not for so long your body gets used to it, of course!

So basically my training program was put together with these things in mind.  My set rules mean as a minimum I need to complete one long run each week with a distance further than the following week and 2 gym sessions. Minimum. My cross training sessions can be anything at all, from a game of squash to hitting the mountain bikes! It’s not set in stone either… this week is a perfect example. Its already Friday now and so far I’ve managed to fit in 1 gym session late on Wednesday night before the gym closed, squeezed a game of squash in yesterday and then another gym session this afternoon. Tomorrow will be a rest day and on Sunday I’m planning on a 9 mile run. It would be so easy not to have done any of this though but I’m sticking with it as when it comes to running the marathon or hitting the toughmudder, I want to be ready and prove to myself I’ve earned my sponsorship for the charity!!

So, as mentioned above here is my gym session from today. A PULL session that involved:

5 mins warm up – Rower

Bent over row – straight bar – heavy, 5 sets, 5-8 reps, max 90s rest

Lat pull down wide grip – heavy, 4 sets, 8-10 reps, 60-90s rest with a drop set to finish to failure

Lying reverse dumbbell flies – medium weight – 4 sets, 10-12 reps, 60s max rest.

Close Grip EZ-bar curls, straight into bent over single arm rows on using bench with a 25kg plate (fast – 15reps straight after curls)

4 sets, heavy, 8-10 reps of both, 90s rest in between. Last set a drop set to half the weight and as many reps as possible

Zottoman Curls, straight into standing side raises with 25kg plate.

3 sets – heavy, 10 reps max, 60-90s rest.

Isolation curls – 3 sets, to failure.

Finish with abs… plank to leg raises to S2S (Side to Side seated twists with a 20kg plate… I don’t know the actual name of this exercise but its bloody brilliant!) x 3.

Stretch & post workout shake.

My post workout shake has now changed too. Previously I have been using Hurricane XS (http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/hurricane_xs), an all-in-one shake containing a mixed blend of fast release and slow release protein, carbs again, fast and slow release, HMB & Creatine. Prior to switching my training program I had noticed some good results with this product and together with a good eating program.

Now I have switched to Recovery XS and BCAA+. The Recovery XS is similar to the Hurricane XS in that it contains both Protein, Carbs and Creatine but differs in that it also contains Electrolytes, Vitamin and Leucine.( See: http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/recovery_xs). This gives it a greater diversity for use with my training where I’ll be taking it post run and after cross training sessions too now!

The BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids)( http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/bcaa_plus) I will be taking basically consist of the three amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. BCAA’s cannot be produced in the body and must be supplied through the diet. BCAA’s intake have been shown to help with protein synthesis (rebuilding of the muscle), helping your body cope with the stress of exercise.  BCAA’s are really required to maintain lean tissue and studies have shown they preserve your stores of glycogen (a stored form of carbohydrate that can be converted to energy during exercise). BCAA’s also prevent catabolism (break down of muscle tissue) during training and therefore can improve lean growth.

BCAA’s are not like other amino acids as they are not metabolised in the stomach, and are instead metabolised directly in the muscle. This unique quality means that they build lean tissue and stop the breakdown of muscle during exercise.

The BCAA’s I will be taking as a pre-workout supplement to stop the breakdown of muscle both pre gym and pre run. This is the first time I have used the BCAA’s supplement so hopefully the results will be positive! I have 3 pictures now of my progress so it will be interesting to see the changes at the end of week 28.  Already (not as a result of these new supplements, I wouldn’t have thought!) I have noticed a change…

The new training plan has also meant that my eating has gone through the roof! Already having a fairly fast metabolism meant putting on muscle prior to this was pretty hard but now it’ll be even harder. I’ve increased my intake on everything, eating 5-6 times a day, things like nuts, fruit, cottage cheese etc etc! Water intake is also important and on training days I’m trying to commune 4 litres throughout the day!

All in all, training is on track and im improving each week, whether in the gym by a kg or 2 or with distance out running!  The day I manage to hit a 20mile training run will be crazy though and actually not far away now really!

In 8 days time its also the London Marathon so I would like to wish all the runners for Children with Cancer UK all the best!!!!

Cheers

Steve

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