Modern Physique – Week 2 Review. Ground Control to Major DOMS

“Muscle soreness is the new hangover” – Gymaholic

I’ve a love-hate relationship with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  On one hand, I’ve learned to embrace the feeling of sore muscles the day after a hard workout.  Psychologically, I feel as though I have really pushed myself.  Like a twisted reward for the work I have done.  On the other hand, struggling to walk properly for 3-4 days is no fun.  No fun at all.  I’m a soccer coach, demonstrations are key for me to show players what I want from them.  Walking like a penguin does not make that easy.  That’s not to mention the image I give off to paying parents when I am waddling around.

Despite this, I felt I had a mostly productive week at the gym.  I smashed through all of the routines, increased the weight I was lifting, had solid form and got back on track with the cardio.  Things slowed down at the end of the week due to falling ill and really lacking any energy, but the 4 days I did make it were strong efforts.

Training – Weights

The week kept the exercises and rep ranges pretty much identical to the previous week.  However, I was challenged to lift heavier weights than the previous week.  I’ve read many articles on this.  As long as the body is being constantly stressed and having to adapt, whether it be differences in weight, reps or activities, then it will continue to grow.

A big focus of mine during this program has been to make sure my form is immaculate.  I have had issues in the past of not allowing for a full range of movement by lifting too heavy.  I wanted to make sure that I was stretching my muscles fully on the negative.  This has meant a drop in weight compared to exercises I was doing in Shortcut to Shred.  What I did notice however, was that I was not dropping too much.  This was a real lift (no pun intended) as it shows the work I am doing is paying off.

I also made sure that I moved very slow on the negatives.  Forcing the muscle to work in a different way, slow negatives put a lot of stress on stabilising the body.  Judging by the aforementioned penguin waddle, it worked.

Training – Cardio

As I mentioned last week, I’d let the cardio element of the Modern Physique program suffer.  This week I was determined to make up for it.  I really enjoyed the HIIT element that incorporated the bike.  Cycling slowly for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of sprint cycling for 10 reps was great.  There is something  about cardio that just makes me feel alive at the end of it.  A proper sweat due to the intensity, I come away looking like I’ve put a shift in.  My knees were also saved a pounding from the treadmill because of this, something I will use going forward.

Diet & Supplements

Spot on up until I came down ill.  The saying ‘you are what you eat’ really does ring true.  Not from a literal point of view of course.  If I eat a sprout, I won’t become round and green.  That would be stupid.  However, the nutrients have such an impact on my energy levels, both physically and mentally, that I couldn’t imagine eating convenience food on a daily basis.  Surprising when you consider I never used to touch anything green.

I feel as though the L-Carnitine is making a huge difference to weight I’m putting on.  L-Carnitine takes bidyfat and helps convert it into energy, making it a very helpful supplement to take when increasing calories.  I feel as though my body fat levels have stayed the same during these first 2 weeks, especially around the mid-section which has been a huge problem area for me in the past.  As a result, despite getting slightly heavier, my stomach has remained lean.  This confirms to me that the weight is going to the right areas.

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Results

There has been some minor improvements on my chest and back.  My shoulders appear to be a tad  wider also.  I’ve put 1lb in weight back on, but it is good weight.  My stomach is still at the level it nees to be, even looking a bit more defined.

The real results have been in the strength department.  Liting heavier weights and completing  more reps during the hypertrophy movements.

Recommendations

  • Push yourself each week to lift heavier or longer
  • Slow down the negative/lowering portion of the lift

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