The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic for me. Combating illness, prepping for the summer with work and working some long weekends has meant updating my progress in the Modern Physique program has taken a back seat. This isn’t to say I’ve not been completing the workouts. Quite the contrary. I’ve have felt like there is some growth happening for the first time. My muscles have been swelling after workouts. It feels as though they are stretching my skin in the aftermath of the pump given. My strength has improved with heavier weights lifted and the increase in cardio means I am feeling more energetic when coaching.
However, as mentioned, I have limited my writing to working on a soon to be available ebook (free to Skinny Fella Muscle subscribers) and adding advice based posts for those skinny fella’s looking to add some mass in time for the beach season. I’ll be continuing with updates every 2 weeks for the forseeable future.
Despite some indifferent thoughts about the benefits of the Modern Physique program during the first 2 weeks, it feels as though it is now starting to take shape. As is my physique (budum, tsch).
Training – Weights
After keeping things consistent during the first 2 weeks, the Modern Physique program has seen a couple of tweaks since. This is especially true for the strength portion of the sessions. For example, during weeks 1 and 2, I was performing 1 & 1/4 close grip bench presses, with 6 reps for 4 sets. The last 2 weeks have seen this change, to performing a staggered routine – sets of 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 and back to 6. I increased the weight for each set, allowing me to find my one-rep max. This was also the same for front squats, weighted pull ups, upright rows and the push press.
As promised at the start of the program, my strength has increased. I have managed to keep up my focus on form. This has added an additional satisfaction to the strength increases, surpassing anything I achieved 2 years ago with the stronglifts program. Having spent my time jerking and gyrating heavy weights in the past, the accomplishment in lifting properly is something I am proud of. So should you be if you have similar successes.
A word on legs – my knees have really been playing up. Walking up stairs is causing me some discomfort, a sharp pain at the top of both kneecaps coming in when I put pressure on my foot. Squatting heavy weights is certainly going to do the same. I have lightened the load from what I could do, in order to ease the stress on them. I feel as though this has helped, allowing me to focus on a full range of motion. DOMS has certainly been setting in the day after, so I must be doing something right. I’ll be keeping an eye on this discomfort carefully for the remaining weeks.
Training – Cardio
As I mentioned during week 2’s review, I was determined to make up for my lack of cardio. I’m pleased to say that I have managed to do this and I feel so much better for it. More energy, less heavy breathing during the weights and better sleep.
There seems to be a train of thought that if you are looking to build muscle, then you must stay away from cardio. This is nonsense. It is vital, especially considering that any muscle building regimen’s include an increase in weight. One of the things that drew me to the Modern Physique program is that it covers many pillars of fitness, including endurance. No point looking the part if you cannot last (take this image as you will).
Diet & Supplements
At the start of week 3, I was still battling illness. Even though it was only a cold, whenever I come down with one, I’m often nauseous, and the thought of not only eating but cooking as well is extremely off-putting. I still needed to eat however. Disappointingly this meant whatever was convenient, which wasn’t always clean.
Feeling guilty, I picked things back up in week 4. It’s amazing how much fresher I feel when eating clean food. I’ve taken to adding a serving of blueberries to my daily diet, which I believe has added to my increased energy levels.
It’s funny, looking at these pics, it doesn’t seem like I’ve made much progress at all. Yet, my bodyweight has gone up to 168lbs, after dropping as low as 162lbs in the first 2 weeks, and my bodyfat percentage has remained at 14% (no doubt aided by the addition of Caffiene supplements to the L-Carnitine I am taking). My muscles feel more pumped than ever after a workout and my t-shirts seem to be fitting tighter, especially around my chest. I will be clinging onto this feeling to keep my motivation up and my self criticism down.
- Lower weights to allow for good form if suffering an injury
- Regardless of aesthetics, focus on the feeling of improvement to keep motivation up