Hitting the reset button, how to get back on track
Posted Apr 13 2009 11:18pm
I have just returned from a month long journey that took me from Calgary, to India, to Vancouver Island and now finally back to cowtown as we call here it. What a trip! It was fun but like all time spent away from home base my daily routine was torn apart. During this month away I gained some fat, and lost some muscle despite squeezing in workouts whenever I could. I don't let this sort of thing stress me out though, as I always say sometimes life gets in the way. The key is to get back on the saddle as soon as you are able to. Besides, time away gives you a chance to view your goals and training from a distance and gain some objectivity.
The first step after hitting the reset button is to determine your new goals. My long term goals are:
To see my long lost abs
Get my strength back up to acceptable levels (bench press 1.7x body weight, squat 2x body weight, and deadlift 2.5x body weight)
Develop healthy mobility
Obviously you will have different goals, although I imagine most of my readers want to be stronger, fitter or leaner, if not all of the above.
The plan is pretty simple:
Clean up my diet (I eat way too many carbs simply out of laziness) with a diet of meat, leaves, berries, nuts, and some fruit. If my fiance's dinner does not fit, keep the portion small instead of telling her "this macro nutrient profile is messed up, I am going to pound a shake instead". That tends to cause other issues.
Train six days a week, 4 days dedicated to strength, 2 solely to metabolism plus some small metabolic work at the end of strength sessions.
Mobility work for 20 minutes a day, every day! A little over the long haul will go a long way. Never be too lazy to do your mobility work, you will miss it when it is gone.
So that is the general plan, but plans need to be implemented or they are just ideas on paper.
The first step is to do some testing:
Measure my waist at the fattest point, my chest, upper arms and then the wrist for control as there is no muscle there. I want to see the waist shrink! The chest and upper arms may or may not shrink depending on muscle gain vs fat loss, so an improved chest to wait ratio is the ultimate goal.
Measure my lifts. Do a test of 1RM squat, bench and deadlift.
This is a tough one for me, I am not sure how best to test my mobility. I just know it sucks! If any of you guys have an idea let me know.
Once I have my numbers laid out, it is time to create the actual action plan or weekly habits:
Every Sunday do my grocery shopping. Purchase enough eggs, berries, lean meats, nuts, veggies and northern hemisphere fruits to last me the week. I should have enough food to keep me too full to cheat. Prepare eggs and lean meats so I can eat them at work. Pre-chop up veggies so they are easy to throw into salads or meals. Make it easy for me to eat right! These are habits I learned from Dr. John Berardi.
Create the workout schedule, it will be something like this, Monday-kettlebells, Tuesday-upper body max, Wednesday-lower body max, Thursday-kettlebells, Friday-upper body reps, Saturday-lower body reps. Each weight lifting day will end with a snappy barbell complex to kick start my metabolism.
Mobility work on my lunch break. Every day! I need to be strict with this one to really hammer the habit into my brain. Mobility work isn't sexy I know, believe me, but it is so important to physical performance and a healthy life that it cannot be ignored.
So there you have it, that is the plan and it looks good on paper but the proof is in the pudding when you eat it, although too much pudding is why I am making this plan. Now the real challenge is to follow the plan and allow the developing habits take care of my results. Have any of you guys made new fitness plans recently? If you are not making progress, here is a great T-Nation article that will give you some Advice You Don't Want To Hear.