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Yesterday’s workout; New picture; Vacation plans change; New goal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

February 21, 2011 - Calves

February 21, 2011 - Calves

Yesterday’s leg workout was outstanding! Like last week, I substituted Bulgarian split squats for traditional barbell squats, but apart from that I did the same killer 320-rep workout that I’ve been doing for the past eight weeks. I added weight to all exercises (+5 pounds to leg extensions, +5 pounds to lying leg curls, +10 pounds to the Bulgarians and +5 pounds to 1-leg DB calf raises). For the first time on this cut I failed to reach 4×20 reps on one of the exercises (the leg extensions). I managed 20, 20, 17 and 15 reps on the leg extensions, but I’m not at all disappointed with that. In fact, I’m surprised that it’s taken this long to reach failure (I’ve been adding weight for 8 weeks straight): the weights I’m using right now are heavier than anything I’ve been able to do in the past–and that includes past bulks when I’ve been more than 35 pounds heavier than I am right now! There’s no question in my mind that right now my legs are stronger and have greater muscular endurance than any time in the past. I can’t wait to see where my training takes me (and my mountain biking) over the next couple of months!

As you can see above, I’ve added a new progress photo to my 2011 Training photo album.

Some of you may recall that before I started this cut I mentioned that my mom was coming for a visit in mid-March. I knew my cut would not be completed by then, so the original plan was to take a week off from cutting while she was here (I’ll also be on vacation from work). This plan was going to be a challenge for me because taking a week off would kill the huge amount of momentum I’ve built up. Well, the visit has been postponed until early June. As much as I was looking forward to the March visit, this change is going to allow me to continue the cut with no interruptions. I’m still on vacation that week (March 21 – 25), but I’m going to remain 100% strict while I’m off: no alcohol, no cheat meals and no missed workouts. Also, I’m going to continue my daily blog updates while I’m on vacation. This is a departure from the norm, but it’s something I want to do. I’ve got to stay focused and committed until I reach my goal.

The other day I mentioned a new goal of mine: to get through the summer, fall and holidays without rising above single digit body fat percentages. Last fall (from October through the end of the year) my diet was extremely sloppy and my body fat climbed all the way up to 15.9%. There is absolutely no excuse for that, it was just pure laziness on my part. I’m paying for that mistake now with an extra 8-10 weeks of cutting. It’s not going to happen again, not ever. Normally when I’m maintaining I don’t do weekly measurements and body fat readings, but this year I’m going to continue doing them every single week. It will be a bit of a pain, but I’m serious about this new goal and those weekly measurements are going to keep me on track and publicly accountable.

Oh, one last thing. Some of you mentioned that you didn’t like that the photo caption covered up part of the photo (when viewed at full size). I made a change so that the photo caption now only shows up when you move your mouse over the photo. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Yesterday’s workout; New picture; Vacation plans change; New goal.”
  1. Sounds like more excellent progress John! Watching you do your thing is really inspiring.

    I have a question about training to failure. From what you said in today’s blog it sounds that you start with a weight that you can do *without* failure in all sets, and then you gradually increase it till you finally hit failure in one of the future workouts. Is that correct? Do you leave quite a bit of reserve in the beginning, or do you try to guess where you hit failure and start close to that?

    Also, about the volume of the workouts. You mentioned that 320 reps is your highest volume workout (and that it takes you about 45 minutes). I am currently going through the “Men’s Health: The Book of Muscle”, and in my current week I am doing 3 circuits of 16 excercises, 15 reps each. That’s 720 reps total. Takes me close to 2.5-3 hours to complete this. Is this insane?

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    • If I’m purposely training to failure then I don’t set my target reps at any particular number. I have an idea about how many reps I want to do, and I pick a weight that I know from experience is going to put in my desired rep range.

      What I’m doing now for my leg workout is not purposely training to failure. It’s called “progressive resistance”, which simply means every week I either increase the weight or the number of reps I’m doing up to a pre-set number (well, that’s goal anyway). In the case of my 320-rep leg workout I started the first week of my cut with weights that I could barely finish the final set (again, I knew about how much weight to use from experience); if I fail to reach 20 reps on all 4 sets, I use the same weight the next week and try to increase reps. If I do hit all 4×20 reps, I increase the weight the next week. I’ve been able to continue increasing the weights each week so far on this cut because I am quickly getting in better shape and getting stronger (muscle memory helps here – I was far from my strongest when I started my cut). There is, of course, an upper limit to increasing weight every single week and I just hit it yesterday with the leg extensions. Next week I very well may hit 4×20, and then I’ll add more weight.

      Actually my highest volume workout is my chest/delts/triceps workout, which takes me between 45-50 minutes.

      Yes, 2.5-3 hours for a weight training workout is, IMO, absolutely insane for 99% of the population. I would never do that. The only results you’re likely to see running a workout that long are burnout, injury and muscle loss.

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