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Back from vacation; 2012 cut: Day #1!

Monday, January 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Before I start a long cutting phase, I like to take a week to eat whatever I want, relax and goof off. After spending the majority of my planned late December vacation battling the stomach flu, I decided to postpone my cut one week so I could take last week off. Well, I had a blast last week: I didn’t do a lick of exercise, and I ate more food than you could possible imagine.

Because I choose to cut without any “splurge” meals or snacks, I decided to enjoy all my favorites last week: pizza, hamburgers, pork barbeque, french fries, pasta, garlic bread, movie theater popcorn, buffalo wings, fajitas, chips and salsa, red wine, chocolate…

EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale

EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale

The last time I took detailed measurements was December 18th. After 36 weeks of maintenance (since the end of my 2011 cut) I weighed 185.2 pounds and my body fat was 9.5%. Over the past three weeks (but mostly over the past 9 days), I’ve added about 8.5 pounds. 😀

My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 193.6 pounds, and my 7-point body fat reading is 12.0% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one).

We measured my body fat several times, and the readings ranged from 11.6% to 12.0%. I decided to go with the highest reading as my official starting percentage. So that means over the past three weeks I’ve added roughly 5.5 pounds of fat and three pounds of lean mass (water weight in this case). Honestly, that’s about what I was expecting. I knew that eating all that junk food (while not exercising) would add a couple of weeks to my cut, but it is worth it to me. 🙂

I’ll be doing weekly detailed stats reports here every Sunday as my cut progresses. Of course my detailed stats, including all tape measurements, can always be found on JSF BodyShop™; create a free account (existing JSF Forum members should simply log in using their forum username and password) and add me as a friend.

Also on BodyShop you’ll find my daily food logs, which detail every last calorie I consume (as well as water consumption and hours slept). I no longer track my meals while maintaining, but I strongly feel that when cutting or bulking that tracking is critical.

I feel most supplements are a waste of money, especially so-called “fat burners”. My supplement intake on this cut is going to be very basic: fish oil, multi-vitamin and BCAAs. That’s it.

And, as always: No cheat meals, no alcohol, no missed workouts and NO EXCUSES.

Let’s talk about training. My goal on this cut is to get extremely light while maintaining strength and improving muscle endurance. Cardiovascular training and balance for mountain biking are also top priorities.

Training Split

Monday: Legs
Tuesday: 45-minutes LISS cardio
Wednesday: Chest, Delts & Triceps
Thursday: Mountain biking, extended medium-high intensity cardio or HIIT cardio
Friday: Back, Biceps & Abs
Saturday: Mountain biking, extended medium-high intensity cardio or HIIT cardio
Sunday: Mountain biking, extended medium-high intensity cardio or HIIT cardio

Cardio Workouts

My cardio sessions are a mix of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), LISS (Low Intensity Steady-State) and extended sessions of medium-high intensity cardio (45-60 minutes @ 170-175 BPM) on the recumbent bike, as well as plenty of “real world” training mountain biking.

The indoor HIIT cardio sessions progress in difficulty, as follows (intervals are expressed as maximum effort/active recovery, in seconds).

Week 1: 14 minutes 30/45
Week 2: 18 minutes 30/45
Week 3: 22 minutes 30/45
Week 4: 14 minutes 45/45
Week 5: 18 minutes 45/45
Week 6: 22 minutes 45/45
Week 7: 14 minutes 60/45
Week 8: 18 minutes 60/45
Week 9: 22 minutes 60/45
Week 10: 14 minutes 60/30
Week 11: 18 minutes 60/30
Week 12: 22 minutes 60/30

…and so on.

Weight Training Workouts
  • Lots of compound lifting. Almost no isolation exercises.
  • A mix of moderate weight/high reps and heavy weight/low reps.
  • Primary objective is extreme intensity.
  • Use any and all techniques to increase intensity: supersets, giant sets, rest-pause sets, drop sets…
  • 1 minute rest between sets (max), 2 minutes rest between exercises.
  • Workouts need to be quick (less than 45 minutes), absolutely relentless and totally brutal.

Yes, I’ll be training seven days per week. I consider Tuesday’s 45 minute LISS cardio day to be my day “off”, as that kind of cardio is far from a challenge, but a nice way of mixing up my cardio.

I’ve decided to pretty much eliminate isolation exercises this year. That means no curls, no calf raises, no triceps pressdowns and so on; those muscles will be worked indirectly by way of the compound and Olympic exercises I’ll be doing. I’ll be working hard to maintain my strength and muscle endurance as I drop scale weight.

You may have noticed that for the first time in many years I’ve added direct ab training to my split. I feel that ab training will benefit my mountain biking, and possibly help with the annoying flank pain I’ve been dealing with.

Again, my goals this year are athletic performance and getting very light. At this point I am not sure how light I’m going to get. A lot of that will come down to how I’m feeling a few months from now. I’d say I’m going to diet down to 165 pounds at a minimum, but possibly even as light at 160 pounds. While I don’t have a specific body fat goal this year, I suspect I’ll be in the 6-7% range when all is said and done.

My motivation is though the roof. I’m rested, mentally prepared and ready to work my butt off. The next few months should be very challenging and very rewarding. Stay tuned!

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Back from vacation; 2012 cut: Day #1!”
  1. John,

    Welcome back! I missed reading your daily updates, but I’m glad you were able to take the time for a week of splurging before starting your cut.

    As I am just getting back into working out, and looking to burn off about 25-30 pounds and get back the muscles I used to have (I think I left them somewhere in 2007 or something), it’ll be inspiring to read about your progress.

    Good luck!

    GD Star Rating
    • Thanks very much! I had a fantastic time away from the usual stuff, but it’s really great to be back.

      With hard work you should be able to drop the 25-30 pounds in just a few months. 30 pounds is about how much I’m planning to lose, too. Stay focused! 🙂

      GD Star Rating

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