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Incredible first week of cut; X9 initial impressions

Sunday, January 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
14
2018

After roughly two years of greatly reduced activity, virtually no weight training, business travel, long days at work, a relaxed (but in all honestly not completely horrible) diet and a gluttonous holiday season, when I started my cut last Monday I was in the worst condition since my initial transformation back in 2003: 210.6 pounds and 20% body fat. That is not a typo. Ouch. I really didn’t want to post that, but this blog has always been about transparency, and that’s not going to change just because the truth is uncomfortable.

So, with those ugly stats firmly in mind, I tore into the first week of my cut with a vengeance: ultra-clean diet, no alcohol, no cheat meals, no cheat snacks, three incredible weight training sessions on my new X9 gym, two indoor cardio sessions in my torture chamber and a super tough but fun ride on my mountain bike!

The results of the first week of my 2018 cut have been better than any other previous cut. This week I’ve dropped 5.8 pounds (1.98 pounds of water, 3.82 pounds of fat), 1.3% body fat and a full inch from my waist (other measurements were also reduced similarly).

I won’t stop or alter what I’m doing until I’m back to around 7% body fat. I expect this cut to take around 4-5 months.

As most of you know, I went Full Roadie sometime in 2013. From December 31, 2013 – November 13, 2016 I rode a total of 33,080.49 miles, and I rode every single day (1,049 consecutive days). During that time I think I rode my mountain bike only once. 🙁

While I was off this past week, I put my mountain bike in the stand and spent a couple of days doing a complete overhaul. There was a fair bit of work involved, but the bike was running as good as new when I took it out for a gravel grind on Thursday. Here are some pictures with captions from that ride (click to enlarge):

Notice the large gator to the left of the trail? :)

Notice the large gator to the left of the trail? 🙂

I lost count, but I saw at least 40 alligators on my ride. They were everywhere!

I lost count, but I saw at least 40 alligators on my ride. They were everywhere!

Another large alligator.

Another large alligator.

After about 4 straight years of almost 100% road riding, my mountain bike has not looked like this in quite some time!

After about 4 straight years of almost 100% road riding, my mountain bike has not looked like this in quite some time!

 

Now, let’s talk about my brand new X9 home gym!

I sold my Titan home gym in February 2014. At the time I was heavy in to cycling, and not really lifting much anymore, but once the Titan was gone I basically stopped lifting entirely. So when I resumed strength training this week, it was essentially after a four year lapse.

My first workout was on Monday, and that was leg day. I did a variation of my infamous high-intensity 320-rep leg workout, and it was brutal. Today is Sunday, and this is the first day since that workout that there is no soreness in my legs. Good thing, because tomorrow is leg day again.

The X9 performed flawlessly. I was able to move between exercises quickly and easily, the bench movement was silky smooth and silent, and the leg trainer attachment provided constant resistance through the entire range of motion. I loved that I was able to use the 2×200 pound weight stacks instead of messing with plates (which are also supported alongside the stacks): moving a pin to change the weight makes things like drop sets incredibly fast and effective. It was also nice to be able to quickly change the weight as I figured out where I needed to be (it’s been awhile!)

On Wednesday I did my pecs/delts/triceps workout. I did stuff like barbell bench press, incline low cable flyes, rope triceps pressdowns, DB extensions, leaning cable laterals, military press and so on. No exaggeration: my upper body has never been this sore in my life. When I finished that workout I literally could not take my shirt off to shower for three full hours. Once I was in the shower, I had a very difficult time shampooing my hair. As I sit here typing this, my triceps are still so sore that it’s painful to lift my arms and bend my elbow. Incredible workout.

On Friday I worked my back, biceps and abs. I did stuff like bent over barbell rows, hyperextensions, wide-grip lat pulldowns, ez curls, cable curls, hammer curls and ab rollouts.

Note that I normally don’t directly work my abs because they get plenty of action with big compound lifts like squats and deadlifts, but I’m avoiding those two exercises for now because I’ve been having a lot of low back pain lately. I’ll resume deadlifts, and probably squats, once I get my core solid again. Deadlifts are my favorite exercise, but I need to be smart about this since I’m just starting to come back.

Here are a few pictures with captions:

In this shot you can see that I've got the X9 set up for wide-grip lat pulldowns. The swing wing is rotated up and out of the way. The large yellow safety straps came in handy on chest day, as I went to failure doing barbell bench presses.

In this shot you can see that I’ve got the X9 set up for wide-grip lat pulldowns. The swing wing is rotated up and out of the way. The large yellow safety straps came in handy on chest day, as I went to failure doing barbell bench presses.

The large multi-function pad is attached to the end of the massive Catalyst bench here. Bungee cords work to keep the safety straps in position, and the lower cable arms with the D-handles attached are rotated inward and flat here.

The large multi-function pad is attached to the end of the massive H3XL Catalyst bench here. Bungee cords work to keep the safety straps in position, and the lower cable arms with the D-handles attached are rotated inward and flat here.

In this shot you can see the leg press plates can be rotated out of the way when not in use—a very cool feature. Also visible is one of the detachable and adjustable carriage handles.

In this shot you can see the leg press plates can be rotated out of the way when not in use—a very cool feature. Also visible is one of the detachable and adjustable carriage handles.

The H3XL Catalyst bench has 4 feet of travel, and uses massive 35mm solid steel guide rods. The bench glides smoothly and silently thanks to multiple hardened rollers with embedded bearings.

The H3XL Catalyst bench has 4 feet of travel, and uses massive 35mm solid steel guide rods. The bench glides smoothly and silently thanks to multiple hardened rollers with embedded bearings.

 

Over the next few months I’ll continue to post stuff about my cut and the X9 as time permits. Of course there will be a full review of the X9 eventually, but this thing can do so much that it’s going to take many months to really put it through its paces. In the meantime, I feel like a kid in a candy store. 🙂

After all of these years of not lifting and basically doing nothing but tons of road riding, I can’t describe how good it felt to get back under the iron and on the mountain bike. The feeling of a good pump and the endorphin rush that comes from lifting is something I’ve missed a lot. I have a feeling that once I’m shredded up again I’ll be able to put some of my lost size back on pretty quickly, thanks to muscle memory.

It was also really nice to be out in the fresh air on the mountain bike, far away from the smell of car exhaust and the threat of distracted drivers. Gators are downright friendly compared to Florida drivers.

By the way, to help me get ready for this cut, I re-read all of my Fat Loss 101 articles. It’s been a long time since I read these, and I still agree with just about everything I wrote. The articles really got me fired up and ready to work!

I took this past week off from work to focus on getting this cut off on the right foot. Even though I’m back on the job next week, my diet and training will continue 100% full speed ahead. I’ll update with a progress report when I have time.

 

John Stone Fitness Comments

12 Responses to “Incredible first week of cut; X9 initial impressions”
  1. This is why I love you, Johnny. I’ve been looking around for other fitness communities and have only found dying forums or gurus pitching their specific brand of diet and exercise (and their faithful fedayeen.) I come back to JSF and here you are, no excuses, no bullshit, full of enthusiasm and positivity, working on improving yourself and inviting us along for the ride. Glad you’re still here.

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    • Matt!!!!! 🙂

      I was so happy to see you posting in your journal again. :spaz: It’s been like a week since I’ve read it, so I need to go catch up on things. Pete sure had some good insight and advice there, and it hit home with me as well. I know you’ll reach your goals.

      In the meantime, congratulations on the new degree, the new job and the new addition to your family! Dude, you sure have been busy.

      See you around the camp.

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  2. Welcome back my old friend, I was inspired back when I first started following you almost 15 years ago. You helped ignite the originally fire within me that opened my eyes to the world of fitness and bodybuilding. I can’t wait to see your come back tour.

    -Matt

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  3. Awesome to be reading these blogs again! They’re inspiring! I have not lifted in a long long time. We’re talking about a decade! ‍♂️ Pretty much once I got married and started the kid factory (4 in 5.5 years) that all stopped. Again, like you, no excuses. I made choices that I’m 100% ok with. But now that my youngest is getting older and the demands on my time seem to be easing slightly I’ve been daydreaming more and more about getting back into it.

    Unfortunately the only two local gyms have both closed recently. Seems there’s more and more Crossfit and Ninja Warrior and SoldierFit places these days. And they are so damn expensve!! But I’ll figure something out soon.

    Have you traveled anywhere fun for work? And did your previous blog hint at a potential move?

    ~Dan

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    • Hey Dan! 🙂 I hope you are able to find a way to get back to lifting. I forgot just how good strength training makes me feel, and I know you’ll be glad when you get back to it as well. Keep us posted.

      I’ve been to some pretty cool places for work, a few trips to San Francisco and several trips to Las Vegas (I love Vegas). There’s more fun travel stuff coming up this year, maybe even some places overseas.

      Good to see you, as always!

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  4. It is always great to see you posting updates John! I know it’s a one sided friendship but you’ve shared so much of yourself it’s like I’m your friend whilst it’s totally false because you know nothing of me. From my perspective, it’s like having a great friend back in my life!

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    • Thanks, it feels great to be back and posting again! I wish I could post more frequently, but that’s not possible right now. I’ll definitely try to keep the posts coming on a somewhat regular basis now, though.

      Cheers! 🙂

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