Rant #2

Is it me or do some people have more and more people disregard for gym etiquette at the moment? I’m not talking about the generic re-racking of weights, but things that literally boggle my mind to mush.

Three things within the space of 5 minutes last night that made me want to wrap my sweat ladened dumbbell around the unsuspecting peoples heads… 

• No shoes – SERIOUSLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PERSON

• Wearing flip-flops – AGAIN- NO!

• A man walking in with his weight belt already on and fully tightened.

I must have done something right in a previous life as I’m yet to encounter the dreaded stringer vest with a flash of nipple at the side. I pray to the god that this doesn’t backfire in this evenings session.

What annoys people when they train? Keen to hear what annoys you so I can lol myself to sleep in this heat.

Anyway – hopefully we’ll be moving away from ye old rants over the next ten days. More updates on my progress, lifts and most likely some BBQ related food noms.

🙂

The Best Gym Advice You’ll Ever Get!

I made a faint promise at the start of all of this that I’d dispatch the odd bit of world-class advice. Here’s the best gym related tip you’re likely to ever get in your life, ever…

1) When a fellow gym member is performing multiple sets of deadlifts and closely watching his form in the mirror (normally to ensure their head doesn’t pop off), don’t stand directly in front of them, blocking their view while waiting for a YouTube video to load…

…then to only remain there for a further 2-3 minutes!!

Seriously! The man that did this to me yesterday, nearly envoked a Kraken like rage in me and had the barbell bent around his head.

If you’re not going to train seriously and are more concerned about why the latest Little Mix music vid isn’t loading on your overly large IPhone, then do one!

There. That felt really good to write that. 

As you can see – that is the best gym advice you are likely to receive. EVER.

DISCLAIMER: Not sure if it was a Little Mix video or not…

How I’m Using the Gym to Grow!

Second month of blogging – second month of renewed efforts in the gym and with training. What’s changed? Theresa May has shot herself in the foot, Trumps’ still trumping & the puppy wee’d on my desk at work yesterday. Among all of these joyous events, I’ve learnt and relearnt more aspects of training then Steven Hawking could shake a stick at.

WHAT HAS CHANGED?

Two of the more intense training sessions I’ve had ( I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had some one train me. I can now add two further counts to the list). Sessions that focus strictly on form, volume mixed in with drop sets and pauses have really torn certain muscle groups apart. I was walking like John Wayne for 3 days after my first real leg session.

• More mind-muscle connection. How important it is to feel the muscle and contraction has really hit home this week. Focusing on flexion and extensions on movements. SO KEY. Epic DOM’s have been produced. Say that in that car insurance advert voice…

• Intra-carbs – either dosing up my Amino Energy or spooning in some Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin – nom.

• A knock-on, but my appetite is growing. More Flexible-Dieting. Although for me the word dieting doesn’t mean a diet..

• It’s also produced the purchase of a long overdue weight belt – mucho gracias RDX Sports. I’ve never appreciated the hand they give with form and power in compound lifts. Seriously, I recommend to anyone who’s looking to up their game (an obvious statement).

My body does feel different; I feel fuller, marginally stronger and I feel aesthetically I look better Overall I AM changing. The progress of this averagely built 30 year old is going in the right direction, due to direction of a few people. I’m now going in the right direction, one direction. Not the band. I’ve said direction too much in this.

 

 

Flex the Diet!

Eating clean, tracking macros, being ‘healthy’ and eating the right amount. Dieting can be a right pig when you’re training. Getting it right can be one of the hardest aspects of training and carrying out any ‘overhaul’ on your physique.Yep – I struggle with it. I think lurking inside me are the genes of a semi obese man, hell bent on reeking havoc on my frame.

Case in point – we were in Town earlier (Town might be a bit of a stretch for Plymouth…) and they had the food market on… Joy for me when all you need is calories, carbs and fats in a higher then average cocktail. But, also a nightmare for people who are cutting or just trying to loose some unwanted inches.

Those oh-so-good smells of food make it hard to resist. But if you box clever, then there are ways you can get through this trial! These are 3 ridiculously simple and obvious points you can use (there are a boatload more, this is a blog not a lecture )

• Eat before you leave to go out – sounds obvious, but your less likely to splurge out if you’ve got enough fuel inside you.

• Break habits – looks at fresh, alternative foods that you’ve not tried before. There was an awesome middle eastern stall today. Ladened with colourful chilli’s, salads, wraps and shawarma.

• Dial back later – if you can’t resist and delve into a pie or whatever, then compensate later in the day with dropping a meal, macro’s or pushing yourself a bit harder in training – BE OPEN TO ADAPTING. I think I’ve pinched his quote before, but as Kris Gethin says ‘control your environment’, not the other way around.

It’s only as hard as you make it when it comes to diet and getting it correct. For me, I subscribe to a category within Flexible Dieting – mostly consisting of eating everything; within reason, of course. I know what my macros are to maintain while I train and I know what they rise to if I want to grow. Both of these sets of macros are deliciously high – maybe Crohns has a few benefits…

You may disagree and say ‘Jamie, that’s a load of crap! It’s chicken, rice and broccoli 5 times a day or nothing!!’ Fair – you may have a point, but I think Flexible Dieting has a massive place in the world of training and dieting. Also, I’ve found that this produces the best results for me. There are some obvious exceptions – cutting for a competition or if you diet is hugely restrictive for medical / health reasons.

If you’re maintaining, bulking or cutting, know you’re macros – then you can embrace the joy of Flexible Dieting.

Keep it simple – training is fun, diet and food can be too. Now, where did I leave that doughnut…

Chicken Legs be gone!

Today’s leg session – nothing short of epic. I feel beasted, broken, border-line dead. I’m not sure if I need to throw up or pass out. At the helm of this was the Internationally acclaimed Aussie-Janner, Adam Scott; give him a follow on Instagram – livedirtyordie.Today’s running order:

• Hamstring curls – 2 warm up sets – 4 working sets of 8 reps.

• Smith machine Squat – 2 warm up sets – 4-5 working sets of 8 reps – good form and range of motion.

• Hack Squat – warm up set. 3 sets of 12 reps – focus on range of motion.

Cue legs shaking and blood filled limbs…

• Seated Leg press – 3 sets of 20 reps – On this, foot position was more akin to a calf raise – raising the heels up with toes planted (Plantarflexion) to focus in on the inside tear-drop of the quad (Vastus medialis).

• Single leg Hamstring Curl – 3 sets on each leg – 12 reps.

• Leg extension – 1 set of 50 reps – very low weight. F$%^ killer.

Long and short of this, I learnt a hell of a lot and now see there’s so much more that I need to bring into my leg sessions. A wheel chair is one …

We talked about the aim of the session in the car and the focus was never pure weight and getting in those ‘Bro Lifts’. Volume, range of motion and form are the key parts – as well as pushing yourself to failure.

Word of warning, Adam would out bro lift most bros in that gym, probably with better form too. Me? I got out squatted by a young lady. Fair play, good for her, decent form too!

Normally I’d have used this as an opportunity for some decent filming or photo’s but got pushed to the point where I looked like I needed A&E – so you’ll have to settle for my word and some nice image that I’ve nabbed off of the internet (I write this with a mild smirk on my face).

I’m off to source a huge amount of carbs and good food in the hope that I’ll be able to walk and drive tomorrow.

To anyone looking for a change in their leg routine, I recommend sampling the above, but also having a partner to push you the extra 5%.

And follow livedirtyordie – he also likes dogs…woof.

Banana!

Ugly, soft, brown spotted Bananas. The look like they’re due for the bin, or if there is an ounce of culinary flair in your household, destined to be turned into banana bread…

For once this post isn’t centred around a work out, nor will it be littered with my usual mild and distasteful whit. This one holds a bit more of a serious edge; something that is new to me and hopefully hugely beneficial for myself and anyone else that suffers with Crohns or similar ailments.

I read today that those soft, ugly brown spotted bananas are potentially a Crohns sufferers yellow-jacketed knight in shining armour. Anyone who suffers with an autoimmune disease such as crohns may or may not remember their Doctor/Consultant/Specialist Nurse talking to them about TNF (Tumour Necrosis Factor) levels in their system. When I was 17/18 the doctor informed me that mine were hugely low and at the time, I don’t think I really comprehended the importance of TNF.

In essence, they combat abnormal cells within the body. Higher TNF levels should equal a stronger defence against these cells and a slow return to a balanced system.

Where do bananas fit into this? I’ve now read this in two sources, the main one the Asian Fund for Cancer Research Ltd. Overly ripe, brown spotted, soft and ugly bananas have a high index of TNF; that has increased as they have ripened.

Link for anyone that’s interested:

http://www.afcr.org.hk/en/content/tumour-necrosis-factor-tnf-bananas-help-prevent-cancer

(I appreciate the address and title doesn’t directly state crohns on this one)

I mean, I’m shocked by this – good shocked. Although the amount of bananas that I now think back that have been chucked away because of them being like this bugs me a little.

Tomorrow, I am genuinely going to buy a bunch of bananas and wait until they get to this languid state – I may also mine sweep any bananas I see like this that are going begging.

I am assuming this will have a positive impact on my system, but also wonder if it will aid with a reduction in post workout inflammation? Does anyone know if that holds any validity?

If I can think of a informative, short and engaging way of updating you all on Banana-gate then I will.

I’m also relatively proud that I’ve written this without any silliness – a first for me.

Incredible!

Rise Above #2.5

Another week has passed. The stag-do happened, so did 14 hours of driving, 2 nights of drinking, ¾ a bottle of Mount Gay Rum and ‘lads’ nutrition. Please consult Google for this. If this comes up with dodgy stuff then that will serve me right for not checking before hand…

So overall, not the healthiest of weekends – but completely worth it. What’s the point if you can’t let your hair down once in a while? You only live once.

However today  there is a new marker in the ground. This one has been drilled down into the earth. Down into Mordor.

The rest of 2017 is now focused around the lean bulk. Getting nutrition on point, training right and specifically for me. No ‘bro lifts’, no excuses. I set out at the start of this blog to make my 30th year different, a documented journey – my evolution.

I make no qualms in how cheesy, cliché or run of the mill this may sound. This is what I am doing.

This morning, I hit a new routine. Maybe a bizarre one, but one that I know my body will respond to and one that will get me through the work.

Legs mixed on with a small about of chest at the end – it is International Chest Day, after all.

• Squats – essential. Not uber heavy, but a good weight were I can focus on volume and form. For all the curious cats, that’s 100kg for me. I aimed for a minimum of 6 sets and 5 reps. This was done.

• Leg Press – same as above. Weight – 200kg.

• Leg extensions – 2 sets at 60kg – 20 reps. 2 sets at 40kg, with a 2 second pause at the top – 10 reps each.

• Calfs raises. 70kg. 4 sets to fail.

• Bench press – 4 sets at 65kg – 5 reps.

• Incline press. 4 sets at 50kg – to fail.

This session is by no means meant to set the world alight but starts me off on solid foundations, at this point there not near my PBs but that isn’t the focus. My focus is 2 leg sessions a week, 1 back session, 1 shoulder session and then one session focused around weak point training.

The aim is a pure lean bulk, that maintains my mobility and functional fitness. Of course the numbers will go up (we pray to the Iron Paradise Gods) and the sessions will evolve.

I’m going to be upgrading the media aspect of the blog and will mostly likely build the page to convert into a webpage rather then a pure blog. New camera is a pending order on Amazon – so better pics and content. Obviously the camera wont be able to build on my already superior looks…

There will also be cameo’s from my other half, possibly her dog and my training partner – the notoriously Scottish, Shaun Mac.

Peace and happy International Chest Day

Ps. The Crohns coped admirably with the onslaught of alcohol this weekend. Huzzah!

Rise Above #2

It’s funny the change that you can have in less then 1 week. When the body gets overwhelmed and needs a rest, you sit back (sometimes forced to sit back) and realise that a ‘normal day’ is a luxury. I’m right at the end of one of these blips and thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel. 5 days off from training have been needed but also have aggravated me no end.
I feel that upon my return to the Iron Paradise I should have a huge drumroll and such fanfare to celebrate.
Learning to listen to the body is more powerful then any supplement or drug you’ll ever put into your body. That’s a big statement; I’ve also been dosed on copious amounts of morphine in the past so can attest to this… but it holds a lot of truth.

Breaks are essential, no matter how good/bad your health is or if you feel you need one or not. How often do you guys take? 2 days, a week or 2 weeks out to let your body and mind recover from the stress we throw at it?

I’ve been hit by a triple threat over the last two weeks: Stress at work, mini Crohns spike & a sick girl friend and puppy; okay that’s four things. All in all a not too happy Jamie.

But what does this actually mean? How do you whip yourself around? For me – it means SLEEP & NUTRITION. There would be a third natural remedy in this; SUN, but I live in the UK so the closest I get to that is sitting under a highly powerful lightbulb in the hallway. For anyone with Crohns, sitting in the sun and relaxing is genuinely epic to help you recover.

4 days of napping and sleeping like I was well into my 80’s, filling up with veggies and also junk food (yes, I was actually told by a handful of doctors after my big operation that junk food, at times is my friend), (ps. KFC has been a godsend the last few days) have started to whip me back into what can be resembled as my normal self.

Normally and historically in these instances, I start to develop a complex about how much mass I’ll have lost. I think my record still stands at 10kg in 3.5 weeks… God Bless Crohns and its dieting prowess. However to much joy this time round I’ve only seen a drop of circa 2.5kg. It’s not much and a lot at the same time.

Hydration and food will be my friends over the next week and am sure that will be restored – i’ll keep you posted on that side of things.

Rather then go full macho and strut into the gym this evening and smash out a heavy compound session, I decided to go mid range and focus on some weak point training. TRAPS & TRI’S is what the doctor ordered!!! (He didn’t) These are areas I love to train but just aren’t where they need to be, but that will change. You can’t beat a good shrug to rise above and out of a spell of illness. It makes sense not to hammer the immune system too much on the first session back.

The next two weeks will be a big focus on compound training, with weak days mixed in – very much in the style of #Steve Cook. All this with a stag-do thrown in for fun in a few days.

Hope all is well with any readers and training is equally well! If anyone has these moments with Crohns and training then drop me a line – lets chat!

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