Done…

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Posts

Mass mass simple is done.

The final tally reads like so:

Bench press – starting weight for working sets 175, final 225. Starting max double, 225 (previous PR), final 245. Final max 250*.

Bat Wings – starting weight 40, final weight 65

One Arm Press – Starting weight 40, final weight 55.*

*I plateaued on my upper body work in the final three workouts of MMS. My final Max bench was the same as my previous one. However, my long held goal of being able to do some rep work  with 225 on bench has been reached and my max singles for one arm press shot up from 50 to 70 lbs despite not being able to progress past 55 for reps. Could be a number of reasons for this, stress from a six day work week and the possible government shutdown, my insomnia kicking up as a result of said stress and the seasons changing, getting a little bit of a sinus “thing” in week five. Forgetting to eat sometimes on the weekends.  I think I made a mistake in splitting the workouts on days when I had trouble finding a spotter but there’s no way to tell for sure. It’s no matter. Maxes are maxes, but in the larger view doing 5 sets of 3 with 225 shows some progress through the final weeks even if I stalled or had a bad workout or whatever on day 14.

Bird Dogs – I’m not sure if I approached these properly. Instead of doing long isometric holds for time like a plank. I did sets of multiple 10-15 second holds. I started with five each side and ended with 15 each side.

The Complex – Oh how I dread the complex. Not just the ass kickingness of them, but because I always, always forgot the damn front squats in at least one set. I started at 75 and ended using 105 for most of my sets.

Squats…my god…squats. I’ve been squatting 225 as a five rep max for a while, with moderately crappy form. So there’s no new big PR here. However, what was my five rep max is now my 20 rep max, with decent form.

Still, 60 or 70 reps in the range of your own  body weight is not something you’ll forget. The overall victory here is that my back squat, long my worst lift, is grooving nicely for a set of 10 at bodyweight and I can grind it for up to 20. That’s amazing. I love that.

The measurements are somewhat disappointing. I gained 10 pounds over six weeks, 207-217. I’m at this point nearly convinced I didn’t eat enough. The only significant increase in size is in the chest (2 inches) and the thighs (1 inch). But for all I didn’t gain on the tape measure, I gained a great deal in firmness and shape. The upper portion of my pecs are fuller. My thighs are more rounded and less of a taper to the knee. There are freaking stretchmarks in areas of my hips that are devoid of flab. I actually suspect we’ve measured two different points on my thighs, as their appearance is quite different than in my old pics. Also, I have a pair of old gym shorts that I can roll up and my thighs will hold them up for a set of squats. My forearms are much more vascular and defined. My arms don’t jiggle when I do the chicken dance.

Plus I can squat like a motherfucker now too, which is really why I did this.

The “tweaks” that are introduced during the program.

Before bed shake – This is a keeper. Not only do I sleep better (important for an insomniac) but I wake up feeling less hungover in the morning. This is something I’ll do every night regardless of what I’m doing training wise.

Pre-workout shakes – Pre-workout was bad. depending on how you define Pre-workout. 30 min to an hour before, no real effect. 30 seconds before warming up, bad idea. Hard to bench when nauseated.

Protein shake in the morning – I already did this. My breakfast is always a large protein shake, meat or eggs and oats. I’m keeping it.

Creatine – The jury’s still out on this one.

Protein after the workout – I usually ate dinner shortly after finishing a workout so I couldn’t tell if it made a difference or not.

Surprise!

Batwings may have helped my pull ups. Both in number and quality of reps. I still can’t go chest to bar, but I can rest my chin on the bar without craning my neck forward. I didn’t incorporated pull ups into the program, but around week four I had a what the hell moment and surprised myself with a decent set of them.

Food:

I ate more than I really imagined I could and I’m still not sure I ate enough. A typical day was Shake, sausage and/or eggs with a big bowl of oats and honey for breakfast. 9 a.m. snack would be a can of tuna, apple, hard boiled egg and a slice of wheat bread with peanut butter and honey. Lunch would be around a pound of chicken breast and a bag of frozen veggies. 2 p.m. snack was a small steak or pork chop, apple or orange, egg and bread with PB and honey. 4:30 pm snack would be another egg, bread with pb and honey, shake and some almonds. Workouts started around six. Dinner was a big pile of something that resembled lunch. Large shake, made with hormone free milk, right before bed.

I can’t recall feeling hunger pains after day three.

What next?

A week off for starters. I’ll do plenty of foam rolling and goof off a couple days this coming week. Later in the week I’ll try that max bench (I’m very zen about missing it tonight) and i’ll try a max squat. There’s a 275 pound tire that needs to be flipped for a new record number of reps. Nothing crazy though.

After that I think I’ll try the Southwood program for two days a week,  kettlebells for two days a week and not much else until warmer weather gets into full swing and it’s time to get the highland games implements out again (just a few weeks away, or even right now)

I’ll make a concerted effort to rid myself of the last of my belly fat (including the bit I put during MMS) and in October I’ll do the program again just after my Air Force PT test.

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