Always Adapting

No matter how long I have been doing what I do, I am constantly learning new things and trying new things.

I get asked a lot, "why don't you just keep doing what works and quit fucking around?"

Seriously? The answer is easy: I will not continue to learn a damn thing if I just keep doing what I have always done. Just because something works, doesn't mean that something else can't work better or a different approach work equally as well.

The main thing I am messing around with this time around is the change in high-carb days and Skiploads.

On the surface, it may appear that I am questioning whether Skiploads are as effective as I have always said they are. I am NOT questioning that. I am very clear, and have proven over and over for 2 decades, that Skiploads work and work VERY well. 

By not Skiploading weekly but changing it to every 4-6 weeks (this could change based on results, though), I am simply testing out different ideas. My use of high-carb days in the off season every 3rd day has me wondering what the impact would be if I kept this protocol -- or something very similar -- in the cutting phase. It was so successful for the off season and my body is used to these high-carb days, so I want to see how I react by using them while in a deficit. 

Keep in mind that my calories are quite high right now -- higher than they have EVER been starting a cutting phase and yet after only having ONE high-carb days so far (and no skiploads), my condition has changed considerably in the last 3 weeks. Scale weight is not falling as quickly as it usually does but this is because there is a bit of a recomp going on right now. Weight is still falling but nothing like it would under past cutting protocols. 

I typically shoot to lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per week, in the past. I think that is a very common goal for someone in a cutting phase.  Evaluating progress by using scale weight is going to be different this time around because I am not working in one week "blocks" like I always have in the past. I am working more in 2 weeks blocks or, to be precise, 13 days. Because of the 2on/1off schedule for training and running through 2 cycles of this before having a high-carb day (and taking 2 days off after 2 training cycles), I have no variations in my diet for almost 2 weeks.  This means that I need to shoot more for a 3-4 pound fat loss before having a high-carb day or a skipload every 4-6 weeks (which would replace the high-carb day every 4-6 weeks).

For the reasons listed above, I am going heavy for my first training cycle/rotation and then not looking for progression in strength for the second training cycle/rotation, instead opting for higher reps with slightly lower weights and using exercises that are not always compound, basic movements. 

EXAMPLE:

heavy chest - 2 working sets of cable flyes/2 working sets of dumbbell press/2 working sets of hammer incline press/2 working sets of bench press

Reps are typically around 8-10

lighter chest day (but just as intense -- to failure) - 2 working sets of cable flyes/2 working sets of hammer decline press with full pause at the top of each rep/2 working sets of incline dumbbell flyes/2 working sets of a machine press

Reps from 12-15 on all sets

By the time I get through the heavy cycle, I am starting to flatten out a bit. By the time I get through the lighter cycle, I am significantly more flat and if I tried to come back to a heavy cycle without a high-carb day, it would most definitely limit my strength and my performance. 

Last week before my high-carb day I hit 230. I am already at 230.5 and still have a rest day tomorrow and then I have a full, light training cycle to destroy before doing another high-carb day. Basically, I have about 7 days to get to about 228-ish. I am certainly on track for that right now.

Now, if I find myself dropping too fast, I will simply start doing the high-carb day after every training cycle whether it heavy or light. This would mean that my high-carb days would be every 6th day instead of every 13th day. I anticipate this happening on occasion but it is too early to say when that might start to happen. 

I will continue to remind everyone that this cutting phase is unorthodox in that I also want to limit my cardio to zero, if at all possible. I could do cardio to help get leaner but I won't learn or find out if I can accomplish the same thing either without cardio or with VERY limited cardio.  Again, this is because of how successful I was with leaning down and recomping during this last 18-month off season.

I say I can do it or I wouldn't even attempt it. I want to learn but I'm not sabotaging myself, either. If or when I feel it isn't working or it isn't working well enough, I will make adjustments.

 

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