So good to be back. Take two weeks off of training and diet and all of a sudden I feel like I a fat guy who hasn't worked out in 3 years. Why are we so hard on ourselves? 

As bad as I feel that I look, it is crazy how fast it comes back. As quickly as it looked like someone took the air out of a balloon, it shifts to feeling like someone has pumped up my muscles with air after only a week.  Though I played it smart and held back a bit on poundages, I was still surprisingly strong -- stronger than I had anticipated, anyway. 

As much as I did manage to drop the volume, there was no way I would going to hold back and not go hard. I may not have gone 100%, but I damn sure can't walk into the gym and go 80%. For this reason, I was moving pretty slowly last week as the soreness was intense. In fact, though the plan was to start the rotation, I couldn't get the 4th workout in on Saturday. I mean, I COULD have but it would not have been productive. I was just too sore, so I played it smart and figured I would only train the first two weeks with 3 days, and then I would go up to 4 per week and start the rotation. Right now (and this next week), I will hit every body part only once per week. Then, on the third week back, I will move into the rotation and add that 4th day.

I didn't have any reason to load this weekend because I have only been back on my diet for a week. I am not depleted and I still have that distended feeling that I usually deal with for a couple weeks after taking a break like this. It is dissipating as my digestion becomes more efficient. 

It is a blessing only training 3 days right now, too, because we are still in the process of moving. It has been drug out due to circumstances out of our control, but we will finish the move by this next weekend. It's really hard to move while staying on track with training, business and training my one-on-one clients. However, I will get it done. 

With the hip recovered now, I doubt I have ever been so excited to train legs. Typically, the only part about training legs that I truly enjoy is finishing the leg session. I never get excited about training legs because it's brutal AND after having so many years of lower back problems, I still have it in the back of my head that my lower back could go, without warning, on any one of the reps I do during leg day. It's hard not to be anxious while training legs after the injuries I have had. However, I am getting better and continue to build confidence back.

I am roughly 227 and will continue to recomp for quite a while if my past patterns are any indication. I will slowly get leaner while getting bigger and when I get to my desired level of conditioning, I will then start slowly increasing calories -- much like I did for my off season a couple of years ago.

Since being back, I have been asked numerous times if I am going to compete in 2021 and the answer is "no." I have zero plans to compete at this point, and my number one focus is on building my legs right now.  With the questions surrounding covid and not knowing what will happen as we get into 2021, I remind myself that I will never continue a prep during a pandemic like the one we are dealing with. It's not that the prep, itself is so much harder as much as it is mentally exhausting not having that black and white deadline. If shutdowns happen again, I will continue to train but I will be focusing on growth instead. I feel that the turnout even at the higher levels shows for the majority of 2020 was nowhere near the level it usually is. I will not make the above-and-beyond sacrifices only to show up to a show and have a mediocre field to compete against.

In short, it's time to grow...

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