Cruising This Week - Update With 4 Weeks To Go

As I stated last week in my coach log, I had to make a diet change to try to get my weight to move as it was relatively stagnant at 225-226 and I was beginning to believe that my condition was too good and might be cutting into gains a bit.

I did decide to do a 2-meal Skipload on Wednesday night, prior to legs on Thursday, to evaluate whether this would be an effective plan moving forward or not.  On paper, it seemed very logical and I'm a logical kind of guy.  After it played out, it was clear that this wasn't the approach I am looking for.

I ended up distended on Thursday for legs and that is not something I can be with a history of lower back issues.  This forced an anterior pelvic tilt that irritated my back.  I didn't injure it and it wasn't painful but it was pumped to the max and tight.  When this happens, the natural response is for even MORE anterior pelvic tilt in between sets to offset the pressure on the lower back.  This obviously limited my poundages and my confidence during the sets.

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However, after more analysis, there is another issue that needs to be resolved - my legs are overtrained right now.

My upper body might be on the brink after bombing the shit out of it for the better part of 5 months with only a small cruise for a few days around the first of the year.  My legs, on the other hand, are basically destroyed and instead of looking closer at the signs, I was simply pushing through.  So, where I thought this workout was bad only because of the skipload causing distention and pelvic shift, it was actually bad because of being overtrained.

The overtraining would have been very obvious during the last leg session but the last leg session I drove to Miami to train at a new gym to use new equipment so the lack of strength and the signs that my legs were not at 100% was not obvious while using new pieces of equipment and due to my motivation of being at this gym and able to use the pieces that I was so excited to be able to use.  The few signs that did show, were dismissed: not being able to go heavy on pendulum squats, knees taking a long time to warm up, general fatigue to the point where the muscles weren't contracting as hard as they normally do, etc.

To add insult to injury, I bombed the shit out of legs at the new gym which only pushed my legs that much further into an overtrained state.  When I got back to my usual gym and the usual equipment that I am used to, the overtraining signs were painfully obvious.

At first I was kind of pissed but then realized that I had scheduled a cruise week next week (this week), anyway, so coming up short on legs for the last session before a cruise week really only proves that I have been pushing the envelope of recovery about as far as I could push it.  That is a good thing when size is the goal and all other factors or variables are in order.

I also have increased my sleep over the last 10 days, dramatically, by increasing REM and deep sleep by just over 30% and increasing total sleep by just over 10%.  

My weight pushed up to 234 the day after the Wednesday Skipload and then held at 231 and 230 coming into the weekend when it was time to Skipload.  For this reason, I did not load at all on Saturday night before bed but did load all day Sunday like normal.  I was concerned that this might cause a much higher scale weight than normal but kept with my plan to see how it would play out.

By Wednesday, my weight is back down to 228 and likely will fall another pound or so in the next couple of days.  The Skipload worked in that it now has my weight slightly higher with roughly the same condition but I admit that I do NOT like the distended feeling late in the week and I am not convinced this is the best approach for me moving forward. I will finish my cruise week today with a leg session that will be VERY easy and then rest Thursday through Sunday.  I have every intention of coming back strong as hell and feeling great next Monday to blast for another 4 weeks.

Instead, I am simply going to keep the Skipload the same on the weekends and increase calories again during the week for my regular diet.  This has worked very well so far and I see no benefit to doing it any other way, right now.  I want to continue to make quality gains and keep my condition in a great place, along with keeping my back healthy.  I feel that over the next 4 weeks I should be able to increase my scale weight closer to 230 without giving up even a little bit of condition.

I take pictures this weekend and then take them again in another 4 weeks before going into cruise mode and going TRT for 8-10 weeks to give my body a break before stepping on the gas again for the remainder of 2019.  I will, of course, show the picture progression for this entire 12-week off season phase (the first phase of 2) to show that my condition changed very little, if at all, during the time that I pushed my weight from 218 to 230.  This gives me hope that I may possibly be able to push to 240 by year's end at roughly this same condition - or even 250 without giving up too much condition.  Yes, it's too early to tell and, yes, I am speculating.  However, I have been right so far and have done what I said I thought I could do to this point.  I am curious to see how long I can do this and continue to progress as well as I am right now.

I am off to the Arnold in the morning until Sunday.

We are doing a live podcast on Saturday morning that is free so if you want to be a part of the audience, it should be a lot of fun.  If you do go, please say hi or if you see me at the Expo or anywhere else during the Arnold weekend, please say hi.

 

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