Yeah, I was struggling. It has been a year. However, I've been back for just over 2 weeks and it feels good to be back on track. My training, diet, and tanning (VITAL) have all been consistent. I am either 100% on or 100% off. I'm fortunate that after so many years of doing what I do, I can flip the switch and it's game on.
The last 2 weeks have been predictable.
After a layoff, I always struggle to get enough food in me. Digestion is not efficient and my body is basically like, "WTF?" for the first few weeks. I was quite distended—which is normal for me—but that has begun to dissipate. My waistline is finally starting to decrease, as well. 2 notches have been lost on my training belt, and I now don't feel pregnant from my pre-workout meal. I always love the structure of dieting, so this is a breeze now that I have a couple of weeks under my belt.
I am not prepping, but I am certainly keeping the diet tight, so that I can get leaner while getting muscle back as quickly as possible. Here are the food sources I am using right now:
- rosemary chicken (prepared by Whole Foods)
- TEAM SKIP protein (is there a better protein? I think not)
- pistachios (because peanuts are sooo 2020)
- havarti cheese
- cashew butter, crunchy peanut butter, almond butter
- baby red potatoes
- rice chex (post workout)
I do #SaladSaturdays where I get double-ahi tuna salads with 2 hard-boiled eggs from Pura Vida. If you aren't familiar with Pura Vida think over-priced salads with farm-to-table ingredients that are organic and locally sourced. Each salad is roughly 30 bucks but well worth it because even though I can see them from my downtown apartment, they deliver to my front door. I'm a lazy son-of-a-bitch on the weekends.
I will eventually Skipload on Sundays but right now I am not. My main focus is getting 4 productive weeks before I step on the gas (another 2 weeks), and then I will incorporate Skiploading. I am balancing enough calories right now to fuel workouts and get back to a "TRAIN"ed state, However, it is also a top priority to strip as much body fat as possible.
I am training on a 3-day, basic rotation of push/pull/legs, but training 4 days per week. The muscle groups I train on Monday, I come train again on Friday. It changes every week due to the rotation.
Volume is low (for me) so that I have no issues with recovery right now, due to just starting back. The last thing I want is another ache, pain, or injury. I've had enough injuries in the last 12 months to last me another 10 years.
Training intensity is as high as I can tolerate, so the best way to explain it is that I am doing roughly 2 working sets per exercise (after a thorough warm up). Both sets are roughly 90% (if 100% is considered failure). I have been establishing baseline strength markers so that I can start building on these numbers in 2 weeks. Although I am being very careful to not go too heavy, I am instead working the hell out of the muscle and just enjoying the pumps.
I will eventually be going back to Miami to train; I just can't show up at a hardcore gym looking and training like I am right now. As I get back in shape, the plan is to be ready to change gyms next month. As quickly as I lose condition and go to shit, I get back into condition very quickly, as well.
I am continuing to progress with my right knee. However, I admit that it is slower than I would like (isn't it always?) Every week I am gaining a small percent of the use of my knee. As slow as the progress is, at least I am progressing consistently. I am able to train hamstrings and calves with no pain. I am also training quads with this protocol, and it is working to lessen the knee pain every leg workout:
- 10 minutes recumbent bike (increasing resistance/levels)
- 1 hamstring exercise
- One-legged horizontal presses (I am up to 4 plates as of yesterday which is twice as much as the last leg session
- 2 calf exercises
- abductor/adductor work
It is very possible that I may increase my leg workouts to consistently train them twice per week because the day after I train legs, my knee feels great. For every day after that day, it still feels good but it feels best the day after training. It is possible that my knee can benefit from more frequent leg work. Finally, I have some soreness in my glutes, hams, and calves. There has been no soreness in my quads because I am unable to go heavy enough on the quad exercises. I do feel that it will happen soon, though.
Of course, I am stretching prior to every weight training session.
Things that no longer hurt:
- Going up and down stairs (though I am still being very careful)
- Standing from a seated position, but I am still favoring my strong leg at about 60/40. This is much better than a month ago where standing from a seated position would be akin to doing a one-legged squat with my strong leg.
- I can be on my feet doing all of my training sessions in the gym (5 clients per day)
- There are other things I can now do without pain, but I will spare you TMI.
I am scheduled to get a hyaluronic acid injection in my knee, but I may put that off because my knee is feeling good right now. I would hate to do something that could irritate it at this point.
The most important thing is my head is good. I don't do well while dealing with injuries because it completely screws up my schedule. When I'm not training, I'm not ME.
I'm just glad to be back.
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