After fretting about where I was going to have to train, I had an opportunity fall in my lap. Well, it didn't accidentally fall in my lap; a good friend of mine hooked me up by speaking with the owner of a gym for me.

The owner agreed to allow myself and my wife to train at his gym after hours, having the gym to ourselves. Not only is it well-equipped and I now don't have to race the clock to get there and get my training done, but it is roughly 10 minutes from where we live. My ego would like to think that he extended this privilege to me because my name starts with S and ends with kip. However, the truth is less flattering: he is simply a nice guy. He knew how badly I wanted to train at his gym, but that I couldn't train there because his gym closes too early.

I have two training sessions under my belt at this new gym and I couldn't be happier. I absolutely love the place, and I'm excited to train legs there for the first time on Thursday night. 

I am holding right now at just about 220 -- lean, but not crazy lean. More like a very lean off season condition, I guess you could say. I would love to be leaner, but I also want my legs to take off with new growth. Staying a lot leaner would likely be an obstacle to pushing leg size.

I have been having some MINOR tightness in my lower back. It isn't pain but I have found that it can be quite tender until I stretch to loosen it up. I was trying to figure out why this is happening and the best I can come up with is it is due to training clients one-on-one right now for the first time in years. I have been doing this for the last 5 months, but I have had a full load (for what my schedule can handle) for about the last 3 months. I think the loading and unloading of plates for all of those sessions is helping to cause the lower back tightness. Add to this that I am not used to being on my feet for that long without sitting down, either. Remember, I was quite sedentary for about 15 years. This is the most I have been on my feet since I had a "real" job back in the early to mid 2000s. 

I am in the process of pushing my calories up again, slowly, to allow my body the ability to accommodate for nutrients for growth without gaining body fat. I did this quite well last year, so I assume it will work well again this year, provided I am calculated and patient. 

I am also going back to logging my weights and reps. I hate doing this, but now that I have a gym that I will be consistently training at for all of my training sessions, it is going to be easier to track progress. However, please understand that I am not focusing all of my attention on "beating the log book." I don't like that approach and don't feel it is a necessity to grow. The main reason I am going to log my workouts again, is because when I wasn't training other clients, I could quite easily recall my weights and reps for the last couple of weeks of training with very little problem. Now that I am training clients, I can't remember the specifics of my own training due to client programming. I want to keep track of the weights and reps, so that I can gauge progress over this off season without focusing ONLY on the progression, if that makes sense. I guess what I am saying is that I want progression, but I don't want this to be my only focus or only motivation. I just want to see progression over time.

I have been asked quite a bit during the last couple of months if I will compete in 2021. The answer, at least right now, is absolutely not. My plan is to grow and my legs are my primary focus, though I will still train for growth in all areas of my physique. Could this change? It could but it would be unlikely. I can say this, though, for sure: after this last year and situation with the partial rupture, if I were ever to compete again, I would no tell anyone outside of my wife. I would simply show up to a show without anyone knowing. It's just too hard and too depressing to deal with setbacks from an injury or life event, etc. 


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