My Goals For The Next 24-Week Blast

Going into this first true "off season" in almost 10 years, I really didn't set specific goals.  I know you might be thinking how stupid that is, but the main focus was simply to add muscle everywhere as efficiently as possible.  I figured I didn't want to limit myself by being too specific and the truth is, I have numerous weaknesses so focusing on only weaknesses meant focusing on my entire physique.  As the first 24-week blast has ended, I now can assess those weaknesses much better based on how I responded for the last 6 months.

I know what I need to accomplish in this next phase and it is a bit daunting:

1. I absolutely - before anything else - have to improve my back while viewed from the front in my front double biceps pose.  This is far and away my worst pose, primarily because of narrow clavicles making my back look very thin and narrow.  My lats are actually not very weak and they aren't "high" so if I can widen my back under the armpits to show me as wider from the front, this will have a dramatic impact on my physique.

2. I still need to get the leg size back that I had when I competed in the 2000s. I don't think this is an age thing as much as I had lost considerable size on my legs due to my chronic lower back injuries.  The injuries didn't allow me to train legs very heavy or very hard for YEARS.  Now that I am able to train them injury free, I am making up ground but growing a lot of muscle tissue in the legs is not an overnight situation. They are growing very well but I need more.

3. My delts have come up considerably over the years but my rear delts disappear in a back double biceps shot (they are good in a rear relaxed shot or a rear lat spread).  They have made considerable progress over the years, as well, but they still need more work than the other delt heads.  With narrow clavicles, I need as much delt width as I can possibly get.

My biceps could stand to peak better but a lot of that is genetic.  My arms, in general, aren't necessarily a weakness.

My calves are pretty good, to the point where as long as I maintain them I won't have to focus much on them, at all.

Abs are solid and not a concern.  In fact, I have been training them LESS because from a development standpoint, they are solid.  I just need to maintain stability and strength in my torso to make sure that my back is protected.

Chest has improved and has never really stood out as a weakness though I wouldn't call it an obvious strength, either.

Because I have narrow clavicles, my traps are pretty good - like most people with narrow shoulders.  I am still making it a point to train them but more to keep my middle back filled in than to actually improve the "height" of my traps.

My glutes aren't a weakness but I am focusing on working them directly for the first time ever.  I want to see if it will help with shape and detail once I get shredded again.  My glutes and hips carry the most amount of body fat as I move into later years.

The plan to widen my back at the armpit is to put more emphasis on stretching the back where it ties in under the shoulder both with exercises that put that area under the most stress and by stretching, directly, between sets and after training back.  Exercises like dumbbell pullovers, pulldowns through a full range of motion with emphasis on the stretched position (every rep forcing the stretch) and less on rows.  This is more a genetic issue but I still will fight to overcome this as much as I possibly can.

To increase the size of my legs is quite simple.  I will just keep pounding as I am doing now because they are growing quite well.  This is more a time and consistency issue simply from losing size when I couldn't hit them hard for years.  I do know that hacks are probably the most beneficial exercise for me - as they have always been when it comes to adding leg size without my glutes growing like crazy, as well.  However, I am still squatting in a smith machine, doing front squats and leg presses, as well. I just don't want to free squat much because, with a narrow shoulder structure, I can't afford to have my hips and glutes be any larger than necessary.

With rear delts, I am going to continue doing what I have been doing but add in more supersets, supersetting an isolation exercise like rear machine laterals followed by very wide-grip and neutral grip rows.  

Right now, I am sitting at roughly 220 and plan to hold this weight for my cruise/TRT phase that lasts until about the middle of June before starting the next 24-week blast phase.

I am enjoying a few PRs at the moment even though my weight is down almost 7 pounds.  I don't anticipate this lasting much longer as my blood levels are dropping from the last blast phase, but I will take it without complaining until my strength levels off.

I am going to maximize my recovery, as I stated in previous coach logs, by going to a 3-day split for the week vs. a 4-day split.  This will allow for more recovery and should hold more size and strength while in this cruise phase. 

My right triceps tendon is almost 100% with almost zero irritation and getting better each week due to being careful with exercise selection.

My left biceps is also getting better and I had no irritation yesterday while doing chest and shoulders (which is when it usually gets the most irritated).  I will continue to be selective with my exercises to let this continue to heal, as well.

Overall, I am in a great position at this point and hope to continue to be smart and train as efficiently as possible.  As long as I do that, I will continue to improve and stay healthy.

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