Down 3 pounds and significantly stronger this week.  It's funny how after a week like this you sit there and beat your brain while telling yourself, "I have been doing this shit for over 30 years.  Why can't I figure out how to replicate the progress this week, every week for the next year??"

Instead, we know all we can really do is try to prolong it as long as possible, knowing that it will at some point stop.  Yay me.  In the meantime, though, I'm gonna enjoy this as much as I can.

It's hard to explain because it isn't just that your strength increases - it's more than that.  It's hard to explain, but it feels like the weights just feel lighter or "easier" as they move almost effortlessly rep after rep and you start to wonder, "how many more reps am I going to get?" You start the set and, yeah, the weight doesn't feel super heavy, but you get into the set and you just start to feel like you can do as many reps as you WANT to do. It's weird. 

Everything feels so good - so "solid" so "put together" and nothing hurts.  Joints feel great, muscles feel great, pumps are insane and there isn't any clicking or popping, at all.  Reps are smooth and controlled and you just don't want it to end.

The weight loss has been simple and effortless.  I made the small and subtle change to the diet last week and there was no change in hunger and no change in workout intensity or progress.   I am going to leave the diet as is and just ride it out as long as I can and continue to get leaner.  I doubt I will drop as much this week as I did last week, but without cardio, I am pretty happy to have the progress come so easily, so far.

Yeah, that's where I am right now.

I wish I had done this sooner, but I committed to using a DEXA Scan for body composition over the next year to help accurately measure progress.  I used it monthly for a contest prep leading up to a show I did in 2004 and it was an invaluable tool.  Back then, almost no one knew what the hell a DEXA Scan was and they were very expensive so not many people were able to use them.

I had a connect in Colorado because I knew the person who owned the business so she gave me free DEXA Scans if I would tell clients and people in the gym what my results were and how valuable using it was for my prep.

If you aren't familiar with DEXA, you should be.  It is, in my opinion, the most accurate way to measure body composition outside of using a water-submersion tank.  It is incredibly accurate and can tell you the difference in body fat levels from one leg to the other or one arm to the other, including body fat levels in specific areas like your abdominal cavity.  It is an invaluable asset and I think the only reason I didn't use it for contest prep the last 10-or-so years, was because I lived quite remotely in Colorado during those years so it was just one more place I would have had to drive an hour to, one way.  Now that I am an Urbanite again, I am taking advantage of everything I can to gauge my progress over this next year.

At the rate I am going, it appears that by about the first week of December I am going to be putting up weights that I have not put up in years - maybe as long as 2010 or so.  I can't explain to you how exciting this is and how motivating it is, not just for my training in general, but because I am also coming into the holidays and I usually struggle to stay structured around the holidays.  This year is going to be completely different because the only thing I want to do right now is kill workouts and progress as best I can.  I haven't felt like this in years.

Now that my baseline is 224 from last week, I anticipate that I might be closing in on that 220 mark in only a couple of weeks.  By the beginning of December, I anticipate being at or slightly below the 220 mark and that will put me 8 weeks into my 12-week phase, so I have to take more progress pics again.  I will at that time evaluate how to proceed for the last 4-week phase of the 12 weeks and tweak the diet and training based on that evaluation.

I keep saying this, but at least at this point, I can't ask for any better progress right now.  I feel great and I am excited about the progress.  In the past, I was guilty of improving my strength and then basically scaring myself into thinking I was going to injure myself.  This time, I am trying to get around that psychological roadblock and though I am being careful and smart, I am also working hard to not limit myself and just allow my body to grow and adapt based on what is in front it vs. what is in my head.