Welp, the time has come. 18 months of off season has come and gone quicker than I would have thought. I am really looking forward to this cutting phase to see what I have built over the last 18 months (if anything lol). 

I was enjoying this last week in the gym and the workouts have been great when after being injury-free for 18 months, I pulled either my QL and/or an external oblique on my left side. I THINK I did it doing pullovers as my last exercise for back but I can't be sure because it didn't hurt at the time. By the time my back started getting sore 24 hours after training (as is usual for me), my back got very tight on the left side and very painful. It got even worse the next day to the point that I had to take a rest day and not train chest and shoulders. I could barely walk up and down stairs.

Now, I know it's minor and it will be good in a few days but damn it if this isn't typical -- just enough to remind me that anything can happen at any time.

I am grateful that it isn't my lower back as I have been injury-free with my lower back for over 4 years now. Still, this one hurts pretty bad and I hate that it happened the last week before my cutting phase is starting but it is what it is. 

It almost feels like a rib is out of place and that is what I thought it was at first.  However,  I have never had a rib out of place on my left side and this low (mid to upper lat area about 4 or 5 inches off of the spine).  In hindsight, I think it was bothering me slightly a few weeks ago but not enough to matter or impact anything.

Nothing much is going to change going into next week as far as my diet is concerned. I will drop some calories but nothing major. I will also step on the gas, again, and that is going to offset my scale weight for the next month, probably. I will get a lot leaner but the scale weight may not drop much. I am approaching this cutting phase much like I did the last cutting phase when I came back from taking a 12-week break from training and dieting in October of 2018. Slow and steady and no cardio until or IF I need it.

I won't say that I am going to avoid cardio for this entire cut phase but I am going to keep it out as long as I possibly can. I kept it out for the last cutting phase and had no problem getting lean but I want to get even leaner this time around. I need to look good when I'm 50 and I turn 50 in March. It's an old-guy thing, I guess.

I also plan something completely different with this cutting phase in that I want to continue to utilize my high-carb days on my non-training days instead of skiploading weekly. I will still skipload but it will be in the area of every 3-4 weeks instead of every week like I have always done in the last. Why? Because I always want to experiment and right now I love the high-carb days as it allows me to get a ton of added carbs and calories and not be miserable eating while Skiploading.  I already only skipload roughly every 2 or 3 weeks for the last few months so I wanted to continue this to see how it works for a cutting phase. Of course, if I don't like the results, I will change back to skiploading every week.

In the meantime, I am going to keep the rest of the workouts this week from being too crazy because by next week I will be amping everything up.