10 Jun

5/3/1 Cycle 18

I pulled back on the volume of weight that I would be lifting for Cycle 18 because I failed to meet my target lifts in Cycle 17.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women and 5/3/1 How To

It was a good move and, overall, cycle 18 went well. I managed to hit every prescribed lift, even on my ‘5 rep’ days (which I actually find harder than my ‘1 rep max’ days).
I did feel weak and tired at times during the cycle, which I blame on low iron, but I managed.

Cycle 18 Main Lifts

Deadlift: 255lb for 2 reps

Push Press: 130lb for 3 rep

Squats: 240lb for 2 reps

Bench Press: 150lb for 2 reps (flying solo)

The loads are decent but not PR-worthy and I feel like I should have been able to crank out more reps.

What’s Next

I headed to GoodLife Fitness this week to start Cycle 19.

I added the standard amount of weight to my Cycle 18 loads (see here or here for 5/3/1 how-to’s). Unfortunately it’s been rough so far. But! I’m only 2 workouts in so I’m trying to stay positive and see how the next 2 workouts go.

Set up for a 5 rep deadliftAll set up for a 5 deadlifts

It might just be that I haven’t been eating properly the last few days, it might be that I’m tired from a weekend of landscaping. It might be that I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I’d like (What I’d like, if we’re being honest, is 9 hours). I don’t know why I’m feeling so weak and off point this week.

The Yogic Approach

Warrior 2 Pose - YogaWarrior!

I’m going to use this as a learning opportunity though because what’s really cool is that I can take a completely yogic approach to weightlifting.

Yoga teaches me to tune into the subtleties of my body so that I can really be aware of when I feel that I’m off my peak and when I feel strong and energetic. I want to use this ability to pay attention to what I’m doing (with diet, exercise, stress, sleep, etc) when I’m feeling my best so I can use that knowledge to optimize my training.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue to keep you posted as I go. . .

29 Apr

5/3/1 Cycle 16 and 17

Cycle 15 of 5/3/1 was empowering. Energizing. Exciting.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women and 5/3/1 How To

When I calculated my loads for cycle 16 I knew it was going to be too much of a struggle for me to reach them, given that I barely made my lifts in cycle 15. So I repeated cycle 15 instead of progressing which was smart.

Cycle 16 Main Lifts

Deadlift: 265lb for 2 reps

Push Press: 135lb for 1 rep

Squats: 250lb for 2 reps

Bench Press: 165lb for 1 rep

Aside from an extra rep in deadlifts I didn’t make any progress. I should have taken that into consideration when I looked at what I was supposed to lift in cycle 17. Okay, I did, but I ignored it and tried to push on which was not smart.

Here I am now in the middle of my third week of cycle 17 (that’s my one rep max week so I haven’t even finished the cycle) and coming off a deadlift day shitty enough to bum me out. I missed a 275lb lift and then out of stress or confusion or weakness I missed a 265lb lift too.

It’s funny that a mere 8 weeks ago I was ecstatic with the amount of weight I could lift and now that same amount feels like failure. I know full well that it takes a lot of time to build strength (it took me years to get to a body weight bench press, remember?) but there’s always that hint of disappointment when my progress stagnates.

I guess for cycle 18 I’m going to take a step back, er, maybe two. I need to build up my strength and lightening up on the amount of weight I lift is a good way to do it. Mentally I’ll need to develop a  more yogic approach with appreciation for what my body can do right now rather than disappointment with what it can’t.

I also have to get back on track with my diet. If you recall my nutritionist/friend Sarah gave me a dietary outline to follow so I would have energy to weightlift and so I could put on mass. Aside from the calorie count I’ve been mostly neglecting the meal plan for the last two weeks and that could have very well  be contributing to my poor performance. When I was following her plan to a T was when I had my best lifts so there’s definitely something to it.

14 Mar

5/3/1 Cycle 15 Recap

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So, uh, yeah. I know I said this at the beginning of my last 5/3/1 recap, but cycle of 5/3/1 was indeed UNREAL folks.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

The last time that I had recapped with you at cycle 11 I took a step back in my training programme and repeated cycle 11 because I wasn’t quite prepared for the targets that I was supposed to reach.

Sometimes you have to cut back to make progress, and progress I did indeed make.

Not only did I break all of my Personal Records last week but I had this especially exciting news. . .

I bench pressed my body weight!

Finally! I’ve had this goal for 2 years now though have been making the most effort on it in the last 14 months or so.

165lbs wasn’t actually part of my calculated lifts for this cycle, but when I pressed up 160lbs for 3 reps (mostly on my own, but with a bit of the husband’s help on rep 3), Matt encouraged me to try 165lb, my body weight.

I was so ecstatic when I pressed the weight up all by myself.

Goal, achieved. Boys working out beside me, jealous. Even my dad was impressed (and he is, by nature, not an easy man to be genuinely impressed).

My bench press goal was so exciting it overshadowed all the other loads that I hit last week, and they were pretty impressive in themselves.

Main Lifts

Again, I can’t even believe these numbers are real.

Deadlift: 265lb for 1 reps

Push Press: 135lb for 1 rep – finally put up 45’s on the bar!

Squats: 250lb for 2 reps

Bench Press: 165lb for 1 rep – did I mention, that’s my body weight?

I haven’t calculated my loads for cycle 16 yet so I’m nervous about what I’ll see, but I’m also very excited too.

Diet

I mentioned last week that my friend, a holistic nutritionist in training, gave me a diet to follow to help me gain muscle. I had initially gained a pound right away but I lost it again so I’m back at where I started.

I’ve averaged 2500 cal per day with a 36% fat, 44% carb, 20% protein mix.

Aside from not having put on weight yet, I have been feeling much more stable (emotionally) and I my sugar cravings have been reduced which I attribute (I think) to having more fat in my diet. Or it could be more muscle too. Or it could be just eating more in general and not withholding food only to binge on sweets later. Not sure yet. I only know it’s working so I’ll keep it up.

I intend to keep tracking my macros and following her recommendations because 1) I’m her guinea pig and want to give her accurate results, and 2) I’m liking it so far.

Will check back in with progress as I squeeze in time. Things have been hectic lately 😛

30 Jan

5/3/1 for Women – How To

Weightlifting

I dig 5/3/1 so hard.

I have never had so much success with a weight training programme as I’ve had with this 5/3/1. I’ve been working through it for over a year now (which, in itself, is saying something) and with it I’ve seen tremendous strength gains and I’m never bored.

I got a facebook message from a reader asking me for some more detail on how the programme works so I figured it was high time for another update on the how-to’s of 5/3/1.

What is the 5/3/1 Programme?

It’s a weightlifting programme created by powerlifter Jim Wendler that focuses on building strength.

5/3/1 revolves around the basic multi-joint lifts: squat, deadlift, bench press, and overhead press.

The plan is based on a slow progression of reasonable and attainable strength over time.

You really have to be able to commit to several cycles to see results. It may seem slow going at first, but you are able work toward your goals while still seeing some motivating improvements that keep you going.

How does it work?

Find Your Base Loads

Figure out the maximum weight you can lift for one rep (or a good estimate of it) for the following lifts: squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press.

Take 90% of that number (eg. if your 1RM is 100lb, use 0.9*100=90lbs). This is your base load from which you will determine how much weight you will lift for every workout.

Plan Your Workout Days and Rest Days

Each Cycle of the plan is four weeks—three weeks of strength building and one week for de-loading and recovery.

The Cycle is based on 4 workouts per week—one of the four major lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press) each day. Figure out a way to spread out your workout days and rest days to fit everything in so that it works for you.

I like to workout two days back-to-back with one or two rest days in between, eg) Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu.

Week One – 5 Rep Week

You’re working in the 5 rep range this week. For each workout day, calculate your reps and weights as follows:

Warm up: As many reps as necessary at light weight.
Set 1: 5 reps at 75% of base load
Set 2: 5 reps at 80% of base load
Set 3: At least 5 reps at 85% of base load (if you can do more than 5, then do as many as you can)

Repeat the same structure for each of squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press day, using the appropriate base load for that exercise.

Week Two – 3 Rep Week

You’ll be working heavier for fewer reps this week. For each workout day, calculate your reps and weights as follows:

Warm up: As many reps as necessary at light weight.
Set 1: 3 reps at 80% of base load
Set 2: 3 reps at 85% of base load
Set 3: At least 3 reps at 90% of base load (as many reps as you can)

Repeat the same structure for each of squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press day using the appropriate base load for that exercise.

Week Three – 1 Rep Week

You’ll be repeating some of the loads from the last two weeks for sets 1 and 2 then you’ll go for as many reps as possible at 95% of your base load for your final set.

For each workout day, calculate your reps and weights as follows:

Warm up: As many reps as necessary at light weight.
Set 1: 5 reps at75% of base load
Set 2: 3 reps at 85% of base load
Set 3: At least 1 rep at 95% of base load (as many reps as you can)

Repeat the same structure for each of squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press day using the appropriate base load for that exercise.

Week Four – De-load Week

This is your deload week for recovery. You will perform exactly 5 reps in each set with lighter weights, never pushing yourself to failure. For each workout day, calculate your reps and weights as follows:

Warm up: As many reps as necessary at light weight.
Set 1: 5 reps at 60% of base load
Set 2: 5 reps at 65% of base load
Set 3: 5 reps at 70% of base load

Repeat the same structure for each of squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press day using the appropriate base load for that exercise.

I’m done a Cycle, now what?

When you’ve completed a 4 week cycle, it is time to progress your loads.

Add the following weights to the one rep maximum that you determined at the beginning of the 4 weeks:

Squat + 10lb
Deadlift + 10lb
Bench Press + 5lb
Overhead Press + 5lb

(eg. if your 1RM for bench press was 100lbs, your new 1RM is 105lb)

Using these new numbers, recalculate your Base Loads for each exercise, and start a new cycle!

You can do as many cycles of the programme as you like. You could practically cycle this programme forever.

What if I didn’t hit my targets?

If you don’t make the calculated load in any of the exercises, go back and re-calculate your 1 rep max and start over.

I generally step back 2 cycles which drops my 1RM by 20lbs for squat and deadlift and 10lbs for bench and push press.

What else do I do besides the 4 main lifts?

That’s up to you.

Wendler recommends adding additional exercises called ‘assistance work’ to each workout day to supplement your 4 major lifts and assist you with your goals. These are some of the plans that he recommends:

Assistance Plans

Boring But Big. Main lift, the main lift again for 5 sets x 10 reps (50% 1RM), and another accessory exercise for 5 sets.

The Triumvirate. Main lift, and two assistance exercises – 5 sets each.

I’m Not Doing Jack Shit. Main lift, and nothing else.

Periodization Bible by Dave Tate. Main lift, and 3 exercises – 5 x 10-20 reps each.

Bodyweight. Main lift, and 2 bodyweight exercises such as the pull up, sit ups, dips, etc.

This post from Muscle & Strength gives some good examples of accessory work.

This All Sounds like a Lot of Math, Lunks don’t do Math

Errr…sure they do?

But, if you want to keep it brainless anyway then lucky for you I’m an Excel Wizard by day and came up with this 5-3-1 Training Calculator.

No calculations needed (not even the base load!). You just have to know your one rep maximum for squats, deadlifts, bench press, and push press. The calculator will figure out the rest.

Just pop in your one rep max for each exercise into the calculator where the red arrow is and it will spew out the loads that you’ll be using for the next 3 full cycles of the programme.

Easy like Sunday morning.

Click here to download the Calculator Spreadsheet

How’s it working for you?

I love it so much. I love knowing exactly how much I have to lift each day. It pushes me to work harder every single week.

Since November 2012 I’ve made some pretty big improvements in my lifts.

Squats: 185lb to 235lb (27% improvement)
Bench: 135lb to 150lb (11% improvement)
Deadlift: 225lb to 250lb (11% improvement)
Push Press: 105lb to 130lb (24% improvement)

On paper they may not look like much, but it is extremely challenging to make modest improvements when it comes to strength training, so I’m really proud.

I had a few setbacks during the year (as a result of a 3 week yoga teacher training and a 2 week vacation) and I had to step back a few cycles in order to regain my strength. Overall, though, it’s been awesome and I’m going to keep on keeping on.

I’ve already set some new goals for myself and plan on using 5/3/1 to attain them:

-165lb bench press (ie. a body weight bench press)
-275lb deadlift

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Resources:

If you want to know more about how the programme works, check out this post on Muscle and Strength. It’s super comprehensive.

20 Nov

5/3/1 Cycle 11 Recap

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This cycle of 5/3/1 was UNREAL folks.

I blew away every single weightlifting PR I’ve ever had. Ever. 

Last cycle I was just happy to have finally regained all my lost strength. This cycle though I’m ecstatic. I’m proud. I’m completely shocked.

I fucking love this programme.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

Main Lifts

I can’t even believe these numbers are real.

Deadlift: 250lb for 2 reps

Push Press: 130lb for 1 rep

Squats: 235lb for 4 reps

Bench Press: 150lb for 1 rep

I’m happy to have my husband back at the gym to spot me, just when I need him again (I was pretty terrified of crushing myself to death on that 150lb bench press) or injuring myself with the squat.

Accessory Lifts

Each day I did 4 exercises with a related muscle group to supplement my big lift. I performed 4 sets of these at mid range reps (5-8).

I haven’t been doing too much cardio, so I feel like I should start incorporating some more cleans and snatches to get my heart rate going. I’ll keep this in mind for my next cycle.

31 Oct

5/3/1 for Women – Cycle 10 Recap

I’m a bit behind on posting the recap of my 10th cycle of 5/3/1 (I’m nearly halfway through cycle 11 now).

5/3/1’s primary goal is to progressively increase your strength in the big lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press). You don’t have to waste time on minor muscle groups (holla if you loathe biceps workouts!) because muli-joint lifts target multiple muscle groups so you gain strength everywhere.

If you’ve been reading my blog the last while you know how much I love this programme but I’ll keep saying it over and over (I love this programme, I love this programme!) so that maybe one day you’ll give it a try. If you want to consistently get stronger you’ve got to follow a programme like this that has you pushing yourself harder and harder every week.

There. I’ve said my piece.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

Main Lifts

I’m happy to report that I’ve regained all my strength, you guys!

It took me 3 months to recover the strength that I lost with just 3 weeks of yoga teacher training.

I know it sounds totally ridiculous and it was a mental struggle for me to have to cut way back on my loads, but it worked to help me rebuild my strength. I’m excited (and also terrified, tbh) to move forward and start lifting heavier than I have before.

For cycle 10 I was working on the same loads as I completed in cycle 6 right before yoga Teacher Training. Compared to then, I’ve improved marginally in terms of reps, which I’m really happy about.

Deadlift: 240lb for 2 reps

Push Press: 125lb for 4 reps (PR’d that shit!)

Squats: 225lb for 3 reps (without a spotter!)

Bench Press: 120lb (added weight on Smith machine) for 3 reps

I’m so happy that I was able to push up more weight than ever with my push press this cycle (for 4 reps, no less!).

My bench press loads are increasing (very slowly, but increasing nonetheless) to the point that I definitely need a spotter to prevent me from crushing myself to death, or I have to use the Smith machine. I hate the Smith machine. It has it’s purposes, but everything feels so much easier because you don’t have to self-stabilize. It feels like cheating.

But I hate asking for a spotter even more. Most guys, if they don’t think you’re hitting on them, will take too much weight off and say “It’s all you! It’s all you!” No sir it is, in fact, all you. Plus as they lean over to help me I somehow manage to spit in their faces on an exhale and disgust us both. So until the husband makes his triumphant return to the gym (at the same time of day as me) then Smith machine it is.

Accessory Lifts

I don’t even know what I did this cycle. It was very unorganized, which is very unlike me. After my big lift I did a handful of exercises (usually 3 or 4) with a related muscle group, sometime for around 6 reps, sometimes for up to 12 reps. I’m not sure I liked this unorganized approach, but that’s what happens when you don’t plan your workouts before you get to the gym.

Unfortunately I haven’t planned anything better and I’ve been doing the same thing so far in cycle 11. Must rectify this situation.

25 Sep

5/3/1 for Women – Cycle 9 Recap

I just finished my 9th cycle of 5/3/1. That’s 36 weeks on the same programme. I’m still loving it.

5/3/1 focuses on increasing strength in the big muli-joint lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press) and lets you vary the other exercises that you do in addition to these lifts (ie. your accessory lifts)

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

Main Lifts

You may recall that I had to cut way back on my loads because of all the strength that I lost during my 3 weeks of yoga teacher training. I had failed at moving the required weight so I had to take 2 steps back to rebuild.

For cycle 9 I was working on the same loads as I completed in cycle 5 back in May. Compared to May, I’ve improved marginally in terms of reps, which I’m really happy about.

Deadlift: 230lb for 4 reps

Push Press: 120lb for 5 reps

Squats: 220lb for 2 reps

Bench Press: 140lb for 1 reps

 

This cycle, I’m most proud of my push press, not only because it was a PR, but also because I was only a little scared and I wasn’t figuratively shitting my pants in terror of hoisting that much weight overhead. That’s progress.

Accessory Lifts

I focused on complexes and circuits that involved intervals or moving a little weight very quickly. This way I elevate my heart rate and a get a good sweat going in just 10-20 minutes.

I vary the accessory exercises every day and my favourites always include sprints. This cycle my favourite was:

Sprint 1km
10 push-ups
Sprint 1km
15 push-ups
Sprint 1km
20 push-ups
Sprint 1km
25 push-ups
Sprint 1km
25 push-ups
Sprint 1km
20 push-ups
Sprint 1km
15 push-ups
Sprint 1km
10 push-ups

Deload Week

Lots of yoga, a bit of running, and a little lighter weightlifting.

28 Aug

5/3/1 for Women – Cycle 8 Recap

I just finished my 8th cycle of 5/3/1.

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this programme for 32 weeks already! That’s the longest I’ve ever stuck with any routine, so I’m clearly jiving with it. I like that the programme focuses on increasing strength in the big muli-joint lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press) but lets me play around with the other exercises that I do in addition to these lifts.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

Main Lifts

During my 3 weeks of YTT (yoga teacher training) I completely cut weightlifting out. When I got back I tried to pick up where I left off, repeating my pre-YTT loads in cycle 7 but I lost a lot of strength and failed miserably at hitting my deadlifts and squats.

So for cycle 8 I went way back to my cycle 4 loads and I’m trying to build back up from there.

Deadlift: 225lb for 3 reps
Push Press: 115lb for 4 reps
Squats: 210lb for 3 reps
Bench Press: 135lb for 4 reps

the number of repetitions that I completed for each exercise was identical to what I did back in April for cycle 4, so at least I know I scaled back properly.

Accessory Lifts

For cycle 8 I went back to doing a variation of the ‘boring but big’ accessory lifts:

– the Main lift, then
– the Main lift in a different form (eg. squats + front squats, bench press + dumbbell bench press, etc), then
– 3 accessory exercises with a higher rep range (10-15)

But I find this quite boring and also I was becoming pressed to get cardio exercise in so I’m switching back to complexes and circuits that will elevate my heart rate and a get a good sweat going in just 10-20 minutes.

Some of these circuits I make up myself, others I steal from crossfit football.

Deload Week

I think I only got one weightlifting session in during deload week. Woops! 😛

I opted instead for more yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and hiking sand dunes.

25 Jul

5/3/1 for Women – Cycle 6 & 7 Recap

With all the yoga I have been talking about lately you’re probably wondering how my weight training is going. Well, last I left you with was a recap of cycle 5 of the 5/3/1 for Women Training Programme, that I had been working through– a programme that focuses on increasing strength in squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press by increasing weight and decreasing reps each week. Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 Training

Cycle 6

Well right before I went away for yoga teacher training I squeezed in my 6th cycle of the programme and it was AMAZING.

Deadlift: 240lb Push Press: 115lb Squat: 225lb Bench Press: 135lb

I finally hit my big squat goal: 225lb!

I set this goal for myself back in January of 2012 so it’s been a long time coming. I recommitted to it on my 27th birthday and this time I accomplished it within the year! You can imagine just how happy I was to squat it for not one rep, but two! New goal: 300lb squat. In cycle 6 I also set a personal record in deadlifts. As for push press and bench press, I had to reduce the weight for cycle 6 since I missed my goals during cycle 5 and I needed to build up my strength in these lifts before going forward any further. For my accessory lifts– ie. the stuff I do other than squats, deads, and presses– I continued to focus on the complexes and circuits that I make up myself or steal from crossfit football. This helps me build power and get my heart rate pumping.

Cycle 7

Immediately after cycle 6 I dove into yoga teacher training and completely cut weightlifting out of my life for 3 whole weeks. So much strength lost in so little time. When I came back I tried to repeat the cycle 6 loads and I failed miserably at deadlifts and squats, feeling weaker and unable to lift for as many reps as I did just weeks before. It is disappointing, discouraging, disheartening. The big problem with strength training is that so much emphasis is tied to the numbers. You hit a goal and you’re over the moon, but when you can’t make a weight and have to decrease the load then your motivation plummets. In the life of a weight lifter there are few things as discouraging. I need to remember that it’ll take time to gain back what I’ve lost. Taking a page from the 5/3/1 book I’m taking two steps back for Cycle 8<%2

16 May

How Heavy Weightlifting Works for Me

After posting my last waist goals update I’ve pondered the fact that I really haven’t been putting much effort into my diet. Yet gradually (very gradually) my body shape has been changing.

So I went back through my old blog posts to see if I could answer the question: “what’s changed?”.

The answer: my workouts.

From Fall 2011 (when I was training for my marathon) up until this past August when I started my waist goals, I wasn’t doing a lot of training with heavy weights and I wasn’t focused on building strength.

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I really need a picture of me actually lifting weights…until then, The Beast will suffice.

March-May 2012 – Full Body Circuits

I put aside strength building to do full body circuit workouts. I had goals to increase my strength too, but I didn’t put any concrete focus on them. So I made myself a 3 day full body circuit which got boring fast so I switched it to a 6 day full body circuit.

I was also incorporating lots of conditioning workouts as cardio to get away from running (I had little motivation to run after the marathon in January).

June-July 2012 – Slow Tempo, Light Weight, High Reps

I decided to start working with high reps (8-12) and pushing less weight around. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I wanted to fatigue my muscles in a different way so I worked on this Tempo Weightlifting Routine which focused on slowing down my weightlifting and increasing the amount of time my muscles were under tension.

It was so. fucking. boring. I hated it.

Looking back I believe the combination of having just come out of marathon training and then choosing circuits with low weight and high reps is really what shaped my body in a way that I was uncomfortable with by August.

This is when I started to make some changes to my workouts and decided to set a goal to lose size from my waist.

August 2012 – Olympic Lifting

After watching the badass women’s weightlifters at the Summer Olympics I was inspired to start an Olympic Lifting routine.

I would hog the squat rack for my entire workout so it was the kind of routine that I could only pull off during the summertime when people forget what the gym is.

Olympic lifting opened me up to a whole new world of high intensity lifting. It made me sweaty and hungry and tired so it basically emphasized my 3 favourite things (sweating, eating, and sleeping). It was fun and tiring and although I wasn’t lifting anything very heavy I felt like I was making improvements every week.

It was about 2 weeks into a 4 week Oly lifting routine that I set my Waist Goals although I didn’t post about them for a few weeks after that.

September-December 2012 – Crossfit Football

I didn’t have a specific workout routine which is really weird for me so I had to look back at my Fitocracy profile to figure out what I was doing at the time!

It was Crossfit Football. These workouts start off with Olympic lifts or big multi-joint exercises and then end with a high intensity conditioning component.

I really liked this style of workout because it incorporated heavy lifting with high intensity in a way that worked better than anything I had tried to come up with up to this point.

…and then I learned about 5/3/1.

December 2012-May 2013 – 5/3/1

When I heard about 5/3/1 I knew it would be great for me because 1)It focuses on strength building and multi-joint lifts, 2)There is room for creativity with the accessory lifts, 3)Having my loads pre-determined really forces me to improve my strength.

I’ve completed 21 weeks of this programme so far and it is awesome. By adding a high intensity conditioning component to the end of my workouts, I’ve set this programme up to be just like Crossfit Football but with a stronger focus on strength improvement which has helped me blast through PRs.

Now I think if I put even a little effort into my diet I think I could whittle my waist faster but it’s tough-going to cut calories when your workouts make you hungry all the time and when all you really want to eat is cookies.

I could probably make some healthy substitutions in my diet without sacrificing my quality of life in the process. This is something I need to work on.