For those that read last week’s entry, welcome back. For those that are new to #OperationIdris, welcome. You can check out the previous entries here. For those that have been with me since the inception, I know what you’re thinkin’: “where’s the feature image?” Here’s the truth. It didn’t occur to me until March to turn this into a blog post series. Luckily, I’ve been takin’ progress pics from the off. However, I decided to get fancy ‘n’ did an Insta gif upload instead coz you know, why not? I actually tried to use the gif as a feature image but computer said no. A gif isn’t an image after all. Anyhow, this week, I introduce to you: #OperationIdris – Month 3.
There you go. It’s the best I can do for this entry. As I’ve now committed to turnin’ this into a regular series, to the best of my ability, I will ensure this does not happen again. Don’t hold me to that though. Before we proceed, I wanna address somethin’ I alluded to in last week’s (Month 2) entry. If you recall, I mentioned it was durin’ March I realised the PHUL split may not be truly conducive to my overall goal of achievin’ a ‘year round’ lean aesthetic. What I realised was, in theory, I shouldn’t have been doin’ Power sessions. Workin’ with heavy weights at a low rep range (5×5) was goin’ against my objective. I needed to be workin’ at the hypertophy range where I’m at 70-80% of my 1RM with a rep range of 10-15 reps. But seein’ as I was midway through when I had the ‘light-bulb’ moment, I thought what the hey – finish up n start Month 4 like a baaawse.
I’m gonna assume you’re a returnin’ reader so I’m not gonna give the table a full breakdown. If you’re not or you want a refresher, check out Month 2‘s blog post which details all. In Month 3, there were 2 main changes.
First, the ab split which was:
Second, On the Wednesdays and Saturdays marked ‘Abs’ coupled with a body part, I did the above ab super-set with a 5-6 super-set exercise of said body part. Hit me up on my socials for details.
As I mentioned last week (at least I think I did), PHUL is a 4 day split. However, as my table dictates, in March, I trained 6 days per week. Realisin’ I could no longer run as it was too heavy an impact on my injured knee, from Month 2 I decided to add the extra days as I could push myself further. Additionally, by week 11, I decided to switch to the Cross Trainer. I felt the bike was doin’ NOTHIN’. I was workin’ up a sweat, but the calories burned were minimal. I’ll hit you with the CT stats in Month 4’s upload. By now my body was accustomed to gettin’ it’s hit of exercise so I thought, what the hey? It’s good to get out of your comfort zone ‘n’ push your limits. How else will you improve? Like Uncle Bob (Marley of course) once said: “you don’t know how strong you are until bein’ strong is your only option”. Somethin’ to that effect anyhow. What I also love about March was my accountability regardin’ weights ‘n’ rep ranges were collated flawlessly so I can hit you with some figures as promised last week. But first, let’s take a look at my ‘everyday exercises’.
Realisin’ I ‘outgrown’ the previous ab super-set (read last week’s blog post for details), by researchin’ online I devised the new super-super set mentioned above. I’m not even gonna lie, the first week was brutal nearin’ impossible – but I stuck to it. By the end of the second week, there was a better rhythm to the flow. Rather than concedin’ I had ‘bitten off more than I could chew’, I devised a manageable strategy. In the order listed, I’d do the first 3 exercises b2b no rest, quick 30 second rest, do the last 3 with no rest in between, 1 minute rest at the end, then repeat. It was still brutal, but now possible. The word impossible has long since been removed from my vocabulary. The word impossible itself is evocative of chance. I’m possible. Like the word, break down the task into manageable components and you’ve got this! It’s amazin’ what patience, dedication ‘n’ discipline can do.
With Pull ups, I started these from Month 2 at 4×3 and slowly upped the reps by 1 each week until I ended March doin’ 4×8. It wasn’t easin’ goin’ I’ll tell you. Nursin’ an old Futsal injury to my right wrist from uni meant I’ve always been fearful of applyin’ force/pressure. Also startin’ as a chunky man meant I wasn’t confident pullin’ my weight. But like a friend of mine once said: “what’s the point of liftin’ all this heavy weight if you can’t even lift ya own damn body weight”. Real talk Gomez. Real rahtid talk! Also, like Month 2, I did my standin’/seated calf raise sets (5×20 each) every session. Yes. Every session. For seated I upped the pin each week until I reached 86kg. For standin’ I either used a 20kg plate in each hand or dumbbells. I worked up to 24kg with dumbbells. No point goin’ too heavy as I’d lose my grip. In hindsight, overkill doin’ calves everyday as like any other muscle, it needs time to rest, but hey, it was fun.
Comin’ from the Jonny Bravo era of lifters, though PHUL doesn’t have a dedicated arm day, whether it was UP, LP, UH or LH, I hit arms on each of those sessions. Without fail. Curls get the girls bro. Come on! I essentially did one bicep/tricep superset 4×10 reps each ‘n’ switched the exercise each session. For me, I find usin’ weights that are relatively heavy, but you can control are best for arm activation. Don’t be that guy ego curlin’ rockin’ back ‘n’ forth or side to side like a branch in the wind. You’re not workin’ your arms bro. Keep the weight moderate ‘n’ control it on the negative as well. I guarantee you will feel it. Coz newsflash, that burn you feel when it’s slow and controlled, that’s what you want. Anyhow, let’s talk numbers!
EXERCISES AND WEIGHTS
By the end of the split, I put some decent numbers up. No new PR’s, but we’re movin’ in the right direction.
Flat Bench Press – 130kg x 3
Incline Dumbbell Press 38kg x 10 (my gym only goes up to 38kg in dumbbells)
Dumbbell Row – 38kg x 10
Military Press – 60kg x 5 – Shoulder injury meant I didn’t dare go past this weight (I really should see a physio come to think of it with all these minor aches)
Dumbbell shoulder press – 36kg x 8
T bar row – 60kg x 10
Bent row – 90kg x 5
Deadlift – 190kg x 1 (equalled PB)
Leg Press – 150kg x 10 (I refuse to do any ego moves with my legs on a bad knee)
Leg extension – 52kg x 10
Breakfast (pre gym) – one sachet oats (golden syrup flavoured) / one diced banana
2nd breakfast (post gym) – 3 egg omelette / one 25g scoop of protein shake mixed with water, one table spoon of smooth/crunchy peanut butter mixed in the blender. (I only have this on a ‘non-office day’ – so 4 times a week)
Lunch – 80g (in weight) cous cous / 100g of frozen veg (broccoli/cauliflower), or green peas, carrots, sweetcorn medley / 2 oven roasted chicken thighs
Dinner – 200g (in weight) of vegetables (frozen or fresh) / 2 oven roasted thighs
Pre bed – one 25g scoop of protein shake mixed with water, one table spoon of smooth/crunchy peanut butter mixed in the blender
FYI – Couple meals a week, I’d swap the 2 oven roasted thighs for mince, mackerel, tuna. I don’t mess with pork coz that’s haram still.
Seein’ as I still wasn’t accurately trackin’ macros at this stage, because hey, numbers, meh, I decided to strip carbs from my evenin’ meal and just have veg ‘n’ protein. Took some gettin’ used to but I felt it was necessary. There were a few days this month were I would have an ‘untracked’ meal which was salad leaves, grilled diced chicken thigh fillets, grilled halomui cheese with olives and half a honey dew melon for ‘dessert’. Not the worst cheat meal. I did however have two cheat meals this month. My first ‘n’ only since I started OperationIdris. From Yard ‘n’ Coop, I had the Basic chick burger meal with mac ‘n’ cheese ‘n’ cheddar n ‘onion’ mash on the side. I’m actually salivatin’ as I type. That tasted unreal! On Mother’s day, we went to a family restaurant (I can’t recall the name). Lunch was relatively okay, roasted potatoes, parsnips, sweep potato mash with my lamb main. But I had a sundae for dessert. ‘N’ two helpins of cake after. ‘N’ it was goood! Also, March saw the first time I drank with the intention of catchin’ the wave since NYE. It was one of those nights I felt I needed to let off some steam.
Though I started the trainin’ regime militant, refusin’ to drink alcohol, refusin’ to eat ‘bad foods’, I did this month. ‘N’ honestly, I regretted it initially. I felt I let myself down. Even my close ones were shocked. “I thought you were on a diet?” – “Should you be eatin’ that?” Though they said it in jest, it did get me thinkin’. On both occasions, I was convinced I would get up the next day ‘n’ I’d be chunky again. But alas I wasn’t. I didn’t get back into fitness to be on stage. That was never the aim. ‘N’ as I type this, it never will be. I’m simply findin’ that balance to life. It’s good to eat a little cake ‘n’ have a drink sometimes. Key word: some. Always in moderation. Don’t relapse ‘n’ ruin all the hard work you’ve put in. Some people swear off bad things completely ‘n’ I commend them. Others indulge sparingly as part of a balanced lifestyle ‘n’ again, I commend them. I’ll say it again, find what works for you.
Lookin’ at the above
image gif frustrates me because from an aesthetic perspective (in my opinion) I look the same, if not bulkier than the previous month. Yes I indulged on a total of three occasions, but compared to a solid month of trainin’ 6 days a week plus eatin’ clean won’t do that much damage. I ascertained the bike is not my method of shiftin’ body fat so I changed for the CT. It’s a dope low impact machine that makes you EARN those calories burned. But we’ll get into that in Month 4’s blog post.
Thanks for readin’.
“Motivation comes from lookin’ at the things you want ‘n’ realisin’ what it takes to get it.”