#OperationIdris – Month 4 – April *19

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. Let’s jump in with a lil anecdote. So boom, I was at Pana start of April kickin’ back in the booth as per ‘longside Cee whilst he was spinnin’ riddim. Anyways I was mindin’ my own business when I felt a tap on my back. Spun roun’ ‘n’ it was my boy Waqy who I haven’t seen for a few months (‘pre op’). After we do the usual: “what u sayin’ big man?”“how’s the family?”, he says to me: “I knew it was you coz u was in the booth, but bro, your back’s gone big ya know!” I laughed ‘n’ humbly accepted the compliment. Here’s how compliments work with me – I never know how to take them in grace. I’m a tad awkward at times. Also, though I have pictures documentin’ the progress, I don’t see it on a day to day. I consciously ‘n’ constantly compare my physique, mentality ‘n’ work-rate to those I hold in high regard. It’s a never endin’ rat race. You wanna be in that upper echelon, they’re already ahead. Inspirations are what keeps us motivated. This week, I introduce to you: #OperationIdris – Month 4.

IMG_6460There were two main changes to my trainin’ method this month. First, As the table dictates, I began the Push / Pull / Legs method of trainin’. If you recall, I mentioned in last week’s post it was durin’ March I had the ‘light-bulb moment’ wherein I realised if I was chasin’ a relatively lean year-round physique, Power sessions were counter productive as they tend to be big weights, low reps. Second, in an attempt to repent ‘n’ wash away the sins of a non lifter ‘n’ become fully ordained in the whey of pain, my cuz decided to sign up. The Church of Gainz had a new disciple. Due to schedulin’ conflicts, we decided we’d train together Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday which for me, meant two things. One – I get a lie in as we’re in the gym ‘n’ ready to start between 10-10:30am opposed to my ‘pre-work’ 7-8:30am sessions (meanin’ I’m up at 6am). Two – when you train with someone else ‘n’ you’re instructin’ them, the tempo is slower as you have to ensure their form, pace, weight used ‘n’ breathin’ is all A1. It can be good to train with someone else as A – you have a vested interest in their progress ‘n’ you see it first hand. B – as long as it doesn’t become a ‘barber-shop’ link up, it’s good to train with someone else periodically. Remember – you’re there to work.

Before we delve deep beneath the crypts of Winterfell in an attempt to evade the ever loomin’ threat of the long night ‘n’ the King that comes with it (spoiler?) – let’s do what we usually do at this stage and address the table. FYI – Honestly, by now, I’m genuinely assumin’ you’re a returnin’ reader so like last week, initially I wasn’t gonna do a full table breakdown. But seein’ as it’s a new split, I want you guys to see how we jumped into the new program.

Just to quickly highlight, for P/P/L, I did 4 sets x 10-15 reps for each exercise. By workin’ at the hypertrophy range, roughly 70-80% of my maximum, the idea is to build lean muscle. I did the same exercises twice a week stickin’ to the same weight for both sessions ‘n’ dependent on how it felt, I’d add a moderate increment the followin’ week ‘n’ repeat. For Back however, I split this into compounds for one session and accessories for the next as I felt compound movements were too much of a strain twice a week. That didn’t go accordin’ to plan but we’ll get to that! I found slow increments worked best to maintain the hypertrophy range rather than ‘ego-jumpin’ to heavier weights. Tbh, it took serious discipline to not just stick on heavier weight for the sake of it. I had to constantly remind myself of the goal: Higher reps cardio x relatively clean diet ‘n’ patience = leaner physique. That was the science anyhow.

Let’s break down the table and provide some figures.

CHEST: Flat bench press – started with 70kg – increased by 5kg each week to 85kg / Incline dumbbell press w Around the world – started with 28kg w 5kg – increased to 30kg w 5kg / Straight arm pullover w Dumbbell fly – started with 24kg w 10kg – increased to 26kg w 14kg

SHOULDERS: Military press – stuck with 40kg / Seated dumbbell press – stuck with 20kg / Upright rows w Dumbbell lateral raises – stuck with 25kg w 6kg / Dumbbell shrugs – started with 22kg – increased to 26kg

BACK (Session 1 – Compound): Deadlift – started with 80kg – increased to 90kg / T bar row started with 40kg – increased to 50kg / Bent over barbell row stuck with 60kg / Single arm dumbell row – stuck with 30kg

BACK (Session 2 – Accessories): Machine reverse fly started with 39kg – inreased to 45kg / Divergent seated row – started with 32kg – increased to 41kg / Seated cable row – started with 45kg – increased to 52kg / Lat pull down – started with 52kg – increased to 59kg / Pull ups – stuck at 4×8

BICEPS: Hammer curls – stuck with 16kg / Preacher curls – stuck with 30kg / Standin’/Seated individual curls – started with 12kg – increased to 14kg / Standing E-Z bar curl – stuck with 30kg

LEGS: Leg Press started with 120kg – increased to 130kg /  Leg extension stuck with 34.3kg / Prone leg curls started with 32kg – increased to 39kg / Seated calf raise – started with 66kg – increased to 86kg / Leg Press calf raise – started with 70kg – increased to 80kg

TRICEPS: Skull-crusher – started with 20kg – increased to 25kg / Individual dumbbell tricep extension – stuck with 12kg / Close grip press stuck with 50kg / Tricep dips – body weight

15MCT: 15 minutes Cross trainer – started mid way through March on level 0 not realisin’ you have to set levels to burn calories. Once I realised, I chose a level, stuck to it for 15 minutes all week then upped it by 1 the followin’ week ‘n’ repeated. Increased to Level 11 by the end of April with a calorie to time best of 211 calories burned.

15MB: 15 minutes bike

Abs (circuit 1): Leg raises (20) w Windshield wipers (20) w Air bike crunches (20) w Plank (45 seconds) w Flutter kicks  (45 seconds) w Oblique kettlebells (20) – The aforementioned was a done as a circuit x 2.

Ab (circuit 2): Leg raises (20) / Flutter kicks  (1min) / Oblique kettlebells (20)

S1: Session 1

S2: Session 2

Now, we’ve got the routine and the associated figures. Let’s address some ‘irregularities’ in the table. The elephant in the room: Week 16. Tuesday’s back ‘n’ bi session with Cee, we decided to do accessories instead of compound (he hadn’t done a compound session with me yet so I switched it up to ensure he gets the maximum output as well). It must have been somewhere between the lat pull down ‘n’the seated cable row. All I knew was my lower back felt uncomfortable. The session went a it wayward after that. The followin’ day we went to a M Huncho gig in Cambridge where he was scheduled to DJ. In truth, we didn’t leave till midday, so mornin’ gym could have still happened if it weren’t for the fact my back was still uncomfortable. I didn’t wanna take a risk. We got back to Manchester around 6pm Thursday. Back still felt wrong. So I made the call – lowe gym for the rest of the week n jump back in the followin’ Monday. At the point of writin’ this, I did just that ‘n’ all is good thus far.

Week 13-15’s missed cardio sessions were due to fatigue. It isn’t a valid excuse, I know. But I’m human – ‘n’ I’m older. I’m not gonna ego my way through something if my body is tellin’ me no. There’s pushin’ through mental barriers ‘n’ then there’s doin’ somethin’ that is to your detriment. Know when to push ‘n’ know when to hold back. We’ve only been blessed with one body after-all. As for the missed Saturday in Week 14, for the life of me, I can’t recall why I missed that day.

“What’s with the double sessions in week 15 ‘n’ 16?” I’m glad you’ve been payin’ attention. You see when I deem somethin’ of worth, I will fight for it. You see when I see someone do somethin’ I enjoy I once thought impossible, that inspires me to push further n reach the echelon in which they sit. My point? A friend of mine made me realise double sessions were not as ridiculous as I once thought. I’m not sayin’ you have to do them, but when you have a goal in mind ‘n’ you’ve figured out your capabilities, why not extend your output? In truth, April should have been the month to begin the doubles on a consistent basis but it didn’t pan out that way. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I decided to give them a go. One session is the usual weight routine (whether am or pm) dependent on Cee’s schedule that day. The other is purely Ab circuit 1 with 30MCT. But here’s what’s funny. Whilst on the CT in Wk 16 for the planned 20 minutes, as I neared 15 minutes drippin’ in sweat I imagined havin’ a gym at home ‘n’ thought to myself: “I could do n hour each day if I broke it down into a 20 minute fasted am session as soon as I’m up, 20 minutes at the end of my weight trainin’, and 20 at night before my shake”. That thought alone inspired me to do 30 minutes. So the plan is 20 minutes in the second sessions, but if I still have the energy, I want 30!

Though the skeletal diet was the same as last month (refer to last week’s blog post here), I must say, I kiiinda fell off the wagon this month. I had back to back heavy weekends of drinkin’ (on a Saturday) which cost me a planned 7 day trainin’ week. That resulted in me havin’ McDonald’s for a late breakfast the followin’ Sunday – (I don’t even like McDonald’s) – and in the same week down in Cambridge, I decided to give Five Guys a try. A burger, fries ‘n’ oreo milkshake for £17 – I must be an idiot. That, coupled with 5 missed days of trainin’ plus 3 missed cardio sessions does NOT equate to a good month. But, hey, I’m all for honesty along this journey. I’m not a machine. I’m human. The break has done me good. At the point of writin’ this month 5 has commenced, which means now we’ve retrospectively caught up, #OperationIdris blog posts will now drop once a month. I haven’t decided if I’ll drop at the end of each month (irrelevant of the day) or pick a specific date to drop – like the 1st of each new month for example? Let me know what you think.

Thanks for readin’.




“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”