If you don’t care about my fat-loss and weightlifting stuff, stop reading now. If you do care, read on as I ramble on.
It’s been just shy of 1 year since I started The Defattening Project. With the help of Nick Shaw @ Renaissance Periodization I went from about 265 lb to about 210 lb. But after about 9 months of deprivation, my body and mind had enough. Even though we’d take a small break every so often, it still wore on me pretty bad. So back around mid-May we opted to go full-stop and run a short bulk-cycle. I’m up to about 223 lb now, my lifts are recovering (even set a lifetime PR in bench press of 255 lb), and I feel ready to get back on the loser train. While it’s not about weight (it’s more about how things look, as weight alone doesn’t tell the whole story), picking a weight does help to gauge things. The goal is going to be 200 lb. Will that be where I stop? Can’t tell that now; I’ll make that call when I get there. Just call 200 lb. a marker on the road.
Of course, my gym work needs to support the fat-loss efforts. But the other day I realized that I’m not having fun in the gym any more since it’s all oriented around supporting the fat loss. I’m good with that because the fat-loss is an important goal to me. But still, if going to the gym every day becomes too much of a chore, how does that help anything? I decided that, at least at the start of this cut cycle I’m going to try having fun again.
I’m going to try running Paul Carter’s “Strong-15 Short Cycle”, and using the version from his “LRB-365” book.
Yes, this might totally blow up in my face, because cutting really doesn’t go with this sort of lifting. But I think this might work. My current diet would certainly support this style of lifting, and for the first 6 weeks of the cut the diet really isn’t going to be all that different. In fact, we’re going to start out by me just following the diet plan I have now, cutting out all cheating (and I’ve been cheating), and adding cardio back in (1 hour walking 4x week). That should be sufficient to get the ball rolling and that alone should last a few weeks. I don’t think I could do a full 9-12 week Strong-15 cycle, but 6 weeks? Yeah, that should be workable.
And it should be fun.
And frankly if it does fail, I’m OK with that. I know I’ll learn something, and I know somehow I’ll grow.
So yeah, main reason for doing this is because this is the sort of lifting I really like doing, I haven’t done it in over a year, and I want to have a little fun again.
But in terms of “smart” reasons for doing it….
It’s at the start of the cut cycle, when I should still have the nourishment to support it. Certainly once the cycle is done I’ll need to change gears and go to a more mass-building/bodybuilder-style program. But even that will be good because I’d like to try building up my strength a little more so when I have the inevitable losses it won’t be as much regression. If I’m lucky, by the end of it all perhaps everything will just average out to being flat.
I do think this should set me up better for going into some mass building and rep work. A little stronger, a little more weight, a little more rep… should all pan out nicely to help support the fat loss efforts.
I think lifting 3x week will be better for me for a little while. It’ll be a little less impact on my body, a little more rest/recovery, and frankly I think that will help me out in many ways, including the fat loss. And then later on in the fat-loss when I need the added work, when I want more gym days so I can eat more carbs, I’ll have somewhere to go (4x week). So backing off now should be helpful for when I need to ratchet it up later.
Why Strong-15 Short Cycle? Again, short cycle because I think timing works best here. I also feel I’ve set myself up decently for it, given how Paul lays out work prior to doing a short-cycle. I’m following his LRB-365 version of it because that maps out an entire cycle including assistance work. Given I’ve not done his Strong-15 Short Cycle before, I figure it’s easier to start with a known template and see how it goes for me. After I have more knowledge under my belt, I can adjust and customize from there. One thing I have to be careful on is that I want to add more volume in, but that’s not appropriate — so having someone/something like an existing full-template is good to keep me reigned in because otherwise it could blow everything. And as I’ve said numerous times, I want to keep trying Paul’s protocols because they really do seem to be working for me, both in terms of making progress and not feeling so beat up.
And yeah, this could all be a big FAIL. But I’m sure I’ll learn from it. So it’s all good.
But really, it’s just because I want to have fun again. 🙂