2 Hours A Week To -3Kg Fat and +3Kg Muscle (In 50 Days)
The Days Of High Maintenance Muscle
12/01/2011 – An Update On The Follow Up To This Article Will Be Up Soon
I’m a rare breed – I love the gym. Its a great way to be prepared for any sport. But the problem was spending 20-25 hours a month to try and get results.
Here was a rough breakdown of my training plan (all exercises unless stated were 5 sets of 5 repetitions at 1-2 seconds up and down, all reps at 90-95% of 1 rep max).
Monday - Rest
Tuesday – Deadlift, weighted pullups, lat rows, angled close grip lat pull downs
Wednesday – Bench press, incline dumb bell flys (very heavy), cable chest contractions, straight arm skull crusher, close grip decline benchpress (smith machine). Evening AB Ripper X DVD workout.
Thursday – Squats, calf raises, straight leg deadlifts, 10 mins Interval cycling
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Shoulder raises, military press, 4×4’s, Arnold presses, tabata training (4 minutes)
Sunday – Dumb bell curls, Weighted parallel bar dips, close grip pullups, tricep pulldowns, forearm workouts, sit-ups, 5k run (sub 25).
Old Supplement Schedule:
Reflex Performance Matrix (Pre gym workout formula for pump and focus)
Reflex Natural Whey (For muscle recovery post gym)
PhD 6 Hrs (Before bed)
Looking at that schedule makes my eyes water. But it did work. Gains were slow but steady. I also had the side effect of walking around all day with serious muscle soreness and mental fatigue. When it came to any kind of sporting event, I’d have to take 3 days off training or suffer poor competitive performance.
Sports were Dragon boating, canoing and running (badly).
The transition to having more time, more muscle and… eating beans? Good science CAN be repeated.
Going to the gym for 20-25 hours a month can be anti-social. Apparently it can also be counter productive too. Want more muscle and more strength? Go to the gym more! – WAIT thats what I first thought. But how about something completely different?
I took some time out to read the 4 Hour Body and followed Tim Ferriss’ Geek2Freak program with the principles of Occams Protocol.
Could it really be possible gain lean muscle with 4-6 hours gym a month? That’s potentially a 20 hour saving a month for me.
So I thought, what the hell. Best case, I’d put on some lean muscle and lose weight. Worst case scenario, I’d lose muscle (but gain 20+ hours a month!) and I could always crush the gym for 2 weeks to get back to my old self. So not such a worst case scenario at all.
New Supplement Schedule
Micellar Casein – Post gym protein
Minimum 30g of protein with every meal including breakfast, large number of legumes with all meals (Beans and nuts). No gluten, massive reduction in grains, no fried foods. Alcohol intake was limited to 1 glass of wine per day.
Instead of going to the gym 5 times a week – my new schedule was based on recovery times.
So for the first couple of weeks, it was gym ONCE every 3 days, adding a rest day every time I failed to sufficiently recover to make a 10% strength/capacity improvement. So every session you should be making a 10% weight increase improvement. If you plateau, take another day off and/or eat more protein. There is also a chance that you did not sufficiently ‘fail’ on your last rep.
One set to failure means you’ve committed 100% of your physical strength to that final rep and are incapable of moving the weight at all.
See my schedule and note the spacing:
Repetitions were 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down on 1 set to failure with the goal of 100 seconds time under tension for muscles.
My new gym schedule looked like this (all 1 set).
• (Super set) Pullover + Supinated bent over row (Yates’ bent row)
3 min rest
• Shoulder-width leg press
3 min rest
• (Superset) Pec-Deck + Weighted parallel dips – 8kg x10
3 min rest
• Stiff Deadlift
3 min rest
• Reverse curl (Fat Grips to make the bar thicker)
3 min rest
• Seated Calf raises – 120kg x10
3 min rest
• Neck Exercises
• 6 min Abs – 6kg (Myotatic crunch & Cat vomit exercise).
• Reverse drag curl
Doesn’t sound like much? Well over a week it isn’t, but these are some of the toughest gym sessions I’ve had. You don’t get tired in a ‘cardio’ type of way, you are tired because of sheer muscle trauma and mental focus. Often resulting in the strange inability to open doors or walk in a straight line…
Before and after photos (first photo taken on 22 April 2011 and the after photo taken on 9th of June 2011, a 50 day period)
The goal of the change of plan was to save 15+ a month in gym time and put on additional muscle. The result? I gained almost 3kg of lean muscle.
Downsides? Slight lower back pain. I suggest adding a lower back exercise.
More importantly, the reduction in raw hours got me a huge chunk of my life back – time is precious!
Metrics of the 50 day program:
The breakdown in numbers 68kg – 18.9% Body Fat – 55kg of lean muscle mass
68kg – 15% Body Fat – 57.8 of lean muscle mass
Gain of 2.8kgs of lean muscle
Average times sent in the gym before the program, total time spent after.
- From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks
- The 4-Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss
- Body By Science – John R. Little
- High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way – Mike Mentzer
- Power to the People: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American – Pavel Tsatsouline