Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 3

Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 3

Week 3

Workout:   Sets 10 x 10. Time: 3,1,2

Monday:          Leg based lifts
Tuesday:          Upper body based lifts
Wednesday:     Rest
Thursday:        Legs and Arms
Friday:            Repeat of Monday
Saturday:        Repeat of Tuesday
Sunday:          Hiking


Nutrition: (average day)

8am –         Workout
9am –         Shake & Mixed nuts & boiled eggs
12pm –       Chicken & Vegetables
3pm –        Pre-prepared Chicken & Vegetables
6pm –        Cardio
7pm –        Chicken, vegetables
10pm –      Cottage cheese



-        Water (lots, lots, LOTS)
-        Green Tea 3 to 4 a day
-        Coconut Water 

Takeaway Lesson:  Less can be more. Lift sensible for great results, not to impress the other people in the gym.


The first fortnight of workouts have been great and as mentioned before, understandably they are similar in set-up and layout as I work towards the upcoming “big” weeks.

I discovered this week the reasoning being this is to acclimatise your body to be able to really step things-up and shock your body with a totally new form of training: German Volume Training.

German Volume training was created during the mid-70s in Germany and was popularized by the National coach of weightlifting Rolf Feser.

This method, also known as the “10-sets method”, was used by off-season weightlifters to gain lean body mass and shed unnecessary body-fat.

Jacques Demers, a silver Olympic weightlifting medalist, accredited his strength and massive leg size to german volume training.

I was lifting 65% of my 1RM.  If this is the type of phrase that confuses you or even makes you think that advanced lifting is too complicated for you, then fret not.

James not only very clearly explains the value of our 1RM (1 rep max – the single heaviest weight you can lift on your own in a specific exercise) but provides a chart showing how to calculate 65% of this figure.

I was only focusing on 65% because I was beginning with a weight that I could lift to failure that would appear easy at first, but would allow me to maintain technique and speed for the entire 10 sets.

Remember: in this context less can absolutely be more. It is always far better to finish the workout than fry yourself too early or worse still injure yourself in trying.

The workouts are highly enjoyable. They certainly fatigue you however thanks to James wonder pre-workout supplement James Haskell Pre-Workout [Formerly known as Hades] I also discovered an amazing second wind during the process.

The first three sets seemed easy, the following three felt tougher, the seventh I felt resurgence and then the last few I struggled.

The end result was fantastic as I had a great pump, was panting in-between sets (the rest time is still 1 minute) and after leg day, I was waddling back to the changing room.

The post workout aches were present to tell me I had done it properly and as per the last three weeks my appetite was there in full force.  You are exhausting your body parts and this makes not only diet, key for recovery but it is very important to stretch.

I followed James’s advice in using a foam roller; something I thought was a pillow before!

I cannot tell you how brilliant it has been for my lower back and legs.

That's what is so great about James’s guide. It doesn't just teach you how to lift and leave you there. It takes you through the entire week.

You grow when you are resting and so recovery is vital. This guide has so far helped and educated me through the entire process.  The end result it’s the end of week 3 and I am more enthusiastic than I was when I first started, which is saying something

On top of diet, I have taken James’s advice regarding supplements. I take creatine before and after workouts. It’s not making me massive as many misconceive but it does help me get through the sets assisting with some added explosive power. I also take BCAA’s (amino acids that help initiate protein synthesis, the after affect of tearing your muscle and repairing it) and I take ZMA before bed. This doesn't just help me sleep like a baby but it leaves me ready for my 7am workouts.

I have never been a fan of pre-workout supplements. To be honest I have tried a number and always get the jitters, headaches and feel very dehydrated. So I was more than a little nervous about trying Hades. I am being totally honest when I say I experienced none of the discomfort I experienced when using what seems to be most/all of the other pre–trainers I had previously tried.

Hades gave me the buzz and energy burst I needed as I stepped up for my first workout, often assisting me get through those tough, last few sets. Leaving me without that post workout ‘drop’, which most others unfortunately seem to leave you with, often attributed to a sugar or caffeine crash.

I take it some 30 minutes prior to my workout. Once again before my cardio and to date I have had no issues sleeping at night.

These things are of course very personal but I highly recommend people giving it a try. It works amazingly well for me – hopefully it will equally do the same for you.  

In summary, it’s been a great week. Trying a new style of training I’ve found highly invigorating.  Whilst I may have lifted lighter per set, I’ve lifted more over the course of the week and left yet again feeling like I’ve delivered a shock to my system.  

At the end of next week I will offer some comparison shots between where I started and where I am after just a month. I have to be honest and say, I’m intrigued to see myself!

– Entry was posted on March 21st, 2016 by James Haskell

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