Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 4

Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 4

Week 4

Workout:       Sets 10 x 10. Time: 3,1,2
Monday:        Leg based lifts
Tuesday:       Upper body based lifts
Wednesday:   Hiking
Thursday:      Repeat of Monday. Wing Chun.
Friday:         Legs and Arms
Saturday:      Repeat of Tuesday
Sunday:        Hiking

Nutrition: (average day) 

8am –    Workout
9am –    Shake & Mixed nuts & boiled eggs
12pm –  Chicken & Vegetables/Fish & Sweet Potato/Beef & Rice
3pm –    Pre-prepared Chicken & Veg
6pm –   Cardio
7pm –   Chicken, vegetables
10pm – Cottage cheese


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

Takeaway Lesson:  Progression isn’t always easy, but you can always be better than yesterday.

This week was an especially good week!

Not only did my muscle mentor win the Grand Slam with England and justifiably reap the praise and plaudits of the critics and public alike but on a personal level, it was 7 days that that saw the continuation of the German Volume Training that resulted in the notification from friends and colleagues that my body was changing thanks to the Lean Gains Bodybuilding Plan!

As I made my way through the 10 sets of 10 workouts I was stopped by a personal trainer in the gym.

‘Who is training you?’ he asked. I pointed at my JHHF t-shirt that showed James’ name engraved upon my right pec and he nodded saying ‘Its working, nice’ before giving me a hearty slap on the shoulder and walking off into the metal jungle of plates and machines.

Despite sticking to the GVT workout mirroring last week, I felt that I could lift slightly heavier with the heavy sweats and the panting remaining, along with the fantastic deep sleeps and multiple nutritious meals.

Friends agreed that my body was starting to take shape. I am by no means the finished product but it's a great feeling to feel that your hard work and dietary alterations are seeing results.

This week I also noticed my abs coming through, which was fantasti,c as this was a personal target upon taking the challenge. Some people wish for massive guns (big arms), others want a back like a pair of wings, whereas I wanted to lose some weight around the midriff and develop a reason to feel great out of a shirt by the beach.

This brings me onto a piece of advise James offered. We shouldn't judge progression through a set of scales, but moreso from a visual difference in your body, matched by an increased strength. These are clearer gains and rather than battle a set of scales, nor look at the impossible body change happening over night, tackle each week at its own merit.

Lifting a little bit more from day to day is an improvement and this workout plan is a marathon not a sprint, staying positive is key!

One question I had for James was about bloating. As mentioned, I was pleased to witness an improvement in my abdominal area, but after eating I felt as though I was reversing the good progress. I was suffering from bad bloating, harnessing the belly baby after some meals and it was very unsettling!

James gave me an insightful reply, offering me explanations that I was unfamiliar of before. There are many triggers to bloating, some that are general and some that are personal, and there are remedies that can be applied accordingly. The more general reasons occur through stress (the extraction of blood from the stomach to the brain resulting in the swelling), not drinking enough water daily (a lack of lubrication to the stomach can lead to a back up of foods and slow down digestion) whilst also drinking too much water with your meals (resulting in the dilution of natural digestive juices).

More specifically to the individual can be food intolerances (best to cut elements out of your diet gradually in order to spot the catalyst), a lack of friendly bacteria (add probiotics to your daily meal plan) and not producing enough stomach acid (cured through a shot of apple cider vinegar at mealtimes).

In summary I feel that I’m through the warm up phase of the plan and moving into the body construction part. A little visual encouragement has spurred me on and I can safely say that performing the workouts is a highlight of my day.

Working on your physique is as much mental as physical and is certainly building my confidence as well as muscles. Best part is I’m only one third of the way through!

NB: This week I took part in an interview of James and the JHHF Lean Gains Plan for an article that will appear in Men’s Health Malaysia, and I will post the link to it in my blog when it comes out.

– Entry was posted on March 24th, 2016 by James Haskell

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