Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 5

Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 5

Week 5

 Workout:  Sets 10 x 10. Time: 3,1,2

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


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 –  Shake



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

Takeaway Lesson:  Train hard in the gym so you can look good out of it, because the inside of a gym is not a social club.

We have all been there.

You get out of bed as the sun rises, eager to fit in some gains before the hectic working day begins. You turn up at 7am and are already charged having had some Hades and Green Tea; fully focused you want to take on the savage but rewarding 10 sets of 10 for squats, your personal pep talk already complete as you get set to push through the pain and fatigue barrier…but you cannot start.

Not because you are not ready and not because you are unfit or injured but because the rack is occupied.  If it was being used by another Spartan screaming his way through the tearing of muscle fibres on his way to physical improvement, it wouldn't be an issue, you could start on another exercise or alternatively wait for him to finish. Instead its being misused by a group of chatting, selfie taking time wasters who do a set between them every 5 minutes. This is not cool – Ever!!

This very situation reminds me of a pep talk James gave me once when I asked him why I sometimes struggled to put on decent size despite believing I was training hard.

There are a variety of reasons that may contribute to disappointing gains: not eating enough, not training hard enough, not training frequently enough, training with poor form and not training with enough variation.

Many people underestimate the value of diet to a good regime, it is like buying a sports car and scrimping on cheap fuel. Not only will the car fall short of its true potential but in some circumstances it may breakdown.

Protein intake is well document but good carbs and good fats are also vital. To put on size we must eat more than we were before therefore add greater mass to our physique.

As James says, if you want to put on 10% more then you have to eat 10% more. An extra bowl of rice, an extra half of avocado or an portion of cottage cheese during the afternoon. Training is our way of shocking our bodies into growing through stimulation, intensity and in essence tearing muscle and encouraging it to repair stronger and larger.

This will never be achieved if we breeze through a session checking whatsapp, posting a picture on Instagram or chatting to a friend about last nights date.

Train hard, feel the muscles ache, give it everything you have and relax while your body grows. Unless you are Mike Mentzer, 1979 Mr Olympia and your body reacts amazingly to a workout a week (trust me you are not Mike, so keep reading), then you need to train frequently.

James recommends a schedule of two days on one off and its designed to hit each body part before the recovery day and any less than this may prove to be ineffective. Form within your workout is vital and luckily the Lean Gains Bodybuilding Programme has us covered as each individual exercise is not just broken into a step-by -tep description but there are also pictures to assist with the understanding of the lifts.

Variety is key. Your body is a clever machine and quickly adapts to repetitive situations. Changing the format of workouts keeps your body guessing and it reacts well accordingly.

Taking all of these various segments of advice into account I took on Week 5 of the Lean Gains programme with gusto.

I’ve definitely grown in size, as have my lifts. Despite lowering the weights for the 10 sets of 10,  I can lift more than I could two weeks ago, except I am holding the lifts for longer and feel that my one rep max would be greater due to this.

I’ve put on a few kg since my first week of the programme, this I attribute to my increased appetite as well as increased intake of good foods and protein. Shakes have helped me slip in extra meals when I cannot source natural meals, and nuts have allowed me to snack healthily. The longer I do the programme the more value I attribute to rest and recovery.

Sleep at night is very important, and stretching is a must, especially when exhausting entire body parts.

Going forward I am going to mention the exercise I’ve enjoyed the most since taking on the programme, and this week I have really enjoyed Deadlifting.

The name ‘Deadlift’ refers to the lifting of a dead weight, such as a barbell lying on the ground. There are two positions one can approach when doing the deadlift, which include the conventional deadlift and sumo-deadlift.

In most other lifts there is an eccentric (lowering of the weight) phase followed by the concentric phase (lifting of the weight).

What makes the deadlift so great is that as a compound movement, it works a variety of muscles groups: The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.

The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint. The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint. The adductor magnus works to stabilize the legs. Core musculature remains braced to stabilize the spine. Maximum impact in one lift.

I have  gone from resenting leg based lifts to really looking forward to them, so long as the time wasters don't take up the equipment and we can all use the gym for its genuine purpose: namely Gains!

– Entry was posted on April 1st, 2016 by James Haskell

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