Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 7
Workout: Sets 10 x 10. Time: 3,1,2
Tuesday: Body weight
Nutrition: (average day)
8am – Workout
9am – Shake & Mixed nuts & boiled eggs
12pm – Chicken & Vegetables/Fish & Sweet Potato/Beef & Rice
3pm – Pre-prepared Chicken & Vegetables
6pm – Cardio
7pm – Chicken, vegetables
10pm – Shake
- Water (lots, lots, LOTS)
- Green Tea 3 to 4 a day
- Coconut Water
Takeaway Lesson: Bodyweight exercises are not a step backwards. In fact they are a significant factor in helping you take a step forward.
Week 7 was the most unique week of the bunch so far. To recap, we have lifted weights since week 1, with the workouts starting at a level that allowed my body to get used to the impact the programme was set to have on my body. Then moving onto more reps and sets until we landed at German Volume training, the 10 sets of 10 principles.
What came next I did not expect.
Out of the next seven days no fewer than FIVE were to be rest days and to top this off I was not going to be lifting heavy iron, I would be lifting my body!
I will start with the obvious points. I really missed working out. I missed the lifting, the panting, the clunk of metal as it hit the floor, but I also realised there was a reason for this week of bodyweight exercises.
The idea of this week is to recover and allow for muscle adaptation. Rest is vital in body change and extremely important when it comes to making such a big change to your system, which the programme has become.
While the focus here admittedly was recovery and adaptation, there are serious perks to bodyweight exercises. It greatly assists your balance. Body weight exercises focus heavily on technique and bring you back to the basic realisation that you need impressive balance in order to execute a bodyweight squat for instance.
Remember, functional training can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.
Focusing on purely lifting your body allows you to develop flexibility. Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely. Plus, it can lead to improved posture and might reduce the chance of exercise-related injury. Yoga is a perfect example of this.
A lot of the positions used to execute bodyweight exercises develop your core strength, the perfect example being a press up. The press up encourages your core to stabilise your body as you lift your entire frame off the floor, especially at the top of the press.
This is a stronger core workout than lying on the bench, despite the heavier weights lifted. Your core is more than just six-pack abs. In fact, at least twenty-nine muscles make up the trunk of the body, and many simple bodyweight movements can be used to engage all of them.
Such exercises won't just give you tighter abs; you'll also gain better posture, relieve lower back stress, and improve overall performance.
The most obvious advantage to bodyweight exercises, should you need any, is that you NEVER have an excuse not to work out as you can do these anywhere, anytime, at your convenience.
On the other side you will find some time on your hands that you haven’t had in recent weeks. Instead of viewing it negatively with a restlessness that yearns to be tearing muscle fibres relentlessly and defying gravity with iron I thought of some great time fillers that will relinquish your ‘I don't do no rest day’ mental guilt.
Use the time wisely to read James’s guide on nutrition.
You may have followed a diet to get this far, but do you know why? Do you understand the principles of marcronutrients? Are you in-taking enough omega 3 fish oils?
Research great muscle building meals that you can make at home, like James’s peanut butter chocolate protein balls.
The introduction to the guide is 74 pages so there is a lot of useful material inside that you may have missed first time round!
This week has been one of muscular and mental preparation, firstly appreciating the hard work that has come before, but also the much looked forward to return to high intensity lifting next week!
However what it did make me realise was just how well prepared, considered, planned and written James 12 week Lean Gains guide was. I was impressed with the way the programme carefully and structurally ramped-up in the early weeks, resulting in my ability to lift more, with hugely better technique and form, bears full testament to this.
However for me, week 7 really speaks volumes about the way James has gone about creating this programme.
I am now even more convinced this is by a country mile the best and most effective Lean Gains programme I have ever encountered.
So whilst there can never be an absolute cast iron guarantee of definite success, as everyone is different, this is about the closest you will ever get to one!