Category Archives: Food

Notes from weight training eBooks (BFFM and Holy Grail)

I’ve been reading two eBooks about resistance/weight training and diet: burn the fat, feed the muscle; and the Holy Grail.  I made some notes, because I’m geeky like that, and thought I’d share them with you:
  • Repetition guidelines:
    • Strength/Power 1 – 5 reps
    • Hypertrophy (size) & some strength 6 – 12 reps
    • Local endurance/ little size 12-20 reps
    • Abs & Calves 10-25 reps
  • More sets and exercises are not necessarily better. Better training means more intensity, good exercise form and continuous progression
  • Eat both protein and carbs in the post workout meal. Carbs eaten after workouts will replenish glycogen, restore blood sugar, and cause a beneficial insulin spike, which will suppress the catabolic hormone cortisol, and drive amino acids into the muscle cells.
  • Do cardio and weights separated into 2 sessions, if possible. 
  • To maintain good flexibility, you should stretch three or four times per week. To increase flexibility to the maximum level possible, you need to stretch on a daily basis.
  • Goal Setting:
    • Focus on one goal, not conflicting goals. 1) fat loss 2) Muscle gain 3) gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time (the Holy Grail!)
    • Set long term and short term goals
    • Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound
  • Body fat % classifications:
    • Lean = 10 – 14%
    • Ripped = 3 – 6%

General Update & New Years Resolution

Apologies for leaving this blog unattended to – to be honest I had almost forgotten about it, but thanks to an interesting comment by Yakattack, I’ve made it my New Years Resolution to keep this updated more often.

Since my last update in October 2009, I was peer pressured into competing in a full contact kickboxing match for my university.  Having come back from four months in America (on a rubbish diet), I was a bit dubious.  To cut a long story short, three weeks is not enough time to prep for a fight, which resulted in me breaking my jaw.  
I didn’t realise my jaw was broken until four hours later when the adrenaline had died down and the pain started to kick in.  It turns out my jaw was fractured in three places, from just one punch!  I had surgery where two metal plates were put in and my teeth wired, to keep it all in place.  Three months later (~March 2010) there’s no cosmetic damage and I’m back in training :)

Soon after that I spent three months in Italy working as a graphic designer, unfortunately no training and an Italian high carb diet meant I started to gain the wrong kind of weight.  Following a few days back in the UK, I flew off to Mexico and travelled around Central America for two months (again, no training).

I’ve been back in the UK since September and have been training at my old Tae kwon-do club, where training seems to have gotten easier – I enjoy a session where I get to work up a good sweat!  I entered a few competitions in November, which showed me I had a long way to go to get back up to my “peak”.  

December/January is always a bit light on the training front, but rest assured I will be training hard once Christmas/New Year celebrations die away.

Getting BIG!

For the past few months I have unsuccessfully been trying to put on weight because I am one of the lightest in the heavy weight division. It was time a drastic change. Monday morning saw the start of our (my friend’s and I) “Get Big Phase”.


Basically the first week is the loading phase: whey protein (post-gym and at 3am!), creatine, eating as much as we can (four big meals a day plus snacks) and hitting the gym everyday. The next stage, the bulking phase, involves: daily whey protein, creatine, eating four meals a day and gymming it ever other day. Bulking up will involve an increase in the amount of muscle and fat we put on, so we have planned the next stage (the getting lean phase) to strip away the excess fat. This will involve 5 weeks of high cardio, eating regular amounts and cutting out late night carbs (no creatine or whey protein). The heaviest I’ve ever weighed in my life is 82.6kg (I’m currently on 80kg), hopefully by the end of this I’ll be 86kg.


Its day five of this new regime and it feels like I’ve just spent the last few days eating non-stop! The good news is I managed to bench press my all time high (five sets of three reps at 95kg) yesterday and after jumping on the scales it looks like things are going to plan! I’ll keep you updated on my progress…