Monday, April 30, 2012

My Progress So Far

I was always a skinny kid. I graduated high school I weighed about 130 pounds at 5'8". It got up to about 140 in the 2 years after high school without much attention paid to weight training or eating. It wasn't until 3 years later, in 2008, that I started to lift consistently, starting with the home exercise machine at my parents' place. January 2009 I got a gym membership at Ryerson University, just doing routines out of the free magazines from the GNC. I started to use Bodyspace in March that year. I weighed 150 pounds. I think I mainly used a push/pull/leg split at first, then moved on to some body-part splitting with some crazy volume, then on to HIT. My weight hit 164 at its highest in late November. I was definitely hooked on training at that point, I was starting to read T-Nation at that point and got more interested in getting strong.

July 2007 (~140 lbs)
With the focus more on performance than mass, my weight stayed around 160 for a while. In the fall of 2010 I decided to start training for a raw powerlifting meet at the end of January 2011. I got my weight up to 170 in the three months of training and competed at 165 (Not really a cut, I got sick the day before the weigh in, and woke up at just above 165). My training maxes at 2 months out were 250 squat, 190 bench and 340 deadlift. I finished training with 300, 200, 360. In the competition I made 9 of 9 lifts and finished with 142.5 kg (314.2 lbs), 97.5 (215), and 175 (385.8). Sorry for the unit flipping, competitions are all in kilos, but all the gyms I've trained in have pound plates.

The flu that I caught right around the competition totally kicked my ass for the next 3 weeks, and I ended up dropping to just above 150 lbs. Once I got over that I started training with Thibaudeau's high performance mass program, and got my weight back to the mid 160's. In the summer I started playing baseball again, so I decided to drop the barbell in favour of the kettlebell to save my shoulders. I also decided I wanted to get ripped. I started on the Anabolic Diet. You can read a good T-nation article on it here. Essentially, on weekdays it's next to no carb during the week, and weekends are high-carb. I got lean, but I couldn't eat enough during the week to keep my weight up, and dropped to around 150.

In October, I started my internship at FITS Toronto, and started training for a weightlifting competition in early February. I started at about 155 lbs, with a 125 lb snatch and 165 lb clean and jerk. I finished training with lifts of 155 and 195, and in competition made 67 kg (147.4 lbs) and 92 kg (202.4 lb) at 74.79 kg (164.538) bodyweight. I got my 75 kg snatch attempt up, but was red-lighted for a press out.

At FITS, vertical jump is king, as well it should be, because it's a great measure of maximal power and hugely important for athletic performance. I started at FITS with a vertical jump of 26.2 inches. During the first 2 months of weightlifting training I got that up to 29.3, which is pretty impressive because I didn't really jump much during that time, and I also gained 10 pounds. I dropped off a bit in the last month because I was getting a little beat up from the weightlifting training. After the competition, I shifted my training focus to improving my vert. My lower body training was: Day 1: reactive jumps, Day 2: box jumps (counter-movement and approach) Day 3: Strength. I took my vert from mid-28's to 30.8 in a couple months on this program.

The last month or so I've started moving back to a more Strength/Strength-speed emphasis in my programming. I've added weightlifting lifts and squats/pulls back in 3 days a week, and also started doing some single leg, hamstring and trunk stability work. I've gotten my weight up from about 160 to 164 while leaning out.

That takes us to where I am today, here are some progress pics. From 162 and ~15% body fat in November 2009 to 164 and 9.5% body fat this morning. Here are the pics:

While the scale weight hasn't changed a whole lot. I have gained a bit over 10 pounds of lean mass in two years, after my initial 25 pounds of newb gains. My goal for now is to gain a kilogram every 2 weeks (that's how my WiiFit works, it's the best scale I have at home, it works out to about 1 lb./week), without getting too fat, while improving my strength. I'll get into specific performance goals and my training and nutrition in a post later today.

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