Saturday, October 19, 2013

High Bar

I have an ambitious set of goals for the immediate term i.e. the next 8-12 weeks. My goals, not all of them measurable and  in order of priority are -

1. Get stronger with specific focus on leg and back strength - To make it more objective, I want to get my back squat 1 rep max to at least 300 Lbs (136.5 Kg) and ambitiously, 140 Kg
2. Fix my clean technique - no specific weight goal. I just want to get it right
3. Improve fitness/conditioning - So that I don't huff and puff dragging my extra body weight around
4. Lose some fat - look good nekkid :) As shallow as that sounds, it is honestly something I want to achieve at some point

Goals #1,2,3 are very important to me. Goal #4 would be nice to have - I figure if I am committed and work towards the other goals, #4 would be an automatic by product

Catalyst Athletics, my current gym, should take care of putting me on the right track for #1 and #2. I am extremely lucky to have found such an awesome training facility and trainers, continuing after the solid foundation and great training I got at Xplore CrossFit, Seattle. I am also super focused, maintaining my discipline on nutrition and getting good sleep. So I am not going to worry too much - I am working hard and results will come, sooner rather than later

I did something stupid and experimented with a super low carb nutrition plan for a couple of weeks. It was really stupid - especially because it coincided with a really heavy squat training cycle at Catalyst. After three weeks of the low carb routine, I figured it wasn't worth it - not only because it was affecting my training and performance but also because eliminating a whole bunch of veggies and fruits from my nutrition felt like a crime.

Now, I am back to eating regularly and getting a good mix of macro and micro nutrients - veggies, starch, meat, eggs, nuts, fruits, some whey and other supplements (fish oil, vitamins). The only change I have made is eliminating dairy (my glass of whole milk for the day) except for a couple of sips of Kefir to get some probiotics in the system. The good thing is that sugar and grains continue to be strictly out - I am not even tempted by this stuff anymore.

So how do I achieve goal #4? My plan is simple - increase #hours of work/physical activity rather than reduce food to achieve a negative calorie balance while getting the nutrition I need to get stronger. I am getting about 8-10 hours of training at Catalyst every week. This is including warm up sets, rest between sets and stretching. In addition to this, I have started swimming/sprint intervals for about 2 hours a week - split over 3-4 days. In the last one week, results are encouraging - My squat load for regular work sets has increased over the last month and at the same time, I have also lost about 1.5 pounds bodyweight. It will be interesting to see how results progress as load increases with the next few weeks of the training cycle.

During the course of my next measurement period of 8-12 weeks, what will matter to me the most is how much I have progressed on goals #1 and #3. I am confident of achieving #2 with practice and #4 - well, it will happen. And, don't we all want that?

The bar is set. My plan will evolve and I will cross that bar - and I will get stronger and fitter at the end of it.