For the last 8 weeks I have been doing a test cut. Knowing that is part of the process when preparing for a show I wanted to give it a try before it was necessary, to learn how my body responded. I had less carbs, less fat and more protein. I was doing the Arnold 8 Week Cut program from bodybuilding.com. I've tested new supplements, new time windows of eating, fasted cardio and so on.
So the last 8 weeks looked like this:
- calories from 1900 to 1650
- three day splits of workouts, 6 days a week
- chest/back day, leg day, arms/shoulders, rinse and repeat
- 4 days a week 20 min cardio
- ab work 6 days a week
I have lost 3% body fat over the time and that is awesome for me. My weight is been staying the same, which is fine because I'm working on replacing fat with muscle and muscle weighs more than fat just takes up less space. It can be really tough to see the number on the scale not moving but I really have to focus on the changes I see physically to not lose focus.
For me I've found that my body likes fasted cardio followed by light stretching and 1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with water. Then I move on to lifting and I fuel that with 1 scoop pre workout , 1 scoop Aminos mixed with 25oz of water. I drink that throughout my workout and it gives me steady energy and focus.
Over the last week I started taking nitric oxide in the morning about 15 minutes before I head to the gym. It increases blood flow and recovery, for more about it go HERE. It has been AWESOME!! My recovery has been great, I've been able to increase my weight, each day on each set. It has been so awesome, I just feel so much stronger and less burnt out afterwards. This is also my second week of working out in the morning vs evenings, I think that has also helped me because I'm not worn out from the day yet and I have a good energy flow!
Saturday will be my last day on the arnold cut program, so I'm going to reevaluate my macros, meal plans and workouts.
Any suggestions on your favorite workout programs I should look into??? Looking for gym focused ones..
I've also been reading more, talking to more experienced people to work on my forms and learn tips and tricks.
One thing I've been testing out is having your heels slightly elevated during squats. It is supposed to help activate the quad muscle and strengthen the knee area by keeping the torso in more of an upright position.
How do you squat?
But one thing that I've noticed majorly from this program was my calf muscles growing. I've had a hard time getting them to show any progress. Arnold had the same troubles so I'm very happy with these beauties so far!!
I'm always trying new foods and things because well you never know unless you try!
Nothing has ever tasted so close to a candy bar before! Don't get me wrong I love my quest bars, but these are really nice to throw into the mix and curb that candy bar craving I get because all my coworkers hit up the vending machine multiple times a day...sigh...
Well now its time for some breakfast!