I really do want some feedback on this one!

For those of you who don’t know…I trimmed down over the last couple of years from a hefty 138kgs at a body fat of what was…lets just say 35%+…it wasn’t pretty.

Me and my Mum…now don’t let kids see this…they’ll have nightmares…I actually looked like this AFTER I’d dieted down to about 130kgs.

I got that way because I ate like a condemned man…drank like a fish and got about as much exercise as a particularly lazy sloth…and I mean a real ‘lay about’ of a sloth.

I basically didn’t train because I had nothing to train for…as I mentioned in an answer to a question posted previously…when I was an athlete (yes, I was an athlete…but it was a long time ago) I didn’t train twice a day for upwards of 4 hours a day everyday because I loved it…I did it because I had to train like that to compete…competition is what I really loved.

For me…no more competition meant no more training…and no more training meant ending up as big as a house.

I used to race at around 70kg’s give or take a few either side…the photo of me below is from after a competition when I was 21…and you can laugh all you like about the green tights…they were part of my Australian team gear…that’s right…I represented my country and it wasn’t as a competitive eater.


Before I became twice the man I was then…literally.

As you have seen from pictures elsewhere in the blog I’m somewhere in between those two me’s…I’m currently around 105kg’s and I’d say 15% body fat.

What I’m planning on doing is getting expert advice in the areas that I’m not strong in….which is mainly nutrition…which I have an interest in and try to keep well read about but am certainly not an expert and never hold myself out to be. While I take care of the training and to see what I can do when I put my own body where my mouth is…so to speak…as in show that I can get myself into the same shape that I do with athletes.

Now…instead of doing this in secret and just posting before and afters in 3 months time ‘guru’ style I thought I would open up a post for myself in the athlete section and document what I did and how I did it in detail. Now I know a lot of people do this in various places but I want to do a few things a little bit different.

This is what I was thinking:
Firstly, testing…that I do my testing protocol just like all the other athletes do and I film each of the tests so you see not only the number but the difficulty and manner in which the test was performed.
Secondly, I’ll keep a complete training and nutrition diary. I’ll record all the training that I do and what I eat and when including any supplements.
Thirdly, I’ll have video of myself taken every week…a 360 degree photo basically. So I can chart my progress visually.
Lastly, I’ll retest at the end of every cycle so we can see where I’m getting to performance wise.

The bit I’m interested in is what you guys think? What do you think of the idea? What do you think is missing to make it a complete project? I don’t intend on changing the blogs focus from my athletes to me…the blog will continue as is and I will just have all this in a single chronologically listed post over on the other athletes blog along with all their details, programs and testing results.

I don’t want to get a month or two months into it and think…’I wish I had of done this or that’…I want to think of everything that would contribute to the project being complete and informative before I ever start it.

So what do you think?

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22 thoughts on “I really do want some feedback on this one!

  1. By the way…if anyone has photos of me when I was really big then email them to me so I can put them up….I know they’re out there.

    Matt,
    I raced in pants AND a top as well as socks and spikes…this was actually a photo from after training…it was taken in Berlin at training camp.

  2. This is obvious, but you didn’t mention it, so I’ll put it out there just incase you overlooked it. I would also chart your weight. Week to week would be fine. Also I would do some key measurements (waist etc). I realize you, in theory, lead an active life, but if you do stuff that isn’t quite exercise, but somewhat strenuous, chart that in your training log also. Also with your training, inorder to prempt a lot of questions about why this exercise etc. explain how screwed up your body is so people understand.

  3. Not much to add really, good luck with this. I’ll be checking in and probably asking questions frequently.

    Just wanted to say, after talking with you about “having a reason to train” I am going to do a little self-project of my own.

    -Andrew

  4. Jonathan,
    I was thinking that I’ll weigh myself in every afternoon before work.

    I’ll do my girth measurements every time I do my testing.

    If people knew my injury history they wouldn’t be able to sleep at night as a result of their concern.

    Andrew,
    Could luck with your own project.

  5. Hi Will,

    I think you’ve got all the bases covered in terms of what you want to measure and what you’re going to post on the blog about your progress.

    Other than getting in the same shape as your athletes…I’d like to know what your specific goal is.

    I have an interest in this because I am a recreational exerciser…I strength train and do some conditioning stuff purely for health and well being…I don’t train for sports. For a few years now I’ve tried all sorts of strength training programs and too much variety has led to me making 2 steps forward and 2 steps backwards…in the major compound lifts it occurred to me back end of last yeat that I was lifting the same loads and in some cases less than 3 years ago…how feckin stupid is that? My goal for this year was to be consistent with my training…taking little off…and rotating variations of the big compound lifts…so the squat, deadlifts, bench, row etc were all moving up and not back.

    Good luck Will…it takes guts…and your case this is literal :)…to put yourself up for this.

  6. Ian,
    Firstly, well done on the ‘it takes guts’ line…brilliant.

    As for the rest…the reason I want to do it this way is that it would be easy for me to do one of two things…undertake this and succeed and in 3 months time make a big post about how brilliant I am etc which is the way you usually see this being done…or I could do it for 3 months…fail and bury it…which I think is what happens with most of these projects…they just don’t see the light of day.

    This way…every one sees what goes in…in terms of food and what is put out…in terms of energy out put and work done.

    As to why I want to do it…mainly to show that I can…I’ve not been bothered about being ‘in shape’ as such…but I thought if I did this then I would have a focus for my training and also would learn a lot from it myself with regards to the diet and nutrition component.

    My goal is this…firstly to achieve single digit body fat levels…then to undertake a training regime that I will use to increase my lean muscle mass and improve myself performance wise with regard to the standards that I set for my athletes.

  7. Who is your nutrition guru?I would like to see some sort of humiliating punishment meted out if you do not achieve your goal of single digit body fat. Maybe something along the lines of having to be kind and encouraging to your athletes/trainees for a day. Not calling anyone a fat c@nt would be a good start.

  8. Out of curiosity Will, how tall are you? I think you and I have done a similar bodyweight rollercoaster….

    Brian

  9. will is it just coincidence that you and jimmy smith are both starting a quest to reach single digit bf% at the same time?

  10. Î have a suggestion: Don’t you dare putting up pics of yourself until you’re leaner,if you want people to keep reading the blog!

    Just kidding. Seems like a great idea. Good luck!

  11. Michael Sullivan,
    Who is your nutrition guru?
    Lyle…I hope…although I think he wants to fire me already.

    I would like to see some sort of humiliating punishment meted out if you do not achieve your goal of single digit body fat.
    Failure is not an option…when have I ever failed to win a bet…oh yeah…except for that bet I lost to you that I’ve still not paid you for…but except for that time….when have I not done something I set out to do?

    Maybe something along the lines of having to be kind and encouraging to your athletes/trainees for a day. Not calling anyone a fat c@nt would be a good start.
    I tried that once…everyone just freaked out…so I went back to just being an a-hole…in other words…myself.

    Bri,
    Out of curiosity Will, how tall are you? I think you and I have done a similar bodyweight roller-coaster.
    6’2” or 188cm.

    Ben,
    will is it just coincidence that you and jimmy smith are both starting a quest to reach single digit bf% at the same time?
    Yes…absolutely.

    mimo,
    I have a suggestion: Don’t you dare putting up pics of yourself until you’re leaner,if you want people to keep reading the blog!
    Just kidding. Seems like a great idea. Good luck!
    I don’t need luck…I need a miracle.

  12. I do something similar on my blog, but I also include a rating of ‘how I feel’ every day (a rating out of 10)

    This prevents me from becoming TOO GOAL FOCUSED at the expense of enjoying the process.

    I know a lot of fitness nuts are goal zealots, but I believe the process is just as important as the goal.

    If you feel like shit during the entire process of achieving your goal, from my perspective, the goal probably isn’t worth it (nor will it be maintainable over the long term).

    I use my daily rating to adjust my workouts. So, for example, if I fall below 6/10 for more than three days in a row I’ll adjust my program to make it more enjoyable.

    Just thought you might want to add something like this.

    🙂

    ps. Go Aussie!

  13. Kira,
    I have a similar 1 to 5 scale for the athletes diaries and do plan to use it myself as well with 5 being ‘excellent’ and 1 being ‘why did I get up this morning’.

    I defintely want to enjoy it…this whole project is going to coincide with a change of work practice for me as well. Currently I see individual clients during the day and do group training in the afternoon/evenings…I am going to stop seeing any new individual clients from here on in…and the ones I have I am going to actively discourage by being even more surly and abusive than I am currently (which is really going to take some work). From now on I’m only going to do group traing and basically just charge a ‘monthly management fee’. So I am going to have more free time to actually get some training done myself…I’m actually really looking forward to it and want to try and learn and get as much out of the process as I can. I think it will be fun.

    Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!

  14. The daily monitoring sheets the rep sides use in camp have a score rating for the following:
    Nights sleep
    Energy levels
    Appetite
    Hydration
    Overall mood/wellbeing

    Mightn’t be the exact words but something similar. It’d prob be interesting to see how you sleep and if you’re starving half the time.

  15. The daily monitoring sheets the rep sides use in camp have a score rating for the following:
    Nights sleep
    Energy levels
    Appetite
    Hydration
    Overall mood/wellbeing
    So do the ones I produced for the club you play for currently back in 1999…you don’t need to get paid to be professional.

    Mightn’t be the exact words but something similar. It’d prob be interesting to see how you sleep and if you’re starving half the time.
    This is the reason I want to get professional help with my diet. The way I’d skin this cat would be to ditch most of my carb intake except around training, bump up my protein intake and then just train my hole off. Now, this would work. I’ve absolutely no doubt in my mind I could achieve my goals…what I would like to do and what I would like to learn is how to do it optimally. How to structure my intake around my output to maximise fat loss and minimise lean muscle loss and be able to improve my strength and conditioning simultaneously. So if I get the help I hope to get with my diet I’m sure I’ll sleep soundly because I’ll know that I’ll be doing everything as well as it can possibly be done.

    The other thing that will make me sleep better is knowing that I can diet down under 100kgs and smash all the gym records in the facility then bulk back up and smash all the over 100kgs gym records as well.

    I also want to get fit enough to compete with you guys in the field testing we’ll be doing as well.

  16. Sounds good. I’d say get the help!!

    Speaking of records…
    I like the BW+ chin category (Fanj is happy I’m injured) but reckon it should be a 3RM instead of 1RM.

    Deadlifts and squats should also be 3RM IMO. I say this for a few reasons:
    1)3RM is way way WAY more applicable to rugby IMO
    2)The execution of the deadlifts and squats is safer than 1RM
    3)Way more suspense and hanging interest when guys are going for it. Failing at 2 and a half is tough shit. You get it or you don’t.

    What’s your take?

  17. Sounds good. I’d say get the help!!
    The problem is I think the professional I went to hates me as much as some of you guys hate me.

    Speaking of records…
    I like the BW+ chin category (Fanj is happy I’m injured) but reckon it should be a 3RM instead of 1RM.
    I’m happy with that…since where the only ones still up I say we make an executive decision right now and make the max effort chin test a 3RM? If you’re happy with that…then so am I…and we can both kick his arse.

    Deadlifts and squats should also be 3RM IMO. I say this for a few reasons:
    1)3RM is way way WAY more applicable to rugby IMO
    I agree but the testing is not. How much time do you give people between reps? With a pull up 3RM it’s easy…once the feet leave the ground you either get 3 or you don’t…with a 3RM in squats/deads testing you’ll have people taking ages between reps…to hard to control.

    2)The execution of the deadlifts and squats is safer than 1RM.
    I agree…I’m not actually completely comfortable with the testing as is and I need to think about it some more because we have a suitably large number of head bangers in the facility at the moment (ourselves included) who are going to struggle to keep a lid on their competitive nature and I’m not going to have or allow anyone performance to suffer for the sake of gym records…I need to work out a better way to do this…I think the first thing I am going to do is to only allow records to be set…as in placed on the board when they achieved on an athletes ‘testing day’.

    3)Way more suspense and hanging interest when guys are going for it. Failing at 2 and a half is tough shit. You get it or you don’t.
    I agree wholeheartedly…like all the people near killing themselves on the box jumps (you missed another faller today) it goes with the territory…in life sometimes there’s no safety net…so if you don’t have the bottle or are worried about hurting yourself…don’t do it.

    What’s your take?
    We need to put together a ‘facility committee’ to agree rules and enforce them.

  18. I say we make an executive decision right now and make the max effort chin test a 3RM? If you’re happy with that…then so am I
    Deal, 3RM it is. Fanj is gonna be crushed when you erase his record tomorrow. He’s very proud of it. I do want to say to everyone though that Fanj’s disappointment is not my reason for changing the test. I do reckon 3RM is a better test.

    We need to put together a ‘facility committee’ to agree rules and enforce them.

    Sounds good. I’m sure you’re aware of the danger that some lads are gonna chase the records and not focus on what matters so to have it properly structured is very important. The testing day option could be a good solution as it means you can’t try beat a record every day and never do a proper session. I’m sure everyone will calm down but right now it’s manic. All I’ve heard is records this and records that and I wasn’t even training tonight. Committee it is then.

  19. I say we make an executive decision right now and make the max effort chin test a 3RM? If you’re happy with that…then so am I
    Deal, 3RM it is. Fanj is gonna be crushed when you erase his record tomorrow. He’s very proud of it. I do want to say to everyone though that Fanj’s disappointment is not my reason for changing the test. I do reckon 3RM is a better test.
    I’ve no problem with that…the 1RM record is history.

    We need to put together a ‘facility committee’ to agree rules and enforce them.
    Sounds good. I’m sure you’re aware of the danger that some lads are gonna chase the records and not focus on what matters so to have it properly structured is very important. The testing day option could be a good solution as it means you can’t try beat a record every day and never do a proper session. I’m sure everyone will calm down but right now it’s manic. All I’ve heard is records this and records that and I wasn’t even training tonight. Committee it is then.
    I know full well what you are saying…for me it is a balance between the ‘buzz’ that we have going at the moment and my long term goals as far as squad preparation and development is concerned. I’m going to ensure that every athlete in the facility is fully aware of my expectations of them with regard their preparation as athletes for the sport they play…that goes for the rugby, gaa, basketball and athletics guys and girls….everyone. It is a new facility and as I’ve said elsewhere I am going to devote more time to the facility and there will be a number of changes and procedures that are going to be put in place…testing procedures are only one part of that. Actual ‘field’ conditioning testing will commence next month and then we’ll really see where people are with regards their preparation for rugby.

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