I am 10lbs heavier in the picture on the right.
Useful Links: July 2019 Update | One Month Update | Three Months Update
I haven’t written a “bulk update” since July 2019 because there was nothing new to add. I continued to eat, gain weight at what I considered an appropriate pace, train hard, and learn more about myself as a lifter, which helped me design better and better programs for myself overtime.
No one likes to read a story that starts well and ends well, so I figured I would wait until something interesting came along.
Well, what came along was a world-wide pandemic and an order from the British government to maintain social distance and stay at home as much as possible.
My gym and all others in the UK closed down at the same time as many other fitness facilities across the world.
I haven’t done a home workout since September 2018, when I moved from London to Portsmouth, went back to university, and joined a local commercial gym. At the time, I was only three months into serious lifting, so a pair of adjustable dumbbells still posed an adequate challenge to my strength.
I am a bit further along my training career now, so, at first, working out at home felt like a problem rather than a solution.
How was I going to make progress? Was I going to make progress? How much would I eat?
Read on to find out what I chose to do and why.
Nutritional supplements are not a substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet.
Over the years, sports supplements have risen in popularity not only among athletes, but also among average gym-goers. In fact, if you walk into most commercial gyms, you will be greeted by a line of vending machines selling protein bars, protein shakes, energy drinks, and allegedly “performance-enhancing” snacks and beverages.
Some popular websites like Bodybuilding.com sell their own supplement line, and many professional athletes become supplement “brand ambassadors” and advertise these products on their social media pages.
Off the internet, some coaches and personal trainers swear by certain supplements as the secret ingredient to their own and their clients’ incredible results.
In this article, I aim to cover:
A lot of people misunderstand what it means to have good cardio. Good cardio is when you are able to push the fight, and I’ve shown that in all of my fights.
Do you need cardio if you lift?
Some lifters like to pretend cardio doesn’t exist. Others do so much for fear of fat gain that you might wonder if they were not, in fact, marathon runners. Lastly, some only do strategic amounts whenever they need to lose fat, then they ignore it during their gaining phases.
Years ago, in the throes of my eating disorder, cardio (running and HIIT) was the reason I allowed myself to eat. When I emerged from that pit, I took my “vengeance” by banning running and HIIT from my training.
More recently, I have embraced a more balanced view of cardio as a tool to achieve athletic and physique-related goals. In this article, I intend to tackle the potential benefits of cardio for lifting performance, fat loss, and general health.
Ready, set, go!
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
In June 2019 I celebrated my first lifting birthday after years of endurance work and cardio-based fitness classes. So I felt it was time to write a bulk update.
I made several changes to the way I train, taking advantage of knowledge gained since the last update. So this one is going to be a little different. Instead of simply outlining what I’ve been doing, I will focus on what’s new or more recent and the rationale behind my decisions.
Without further ado, let’s get to it!
One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
In the UK, research shows that 75% of females are keen on a more active lifestyle, but feel intimidated by the gym environment and limited by work and family commitments. For that reason, in 2015 Sport England launched a campaign called This Girl Can to empower females to exercise.
In 2017, a similar survey on 1,000 people in America suggested that almost 65% of females, compared to 36% of males, are too anxious or self-conscious to go to the gym.
Most of the studies done on the transgender population in relation to fitness have focused on sport. Nevertheless, there is evidence that recreational exercisers experience discrimination and other negative experiences, too.
That, along with the amount of articles on how to overcome dysphoria at the gym, proves how hard it can be for female-bodied individuals of any gender to engage in a more active lifestyle.
So it’s important to find ways to increase our self-esteem and motivation. And what better way than knowledge?
With resistance training, in particular, we have the potential to accomplish great things. Unfortunately, we often underestimate that potential. When confronted with some buff gym bro, we think, “Why should I bother?”
For cis girls, the question stops there. For trans guys, it could become, “Why should I bother until I’m on testosterone?”
This lack of belief in ourselves can be a hard or impossible obstacle to overcome.
But what can this body do for us? What can we do for ourselves?
A lot, it turns out.
In this article, I’m going to give you three reasons why you should feel more confident in the gym.
A personal trainer who likes superheroes, bread, lifting weights, and studying “fitness stuff”.
Want to work with me? Check out my services!