My Next Level: Goals and expectations

4% bf down. I’m officially putting this on paper.

Two week ago I registered for bodybuilding.com’s newest My Next Level Challenge sponsored by the one and only Kris Gethin and Kaged Muscle Supplements.

For the longest time I knew my goal was dropping more body fat. Today I checked my body fat percentage on my scale and I dropped two more pounds, while maintaining the same body fat percentage – likely water weight dropped from starting an anti-inflammatory diet.

I’m not sure if this is even realistic at this point, mostly because I’m measuring everything on a foot scale body fat meter… but I’m going to try my hardest. So far, I’m 1 week in and going strong. I haven’t started the 4weeks2shred program yet because I’m still “bulking up” from the last cut. We’ll see how this goes…

Tomrrow, the 4weeks2shred will start up in full force. I can’t wait and I’m super excited!

There’s some doubt in myself that exists in this process.. I’m going to be starting school and work. Time to not procrastinate and schedule gym time….

Fitting in an hour of cardio in a day

Kris’s new 4weeks2shred is intense. And appropriately so. The program includes weight training schedules 4 times a week and at least 30 minutes of cardio training 2 times a day, 7 days a week. That means on my lifting days, I can easily need to spend up to 2 hours in the gym.

Yes. 2 whole hours.

For us working folk that spend 8 hours in bed and 8 hours at work, that’s a 2 hours from the short 8 hours of free time that we have. Let me make my life a little more fun for you.

I’m currently at the DC office for NASPA where I’m the Grad intern.  Being an intern on an intern budget, I don’t actually live in DC, but in northern Virginia instead. This means on any given day, I can spend up to an additional hour stuck walking to and fro and deep within the metro system going one way. Yes, that’s an additional two hours down, where I have no signal and can’t get work or really anything done (other than work on these posts….)

So needless to say, when my fellow interns found out that I was embarking on this during my last 4 weeks in DC…Most of my peers thought I was crazy for trying to attempt this. “Enjoy the city,” they say. “You need to get a life,” they say. Well, of course, I got creative.

One of Kris’s periscope sessions gave me the great idea of walking as a form of cardio. So with my obsessive nature to make things more efficient… I walk as much as I can before leaving they actual Washington area…. To the metro that takes me between DC to VA.

Coincidentally, this process takes exactly 30 minutes, the amount of cardio assigned to the PM time. I realized I could just start walking home for cardio! At leat part of the way.

I’ve been doing this since Wednesday this week and it’s fantastic. Not only am I exploring the city and getting my cardio in, by the time I get to the metro, the traffics died down enough to a point where I don’t even mind it. My routine currently includes walking past a slew of museums and the US Capitol. Next week I’m going to try some other routes and see what else I can find.

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Tomorrow I’m making cardio fun but crossing off a “to-do” item. There’s a trail near where I stay that’ll allow me to see airports take off directly from the airport. Updates to come!

Creating my own plan

Creating my own workout plan for the 12 weeks was no straightforward task. Having just come off of a 12-week plan from a successful and well-published plan, I was more than a little nervous to navigate the gym without Kris Gethin in the back of my head telling me to push harder (or on my BodySpace app… you get the point).

In fact, it took me two whole days before I finally mustered up the courage to walk downstairs and see what equipment was available to me in my apartment complex’s gym. Now I realize that this sounds crazy to be writing about… but it was my first time at a new gym since I started my journey about a year ago. It’s also the first time in about 10 months that I haven’t been on a plan by Bodybuilding.com.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous. It wasn’t until I finally started out a week after moving in, when I started pacing towards the dumbell rack, that I realized everything I’ve been doing for the past year has only taught and prepared me to succeed in the gym on my own.

And thus, I’ve incorporated the training principles of Kris Gethin and the numerous other bodybuilders that he’s incorporated in his workout programs into my day to day workouts as well.

On any given day, my workout includes 4-5 different exercises that stresses the particular muscle group(s) of the day in different ways. I’ll provide an example. On Tuesdays, I workout my chest and triceps. My workout includes 4 exercises that involve my chest and another 3-4 exercises that work my triceps. The chest workout includes standard bench presses, incline dumbell presses, dumbell flyes, and cable crossovers. Depending on the week I might also add additional dumbell presses, decline bench presses or a dumbell pullover. Because the triceps are a secondary muscle group to most of these exercises, I work them out slightly lighter, with some combination of rope pulldowns, close grip bench  presses, tricep extensions, or skull crushers.

Regardless, I try to mix things up so I always keep my chest working.

I typically start my sets with 2 warm up sets of 8-10 reps and every other week I do reps in the ranges of 8-10 to 12-16 so that I can workout different muscle fibers.

Three weeks in, I can say that it’s definitely been a brutal workout. In addition, instead of logging my workouts on my app or on a notepad, I’m making sure that I’m hitting my rep ranges and completing the minimum number of sets. I’ve found that every week I’ve been able to add an additional exercise.

This is an excellent break from Kris’s workout and an excellent way to keep toned and in shape while I wait to start a new program… once I’m back in SD in August.

My current workout

I decided to add a link on the top of my page to have easy access to my “current workout.”

Since I’m currently in DC, on certain days of the weekend where I know I’ll be touring the city and visiting the museums, I might skip actual cardio time in the gym and opt for some “active rest” instead. These days typically involve me walking well over 15k steps since most of the city is accessible by foot. This is just to give my body time to adjust to the increased amount of walking and cardiovascular exercises that my body isn’t use to.

Below is the excerpt from the page. This page is always accessible through the top navigation bar or directly at: http://fit.johnweng.me/current-workout/

While I’m usually all over BodySpace (thanks to BodyBuilding.com) during the summer I’m exploring some of the equipment I don’t usually have access to during the year. This includes an assisted barbell machine, a lying leg curl machine and a decline bench. My current workout split is as follows:
Monday: Back/biceps

Tuesday: Legs/Abs

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Chest/Triceps

Friday: Shoulders/Abs/Calves

Weekends: Cardio/Active Rest

Day 1 of Round 2 – 12 Week Daily Video Trainer with Kris Gethin

My 12 week program ended a week ago and I’ve taken the liberty to have a week to myself to recuperate and rest. Today was day 1 of my second round of the 12 week daily video trainer with Kris Gethin.

I got my best friend, Jerry, to join me for this 12 week challenge which will lead me up to the day that I leave for my internship in DC. Yay for the next 12 weeks! Who else wants to join us?!

Normally people say that you shouldn’t stick on programs for more than 3 months at a time because your muscles get so used to it but Kris’s program is separately made up of individual programs that take up 2-3 weeks at a time. This means that realistically, I never do the same work out at any point in the 84 days.. Brutal huh?

I’m excited to start this program with a workout buddy. Even though we’ll be working out at separate gym, it’s nice being able to connect over the program, even if its just through text! This motivates me to push myself harder through the bodyspace app by bodybuilding.com. Here’s to a successful day one, and can’t wait for chest/triceps tomorrow!