Dusty Hanshaw recently posted in the GEAR’D Up group regarding a new trend in bodybuilding as it pertains to training and “being too cute”, and David Johnston put out his article, “K.I.S.S.”, on keeping training streamlined and simple for best progress. My turn to piggyback.
Many of you have messaged me or commented that I’ve added some good size. And I have. I’m sitting at 252lbs fasted, in about the same or even a little better condition than when I started my last prep, at around 228lbs. When I get onstage next year I should be much improved from my last show in 2013. I am never going to be one of the big guys, just like Dusty will never be one of the “pretty guys” (although he is kinda’ cute when he has a hat on).
One of the misconceptions about John Meadows’ Mountaindog Training is that it’s all about iso holds, bands, and a ton of other advanced things. It’s not. Those are there, of course, BUT, most of John’s programs are centered around the big free weight basics: incline barbell presses, squats, heavy rows and deads, and so forth.
Last night, while recording GEAR’D Up, we went on a rant about people being unable to think for themselves and following others blindly without exercising their own free will. What we are seeing in this game of ours is a lot of salesman trying to make the old (John?) and dusty (pun intended?), into the new and shiny. People are thinking of any and every way they can to keep you entertained. Entertainment creates emotion, and the salesman uses that as a weakness to lure you into his bullshit.
You want to know how I’ve put on the size I have over the last year? It’s not drugs. I’m not doing anything drug-wise that I didn’t do in the past. I can attribute it to three simple things because I have kept records, tracked variables and I know exactly what has led to my progress:
1) RECOVERY: I’m not going out anymore. I’m in bed before 11pm, even on weekends. I’m up before 7am each and every day. My meals are the same each and every day and are Oreo- and junk-food-free unless it’s planned into my day. My periworkout nutrition is perfect, and has been for a good year now. All of these factors are key to proper recovery. Nothing fancy yet…
2) GOAL SUBMERSION: I have entrenched myself with my goal. I feel like this gets overlooked by many. People lose focus, especially in the offseason. So how do I stay on track? Glad you asked. I surround myself with like-minded individuals that take their improvements, both as a bodybuilder and as a person, seriously. I don’t mean offense, but I just don’t have the time to associate with anyone that’s not trying to improve, learn, and get better each and everyday. I’ve ceased to have some pretty good relationships with people in this sport because I felt as if those people were holding me back like some sort of magnet. Also, I watch videos that send a message and reinforce what I’m trying to achieve. Guys like Dusty, Jose, Meadows, Centopani, Paul Carter and others are all on-par with who I’m trying be both as a bodybuilder and a man, so those are the people I aspire to emulate. Now I’m not saying don’t have balance. I have two daughters and trust me, I’m forced to have balance whether I want it or not, but you can have that balance and also continue to strive to be your best and integrate your bodybuilding into your balanced life.
3) BASIC TRAINING AND NUTRITION: This is the most important key by far. My nutrition and training have been 100% basic. What’s basic? Here is an example of my daily diet:
- M1: 1c egg whites, 1 scoop whey, 1 Greek yogurt, 1c oatmeal, 1 banana, 2tbsp nut butter
- M2-M5: these meals are comprised of either turkey or chicken, rice or potato, and avocado OR olive oil OR coconut oil. That’s it—seven whopping foods.
- -Post workout shake and carbs
- M6: beef and veggies OR cottage cheese and egg whites with cashews and veggies
- -if I have a sweet tooth I have sugar free Popsicles
Pretty complicated right? No, not at all. I’ll sub some foods like turkey for chicken and what not, but basically my meal plan is exactly the same day-in and day-out. And it has been for months now. Rocket science right?
Is this particular diet for everyone? Personally I feel like everyone can do it if calories are controlled. But the key here is the basic concepts and the consistency. People just don’t realize how far those two things by themselves will take you.
As for training, I’m going to make this short and sweet. I have FINALLY engrained it in my head that I need to get stronger on the basic compound movements. Up until this year I have been at the same goddamned strength level for four or five years. This past year, however, I have finally listened to the likes of Dante and Dusty and I have kept a log book and made it PRIORITY NUMBER ONE to get STRONG!!! I’m squatting again, I’m benching again, I’m deadlifting without straps, I’m doing heavy T-bar rows, I’m doing heavy standing military presses. And holy shit, I’m having a blast!!! Prior to this I was doing different movements every training day. I wasn’t focusing on progressive resistance (no matter the rep range) and I was doing all these cute unique movements you’re seeing around the gym these days. That stuff has a place, but if you’re still toiling around in mediocrity and not spending your time in the rack, you will go nowhere, I promise. Don’t use heavy weights and throw caution to the wind for the sake of ego. Be smart. But for fuck’s sake, if you’re not strong as a bull, you can forget about looking like one.
To summarize, keep your nutrition basic and consistent. Keep your training basic and progressive. And get your rest.
Now do that for the next ten years. And if you don’t have the patience for that, go buy some board shorts and embrace being an impatient half-asser like the majority of the world.
*** This article first appeared on http://geardup.com/articles/authors/adam-mcvey-articles/my-return-to-actual-progress/
In addition to being the host and creator of the popular GEARD Up Podcast, Adam is an active NPC competitive bodybuilder. He has over 16 years as a certified trainer. He is certified by the NASM (cpt,ces,pes) ACE, and ISSA. Adam works with clients ranging from elderly with special needs to high school athletes and everyone in between.
Adam is available for one-on-one or group personal training sessions; as well as online contest prep for bodybuilding, figure, physique, and bikini competitors. As a catalyst for helping you reach your fitness goals, Adam will emphasize intense training, detailed supplementation, and proper nutrition.