Budget bodybuilding diary pt.4 – training... with man flu – Kevin Ryan

Training With Man Flu!

 Well, now I have all my diet sorted and the training schedule locked down, it's time to put it all into action and build this body into something special.

This week I precooked my lunches and dinners, made up my weeks PRO-XL protein shakes and organised all my gym gear for the coming week – so there was no excuses to shy away from the gym or diet.

As a final farewell to any sort of mad night out – or eating what I want when I want – I thought I would take me and the wife out to see a band on the Saturday night, and get a nice hearty meal at a nice restaurant with plenty wine and beer flowing, then hit the bar for the band and drink the night away.

Kevin Ryan Budget Bodybuilding DiarySo we got all dressed up, hit the town and had a great Italian meal, loads of alcohol and threw in a cheeky wee pakora on the way home from the takeaway for good measure. Now, it won’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the next day we had a bit of a hangover going, on but anyone who knows me knows that I take a hangover BAD! REALLY BAD! So, I was doing my usual rolling about my bed thinking my life was about to end whilst the wife just got up and as usual got on with it as if she was feeling fine. I will be honest, I'm such a big pussy with hangovers that it puts me off drinking sometimes... but just sometimes!

After a day of feeling sorry for myself, including dragging myself over to the mother in laws to pick the kids up, before hitting the shops for tonight’s dinner, I managed to put something together that resembled a meal for the family. Finally, we got the kids down to bed and we both hit our bed too. It was time to relax, but as I lay there in bed – messing about on my phone deciding on when to the hit gym and what to plan for the week with my diet – I noticed that my right eyelid was getting a bit painful to touch.

I thought nothing of it and got off to sleep for the 6am start in the morning. On waking, I noticed that the pain in my eye had got worse, and it felt all swollen, so I popped into the toilet and looked in the mirror to find someone had replaced my eyelid with a massive red lump and given me a blinding headache to boot. There was no chance I was getting anywhere near the gym today, never mind work, and I called the doctors surgery to organise an appointment for my elephant man face.

Next thing was to call into work and get a sick day. I don’t know about you, but I hate doing this when I’m actually sick. What I mean by that is when I just want a cheeky wee sick day booked in and there is nothing wrong with me I don’t feel guilty at all calling in. I just call in tell them I’m ill and that’s that, but when I’m actually sick I come over guilty and feel like I sound like I’m taking the piss!

Anyways, I got the dreaded sick day call out the way, and then hit the doctors to find out the damage – why my head was constantly in pain – and what's with this funky eye? The doctor basically told me that my eyelid had picked up an infection, I needed antibiotic eye drops and it would more than likely get worse before it got better. Off to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription, and when i got home and thought I would call into work to let them know I would be back to work tomorrow.

Silly boy. When I woke the next day I was in worse shape than the day before, my eye had swollen more and the headaches were now pretty much full-blown migraines. So I called into work again and booked the rest of the week off, as there was no way I was knocking this thing before Friday.

It was so so frustrating. I was all set to kick start this diet and training plan, only to be floored by a stupid infection which was probably brought on by my partying on the Saturday night – my body was so run down from it.

Now, usually it would be very easy for me to say well I can’t get to the gym, so I will start next Monday instead and just eat whatever this week. Not this time.

I decided this wouldn’t be the time for that, as gym or no gym, a good 80% of this competition preparation was going to fall on my diet alone. I decided to keep things the same, but knock 500 calories off my daily intake, as I wouldn’t need them. I was barely out of bed ,never mind doing anything like a hard workout in the gym.

I achieved this by removing the post workout meal from my diet, as this was the only meal with high GI carbs – which would do more harm than good with me not working out. This came in at around the 500 calorie mark. As ever, I was trying to keep it really simple, and by taking this meal away I was getting my required macros to at least maintain my current weight, but good, clean healthy food as to not pile on any fat while I was out the game this week.

The hardest thing about the week was not training though, as I was so up for it at the start of the week. To have something like an infection take you out is a killer – there is actually nothing you can do about it.

Instead, I used this time to do more research on diet friendly meals and read up any recent studies that would help me. I got a lot of material from this week, and also good advice online for different questions I was coming up with in my head. So all in all, it turned out to be a very useful week – except for the killer headaches and red eye.

As of now, it looks like I’m going to be kicking it all off next week, and using the situation this week as a good footing to build from. I’m going to make sure my body is full of vitamins and minerals to keep me healthy and stave off any further infections.

If I can give any advice about being ill and training it is, simply, DON’T TRAIN!

Use the off time to get your body back fighting fit. Fight the frustration by researching – looking for information that relates to your goals – and believe me when you do get better you will have an extra 10% in the tank for those workouts. You'll be champing at the bit to get back in the gym.

Now, time to train, at last!


Follow big Kev's journey – including recipes for budget bodybuilding meals – here on the blog, or search #OlympusJourney on social media.