Budget bodybuilding diary pt.7 – Mixing things up – Kevin Ryan

Mixing Things Up!

This week has been a bit hit and miss, as me, my wife and my one-year-old have been hit with the cold from hell at some point.

The week began with my wife and one-year-old hit with the sniffles quite bad  –  after a stressful weekend holding a birthday party for my wee girl. Then, I picked it up from both of them on Friday, so I wasn’t able to get anywhere near the gym over the weekend. which is a killer right now, as I’m feeling a bit paranoid about my legs not being big enough. I was planning a hard leg session over the weekend.

I’ve never – in all my years training – spent much time building my legs up, and always made the 'bro' mistake of concentrating on my upper body. Now I have a shit load of catching up to do with my lower body in the next few months before I go full-on into my cut.

Budget Bodybuilding Diaries at Olympus Health Blog So I’ve decided that I’m going to be working my upper legs twice a week, with heavy squats sneaked in after my shoulders workout, and a full separate day to work legs overall and try and get these things to look like they belong to my upper body and not on a sparrow!

I am quite lucky with my calf muscles, as they have always been big and defined (lucky genetics) – so I’m not too worried about them – but I’m super paranoid about my upper legs. I’ve been looking into how to get them built up in as short a time as possible. Through advice from people I know and online it looks like squats are the way forward here, so that’s why I’m sneaking them in on shoulders day and again on leg day along with all the usual suspects like leg extensions, leg curls and leg press.

By going down this route I’m hoping that the extra day of squats added in will get things moving ,and if I’m proper lucky I might get beginners gains on my quads and hamstrings due to the fact I’ve neglected them for years on end.

I’m also going to be adding about another 250 calories to my daily diet to help with this, as my body fat percentage doesn’t seem to be climbing at a rate I can’t live with over the last few weeks. Another 250 calories to help build muscle on my legs won’t hurt me too much when it comes time to cut.

To do this, I’ve kept it really simple, and added one more protein shake through the day after lunch but before dinner, using PRO-XL. I don’t want to get too loaded up with carbs, and like to keep sugars and starches for just after my workout, and before bed to fuel up for my morning workout.

Olympus Health PRO-XL protein powder I’m hoping that this will do the trick and get me a few inches of muscle on my upper legs before the dreaded cut which I’m planning to start at the end of January. I’m looking to give myself a good 16 weeks or so to shed the body fat.

There’s another realisation I’ve had to deal with this week. The cutting diet I’m going to have to adopt once my bulk is over ,and the wee treats of chilli and lasagne post workout, won't be allowed anymore. It’s going to be more along the lines of chicken, rice and veg all day.

With this is mind I’m going to be making a few more recipes next week, and trying some new ideas in the kitchen – so I can savour the taste of food while on the bulk and hope that I remember when I’m deep in the cutting phase!

I’m planning a wee sweet treat too, and making some sort of chocolate and peanut butter protein balls using my PRO-XL. I'll get the recipe up here if it’s a hit. 

Olympus Health PRO-XL protein bar recipe budget bodybuilding blog

Speaking about the cutting diet, I’ve spent a good bit of time looking at how I’m going to go about this over the weekend, seeing as I was bed bound with the man-flu (thanks to my girls). I was all set to be doing some sort of intermittent fasting diet, as I enjoy that type of eating when I’m busy throughout the day and thinking about food isn’t the first thing on my mind.

I have had a bit of a change of heart now though, and I think I will be keeping that up my sleeve through the cut, in case I run into a road block and cant shift those last few percent of body fat. The thing I don’t want to do is hit the diet too hard too quickly, lose a load of muscle along with body fat and go on stage smaller than I need to be.

I’m going to start things slow and steady, and taper my calories down slowly –obviously adjusting my macros to suit with carbs taking the majority of the hit.

I’m also going to just start with the one HIIT session after my workout per-week for the first few weeks and taper them up, all the way until I get to five days a week HIIT sessions – on the last few weeks towards the show.

This is again due to me not wanting to give my body nowhere to go if I stall in fat loss process over the full 16 weeks. By changing my weight training to high intensity it should get my metabolism going, and keep me burning through what's in those fat cells whilst keeping as much muscle as possible.

Budget bodybuilding diary at Olympus Health BlogI’ve also been looking into carb depleting and reloading on the week of the show, in order to get my muscles looking fuller and harder while on stage, but getting rid of the water in my skin over the top of the muscle.

I’ve still to do a bit more research on this, and ask around about it, but I will probably spend more time getting into the nuts and bolts of this nearer the time.

So there you have it, although my week ended up pretty shit – due to catching yet another cold – I took my own advice from a previous post and sat out the gym and did some research into the areas I needed to get my head around. It's worked wonders as I’ve got a much better understanding of how I’m going to get some mass on my legs and what I’m going to be looking to do with my cutting diet.

As I’m writing this it’s almost 11pm on a Sunday night and the kids and the wife are in bed. Once I finish this I’m quickly making up my protein shakes for tomorrow and sorting my gym gear for the morning, before hitting the hay myself.

I’m honestly so looking forward to waking up tomorrow and smashing this back workout before I get to work. I feel like my motivation level has jumped up a gear now that I have more of a definitive plan for the areas I wasn’t feeling confident about. It’s time to go fuck shit up!!!!!