I also decided to head out for a bit of a spur of the moment camping and fishing extended weekend with some friends. Headed out to a beautiful lake near Merrit on Thursday and spent the weekend having a blast. The fishing wasn't great (caught a couple nice trout with long stretches of no action) but the relaxation coupled with lots of beer was a nice break.
It also gave me a bit of time to reflect on this last year. July 24th 2010 is when I started this journey to get fit. It was seeing pictures of myself on my 38th birthday that really hit home to me I needed to make some positive changes.
So it's been one year since I started getting serious about getting fit. My stats July 24th 2010
Tight size 42 pants
My First workout was upper body and my god was I weak. I maxed out at 6 reps of 40lb dumbells for chest and I was shaking to get all 6 reps. My squats max was 6x 100lbs (on the smith machine). Shoulder press was 17.5lb dumbells.
Stats July 24th 2011.
Comfy size 36 pants
Bench 165lbs, Squats 270lbs OHP 105lbs Deadlifts 275lbs.
Now alot of the strength gains have come in the last 3 months doing SL5x5. I plateaued on the BFL pyramid back in Feb I would guess. I wan't making much gains between then and when I started Strong Lifts at the end of April. Now maybe I wasn't pushing myself as hard as I could due to boredom after 9 months of the same workouts and an abundance of cardio I don't know. What I know is the new routine gave me the motivation to really hit the weights hard.
Overall I am happy with the progress over this last year but not satisfied. I find myself a bit conflicted as to my goals going forward. One part of me wants to continue on with reaching for strength goals. 300lbs squats. 400lbs dealifts, 200lb bench. The other part of me wants to lean out more. Shoot for around 185lbs at ~12%BF. Visible abs and all that. I just don't know that the two goals can be obtained in conjunction. Can I go into a caloric deficit and continue to make strength gains. Can I lean out without adding cardio back into the equation?
Is it better to continue on with chasing strength gains or is it time to switch gears, maintain what I have gained and do a cut phase for 3 months?
I read and read and read and educate myself. Split routines, 5x5 type programs, different diet plans etc etc etc. It is over whelming at times. I find myself really at a cross roads and unsure what to do. A bit frustrating to say the least. While I know it is not out there, there are times where I wish there was some magic 8-ball to answer all my questions. I think I know enough to set up my own program and diet plan. I know what does work for me, but is it the most efficient? Is there a better way to skin the cat?