I have been going to the gym since I was a senior in high school. I’ve bulked. I’ve cut. I’ve been skinny fat (when you’re skinny but have zero muscle definition). I’ve weighed as low as 150 lbs, and as high as 185 lbs. That was after a dreamer bulk (the type of bulk where you stuff your face with pizza and donuts and just get fat). I’ve played many sports for recreation and through intramurals.
I’ve done Stronglifts, Westside, Layne Norton’s PHAT. I’ve focused on strength. I’ve focused on gaining lots of muscle (hypertrophy). I’ve focused on athletic performance.
I’ve done dreamer bulks without the correct macros. I’ve cut to get lean. I’ve gotten sick or injured to the point where I lose weight fast. The last time I got sick, in May of last year, I lost 7-9 pounds from a serious stomach virus in a week.
My metabolism isn’t super high. If I eat 4000 calories i WILL get fat. If I eat 3000 calories I will get fat.
In the past year, I’ve been using trial and error to calculate my macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat). I’ve followed different calculators, and they give you a good ballpark. You still have to find what works for you.
The only difference between now and my high school senior days, is that I’m 10% body fat instead of 18%. While I might be stronger than what I was then, it’s not significant enough for me to care.
At the end of the day, I’m still skinny.
And I don’t like it.
I checked this morning and I’m BACK DOWN to 154 lbs.
How sad is that?
Even Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest athletes in the world, sits at around 176 lbs. Much of his mass is in his legs, yet, he’s considered skinny even though he runs 90 minutes every match.
But let’s forget about what people think.
My weightlifting numbers have gone way down.
I used to be able to squat 315 for 3-5 reps. And most of you are laughing at how meager that is. And it is. But what’s more laughable is I can’t even do 225 for that rep range right now.
I can barely front squat 135 for 3 sets of 5.
My deadlift at 385 is no more.
I was able to do a one leg front lever and I was close to getting a wide straddle front lever.
Even though I can get to a handstand from the floor, I still can’t do a freestanding handstand pushup.
My ability to run a 5K at an acceptable time for a “fit” person, is somewhere in a black hole. (Hint: nowhere).
The bleeding has to stop.
So what am I going to do?
What are my actual goals?
By December 31, 2016, MY GOALS ARE:
- Weigh 175 pounds at 10% bodyfat.
For most bodybuilders, gaining 20 pounds is easy. And most can hit this goal at sub-10% bodyfat levels. And I hope I get there.
Here’s what I have to do:
- Eat at a caloric surplus. The goal is eat for the weight I want to be. S
- According to iifym.com, I need 2400 calories to bulk. That doesn’t seem like a lot. I need to eat at least 4 times a day.
- 150-175 grams of protein = 600-700 calories
- 62-70 grams of fat = 558-630 calories
- 200-270 grams of carbs = 800-1070 calories.
- Because I’m carb sensitive, I will increase protein faster than I increase carbs.
2. Increase back squat to 225 for 10 reps.
- Following a protocol such as stronglifts.
3. Increase front squat to 135 for 10 reps (3 sets).
- Same as the back squat
4. Do 1 freestanding handstand push-up.
- Repetition after repetition
- Improving posture and balance when in a handstand.
- I must do this as I increase in weight or else the shoulders will have difficulty.
5. Build mass in the arms
- Shoulders and triceps
- This won’t happen until I gain mass (see #1)
This may seem like a lot of goals. These past 6 months, my goals were to increase my leg and shoulder mass. But 2 of those of months were difficult for me, so plan failed.
*I have occasional tendinitis issues in my knees. I’ve had MRIs. They found nothing. The prescription was to give the knees rest whenever the issue arose. This issue has prevented me from completing leg workouts. On some days, my legs are great, and others they are not. So I will do my best and try to keep this issue from holding me back since 2 of my goals are leg related.
Things I will continue in the next year that have worked for me before:
- Reducing sugar – I don’t drink soda. I don’t use sugar in coffee tea. Desserts are cheat meals.
- Increasing greens and micronutrients – Great for energy, digestion, vitamins, minerals, etc.
- Using BCAAs, especially when working out fasted. I use Compete by iForce Nutrition.
- Staying away from caffeine. I have a GOOD sensitivity to caffeine. I don’t like building a tolerance to it.
- Drinking lots of water – Self explanatory.
If you read this far, thank you. I could make this 5000 words longer. It’s best I don’t. This is a guide for myself. My goals are not difficult. I have to follow this to make sure I’m on the right track.
But you can use this to help you set your goals too. It’s important to be analytical about :
- your past health
- what has worked for you
- what you THINK you will work for you
- what science says will work for you
- what you KNOW will work for you.
The key is the last one. Because a lot of times, we already know what will work for us. We just don’t follow through with them.
I’ve been guilty with that. And I LOVE fitness. A person who doesn’t have that same love for fitness should definitely write down their goals.
If you want to know how to set goals, even BETTER than the ones I set, check out my guide on setting your own fitness goals. It’s really easy.
Maybe you won’t reach them. And this time next year you’ll do the same thing. You’ll see what worked for you, and what didn’t. And what you need to do the following year to reach your goal.
Or you’ll hit your goal 6 months from now because you followed the guide.
What are your fitness goals this year? Leave a comment. I want to hear about it.