MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Muscle Building Program

As many of you may know, I'm not in the camp that believes that weight training will slow your wing tsun down. I really believe that when guys say that, it's just an excuse to cover up either their laziness or their insecurities of not being bigger and justify it with the fact tthat they are taking wing tsun, karate, kung fu, etc lessons. 

It's not like i'm endorsing "bulking up" nor do i believe it will make your martial skill any better. i just get a kick out of a black belt snobbing off weight training as they think it'll "slow them down". 


In the beginning of the year, I took part in an online training regimen that helped me lose some weight. I was noticing some fat gains from December '07.  I finished the program in April then the stresses of moving out, renovations, and changes on the career front put the whole weight training program on the back burner.  Couple this with a depleted daily diet, I was losing quite a bit of weight..to the point where I was feeling pretty scrawny and could see it in the mirror too. By this time, it's been a year or longer in which I touched a dumbbell. 

So, in Sept of '08, I started a muscle building program. It was 16 weeks long and the concepts were incredibly simple:

1) Eat lots (for me, that meant eating around 2500-3000 calories a day).
2) Lift hard  (each day that you push weights, either increase by 1 rep or add more weight)
3) Get lots of sleep/rest (this was tougher, but tried to get the 8 hrs). 

The program consisted of 4 days/week training- 2 days upper body and 2 days lower body.   It is known that when you build muscle, you will gain fat, so integrating cardio helps slow this fat gain down. For me, because I was having a hard time consuming enough calories, I skipped out on the cardio. 

The program was set to do the same routine for 2 weeks. Then the routine would change (either in rep count, exercises performed, number of sets, or all of the above).  This would just keep your body guessing and shocked so that it can't get used to the same thing.

In terms of equipment - I have access to dumbbells - the highest was 50 lbs. I also had access to a universal gym (seated bench press, chest flies). Ideally, the program wants you to use a barbbell and dumbbells.  I was limited to what I had and I felt that the universal gym wasn't great but good enough. 50 lb dumbbells are not heavy enough, especially within 4 weeks - but this is up to whatever you're used to.  Also, a chinup bar is ABSOLUTELY neccessary.  I also used a weighted backpack - buying some used weight plates (10lb, 35lb) and shoved them in there. I would also throw in some dumbbells instead of the weight plates into the backpack when it was better suited. 

I could only do max of 3 chinups when I started.

It's been a really fun experience. Workouts weren't longer than 40 minutes and the routine was fun and utilized compound exercises instead of isolation exercises.  The different rep schemes also helped make the routines go by quick. 

My goal - just gain some of the muscle I lost earlier in the year. I'm not trying to get "huge" (and by the way, would be INCREDIBLY difficult to do..) and I didn't care if I gained fat. 

So now I'm almost finished! I have about 2 more weeks left. I will be posting pictures of the progress. So stay tuned!

Until then.

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