My training history starts long before I ever decided to start this blog or compete, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Even when I started this adventure years ago I read every muscle comic book I could find. I love using myself as a guinea-pig and so I’ve literally tried everything and anything (yep, even HMB) to put on muscle, often wasting my time and money in the process.
The worst thing I ever did in my earlier years was follow the HIT approach to training. Dorian Yates was breaking new boundaries in terms of his approach, Mentzer was making a comeback in all the muscle-rags, McRobert had his platform and nearly every bodybuilding writer was advocating a low volume approach in fear of the spectre of over-training. Taking this on board, and not having access to forums to discuss and find out what works, I tried to make my workouts as brutal and infrequent as possible. I wasn’t happy unless I was throwing up after training and my trained bodyparts were shaking.
Eventually I got so burned out that I ended up laid up for years with chronic fatigue, unable to train, work, eat properly or even think straight (due to incessant brain fog) for close to ten years. Although I can’t prove that my training was the cause, I can say that it was a big contributor.
I fucking love training. I love all this shit, and to be away from it for so many years was soul destroying to say the least. I never stopped reading this site and anything else I could get my hands on about training. I would lie in bed visualising the day I would one day open the gym doors and hear the sounds of the weights clinking and clanging. Eventually after a long road to recovery, I made it back.
In the time that I had off, the training pendulum had swung the other way to less intensity and more volume. Adding in more sets, training days and staying the hell away from failure was my ticket to being able to train again. Slowly over time I was able to build up my work capacity, energy levels and eventually my strength and size.
I don’t know if the chronic fatigue ever goes away completely, because some days I get the horrible brain fog back just letting me know that if I’m doing wrong by my body, or eating the wrong thing, it could possibly return. CT’s writings on recharging the neural system and Shugart’s stuff on optimising health through nutrition has been invaluable to adopting a more healthy, balanced and sane approach to this process