As a change of pace from the high volume and frequency of HST, I bounced to the opposite end of the spectrum to give DoggCrapp training another try. I had used this program years ago when I was on a HIT kick, but found that I was burnt out within a few weeks from its demanding intensity, beyond-failure rest-pause sets and high rep widow-makers.
I realise that 30 days isn’t a fair enough length to judge the efficacy of any program, but mentally I needed a break from the admittedly repetitive tedium associated with HST. ANY program begins to mentally grind a person down after a while, and I’ve found that when this happens, provided you’re not bouncing randomly from program to program in an ad hoc, ADHD fashion, you can make new gains on the basis of renewed enthusiasm alone.
I’m also not talking about using totally new exercises either, although some variation on that front can also light the motivational spark, but I’ve found that in order to make TRUE progress, I have to keep a selection of basic exercises and build on them from program to program. Switching from incline bench to decline, you might notice that suddenly, even miraculously, your bench figures shoot up with predictable consistency the first few weeks, but this is mainly due to neural adaptations taking place.
If you’re unfamiliar with DoggCrapp training you can read a summary of it here.
I’m still on the ABCDE diet program so that I’m not running such a high intensity program on petrol fumes. I alternate 5 days of 1700 cals with 5 3000 calorie days. For some reason I perform better in the gym on the lower calories – and on the high calorie days the hunger cravings are really hard to control. Carbs are such a trigger for me to the point that I’m climbing the fucking walls trying to figure out HOW I can possibly convert that pizza into a zero calorie meal. I’ve worked out that for discipline’s sake, it’s very much all or nothing when it comes to dieting psychology for me.
I can’t be just a little bit pregnant.
In regards to my short-run DC Training experience, here are a few thoughts;
I like how you can focus laser like intensity, channelling everything into one set and drive things to the limit.
I definitely felt more recovered than normal physically and mentally – I was reacting to daily stress a lot better. I no longer required an afternoon, 2 hour nap before the gym. Sex drive was improved and appetite, unfortunately, through the roof. This was strange because years ago when I tried this program it absolutely buried me recovery wise. I think with all the volume training, I’ve pushed my work capacity so high, that this kind of approach feels like I could’ve done more and then some.
The free time…such much free time.
The free time – when you’re used to working out, it’s hard when that daily meditation/physical outlet is suddenly removed.
Without a daily full body workout, I began to miss the “pumped-all-the-time-full” feeling that comes with it.
I lost some strength on a few of the lifts, but pushed others a little higher. I simply feel stronger when I “practice” the lifts more frequently. With such a large gap of time between lifts on the DC program, I don’t receive that neural connection and several big lifts ended up going down the toilet.
I started to feel approaching niggles and the potential for injury. On a set of incline curls I felt a shooting pain run the length of my forearm to my elbow. It still persists a week later and makes chins, arm work, squeezing my fist and several other exercises a painful task.
Would I do DC Training again? Absolutely. It’s a really fun program (I say that in a masochistic sense) and for those wanting a way to focus on driving their lifts up over time, there’s no better way than aiming all your energies into beating that log book each week. Also, if you’re strapped for time or approaching a busy period at work, the reduced frequency makes this a blessing.
At the end of the 30 days and my last 5 day low calorie stretch, I snapped the following pics (on the right) upon waking with my computer’s webcam ; albeit indoors and with different lighting compared to some of the previous weeks.
Showing these most recent pics to someone I trust to give me honest feedback , he told me that I should rethink my decision to compete unless I can add more size and address my glaring weak-points.
In the words of my 3rd eye…“know that there are some fuckin JACKED up dudes – the novice line up alone at the show just gone was next level – i put about 7 novice competitors at the national level straight away, one at the international level and would have been competitive with the likes of jaco de bryuen and sadik”
Another person said I looked better a year ago (the pics on the left) and should skip this show and wait another 6 months.
More than a few people who haven’t seen me in a while have commented on the theme of “holy shit – you’ve lost a lot of size”….all good for the confidence levels going into a show.
Granted the two pics above are taken at different angles and with different lighting, but are the current photos that much more dramatically worse than the ones before??
I’m torn inside because there’s no way I’m reneging on my commitment to the show, but at the same time I don’t want to look foolish and be completely blown off the stage. The competition here is pretty fucking fierce with guys going all out to get that plastic trophy.
I also feel that I’m honestly giving this 100% and there isn’t much more I can physically do to be any better….
Going through this week of a shouldering a tonne of self-doubt, I’ve slipped on my diet a few days eating a bit more on the high calorie days. I’m fucking addicted to rice-cakes and I’m like a shark on a feeding frenzy once I tear open a bag.
Quest Bars are the devil and should never be bought by the box by anyone who is dieting because there is NO FUCKING WAY you can stick to eating just one when the hunger demons strike at night.
Last weekend I was lying there at 8:00pm, macros and meals for the day done when the Quest Bar cravings hit and had me driving 20 mins to the gym’s vending machine to buy a couple.
I’m looking forward to my 6 week vacation starting today as that will put me 10 weeks out from the show and allow me to add some more size….hopefully.