Training and Diet Update

serge sunbathing

531 receives a lot of criticism from the hardcore powerlifting demographic, but I find it can compliment a bodybuilder’s goals nicely when switching from a hypertrophy dominant, high frequency/volume approach.

First and foremost, progress is dependant upon progressive overload. While this can be achieved in a number of ways, there’s few more satisfying to a lifter than steadily adding extra weight to the bar over time.

jeff king bench

Jeff – “The Neck” – King

I did a NABBA show a month ago, so this was THE PERFECT program for me to transition back to a post-competition schedule that didn’t require too much thought, volume, frequency or fat rebound.

  • The program is neatly mapped out for you every week so you know and can visualise what you need to hit taking away the “over-analysis” element.
  • Intuitively, the volume feels just right for each session and is a godsend after months of twice a day, high volume pre-contest beatdowns.
  • 4 sessions a week vs my previous 10-14 sessions a week.
  • Incorporating the recommended conditioning work is making me feel better and allowing me to eat more without gaining a lot of fat. People still comment on how peeled I still am despite eating almost 5000 calories a day.

Beyond 5/3/1

beyond 531

The Beyond 5/3/1 book has been out for a while now and I really like it. I think the original program is sound – but the inclusion of some of the tweaks like “Joker Sets”, “First Set Last”, “Boring but Big Challenges” and some of the many (endless) permutations Wendler provides, makes it a valuable read.

I’m going to run with this program for a while, stacking several variations over the next few months. Having just completed the first 3 week basic template (with the Boring But Big challenge), the next 3 week block will include some Joker sets on “good” days.

After a mandatory week long deload, I’m going to tackle a full on mass-phase using Wendler’s Building the Monolith Program using both the program and diet he recommends.

Monoliths - build it and they will come.

Monoliths – build it and they will come.

The Goals

Prior to my long contest prep(s), I was going lighter on the basic lifts (dead, squat, bench, press) or switching them out for fear of injury and I think this hurt my overall level of thickness.

My next mass gaining phase is going to really focus on pushing those basic lifts to new heights because I need overall thickness, particularly in my legs and hamstrings in order to feel more complete.

Want these for Christmas

Want these for Christmas

In the spirit of starting light and nailing each lift and each rep, I’ve scaled my maxes right back to be conservative from the outset.

Bench Press – 142.5kg

Scrape the Rack Press – 92.5kg

Front Squat – 155kg

Deadlift – 185kg


Over the next 12 week I aim to push these to

Bench Press – 150kg

Scrape the Rack Press – 100kg

Front Squat – 180kg

Deadlift – 200kg

I’ve hit those maxes before, or been in the vicinity, so I think they are comfortable targets at this point.

arnold deadlift


krispy kreme

The first two weeks post NABBA comp I was 100% DONE with caloric restriction and went on a tear of uncontrollable bingeing. I reduced the damage considerably by:

1) Immediately swinging things back to an intermittent fasting protocol – I could eat what I wanted, as long as it was between the hours of 10am-6pm every day. This is a perfect window for me because after a huge dinner I don’t feel hungry for the rest of the night and the first few hours of the day are spent in “wake-up productivity mode” when I don’t have time for eating anyway. I think most people suffer too much using the traditional 1pm-9pm eating window because they spend most of their morning and early afternoon thinking of food.

2) Doing half an hour cardio on training days and an hour cardio on non training days. I love cardio. Makes me feel great. I love the meditative repetitiveness of it. The intake of oxygen to the system. I can’t do cardio for contest prep because it makes me extremely hungry and destroys my energy, but post contest, it’s magic,

3) Putting the high fibre soups and veges back in with my meals. The spinach pancakes are a life-saver. If i ever feel like destroying a bucket of ice-cream I eat a few of these first and the cravings seem to magically disappear.

4) Keeping Quest Bars on hand. If a sweet craving strikes and I know I don’t really need a large serving of “white death” (sugar), I’ll eat 1-2 or three of these.

An Average Day’s Diet

This is a comfortable amount of food – but not in any way, filling.

On cheat days I would add an easy 2000 calories to those totals…and there’s been MANY cheat days in the last month. Regardless, the cardio gets done and the food gets switched off strictly, everyday, at 6pm for a 16 hour fast.

10:00 – Meal 1

4 Whole Eggs
250g Salmon
2 pieces Phat Fudge
4 Spinach Pancakes (1 egg, 500g spinach, ¼ cup blended oats, ¼ cup light shredded cheese)
60g Chobani Yogurt Greek 0.5%
½ cup vegetable soup

12:00pm – Meal 2

300g roasted chicken with skin
1 cup of vegetable soup
3 Quest Bars

2pm – Meal 3

2 pieces Phat Fudge
1 Quest Bar

3:30pm – Intra Workout

1 Scoop PeptoPro
1 Scoop Vitargo


400g roast chicken with skin
3 Large Flatbread Tortilla
4 Spinach Pancakes
60g Chobani Yogurt Greek 0.5%
½ cup vegetable soup


Protein: 30% – 282g
Carbs: 32% – 307g
Fats: 38% – 158g
Calories: 4441


  1 comment for “Training and Diet Update

  1. The Smiling Pilgrim
    June 20, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Lol I would be so burnt tanning like that


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