Lifestyle editor Adrian Collins doesn't have much longer left on his quest to get ripped, and the results have been good so far. Now it's time to really feel the burn in the gym
Last week my numbers were good again, and I can really see the difference in my body when I look at myself in the mirror. Of course, I know all the hard work that went (and is still going) into this so I get a feeling of real pride at the same time: I dedicated myself to something, I've shown great discipline and here are the rewards. They're tangible.
Here's a picture of the progress to date, and if you're wondering why I look a bit more deflated in the second picture, it's because I've just finished an incredibly tough workout and am struggling to stay standing. The difference is pretty amazing, at least to me. I never thought I'd be able to see anything beneath my belly, but it looks like I've got a four pack, just two more packs (or should that be pack?) to go!
The diet has changed again, as these workouts are so intense and require so much energy that the low carb days have been gotten rid of entirely. At the same time, I've ditched the sweet potato out of one meal and upped the rice in the others.
With the ability to eat vegetables every day, I'm feeling pretty happy with the eating side of things, and although it tends to be mainly chicken and peppers, that is absolutely beautiful in comparison to the previous turkey and spinach or fish and egg whites. That stage was really miserable, and anything would be better, so the bad news is that we're probably going to do some more cutting before the end, which means a return to that diet. I used my cheat meal to go to my girlfriend's sister's wedding on Friday, and it was great to be able to buy a new, well fitted shirt and wear it with confidence. I also had a glass of wine with dinner which I really enjoyed, as well as a bit of dessert. It was a real bumper night in that respect, and those days are important psychologically more than anything else.
The guys at Raw have been on hand every step of the way with advice on nutrition, workouts, warm ups and tips in general, to make sure that I'm always on the right track. Ant has been looking after my progress, and making sure that I don't get carried away with my good results by realising that there's still a way to go. This week, the workout routines have changed again, and having done a few weeks of wight loss, then some strength training, we're looking at combining volume and strength in some intense sessions.
They're broken down into three days, which I should get done twice a week, having a day off in between. They go in sets of 6 at heavy reps, 12 at a lighter weight that's still heavy, and 25 at a light weight. They're broken down like this:
Now while that's hugely intense, it doesn't actually take that long. For the upper and lower body days, you're essentially doing a circuit of those exercises, as you go through one round (incline DB, then pressup, then flat fly, then straight to pull ups, and so on) and take a break at the end for a maximum of one minute. Then you start again and get through four rounds. The break on the shoulders and arms is a bit longer, so that way you do the three shoulder exercises together, and the six arm ones together. In case you thought that didn't sound too bad, here's what it looks like, set to music, of course.
I've done the legs and the chest (shoulders and arms awaits today) but they have taken their toll. My chest still hurts two days later and my legs have been like concrete blocks, but I know that the results I've gotten so far can keep me motivated to go again. Besides, you've got to really earn that cheat meal, no such thing as a free lunch.
If you want the incredibly grim meal plan, or if you’ve started the program yourself or you’re thinking about making a change and getting fit, then don’t be afraid to drop me a line on Twitter or get in touch with the lads at Raw. They know their stuff, clearly.
Check out the blogs from the other weeks here: