My Body, The Experiment: Day 26

The 40-Day program got shortened considerably, when I woke up on Day 26 and thought, Uh-uh. I did this enough. We're done here.

But seeing as how I had committed five weeks to a strength-building program, I knew that before moving on to anything else, I had to test strength. With the able spotting of a bodybuilder friend (who likes to say things like "Do you know where I can find a good veterinarian? [flexes biceps] Cause these puppies are SICK!!!"), I went to the bench and pressed 130lbs, which is my all-time best but I had only done it once, and several years ago at that. So I considered this an accomplishment and sign of improved strength.

I then went to the deadlift. 200 had been my max, but 195 felt reasonable, so I loaded 210 on and slowly brought the bar up. That's improvement, too.

Dan John's 40-Day Program, shortened to 26, even, brought me significant benefits. Strength, yes, but also improved shoulder health. Less achy days: the regular but low-rep lifting kept me in good form. The courage to face some lifts I had feared (back squat, overhead squat). And to trust in the process: I have full respect for Dan and Pavel, and though I was feeling a bit heavy from the lack of cardio, I knew I should give their ideas a go.

Yes, I said it: no cardio. I did virtually none for 6+ weeks. Sure, my heart rate went up on the kettlebell swings, and certainly on the heavy lifts. But no sustained sweating all this time. I was feeling thick, but the scale didn't shift too much to the right. Here's me on Day 26:

AFTER: No Cardio for 6 weeks
...which should teach you women a lesson. Muscle burns fat; build the muscle. Lift heavy. Stop it with the 7-pound dumbbells, already. My foundation of muscle took care of me over this time period, and let me tell you, I ate. See my last post, where I detail just how much. I was eating a lot and not moving, just lifting heavy and building strength, and yet I didn't get (too) fat. There's a major lesson there.

I did lose some agility during the program; I went to demonstrate the agility ladder to a client, and went kerthunk kerthunk. But this was to be expected, once I thought about it, and I accepted this loss within the idea that my goals for this time sat elsewhere.

But now it's time quite literally to move on, and after my feats of strength I went home and carried a 50lb bag of rice around the outside of my house, just because. I shadowboxed, I did pushups. I moved and moved, and by the next morning, the thickness was gone.

Also by the next morning, I couldn't move. Even today, I'm still sore (but I did the rice thing again anyway).

Next up: a hypertrophy test. Four, maybe 5 weeks I'm going to try to build some size. Gun show, Admit One. Right this way, esteemed veterinarian. Yeah.


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