The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Cloughies journal – just one goal - 10% bodyfat.

    I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and today I finally decided to start (and keep up) a journal.

    So here is my background in a nutshell.

    My training has been on and off ever since I started training about 10 years ago. Between the ages of 20-25 I always struggled with the balance of being healthy and partying and I am pretty sure you can guess which one tended to win. Between the ages of 25-30 I started to get much more serious about my professional life and put long hours into my job and AtLarge Nutrition and as a result my training and eating has always been inconsistent.

    I don’t have the best genetics. I tend to naturally be below the average when it comes to strength and I hold onto fat easily. Essentially this means I have to work my ass off and get my eating habits in check to make progress and honestly that just hasn’t happened consistently… well… ever…

    Ok, enough of the sob story… I’m not here for sympathy and I know there’s no one else that can make this happen other than me. I’m here for support and encouragement mainly, aswell as training and nutrition pointers along the way

    Where I am at now

    I’m currently about 200bs, probably about 18% body fat and definitely below average on the strength front.

    The best thing I ever did training wise was to go to a local gym called Core Cambridge These guys are first class and know their stuff. They are basically a crossfit type of gym.You can only go there for 121 personal training, so there is no normal gym membership, but that’s what makes it so special. It’s not crowded with idiots – normally only 6-8 people at any one time - just good coaches and people who are serious about bettering themselves.

    I’ve been with them for 5 months now. The first 2 months were great, but in December, January and some of February I have had some personal problems which meant I lost focus and didn’t get the most out of it. However for the last four weeks I have been going 3 times per week consistently.
    We’ve just switched what I am doing. I was doing a mixture of strength training, EDT training and random circuit stuff. I hate it, but know it is good for me. After 4 or 5 weeks of this, we’re now switching to something different.

    It’s basically 5 exercises per workout, the first one for 5 sets and finishing with 1 set on the last one. The rep range is either 6 or 15 depending on the exercise. I’ve only done 2 sessions of this so far, but I really think the volume mixed with the compound movements is going to get me stronger and leaner for sure.

    My goals

    I used to get really caught up on writing really specific goals for each month and most of the time I would be far too optimistic and fail. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for specific goals, but I think it’s best for me to just work really hard and do the right things and I am confident things will go in the right direction.

    My broad goals are to get stronger, leaner and fitter. To train hard a minimum of three days per week and to eat clean 5 days out of the 7, the other 2 being more relaxed (i.e. not pigging out). That’s really about it for now. I can put some more specific strength and physique goals in later, for now I just have to make this the right priority in my life and make each week count to build consistency.

    Gone are the days where I just cared about size and bulking. I want to be lean and I want to be healthy. That’s why I was drawn towards crossfit type stuff and my main inspiration was Antony who used to be a mod on the forums and a regular contributor. He drifted away from the forums because his life got very busy, but we still stay in touch and I’ve been so inspired by his progress. He now runs Crossfit Frederiction and here is his bio I’m going to try and tempt him back to keep an eye on my journal

    Ok, that’s enough for now, Later I will post my Tuesday and Thursday workouts this week.
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  3. #2
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Tuesday 10th March 2009

    Right... Bear in mind the numbers are pretty low because of my inconsistency so far and also it’s quite high reps and high volume to keep me moving and get my heart going. Prepare to watch those numbers ROCKET over the next few months.

    I‘ve listed some rough weights seeing as I don’t write the lifts down, Dan who trains me does… so it’s hard to remember exactly… Oh and a quick tip - (4@60k, 1@55k) means 4 sets at 60k and 1 set at 55k.

    Tuesday March 10th

    Warm up – 10 mins of stretches (Camel/cat, hip pop ups, hamstring and calf stretches etc.)

    * Romanian Deadlift – 5 x 15 (5@65k)
    * Front Squat – 4 x 15 (4@60k, 1@55k)
    * One arm dumbbell row – 3 x 15 (3@17.K dumbbells)
    * One legged Step ups onto a box - 2 x 6 (2@5k dumbbells)
    * One leg squat from a box (should have been reverse lunches but my foot is injured and makes it difficult) - 1 x 15 each foot

    I managed to get it all done in just about an hour which I was pleased about. My eating wasn’t too bad. Ate a decent breakfast (weetabix and protein shake), lunch (pork, potatoes and veg) and dinner (beef stirfry) and I chugged down a Nitrean protein shake afterwards. I also took 1G vit C, my multi-vitamins and 6 or so fish oils caps throughout the day. Nutrition is the main area I have to get my ass into gear. I find it really hard to stay on track and as soon as I make one screw up, I just go on a binge bender for the rest of the day, rather than get back on track. That’s my perfectionist side coming out – do it 100% or not at all. Which is rubbish. Better to do things at 80% all the time than 100% just 10% of the time and the rest rubbish.

    Wednesday 11th March 2009

    no weighttraining today. I played badminton for an hour though. Not massively tiring, but good to get something physical done on a non weights day all the same.

    Thursday 12th March 2009

    Had a good session. I’m starting to get used to the new routine Dan gave me. I think the volume mixed with the compound movements is going to get me stronger and leaner for sure.

    It’s basically 5 exercises per workout, the first one 5 sets and finishing with 1 set on the last one. The rep range is either 6 or 15 depending on the exercise.

    So, last night’s workout was:

    * Front squat: 5 x 15 @ 60K
    * Chin ups (supinated grip): 4 x 15 @ (with band support)
    * Push Press with dumbbells: 3 x 6 @ 20K dumbbells
    * Single leg squats on box: 2 x 15 (bodyweight)
    * Dips 1 x 15 (green band support)

    I managed to get this done in just under an hour.

    The squats were pretty easy so we’ll definitely up the volume on that next week.

    Chin ups were damn hard, but it’s really going to be about just using less and less band support each week

    Push Press was hard, but about right

    Single leg squats were tough ish.

    Dips were hard, but about right. Mainly hard just because I was really tired by that point!

    As for diet, it was so, so and I REALLY have to get my damn ass in gear here. Without a clean diet, I feel my progress is always going to be slow and disappointing.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Good stuff, i'll be following your journal, it really does give you motivation to train hard by keeping a journal, good luck.
    Height: 5'9"
    Weight: 194 lbs - PR: 220
    Raw Squat: 315 - PR: 405
    Raw Press: 325 - PR: 365
    Raw Dead: 365 - PR: 445

    Total: 1005 (1205) * All gym records.

    My Journal
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  5. #4
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Whoah! Daniel has a journal!
    5'9" 195 lbs
    DL 600x1
    SQ 490x1 (raw)
    BP 430x1 (shirted), 320x1 (raw)
    SN 209x1 C+J 250x1


    My Training Journal
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    "Most people don't want to learn new things. They only want to hear about things that validate crap they're already doing." - Mike Boyle

  6. #5
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Heh, I was wondering if there might be some bets between the mods on how long it will last

    I trained on Friday and did well. Because it’s a few days since I did it, I can’t remember the weights and numbers very well, but here goes the workout.

    Flat barbell bench press: 5 x 15
    Barbell Back Squat and push press: 4 x 6
    (can’t remember what I did here!)
    Dumbbell bicep curls: 2 x 15
    Turkish get up 4 reps (2 each side)

    Pretty tired afterwards, the high reps and minimal rest in-between sets is really challenging.

    Diet was not bad on Friday, but over the weekend I relaxed up a lot and drank cocktails....

    Back on it this week though. Yesterday was a rest day. I ate pretty well, but I really need to step it up for the rest of the week and eat REALLY well and train REALLY hard. I have 8 weeks until I go on a holiday and I really want to drop some weight for then. Going to require a couple of good cardio sessions on top of these weight sessions.

    I’ll report back tomorrow after my workout tonight.

    Sooooooo not looking forward to the 4 x 15 on chins
    Last edited by Joe Black; 03-17-2009 at 03:02 AM.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Daniel, you gotta take your numbers seriously. If you can't remember what you did, keep a paper journal at the gym and then transfer that online. Letting everyone know you did a workout is great, but without numbers it doesn't serve you much purpose.

    PS - I give this journal 6 weeks.
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  8. #7
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Great to see you here Anthony and I hear ya on the numbers.... I'll make sure I take note of the numbers and record them here too.

    I'm gonna make you eat your hat
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  9. #8
    Push powerlifting heathj's Avatar
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    haha awesome. keep it up and stay consistent!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Good luck dropping the weight. Where are you vacationing?
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

  11. #10
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Jorge, I am going to Cyprus for a friends wedding. There will be about 20 of us altogether going for a week! Gonna be awesome.

    Ok, so I took Anthony's comments on board and recorded my numbers last night. I felt stronger and made good progress from last Tuesday. Bear in mind that last Tuesday though was the first time on this program so some of the stuff was a little lighter than it should have been to test what weight I should be doing for the reps.

    Still though, I did more volume and weight on most stuff and was working hard for the full hour.

    From speaking to my trainer, this is tier training. He has 4 week blocks planned where you go up in weight, then volume (with the new weight) then drop off and then up the weight overall ending up with more volume and weight than 4 weeks ago. The good thing about this is it is really hitting me on the cardio side of things, I feel shattered throughout and after the training. Rests are short between each set - I think 1:30.

    Romanian Deadlift - 5 x 6, 1 x 5 @ 80kg (last week it was 5 x 6 @65k)

    This should have been 6 x 6, but on the last set my grip was proving difficult so I did 3 reps, racked it and then did another 2.

    Front Squat - 5 x 12 @ 60kg (good progress because last week I only did 4 sets and had to drop it to 55k on the last one)

    One arm dumbell row - 4 x 12 @ 20kg dumbells (upped the weight and did an extra set)

    Dumbell Step up - 3 x 6 (6 on each leg, so 12 in total) @ 15kg dumbells (upped the weight and did more sets)

    This is where you hold 2 dumbells to your sides and step up onto a box, trying to get the step up from the hamstrings.

    Single Leg Squat on a box - 2 x 12 (bodyweight)
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  12. #11
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Had an awesome workout yesterday.

    I was a bit worried before I started working out because my lower back was hurting a bit. Pretty sure it was from the Romanian deadlifts and front squats on Tuesday. My lower back can tend to flare up when I push myself hard on things like squats and dead lifts which is annoying so I am just being really careful of form and making sure I don’t go too deep as that’s when I get the problems (hips being tight and lower back coming into play)

    I asked my trainer if it was sensible to have those two together considering my back and he just told me to man up and get on with it. lol

    This session is different from last weeks in that I am doing one more set for each workout , heavier weight and on a few exercises a couple less reps. Overall though when you consider the weight and reps, decent progression each workout.

    Anyway……….

    Back squat: 6 x 12 @ 75kg

    Chin ups (supinated grip): 5 x 12 (2@blue band and 3 @ 2 x green bands)

    Push Press with dumbbells: 4 x 6 (3@22.5kg dumbbells and @ 1 @ 20Kg dumbbells)

    Single leg squats on box: 3 x 12 (bodyweight)

    Dips 2 x 12 (2 x red bands for support)

    Overall that’s great progression and I worked flat out for an hour and it really got me blowing hard.

    Last week was a bit of a tester week to see what weight felt comfortable so I probably expected to lift more, but even on some lifts that were hard this week, doing more weight and more sets felt fine.

    The thing I am loving about these workouts is I can feel myself progressing strength wise and it is also doing me the world of good cardiovascular wise. My sessions are getting easier to get through and last weekend I ran 4 miles and normally I would have been ready to keel over after 2 miles, but 4 miles felt hard, but comfortable.

    Lastly. I am going to start getting serious about diet next week… I planned out something simple. I’m not going to fuss twoo much about calories, but it is roughly 2500 cals about 40/30/30 – fat, protein carbs. I just tried to keep it as simple and non processed as possible. See what you think:

    Meal 1 - Breakfast - 7:30am

    Scrambled Eggs or Omelette

    - 3-4 Eggs
    - Mushrooms
    - some nuts
    - Peppers

    Mixed berries
    Multi-vitamin
    1g vitamin c

    Meal 2 - snack - 11:00am

    Protein shake (2 scoops of Nitrean)
    Banana
    Cashews (50g) and cranberries (25g) mix
    3g fish oil capsules

    Meal 3 - Lunch - 1:00pm

    Salmon, chicken, turkey or beef
    100g rice
    Broccoli & Spinach
    Side Salad with oil

    Note: if having chicken, supplement with nuts and fish oil caps


    Meal 4 - snack - 4:00pm

    Melon pieces
    Cashews (50g) and cranberries (25g) mix
    3g fish oil capsules
    1g vitamin c

    Meal 5 - 7:00pm


    Something light – lean meat and veg

    After training will be 2 scoops of Nitrean and some fruit or a carb drink.
    Last edited by Joe Black; 03-20-2009 at 04:23 AM.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Daft Sod,

    Diet looks spot on in terms of food choices. Keep an eye on performance to make sure calories aren't too low.

    If your coach is watching your DL form and it looks good, I would say the sore low back is just a sign of your weak link. Once you get stronger it will stop giving you grief.
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  14. #13
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Yeah he is watching it and has adjusted it to ensure I don't go too deep as that's where the problem kicks in. Hopefully it will get better as I get stronger and he is always giving me grief to foam roll and sit on a hockey ball!

    By the way, nice diet docs on your site, that's what I used to base the diet on.

    The odd thing I found with crossfit recommendations is it is damn hard to get carbs and they reckon it should be about 30% of diet.

    Looking forward to the workout tonight, particularly the turkish get ups!
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  15. #14
    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
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    Our fearless leader! good luck
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    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=119765

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  16. #15
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Above all else be consistent. You don't have to have a specific body or strength goal. Your goal can be to be consistent. My wife will have these periods where she will find excuses to take a few days off which turns into weeks and then it's a month. Her goal now is to weight train twice a week, HIT cardio once a week, and to eat cleaner. If she gets a third weight training day in or extra cardio that's great, but we have set the goals to be attainable so she can be consistent. Wouldn't you know it, she's dropped 6 lbs in a few weeks and her abs are coming out.

    Keep it up Daniel. Make everyone eat their words.


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  17. #16
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Awesome advice Vince.

    I totally agree. I always used to have these carefully planned out goals. goals for my weight, lifts, physique, all broken down by 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months etc.

    Earlier this month I just said you know what? If I just make my only goals train HARD 3 times a week, eat clean Mon-Fri and swap the car for the bike a few times a week, the rest will take care of itself. I can't NOT get leaner, fitter and stronger.

    I had a great session yesterday also, I will update with some numbers later

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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  18. #17
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Friday's update as promised.

    I was really happy with my progress on Friday. Same deal as every session this week - more volume and more weight and my endurance also seems to be improving in the fact that my strength doesn’t drop so quickly after the first set and I am puffing less

    Here we go with the numbers.

    Flat Barbell Bench Press – 6 x 12

    2@50k
    1@47.5k (8+2 forced reps)
    3@40k

    Squat thruster (back squat into military press) 5 x 6 @30K

    Glute Ham Raise - 4 x 12 (bodyweight)

    Dumbell Bicep Curl - 3 x 12

    2@12.5k dumbbells
    1 @ 10k dumbbells

    Turkish Get up - 2 reps each side with 30K dumbbells

    The numbers on the whole are still pretty low, but form is excellent and I am positive I can drive these up significantly over the next couple of months.

    Overall a pretty good week. I hit the gym 3 times and trained 110%. Diet was here or there, but not dreadful. But, I did plan out a quality diet, bought all my food yesterday and am going to make up 3 days worth of food this evening so next week is going to be a really big test to see if I can stick to it and not get sidetracked. Determined to smash it though.

    Cheers for everyones comments so far!
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  19. #18
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    Squat thruster (back squat into military press) 5 x 6 @30K
    Sounds epic
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  20. #19
    Push powerlifting heathj's Avatar
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    behind the neck oh press puts a lot of strain on your elbow and shoulder. I always personally liked front squat + press instead, or using dumbbells.

  21. #20
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Yeah I do dumbell push press already.

    We did want to do front squat but I found it hard to get under the bar enough to get the grip so I could then press it afterwards. I'll work on that flexibility though because I would much prefer to do front squat with it.
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  22. #21
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Normally my mornings are such a rush. Up early, check emails and the forums, do a few small jobs, shower and I am out of the door with no breakfast. So, it actually felt good to get up a little earlier this morning, cook a good, healthy breakfast and take 20 mins out to eat it and take my time with it.

    scrambled eggs, pine nuts, mushrooms, peppers and some blackberries/raspberries... hmmmmmm....

    one down, 4 to go
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  23. #22
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Nice breakfast - where did you find that?? Are pine nuts expensive in Ireland?

    I definitely agree with Vinnie - consistency is more important than anything else. You are a consistent slacker - just learn to put that energy into the gym and you'll be the next Arnold.

    5 weeks left?

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  24. #23
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Thanks for the motivational words Anthony

    Ok, so things are still going well.

    Training = excellent.

    Diet = still a bit here or there although better than it has been for ages. I am going to start writing down my diet each day and psoting it on a Friday so there is more accountability there. Still finding it hard to get things eaten at the right times.

    Yesterday’s session felt tough and I didn’t feel on form, but I managed to get through it anyway. I have mixed feelings on it. I progressed nicely so I should be pleased, but it felt tough and I had to pause in some sets to grind it out.

    Romanian Deadlift – 6 x 6

    I didn’t manage to complete all 6 sets of 6 reps which really pissed me off. I struggled with my grip on Romanian deadlift so I had to rack it mid set on some of the latter ones. The weight felt fine, it was just my grip and I was using straps!

    Here is what I managed: (all with 90k)

    2 x 6
    2 x 6 (4, pause, then 2)
    1 x 5 (3, pause, then 2)
    1 x 2

    I need to really work on improving my grip, any tips?

    Front Squat – 5 x 10

    2 x 10 @70k
    1 x 10 @67.5k
    1 x 10 (6, pause, then 4) @65k
    1 x 10 (7, pause, then 3) @62.5k

    Single dumbbell one arm rows – 4 x 10

    2 x 10 @22.5k dumbbells
    2 x 10 @20k dumbbells

    One leg step up onto a box – 3 x 6 (on each leg)

    3 x 6 on each leg with 15k dumbbells

    Single leg squat on a box – 2 x 10 (on each leg with bodyweight)
    Last edited by Joe Black; 03-25-2009 at 04:26 AM.
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    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

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  25. #24
    Senior Member tomv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,825
    G'day Dan,
    Keep up the good progress mate, we all have ****ty off days as I'm sure you know. Could you try mixed grip with the RDL? Or would that put your back at a slight rotation? I don't have much experience with the lift. Also chalk if it's a case of sweaty hands. Can buy it from any rockclimbing gym cheap as chips.
    Also for a good healthy recipe that you can divvy up and take with you to work:
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...84#post2112084
    I swear by it.
    Last edited by tomv; 03-25-2009 at 05:11 PM.
    My Journal

    Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

  26. #25
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Yeah I am try chalk.

    Not many updates last week as I didn't train after Tuesday. Wednesday night I was really poorly - I was up for most of the night throwing up, it was the worst I had EVER felt! It really knocked it out of me and on the THursday I literally ate one piece of toast and drank 5 pints of water.. nothing like throwing up and eating 80 calories in a day to get the weight down huh?

    Anyway... back on it today and aiming for a good week of eating and training.
    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_black.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

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