Well I've been training Mixed Martial Arts now for about 5 years and after winning my last two fights in under 1:30 and 1:00 (one being a title fight) I felt pretty ready to push on and compete with some higher level competition. Sadly I got diagnosed with anaemia and got some really bad problems with my ears, as a result I suffered with a lot of balance problems and energy problems... Being a natural competitor and exercise enthusiast I didn't want to just take the easy option and lay back being lazy saying what I could have and should have done.
I cut my training down to twice a week and decided that having been forced to diet and maintain weight in order to compete at bantamweight (62.5kg) I'd invest time into building my body back up. The doctors told me that my low iron is probably a result as restricting my caloric intake and abusing my body through excessive training.
So what is the plan?
Obviously eating more... I have NEVER eaten red meat... I'd say it has been about a year since I'd eaten a steak for example. I want to up my calories to about 2500 calories a week, but having such a small frame I need to ensure that I don't try matching a typical body-builder who is eating for mass. Although I want to 'bulk up' I only really want it to be lean mass. I'm about 70kg at the moment during my heaviest period, however I'd like to be about 75kg-78kg by the end of the year. I think that would be about the perfect size for my frame.
Lift lots and lift heavy... I have been on starting strength throughout the year, which I found good but thought the volume was a bit low and I have also tried WS4SB. Both helped me put on weight but I felt that WS4SB contradicted itself by doing both heavy and light weights and starting strength was far too easy to stall on. I found 5x5 and for me it looked like the perfect amount of volume for me to put on some decent mass whilst at the same time building my technique.
Which 5x5...? This was a struggle because there were tons of them. After some research I decided on Madcows because it prioritised Bench, Squat and gave some good Deadlift volume. All lifts that I really enjoy... in fact I enjoy Shoulder Press too but find it hard to do more than once a week, so another bonus
Barbell Row 5x5
Assistance: 2 sets of weighted hypers and 4 sets of weighted sit-ups
Military Press 4x5
Assistance: 3 sets of sit-ups and 3 sets of pull ups or lat pulls
Dips, Tricep Extension, Bicep Curl
Assistance: 3 sets of weighted dips, 3 sets of barbell curls and 3 sets of triceps extensions