Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Friday, 21 October 2016

3 Years Of Training To Get Stronger

You'd think that 3 year of training in a gym would make me look bigger or something, right Honestly, my training has been on/ off this year and I've been skipping sessions or a week here and then because I've been taking it easy on myself and enjoying my life more than pursuing something that I have forever to achieve.
And the thing is that this year, I've actually "come to terms" with how things are with my body and Crohns and what I can achieve and how different my body is compared to everyone else. It hasn't put me off training, but I have achieved some peace and understanding that I can still look and feel great with the muscles I have when I tense in the mirror compared to 2011 when I was skin and bones before joining the Pavilions in 2014.
Here I'm gonna lay out what I've been doing, thinking and thanking my friends for helping me get where I am now!
(Warning: This post contains narcissistic posing!)
How I'm Feeling About All Of This
Thank to the C U Next Tuesday disease known as Crohn's, I've been struggling for years (7 so far) of gaining control of my weight, metabolism and even possible trying to still grow a little taller. But it's more affecting my confidence and self-esteem when it comes to working out or jogging because even after a good session of trying my hardest, I inevitably end up paying the price in the bathroom. So a lot of the time, I ask myself why I'm pursuing this goal when clearly my inners fight back? What's the point of trying to look more definition or curvy with muscles if you can't even gain carbs or maintain protein which are essential for muscle's to grow and toughen up?
Well, I still don't know that answer. I think deep down I am actually trying to mentally fight back against this life-long disease along with my Aspergers and to not let it rule/ limit me to what I can do with my body. I always smirk when I pose and tense up in the mirror and see what progress I have made to this date but it's a real shame that it doesn't inflate with all the hardwork I try to put in. I may not over eat (like my muscle heroes such as Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds since their nutrition and muscle workouts are far more severe than what I'm doing). But I do have a small 10 or maybe even 30% more muscle than I did when I was 18, ya know!

Current Routine
I've been on this routine over the 3 years since joining Pavilions In The Park. I've enjoyed it and always felt like I've tried my best every time I come in to train. I mentioned it during my 1st Year post, but I've sorta upped the weight since then but it doesn't feel like I've upped it enough.
Monday/ Tuesday
Chest, Triceps & Shoulders
Decline Push Ups - 30 reps (warmup) then stretches
Dumbbell Press - 26kgs - 8 reps, 5 reps
Dumbbell Flyes - 16kgs - 10 reps, 10 reps
Tricep Extension - 20kg - 10 reps, 10 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 14kgs - 8 reps, 6 reps
Skullcrushers - 25kg Bar - 10 reps, 10 reps
Dumbbell Alternating Front and Side Raises - 6kgs - 10 reps, 10 reps then stretches

Bar Squat - 17.5kg - 12 reps, 12 reps (warmup) then stretches
Leg Press - 100kg, 110kg, 120kg - 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
Dumbbell Calf Raises - 24kgs - 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
Hanging Leg Raises - 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
Deadlift - 65kg - 10reps, 10 reps, 10 reps then stretches

Thursday/ Friday
Back, Biceps and Abs
Press Ups - 50reps (warmup) then stretches
Vertical Traction - 70kg - 10 reps, 10 reps
Seated Row - 60kg - 8 reps, 8 reps
Bicep Curl - 12kgs - 8 reps, 6 reps
Bicep Curl Bar - 30kg - 8 reps, 8 reps
Hammer Curl - 12kgs - 8 reps, 8 reps
Crunches - 25 reps, 25 reps
Leg Raises - 30 reps, 30 reps
Alex (one of my friends since Forest) taught me a month ago about a unique set he does for Abs - Crunches, Russian Twists, V-Sits and Leg Raises (10 reps of all). Definitely gonna add that into my new Abs workout!
Back Extension - 10 reps (3seconds hold), 10 reps (3seconds hold) then stretches

So this has been my program over this year and what I'm up to now compared to the slight improvement to my first year of training at Pavilions In The Park.

Why I Can't Up The Weight/ Food Intake
Training To Go
Super Saiyan
I always try here and then after 2 months to try and add that extra 2kg or 5 kg to weights to see if I can progress further. But when I do I either struggle to maintain perfect control with the technique (which is the most important rule when working out) but also the rest of my workout lags in doing what I usually do and it annoys me excruciatingly.

So I've been on the same weights over the year and gone up or down by 2kg or 5kg if I have been ill for a week or managed to up the weight but then realise when the instructors spot me that I'm actually doing it slightly incorrect and that it's better to go back to what I was doing previously.

I've been told many times by the instructors that it's actually nutrition and dietary which affects a huge % of your muscle and body improvement. But thanks to the disease I suffer with, it's quite impossible and difficult to adjust my bigger food intake to help beef up my body and fill in the torn muscles with Protein and Carbs after a session.
I know the guys have like a Chicken Drumstick and Rice once or twice a day when they train and I know people back at my previous work who would eat Pasta every 2 hours on the days that they trained. They said that they had to eat a lot to gain more body mass so that it could soon be turned into muscle. Right now, I'm skinny as fck and it's logically impossible to blow up my muscles if I lack the fat or thicker body fat to help transform into muscle.
So right now, I'm stuck at knowing how to improve or how to even adjust to a more necessary diet when I eat all the right stuff everyday including fruit and vegetables with a home cooked meal every night. I've been eating ProMax Protin Bars here and then after my sessions when I pick up a few packets at the Petrol Station when I can. I'm tempted to buy a box off Amazon soon since they are 21g of Protein and 206 Calories a bar. I used to be on Protein Shakes when I was back in college but after 3 months of trying them out (I'd be in the toilet after an hour of drinking one) so I gave up on em back then. Maybe I could try again now or look for Dairy Free Protein Shakes since Crohns is affected by dairy in most cases. I'll give them a go soon and let you know if it makes a difference.
Plus Adrienne did mention on Wednesday about eating Peanuts from Holland & Barrett during the day to fill up cravings with Protein instead of Sugar. Think that's a good start.

Seeing Everyone Getting Bigger Than Me
It's really disheartening and crushing to see people over the months get stronger or look it more than me when I'm giving it my all every time I come in. Their may be a difference in their food intake and constancy of training but still, I look the damn same through my eyes even if others can see it when I can't. Even if they are being kind or can actually see the difference, it's annoying that I can't always agree or feel that way too.
I'm not comparing it to the psychological problems of people who can never see themselves as okay with their body weight if they have Anorexia or Bulimia or something. But I really have been trying to be proud of myself with what I have achieved and managed to retain even if it's not big, least I have definition and muscle curves all over my body like an athlete's definition just smaller in size.

Listening To My Music To Isolate Myself
I've always used my headphones to shut the world out as I focus on my session and use my iPhone timer to count down from 2 minutes in-between everything I do. I use the music to take away the pressure of looking around or feeling like others are looking at me too. My music taste is probably the complete opposite to what many listen to in their workouts. I'm used to listening to more of this, or this or even this when I'm in a serious mood or got stuff on my mind. But it's not all bad since I find the Metalcore and Rock shields me and makes me feel coated in a protective layer that makes the music focus and headband (lip sync too which makes me look crazy) ha. And I don't feel vulnerable to everyone else who are probably just minding their own business.
But I do listen to all kinds including Alternative, Electronic, Pop, Drum n' Bass, PunkDance, House, Remixes (shame I can only listen to some via YouTube), Film Soundtracks and Uplifting tracks with inspiring lyrics like this one (3:00).
But I do take them out if people come to say Hi like Libby or any of the instructors and we talk about our days and what we're doing today. Everyone is great and I'm lucky that people care or encourage me to never give up and to always do this for myself and to enjoy doing it instead of hoping for results.

Talking To Kyle
Last week I stepped out of my normal routines and asked Kyle for some advice on trying out something completely new. He agreed with please because he'd noticed that I'd haven't been happy recently and my body has adjusted to the workout and it's not much of a challenge anymore.
So he arranged to do a session with me on Monday 10th October and showed talked to me about Supersets (where you do similar or opposite muscle group exercises one after the other) and seeing how I do techniques like Body Squats and Deadlift.
(I'll try and upload the videos in time as they are being difficult right now) but the difference is that I hold my arms up high straight ahead and widen my knees out more to squeeze my gluteus better for Squats now. And for Deadlift, I hold the bar closer to my legs instead of forward a little as I was shaking and getting back aches back then, now I feel much better.

So he recorded me on how I usually do these two techniques and then recorded me after having shown me how to properly perform them for a much better result and tense feeling.
It felt good after that 1 Hour session of showing me how to do those two things a lot better. And he introduced me and explained on ideas for doing Supersets. He strongly recommended doing Push on Mondays, Legs on Wednesdays and Pull on Fridays (basically everything I was doing already only I'll workout a little harder, try out some new exercises and do 5 sets of 5 reps for the time being.

Kyle's New Program For Me
So last week on Wednesday 12th September, I tried out Leg day and thought up the idea to do:
Treadmill - 8.5 Incline and 5.5 Speed for 5 mins (warmup) and stretches
- Leg Press - 100kg - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Air Squats - 5 sets of 5 reps
- Leg Extension - 25kg - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Lunges - 5 sets of 5 reps
- Dumbbell Calf Raises - 14kgs - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Step Ups - 5 sets of 5 reps
I've yet to try out different exercises over the coming sessions from the list he gave me.
Thank you Sarah for helping me.

Then on Wednesday 19th September (I was anxious and stressed out from the change and planning that I had no confidence to try things out so soon) but I got their eventually.
So I tried a Push day of doing exercises when I was pushing out muscles:
Decline Push Ups - 20 reps (warmup) and stretches
- Dumbbell Bench Press - 20kgs - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Push Ups - 5 sets of 10 reps (gonna be 5 next time)
- Tricep Extension - 15kg - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Skullcrushers - 20kg Bar - 5 sets of 5 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 12kgs - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Dips - 5 sets of 5 reps
I've yet to try out different exercises over the coming sessions from the list he gave me.

As for today, I did a Pull day and tied out exercises where you have to pull machines and stretch muscles:
Straight Pull Ups - 10 reps, 8 reps (warmup) and stretches
- Vertical Traction - 65kg - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Back Extension - 5 sets of 5 reps (hold for 3 secs)
- Dumbbell Bicep Curl - 10kgs - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Barbell Bicep Curl - 25kg (20kg on last 2 sets) - 5 sets of 5 reps
- Seated Row - 65kg - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Hammer Curl - 10kgs - 5 sets of 5 reps
- Crunches - 5 sets of 5 reps - then - Leg Raises - 5 sets of 5 reps
I've yet to try out different exercises over the coming sessions from the list he gave me.
And it feels great right now having complete my first attempt at all three new workouts and I've yet to YouTube many of the new exercises so I can mix the sessions up and and attempt them in random orders too.
Thank you Mark G for helping me plan out my routine today!

CrossFit Idea
He also mentioned on how I should consider going into CrossFit (video explains it all). It's like training your body intensely to become strong and agile to help you live your life and future. I've always wanted to try and do The Snatch (you might of seen people do this in your gym too). It looks impressive and something new and intimidating to attempt sometime possibly.
I have had a few comments and everyone who mentions Crossfit sometimes get a reaction as to when Harry said Lord Voldemort's name without hesitation. People say it's because they don't like the idea of not training where weight isn't the primary target to focus or up in. Plus it doesn't look important as working out to get strength or bulk. I have no idea if I'll get round to this but it's an idea to look into if I can even attempt a Snatch successfully without the bar coming down on me.
But for now, I'm glad that I managed to bypass my stress and try out something completely new and out of my regular routines thanks to a friend's advice and encouragement.

How Far I Have Come
Me in 2011 in Greece
I was around 4 1/2 stone when my Crohns
broke out 2 years earlier
Deep down, I'm very proud of myself for having come this far. I have good muscles and I almost end up tensing religiously when I've had a shower and I can see all the definition all over my body and that's something that I earned and worked hard for.
I know that I have a different body to many who might have the rewards and progression easier than myself. But then again, if I'm trying to Live My Life by doing things that I set my mind to, then surely I can pull through in working out to remain fit and healthy and gain muscle slowly but surely, right?
I have been laying off and slacking this year as I have been either too busy with AsperJosh or trying to actually enjoy myself in the evenings after work instead of fretting over if it's worth going to the Gym as it's either busy or just a false hope on getting bigger. But I don't think I can ever fully give up on the Gym. It's helped me build strength, confidence and self-esteem over the years and I have become a better person thanks to it all.
And it's thanks to the gym that I have become strong and confident enough to do not just one but two Tough Mudders so far. It's awakened a confident temptation from within to try out tough challenges where you get dirty and test your body both mentally and physically with your friends!

In time, I will have reached my goals as I feel like I am already under 1/3 of the way their already! Plus if you think about it, once you've hit your target, you might end up trying to go further with detail and realistically you'll have to keep training to maintain the muscle mass/ definition. You can't just quit after reaching that spot because a while later you'll end up losing it like your bodies deflating. So in a way, it's a good reason to be happy with where I am now because I still have a long way to go and to enjoy the journey ahead instead of reaching it quickly and having to keep going forcibly.
I owe it all to Mark, Kyle, Sarah, Ami, Jordan, Cristian, RichardAdrienne, Helen, Tom and my friends Ricky, Libby, Katie, Alex and everybody else for always being their, keeping my hopes up and just being a friend in an environment which is a little uneasy but it helps when you have friends to talk to and be there for you. Let's see what's to come!

And on another positive note, AsperJosh has surpassed a milestone of a total record of 50k+! I can't FCKING BELIEVE IT! I'm so honoured and chuffed that it's reached this far and is still continuing to grow everyday thanks to you all for taking the time to support and read my thoughts and feelings!
Thank you... Thank you so much!

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