Sunday, April 22, 2018

The strength saga

The new routine:
4:55AM – I wake up (groggy) to the “Morning Flower” alarm tone. I set this up around mid-night, as I crawl into the other room, so that the alarm doesn’t wake up the kids.
5:25AM – Cycle 2k to the gym
5:35AM – 100 jumping jacks, 30 squats, 30 push ups, 10 pull ups, parallel bars and other looseners for warm up
5:45AM to 6:20AM – 6 exercises for specific muscle groups, 3 sets each (1st set to fatigue, 2nd about 8 reps, 3rd about 4 counts or so).
6:30AM – My Cinderella hour comes to an end. Time to put on the baby-sitting hat, just enough time to squeeze in some bridges, toe-touches and crunches.

My last detox experiment, Panchakarma virechana, left me quite emaciated and reached never before lows on the weighing scale. I gave in to the “oh, you look weak” rants from family and decided to put on some weight. I was done with running for a few months, and decided to hit the gym to gain some muscle.

I scouted around for a local gym. I checked “A Hip Gym” out – the ones that send out flyers with models with ripped abs and other assets; Air-conditioned, biometric access, fancy equipment and costing an arm and my bony leg. My mom suggested a gym that her student (from primary school tuition days) had started. NAK’s gym was perfect – high asbestos roof, with plenty of windows for light and ventilation, enough dumbbells, barbells, a multi-gym, squats & leg press stands, etc. A place where you leave your footwear outside, make a silent prayer as you enter and sweat it out. My kinda place.

Kumar, the instructor, immediately noticed my muscle (or the lack of it), he immediately set me a target of gaining 2kgs per week, with a calorie surplus diet, loaded with as much protein as my eggetarian diet would permit.

I took to it like duck to water, the next 12 weeks, I hardly missed a workout. I followed a 4 day cycle:
Day1 – Chest + Biceps
Day2 – Upper Back / lats + Forearms
Day3 – Shoulders + Triceps
Day4 – Thighs + dead lifts

In six weeks I was up nearly 5% of my body weight, my biceps had put on nearly 1 inch. I was up to 4 eggs/ day, sprouts, spirulina powder, nuts and general binging on reasonably good food (not to mention the protein-farts that came with it).

In the next six weeks, I continued to add protein, 6 eggs a day, and was still on the getting-big trajectory. I pumped 50kgs on the bench press, squatted 40kgs, leg pressed a 100, and dead lifted about 130kgs towards the end of this 12 weeks journey.

10 Jan
16 Feb
30 Mar
Weight (kgs)
Chest (in)
Waist (in)
Biceps (Left-Right) (in)
Forearm (Left-Right) (in)
Thigh (Left-Right) (in)

Muscle memory is an amazing thing, my strength training routines came back to me instantly, wiping out the 13yrs since I had stopped gymming. It was pleasantly surprised to see how the body responded to a completely different load & regimen, the testosterone were at new highs.
(don't miss the insert in the picture from 2005)

While I was on my weight gain mode, my cousin S, attacked the curve from the other side. In 10 weeks, he burnt 10kgs, working out 2hrs a day, starting his workout with repeats of running a flight of 20 steps, up and down, 100 times. Yes, one hundred! He went on a 1400 cal/day diet with no room for junk.

For me, weight training seemed like an excuse to goad up my eating. As I write this, I am ramping up mileage, back to eating from the kitchen scale and letting the running-high take over…

But is strength training really going to help my running – only time will tell, research seems to think otherwise-
Come back to find out.
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! Cheers!


Praveen said...

Good to see your journey. Want to see your feedback on running after this. All the best and tnx for this your amazing story

Deepak mhasavade said...

Wow amazing ing transformation! I alwys knew as a runner, was not aware that once upon a time you were a 'macho man'. Now you are again gaining muscles. Is rhis for running specific goals? Best wishes