7 Lessons: Geek to Freak progress and results
As I have followed my nose through 7 weeks of Occam’s Protocol workouts, and now around 5 weeks of Geek to Freak (G2F) workouts, I find myself a little more aware of the little things about these workouts that lead to sub-optimal performance.
One example of this is mis-timing my workout so that I’m finishing it right when I am due for a meal. Mistake. Back it up by an hour and you’re in the golden energy zone between meals. Is this something that could be holding your workouts and muscle gains back?
What else could be affecting your results?
- Firstly, as I do more weeks of workouts, I continually need to challenge my thinking of how I am adding weights to my lifts. It seems to be a habit to slow down, in terms of my actually adding the weights, compared with how keen I was to add extra a couple of months ago. Seems strange, but being aware of it means I am constantly pushing the envelope, no matter what the perceived pain level might be (generally much less than I expect).
- Next, I do find sometimes that I mentally talk myself out of achieving a really top performance – I have noticed that recently, as I haven’t had a spotter as often, I’m not pushing to that extreme level of exertion, which of course, means muscles aren’t getting challenged as much. If you can, always use a spotter who is comfortable pushing you to ‘do just one more rep’.
- Using a metronome of any kind definitely helps the quality of the workout. Read my short post on working out better for less than $7, and see some great comments on free alternatives for smart phone owners.
- Rest can do wonders, and don’t underestimate sleep. I had a couple of weeks where my sleep was around 6 hours – 7 hours a night, and started feeling an old feel I used to get when overtraining. I’m focussed now on 7-8 hours, and things are much better.
- Another very important lesson I’ve learned is about eating. I have now pushed past any of my old worries I had about eating so much (and I’m very grateful for this, as I had no idea what it was like to eat 3500 calories), but I find that I still naturally gravitate back towards eating ‘just enough’. This is thanks, in part, to good training while on slow carb, however for muscle gain, it doesn’t make the most of the hard work at the gym. Keeping up with heavy eating can be difficult, as you have times where you just don’t feel like eating anything more.. for perhaps half a day.
- Taking a 50% calorie day once a week is more difficult mentally than it is physically. The idea of it scares me, but the reality of it, especially when it’s going from 3200 to 1600 calories, isn’t really a huge issue at all. I can still work, enjoy the day, and perhaps only feel a touch of hunger a couple of times, mainly due to my expanded stomach I expect.
- Any interruption to the workout and food routine can lead to losses. I was on vacation for a week, and dropped multiple lbs. I attribute this to my avoiding starches and not having a lot of meals with beans, but replacing some energy with protein bars – obviously not enough calories. After this, for the first time, I started feeling like I wasn’t recovering properly from a workout. Lesson: carbs are good when they are related to workouts.
So what about results?
Technically, my Geek to Freak (G2F) workouts really only covered a 4.5 week period, as I extended rest periods to 6 days after the first 2 weeks. This was due to aching like I never have before. It truly is a full body workout.
Over that period, I did not gain as much as expected – around 4 lbs with no perceivable fat gain. My strength went up, however I felt a drain through the workout, as I struggled to consume enough food to have the energy required to sustain the whole workout.
My overall lesson: Geek to Freak is an excellent workout prescription for experienced lifters, and those who recover moderately quickly. I find my recovery to be a little slower than some people, and for that reason I was only hitting the gym once a week, to allow proper recovery. I wasn’t satisfied with this, so I have decided to take a different approach, which I will discuss in an upcoming article.
Have you worked with the Geek to Freak workouts? What’s your favorite? Occam’s Protocol? Geek to Freak? Something else?? Let me know in the comments below!
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