Changing my life – Part 2: The diet, training and mindset

I´ve been through experiments like “Low carb” diet, a “cutting phase” and other stuff to burn off fat. But most of it interfered with my strength building.

I wanted two things – Get strong and get lean. Doing both at the same time is a bitch, I tell you that much. If you only want to get lean you can get amazing results in 2 months already. Same goes for if you want to get strong. But doing both things at the same time? Very difficult. Because to get lean you need to bring yourself into a caloric deficit which most of the time impacts your strength level negatively since your body is lacking fuel. The same applies for getting really strong because you need to eat a lot of food. All the time. Literally. There is a reason why world class strong men don´t look like bodybuilders. It only started to progress when I found the right balance between eating and exercising, especially implementing core tabata training to target the torso area where most fat is stored.

 

As I wrote in part 1 I cut all processed food, sugars and so on from my food table, avoiding unhealthy choices like the devil. I did so for a pretty long time. While I still pre cook 9 out of 10 meals to this day I do eat sweets and also fast food again. I eat hamburgers, my beloved Ben & Jerry´s ice cream, salt sticks and so on. But make no mistake: My training intensity is higher than it ever was. I train five days a week for around 2 hours per session and I target everything. I do compound movements, olympic lifts, core training as well as bodyweight and isolation exercises. I´ve reached a point where my body burns off so many calories that, in order to continue to make gains, I need to eat lots of food, most of it of course healthy. But throwing in a tub of ice cream here and there for example helps me to keep my calories high and boosts my mental well being which also is very important and often neglected. If you work hard, treat yourself every now and then but don´t overdo it.

It is always important to keep your eye on the next finish line. I have many of those since I do not have “the goal”. Because it may take many years to reach it and one will lose focus quickly. I made the experience that if I set short or middle term goals I get to see success on a regular basis and that gives me a motivation boost, to strive for more.

Talking about motivation – It´s a nice thing to have and it helps with progress and short time boosts. But for me personally motivation means only very little in the big picture. It will not help me getting up at 6 AM. Motivation will not help me to say “no” to that cake. Screw motivation for that matter. Only iron hard discipline will do so. Force yourself to be uncomfortable. Over and over again. For me discipline is the most important thing. It pushes me through every set, every rep, no matter how much you hate it. Because try to “motivate” yourself when that bar is so heavy you think it´ll crush you into the ground. You want to skip that last rep because you feel like you´re about to puke. Where is the motivation now? That is where discipline kicks in and pushes you through.

It forges mental strength.

A typical training day like yesterday would look like this and take me 2 hours to complete. I keep rest breaks between set relatively short, around 1:30.

  • Bench Press 5 sets for 5 reps
  • Squats 5 sets for 5 reps
  • Overhead Press 2 sets for 5 reps
  • Bar High pull 3 sets for 5 reps
  • Snatches 5 sets for 3 reps
  • Pullups 4 sets for 8 reps

 

That´s it  for the moment. I´ll continue to write about my journey because I am FAR from being finished. I have much more planned and a long way ahead of me.

Catch ya later,

Stefan


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