Friday, September 28, 2007

Day 324: Daily Physique Pictures - A Double Edged Sword?


Ooohhh man...another intense training session today!

Fat Loss Circuit Training Progressive Overload

I went all out on Fat Loss Circuit Training (FLCT) for Part 2 - from the Metabolic Surge training program I am following for M3: Phase 2 - which consisted of circuit sets for shoulders, triceps, quads and hamstrings.

What makes FLCT so intense is the fact that the 40 sec. "rest period" calls for HIIT cardio. So basically there is no rest period on FLCT, you go full-on for the duration doing a total of 22 weight training sets combined with 880 seconds of HIIT cardio!

The great news is that today I increased rep counts for shoulders (15 kg dumbbell press) and weight increments for quads (105 kg squats) from my previous FLCT workout.

Increased Cardio Capacity

I also noticed a dramatic increase in cardio capacity for my HIIT cardio "rest periods" doing skipping (I prefer skipping because it is a stationary exercise that doesn't tie up other cardio equipment in the gym).

After the first 10 sets of skipping I usually switch from "double jump" to "single step" skipping, however today I was able to maintain the more difficult "double jump" technique for the whole 22 sets!

My M3 Success Is Inevitable, Or Is It?

Clearly I am gaining strength and endurance as I progress through the final stages of Mission 3, as these numbers don't lie. As I have said many times previously I am now lifting, benching and squatting more than at any time in my life.

Now couple these gains with the "positive pressure" that real-time accountability forces upon me through uploading daily pictures onto this blog, and it is inevitable that I will reach my goal of a shredded six-pack by Day 365, or is it?

My M3 "Holding Pattern"

I gotta be honest, I sometimes feel that my daily pictures don't reflect the gains I am making. I actually have that feeling today, it looks as though I went backwards from yesterday as there is less sharpness in my abdominal region.

Truth be told, I have felt this way for a while now. I feel like I've been in a "holding pattern" for a large portion of Mission 3. I know I have made incremental gains, especially when I compare my Day 230 pictures to today.

However, since I got back from Australia on Day 281 I don't see much progress in my physique even though I have been training my butt off consistently during this time!

Why M1 Was Different

I think the problem I have is I keep comparing myself to the massive progress I made during Mission 1, where almost every day my body transformed in a forward manner. Looking back now, I am almost amazed at the progress I made during M1.

However, the big difference with M1 was the fact that I channeled my 6 years of pent-up anger, depression and frustration into those 12 weeks. As I spoke about 7 days ago in my Day 317: Pain Vs. Regret blog post, I took full responsibility for where I had found myself and understood that the "pain" I was about to unleash on myself was a necessary part of the process.

To be honest I don't feel that way anymore. I now wake up every day happy and content that I am finally living my dreams, and the fact that I have maintained a decent physique for 9 months now!

I Have Three Questions, What Do You Think?

Anyway, back to the title of today's blog post!

In light of my limited visual progress over last 2 months, is taking daily pictures a double edged sword?

Is it possible that you may lose confidence and self-esteem if your daily pictures aren't showing the progress that you feel you should be making?

Is it possible that this daily accountability strategy can backfire on you and cause you to quit?

My answer to these questions and the reason why I think so will be revealed tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences on your own daily/weekly/monthly progress picture strategy and how it has impacted your overall physique transformation progress.

Until tomorrow...

Eat Clean,
Shred Hard,
Think BIG!

Adam Waters, NESTA-CPT

P.S. Below are Day 324 pics for September 28, 2007: Mission 3 Phase 2 - Day 30 of 70


Andrew said...

Hey Adam,

I think daily accountability is great with regards to blogging but I think visually it can be very hard. I would say it is nearly impossible to ‘see’ body differences on a daily basis much like weighing yourself on a daily basis, there is not much difference. However that said you do need to ensure that your training is sending you in the right direction.

For my first 10 weeks I was having BF evaluations every 2 weeks. Having now completed this I know believe this is too long as if your training is not getting the results you want then it is a large period of time to go through without making adjustments.

For my next 10 weeks which has just started I am having weekly BF evaluations both via electronic means and by caliper. I hope then if I plateau in any way I can spot it quickly and adapt.

Also, I strongly believe that after a hard week training you are at your lowest on Fridays and this often leads to thoughts that things are not going to plan!!!

All the best, you can and will achieve your results with continued perseverance.

Have a great weekend,


Anonymous said...

At this point you may have unrealistic goals. Perhaps you need to either focus on caloric deficit (w/some cardio/weights) to reveal existing abdominal muscle or bulk up with weights and extra calories for building muscle. The reason "M1" showed more considerable progress was due in large part to the fact that you had less muscle and more fat at the beginning of the process. It is probably not realistic to expect a lot of further physique definition and fat loss at the same time.

Kristiina said...

I'm going to say how I have experienced it..

I think taking pictures can bring your mood down or lift it sky high. I have also taken a pic almost every day and by now I know how much my body can differ. It depends on how much I have drank, eaten, slept, worked, stressed.. If I know that I have been good and then don't see it on the pic.. it can drag the self esteem down. However, I think I have learned to cope with that and accept that there are the great days and then there are the good days. Because every day is better than how I lived before, even if the pic doesn't tell me that...

Anonymous said...

Is taking daily pictures a double edged sword?
It could be if you do not know enough about your body (see part of Kristiina's post).

Is it possible that you may lose confidence and self-esteem if your daily pictures aren't showing the progress that you feel you should be making?
It is possible if you let your self down. When I look at my pics and do not see much differece between day 16 and 18, I just get angry and go for an extra cardio in the evening(but I am at Mission 1 "loose fat")

Is it possible that this daily accountability strategy can backfire on you and cause you to quit?

Only if you fall in depression and you are a quitter !! Not your case (you are not allowed to quit!)If you do, I am going to find out where you live and drag you to the gym!!!Remember I am in Takarazuka, 30 min. from Osaka!!!LOL

Maybe you should take 2 or 3 weeks of rest...completely.
Eat a lot of proteins carbs, bulk up a little, gain 2 or 3 kg and transform it into muscles...I'v read this in various forums.

Everything is possible, if we make it happend...

Anonymous said...

I can see what you mean about how not "seeing" daily progress can make you feel abit low - esp after working your butt off at the gym, BUT, if you look at the differences over a week, or month or year, it is extraordinary! that is the beauty of taking pics everyday, the fact that over time you CAN "see" massive change, and that would keep me going i reckon!
you have made incredible progress so far, keep going! one day soon you will be looking like that 'visualisation' pic and that will be spectacular!! and you'll have a record of every day, every 'baby step' it took to get there. victory all the more sweet!
LTY Kel.

Jeff McBride said...

When I was in the best shape of my life, I had no idea what was happening to my body because I only appeared to be in slightly better shape, even after months of effort. Then, almost overnight, my body transformed. Some people were shocked. I remember standing in the mirror transfixed by the muscles I had always dreamed of. I believe the body crouches a long time in the grass before springing forth into the light and the bewildered herd.

The most important thing is getting in to the gym. If knowing a photo is coming gets you off your butt and in to the gym then it is clearly one of the keys to the kingdom. Your past consistency has shown that you are more than motivated, you are focused. That is a key. Once you are working out, you can bring great intensity into every movement because you know your body won't break. That kind of confidence is another key to the kingdom. When you are blazing through a harsh workout with that wild look in your eye and that crazed smile on your face, you realize that pushing a fit physique is thrilling. Amidst the pain, there is anticipation, effort, victory and relief, over and over again. We may not be keymasters yet, but It's a thrill ride and you know it, mate. And when it's over, you know you've done something special. You may as well be on the field with a rugby ball or sword in your hand gazing upon the carnage in your wake. You stand there with iron on the floor around you and see in the mirror exactly what you are. A warrior. The King of beasts.

Jeff McAdamfan

Min said...

Here's some questions you can ask yourself to determine your results: how's your diet coming along? have you maintained at least an 80% compliance level with it? have you maintained a diet that's been the same since mission 1? Why have you (not) changed your diet since then? Has your body adapted to this new regime you're putting it through? (not to sound condescending, but) Are you absolutely aware that nutrition is THE most important factor in revealing that six-pack? So, ask yourself these questions, see where you're steering off and find a way to get back on the road to success because we all know that you have the ability to attain this goal that so many others dream of. And, personally, I think daily pictures/blogging is a great tool to use. Instead of thinking in terms of motivation for these pix...think of them as you say "positive pressure" and as accountability factors - which is important for consistency. Keep at the hard work, you're doing great!

Adam Waters said...

Hi Guys, sorry for my late reply. When I posted this entry last night I anticipated a few comments but I am overwhelmed at the response!

You guys have put a lot of thought into your comments and I appreciate that. I also want to do justice to your thoughtful comments so I'm gonna need a little more time to reply as I had to work today (Saturday is usually my day off) and I've just gotten home from the gym, and now I need to get some rest.

I will be back tomorrow, I promise.

Thanks again,
Adam Waters

Anonymous said...

First off, I admire your dedication to even take daily pictures(Kristiina, too). I have yet to establish such a pattern. I can see how it can make you "perform" for your "audience." But at the same time it is still just you who makes the decision to get off your butt and get the work done. You can only answer to yourself what you have done today. Can you lose confidence? yes. but again only you can decide to "listen" to that part of you. all you have to do is look at your transformation and know that you have come a long way and have maintained your transformation. that too can be a great confidence booster. something i tell myself is "look at how far you have come. and i did it all myself" no one did it for me. do i have a ways to go? yes. eventhough i don't take pics daily, i know where i started, where i am at and where i want to be. Keep looking on to your final goal. you will get there. you just might have to change things up a bit.
sorry for the long post.

James said...

I haven't started the MS program level 1 yet, I finished the preparation and will start this week, but unfrotunately I will not take daily pictures of myself for some lame reasons, I don't live alone. Anyway from your day 295 to day 324 look at your right arm! It's clearly increase in volume, why don't you simply measure it? That way you'll see results, probably not on a daily basis, but on a weekly basis yes.