Friday, January 14, 2011

TheBlackoutBlog Workout Log (your guide to personal fitness in 2011): How I Did It

So you wanna know how I did it? What did I do when I actually went to the gym? Well, I’ll tell you, but just be warned that different bodies have different metabolisms and responses to working out, so I can’t guarantee similar results for anyone. This is meant to be testimonial: one perspective of many for you to consider in your workout research (please, please, please, don’t ever take any one blogger’s opinion as universal fact before you verify with other sources… that goes for everything).

I knew I wanted to bulk up my whole body. I knew I didn’t want to spend all night in the gym. I knew I hated cardio and that I really didn’t need to slim down. And I knew that I didn’t want to go to the gym on the weekends. So I structured a realistic workout around those parameters.

The ideal workout that I came up with involved alternating between muscle groups so that I could hit each group twice a week and still have a weeknight free from the gym. I did heavy lifting to address the bulking up, but I started out with a rather elaborate warm-up. You may find that you don’t need to do as much warming up as I did (which you'll soon see), but warmed up and stretched muscles are less susceptible to injury.

Here’s an email from the fall after, explaining my plan to a fellow blogger:

I was working out 4 days a week, 2 days upper body, 2 days abs and lower body. I did a 10-minute warmup on the elliptical, a circuit workout (i.e., one set of each exercise with no rest between) doing 1 warm up set at a low weight with about 15 reps and 2 sets with heavy weights with 6-8 reps. I probably did about 7 or 8 different exercises.

This website is a great resource for finding exercises to work your target areas:

My gym is right by my office, so it was pretty easy to keep on myself about working out. My main problem was eating when I was hung over (I go out a lot). It typically took me about an hour and a half from when I walked into the gym to when I walked out (changing, shower, stretching, etc. included). If you have a hard time staying trim, you probably want to add some sort of cardio.

I got my results (ended up gaining about 8 or 9 lbs) in about 4 months. I did the same routine for about 5 months, but I plateaued (and probably should have changed it up after the first 2 or 3 months). But everybody's body is different. I had lost about 4 or 5 lbs when I had done that photo shoot.

And that’s what got me in the best shape of my life so far. As I stated I have a naturally slim frame and high metabolism (and I was 25!). It’s quite unlikely that you’d get similar results from an identical workout.

There’s no one workout that works for everyone. Define your goals and research what the experts (plural experts with sound research behind them) suggest for achieving them. Then formulate a realistic plan of attack that will keep you motivated and won’t let you make excuses.

Let me know if you found this series useful. Share your success stories in the comments… or your shortcomings… or let me know if you think I’m talking out of my ass!

Note: I am not a certified fitness/health professional. Just a gym rat who reads a lot.

Click here to check out TheBlackoutBlog Workout Log: Intro.
Click here to check out TheBlackoutBlog Workout Log: My Fitness Journey.
Click here to check out TheBlackoutBlog Workout Log: Food and Diet.
Click here to check out TheBlackoutBlog Workout Log: Making Your Workout WORK !


The Doc said...

A great post, BOB.
First, and I know you want to hear it, what you achieved is remarkable.
Second, I appreciate the advice.

I wish there was a magic routine, where everyone would achieve consistently. Sadly - the world doesn't work that way.

(that wasn't really a comment, but more of a lament to the universe)

The Blackout Blog said...

Doc, I certainly wasn't fishing for compliments, but if one happens to bite on my line...

And I'm actually rather glad there's not a magic routine for everyone. A) If everyone could easily be in shape, being in shape wouldn't be as attractive. B) Some of us like our guys a bit more rotund... guys with 6-packs are much less likely to show interest in me.

I'll take a handsome cub who can make me laugh and show interest without coming off (too) slutty over a guy with a perfect body who doesn't make me feel special.

And your comment/lament is definitely welcome.

PS, I should stop responding to comments after parties with an open bar.

Anonymous said...

I second that. Great post. Circuits and mixing rep/weights are a great. To be honest, I'm kinda shocked at your results - pretty ridic, though your prior post on food/diet may help explain. On that note, I'll keep running loops around Central Park if it means I can haz cheezburger once in a while.

- t. (aka Arm'n'Hammer)

The Blackout Blog said...

Thanks, Arm'n'! But my disclaimer is just like those diet pills: results not typical!