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Bob’s Transformation – Week 6

Bob's Transformation

Week 6 Day 1 – Legs and Abs

 

I am now half way through the programme and I am seeing results but mostly in the gym on weight. I have had a low point over the weekend. It occurred to me that maybe I should have seen a bit more difference in my body. Although I can see differences in my muscles, my belly is frustrating me, although I am losing inches I think I am just being impatient. I can’t wait for the LISS training. I have grown fond of the low carb days using information from Sean’s blog about carb cycling. Only having high carb days on HIIT days, and intense days for legs etc. Employing the low carb days as ‘normal days’ as Sean suggested.

Perfect Bob, well done. Getting the carb cycling right will help that stubborn belly fat diminish if all else is well. 

On that, you have to be patient. Unfortunately we can’t “spot reduce” i.e. we can’t make the body lose fat from where we like. It goes in its order. Unfortunately the abs area is often the last, so wee need to keep training hard, the arms and chest might start to look good, but the belly still seems stubborn. Stick with it. It will come eventually. Just don’t give up!

Straight Leg Deadlifts, 6-10 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Squats 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

The Supersets are made a bit easier (not to failure) by using the 2 x 10 second Rest pause. Doing 3 Sets of 6-10. I have been breaking down the reps, completing the first set then on the 2nd set, reaching 5 and having the 10 seconds then doing another 3 reps then 10 secs, 2 then moving onto the next exercise or having the 60 second rest. Again using the least amount of rest to keep intensity up.

As long as it’s intense and making you and your muscles work its doing a job. If it’s achievable easily (like most peoples training when you look around the gym) there’s no intensity and the changes we want to spark won’t occur. it sounds like you are nailing it though!

Squats felt so much better as part of the supersets today. Due to the above. I was able to keep the same weight as when I was doing the normal sets. Which was great. The supersets still feel like a cardio session and although tough I am just not reaching failure. I’m not sure if this how it should be but as I said the 2 x 10 rest pause is making it so.

It should certainly get the heart pumping as the body is trying to supply oxygen to the muscles as you keep resting for short periods and going again. So yes, there’s some cardio there. You need to make sure it’s not just affecting the cardio side of your system though. The rest pauses should be becuase you can’t lift again; not for heart and lung reasons but for legs. If you are rest/pausing before the legs really need it (i.e. you could go again if necessary) I suggest the weights should be heavier.

I say it made the supersets easier but going from squats to straight leg deadlifts is tough. I was slightly worried as my lower back still had the pressure making bending and lifting uncomfortable and causing my quads to pull. My old injury playing up again. I did it from a slightly higher position to ease the pressure. It worked and it eased. Not a lot of progress has been made on this exercise I am sure I can up the weight eventually. Just ensuring I keep good form. Again using the same numbers for the rest pauses.

If the lower back is “hurting” then you need to sort this. The lower back should “feel” the exercise and be working, but it shouldn’t “hurt”. equally, I’m unsure why your quads would be “pulling” on straight leg deadlifts. Perhaps worth asking a fitness instructor at your gym to watch you and give you some pointers. The last thing we want is a new or your old injury to stop you at this midway point when you are doing so well.

Deadlifts 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Front Squats 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

After the first superset these deadlifts were a bit shaky, I gritted my teeth and got through. At least I know that after the first sets of 10 I have a 10 second rest, which although it is called a rest it adds intensity. Sweating by the time I reached the 3rd sets. I was happy to be able to lift heavy for the deadlifts.

Sounds good. And no mention of the lower back which if there was a problem would likely play up here. Well done Bob.

Front squats. I was able to up the weight by 5kg. This exercise still burns the quads whilst the weight sits heavy in my hands against my chest. I was happy to finish all the sets. Feeling a bit sick after! I enjoy the intensity especially for the big movements. I managed to finish the sets and the rest pauses.

This is superb. feeling sick and adding 5kg are music to my ears. It means it’s doing the trick. I’m glad you enjoy it, that’s a great sign; a good sense of accomplishment. Very proud here Bob, excellent.

Leg Extensions 20-25 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Leg Curls 20-25 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I broke these exercises up into different numbers due to the higher reps breaking it down into 10 10 5. I’m enjoying these now after the squats. I enjoy the burn and the improvement has been steady since I started these. I finished both exercises actually failing on the 23 on Leg Extensions. Leg Curls were finished fine. Now for the funny walk to the pulley machine.

Hahaha! Perfect. Intensity is high again by the sounds of it. Next week, not 10, 10, 5, but you have to do 13 without stopping. Always progressing! 

Weighted Ab Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Incline Reverse Crunch 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Using the same weight for the ab curls I felt like a relief to not be using my legs! Using proper breathing I managed to finish all 3 sets and the rest pauses.

Well done.

The benches were all busy again! So did the Reverse crunches on the floor again and to be honest I feel it more in the abs on the floor, than on the bench. Making it difficult to stand up after! I’ll ask Sean if I can do this every time.

Yes, you can. Everyone is different and it’s up to you to work out if something works better for you biomechanics. Carry on with your floor method.

Seated Olympic Bar Twists 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Olympic Bar Side bends 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I can feel the difference in this exercise. Just from fatigue though. The pulling against the momentum feels good. Like a stretch almost. I would like to feel something a bit more.

I’m happy for you to stop this exercise. It’s not for everyone and often requires sucking in the belly button prior to eahc rep to ensure the obliques are tensed.

Day 2 – Back and Biceps

 

Chin Ups 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Barbell Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Chin ups are a great way to start the session. I am still using the supporting weight but it is lower. I still don’t feel strong enough yet.

It will come, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Just keep lowering that supporting weight and squeezing the muscles used for each rep.

Straight onto barbell curls. Horrendous combination normally. But with the rest pause it is made a bit easier. I enjoy the barbell curl and the tempo is great this is the same weight as before but I will definitely be upping this next time.

Great to hear you are enjoying it. Good self progression wanting to up it next time. Well done Bob. Keep it up.

Straight Arm Pulldowns 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Inverted Row 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Straight arm pulldowns are good when you have found the right weight after the first superset these were obviously tougher. I finished these sets and rest pauses but both exercises are still cheeky. The inverted rows proved my theory of the rest pausing to be bull. I failed 2nd set at 8 and 3rd at 6!

The inverted row can catch up on you can’t they. As long as you are working to failure it’s perfect, so keep that up.

Pull Ups 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Wide grip lat pulldowns are horrible in this position. Why are they not first? I can defiantly feel the burn when doing this exercise. This and the pull ups are naughty. Failing pull ups at 8 on the 3rd set.

The two together are “naughty”, agreed. The idea, is that before the specific arm work this finished the back off for a bit. Good job on the pulls, just keep progressing, a little harder each week.

Hammer Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Incline Bicep Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Biceps. I love the pump I get from working biceps. The fact I cant take my t-shirt off for the shower after… not so much. These exercises are good together. It doesn’t involve me hogging too much gym space too. Hammer curls feel great. I managed all these reps.

Good work Bob, seems intense if ou’re getting a good pump and can’t get the shirt off. Keep it up!

Close Grip Pulldowns 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Reverse Grip Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I used a double handle last time round. I didn’t do that this time as it felt less like a row this time. I used the EZ bar for the reverse grip curls. No improvements this time. At this point I am not surprised. All sets completed.

As I said last time, fatigue has truly set in I suspect. Well done for getting through it.

Bicep Cable Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Bicep Rope Hammer Curls  6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Biceps were burning. I again used the curl bar for the pulley machine instead of the individual handle. I will use it next time though so I can concentrate on the bicep contraction more independently.

I held the rope the same way holding both ends of the rope with both hands held together.

Day 3 – Rest Day

 

Rest!

Day 4 – Legs and Abs

 

Squats 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Straight Leg Deadlifts 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I felt stronger today and increased the weight after the 1st set. I would normally use the rep range to increase the weight anyway but with the supersets I didn’t know how I would fare. Luckily though I managed to do it.

Well done! Not always easy on leg day to make it harder for yourself, especially working on your own and knowing it’s going to make you feel sick! Very impressed Bob.

Straight leg deadlifts are still affecting my injury. But persevered and finished the sets. I may ask Sean to do this with dumbbells instead just heavy ones.

Please change to whatever you need to. I don’t want to aggravate an injury. Try dumbells, kettlebells or even good mornings instead.

Deadlifts 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Front Squats 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

These were the same as last time my confidence has grown tenfold with the front squats and I still love the feeling of deadlifts and lifting the weight. The heavier the better; the progress has always been good and most notable with the deadlifts.

The positivity coming from your blogs is outstanding. You really seem to be enjoying the training which is SO important. Great work Bob, really pleased this end.

Leg Extensions 20-25 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Leg Curls 20-25 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I could really feel the extra reps today and the rest pause added intensity. Failing at 23. The extra isolation I like felt tough…Great.

Brilliant. I know it’s a horrible little set so good work for nailing it.

Weighted Ab Curls 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Incline Reverse Crunch 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Normal really, nothing special, added weight really pushed to finish these sets.

Well done for adding weight. Just ensure you keep the breathing to keep intensity. 

Seated Olympic Bar Twists 6-10 Reps
Olympic Bar Side Bends 6-10 Reps

Frustrating again. I can’t seem to feel this exercise it feels like a cool down.

Happy for you to remove it.

Day 5 – Chest, Shoulder and Triceps

 

Incline Dumbell Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Bench Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I upped the weight. Great. Although this proved to bite me in the bum.

Straight into bench press this felt heavier today. Didn’t up the weight though. Difficult even with the rest pause to finish the sets very near failure on 3rd set.

Well done for upping the weight. Intensity obviously there f the rest pauses are getting to you. Keep it up.

Overhead Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Lateral Raise 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Still smashing the overhead press. Same weight but feel I am able to up this. So next time I will.

Good man, again the positivity and enjoyment is inspiring, not to mention to want to up thew weight next time. Keep this momentum Bob.

Dips 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Wide Grip Bench Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Guess who did unsupported dips for the first time in 5 years? One guess. It wasn’t the whole set but I was chuffed. I have grown to appreciate the bodyweight stuff since doing this programme. I wonder why I haven’t done it since.

I am over the moon with this!

Well done Bob. You should feel very, very proud. Not just for doing it, but simply for attempting it. I can’t explain how pleased I am with this. Chuffed for you.

Arnold Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Close Grip Bench Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I hate these 2 together. My triceps, biceps and shoulders are burning after the first few reps and my lats are engaged aswell. So the close grip bench press is toouuugghh. I have upped it since last session though so that’s good.

Tough is good! Yough = intensity and intensity = body changing and adapting. Well done Bob. Keep ti up for another 6 weeks and you’ll be a happy man.

Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Prone Incline Reverse Flyes 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

I also hate these 2 together. Fatigued massively at this point. But I enjoyed the isolation of both exercises. Failed at 8 for the flyes 3rd set.

Hate is another word for love right? Like Michael Jackson’s Bad?

Standing Tricep Rope Extensions 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause
Overhead Tricep Extensions 6-10 Reps, 2 x 10 Secs Rest Pause

Enough of the triceps massacre! The intensity of the session blew me out. These exercises though feel less isolated. All reps finished. Shower time.

Good work. Well done. Very positive week.

Day 6 – HIIT

 

I weighed myself today and done my measurements instead of tomorrow as I am away. Damn I shouldn’t have done. I had put on 4lb. But luckily with Sean’s blunt email he explained again that weight is nothing. So scales are going away! I have had an unhealthy relationship with the scales since I was a really fat kid. That’s going to change from today. Sean asked what I think of the sprints. Well I like them, more so on the treadmill. I used the map my run map to plot the distance on a playing field the first time. But on the treadmill I just run until I see it’s time to step aside the belt. I do like the fact that as the belt runs I have to, and the last year I have trained a lot for distance meaning I’ll be training after work yomping for up to 20 miles. So cardio being done on seconds. I love it! Good mentality to take to the gym is no matter how hard it may be it’s over in less than an hour and not lasting 5 hours. Sprints are trying though. But using the recovery period of a few seconds (for the distance to hit a round number for me) it helps. I also really enjoy Tabata sprints which Sean introduced me to early this year. This method using the distance thing is very similar. But I do like a LISS run its good for the soul.

LISS is good for the soul. I would encourage anyone with things to mull over to run – the feeling of freedom and time to think is great. However, intervals area real weapon against fat and also great for improving CV fitness in short periods of time.

As you say, we spoke about scales and how they can be detrimental. Our best bet when training for a body transformation is to forget them; stick to measurements and photos. Afterall, scales are irrelevant if we want to “look” better and be “healthier”. Unless a pro fighter or jockey cutting weight, the number is irrelevant.

Very happy with this week Bob. Outstanding work throughout. Keep on top of the nutrition and keep the hard training going. You’re doing really well, and as you say, it’s only an hour or so a day; so achievable!

Bob Manser - Author

I am currently doing a 12 week transformation with the help of Sean Lerwill. I'm 27, overweight and overworked. Trying to change the fact that my hair is thinning more than my waist line.