At the end of last week I completed my 30 day German Volume Training Programme as part of the Maximuscle Cyclone Challenge. I must admit to being glad to have finished. Not because I disliked the training, to the contrary actually, but simply because my body needed a rest!
In particular my left forearm and right elbow have both picked up some minor tendonitis which has gradually become worse throughout the course of the last 10days of the challenge. Despite ice and massage, I think the grip needed for the chin-ups and biceps curls (both obviously 10sets of 10reps) has meant my forearms simply needs a few days of rest!
As for the success of the training itself, (teamed with the Maximsucle Cyclone product of course), it has definitely had the right effect. I had utilised this form of GVT training before around a year ago, but admit to not concentrating as much on increasing the weights every few sessions or sticking rigidly to the 1min rest periods. However, this time with the added pressure of blogging for my sponsors Maximuscle, I rigidly stuck to the programme, tempo, rest, sets and tried my best to progress the weights while still ensuring good form of course.
In terms of weight, over the course of the 30days I had some marked increased in the following exercises (again, remember, this was for 10sets of 10reps with the 4010 tempo and only 1minute rest between sets):
- Incline DB press: up 10kg
- Back Squats: up 12.5kg
- Weighted Dips: up 12.5kg
- Incline Hammer Curls: up 6kg
In terms of my physique changes, although I have some measurements (weight and body measurements), I find that the true reflection is from photographs and other people’s opinions; especially those that don’t see you all the time and don’t necessarily know I’ve been training this way. Another good indication can be how clothing fits. My girlfriend’s mother said she has noticed a size increase, especially in the arms. My girlfriend herself can see a change in my lats, with significant width added (you’d hope so with how much those 10×10 chin-ups hurt each time!). She also says an old favourite hoody of mine (that I didn’t wear over the challenge period due to good weather, but put on over the weekend) now looks too small. A friend of mine simply said “you’ve definitely got bigger” and lastly, I had a photoshoot with SNHFoto on Thursday (final session was Friday) and although only a few physique shots, I can certainly see a considerably difference in how full my chest and delts look.
In terms of measurements, I am always skeptical due to how much carbohydrate I’ve eaten, so how full the muscles are and how much I therefore weigh. Remember, I don’t allow most of my clients to weigh themselves. Why do they need to? It’s usually about aesthetics, so weight has no place… A little too broadbrush, but you get the point. Anyway, my weight has increased. Somewhere around 2kg, which seems reasonable considering I have upped my total calorific intake and was not sedentary before the training.
So, the big questions:
If I have improved my physique, what caused it? The GVT? The Cyclone? Or both?
Obviously GVT has been around for some time, and although hard work due to the significant volume (hence my niggles!) has consistently shown its success at adding muscle to trained and untrained athletes alike over 4-12 weeks. I think it’s therefore fair to attribute at least a high percentage of the success of this challenge to the GVT. However, would I have added decent lean mass if I hadn’t been eating correctly? If I hadn’t gained all the necessary macros to help my body grow and recover? Of course not. Therefore, at least some of the success must be attributed to the Cyclone mustn’t it? With another portion attributed to my sensible diet, hitting my calorie needs, ensuring good meal timing and content.
The big question then is was the GVT more successful due to Cyclone, or would another supplement have still given the same results. If I’m honest, I don’t usually take Cyclone (unless travelling or away on work). I prefer Promax, then use Maxiraw products like CarbImpact, CreatineCharge, Primary HMB and Beta-Alanine to make my own ‘home made” mixes. I like this way of supplementing, as I can then vary the amount of the additional supplements like the carbs, creatine and everything other than the whey, to suit my needs as they change. Having said that, it was much easier just taking a couple of scoops of Cyclone and a banana to the gym, Cyclone saved me time when preparing, and if sleep is a factor to the success of the GVT (which it is to any training) then Cyclone may well have helped me get another 10minutes precious sleep each day!
Overall though, a good quality whey isolate, decent amount of fast ingesting carbohydrate and the other additions such as HMB, Creatine, Glutamine that have been shown to increase size and strength were what Cyclone provides and were what my body needed straight after each training session. Therefore, I would recommend Cyclone and say to anyone wanting to improve their strength or size, and if you use GVT properly: with intensity for 4-6weeks and take Cyclone along with a well structured meal plan, you can certainly improve your strength, but also add lean muscle as I did.
Well, that’s it. Cyclone Challenge 2013 done and dusted. In terms of what’s next, I’m trying to decide. First, this week will be an active rest week. I’m going to do a few runs, lots of stretching and just generally trying to rehab ready for the next period of training. Stay tuned to find out what it is…