Training wise, I ended the cycle with a bit of a whimper after getting sick the last part of it. I pushed back the competition day from the 1st to the 9th so I could finish the Total Tension Complex program. So we’ll cover both form and fitness.
The last cycle of the year I focused on adding muscle for two reasons, vanity and increasing strength. Three weeks in I beat a personal record on the double kettlebell military press. It taught me a few things during this program: four week cycles to preserve my CNS and lower fat levels, and no hard training during cold and flu season. I read somewhere that it suppresses the immune system as the body rebuilds itself after training. I also formed a love/hate relationship with front squats and double kettlebell swings.
As far as my strength and conditioning goals I ended 2014 stronger, maintaining the 62lb one-rep max from the last competition. My lack of conditioning was cured by the double swings and 5 minute snatch tests. Instead of my test weight I trained with the 44lb kettlebell. When I tested on Friday with the 53lb ‘bell I increased my reps from 29 to 54. I ended the year more conditioned as well.
So what did the double kettlebells and eating everything in sight do as far as body composition?
Body Composition (inches)
Body Part Before After -/+
Neck 14.0 14.5 +0.5
Shoulders 42 44.8 +2.8
Chest 36.2 38.8 +2.6
Waist 32.5 34.1 +1.6
Biceps 12.3 12.8 +.50
Forearms 11.1 11.1 +0.1
Thighs 21.20 22.6 +1.4
Calves 13.5 13.6 +.10
Weight 153.8lbs 164.2 +10.4lbs
Body Fat % 16.1% 18.3% +2.2%
Lean Body Mass 129.1lbs 134.2 +5.1lbs
Gained over 10lbs, and looking at how I ended last year the complex added muscle instead of just fat from eating all the holiday food. Might repeat that, or just watch what I eat… The next cycle I’ll return to Simple & Sinister on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and seeing what Strength Aerobics do for my conditioning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.