The Fighting Spirit

A new month, a new challenge! Except for me, I’m going to use this opportunity for a do-over. Earlier this year, me and Chase went head to head with a weight cut “battle” to get down to 155lbs.

We weren’t actually competing, of course. We were mainly just keeping each other accountable and using the cut to 1) slim down for summer and 2) drum up material for our site (i.e. mistakes in weight loss, crankiness from cutting carbs, etc.)

Working in terms of a 12 week “training camp” that most fighters use was great because it’s also a 3 month time-frame that we give to our clients to push progress and make a body transformation. Unlike a typical fighter’s weight cut, however, we weren’t doing any drastic drops. No extreme water loading and cutting. Just a slow burn for 12 weeks.

So how’d I turn out at the end of it all?

Not bad. I dropped from 171 to 157. Didn’t quite hit the 155 mark, but the number wasn’t ever really a priority. The thinking was partly, “Let’s do McGregor weight!”– but more importantly, maybe I’d finally get to see some abs.

Unlike Chase’s origin story, I’ve never had visible abs. I thought maybe this cut would be the one to put the years of fitness experience together to make it happen, but no dice.

So here we are, July 1st, and I’m planning an 8 week camp this time. The timetable isn’t the only adjustment I’m making. For this run, I’m bringing some extra tenacity.

I brought the consistency before. I stayed well within the macros. There might’ve been a few things I could’ve tweaked near the end, but nothing truly detrimental. So with that out of the way, the thing that needs to be adjusted is my approach to training.

Since my move to Boston, I’ve been utilizing a Minimum Effective Dose approach to training. This efficiency mindset was a by product of how I mismanaged by time starting out (back in 2009). I was trying to do 3 hour sessions 6 days a week! (Note: don’t do that!) I had the fire, but I needed to hone it in better. This approach works. It brings results, but I’ve started to realize it’s not the results I want.

When I first dropped 30 pounds back in Japan, I also used a fighter role model at the time.

For a guy who had low self-esteem and self-worth, I was tired of replaying that story in my mind. I didn’t want to be Mr. Nice Guy anymore. I wanted to look like a killer.

I mean, I’m still a huge dork, so there’s only so much I can do on that front. But, this kind of fighting spirit is something I want to channel again. Here’s how I plan to do it:

Training Protocol

First, you got to be smart. Training hard just to train hard is stupid. It doesn’t matter how crazy you can be only to injure yourself early on. Instead, I want to try to divide and conquer strength training and conditioning.

As pointed out by both Jason Ferruggia and Andy Morgan, strength training really should be about building strength, not putting around for maintenance. I was trying to use one lens of efficiency before, but it’s turning out to be the opposite. I’ve got a limited gym setup, but I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve on how I plan to push myself.

And instead of trying to tie in a HIIT Cardio session at the end of a compound lifts day, I’m going to incorporate the concept behind Martin Rooney’s “Hurricane Day”: dedicated metabolic routines to their own days.

Mental Game

And here’s that tenacity I was talking about earlier.

Chase is able to reach a certain crowd because of the way he believed in himself and built up. He was able to shake off the wrongs people said in the past, “You’ll always be skinny. That’s just the way it is.” And I mean, geez, look at his physique.

I built myself up in a completely different way, and I definitely didn’t have the same belief system.

I know I don’t have to prove anything, but there’s still memories that sting. An ex who told me to keep my head low because I’d get beat up otherwise. A receptionist that laughed me out of a gym when I was trying to apply for work.

I’m stronger than back then, of course. I’m stronger than those moments, but I want more. Much more than abs, I just want to come away feeling the sharpest I’ve been physically and mentally. Not just a killer bod, but a killer mind so to speak.

Weekly Write-Ups

I plan to keep everyone much more updated on this journey than last time. It’s crazy to think we didn’t even have the Instagram account running for the last cut.

Each week I’ll check in and keep things real. Full transparency is the plan: all the ups and downs. I’ll share some of the routines.

I’ll see if I can get Chase on board to give a critique here and there because, this might be a good thing to clarify here, this is my own plan. I know it’s a slap in the face to what most fitness professionals preach: “You can’t effectively be your own coach.”

Oh well 🙂 I’m also an abnormality when I believe fitness doesn’t have to be fun– so we’ll see! Catch you guys next week!

7 thoughts on “The Fighting Spirit

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