And there sat the eleventh tip. The coup de gras of the first article I ever wrote for skinny-fat ectomorphs.
11. Every. Damn. Day
I'm going to end on a crapshoot. Some skinny fats are soft because they're babied. From a biological standpoint, having muscle is an artifact of living a lifestyle that demands its creation. So it may be worthwhile to try training every day to provide a signal to the body that being a skinny fat just isn't going to cut it.
The questions poured in. Rightfully so too.
- How do you carbohydrate cycle when you train daily?
- Should I lift every day?
- Should I do the 40 Day Program with more reps?
- What kind of toilet paper do you use?
- Should I train in extreme gravity like Goku did?
It’s finally time to answer all of the questions. This is a dive into how and why I combined the 40 Day Program with PLP, and what (I feel) it did for my skinny-fat genetics.
Why I chose the 40 Day Program
It was March 2011. I’d just gotten out of my cast. I walked with a severe limp.
The first month of recovery was all rehab (mainly balance stuff) and upper body training. But squats and deadlifts soon followed.
One day I squatted 315 pounds. Questioning my sanity immediately followed.
There I was. Two months removed from getting my cast off. Six months removed from breaking my foot in practically every place that it coulda’ broke. Yet I was teetering around with over three hundred pounds on my back.
It struck a chord within me.
I stopped caring. Squatting no longer mattered. What mattered was my health.
The deadlift seemed safer. I didn’t have to teeter out of a rack. I didn’t have to move under a load. I could just stand and lift.
But that still didn’t sit well in my stomach either.
I asked myself: “What would be best for my foot?”
My answer: Low load, high exposure.
Just so happens that the 40 Day Program is a low load, high exposure program that works just fine with the deadlift.
The choice was made: I’d train daily.
Why I chose PLP
Waterbury’s PLP article came out when I was a teacher. I read the article in between my classes. It intrigued me. But I still had my cast on at the time.
PLP popped back into my mind when I decided to train daily. It seemed reasonably do-able with The 40 Day Program. I was already gonna' be training daily. And it would increase my muscle gaining potential. The 40 Day Program isn’t really a “mass” program.
Just so happens that the two programs blend perfectly.
- PLP doesn’t stress the spine and gives volume that The 40 Day Program lacks.
- The volume on PLP isn’t a concern because The 40 Day Program is low volume. The higher days of PLP (Doing 60+ chin-ups daily) would interfere with most other programs.
- The 40 Day Program takes care of barbell lifts of interest. PLP takes care of body weight exercises of interest.
- Both are perfect high frequency programs.
And the blend just “worked” for me. Neither program was “too heavy” or “too much” for my foot.
How I blended them together
The 40 Day Program is 40 days long. (Who saw that one coming?) PLP is 60 days long.
What gives? How did I make it work?
I tailed frequency a tad after the 40 days of the 40 Day Program. I only lifted five days per week on the 20 days after the 40 Day Program.
The 60 days of PLP stayed consistent.
What I ate and how I structured my day
I did this during the summer. I had no obligations—one of the best parts about being a teacher. So I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Mornings started with a cup or two of coffee and writing. I was six months into intermittent fasting at this point.
At 11:30AM I did the PLP routine. Only took about ten minutes to finish. Even at day 60.
I ate after that. One pound of ground turkey. Some veggies. Piece of fruit.
Wrote some more for the ol’ blog you’re reading now and watched Curb Your Enthusiasm for a while. Did the 40 Day Program stuff at around 4:00PM.
Took about 45 – 60 minutes most days.
Second meal came after. Usually six eggs and more veggies. One or two days per week I’d throw some starchy carbs into this meal. Nothing to break down the house though.
Relaxed for a bit.
Around 8:00PM I had a bowl of cottage cheese (one cup or so) with psyllium husks and flax seeds. A man’s gotta’ poop with regularity. Right?
The specifics of each program
PLP training was upbeat. I rotated through exercises without much rest. But I never did more than twelve reps per set. I felt that more reps per set would be too stressful and eventually hinder the program. (Just my feelings.)
My 40 Day Program template:
- Deadlifts 2×5
- Unilateral Dumbbell Floor Presses 2×5
- Hip Thrusts 2×20
- Power Curls 2×10
- Waiter's Walks 2×20 yards
No. It wasn't “exactly” what Dan John woulda' ordered. But it was what I needed at the time. Hip thrusts gave extra lower body work without loading my foot.
I also ran hills once or twice per week. Nothing scientific. Ten-or-so reps of this steep fifty yard hill that was at my girlfriends apartment. As fast as possible to the top. Walk back down. Catch wind for a minute. Let the heart rate relax. Breath slowly and deeply. Then go again. It wasn't meant to be HIIT.
I also played softball a few times every week. And I played ultimate frisbee on Saturdays when my foot held up.
The results of both programs
These sixty days could have been the most important sixty days of my training life. It taught me something that I can't really explain in words.
The results were surprising.
I consider it the catalyst that took me to the “other side” of skinny-fat syndrome.
But I'll save the results and good stuff for next blog post.
The skinny-fat product update
In other news…
I've been getting bombarded. Questions about my skinny-fat resource continue to pour in. Creating something that I'm proud of is a tough task. I want this thing to be great. I won't settle for anything less.
I have seven documents right now. Two completed interviews. And I'm still working. It's still being edited. Then it'll be designed. And then I gotta' do the juicy stuff to get it up for purchase.
But I have an idea! Ideas are good!
I'm throwing around the idea of a beta launch. The people that jump on the beta offer will help refine and create the end result.
There will be a heavy discount for the beta users. But there's going to be a strong cap on the amount beta users allowed. I'm only one man and I can only sift through so much feedback. This feedback will come from a private support group that will have exclusive access to me and other beta users.
But I've said a bit too much.
More information next blog post.
See you there.