Progress Report: the Third Month

Wow, three months of training. Sometimes I can’t even believe I’m doing this; it always seemed like beginning weight training would be so hard to do. But it’s not! All you’ve got to do is make the appointments, show up, and give it your best.

As I’ve noted before, the novelty of working out is starting to wear off and that’s a bit of a dangerous place to be. Yeah, I work hard on my training sessions but my downtime has really been slipping. I don’t even have any Record data to share because I’ve been so spotty about keeping track of what I do (luckily all my workouts are up to date on this site).

I’ve been levelling up like crazy, though, with my reps and my weight limits. I figure for month four, I’ll really crack down and return to form, keeping good track of all my data and making sure I’m still working on stretching, fixing my turnout, and getting my cardio on on my off days.

Before & after

So, I’ve given up for the time being on posting photos. Instead, I’ll post a table of my current measurements and how they compare to the previous month.

Metric This month Last month Beginning
Bicep 10.75″ 10.5″ 10.5″
Forearm 9.5″ 9″ 9″
Calf 13″ 14″ 14″
Thigh 22″ 18.5″ 18.5″
Neck 14.5″ 14″ 14″
Chest 36.5″ 36″ 36″
Waist 32.5″ 33″ 33″

Very nice! I’ve gone up in most of the places I should go up and down where I should go down (looks like the no beer thing worked out well). Not sure about the calves, though. Maybe a wrong initial measurement? At any rate, that’s workout paydirt!

How I look

No Beer September was a great success. No temptations or anything and it looks like I shaved some chub off my belly. I’m keeping it up, too; I’m consuming alcohol about half as much as I used to and I only drink beer about a third of that time. My chest is starting to hold my shirts out instead of my belly so everything’s going according to plan.

The biggest changes I’ve noticed are my arms and my back. My biceps are really big and they get comically huge when I do the max-out sets. My shoulders are super square and my back (my wife says) looks way more symmetrical, meaning that I’m making up for muscle deficiencies because of my scoliosis. Trainer Nick even wants me to write a little something and be a “client success story” for my gym because I’ve seen such great results. Sweet!

My glutes are still nice and my legs are really filling out as well, all the way around. My calves need some work, though.

How I feel

I’ve still been feeling good. As I said, I don’t have the Record screenshot to show but my overall daily level of goodness has been stable and high.

It’s been a bit tough emotionally this month, though, because of that novelty wearing off. I’m at that difficult plateau where I’m going to need to push harder to get to a stronger place. So, yeah, I’ve had some failures this month where I didn’t think I would. I’ve felt intimidated by some of the exercises. And that’s no way to be because ultimately I’m losing confidence in myself and I’m not connecting to what I’m doing here.

This week, though, is different. I feel strong, determined, powerful. I feel ready to do what it takes to move on and become even stronger.

Purely subjective details

Since last month, I’ve noticed the following:

  • My weight tolerance has gone way up. I’ve had to re-test for my max-out levels of just about all the exercises I do to failure. In lat pull-downs, for instance, I’ve gone up 9 pounds!
  • My body appears more symmetrical. Not just my back, as I mentioned earlier, but my legs and arms, too.
  • Starting to feel a bit more aggressive. This is just recently. I’ve noticed feeling more up front and aggressive in general, which is a good thing because I’m usually not the most energetic guy.
  • Barbell callouses and stronger grip. Not gonna wear gloves, though. I also got a grip trainer and it’s been coming in very handy (lol). To that end:
  • Playing guitar is much easier. I’m about to go up a gauge on all my guitar strings; it’s just too easy. Very exciting for a guy who has only played with “super-lights” his whole life.
  • My legs have been feeling sluggish and not very agile. Time to do yoga and cardio, I think.
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