This is my fitness journey to be in the best shape of my life for my next travels (Asia 2017). Since my first trip to Mexico at a young age, I’ve always been insecure with my body. Taking my shirt off to relax on the beach was never relaxing at all. I hope that by me sharing in detail each week of my fitness journey, it’ll be somewhat of a help for you to learn from my mistakes and give you the motivation to get fit for your next trip!

(This post applies to the week of November 13th to 19th of 2016.)

In this post, I share my goals and routine for the week, what I need to add or get rid of, and a little bit of motivation because we all need it daily.

Workout routine

I’m on a simple push/pull/leg routine. I explain a bit more (here) on what it is and why I decided to choose this routine. There’s plenty of good solid routine out there, you got to experiment and see which one works best for you. We all react differently to each routine. What works best for me may not work best for you.

  • Sunday: Legs
  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Push + Swimming
  • Wednesday: Pull
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Legs
  • Saturday: Push

As you can see, Thursday was supposed to be leg day. However, my body felt exhausted which I believe it was from swimming on Tuesday.

You should always try to push yourself to go on the days you schedule but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. Pick yourself up and go the next day. Make up for it; re-schedule your days for the week. I knew I couldn’t miss another leg work out this week (skinny legs!), so I moved my days around and made it happen.

It’s also important to note that rest days are imperative.

Goals for the week

  • Chest 
    • Smith Machine Incline Bench Press
    • Note that I calculate the bar as 45 lbs. I understand that it isn’t 45 lbs because of the assistance but it makes it easier to track my numbers.
      • 205 lbs 1×1 (sets x rep range)
        • The reason for only lifting one rep is to have that mentality that I can go that heavy without failing.
  • Legs
    • Barbell Squat
      • 225 lbs 4×8-10 
  • Back
    • Barbell Rows
      • 155 lbs 4×10 
  • Shoulder
    • Smith Machine Overhead Shoulder Press
      • 155 lbs 3×8 

If you can use the barbell without the smith machine, that would be better. The reason I used the smith machine is because I have no spotter and when I go heavy, there’s always a fear of dropping the bar right onto my chest which does affect your lifting. I’m trying to transition myself into more free weights going forward but for now, using the smith machine when I go a bit heavier feels safer.

I didn’t keep track of my isolation workout this week but I do plan too in future. I want to show you and me exactly what I’m doing and if I am progressing or not in each exercises.

Did I achieve my goals?

  • Chest
    • I hit 205 lbs for 1 rep and it gave me confidence that I can do this weight for next week. Before going up to this weight, I warmed up to it.
      • Warm up (5-10 minutes)
      • 135 lbs 1×5
      • 165 lbs 1×5
      • 185 lbs 1×5
      • 205 lbs 1×1
      • 135 lbs 1×10 (drop set)
  • Legs
    • Stretching + warm up (10 minutes)
    • 135 lbs 1×5
    • 205 lbs 1×5
    • 225 lbs 2×8
    • 225 lbs 1×6
    • 135 lbs 1×10 (drop set)
  • Back
    • 135 lbs 1×5
    • 155 lbs 3×8
    • 155 lbs 1×8 (reverse grip)
      • The last set I switch it to a reverse grip (holding the bar underhand instead of overhand) as it workouts different parts of the back.
  • Shoulder
    • I didn’t end up using the smith machine for this week as I felt like I need to start transitioning more into free weights. I did the standing military press as an alternative.
    • My shoulder has always been my weak point. I may switch to dumbbells instead as I heard and seen outstanding results from others using it.
      • 95 lbs 3×8
      • 115 lbs 1×1

What I need to work on

What I need to do is to add more time for core (abs) exercises into my routine. I average 1 to 1.5 hours at the gym each session and I would love to keep it that way. I may have to take shorter breaks, remove some isolation exercises from my routine or superset a lot more.

The other thing I need to do is add more cardio. I tried running before but never really got into it. I recently started swimming again and been learning freestyle. Even though my goal is to get bigger, a light cardio session is always good for the overall health.

My diet for the week

In my past article, I wrote on how to find what your macros and calories intake are.

Here’s a quick summary of my current macros. 185g of protein, 433g of carbs, and 65g of fat. My current weight is 185 lbs at 6 ft tall and my end goal is to be 210 lbs with low body fat percentage.

While most people have trouble from over eating, one of my biggest obstacles is that I just don’t eat enough. I’m the type of person that would be able to go without food for hours. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel hungry but I have no desire what-so-ever to go search for food. This is one bad habit I’ve been fighting my whole life and with my fast metabolism, this isn’t helping me achieve my goals.

Find your why!

I realized when I listen to motivation clips on YouTube, I’m much more eager to get myself to the gym. Here’s the short clip of Arnold Schwarzenegger where he talks about having a vision. A vision that you can see clearly everyday of what exactly you want.

There’ll be days where you just don’t feel like moving your body (in my opinion, more bad days than good), but if you can pushed through this mental game and get moving, you’ll won’t regret it. It always feels amazing after you put in time at the gym. It’s always the initial start that needs the most attention.

Get moving now and be in the best shape for your next travels!

Published by Duy Dang