Hi guys, so I’m now just over a year into my adrenal recovery and have made some great progress, especially with my fitness. I’ve lost 13 kilograms and now weigh 78kgs. I have more energy and am feeling good, except for a few adrenal hangover symptoms that I will discuss in an upcoming article about my progress over the last year. I am going to the gym once a week, playing a bit of social sport, walking my dog and going for an occasional run or cycle. I have found that my gym work has plateaued and I’m struggling to build upper body mass and strength which I feel is really holding me back from getting to the next level.
My body fat is 16% now which I’m really happy with but I want to get it down to under 15%, the point where I should be able to see definition in my abs. Its a personal goal of mine to achieve this, as being 41 years old it is no easy feat! I also want to ensure I have goals and am achieving them so that I keep my awesome health journey going and don’t fall back into bad habits.
I have recently been dabbling with pull ups at my gym as they were included in a book I have called Getting ABS by Adam Bornstein, Editor of Men’s Health. I had never really done pull ups as I saw it too hard – an exercise that only the really strong guys can do. And I didn’t want to look like an idiot at the gym when I tried to do a pull up and couldn’t bust one out! Then I figured why can’t I be one of those guys? Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise for building awesome upper body strength and a strong, muscular back and strong forearms.
I decided that if I am going to do this, then I am going to commit 100%. That means I either need to be at the gym a lot more, or I need a pull up bar at home. I decided on the latter because then I can do the exercises anytime without feeling judged. So the first thing I needed was a good pull up bar. There are many different types you can get – ones that screw into a wall, hang over the door (don’t like the sound of that) and attach to the ceiling. You can also use anything that you can pull yourself up on to but probably anything other than a bar won’t feel right. Usually when I do things I do it well though so I wanted to invest in a good quality bar system that would last the distance and make me feel safe. After a bit of research I settled on a Promountings iBeam Bar. i have ibeams in my garage so this is perfect. I live in New Zealand and this product (or anything similar) was not available here and the cost for shipping it here direct from Amazon was US$117 (that’s just the shipping cost, not the product cost!). I opted to have it shipped free to my drop shipper who then sent it on to NZ for NZ$90. Here are pics of it installed which only took me 10 minutes:
Next thing I needed was a pull up programme. I’ve settled on 50pullups.com with a goal to reach 30 pull ups which by then should mean I have excellent upper body strength and muscle. I’ll take my current upper body and arm measurements and post them here and then do update measurements in 1 month.
I’m looking forward to this Awesome Challenge and encourage you to get involved and do the same. Along with this programme I will also be focusing on healthy eating including increased protein to maximise the muscle growth.
Update: November 5th, 2015
So last night I followed the 50pullups.com programme and did the warm up and test. I did 4 pull ups which made me realize I had been cheating when doing them at the gym i.e. not lowering myself all the way until my arms were straight and also not pulling my chin up over the bar! So I decided to start as a beginner which means standing on a stool and lowering myself from the bar instead of up to the bar. This will help me build the required strength to do good form pull ups. I have taken some before photos of my physique which I will post here in 1 month along with the after photos which I’m hoping will be showing a lot more definition in my arms and back! Stay tuned!