Toughest Time Of The Year For Me


It’s usually at this time of the year – my training goal changes.

And it’s a very challenging time for me mentally.

I have to switch off from doing the things I know that keep me lean!

Eat more food, train and move a little less..

This sounds like madness, but I believe it keeps me leaner all year around.

Normally, November time I’ll start to raise calories.

Training style is the same, I may even take away one training session to recover more but the aim as always is to get stronger.

I find it difficult seeing definition disappear, and the scale weight go up, but soon snap out of it when I remember the outcome.

More muscle and strength.

I’m never going to be “massive”

I cringe when people who tell me they “don’t want to get too big” (Facepalm myself)

If it only it was as easy as to go & do a few weights sessions, and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.

It takes 5,10,15 years to build a crazy amount of muscle, and this varies on genetics, time, assistance (steroids), bone structure, nutrition, slept & hydration.

But we can add 3-5lbs of muscle in 3-4 months.

It also keeps my motivated, as the other 6-9 months of eating clean and “dieting” can become a bore.

So, if you’ve found being in a calorie deficit or clean eating is getting weary.

Focus on getting stronger and put calories up to maintenance (body weight in pounds x 15)

Use the extra calories we naturally consume this time of the year and notice how much more energetic you feel in sessions and day to day life.

Another reason I focus on getting stronger and building more muscle, is that is has one huge un-known benefit.

Not only does building muscle increase metabolic rate, (burning more calories at rest) meaning I’m expending more calories whilst doing nothing!

Having more muscle allows you to store more glycogen – what carbs turn into after digestion.

So, when I do have piece of Christmas cake, a few bread rolls, pastries, the calories will be stored or used for energy (this does have a ceiling though, and we cannot just live off these types of food in the long run)

This creates a dietary buffer and allows more flexibility in my diet at a tough time in the year when calories naturally increase.

After a few months of raising calories, you will be motivated and driven to go back to your fat/weight loss goal with more vigour, and you will mostly push harder than you would have done if you just go all year round with the same goal.

Even if you don’t want to change your goal – weight training still helps create the dietary buffer, and if you do slip up – it will not affect your results. You can (and many members do) lose weight over the festive period.

The main point being that weight training should always be the principal part of your training, adjust the nutrition (specifically calories) to manipulate your body shape.

Have a great week – I’m off to Greggs (Jokes!)



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