Project Rockstar 2019 - Pre-Training Fitness Program Weekly Journals

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  1. #1
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    Sterling is offline Certified Love Systems Instructor

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    Project Rockstar 2019 - Pre-Training Fitness Program Weekly Journals

    The Project Rockstar 2019 class has been selected!

    Project Rockstar represents a multi-faceted complete life transformation. From the moment the Rockstars are selected the training begins. The Rockstars have to go through a mandatory, grueling fitness program. They are tracked daily, with photos and measurements submitted every week for assessment, and pushed to the absolute limit.

    Roughly 2-3 hours of gym time every day for 12 weeks and preparing ALL their own meals as part of a strictly controlled nutrition and diet program. That means upwards of 4,000 calories a day for those gaining mass, and less than 1,500 calories a day for those losing weight. With no question the guys will be stepping into summer in the best shape of their lives.

    Through their struggle and transformation, we hope to impart inspiration to your own journey of self-improvement. While these lucky guys have an overwhelming amount of support and pressure to succeed, there's nothing stopping you from doing it too.

    It is my pleasure to present the Project Rockstar 2019 fitness journals.



  2. 4/21/2019 - Week 1

    It’s hard to believe we’ve completed our 1st week of the fitness program, and the challenge has been like none other! While the workouts are intense, for me the real challenge has been the consumption of all the ungodly amounts of food, eating mostly bland meals, and drinking a gallon of water each day.

    Coming into Project Rockstar, I was sure I’d be in the ‘gainer group’ (5’-9”/175 cm and weighing in at 142 lbs/64.6 kg) and knew I’d have eat the house. Been fairly thin my whole life and never had much muscle mass either, so I was/am pumped at the opportunity to bulk up and learn how to do it right! After ironing out my meal plan, and buying all my grocery… I quickly realize just how much I’d have to eat! Although it started out easy, Day 1 of the fitness program was probably the hardest since I my stomach wasn’t use to handling all that food. Got to the point where it would take me 1-1.5 hours just to finish each of my last couple of meals. There were even times when I would just stare at the food I had left to eat and feeling as if I wanted to hurl! But I kept shoveling that food in me. It’s still a challenge, but it’s starting to get easier.

    Make no mistake, I love eating food and will go out of my way to try some real good-eats. So when I compare that to the plain simple food I’m eat now, I struggle to find ways to add some flavor to my meals. For me, this was usually an easy fix; add some ketchup, maybe a bit of mild hot-sauce, and I was set. Problem now is that I’m seeing that it ALL has sugar! After watching “Hungry for Change” and “Fed Up”, and I’m starting to see first-hand that just about everything we eat has sugar in it. It’s also pretty wild seeing that the nutritional facts (in the U.S. at least) do not state percentage of calories derived from sugar (it’s messed up really). I’m all about eating health, but there’s gotta be a way to make the food more savory. The search continues.

    Before the fitness program, I think I averaged about 32-40 oz/1-1.2 liters a fluids a day. So when I read that we had to drink a gallon (3.8 liters) of water a day, my jaw dropped! Thankfully, my body has starting adapting to the volume of fluids consumed, just like with all the food (still tough though). What’s crazy is the number of times I have to visit the bathroom! I think I make trip every hour or so. I swear, it’s gotten to the point where I’m starting to feel bad for flushing the toilet so often; just seems like a waste of water. …hmm, maybe I’ll flush only when I take one of these new massive dumps, haha!

    As a whole, I knew that eating all this bland food would be a challenge (and were told as much several times). I still struggle to eat/drink everything, but I have my eyes I on the ‘prize’ and I’ll keep stuffing my face to get it! Keep pushing yourselves, guys!

  3. 4/28/2019 - Week 2

    This week, I felt like I got more into the groove of the fitness program. My morning rituals, food and exercise have started to settle into my day-to-day schedule, which is great! It’s also been an opportunity to learn more about fitness and areas I need to improve in, but I’m actually pretty excited to see a bit of definition on my abs! Totally pumped about that since I’ve never had a 6-pack!

    Although I’m doing well with my ‘meal log’ (pretty much staying in the “green” and a small positive-delta to account for weight gain), the meals are becoming monotonous for me. Chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and sweet potatoes every day… it’s just boring. Haven’t checked out Jeremy’s recipe tracker yet, but I’m sure I’ll find some inspiration in there. Might also check out what I can do with ground meats (beef, chicken, turkey). I also have a sweet tooth, and would kill to have an Oreo right now, haha!

    As far as my training is concerned, today’s workout destroyed my legs! The most intense part was pushing to get through the 50 reps of Hack Squats. I started with a weight that was too heavy, but kept doing thing them until I hit the rep count. Think my muscles failed 3 or 4 times trying to get to 50 reps in my first set; and when I started my next set, I overestimated the weight again and failed a few more times in that set. Mind you, this was a Superset with Leg Curls so this was crazy intense! Probably should have spent some time to figuring out a good weight to use, but I was over confidant on how much I could actually do in 50 reps… lesson learned.

    Last week on Thursday, we were scheduled to do some back exercises, and I ended up pulling a muscle below my shoulder. I didn’t notice any pain at first, but when I moved a certain way (like turning my head to the left) it would give be a sharp pain on my back. It really limited my range of movement. After speaking with my mentors, they recommended I use heat to relax the muscle, so I started using a hot compress. I also started using the sauna in my gym and it’s been godsend! Not sure what led to this injury, but trying to figure out what I did so I can avoid doing it again in the future.

    With respect to cardio, I’ve been trying a few of different exercises, like treadmills and stationary bikes; and after looking for ways to add some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to my routine, I started using the Row Machine. From what I’ve read, it seems to be an efficient way to burn body fat (gotta love that). Besides the obvious pro, for me this is great way to do some cardio that’s easy on my knees. I trained for a marathon a few years back and been dealing with a mild knee injury since, so I’ve been making an effort to minimize my involved in any high impact activates.

    All right, gents. On to Week 3!

  4. 5/5/2019 - Week 3

    Gentlemen, hope you all had a great “Cinco de Mayo” and got to pig out on diet approved tacos and virgin mojitos (it’s pretty much lemonade with mint; very refreshing actually!) Really wanted to drive over to a taco truck and shovel in a few tacos, but there was really no reliable way to measure the macros of all that good stuff. Plus it had some delicious cheese we can’t have… bummer.

    As for the fitness side of things, I’m steadily seeing steading weight gain and averaging about four and a half pounds a week (think that’s about 2 kg); and of course seeing my body fat percentage slowly creep upwards as well (about a quarter of a percent a week.) I know my body fat would go up as well, but it’s just frustrating to know that I’ll have to do some extra work to shed that fat off later. Makes me wonder if there is a way to gain muscle and shed fat at the same time (probably wishful thinking on my end.)

    Saturday was another leg day and I totally destroyed them! Those 100 rep Leg Extension were killer; could barely walk to over to do my next exercise. Of course, that’s also good news for me because I know that I’m working them hard.

    In my last blog, I mentioned how I was beginning to see a bit of definition on my abs, and that got me more motivated! So I decided to crank it up a notch by adding a Med Ball to the mix. Now, I can’t brag and say that I’m doing this with all the exercises, but I have started to do this for the Mason Twist. Started out slow with a 3 lb. Med Ball, and now I’m using a 15 pounder. Still have to take breaks to do the 40-50 reps the routine calls for though. However, I gotta say I’m fairly proud of myself of the progress I’ve made with this!

    That’s about it on the fitness side of things. On a more personal note, a buddy of mine is playing a part in a Latin soap opera (a “telenovela”). Naturally, the show is in Spanish and my buddy is fluent in the language, but I always get a kick out to see him acting in one of these shows. Anyways, recently he asked me to help him out with a few of his scenes, and told me about a scene where he has to seduce a secretary in the show! After reading through the script, I cracked up because of how funny AND awesome this scene would be! Totally looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.

    Ok gents, talk soon! Laters…

  5. 5/12/2019 - Week 4

    Holy crap! I totally underestimated Yoga! For the first part of the workout, the poses seemed harmless; 10 minutes later my legs were on fire and sweating bullets. By the time I was doing the fourth Reverse Warrior pose, my legs were begging me to relax; but that was just a taste of what was to come!

    The second part, all the balance poses, again seemed innocent as could be. Then you’re hit with crazy poses like Crane and Half Moon! My body was cracking left and right with all these contorted positions. It was insane …but in a good way!

    Balance has never been my strong suit, and this seems to be a great way to work on exactly that! Moreover, getting bent like a pretzel seems to help stretch my body and improve my flexibility. Sure, I had to endure some awkward, uncomfortable poses, but the benefits are well worth it.

    On the nutrition side of things, I was beginning to see my weight gains plateau this past week and got bummed up into the Hard Gainer group. And here I thought I was already eating a crap load of food! My only saving grace is the fact that my stomach seems to have gotten acclimated the volume of food I have been eating. Should be a bit easier to eat a little more. Now all I need to do is revise my meal plan to account for the extra calories. After eating the same food for weeks, it’ll be a welcomed change.

    I also found it interesting how several people from the crew were also experiencing this plateau as well, both Gainers and Losers alike. I’m speculating here, but it almost seems like the body just becomes more efficient at using the calories/energy we provide it.

    The Leg workout destroyed my legs once again… I think the sheer volume of reps that needed to be done is what makes it so challenging (oh, and of course the paired exercise for the Superset). By the time I was done with this workout, I had to use the handrails to make my way up or down the stairs. My legs were Jell-O, at this point!

    That’s it for me gents!

  6. 5/19/2019 - Week 5

    From a nutrition perspective, this past week has been challenging. Like I mentioned last week, I was bumped-up to a Hard Gainer because I was plateauing and have been struggle to eat all the extra food. At times, I feel like all I do in the day is eat, and what’s frustrating is that most of my time just gets split up into 2 hour segment (less the 30-45 minutes it takes me to eat my meal.) This makes it more difficult to get other things done.

    With some patience, and a bit of persistence, I sure my body will adjust to all the extra food. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for ways to reduce my meal intervals, while maintaining my caloric intake.

    During this plateau period, I started to investigate ways to overcome the plateau and learned a few things along the way. For starters, you need to eat more than you are currently eating… duh, right?! My calorie intake was bumped-up just like some of you. However, when I dug deeper I also read that even though you need to provide enough “fuel” for your body to grow and recover, the rate at which it builds muscle is actually very slow regardless of how much food you eat. Granted, there many of factors that affect how fast it builds, like age and DNA; but my biggest take away from all of this was how it gave my expectations a reality check!

    After the first couple of week of the fitness program, I was gaining weight pretty fast. I felt like I was killing it, and thought I could continue to maintain the pace. I really can’t explain why I had this great performance starting out (maybe it’s like this for all newbies, not sure), but I know now that it’s not very realistic and needed to adjust my goals accordingly.

    Something else that dawned on me was that all the extra food/calories your body doesn’t use will inevitably result in increased body fat. This makes it all the more important to not over eat. It’s basically another reason to keep track of your body fat and calorie intake, so you can reach your goal as efficiently as possible.

    The daily workout has been going well on my end, and glad see that I’m beginning to see myself lifting heavier. I’ve also notice that how synchronizing my breathing with the exercise has actually helped me to increase the number of reps I do. On a couple of occasions, I recall holding my breath on the last couple of reps of an exercise to complete my set. I jotted down the rep count and kept going, but over heard someone talk about controlling your breathing and I gave it a shot. To my surprise, I was able to crank out couple more reps than my previous set! Not sure how or why this works, but I’ll be making sure I do this in all my workouts.

    All right gents, that’s about it for me. Good luck this coming week!

  7. 5/26/2019 - Week 6

    Half way there, gents! Hard to believe 6 weeks have past already, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. Already seeing some definition and at bit more mass around my shoulders, chest, a bit more on the abs. Still have a long way to in order to reach my goal. However, it’s comforting and exciting to know that I’m on the track to getting there. Only issue I’ve been struggling with is gaining weight.

    This past week, my weight has been hovering between 150-151 lbs. (68.10 - 68.55 kg); and this was AFTER bumping up my food intake by 500 calories! It’s frustrating as hell! Guess I just have lighting fast metabolism. After chatting with my mentors about this 2nd plateau, my calorie intake was bumped up yet again. Was told to use a multiplier of 26, and now I have to start shoveling in almost 4,000 calories! Thankfully, I’ve been getting use to eat all this food, but it’s still not easy. Not to mention all the time I spend in the kitchen prepping makes it difficult to get work done as well.

    Hopefully I’ll start to see some gains this coming week, but I’m a bit concerned that all these extra calories will lead to more body fat than I would like. In my last post, I mentioned that the body needs fuel/ energy to grow and recover; and any additional energy that it doesn’t use would be stored at body fat. Although this is total speculation on my part, it feels like 4,000 calories might be overkill. Then again, it only makes sense to add more calories if I not gaining weight, right? Time will tell; in the meantime, I just need to keep eating and monitoring my weight.

    Workouts have been straightforward for the most part, and been doing everything I can to stay injury free. To that end, I’ve been paying attention to my form. Not that I wasn’t before, but have noticed that as the weight starts to get heavier, my form tends to suffer a bit. In a few cases, I’ve asked some of the staff at my gym to help me out with my form. Tweaked a few things, but nothing major. The big revelation for me was when I was told that in spite of best effort to perform an exercise properly, it could be an indication that 1) the weight is too high perform correctly, or 2) supporting muscles may not be strong enough to assist the muscles you’re working out. Essentially, it makes it more challenging for the body to execute the exercise in proper form. It also made me realize just how interrelated our muscles/ body is.

    All right, gents! I’ll leave you with this awesome quote I found:

    “Strength does not come from the physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Ghandi

    That’s it for me, guys. Later.

  8. #8

    Week 1

    Background: Iím a liability adjuster for a large insurance company in the Midwest. When Iím not working, I enjoy spending time watching sporting events, taking my dog on hikes, and going out with my friends. Also, Iím a huge Game of Thrones fan for all of you that watch the show.

    Diet: My diet prior to starting the program was garbage to say the least because of a rut from an injury. Getting through this first week has really made me realize some of my bad eating habits. Usually what I would do after a long day of work is drive to my local fast food restaurant to gorge on food, justifying it due to my busy work schedule. Having gotten through this first week all of my meals have been portioned, weighed, and counted. One of my sticking points I still need to improve is my macro ratioís. Iíve noticed from tracking everything I have a tendency to overeat on carbs really quickly in comparison to protein.

    Supplements:
    Using the supplement stack provided for the loser group has been a drastic shift from my routine of just fish oil. Iíve noticed since taking the supplements Iím more alert in the morning or at least perceive it as such. One item thatís helped me keep track of what supplements I havenít taken is a pill case. Additional gear Iíve purchased have included knee compression and elbow sleeves to help aid in injury prevention.

    Lifting: Prior to starting the program I came into Gethin with a decent background in lifting for the last 6 years on and off. This was in a way my downfall and a quick humility check. I severely underestimated the volume of day 1 for legsÖ. Going into day 2 cardio I felt like Forest Gump right before the braces exploded off his legs in that scene everyone loves to quote. My favorite day this week has been doing AB Ripper X. Each day this week Iíve consistently felt sore which has been a great feeling to help drive home that my body is changing by the day.

    Mentality: One of my worries although that has been creeping up in the back of my head is re-injuring myself. Prior to the kickoff of the program, I Injured my wrist and was ordered by my orthopedic surgeon to stop lifting for two months to allow the inflammation to subside in my wrist. Luckily two weeks prior to the fitness commencement I was cleared to lift at 100% Going into the gym Iíve really tried to take a mentality of shutting out all distractions and giving it my all. In the coming weeks

    Personal Life: This week has been very challenging to say the least. During the beginning of the work week I was notified by my CEO via email that they were laying off quite a few people for us to stay lean as a company. To supplement the email each team had a small group meeting with our managers to discuss the change. Not long after the meeting in the middle of the work week one of my teammates was let go for performance. This led to our supervisor distributing his work load internally for all the worst cases he couldnít resolve prior to him being let go. Other challenges Iíve been juggling are preparing for this Marathon relay Iím participating in for my company next Sunday.

    Goals:
    ∑ Lower my body fat to visible ab range
    ∑ Expand my fitness and nutrition knowledge.
    ∑ Learn to adopt the habits of a healthy lifestyle that will carry beyond Rockstar.

  9. #9

    Week 2

    Fitness

    Overall this week has been great! At the gym Iím starting to slowly see some momentum on the weights. One of the biggest problems I think I had before was I never really tracked the weights. Now that Iím writing it down itís really starting to help me see areas where I need to push harder and areas where Iím making steady improvements. My diet this week has improved from last week to integrate more fats into my diet. Iíve got to say hot sauce has been a gift from the gods. Also tried out new cardio machines in the gym to mix up the cardio from just jogging. Rowing will likely moving forward be great replacement for me when I want to mix it up for the afternoon cardio session.

    Areas of improvement
    One key area I need to improve on moving into week 3 Is getting 8 hours of sleep. As someone who for the most part functions on 6 hours most days Iíve been struggling on work days to get the necessary rest so my muscles can recover. One thing Iíll play around with this week is switching my workouts from nights to the morning to ensure Iím fully exhausted by the time I go to bed.


    Personal Life
    Got a chance to see the Avengers this Friday and I would highly recommend for those of you that havenít watched it yet! One thing that sucked though was my basketball team the Thunder got knocked out of the playoffs, so watching basketball for the most part is done for me until the championship. Also ran in that marathon I mentioned in my first blog. My relay team placed really well for the marathon averaging a 9-minute pace for the whole race.

  10. Week 3

    Fitness:
    This week was a nice change with the introduction of Yoga into our routine. As someone whoís done Yoga on and off throughout college, I never realized the synergistic benefits when you pair it with an intense workout program like Gethin. Some of the stretches made me realize how far I have to go in terms of flexibility when I saw Tonyís team perform the stretches. Moving forward into the coming weeks, I think Iím going to try to work on pushing my limits in terms of flexibility since Iím sure it should translate well for lifting.
    My protein intake this week was a lot easier to supplement with the help of the new organic protein I purchased. Although itís more on the pricier side, Iíve been able to supplement 40g of my RDA for protein with it. I never in my life imagined that I would be eating as much greens as I have been lately. It really is a great way to satiate yourself when youíre trying to lean down. One positive win Iím starting to feel from finally figuring out a good routine is the feeling of long-term sustainability.


    Week 2 to 3 improvement update: This week I really tried to make it a focus on getting a full 8 hours of sleep and succeeded. I noticed I had a lot more energy during my workouts and my ability to lift increased by 10-20 lbs on most workouts.

    Areas of Improvement:
    Mind-muscle connection is something Iíve been hearing a lot in the technique videos Iíve been watching. Moving into week 4, I want to really dial in on whatever body part Iím working out and just make sure a really good contraction is felt during every rep up to failure.
    The second thing Iím going to try out is visualization. Itís been pretty powerful and well-known bodybuilders like Arnold even reference it in their book. The third thing I want to work on is being better at reading some of the recommended books. Iíve been so focused on the fitness portion I forget just how little time it can take to just read a chapter a day.


    Personal Life:
    This whole week Iíve been feeling some anxiety realizing its May, and I still havenít told my parents Iím quitting my job in July to do Rockstar. On Saturday I bit the bullet and told my dad. Surprisingly, it went way better than I could have imagined. I was expecting my dad to say this was the dumbest mistake of my life. He actually said he supported it and if I needed any help that he would do what he could. This came as a complete shock but made me so happy to know that I wouldnít have to worry about doing Rockstar without the support of my family.

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