Summer body preparations

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Despite the complete lack of activity on the blogging front here, I actually haven’t stopped in the areas of fitness and working out. Hard to believe that it’s been two years since I last posted here.

Where I’ve been

In late 2017, my second trainer, Jen, let me know that she was leaving South Dakota. I certainly can’t blame her sometimes, and am happy for her. However, that left me trainer-less again. In conjunction with that, I decided to take a complete break from the gym for a few months. I was able to be “lazy” again from I believe Thanksgiving until mid February. However, I did not sabotage and wreck all the progress that both Jake and Jennifer helped me achieve. I stayed the course the best I could on the nutrition front and still aimed to eat healthy.

Regardless of how well I thought I was doing this time with the time off, I knew I needed to return eventually, and I know I wasn’t going to succeed without a trainer to keep me accountable. When it came time to return to lifting, I ended up getting a third trainer named Ned. I had worked with him previously when Jen had to go out of town, so Ned and I were already familiar with each other. I am thankful to say that we are still going strong as a team.

One of the things that Jen did with me during her trainer time was remove focus on the abs routine and also switch me over to “bulking season”. I was not the biggest fan of ab day anyway, so I welcomed that change. We used that day to give extra focus on upper body. I also found that I enjoyed bulking as well as it allowed me to reduce my cardio output for the first time since I started. That said, I must confess I didn’t reduce it, I pretty much just did away with it completely.

Lastly, I stopped being quite as restrictive with eating habits, and started letting some things in more than I had previously. Biggest example I can think of is pizza. That’s not to say that I became Pizza Hut’s top customer by any means. I shopped around and found a pizza that I would say isn’t the absolute worst. I stick with thin crusts whenever I can, and really like it when I can find brands whose serving sizes are 1/3rd for their 350calories per serving. Much better than ones who pack in that many calories for 1/5th of the pie.

Where I’m going

I know Ned is going to agree with me here, it’s time to pivot. We’re in the middle of March, and summer is fast approaching. Yes, you know where I’m going here. It’s cutting time. Starting today, we’re going to increase our cardio time from “rarely” to be at least 4 days a week. It’s time to run again, even if just on a treadmill. On top of that, we need to tighten up that diet restrictions again, count those calories, limit those servings.

Right now, in terms of number on a scale, I’m back in the weight range that I first started back in September 2015. It feels odd but not devastating, because I know body composition is not the same. The sources of those pounds are definitely more from muscle gained, and not fat returned. While I know I am a little fluffier than I was at my “peak” for lost weight and in the 210lb range, it’s still not as bad. That said, I’m ready to start reaching for my first summer body season, and seeing what I have for a slimmer, trimmer, muscled physique. Let’s do this.

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It’s Michael!

Photo of Michael, with his head tilted to the side.


Weight: 241lbs

Last updated: 2023-12-23


General Information

Gym enrollment date: 2015-09-21

First trainer session: 2015-09-23

Current routine

Small group class: HIIT. Personal training: strength and bodybuilding, 4 times/week

Personal Records

List of personal gym records