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YEAR ONE: MONTH THREE

WELCOME TO ‘MONTH THREE’ OF MY SUPERHERO STRENGTH: YEAR ONE SERIES.

This is a series of articles that was inspired by the amazing Batman, graphic novel storyline, YEAR ONE, by Frank Miller.
The Year One storyline was a retelling of Bruce Wayne’s origin story and how he became the Batman that we know today. The story spans over the course of his first year fighting crime in Gotham. Bruce Wayne / Batman was not the seemingly invincible and highly intelligent detective that we know today. The dude made mistakes. A lot of them! So throughout the course of his first year, we see all of these mistakes and how he learns from them. If you havent read it, I highly recommend it. It’s a brilliant story that shows us that even the very best heroes, were once a beginner too.

If you haven’t already, go back and start off with reading the ‘month one‘ article first. The year one articles are a series of articles that progress each month. So starting with ‘month three’ is kinda like starting to read a book with chapter three. Only a crazy person would do that!

START ADDING IN BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES

If there was one thing I wish I included more of in my training when I first began my superhero transformation journey, it’s body weight training. How do you expect to be able to handle heavy loads in compound lifts such as the deadlift, the squat or the bench press if you struggle to even handle your own body weight? It’s like that saying putting the cart in front of the horse, it doesn’t make sense.
I think these days a lot of people neglect strengthening their bodies first using their own bodyweight as the resistance tool, instead opting for the heavy feeling weights of dumbbells barbells and machines. I am guilty of this too and have now been going back and putting more time into increasing my strength in using just my body as the resistance tool. To be honest with you, I truly believe I could be a lot further ahead in my superhero journey, HAD I put more time into this stuff in the beginning.

Movement’s such as strict and controlled push ups, chin ups, Single Leg Split squats, Glute bridges, Bodyweight rows, Muscle up’s and Dips. All of these movements require a high level of strength and control and will really help you to build a structuraly balanced and strong superhero physique with minimal imbalances. And when you have no strucural imbalances, that means you have a much stronger body that is much less prone to injury.
Take the classic imbalance that most people have, internal rotation of the shoulders. If you havent heard of this before, this is where your shoulders tend to droop forwards instead of sitting back and down where they should be. An easy test of this is the stand up as you would normally, if your hands hand out in front of the front pockets of your pants, you have that classic internal rotation issue. If your shoulders are handing down by your sides with your thumbs facing forwards, congratulations! You currently have a balanced physique! Now don’t screw it up!
You will probably see these internal rotation issues in most people due to the way that we humans mostly operate these days, which is usually in a seated position hunched over a keyboard, steering wheel or slumped in a really comfy couch. In a lot of guys this is made to be much worse from doing a lot of bench pressing and not enough work on their back.
Mastering your own bodyweight will bring a much deeper level of explosive strength and control that will help you to take your superpowers to a level that would otherwise have been extremely difficult to develop had you not taken this path.

Start taking a good quality protein powder

For the last two months I have said to avoid taking nutritional sports supplements. Whether that be protein powders, pre-workouts, fat burners, testosterone boosters, etc. I believe too many beginners go straight for the supplements and neglect the basic nutrition side of things, with the thought that it’s the supplements that are going to give them the results they want right away, because the ad in the magazine, with the shredded model holding a tub of the stuff said so……
With that said, we are now in month 3 and if you have been following the protocols each month as I have been putting them out there for you, then I believe now is the time that you can start to add in some kind of protein powder supplement.
To be honest with you though, I don’t really think of protein powders as a supplement anyway. It’s just another food source that happens to be very convenient at the same time.
Start off by just adding in one serve of a good quality Whey Protein Isolate to take as a post workout supplement only. I suggest taking this within about half an hour of finishing your training session. This is when your body is most ready to take in nutrients for growth and recovery and Whey Protein is one of the fastest absorbing food sources that you can take to kick off your recovery.
Avoid taking any other supplements for now. You don’t need to be taking pre-workout powders or fat burners at the moment. Just stick to the nutrition protocols that we set up in the last 2 months and keep sticking to that habit. Remember that the more often you stick to it, the easier it is to keep it going and the better your results will end up being.

Drink more water!

This one is probably going to seem pretty basic, but its amazing how many people don’t drink enough water each day. Have you ever noticed how there are some days that you just feel and perform better than you do on other days? There are a lot of factor’s that contribute to this, such as sleep and nutrition, but water is also another factor that plays a big part in how your body performs. It depends on what source you read, but most people recommend drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. For most of us that live in the ‘developed world’, this should be pretty easy to get yourself into the habit of doing. A well hydrated body is going to keep you feeling stronger, higher alertness and endurance. Not to mention it will also help the body to facilitate the movement of nutrients around the body nd keep your digestive system working properly, which is going to help you with burning body fat and building muscle.

An easy way that I have found to increase your daily water intake in is to buy one of those big 2 litre drink bottles and make sure you finish it by the end of the day. I personally go through two of these bottles of water each day.
You can also get apps for your phone that makes a pouring water sound (it also kinda sounds like someone ‘peeing’) every 15 minutes or so to remind to have a drink of water. My wife uses this app to make sure you drinks enough water. Personally I think these apps are ridiculous, but hey, whatever works for you!

It’s hard to find ‘interesting’ cardio photos. So here’s a shot of me on a 15km hike along the coast of the Greek Island, Santorini. Technically this is ‘cardio’

Start adding in some form of cardio activity

The last step that I suggest you begin to take for this month is adding in some cardiovascular activity. This can be anything from just going out for a brisk walk, light jogging, Bike Riding, rowing, whatever you enjoy doing really. It doesnt have to be anything too strenuous or high in intensity, but it just needs to be something that does keep your heart rate elevated for a period of time. I suggest starting off with about 3x 30 minute sessions of cardio each week. This should be pretty achievable for most people to do. Adding in this cardio activity is going to help you increase your overall fitness level and work capacity. So it is going to help you with raising the intensity of your superhero training sessions. You are going to be able to fit more training volume into your sessions, and keep getting stronger. It is going to help your recovery between sets and sessions.
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Looking for some further help to put all of this into practice?
Then sign up for the free Year One Program.
You will get a monthly training program and nutrition plan examples sent straight to you.
Plus any extra resources that I think will help you on your journey.

jamesYEAR ONE: MONTH THREE

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