I don’t like writing at lot on social media as I think most people (including me) are there mostly for the visual content. But quite a few things happened over the last months and I want to provide you with an update. I will cover our “Summer Escape” in Scotland, our training, further education and much more. Have a nice read, I hope you like it!
The Summer Escape
Thanks to the ongoing climate change, summer in Vienna just isn’t fun anymore. When I was a child, temperatures occasionally surpassed the 30°C mark for a few days, maybe a week, then dropping to more manageable levels. Now we have almost three months of 30+°C, going up as high as 38°C! Those temperatures let me suffer: when it is so hot, I have troubles falling asleep. At the same time I have to keep the windows wide open during the night, which causes me to wake up to random noises from the street. I have to drink a lot of water and eat lots of granita to make the heat bearable, but with that much liquid intake, I have to go to the toilet during the night. All in all: my sleep suffers greatly, slowly transforming me into an ill-tempered sloth.
As a way to escape the heat, Chantal and I decided to stay in Edinburgh for three weeks, an idea we already had last year, and again it was a blast! We had a great Airbnb flat in a quiet part of Edinburgh, a farmer’s market and a great independant gym within walking distance, and endless possibilities to get a proper cream tea in the afternoon. The best thing: temperatures hovered around 20°C!
A healthy calorie surplus, mainly consisting of fresh herring, haggis, porter and scones, combined with very high sleep quality, made the training sessions very satisfying as we were able to see improvements on literally every movement in every training session. Great times!
While we were in Edinburgh, we spent a lot of time learning for our Strength Coach exams: studying anatomy, working through books and listening to podcasts took much time but it was totally worth it as Chantal and I passed the exam last Saturday with ease. But what is next?
Over the last year quite a few books have accumulated that I finally have time to read now. A book about bodybuilding competition preparation by Cliff Wilson. Although bodybuilding prep is not quite my field of expertise, there is still a lot to learn from professional bodybuilders! They are doing exactly the two things most of us want to achieve: build muscle mass and be lean.
Then there is a book by Layne Norton called “Fatloss Forever” that I am already looking forward to. Layne is one of the best content creators in the fitness community and there is lots to be learned from him.
On the other hand there are the cooking books. The Heritage Cookbook by Russ Crandall isn’t “just” a cookbook, it also elaborates on the idea that the optimal diet is determined by genes and therefore highly individual. An interesting idea and the book is full of recipes from all over the world.
I couldn’t resist to buy another Nigel Slater book, called “A Year of Good Eating“, in Edinburgh. It is an older book but I like that it is a diary talking about cooking and eating. Nigel has a wonderful writing style and I hope it will improve my English. As we are talking about Nigel Slater books, I have to mention that my favourite time of the year is about to come: Autumn, Winter, Christmas! And Christmas means I have to read Nigel’s “Christmas Chronicles” again. It is just the perfect book for anybody who loves Christmas as it is full of nice stories and delicioius recipes.
First of all, I still have to reach the strength standards necessary to get my Strength Coach diploma: a combined load of six times my bodyweight has to be reached with squat, bench, deadlift, pull up (only added weight counts) and the overhead press. Therefore I am going to work on those lifts to improve my strength. Frequency is 2, loads above the 80% threshold. Volume starts relatively high and declines over three training phases, with intensity rising correspondingly. I switched one sumo deadlift session for a trap bar deadlift session as the extremely wide stance caused some problems in my last mesocycle. Let’s hope it works!
Chantal on the other hand is going to get coached by another coach than me in the next time since she starts preparing to step onto the bodybuilding stage in the upcoming years. Female bodybuilding is not my expertise and it makes a lot of sense to get input by a specialised coach here. They know what the judges want to see and will help Chantal to work on her physique with pinpoint focus. I am very excited for this, since I also can learn a lot just witnessing the process.
As I already mentioned above, my favourite season, autumn, is just around the corner. Gone is the breathtaking heat and unforgiving sun, more gentle days are to come. I am already looking forward to the typical autumn staples like pumpkins, chestnuts and root vegetables. This also means game season is about to begin, bringing some variety to the protein selection.
Autumn is also the time to (slowly) bulk up a little, the upcoming festivities are just screaming “calorie surplus” anyways, so I am going to carefully follow its call. Nothing crazy, just very slowly building up bodymass. Therefore you are going to find a little less cutting recipes and more to maintain or gain body weight. Still, if you are cutting, you most likely can modify those recipes to fit your needs or simply plan the rest of your day to fit one higher calorie meal in. No reason to treat yourself from time to time!
Upcoming fall is also the season of gaming: the new Magic the Gathering Commander edition is out and I am really excited to get some games in with the new decks. There is also a new Diablo 3 season, but to be honest I probably won’t play it too much, as the seasonal rewards are pretty much lackluster. Thankfully, Path of Exile also just started a new season with a pretty interesting seasonal mechanic: they blend a tower defense game into a traditional action roleplaying game. Crazy, but as far as I can tell, it works really well! Also playing PoE combines well with listening to fitness podcasts, so I will probably be playing PoE quite a lot ;-).
I hope you enjoyed my update post! It is something a little different, and is not going to happen too often. Feel free to post a little update about yourself down in the comment section, we really would love to hearing more from our readers!
Have a great day and stay strong!