It's been about 5 months since I've made a meaningful entry. To quickly catch things up, I worked out as planned until mid-March or so, and then back-pedalled on my training for a while. In essence, I was testing myself. How long could I go with minimal workouts? Would a variety of other daily tasks at least slow the muscle atrophy and strength loss (i.e. lumberjacking, working on my vehicles with hand tools, etc).
At the end of the day, after a successful first workout in what I've decided to call "Project Cyttorak", I found that I've definitely lost some strength (and muscle mass). However, the losses weren't as severe as I was expecting - which is a very good thing.
I've often been asked in the past as to why I choose to name my experiments. In reality, it's a two-fold situation. One, naming the experiments that I perform is really no different than giving a book a title. You wouldn't attempt to sell a book to the public without a name. Why would I attempt to "sell" myself on an idea without a name? Two, it makes it a bit more of a game and it keeps me interested.
Take, for instance, the name of my current "experiment" - Cyttorak. It's derived from the Marvel Comics' character (entity / god), Cyttorak - the source of Cain Marko's, aka the Juggernaut, powers. The crimson gem (ruby) of Cyttorak embues Cain with nigh-limitless strength, durability, stamina, the ability to live without air/water/food if required... and it also renders him immortal. In return, he becomes the avatar of Cyttorak on the plane of reality we call "life" (on Earth). Cain's purpose as the Juggernaut is to cause death and destruction in Cyttorak's name.
Obviously, I'm not out to cause death and destruction. However, the fearsome size and musculature of the Juggernaut is second to none. What should really be taken from the name I've chosen is that I'm NOT going to stop until I get to where I want to be. That's what Cyttorak means - unstoppable progress, unstoppable power. I'm not stopping until I'm done. It's that simple.
What we have here, as far as a program goes, is a THT 4.0 HIT-inspired workout. It's 4 days on (straight), and 3 days off. Instead of the old experiment where I did one set per exercise, this time I'm doing THREE sets. Is it sustainable? I'd like top hope so. Will I have days where I just can't keep up the gradual progressions pace? Possibly, but hopefully not too many. What does this mean? I'll be doing sets to a max of 8 reps, wherein I add more weight and go for at least 4 reps on my next set. Then, I'll drop 10% or so and go for at least 4 more reps. Then the same once more.
This is easily the most insane workout I've ever done, bar none. 4 days of total body workouts, 3 sets per exercise. One day alone of this left me ruined when I left the gym, and totally devoured by the evening - I slept like a rock, dead to the world.
3 months of turning an "off" period from the gym into a self-measuring, self-evaluation tool. 3 months of pondering, planning, micro-testing and more planning. Now, I get to take all of my pre-work, all of my guesswork, all of my estimates and blow my expectations right out of the water.
Project Cyttorak has already begun. Today is Day 2, the aftermath from Day 1 and the upcoming Day 2 events touching shoulder to shoulder.
I can't wait for Day 3. Or Day 4. Or Day 5 (next week).