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Image credit: Thomas Gallane

It’s been a long time between drinks hasn’t it?

I haven’t written on here for a long, long time. Laziness, awesomeness and a myriad of equally lame excuses have prevented me from finding something to talk about.

I’ve also started my own creative/design business called Pixel Demon which took a lot of spare time to setup.

Other than that…

Four things have happened to me since the start of December last year – and I thought it time to write about how they have affected my muscle retention, fat loss and training in general. Then I’d thought I’d post my current training schedule so you can rip it apart and tell me how much better your one is than mine.

Getting fat on your honeymoon

As everyone knows, the pre-wedding training schedule becomes especially important (more so for the ladies who have to reveal a little more skin on the big day than the guys do). The 4-day-a-week schedule suddenly becomes 6-7 days, whilst the diet becomes increasingly strict. In addition to this, the anxiety forces your body to burn calories at a heightened rate causing you to shed more kilos than you really need to in those final weeks. That’s all fine and dandy of course, until you go on your honeymoon… Holy sh*t-balls did I pack on some fat during my 10-day period of next to zero exercise and increased caloric intake. Lean gainswent out the window with 3 meals a day returning as the norm. Not only that, the three meals were rich, excessive and usually involved some kind of pastry. We arrived back a week out from Christmas day looking like we’d been hanging out with Santa Claus at the north pole sucking back on a keg of egg nog.

Trying to stay fit after Christmas

Clint Nielsen Pre-Wedding

This was shot 2 weeks out from the wedding day…

During the Christmas break, training was sporadic. Sometimes non-existent. It’s pretty difficult to catch up with the family AND train daily. Everyone offers you a glass of wine. You know how it is. So we are now a few weeks into the new year, and things are getting back to where they once were. This is EXACTLY my point. Weeks and weeks of crappy training schedules, less than poor diet and drinking like an 18 year old have all amounted to a blip on the radar of life.

A return to form

I’m back to eating 2-3 times a day, fasting daily for 16 hours from dinner to lunch time the next day and training 4 days a week. It didn’t take long to get the abs back and the strength is (slowly) returning. You just have to remember where you were, and that it won’t take long to get back to your former-holiday glory. Enjoying the festive season is ESSENTIAL for maintaining your relationships, your long-term training goals and most importantly, your sanity. So all of this junk food, alcohol and inconsistent training aside, the impact wasn’t as severe as what I thought it would have been.

Clint’s current training regimen

I’ve simplified my training this time round – limiting the number of exercises to the BIG movements allowing time for maximum recovery between sets. It follows a Reverse Pyramid Training structure, albeit a lot less over the top than what I’ve posted about previously. NOTE: I’m suffering from a scapular injury at the moment, so good formhas been paramount to allow for recovery. I also start with a 5mins on the cross-trainer each session to make sure I’m ‘warm’.

Day 1 (Monday) – Chest/Shoulders

Today is all about targeting chest and shoulders with a little bit of trap work.

Incline Chest Press5 + 1 warmup
Weighted Dips3 (same weight 8-10 reps)
Standing Military Press5 + 1 warmup
Shrugs or Lateral Raises3 (same weight 8-10 reps)
Hanging leg raises2 (as many as you can)

Day 3 (Tuesday) – Legs/Back

This day will absolutely hammer you. Some big exercises here.

Squats5 + 1 warmup
Dead Lifts5 (no warm-up – squats will have done that)
Weighted Pull-ups5 + 1 warmup
T-Bar rows3 (same weight 8-10 reps)

Day 4 (Thursday) – Arms

I wouldn’t usually do extra arm work, so this day is optional.

Rope Tricep Pull-downs4 + 2 warmup
Close-Grip Bench Press4 (same weight 8-10 reps)
Preacher Barbell Curl4 + 2 warmup
Alternating Dumb Bell Curls3 (same weight 8-10 reps)

Day 1 (Friday) – Full body

Here I choose exercises that I haven’t done earlier in the week.

Leg Press4 (same weight 8-10 reps) + 2 warmup
Lat Pull-downs (alternate grips each set)4 (same weight 8-10 reps) + 2 warmup
Bench Press (flat or decline)4 (same weight 8-10 reps) + 2 warmup

Training Notes

When I say ‘warm up’, I mean use a weight that’s around 40% of your 1 rep maximum. If you normally bench press 100kg’s for 1 rep, then you’d warm up with say 10 reps of 40kg.

Wrapping it up…

Now that I’ve had a break, I’m ready to attack training, life and most importantly this blog with a new found vigour. Stay tuned for more posts, rants and hopefully a smidgen of comedy. Happy New Year everyone :)

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Clint,

    Good to have you back. Congrats on the wedding. It’s refreshing to hear your honesty about your honeymoon and the festive time of the year. I swear some people would have you believe that they never drink and go to the gym on Christmas day. Like you say you need balance in your life. I train to enjoy life, training isn’t my life. My Christmas and New Year period was also filled with plenty of food, drinks and worst of all…….no access to a gym. I did however manage to maintain my strength and fitness through the use of body weight circuits and outdoor Crossfit sessions. Good luck with your new training plan, and hope the injury heals up quick.


    • Clint Nielsen says:

      Cheers Niko, I’m glad others have found that the brief period that is the festive season, doesn’t dictate your lifestyle for the entire year.

  • Tom says:

    Mate, in that workout, how many reps per set?

  • Ross says:

    Great to have you back and congratulations!
    Over the Christmas Period I pretty much ate and drank whatever I wanted, I did few gym sessions but I went into the two week break fully prepared to gain weight, I only put on 4-5 lbs which isn’t too bad so its reasuring to see im not the only one! Im currently doing a similar regimen to you, Im doing phase 3 of visual impact with a few tweaks, I’ve only recently started RPT and I was doing 3 warm up sets followed by 3 working sets but think I will give your method a try for a few weeks!
    On a side note as a fellow Designer, thumbs up on the ‘Pixel Demon’ logo!

  • Congrats Clint! Sorry I’ve been out of the loop on your wedding.
    I really like your training split. Looks solid and it definitely gets the job done.


    • Clint Nielsen says:

      Thanks for the well wishes Sam. The split actually varies week to week depending on how bored I get :)

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