Things have been going quite well. Since publishing my last series of personal progress updates nearly three months ago here and here, I went through a couple of months bouncing between 180 and 183 (5'10). Then, last week, maybe the week before, I suddenly went to 178. Then it was back to 180, and, now...
176 this morning, right after my workout. The last time I recall being under 180 was about 1994/5 after a fairly disciplined few weeks of Atkins. I think I hit 179 at the lowest, from somewhere in the mid-190s. Of course, you know the rest of the story: I eventually topped out at 230+, which is even more than I was in this photo from about five years ago on a trip to Kauai, getting ready to board the helicopter. Man, I'm surprised they even let me on.
Richard Nikoley Comparison
The one to the right was just taken a bit ago.
So, I'm very happy to be well on track, and probably near about 10 pounds from where I'll be able to relax. How easy is it going to be to maintain a lean body composition for life, given what I've gone through. Cakewalk.
On another note, and what's most amazing to me is that I am by far the strongest I've been in my life -- by far. At 230, I may even have had more lean tissue -- who knows? -- but it was certainly weak. Now I do static holds with the lat pulldown stacked at 300# (with assistance to get it in place). The chest press machine too: stacked at 300#. In terms of free squats (I don't like the Smith machine), I'm lifting more than my bodyweight -- 205#, and I could do more but want to take that one very slow. I typically warm up at 135 for five reps, then three at 185, and then several sets of 2-3 reps at 205. My signal to stop on each set is degraded form. Then I like to finish off with 10 reps at 135 in very rapid succession, getting very low and keeping perfect form. I like the whole body exhaustive intensity of repping out on dead lifts, rather than going way heavy, so I typically do 3 sets of 10 reps at 135#. That is just one of the most awesome exercises ever. And then, following Keith's advice, I'm really getting into dumbbell snatches with 30 pounders right now.
I could not do a single pull-up -- not even close -- when I began, and now I'm up to 7 (dead hang, no kipping allowed!) on the first set, then 5 and 4 in the subsequent sets.
All in all, it's a great place to be, lovin' life.