After months and planning and hard slog this is how a bodybuilder took the leap to become an elite endurance athlete and what he did next.
Kris Gethin is a nutrition consultant, trainer and CEO of KAGED MUSCLE.
In my previous column I gave a complete insight into my first ever IRONMAN race, a challenge that I was able to conquer whilst building muscle and burning fat at the same time within six months.
Like all goals, the hardest part is often knowing what to do once it is complete.
Some would say having two weeks off is the right thing to do! In today’s article I’m going to explain exactly what happened after my IRONMAN and what I’m planning on doing next.
The day after I completed the event I flew back to Boise from Couer d’Alene. My first morning home at precisely 6:00am I was back in the gym, doing cardio on the elliptical trainer.
Later that day I went back and did a second session, totaling around 40 minutes each time. My muscles felt very fresh because my preparations were so precise, along with my stringent diet and supplement regime.
However, my hip flexors were completely destroyed to the point where Sunshine (my girlfriend) had to help me lift my legs in and out of the car, as well as into bed.
I also had to get the elevator to the second floor in the gym where the cardio equipment was located. Once on the elliptical, I was okay, I just couldn’t pick my legs up to take to the stair mill or stairways
Within about three days of being home, I did my first upper body workout in the weights area of the gym. The aim was to promote blood flow rather than annihilate my muscles, which is why I only went to around 70% failure each set.
Each day from here I continued to train two different body parts, with the same intensity just to keep my muscles stimulated.
It’s no secret that training is a mental therapy for me, therefore I’d rather suffer the physical pain and potential setback from “over training” rather than take rest and miss out on the psychological release I enjoy.
Kicking up slowly
While I’ve been building muscle intensity back up in the gym along with doing low impact cardio, my nutrition and supplementation has been as strict as ever.
After such an extreme event I noticed a lot of inflammation in my muscles and my entire CNS was hyper fatigued regardless of whether I felt it or not.
It’s important that the food I eat is of high quality so it doesn’t promote more inflammation than necessary within my GI tract. Higher quality food always digests more readily, being more abundant in nutrients, which aids recovery.
As ever, I’ve been packing in a lot of lean protein from fish, some poultry and vegetarian sources along with slow release carbohydrates like quinoa, sweet potato and wild rice to fuel recovery.
However, I’ve got photoshoots scheduled so I had to keep my portions relatively modest to lean down a little. Fortunately, I’ve got the added benefit of using CLEAN BURN, which is a highly potent natural effective fat burner.
For this post-IRONMAN phase it’s been tremendous in helping me reach my condition for the shoots ahead.
The fact I was able to drop 3.8lbs of fat mass during my IRONMAN training and keep in good shape has helped, giving tangible proof that you can build a good physique, which is also physically functional.
Next best steps
With the IRONMAN complete, the obvious thing was to set a new goal. All too often I see somebody strive for a really challenging goal, invest hours of their time every day to this outcome and once they achieve it they just “fall off.”
That’s not how I wanted this process to go, this is just a stepping-stone to a life as a hybrid athlete. Within two days of getting back from Couer d’Alene I was looking for the next extreme endurance event I could participate in.
Long term, I found an IRONMAN in Arizona that appeals to me, that could be my next goal. However, I don’t just want to draw the line at IRONMAN events. There are even more extreme events such as the “Death Race” and the “Frozen Ultra-Marathon” which also have my attention.
To me it’s not the time, which matters; it’s conquering something wasn’t supposed to be able to do. Every time I do this it’s another layer of mental strength added to my internal resolve.
The added aerobic fitness I’ve gained has also benefitted my bodybuilding
The take home message
Completing the IRONMAN race gave me great satisfaction and immediately afterwards I got right back into my routine, without any breaks.
For sure, my training had to initially be less intense to let my connective tissues recover. I’ve already joined a swim master class to improve on my technique and the local Tri Town Bike club which is certainly a humbling experience being around such high-grad cyclists.
My aim is to keep overcoming obstacles deemed unattainable, while building muscle. Being a hybrid athlete is healthier, more fulfilling and more functional for day-to-day life. Think I’ll stick with it.
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