I’m just completing week five of Jim Stoppani’s 12 week plan. So far, so good. I have a few thoughts regarding my experience so far.
I don’t know if anyone else would notice changes in my physique but I see subtle changes that I’m pleased with. I can’t say that I’m aware of a lot more muscle mass accruing but I’m most definitely seeing a tightening in my physique and a rounding of my muscle. In other words, I’m less stringy which is a step in the right direction.
The diet portion of the program is easy to follow. I get plentiful food and eat many times a day so I typically don’t get hungry. On the couple of occasions when I want to eat between meals (always after leg day), I eat a few nuts and that tides me over. The nutritional plan is built around a man weighing approximately 200lbs so I just cut the portions in half and that has proven to be a good way to handle the caloric intake for a person my size. This plan does not include room for “cheat meals” so I’ve added space for them on my own. Those meals usually fall on the weekend when my youngest requests pizza for dinner. I don’t deny myself a few slices. If I were planning to compete at the end of the 12 weeks, I’d forgo the cheat meals but that’s not on the docket so I think having one or two off-plan meals a week is just fine.
One challenge I’ve run into is that I don’t have heavy enough dumbbells at home to increase the weight on certain exercises. I’m currently doing 50lb one armed dumbbell rows and that represents the heaviest dumbbell I have. I’ve done rows with 60lbs in the past so I know I’ll max out my weight next week which is way before I max out my body. I’m currently seeking a solution to this problem. I don’t really want to buy heavier dumbbells unless I find some cheap ones on Craig’s list. I might have to make a stop at the gym just for that particular exercise.
I’ve subbed out a couple of the recommended exercises to make things easier. The lying triceps extensions posed problems for me. The dumbbells I have are large at each end and managing that exercise without hitting myself in the face or popping my earring out (yes, that happened) while maintaining proper form wasn’t working. I simply switched to another tricep exercise for that rotation. The incline bench press was a problem too because of the way my bench and bar are oriented. They’re welded together so I can’t scoot the bench farther under the bar which I needed in order to get the weight off the rests and into position. The rests are too far behind my head to get the weight up safely so I substituted dumbbell presses.
I’m enjoying this program. It’s a relief to let someone else to design and plan my workouts for a while. I’ve been creating my own for many years so this is refreshing. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with my physique over the next few weeks.