PROJECT: regain muscle after a lay-off

So after a very long time, I am resurrecting this blog. The main reason that I stopped blogging my workouts was that I was no longer working towards specific goals but was just trying to maintain previous gains.

Now, I am gearing up to take training more seriously again in 2014. I don’t want another year to go by without working towards specific goals. I’m starting the thought-process now so that I am firing on all cylinders come January 2014…

Current training update

For the last 18 months or so, my training has largely been on maintenance mode. I was launching several businesses and I needed to focus on those goals exclusively. However, for a long time, I was holding around 85kg of bodyweight along with a back squat of about 180 – 190kg and  a deadlift of around 220 – 230kg. I was fairly happy with that.

However, in May of this year (2013), I picked up a really nasty stomach bug and I couldn’t eat for a week. That knocked me flat and I lost around 7 or 8kg of lean mass. Since then, I’ve been trying to build back up but it is proving very difficult to get the necessary volume of training in to build muscle when I have so many other competing commitments.

Stay tuned for more updates. I’ll be posting regularly after Christmas, for accountability. Until then, posts will be a bit more sporadic, while I finish a few business-related matters and get a few more of my ducks in a row.

Current training plan

My current training plan is largely volume-based, although my ability to tolerate volume is not as good as it was a year or two ago. That is definitely a focus of the current program so I will soon be looking to add the odd set here and there. The numbers are given as “sets x reps” and the plan is currently a 4-day split as follows:


  • Wide grip pull-ups [3 x 6-8]
  • Narrow grip chins [3 x 4-6]
  • Inverted rows [6 x 8-10]
  • EZ-bar supinated curls [3 x 4-6]
  • EZ-bar pronated curls [3 x 4-6]


  • Anderson front squats [8 x 2-3]
  • Very low rack pulls [3 x 4-5]
  • Weighted Hip Thrusters [3 x 8-10]


  • Overhead press [6 x 4-5]
  • Incline bench press [6 x 4-5]
  • Weighted dips [3 x 6-8]
  • Triceps band press-downs [3 x 8-12]


  • Back squats [6 x 4-5]
  • Glute-ham raises [3 x 6-8]
  • Band Hip Thrusters [3 x 8-12]

For a while, I was trying to fit 5 or even 6 workouts in a week by fixing the lower body days and just alternating between pressing and pulling workouts. Recently, I found that this was not sustainable, so I stopped doing that. I may try and increase the frequency at some point again in the future but it’s not going to happen any time soon.

Can the Hip Thruster help?

I recently took delivery of the very first Hip Thruster unit made in the UK. I think it will be fun to talk about my progress using it. It may well help add that extra bit of muscle that I need to get back to where I was. [Disclosure: I have an interest in the company that distributes Hip Thruster in the UK and Europe].

Hip Thruster

Some basic questions about the Hip Thruster, answered

  1. How Much Does the European Hip Thruster Cost? The list price for the Hip Thruster unit is £499 in the UK, which means it costs a bit less than good quality reverse hypers, back extension, and Glute-Ham raises. However, until 14 December, there is going to be a 10% discount on the units so they are being sold for £449.
  2. How Much is Shipping? Shipping within the UK is just £49, which is pretty cool given that the unit weighs around 50kg.
  3. What are the Dimensions of the UK Hip Thruster? The UK Hip Thruster is exactly the same shape and size as the American unit, which is 55” long x 29” wide x 16” high.
  4. How Long Will the Hip Thruster Take to Arrive at My Doorstep? Hip Thruster Limited are confident that they can deliver a Hip Thruster within 6 weeks of the order.
  5. How Long Does the Hip Thruster Take to Assemble? If you have proper tools you can put it together in 5 minutes. It is very simple!

If you’re interested, you can read more about the Hip Thruster here. If you’re interested in seeing one in the metal, you can come see me in Manchester on 14 December, when I’ll have them available for use at the first Hip Thrust Championships.

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One Response to PROJECT: regain muscle after a lay-off

  1. rob newman says:

    Good to have you back Chris!

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