Fear the Power of Mjolnir: Introduction + 7 Questions + Week 1
Well, I started and completed The Unruly Old over the course of 18 weeks. My primary goal was to beef up my main lifts and I’d say I succeeded. I started benching 200+ for reps, capped 300 for reps on both squat and deadlift and got significant muscle gains in my arms, chest, back, shoulders and legs.
In that regard, The Unruly Old was, indeed, a success. However, my weight didn’t really change much and my diet was only mostly good, consisting of several binge-eating sessions and more drinking than I’m used to – hey, I’m getting married this year and we’re taking every chance we can to celebrate so I don’t feel even a little bad.
One of the pillars of success that we include in the Viking Army Way is to give ourselves some grace. Hold ourselves accountable, no doubt, but understand that life happens and often enjoying life to the fullest includes times of excess, even occasional falls off the wagon.
To quote Steve Kamb, author and Rebel Leader of NerdFitness:
Skipped your workout? Said something dumb? Ate like crap yesterday? It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Welcome to the club! There are like, 7 billion of us.
Anyway, I’m going to continue working on some stuff so let’s answer some questions:
Question 1: What the Hell?
I am still getting married in November and I want to look absolutely shredded for my smoking hot bride. I’ve added some good size through a classic “winter bulk” so now it’s time to get cut all the way up! That’s the intention of the new program I’ve cleverly, though possibly predictably, tilted Fear the Power of Mjolnir. The goal is to cut as much fat as possible and increase my stamina through running and short rest intervals during strength training.
Mjolnir is, of course, the devastating weapon wielded by the mighty Thor. Constructed by the dwarven brothers Eitri and Brokkr, Mjolniar was commissioned at the behest of the Trickster in restitution for cutting off the gilded locks of Thor’s wife Sif. The phrase Fear the Power of Mjolnir comes from the Amon Amarth song Mjolnir, Hammer of Thor, a song that depicts the God of Thunder returning to Midgard (Earth) to retrieve his hammer and protect his people from encroaching aggressors.
For the purposes of this program, the aggressors are obesity, laziness and apathy: three characteristics that are rewarded by modern-day society. Vikings are not okay with that.
Question 2: What are my Goals?
A few simple, objective feats are on my agenda: Hit 14% body fat and be conditioned well enough to run a 5K again. I’d also love to be more noticeably shredded than ever. These are considered good SMART goals because they’re:
SPECIFIC: I have an exact body fat percentage and distance to run defined.
MEASURABLE: By actual body measurements and timed run intervals.
ACHIEVABLE: 14% isn’t a sickly body composition measurement and I’ve run 5Ks before.
RELEVANT: These are goals I’ve set to help me better my health and aesthetic. Can you tell me a better way to do it?
TIME-BOUND: Ultimate goal is November 5, of course, but this program will run 12 weeks, meaning it will end July 24. If my goal hasn’t been reached in 12 weeks, then I’ll revise and continue pursuing it in the 100+ days I’ll have remaining.
Question 3: How am I Going to Measure?
Weekly, I will be measuring and recording weigh-ins on the trusty bathroom scale. I have one like this.
Monthly, I'll be doing tape measurements of the quads, hips, waist, chest, neck and arms. It’s best to have someone else do these but I’m only interested in the trend, not the numbers, so I’ll be measuring myself. I’ll also be doing monthly body-fat scans (with the scale) and monthly progress photos.
Question 4: What Will I be Sharing in the Blog?
Same as usual when I do this. Going to do a monthly update with week-by-week analysis, updated macros, measurements and progress photos.
Question 5: What is the Programming?
It’s true that I am a personal trainer and I design programs for people almost every day but sometimes it’s just fun to take the guesswork away and follow someone else’s program. I’m doing just that. I’ve taken a user-submitted program written and shared in the forums at Bodybuilding.com, made a few adjustments and added a cardio curriculum to the mix for added fat burn and conditioning. I’m working out six days a week consisting of three strength training days (MWF) and three cardio days (TTrSa). My workout looks like this:
5-7 minutes of foam rolling + 5m steady pace walk, treadmill or track
Barbell Squats - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Barbell Romanian Deadlifts - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Chest / Shoulders:
Reverse Fly with Pec Deck - 1 x 12
Incline Barbell Bench Press - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Dumbbell Standing Overhead Press - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Dips – 1 x 12
Dumbbell Shrug - 1 x 12
Chin-Ups - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Dumbbell Drag Curls - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
French Press - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
V-Ups - 2 x 12 (30s rest)
Side-Bends - 1 x 12
Mobility & Stretching
It may seem a little bit crazy and long but it goes by quickly, especially if you superset and adhere to the 30-second rest policy. It’s also good for keeping the stamina up and causing you to persevere through a pretty tough sweat sesh. The concept of the program is simple – Legs, Back and Arms are made of 2 sets of 2 exercises; Chest, Shoulders and Abs are made of 3 sets of 2 exercises (so 2 of 1 and 1 of the other).
The strength training plan will follow that formula but the exercises will change (albeit slightly) about halfway through -- maybe a third of the way through, I haven't decided yet.
The cardio factor will just be me following the Couch-to-5K program three days per week as written and delivered by the C25K app developed by Zen Labs Fitness.
Sundays are for rest, recovery and mobility.
Overall, I will be following this program for a total of 12 weeks.
Question 6: What is the Nutrition Plan?
I will be dialing in my nutrition a little more strictly for this program but I won’t be going crazy or being a carb nazi. I’ll be establishing my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) using TDEECalculator and then safely docking myself 500-750 calories to remain in a calorie deficit. I’ll still be training to maintain my macro rule of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight so as to not lose muscle mass. I’ll also be sharing these numbers as the weeks progress.
Question 7: Can I Make a Program for You?
I sure can! You just have to hit me up either here on my website or shoot me a DM over on Facebook or Instagram! I do remote coaching, program design and have limited availability for 1:1 sessions right here in the Scruffy City!
So with no further ado, here’s my stats to begin this program:
Current Weight: 231.4
Current BF %: 18.1
BMR: 2,226 Calories
TDEE: 3,450 Calories
Call It: 3,400 Calories
Cut Calorie Requirement: 2,900
Protein Goal: 230g
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