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The Unruly Old: The Introduction + 7 Questions + Week 1

So the first of the year is about to hit us and with that hit comes the inevitable hit of New Year, New Me people who won’t know where to begin, do not have adequate goals, will carry on with no structure and who will inevitably get frustrated and quit by February if not sooner.


I’m not shaming these people by any means – hell, I was one of them not that long ago.

But with those people comes a lot of businesses marketing their product or service in a way that misleads the consumer into thinking there are shortcuts or better ways or hacks or, quite literally, any other path to success that isn’t hard work. Anyone who has trained with me knows that my approach is and always has been Slow and Steady Wins the Race and that no easy goal is worth pursuing.


Well, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

It’s been a while since I started a program and shared my progress with y’all. Anybody remember Mount Crushmore? How about Who Wants to Be King? Well, I’m doing it again with a brand-new program called The Unruly Old. It’s going to be hard but it’s going to be rad and I’m going to keep you guys in the loop while I progress through it.

And in true JTF Viking Army fashion, we’re not waiting until January 1. My philosophy has always been if you aren’t willing to start today, you won’t be willing to start January 1 … or Monday … or when you get back from vacation.

Anyway, let’s open the floor for questions:

Question 1: What the Hell? AKA: Introduction

Alright so the holidays are a thing. And with that thing comes an annoying amount of eating, a lot of traveling, an incredibly busy schedule and general stress that the holidays have a tendency to cause. This means I’ve been consuming a crazy amount of excess calories that I wasn’t able to work with much because my workouts were cut in half due to travel and crunched schedules. I’m not going to whine and say that I’m fat now, but I feel bloated and am experiencing a good amount of inflammation, likely due to the amount of polyunsaturated fats I’ve been consuming lately. I've gained a whopping 12 pounds in the last two months.

The name The Unruly Old stems from some research I was doing on Viking culture. While reading about the term Hird (a Scandinavian term meaning household or family), I read that the term Hirdman was used as a title for informal companions in what whoever authored the Wikipedia article refers to as the unruly old times, likely meaning pre-Christian Scandinavia. I thought the phrase was pretty bad-ass and figured that the attachment to the term Hird was appropriate seeing since there’s a possibility that we may be expanding our family in the next few years.

Question 2: What are My Goals?

In the previous paragraph, I mention the possibility of growing a family. While talking to Katie over the last week on the subject, I mentioned to her that I’m dedicating my life and health not only to her but to the family we may one day have. I owe it to them to be the healthiest version of myself I can be, and this program is just a stepping stone on that journey.

We’re also getting married in November so I need to be lean and mean when that day comes, lest the most beautiful woman in existence marries a slob who doesn’t care about his body, mind or overall health. I can’t be having that – she deserves the best!

I’d really love to get my body fat percentage down to 12-14% and after the last few months I’ve had, it’s going to be a long, hard road. The good news, however, is that I know how to get there.

The programming that I will include below is designed to help me beef up my main lifts – primarily my squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press and barbell row.

Question 3: How am I Going to Measure?

The same way I encourage my clients to measure their progress! I’ve built a tracker on a handy-dandy spreadsheet where I will be tracking my weight on my bathroom scale on a weekly basis and body fat on the same device on a monthly interval. All other measurements including neck, chest, arms, waist, hips and thighs will be taken monthly. I will also be snapping monthly progress photos for a visual comparison.

As far as my strength goes, I will be tracking what weight I’m lifting every workout and will be noting any changes or difficulty in my progress.

Question 4: What Will I Share in the Blog?

When I tracked my previous programs in this fashion, I posted weekly updates as well as a supplemental post later in the week that discussed nutrition, supplements and programming. That was a lot easier when my clerical work and scheduling were handled by a corporate entity and I wasn’t writing a book and planning a wedding simultaneously! With that said, every month I will post an update on my body composition, how the training is going, any changes to my nutrition and post my progress photos.

Question 5: What is the Programming?

The program I will be following is loosely based on the 5x5 program written by StrongLifts. I will follow two workouts (A and B) to lift three times a week. So every odd week will be workouts A, B and A, then on the even weeks, B, A and B. Workouts will consist of Prime Strength elements, accessory work, core exercises and twice-a-week HIIT-style cardio.

Each time that I complete the programmed number of sets/reps, I will add 5 pounds to the lift the next time I do it with the exception of the Deadlift in which case I’ll add 10 pounds.

I'll be working out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with HIIT cardio falling on Monday and Friday. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays will be dedicated to sleep, mobility and active recovery in the form of morning walks.

Workout A:

Prime Strength

Squats, Bench Press, Barbell Row 5x5

Accessory Work

Dips 3x10, Skull Crushers 2x8


Hanging Knee Raises 2x8

Workout B:

Prime Strength

Squat, Overhead Press 5x5, Deadlift 1x5

Accessory Work

Chinups 3x10, Barbell Curls 2x8


60s Bridge; 60s Plank

For weeks 1-2, there will be HIIT-style cardio following the workouts on Monday and Friday. It will consist of 20-minutes of 10s-on, 60s-off intervals on the exercise bike.

Question 6: What is the Nutrition?

This is a question that doesn’t have a perfect answer just yet but it’s one that will have a new answer each month! At the core, however, I will be prioritizing hitting my calorie requirement for the day and my protein requirement. Very little attention will be paid to my fat and carbs until I get my body fat down a bit more.

With that said, I’ll be experimenting with adjusting my calorie requirements so that I will be eating more on workout days. With the way I calculate my macros, this means I’d be consuming fewer carbs on off days, therefore I’d be carb-cycling, but since I’m not paying close attention to my fat/carb numbers just yet, saying that I’m carb-cycling would be erroneous.

I will, however, be doing some of the classic “new year” stuff, which includes a drastic decrease in my alcohol and sweets consumption. Am I going to abstain at events and on date nights? Hell no. But am I going to keep them as a staple on my regular diet? Also hell no.

Question 7: Will You Make a Program for Me?

I’d be more than happy to! Hit me up right here on my website or follow me on either Facebook or Instagram and shoot me a DM! I’ll be happy to set you up with some programming you can do remotely from anywhere in the world! I also offer weekly coaching calls and can help you set up a nutrition plan that will help you reach your goals, no matter what they may be!

Anyway, here’s how we look for Month 1, Week1:

Current Stats:

Current Weight: 230.4

Current Body Fat %: 18%

BMR: 2,022

TDEE: 3,135

Call It: 3,100

Workout Days Calories / Macros: 3,500 calories, 215g protein

Non-Workout Days Calories / Macros: 2,600 calories, 215g protein

I can’t wait to share my progress with you guys! Until next month, ever onward.


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