Overall, training continues to go well. I am still following the plan of a lean bulk and working hard to bring up those lagging areas. While in the gym I am trying to keep up the intensity, and make sure that I am working all areas of a muscle group.
Anytime I miss several days in a row at the gym, i seem to loss a few pounds, which makes it hard to grow. I guess it's just my body working toward homeostasis. Working hard toward a solid metabolism has its good and bad I suppose. Like always, it just highlights we are what we do consistently.
These were taken in the morning preworkout. I can see some progress and where I want to take it as well. Time to put in more work.
Yesterday was my first day back in the gym after a week and a half break. A couple little nagging injuries and a busy schedule made it a good time for an extended rest day. I must have a serious addiction because I could not wait to get in there and worked like a machine once I did.
I have been trying hard to stick to a consistent long term plan - trim down the body fat and then slowly gain lean muscle mass. It has been a little frustrating at times, because the progress can be slow. But with patience, progress has been made. It has also helped to highlight both the areas of improvement, and those areas which are lagging a bit.
As stated before, the wheels are the biggest lagging area. I will continue to work them hard and I'll be proud of them again. In the upper body, The largest areas of need are my traps and outer (middle) delts. This, coupled with continued improvement in other areas (like lats) will hopefully bring more balance to my frame.
It is a journey, layer by layer, and not a destination. I guess you need to stop and recognize the progress made, but always keep your focus on the accomplishment around the corner.
Overall the second month of my bulk has gone well. So far this month, I have gained another pound, bringing the total gains to 2 pounds. I know I can continue to improve in several areas, but I am pleased with the current even tempered progress toward my goal. It is a long journey accomplished layer by small layer.
During the first part of the month I found myself in an incredible groove, training hard and feeling like a machine. I had great intensity, energy and focus, and most of my lifts improved (even pegged out a row machine). The last week and a half or so have keep me away from it several days, but I am getting back to it this week.
My macros were a little off for a good bit of the month, so I need to tighten them back up again.
I began my 2013 lean bulk on the 6th of January. In three weeks time I have gained a hulking one pound. There was an adjustment period both nutritionally and in the gym the first week, but the last two have been solid and consistent, and I am happy with the results.
In the gym this month I will do a little less cardio (not that I do a huge amount now) and focus on heavier lifts. I will also bump up my macros again, approximately 200 calories. So far I have begun to thicken up slightly, without adding much body fat.
Attached are a pair of pics cold this am. First is relaxed, second flexed abs. There is only a negligible difference since late 2012, but hopefully there will be a greater change as the year goes on.
The goal / plan for 2013 is to grow. By the end of the year, I want to put on 12 pounds and reach a lean 160. An increase in body fat is unavoidable, however I am looking to bulk cleanly, rather than add unnecessary, excess fat. I always want to be able to flex my abs.
My most lagging areas are wheels, delts and traps. These areas have the greatest potential for growth, and will hopefully add some overall balance and symmetry to my frame. Due to knee injuries, my legs are a shadow of their former selves. I have been working them in a rehab-ish cycle recently, but I look forward to cutting lose soon and seeing how far I can take them.
Finally, during the bulk I will follow the lean gains format, uping my macros accordingly. Thankfully, my wife is a great cook, and she is awesome at making healthy taste good.
From the mind, to the page, to the kitchen table and the iron. Onion layer by onion layer.
Life has been great and incredibly busy. Training has been a little hit and miss over the past month, but will get back to normal next week. While my recent schedule has kept me out of the gym a few times, I certainly cannot complain. Life has been good, and any time away was well spent.
I am however, itching to get back into the gym and tear it up again. The attached referenced pics are from this week. The first two are from mid week, the last is cold this morning, after an awesome amount of Thanksgiving gluttony.
Just a quick log for the beginning of October. Training has still been going great. I recent took a few extra days off to enjoy some college football and a few family events. Itching to get back in there today. During the last week or so, I have loosened up on monitoring my nutrition and have just been enjoying life. This fall I am looking to add more lean mass, so ill be tightening up the macros again to get more quality food in. Having an incredible wife that is an awesome chef sure does help.
I am pumped to see what kind of progress I can make over the rest of the year. The attached photos are over a three month period. During that time I have gone from 148 to 147 and back to 148.5. It's taking me some time but I am having to be making slow and steady gains. First is from early July and the other two from early October.
The more dialed in I get with training and nutrition, the more vascular I become. I have always had visible veins in my arms. This summer, I started to notice the veins in my chest and delts were becoming more noticeable. Yesterday, I saw the beginning of veins in my back/lats. It is just a little step that adds tons of motivation.
Just another lay to the onion.
Delts and traps day. Motivated as hell.
Training has been going great over the last month or so. I've been working hard to keep the intensity high and the lifts heavy. Several plateaus are beginning to fall away, and I am gunning for new PRs on it all.
On some lifts I am already there. The last two back days I have hit 200 x 4 on the lat pull downs. That may not be a huge number, but I was pleased with pulling 50 lbs over my body weight. Next up is a legit yank over 250 on cable rows.
Each and every day is about a layer on the onion. Each day, you fight to add (or remove) that next little layer. Tomorrow, rinse and repeat.
I had a great weekend of training. Today is a rest day, but I am already itching to get back at it tomorrow. My lifts continue to improve and I am working on keeping the intensity level high in the gym.
My body weight has remained consistent, though I believe I am slowing adding strength and size. I do not feel as scrawny anymore, at least while I am lifting. I have a long way to go, but I am loving the plan I am on so far. The pics are blurry but they convey the general idea. Trying to stay lean and slowly add more size.
I am still seeing consistent progress with lean gains. The weight loss has slowed down, and I am now in more of a recomposition phase. I do continue to see more and more definition and the veins are now more visible. Strirations are starting to appear for my delts and chest.
The gym continues to be great. My lifts have not suffered at all, infact in most, I have made improvement. I am sure it is a combination of solid nutrition, intensity, motivation and a new found sense of patience.
I am down another pound (147) since my last post on 7/4. I have bigger goals in mind for down the road, but right now I am please with the results.
One of the things that stuck out to me while reading about lean gains, is Martin's comment that he did not start to acheive solid results, until he accepted that real results take patience. Stay the course, work hard and give it the time it will take to happen.
I'll get there.
I am five weeks into the lean gains program, and so far, have been happy with the results. So far, I have lost six pounds, without losing muscle mass. I have always wanted to eat large around my workouts, so the LG program has worked well for me.
I have strictly followed the fasting / overfeeding schedule, and have kept my macros relatively in check. I do not like to be hungry, and I hate to skip meals, so I was concerned about how I would handle the long fasting period. However, once I got past the mental challenge of needing to eat, I had much less of an issue with feeling hungry that I expected. Plus, I have found it easier to track and control my macros during the smaller feeding window.
In the gym, my lifts have not suffered, and my energy levels have been good. I hope to complete the leaning out phase over the next few weeks, and then begin to add quality lean mass.
The attached pics are from a couple of days ago, and with any luck, will serve as a good reference point for progress I will make over the next few months.
Going to test drive a new split for the spring.
Training is still going very well. Strength and lifts are still improving, and I am still following the formula of high intensity, high weight and fewer sets. I have decided to switch to the following 4 day split to make sure I am getting enough rest and recovery time.
Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Back / Traps / Bis
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Delts
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Chest / Tris
Day 7: Off