BONUS: No half nakedness at the end of this article!
Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve stopped my bulking cycle. I should probably go ahead and write about it, don’t ya think?
Sorry. I started to write. Then I realized I still hadn’t woken up enough to put my heart and soul into this. Then my Hot-Rox Extreme kicked in. I am definitely awake now! So, let’s try this again…
Ho-kai (Ok), so, you probably just want me to give you my results, right? Pffffft! Ha ha ha ha! You think you can get off that easily?!?! Of course not. I’m going to make you read through a bunch of BS first! Hey, hey, hey, hey! No skipping to the end! Alright, I’m going split this up into Nutrition and Training. As I said before, I’ve never actually purposely tried to gain mass. It’s happened before just due to my training, but it was never a conscious effort. So, I learned a TON about my body in doing this. Let’s get to it.
Nutrition: I’m not going to re-write my diet that I had originally started with (if you’re memory is bad or, God forbid, you didn’t even read the article, you can click here to refresh your memory), but it did not stay the same throughout the whole experiment. Originally, Jeremy wanted me to be taking shots of olive oil to get in some extra calories. I’ve heard, read, and seen this done before so I really wasn’t weirded out by it. However, going into this, I knew that my body naturally likes to gain fat so I wasn’t convinced I needed to do this. About two weeks into my diet, neglecting to take the shots of olive oil, I noticed that my midsection had already gotten a little bit softer. This was no good. I knew I was going to gain some fat, but not this soon. If I would have ignored it and just kept going at that rate, I would have been awefuly fat by the end of 8 weeks! Needless to say, I decided I didn’t need to be doing any shots of olive oil.
Anyways, I took a look at what I was putting into my body and noticed that I was eating A LOT of carbs. When bulking and trying to gain mass, carbs are not evil, but the type and quantity can be depending on your activity level for that day and the timing of when you eat them. In fact, when you are trying to gain mass, carbs are essential. For short-term energy sources, your body likes carbs. When you don’t have enough glycogen stored in your cells to be used as short-term energy, it will start breaking down excess proteins into amino acids, and then use the amino acids as energy. This is counterproductive. You want the excess protein in your body used for muscle synthesis (make more muscle) not energy. So anyways, I re-evaluated (side note: I don’t think “re-evalute” is a word, but I refuse to type “reevaluate” because it looks weird. Grammar be damned!) my carb intake and cut out the PB&J sandwich (due to processed carbs and high fructose corn syrup) and the sweet potato during the day. When I did this, and switched some other things up, I actually began to see my bodyfat decrease and my weight still increase.
I also had a problem with bloating (sexy, huh?). If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that seems to be a recurring theme of mine. Because of the bloating, I could barely choke down 3,000 calories/day. I was just too full all the time. I was completely miserable. The light bulb finally went off, and I recognized that I probably have a digestive problem. I addressed it with diet at first, then with digestive enzyme supplements (bromelain) when it still wasn’t working. Anyways, I figured out it was the damn broccoli and cauliflower that I was eating for breakfast that was making me so miserable at first. Once I cut that out of my diet and started taking the bromelain, it was relatively easy to shove 3,500 calories down my throat. By the end of this thing, I was consuming 3,500 to 4,000 calories daily. Go ahead and give that a try yourself just for one day. Oh, P.S. You can’t go to McDonald’s either. Everything has to be low/no-fat, lean, and healthy. Report back as soon as you can.
By the end of it, here was my final diet (but I probably missed some snacks throughout the day):
5:30: 6 whole eggs, 1 cup of oats, EFA oils, OJ
7:00: (Lifting days) – Start sipping homemade weightgainer shake: 12 oz of skim milk, 4 oz of OJ, 64g of chocolate whey protein, 2 Tbsp. of 100% all-natural peanut butter, 1 banana, 1 cup of oats. (Non-lifting days) – Snack on spoonfuls of 100% all natural peanut butter
9:30: 1 C of low-fat, plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup of blueberries, and spoonfuls of peanut butter (lifting days only)
10:30: 1 chicken breast
12:00: 3 chicken breasts, 1/2 C of couscous (lifting days) or 2 servings of green veggies (non-lifting days)
2:00: Turkey sandwich wrap, finish weightgainer shake
3:15: Pre-workout drink: Purple Wraath
5:00: 72g of simple carbs (dates), 36g of whey protein in water, 5g of creatine
6:00: “Big slab of lasgna” (or whatever I made for that week, ~800 calories), Milk, EFA oils
8:00: Mixed nuts
10:00: 36g of Casein protein mixed in water with a skim milk chaser (that ish is nasty!)
Holy shit. I need a break….
Training: If you remember this entry, you’ll know that I used to hate high volume shit. [Key words: used to.] And hate I did for the first 2 weeks. I felt like I was in high school again. My first back squat session was with 185 lb. (and I only completed the first four sets!); my first bench session was with 145 lb.; and my first deadlift session was with 165 lb. Absolutely nothing impressive about those numbers at all. Just down right, painfully embarrassing (sad face). Luckily for me, I’m not a complete vag. I knew that I just had to adapt, grind it out, and stop being a pussy. So that’s what I did. On my last week of working out my squat was 215, bench was 175, and deadlift was 185. My justification for my deadlift not going up as much is that my back would just get torched from squats every week, but hey, it still went up! Again, even these final numbers don’t look all that impressive. I mean, those aren’t very big numbers. I can see that. What I would like to remind you of (and mostly just to make me feel better about my weak-ass self) is that these lifts were done on a 10 sets of 10 schedule. Of which, they were completed in 25 min. Phew! Now I don’t feel so bad. Also, eventhough I hadn’t benched anything over 175 for 8 weeks, I still put up 265 for a single during the last week without a spotter (Ssshhhhhhhh! Don’t tell anybody!) and after my regular chest workout.
Other things of note: The total duration of this was originally supposed to last 8 weeks. It actually went 9. Remember my little incident with the kitteh? That laid me up for a week. I did get a squatting session in but that’s it. My knuckle is still not the same to this day. Prior to that, there was a week where I only lifted twice because I caught some kind of bug for two days. You know, the kind of bug where you don’t want to exert too much force for fear you may have to carry a spare change of underbritches around with you. Gross. Why did I just tell you that?? All in all, there was supposed to be 24 total training sessions in 8 weeks. I only managed 21 in 9.
I also learned that I could eat almost 5 lb. of food per day and see minimal gains on the scale. Some of my evening meals consisted of spaghetti. Spaghetti that I would make with an entire pound of venison burger and eat in one sitting. That doesn’t include the noodles and salad I would sometimes eat with it as well. Oooo, there was also the week where I bought 10 lb. of sirloin steak and ate 2 lb. each night. Ok, enough “bragging”.
And for my final feat, I, David Sandel, gave up drinking for 61 days out of the 63 possible. I only had 1 shot and one vodka gimlet on the first cheat day but may, or may not, have had several (or more) beverages throughout the day on the second cheat day. Either way, I don’t know of any of my friends that can do that. Ok, maybe a few, but they’re bodybuilders/figure athletes. They have to. I did not. That makes me better. OBV.
Jesus H. Christ, I don’t know how you people can still be reading. I think I managed to give myself carpal tunnel just with this one post! Ok, you want results? Here they are….
I managed to gain 10 lbs in 9 weeks. That put me at 185 lbs. at the end of this. Originally my goal was 15 lb. I did see 192 one morning, but that’s when I was on creatine (which automatically gains you about 5 lb. of water weight). When I started this, I wasn’t taking it so I figured I should stop it before I weighed in at the end to keep things consistent. Also, neither Jeremy nor I really knew what to expect. So, I’m happy with 10 lb. What impresses me the most is the measurements. I gained almost an inch (some more, some less) on every single measurement with minimal bodyfat gain (and most of it was in my waist). As you can see, I gained ~7.6 lb. of LEAN BODY MASS in only, essentially, 7 weeks! Not too shabby!
What’s on my plate next? You’ll have to wait and see! I have a couple of things in mind but will just have to wait and see which one presents itself first. I’m really excited about one of the opportunities. I do know, however, that no matter which option it is, that cutting fat and getting ripped for the summer is the goal. In fact, just in the 2 weeks I’ve been waiting, I’ve already started and can see the difference. You can bet your ass there will be more topless photos of me floating around here when that happens!