Wow this is turning into quite the epic series of entries!
For those who just got here, this is kind of a recap of the year 2011 so far, in which I’ve managed to gain 6kg of muscle over the Autumn and Winter months. That’s rather a lot, especially for me due to… shall we say, vertical disadvantage? Heheh – aka, I’m kinda short!
Anyway, catch up! Click for Part 1 and Part 2 of the series. Or are you one of those people who skips to the last page of the novel to see how it ends? Don’t worry, I’ll just kill time till you get back.
OK here we go with part 3!
As you just read, I started out lean and light. A little bit TOO light for my liking, so as soon as Summer was over I started on a “clean bulk”. From memory I would say I put on maybe 6kg in this clean bulking phase, but I was determined to put on a total of at least 10 kg and so I increased calories even further once Winter arrived. I’m pretty sure I only put on another 2kg or so even with all the extra calories. As I said, I was including some not-so-clean meals quite regularly, so it was surprising how slowly I gained weight under the circumstances.
Bulking stage 3: dirty, filthy, horrible bulk!
So, I’m not the sort of trainer who likes to post shirtless pics of himself all over his business website… so you’ll just have to take my word for this part. It’s normal to take “progress pics” to compare how you look now, to how you looked in the past. So, I took some and who knows, maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was the camera angle or the layer of dust over the mirror… but I actually didn’t look much different to the old picture from the start of Summer where I weighed 68kg the same as when I was twenty years old.
That’s actually a GOOD thing though when you think about it. From memory, I was about 76kg at the time… so 8kg heavier, clearly I’ve gotten bigger… but the stomach and love handles hadn’t blown out much at all despite all that extra eating. As I said already, when you start out lean and train hard, your body wants to utilise everything you put into it (even the junk calories) rather than storing it.
Here’s the thing though… I was stalled HARD at 76kg and my goal was to be 80kg at the end of winter, or at least 78kg which would be 10kg heavier than I started out. This part is important… once you hit your goal weight with a bulking program, you need to maintain it for a decent amount of time before you start cutting back and trimming up again. Otherwise, it becomes a bit like y0-y0 dieting. Give your body a chance to get used to carrying around that extra muscle mass, or you’ll just lose it again.
So, I’d maintained 76kg for quite awhile and was DETERMINED to hit at least 78… so once again I had to increase calories! I decided it was going to take 4000 calories a day, which for a little guy like me is a LOT of food. Seriously, I don’t know how much the bigger boys at the gym must be eating… but for me 4000 calories was actually so much that I did not even enjoy eating any more! It became a chore, if anything… and I had to finish it all, or no TV and facebook time! hahah just like a kid. So by this stage I really didn’t care where those extra 300 or so calories came from… so, you know what has a lot of calories in it? Chocolate bars! One a day for a couple of weeks there!
And it worked! I finally hit 78 kilograms! This time though I could actually see that I’d gotten a little fatter around the midsection.