As promised... official end-of-bulk pictures...
These are all, of course, relaxed poses... no flexing. ;) I entered a transformation challenge over at bodybuilding.com so that is the reason for the newspaper... proof of the start date. I have 12 weeks for this challenge. I was planning to lean out around this time anyway so why not give myself a little extra incentive! I did it before... I will do it again... and this time it will actually be much easier because I'm starting out in much better shape!
As I've stated before... I was supposed to start my cut tomorrow on February 1st. I'm delaying it for a bit. Unfortunately, I was struck with strep throat last week which then eroded into something more sinister... a nasty sinus infection that has moved to my bronchial tubes. I've been out of the gym since last thursday. I usually work out even when I'm not feeling great but this wasn't the type of infection I could push through. I'm currently on 2 antibiotics and some steriods. Today was the first day I've breathed through my nose more than my mouth since last Thursday.
Now...... here is what I think happened (get ready for the public service announcement).....
Last Monday I was feeling overtrained... like fatigue and lack-of-motivation were setting in. I couldn't even remember the last time I took a real break from working out. I may have skipped "a workout" here and there but it had been ages since I took a whole week off. I hadn't even done a deload week of lighter weights in forever. I've been hitting it hard for a long long time now and I think my body was starting to feel overwhelmed. I knew I needed a break but was too stubborn to take one. I kept training against my own better judgement and then my body revolted and my immune system took a nosedive. Now I'm on a FORCED break. So... let this be a lesson to you all. If your body is telling you "take a break" ... LISTEN!!! Do not be stubborn like me!!!
So... I'll start the diet once I'm well. I feel like I need to eat at least maintenance calories while sick. Depleting your body of calories while it's trying to fight an infection is not wise!
Ok... so I have a question for YOU now... anyone here doing IF (intermittent fasting)??? ... If you are not aware visit: http://www.leangains.com/
If so I'd love to hear your thoughts/experiences. I'm considering trying this during my cut.
ETA: Just found this: http://aptphysicaltraining.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/strength-is-built-in-gym-size-at-dinner.html ... a very good read!
ETA (again)... 1-year comparison pictures. From 140lbs (Jan 2011) --> 120lbs --> 137lbs (Jan 2012).
I wanted to get a post-bulk number to see where things stand. I started at 122lbs and 12% back in August. Today I was 137lbs and 16.2%. I was shocked it wasn't higher as I expected it to be closer to 20%. I know the calipers test isn't the most accurate but really I just wanted it more for the comparison. I had the same trainer do it with the same device (digital machine) at the same time of day as last time. I sent my husband a text with the results and he said, "You probably gained 5lbs fat, 3-4lbs of muscle, and 6-7lbs of glycogen/water. So... there you have it! If I did manage to gain 4lbs of muscle while only accumulating 5lbs of fat then I would say that this clean bulk was pretty successful and worth it!
This was taken last week after 23 weeks at a dietary surplus. I've now completed 24 weeks of bulking!!! Just a little over a week more (February 1st) then it will be cutting time. I was up 15lbs at my last weigh-in... 137lbs total. I will start logging food again when my cut begins. I have enjoyed not worrying about it for a while. I still pretty much eat the same stuff now as when I was logging so I know I'm around my calorie goal.
So at this point my size 4's are getting a bit too snug. My 6's are fitting comfortable-to-loose so I've been wearing them instead. My "fat clothes" I wore when I weighed 140lbs last January are still too big.
So... as much as I'm looking forward to cutting down again and seeing the results of all the hard work I've invested... there are a few things I will miss about bulking. It goes without saying that the extra food has been the best part... the part I will miss the most. :( I will also miss feeling so much stronger in the gym. The extra food has really helped me to progress in my lifts. Last but not least... I'm going to miss some of my curves. What can I say... I like being able to fill up my bra... and I like the extra junk-in-my-trunk. If only spot reduction were possible... I'd keep a little extra padding in those places... but we all know it don't work that way :(
okie doke yall... stick with your goals!!
So I'm now into week 21 of my bulk. I'm up about 14lbs and getting curvier by the day. I now weight 136lbs. Remember I started this journey almost a year ago at 140lbs and looked like the picture on the left...
Below is a shot of today... not the best shot and you can't really see my lower body but you get the idea. I'm only 4lbs away from my "chubby weight" yet I still have visible definition in my arms. There is definately a change in body composition there so mission accomplished!
Gosh I just noticed how much bigger my arms look in the above picture than the "skinny" one in the blue swimsuit! Woot woot...
Here is another comparion from about 6 weeks ago after only 15 weeks of surplus. As you can see I'm carrying a bit more body fat, especially in the thighs... and my tummy isn't as defined.
So I've decided I'm going to continue my surplus for another 4 weeks or so. My cut will officially start on February 1st. I predict by that time I will be up about 15-16lbs. When I lean out again I'm thinking my goal weight will be around 125lbs however it's hard to tell... it will depend on how I look. I don't want to lose any of this hard-earned muscle so I'll be taking it slow. In the end I should only have to lose about 10-13lbs. Considering I lost 20lbs in just about 4 months last year... this should be a piece of cake! ;)