THEME OF THE WEEK: #1- Bulk Ending & #2- JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts Ending
#1 – The 3-4 Month Bulk Coming To An End
As I’ve mentioned previously, I have body compositions goals that have me both put on more muscle and lean out. And as I’m considered an intermediate lifter, all the newbie gains are behind me, meaning I need to cycle through bulks to gain a little muscle (and fat) and mini-cuts to shred the excess fat (with a little muscle).
I finished my last mini-cut just before our month-long April 2018 Australia Trip, where I weighed 187lbs. I put on only three or so pounds whilst on holiday, some of which may have been muscle as I trained hard as much as the schedule allowed.
Since returning from Oz, I’ve been on a slight calorie surplus (i.e. a bulk) that started at around 3,700 calories and is now up to 4,000 calories a day. I found I needed to keep upping the daily calorie target, as my weight was flat lining very few weeks. I put that down to increasing muscle mass which in turn increases metabolism and therefore your daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It’s a clean bulk, following the principles outlined in the IIFYM+ Thrive Eating Approach.
Throughout that time, I’ve been training as hard as normal (more on that below), following APR-18 and then JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts with a Deload Week in between.
I’m now up to my target weight for this bulk, which was 200-205lbs. It’s crazy really, as this was my heaviest weight prior to getting myself into shape!
The goal now is to hold 200-203lbs for a couple weeks so my body accepts the new mass. I’ll do that by eating at maintenance, which I suspect is now up to 3,800 calories or so. Then, I’ll go on a 24 hour fast to mark the start of the fast and give me digestion a much needed break! Plus, Fasting has so many health and restorative benefits, so it will be good to advance from my Intermittent Fasting efforts to date.
The Cut will be a harsh cut of 15-20% below maintenance to start with, with the goal to get down to about 190lbs whilst maintaining as much as the new muscle mass gained. The good news, is that I won’t need to go down to 2,700 calories as I had to previously, due to the increased metabolism. Instead, I go for about 3,000-3,200 calories, which is still quite a lot of food. Read more about my approach to losing weight, calorie counting and macro targets here.
Based on wishing to lose 12lbs of body fat, and a pound of fat is 3,500 calories, this cut should take about 50 days (7 weeks). Ideally, I’d like to end it sooner, so may opt for a deeper calorie deficit depending on how I’m managing hunger.
During this time, I’ll still be training just as hard, to convince my body to hold onto my muscle mass (as opposed to feeding off of it). As a family, we’re all going on an Anti-Inflammatory ‘Diet’ of sorts by removing all Sugar, Gluten and Dairy for 3-weeks. This will help with keeping the calories lower! The reasing behind this diet is outlined well in the book Autoimmune Fix by Tom O’Bryan.
#2 – Great Progress Using JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts Programme
Throughout June and July, I’ve been following the JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts Training Block, that was focussed on working on some focus muscle areas (Chest & Quads), developing greater strength with 3-Rep Max lifting and mixing in some classic bodybuilder volume to illicit some extra growth.
It was a big shock to the body, which is always the intent as I move from one 8-week block to the next. Having spent most of my time building strength using the 4-6 rep range across the big compound lifts, working on 3-rep max work was scary but very productive in boosting my confidence on heavier barbell weight in the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. And with the insane volume on chest and quads, I’ve definitely had a positive response in terms of muscle growth. I’ve made progressive overload jumps across ALL my Compound and Accessory exercises – which is great!
JUN-18 training block comes to an end for me this week. I’ll then take a deload week, which essentially means lowering intensity by 50% or simply doing other activity as opposed to gym strength training, in order to allow your body to rest and recovery. Then, tied in with the start of the cut, I’ll move to AUG-18 #HyperWorkouts Training Block.
In regards to AUG-18, I won’t be a massive departure from the approach and exercises you’ve seen in other #HyperWorkouts training blocks. I’ll move back to 4-6 reps to retest my new strength gains in this rep scheme. I’ll also look to drop some of the glycolytic demands from JUN-18, as I’ll naturally be on few carbs and as such will fatigue quicker with a likely drop in overall performance .
Coming Up In Next Few Weeks
In terms of Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness and Body Goals, here’s my focus for the next few weeks:
- Deload Week next week. More Non-Gym activity will be the goal
- I’ll take new Body Fat & Girth measurements prior to cutting, to assess muscle gains
- Starting the NEW AUG-18 #HyperWorkouts Training Block
- 24h Fast (i.e. going from dinner to dinner with nothing in between). Pencilled in for 30th August
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Cut starting 1st August 2018 and running for 6-7 weeks
I’ll let you know how I get on with an update every 2-3 weeks… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.