2019 W5 of 52 – Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journal

5 min read


THEME OF THE WEEK: #1: Preparing for My Blitz Cut   | #2: Business Successes

2019 has gotten off to a fast start for AdapNation, meaning lots of work, competing priorities and lots of magic moments. Family is in a good spot, with the girls back into the school flow, Holly smashing it at swimming and Michelle keeping the whole thing together(!) with grace, whilst getting after her own personal goals too.

And all the while, I’ve been sneaking away 3,200-3,850 calories every day, as part of the ‘oversize and shredded’ plan

Ooooh… As a little teaser, we’ve got these guys coming up on the weekly AdapNation Podcast over the next 8 weeks. Subscribe and don’t miss these crackers!

  1. Tom Bainbridge on Eating Habits and Food Environment
  2. Nick Littlehales on How to get great Sleep & Recovery
  3. Anton Kostalas on Fitness Model Competing
  4. Christian Thibaudeau on understanding how to leverage your Neurotype
  5. Shawn Baker on the benefits of a Meat-Dominant / Carnivore Diet
  6. Phil Graham on Managing Diabetes with Training & Diet
  7. Bret Contreras on Hypertrophy 101 and building amazing Glutes

#1: Preparing for the Blitz Cut

The Bulk has to come to an end…

D’oh! This current bulk is coming to an end, after 4 months of packing away the calories and training hard on OCT-18 & DEC-18 #HyperWorkouts. My 2018 W52 Progress Journal gives you a sense of the progress made towards the 2 year goal that started Jan 2018.

The goal for this bulk was to get to 205lbs, hold for a week whilst on a deload week, and then cut.

Here’s the latest:

Steve Katasi Body Composition
Steve’s Body Composition changes from Xmas to End Jan 2019 & next Composition Targets

For the most part, I’m really happy with the progress made over the last 4 months. The Upper Body jumps in size has been noticeable, both in the mirror, peoples reactions and of course the metrics. All, whilst jumping up to only 12% body fat.

I’ll take that!

Steve Katasi 4 month Bulk 2019
Not terrible by any stretch – Bigger and stronger, but with a wider waist and less definition it’s a bit meh…

My Arms, Shoulders and Chest has continued to respond over the last month, which is likely due to the insane volume in DEC-18 #HyperWorkouts Bodybuilding Training Block. But, as expected, the waist and abs continues to take a hit too, with a 2.5 inch increase… 😬

It’s inevitable, and I’m totally fine with the process and the necessity to get thicker as you bulk, but at the same time it’s not great to see the gut expand and to lose some shape as the waist thickens. Too much pinch for my liking…

I know, let’s get the violins out! First world problems huh?

The Slow, Lean Bulk strategy just works

Many guys (and ladies) use the idea of a bulk to eat whatever they want, with the excuse they are building muscle. The reality is though, that you’d be lucky to put on more than a pound a month of muscle – and that’s if you’re dialled on on your progressively overloaded training plan. See the science below.

So that means, if you’re packing on 5+ lbs of scale weight a month, you’re just building up your body fat, and getting rid of it will be hard and with some inevitable muscle loss.

Muscle Growth Potential

So, my approach has been to be at approximately the 10% daily calorie surplus mark. The beauty with this is that you’ve got enough calories and protein to go towards building muscle, with just a little extra spilling over into fat.

As you can see below, over 4 months I put on only 14lbs, with a very gradual monthly increase of just a couple pound. The delta comes from the big swing in body weight that occurs over the first 1-2 weeks of coming out of a cut, as your body starts to normalise water and glycogen retention.

Steve's Weight Chart Progress
Slow and steady wins the ‘gaining lean mass’ race
Body Weight and stats dashboard
As you can see, I’ve been averaging 2lbs of extra scale weight a month

The Good & Bad of Cutting

Previously, I’ve gone for a 20-25% calorie deficit cut, with a deepening restriction in the last week or so. This definitely works, as shown throughout 2018, and it doesn’t feel too stressful or dramatic as it’s a pretty mild reduction. Plus, I managed to keep getting stronger throughout, which is not common on diets!

But there are a couple of drawbacks, for me personally.

FIRSTLY, it takes a little too long. I love my food, and holding back for a couple of months straight doesn’t make me happy. I’m keen to shorten the cut, so I can return to business as usual as quickly as possible.

Food Diary screenshot
AdapNation Food Diary – I LOOOVE my big healthy portions, and need them back in my life ASAP!

SECONDLY, cutting introduces the potential to lose some muscle mass, as being in a calorie deficit puts your body through extended periods of being catabolic  (i.e. breaking down stuff for energy). Whilst I strength train super-hard and get enough protein in to mitigate muscle loss, some is inevitable – especially over extended periods of cutting / dieting.

THIRDLY, I miss the bigger calorie days, and need to find a way to have some of them as part of a deliberate fat loss plan.

So, it’s time for a Blitz Cut – Get In and Out!

I’ve had my Neurotype assessed, which has confirmed a couple things about me and nutrition. (p.s. awesome Podcast coming up with Christian Thibaudeau on Neurotyping that you are going to want to check out!).

Understanding your personality and Neurotype for long-term habit change
Here’s a good introduction to Neurotypes, setting you up for a mind-blowing discussion shortly with Christian Thibaudeau

As I am a Dopamine dominant individual that prefer heavy strength training, my needs for Carbs are pretty low. I also have low background Cortisol production, and therefore don’t need loads of food to reduce stress.

What this means is that I can handle an aggressive cut, as long as I can refeed every few days. I can run off mainly protein, and therefore can use my calorie balance to eat carbs and fats as I see fit.

Plus, with my desire to address the downsides as mentioned above, this is how this NEXT CUT WILL GO DOWN:

  1. 40% Calorie Deficit with 1-1.2g Protein / pound of bodyweight ~2,220 kcal/day & 220-240g Protein
  2. A Carb Refeed every 3-4 days (i.e. Weds & Sat) at maintenance = ~3200+/-
  3. 5 Week Duration, ending 10-17th March 2019
  4. Daily Plan – fully-loaded protein shake pre-workout, 700kcal lunch, 900kcal dinner, dessert and pre-bed casein shake
  5. Expectation to lose 11lbs, averaging 2lbs a week in W2-5.

This is a BIG change from 3,850kcals a day, and will require more careful lunch and dinner planning. Already on it, and will make sure there is room for dessert! 😉

What will make this easier for me will be the two 3200kcal refeeds per week, which will feel like returning to normal. Plus, knowing it will be done in five weeks is a nice mental assist.

Increase Your chances of hitting a Goal… by making it Public!

These are the body composition metrics I will be aiming for. Basically, minimal muscle shrinkage whilst dropping down to 84cm waist and ~7.5% body fat:

Steve Katasi Body Composition Cutting Goal


Coming Up In Next Few Weeks

In terms of Training, Wellness, Mindset and Body Goals, here’s my focus for the next few weeks:

  1. FEB-19 #HyperWorkouts – After a reduced capacity reload week, I’m getting back to the heavy strength training for a shorter 5 week training block
  2. Loads of Podcast Interviews! – some amazing guests. Not only is doing this a pleasure and of value to the listeners, but I am also growing in so many ways by having on brilliant minds.
  3. Head down on the #BeYourBest Journey – This is an exciting, but back breaking project, that will offer a unique and transformative service to customers of AdapNation. Can’t wait for this to launch

P.S. I’ll let you know how I get on with an update every few weeks… 🙂

Enjoyed the read?

Comment below, and check out our longer-form Articles, our shorter Micro Blog sections, grab Healthy Meal Ideas from AdapNation Food Diary, and Free Gym Workout Plans at #HyperWorkouts.

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