Final body composition test of the year

I had my final hydrostatic test of the year yesterday at the FitnessWave mobile testing unit that visits my office. It was my tenth test in almost exactly two years, and it’s been a fun and informative process.

The numbers from this final test are not all that impressive when considered in isolation, but when I add a little narrative and consider the longer journey, they stack-up pretty well.

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What I learned in the last three months

It’s been 75 days since the last time I posted, and frankly, a lots happened.

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that what I put up here is somewhat of a mixed bag; part journal, part training log and probably two-parts waffle … and no, not the good kind. Still, I’m not making you read, that’s on you.

So, given I could cover a lot here, we’ll keep it focused on training, diet and what I’ve learned in the last three months. And for those of you that want to bail early, here’s the summary:

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Full cutting program

arnold-bicepsOver the last couple of weeks, I’ve been posting individual workouts I’ve been testing as part of a new cutting program.

Today, as promised, here’s a write-up of the entire program, largely for your convenience.

Before I’d finished the last bulk, I was already thinking ahead to this next phase and how I’d approach it. I shared my thoughts in a post as the tenets of my cutting program. So far, I’ve held true to those tenets.

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The journey to 190lb is over… for now

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.51.46 AMAs most of you are are now painfully aware, I’ve been pushing hard on this latest bulk to reach 190lb. Alas, my window closed this morning with 187.75lb showing on the morning scale.

Still, I’m not disappointed.

I’ve learned a lot about my body this last six months and managed to add quite a bit of size to my frame. Said differently, I’ve created a really solid foundation for the upcoming cut, and ultimately for another run at size in the new year.

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The reason you’re not making progress

There’s a reason you’re not making the progress you want in the gym. In fact, there’s likely many reasons. For example, you could be following the wrong program, perhaps working too low in the rep-range. Or maybe it’s that all body, routine you switched to recently. Perhaps you’re doing a little too much cardio; not enough cardio. Ah, you don’t have macros? That’ll be it. Oh, you do have macros, but you’re not tracking? Yeah, track your foods and hit the macros, that will help. Your rest intervals could be too long, or too short, of course, and what’s your tempo like? Exclusively machines? Dope, switch to free weights… but not barbells, just dumbbells. Did you say you are or aren’t benching? Well whichever it is, do the other…

Confused?

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Finally able to eat more

picZLz4xFIt’s taken weeks, perhaps even three months or more, but I finally seem to have increased my capacity to eat. Sure, I still can’t sit and eat a single, blow-out meal, but I can at least now eat at a decent clip every two hours and not feel like I am dying.

When I first started this latest bulking cycle, increasing my intake to the point where I could hold and make gains was brutally hard. Gut was permanently distended and I was not remotely hungry from the point I finished breakfast right up until I’d hit the sack. It was really pretty depressing and I wanted to bail on the bulking process more than once.

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Another milestone in the rear view

VascularityWe reached a new milestone this morning, seeing 185lb on the morning scale for the first time! Sure, we need to see it more than once, but once is a great start.

For perspective, last November I was 169lb, and on January 1st, I was holding 175lb in the mornings. As it turns out, 175lbs was a HUGE sticking point for me. It took another two months to break that plateau and inch toward 180lb. I’m not sure what’s happened, but 185lb has come pretty quick by comparison… just a month since I was dunked at 180lb on March 25th. Gettin’ chubby.

With 185lbs in my grasp, I’ve been thinking about quantifying my goals. The numbers make it real, and kinda scary.

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Closing in on 180lbs

175lbs and 10.4% body fatIt’s been a pretty good week overall, with solid progress in the gym and on the scale. I also had my body fat tested again this week and followed up with the doctor about the palpitations.

Let’s start with progress.

I was dunked in the hydrostatic testing pool again this week, courtesy of the FitnessWave Norcal mobile testing team; they come out to our office at work just about every two months. Sessions start at just $40 and get cheaper if you buy in packs of three. Take a look at their calendar, they are all over the Bay Area week to week.

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Crushing goals, inching forward, still here to tell the tale

Me at 173lb and 10% body fatOverall, it’s been a pretty good week. Sure, I’ve definitely had some ups and downs–this is real-life, after all–but on balance, I’ll take it.

In terms of progress in the gym, it’s been a real roller-coaster! I went from starting out the week with multiple, epic PRs, to fizzling out last night with a pretty lack-luster workout; at least as far as the numbers are concerned. But given I am trying hard to play-down everything negative in my life right now, let’s keep things positive and start with those PRs.

Oh, and I’ve got to keep this post to less than 1K words, or my good friend Bryan Krahn may unexpectedly hurt himself if he pushes through to the end.

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Keeping to the schedule

Alright guys, just a little over a week since I last posted. Trying hard to not let things slip and keep on top of a weekly posting schedule. The challenge, as always, is not finding time to write, but committing to writing something of value. Still, I personally get a little something form journaling my own progress and experiences, so maybe that’s reason enough.

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