Body Beast Bulk – 1.1.2020 – 4.4.2020

Introduction

I did another round of Body Beast, Bulk version. It’s a body building routine that lasts about 3 months. I did the Lean version last year before my 40th birthday. This year, I wanted to see how lean I can get. I also found out from last year I had lost 9 lbs from simply not eating as much (basically skipping breakfast) and doing a little cardio for fun. Sadly my measurements showed that I had about the same amount of body fat, meaning a lot of my weight was muscle. Still, clothes did feel better and doing cardio things for fun was easier too.

Previous Injuries

My knee, hurt from an ambitious squat PR + competition, only slightly bothered me during some grueling leg days, but did not inhibit/negatively affect my workouts.

I struggled a lot less this year doing pull-ups. Chin-ups never hurt. I did something bad to my right shoulder when I was excited during some overhead presses 2 years back, and it’s sloooowwwllly get better. By the end of 3 months, I could hang on the bar, slack, and didn’t hurt which is mucho awesome progress. BRING ON SUMMER PARKOUR.

I got a new injury falling on my Onewheel, spraining my wrist pretty bad. It only hurts when doing pushups, but as soon as I switch to using dumbbells instead of my hands, the pain goes away.

Gains

I wasn’t strict on measurements this year, but clothes wise before my last week cut, I could totally feel massive chest and tri progress. Just adjusting last year + this year how I leverage chest muscles to do chest exercises. For some reason I guess I’ve been using my shoulders instead for the past 10 years. Yes, I’m a moron. My bi’s did grow, but they made my tri’s nervous, so they grew more. It’s not HUGE gains at all, but given my genetics mean I was built for cardio, I’m happy. Most of my lifting numbers towards the end were records. I could’t buy heavier dumbbells because of the Covid-19 pandemic; everyone is buying stuff for their new makeshift home gym. That’s ok, I’ll keep trying; great problem to have, being strong enough you need to buy heavier weights. My back muscles continue to be my strongest with most endurance.

Diet

I still don’t follow whatever the Book of the Beast says; too hard to make all that stuff. The strict sleeping schedule + erring on the side of extra food really helped me push through the Cardio. It was HARD last year, but this year I was keeping up towards the end. I remember in Lean last year was doing the common mistake of just skipping meals thinking it was helping (less calories to get lean, right?), but instead, I just didn’t have any energy for workouts. Not this year. I was strict about forcing myself to eat a breakfast, and 3 additional meals a day. This included ensuring about a 2 hour meal before workout. It paid off.

I didn’t count calories or macros but once, and just ate slower and really trusted my body. If it was hungry, I fed it. If it wanted sugar, I had another shake. If it wanted salt, I had nuts. As usual, in the first 6 weeks, it’s really hard not to overdo the fat macros. I always erred on the side of ensuring at least around what I felt was enough protein; their first 6 weeks at 25% recommendation of basically 600 extra calories than I normally eat was at least 140-180 grams or more.

I stopped alcohol, soy, and processed food (where possible) for 3 months.

Weight

Weight stayed the same 167.8 for about 7 weeks. I only did body fat readings using the Navy method which stayed a steady 19% (always seems like 8% higher compared to calipers?). Only the last 2 weeks did drastic things happen. I did the “show week” where you take a week to drink lots of water and salt, and slowly cut your calories more and more daily to prep for a competition (I wasn’t competing, just doing the diet). I dropped about 4.5 lbs to about 163.4lbs. I had 2 1/2 abs in my pics this year compared to the 2 last year, heh. My fat calipers died, and I’m obeying the stay at home order, so I didn’t venture to CVS to get new batteries… but I suspect I’m probably at 11% using the calipers? Clothes feel a little looser now, but I’m working to fix that eating horrible food and alcohol in celebration. No Cocoa Pebbles to celebrate yet, still waiting on grocery delivery.

Next Up: Lean

The last time I got super lean, I was doing P90X2, learning to eat Vegan, and on a strict minus 500 calories a day diet. This did net a 1/2lb to 1lb weight loss on average per week till I got stuck at around 146. The lack of animal protein + calories just made me drop muscle AND fat (like… at least 9lbs of it, basically all of my gains from 2 rounds of P90X), but it was so cool to be that lean. I had 6 abs with no flexing!

I’m going to see how much leaner I can in 3 more months. I’m going to take 2 weeks off, and go right back at it. It’ll be hard, but I don’t care. We’re getting our groceries delivered, and given everyone else is too, supplies aren’t predictable so I may have to dive into not-so-good food supplies, but that’s ok, I’ll make it work. Goal is NOT to starve myself, but instead, see if I can put in the work and calories, will it pay off. That and learn to be creative with diet. Every time I do this, I learn more about cooking and the macro/calorie contents of various foods.

I remember my 2nd round of P90X, that last month where they suggest you eat MORE food with MORE carbs, it really really does work. I had so much energy and could crush the workouts, and the weight slowly came off while I still felt more and more powerful/energetic. I could feel the progress. I’m curious if the same happens this time as Body Beast lowers the carbs the last 3 weeks. :: shrugs ::

I’m convinced if I truly wanna be lean, like sub 8%, even for like just 1 day, I’ve gotta nail in the calories and macro’s to whatever the heck my body needs… but I want ONNNNEEE last try by just increasing the cardio since that seems to work for me. I’m a far cry from my 180 lbs PowerLifting days weighing much less. After a 3 month stint of trying to get stronger, I’ve got a lot of great muscle/energy to work with, so hoping it’ll go well. It was a tough 3 months, man, even if the pandemic didn’t happen. It was quite emotional finishing as I worked my ass off and I didn’t get the results I wanted, BUT I was just so happy I finished. I did my best to show up everyday, and if I collapsed on the mat, or failed on a lift, I just kept going.

I am convinced that last week, that 10th week you optionally use as a pre-show week, is so worth it.

Hopefully middle of July I’ll be at least 8% body fat. I don’t really care about the weight or gains, just curious what’ll happen since I so recently completed a Body Beast Bulk round. That and continouslly learning good form, learning to cook different things, and memorizing calories/macros of things. I know when I did P90X a second time, it was SOO much easier and I felt so much better, stronger, and boundless energy so hoping something similar happens this time.

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