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Muscle development

Posted by Mind , 19 April 2008 · 1,986 views

OK, I am at the end of my gaining cycle. It was difficult, but I enjoyed it because it is wonderful to see results so quickly. I guess this is true for any endeavor in life. If you find some business/employment that makes you money, and it is noticeable (not just living paycheck to paycheck), then you are more likely to keep at it and amplify your efforts.

I didn't reach 200 lbs, but I am still satisfied. For those of you who read the blog at the beginning, you know I started at 164.5 lbs on December 15th. On April 16th I weighed 194.0 lbs. So almost 30 lbs. I took before and after pics and this was the only part that was slightly disappointing. The difference is noticeable but not "eye-popping". I think it is because I gained muscle over my entire body. Torso, arms, back, legs, neck. Spread 30 lbs over an entire body and it isn't as noticeable as if it was all upper body.

I could have reached 200 lbs with a slightly different life situation. Imminst was the reason I was able to gain 30 lbs, but also the reason I couldn't quite gain 40lbs. I used all the info Shepard, Zoolander, Karomesis, and others have posted in the forums to perfect my diet and workout. However, once you reach a plateau (or your genetic limit) you really need to focus even more to bust through to an elite level (professional body building type level). Given that I have 2 jobs (Day-job and Imminst) that doesn't leave a lot of time to focus on muscle development. I needed to be getting 8 hours of sleep per night and I usually was only getting two 8 hour nights a week. The rest were in the 5.5 to 7 hour range. When you are really trying to push growth, 5.5 to 7 hours does not cut it. Something else that limited me was 3 colds. One was moderate, and the other two were light. Even though 2 of them were light they made me tired and limited my workouts. The last one occurred at the beginning of April and lasted about a week. I was nearly 194 April 1st and that cold really sucked the energy out of me. I think I was pushing it too hard, with Imminst and my regular job. Not getting enough sleep. My body just couldn't keep up. So the tail end of my program was kind-of whimpy. I just couldn't increase the weight or intensity of my workout. If bodybuilding was my career and I got 8 hours of sleep a night and started 2 work-outs a day, I could have easily pushed through 200 lbs.

Another thing that limited me from the last week of March through about April 10th, about 2 weeks, was an error in my protein measurement. This was a real boneheaded move. I switched to a different brand of protein and for some strange reason there was not a scoop inside the container. So I just used a scoop from one of the other brands I had. I didn't realize that the scoop was much smaller. So when I had my post work-out shake I was only getting about 40 to 45 grams of protein when I needed (or was planning for) 60 to 65 grams. This went on for 2 weeks. How stupid.

I didn't gain much body fat, but enough that it is noticeable. I am going on a cutting program over the next couple weeks to see if I can enhance my look and then take pics again. Will share them at some point. Be sure to cajole me into sharing because I am usually not one to show pics like that.

There are probably some supplements that would've helped me along as well. Maybe next time I will dive in to the supps a bit more to see if there is a big effect. During the last 2.5 months I started using a caffeinated creatine product (NO explode). I slowly increased the amount week after week. I took it about 15 minutes before my work-out. I also took l-carnitine and l-arginine tabs before workout. I used a variety of protein mixtures. For a while I took l-arginine in the middle of the night (because it is supposed to slightly enhance your natural GH production on an empty stomach), but then when I would only get 5 or 6 hours of sleep it was too short of a time to wake up and take a tab, so that went down the tubes. I took ortho-core for a multi-vitamin.

My food intake increased dramatically (of course). I found I was getting to the point where it was hard to jam all the calories and protein into my body that I needed in a day. I think because I am a naturally slim person my stomach is a little smaller or something.

I will try to post more detailed workout and diet info soon.






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