Here it is, week 8 of my 12 week transformation and things are going strong. I’ve successfully reached 88.6 kg or 195 lbs without adding too much fat. My starting weight was 79 kg or 174 lbs. I went from 12% body fat to about 15%. Below I will breakdown my starting and current stats and my strategy for getting there. To finish the post I will briefly discuss How I plan to get ripped, shredded, cut, tight (choose your favorite) in the next four weeks.
Starting and current stats
So let’s do a little math.
I started at 12% body fat @ 79 kg that means I was carrying around 9.48 kg of pure fat.
Currently, I’m 15% @ 88.6 kg that means I have 13.29 kg of fat. (I’ll admit, I’m flexing a little in the pic above)
I’ve gained 3.81 kg (8.4 lbs) of fat in 8 weeks.
Before you say oh shit, that sucks let’s look at the Lean body mass (LBM).
Starting LBM 79kg – 9.48kg body fat = 69.52 kg LBM
Current LBM 88.6kg – 13.29 kg body fat = 75.31 kg LBM
I’ve gained 5.79 kg (12.7 lbs) of muscle.
If you know anything about exercise, you understand that gaining muscle is WAYYYY harder than burning fat. That’s why I dedicated twice as much time to doing it.
Tried and true methods to putting on mass
I’ve written extensively about how to build muscle. For this post, I will touch on the key points. If you really want more info you can read what I’ve written here, here, and here. You can also get the full 12-week program for free HERE
Everything depends upon what you put in your mouth. Eat more protein and more fiber. I can’t tell you how fortunate I am. I have access to the holy grail of any muscle building plan, healthy and cheap food delivery service. I pay 89 baht ($2.60) per meal and it’s delivered to me the next day. I order 8+ at a time and eat four throughout the day. Along with a huge dinner and three protein shakes a day I’m getting my needed caloric intake to stimulate growth.
To achieve the same thing it might take a little more effort but where there’s a will there’s a way. You have to plan out your week and prepare ahead of time.
Don’t like to cook or you just don’t have the time?
Order food from your grocery store like whole foods but use the catering menu. We all know ordering in bulk is much cheaper. Next time you go to the grocery store ask if you can see their catering menu. You’ll be surprised at how much cheaper it is.
2. Lifting weight
Two words, HIGH VOLUME. If you’re consuming all those extra calories you’re going to need to be working out extra hard to stimulate muscle growth and not fat growth. 5×5 sets are good (and I love them) but you have to mix it up. So what’s high volume?
So what’s high volume? It’s easier to look at it based on how many reps per muscle per week. You should do at least 60-70 reps per muscle per week. It’s best to split it up as well. don’t do it all in one day. Weightlifting is like medicine to your muscle. It’s better in smaller doses more often.
How to get that high volume in your routine? It takes time. I love short intense workouts but when it comes to building muscle your sets need to go to failure (or almost failure) every single time. Throw in higher volume sets and you’re looking at a long grueling workout. Give German volume training a try and you’ll know what I’m talking about 10 sets 10 reps of a compound lift.
Why this works
There are two types of hypertrophy or muscle growth, 3-6 reps increases the size of the muscle fiber and 12-15 reps increases the size of the muscle cells. The typical hypertrophy range of 8-12 is a compromise between the two. You need to venture into both rep ranges to maximize hypertrophy. High volume training is the best way to do that. Try 5×5 for a lift one day and a couple days later 3×15 for the same lift. Obviously, you won’t use the same weight!
When you sleep your body is building muscle. Not really much more to add to this. 8 hours a night accept nothing less.
The next four weeks
Here’s my dilemma, I still need to gain over one kilo (2.2+ lbs) to reach my goal weight of 90kg (200 lbs) Luckily I know a few tricks to help me get there.
From here on out heavy lifting will still be a part of my routine but I will now be incorporating high-intensity interval training. I will also be increasing my protein intake while decreasing my overall caloric intake. I’ll be taking in about 2000 calories per day with 40% coming from protein. That’s about 200 grams per day.
My workouts will be as follows:
Lifting weights 3 days per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
HIIT exercise circuits 3 days per week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Treadmill or rower intervals 3 days per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
The study behind the diet and the workout.
McMaster University in Canada conducted a study to see what would happen if people were put on a very low-calorie diet, ate a lot of protein, and worked out really hard.
The subjects were put on a highly restrictive diet and given about 2.4 grams/of protein per kilogram of weight. The diet restricted their caloric intake to about 40% of what they actually needed.
The men trained hard — lifting weights and doing high-intensity intervals 6 days a week.
After 4 weeks, on average:
- The men gained about 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) of lean body mass (LBM).
- They lost about 4.8 kg (10.5 lb) of fat.
It’s no surprise they lost fat mass. What is surprising is the fact they gained lean body mass.
The great thing about this is it was a randomized controlled study.
The control group, who ate a more traditional diet of about 1.2 grams of protein per kg (about half the amount of the variable group) only experienced:
- Gained 0.1 kg (0.2 lb) of LBM
- Lost 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) of fat
This was only conducted for four weeks and it shows the power of protein in one’s diet.
While I don’t see myself doing this past four weeks (this may actually classify as torture) I’m willing to try it out and see how it goes.
So that’s the plan for the upcoming weeks. I’ll keep you posted with my regular updates and until then,
Did you enjoy this article?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get a new tip to your inbox every week.