I have officially completed 3 months of Cathe Freidrich’s Shock Training System and my first bulk. Although I had planned to do a nice, clean bulk, several personal factors upset my normal life and unfortunately my macros during bulk and my choices were not very good. However, I wasn’t as concerned with that as I was with giving my body one serious, good refeed before attempting cut again and I wanted to take advantage of all those extra cals and build some muscle at the same time – hence STS. I also cut cardio down to almost nothing. I figured that way, when I introduced it again, it would actually work better after so many years of overdoing cardio and finding it not as effective as it used to be.
I made the decision not to weigh or take photos during these three months because I didn’t want to get scared and quit early but I knew I was gaining weight. Clothes fit a little tighter (especially in the thighs and shoulders). Measurements and scale definitely proved this fact as you can see by the update below, but it’s the comparison of the photos from July 2012 with today's post bulk photos that caught my attention the most. I might be about 7lbs heavier today than in July, but I look better now than I did then!!! The change between September and today was actually not too bad. A little heavier but interestingly enough not so much in the fatty tummy area but more in the areas I worked hard in STS such as the shoulders, chest and thighs. The other thing I noticed was a significant decrease in my cardio ability along with a noticeable increase in my strength.
During my bulk I ate somewhere between 2400 – 3000 cals, but averaged around the 2600 cals. Although this seems low for a bulk for me, one of the things that changed in my life was my calorie burn level. I sat at my desk for very long periods and did not move as much as I normal have in the past. That, combined with fewer workouts and less cardio brought my daily burns down to around 2000 – 2200 cals a day.
I am now starting cut. Currently my goal is 1900 cals per day but I will be increasing it shortly once I get into my new routine of increased cardio alongside what I’m going to call ‘muscle maintenance lifting’ and figure out where my cal intake needs to be. Plus my daily normal activity will increase in a few days as well because I will no longer have to sit so long at my desk. J I look forward to upping the cals a bit since cut so far has been difficult after so much food freedom.
All said and done, I do NOT regret bulking! The photos have shown me the difference lifting makes when bulking compared with just eating more and doing cardio and I am excited to see what cut reveals.
As for measurements and weight updates, here you are:
(these are compared with Aug. 31, 2012 measurements)
Weight: 176 lbs (up 9.2 lbs)
Neck: 13 ¾” (up ¼”)
Bicep: 12 ¼ “ (up ¾”)
Forearm: 11” (up ½”)
Wrist: 6 ¼” (no change)
Overbust: 40 ¾” (up 1 ¾”)
Bust: 43 ¾” (up 1 ¼”)
Underbust: 38” (up ¾”)
Waist: 38” (up ½”)
Hips: 42 ½” (up 1”)
Thigh: 25” (up 1 ¼”)
Calf: 16” (up ½”)
Total inches = up 8 ½
Total weight= up 9.2 lbs
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