“Bulk until you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, then cut.”
I have not been bulking with a goal, I simply have been overeating to motivate myself to train. After two months of illness and a month of extreme overtime at my job (70-100 hours per week), I used the end of April and beginning of May to get back into training and logging my calories.
- No limit on calories or food selection, but I did start incorporating whey protein shakes again.
- 3 sessions per week of lifting, with a minimum routine of a push exercise and a leg exercise. I envisioned this as alternating bench and press, and then usually squatting with at least one deadlift session.
- Preworkout supplementation allowed, but I want to get away from it eventually.
I am lacking in discipline.
I am exhausted most days, I don’t want or feel capable of doing much of anything. Maybe I’m burned out from all the overtime, and I’m definitely detrained from months away from the gym, but I need to get back on the horse before my health gets too far off the rails.
On Wednesday I weighed 102.7kg (about 226lbs) and I’m definitely starting to feel uncomfortable with my weight. I shaved my face and saw a prominent double chin from all angles.
I notice my fat folds when bending in any direction, when I sit down, when I put my clothes on, and it’s altering my squat form. I can feel my skin stretching from putting on weight rapidly, and I’ve got to stop.
I also need to make my workout flexible so that I don’t stop lifting altogether when life gets busy. I’ve stuck to three times per week for three weeks, but next week I have overtime looming once again. Not as much, but I need to work around it.
Proposed Lifting Framework
Push, Legs, Pull, Arms, Abs or Shoulders, Leg Accessory.
It could be: Press, Squat, Chin, Pushdown, Cable Crunch, Seated Calf Raise.
or it might be: Bench, Deadlift, Row, Incline Curl, Dumbbell Lateral Raise, Leg Curl.
I have it prioritized this way because improving my Press is the most important thing to me, and if I’m really strapped for time, doing a Squat or Deadlift afterward basically covers everything for me.
Every lift after that is just a little bit extra and maybe includes a plane of motion those three lifts don’t cover. Benching gives me a break from Pressing all the time while still having a lot of the same musculature.
Each lift has one work set, performed in “AMRAP” fashion. As Many Reps As Possible is different from going to failure because it avoids failure. A failed rep isn’t a possible rep, by definition.
Reps accomplished in the top set = weight to add to the bar next workout. I lift in a U.S. commercial gym and my microplates are in pounds.
- 3 reps = +2lbs.
- 4-5 reps = +5lbs.
- 6+ reps = +10lbs.
I haven’t settled on how I want to proceed with the accessory type lifts that are harder to microload.
I will probably just increase the weight by the smallest possible increment if I can do more than 12 reps.
I haven’t determined how I’m going to fit in cardio just yet. I walk a lot at work so I might not need to program it in until after those hours stop.
If the overtime isn’t a lot of walking then maybe I’ll start doing c25k again, from the beginning. I’m way heavier than I’d like to be for running, but maybe if I just repeat weeks and make the adaptations gradual it won’t negatively impact my lifting.
Otherwise I’ll just try to incorporate cardio as part of my lifting program, doing it right after my lifts on an elliptical machine.
I’d like to get to a point where I’m doing an hour of cardio per day, but that’s a long way off for now.
Rate of Weight Loss
I’m going to go with a simple 1% reduction in average weight from week to week.
So for this week it’ll be 1kg, and I’ll be gradually losing less weight per week as time goes on so that my caloric deficit does not “feel” like much of anything.
The slowest I would want to lose weight is 0.5% per week.
My estimated TDEE is 3535 after four weeks of tracking, so this coming week I will try to average 2435 calories per day.
I’m going to “check in” on myself at the following milestones to see if I would like to continue losing weight. So that means not every weight listed is where I’m going to go… but I could.
The dates are not deadlines but a rough idea of when I could achieve each milestone if I lose weight consistently. It also assumes that I stick with a 1% rate loss when realistically I will likely adopt an even slower rate when I’m leaner.
I’m over 30% bodyfat currently, and that change probably won’t occur until I’m less than half that.
- 100kg – June 8
- 86kg – September 28
- 83kg – October 26
- 82kg – November 2
- 80kg – November 23
- 78kg – December 14
- 75kg – January 11, 2020
- 70kg – February 29, 2020
- 62kg – May 30, 2020
I would like to be done cutting around my birthday: January 22, 2020. I can then enjoy my birthday meal, and gradually eat more calories so that I am operating healthily in time for my best friend’s birthday.
I felt peculiarly embarrassed with myself this past March, despite her assurances, and she looks better than ever, every time I see her. Maddening.