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16.5 inches, cold. Key differences between this year’s bulk and last year’s bulk.

Friday, November 18, 2005 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I had a nice day of rest yesterday, and am more than ready to work my legs tonight. While I was sitting around yesterday afternoon wishing I could lift, I decided to measure my arm while it was “cold” (no pump). I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I’ve already hit 16.5 inches, cold. That’s the biggest my arms have ever been, and I’m only 2 weeks into my bulk (and still at a fairly low 9% body fat). I have to admit that I’m a little surprised that I’ve broken new ground so quickly. I started thinking about some of the key differences between this bulk and my last bulk (which was very successful). I think some of these differences are why my body is responding so well. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Five-day split: Last year I did a three-day split, and sometimes my workouts would stretch to an hour and a half. By the time I got around to the third body part, I’d be pretty beat. Also, I think mentally you hold back a little if you know you’re going to be running a mile. When you are running a 100 yard dash, you can go all out. So, with a five-day split I’m able to focus my total energy on just one or two body parts at a time; my workouts are shorter and far more intense.
  • Nutrition: Night and day. The custom SUP2 eating protocol I’m following this year is far better for muscle growth compared to how I was eating last year. Last year I ate clean and had good results, but I was not eating in such a way as to maximize my growth. This year I know I am. SwoleCat knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to putting on mass, and his knowledge in that area is benefiting me tremendously.
  • Workout timing: Last year I worked out in the morning after a protein shake or a very light breakfast. This year I workout at 6:00 PM with a full day of nutrition to fuel me. Lifting later in the day works great for me: My energy level in the gym is through the roof, and my body is nutritionally primed to grow.
  • Volume: Last year I did MAX-OT. MAX-OT is a great strength-building program, but it’s not dialed in for size gains. Obviously I put on a great deal of mass using MAX-OT, but I’m finding that more volume is best for me when it comes to size gains. Last year I did 3 sets of 4-6 reps per exercise using extremely heavy weight, this year I’m doing 4 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise using fairly heavy weight and perfect form. This new protocol I’m following has the added benefit of being a little easier on my shoulders.

I thought I’d post that information because maybe it will be useful to some of you. This journey is a continuous learning process and we’re all different, so I can’t guarantee that any of the stuff I posted above is right for you. However, it might be worth looking into if you’re having trouble gaining mass.

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