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Maintenance phase wrap-up; Time to bulk!

Sunday, September 30, 2007 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I just took a set of post-maintenance/pre-bulk measurements and I also took my body fat reading, so this morning I’d like to do a sort of “maintenance phase” wrap-up.

First of all, I had a lot of fun this summer: I ate a somewhat relaxed diet, had drinks a couple times per week, trained hard with compounds and significantly increased my strength. I gained a few pounds of fat and I lost a little muscle, but that’s OK. I think I managed to strike a nice balance this summer without going crazy. No regrets.

My body fat is presently 8.8% (as measured using a 7-site pinch test with the FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Calipers from the JSF Amazon Mall). This is a little higher than I’d hoped for going into my bulk, but the difference between 8% and 8.8% body fat is splitting hairs. Again, I had fun this summer and enjoyed myself a great deal, so I’m not going to beat myself up over a couple extra pounds of body fat.

I gained a significant amount of strength over the past three months, however I actually lost some muscle size. My arms are down to 16.5″ (cold/unpumped), but this is because I have not directly trained my arms in three months. My focus all summer has been on big, compound lifts and not hypertrophy. This will pay off big time for me in the months to come, and my arms will quickly bounce back. My chest, calves and forearm measurements have also seen small reductions in size over the past three months. Thanks to muscle memory, an increased caloric intake and intense training geared towards hypertrophy, I think all of these muscle groups will show very fast improvements over the next 4 or 5 weeks.

I made a typo when I posted my first “core” bulking workout, and I also misinterpreted something Mastover said with regards to squats. I revised yesterday’s update to correct these two mistakes.

As most long-time visitors to this site know, I take my bulks very seriously. Starting tomorrow all the summer fun and games are over; it’s time for four months of intensity, hard work and extreme dedication to my training and diet.

This is the final day of my summer maintenance, so I’m going to go ahead and have an extra cheat meal (I had my regularly scheduled cheat meal last night). I’m going to take Lisa out to eat this afternoon and enjoy the last bit of calm before the storm. After our lunch we’re going to take a drive out to the new house and check on construction. The drywall is about to go in, and we’re about halfway through the construction process. As always, I’ll update my new home construction journal (an upgraded forum membership is required) when we return.

I’ll be back tomorrow in full-on bulking mode! See you then…

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