Why I’m ending my bulk early.
Those of you who are regular visitors to this site know that I never do anything unless I’m prepared to give a 100% effort. When I started bulking on October 1st, I knew full well that I’d have a tremendous amount of other things going on in my life at the same time, but I still thought I could handle it all. As it turns out, I was not being honest with myself. I started to realize this about a week ago, and it has been very difficult for me to admit that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the current priorities in my life. Working out and eating right are right up there at the top of the list. They always will be. Health and fitness form the foundation for everything I do. “Bulking” and packing on muscle is not the same thing as health and fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love bulking, but it requires a great deal of time and energy to do it right: six big, strict meals at perfect intervals every single day, grueling workouts that leave me exhausted and perpetually sore, feeling like I can’t miss a single workout, planning the workouts, strict sleeping schedules and so on…
Trying to balance all that with everything else that’s going on in my life right now (and what is on the horizon) has left me feeling very stressed and very unhappy. I discussed the issue with my trainer, Mastover, and here’s what he had to say:
“You’ve recognized the warning signs. You have a lot going on right now. What we are doing is just fun. On the totem pole of life’s responsibilities, bodybuilding is all the way down on the bottom. Trust me on that one. We are not machines. Cutting/bulking/cutting/bulking all the time is not too healthy and not healthy for the mental state. It’s time to take a break. Ease up on your dieting. Make training fun. Don’t train too often. Once everything settles down and you feel the itch once more, you will know when its time to go on.”
While I read Mastover’s words of wisdom, it was as if a weight was being lifted from my shoulders. He articulated what I already knew in my heart, but was too proud to admit. He’s right.
The sale of our existing home will be finalized this week and the completion and closing on our new home is coming up in the next 6-8 weeks. We’ve got a ton of packing to do, the actual physical move (and all the hassles that go with it) and we’re going to need a few weeks to get unpacked and settled into our new home. Those are the things that need focus in my life right now – not putting on more muscle. This move is a huge change in our lives, and I think it would be foolish to not give it the focus it deserves.
So I’m cutting my bulk short, effective today. I’m going to go on a brief (4-6 weeks) very “non-formal” cut and get my body fat back down to a level I’m comfortable with (around 8% or so). Of course I’ll still be eating clean foods and working out, but I’m not going to worry about missing a meal or a workout here and there. I’ll also continue to update this site daily and run the forums, as those are things I enjoy a great deal. After we close on the new house in mid-to-late December I’m going to take a couple weeks off from everything and focus my energies 100% on the move and getting settled.
I appreciate all the support I’ve received over this decision. The competitive side of me feels a little bruised right now, but I know I’ve made the right choice.