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The week in review.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


As I mentioned in yesterday’s update, yesterday we had family over for dinner and a movie. I’m happy to report that I had no trouble resisting the temptation to break my clean diet or drink alcohol. Everyone was drinking but me, and everyone else had popcorn, cheeseburgers and chips. There were flashes of temptation, but I’m so into my training right now that it didn’t require much effort at all to shrug off the desire to stray.

It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for me to evaluate my progress over the past week. Let’s take a look at the data…

My scale weight this morning is 206.2 pounds, which amounts to a 1.4 pound gain over the past week. That’s a total of 11.2 pounds gained here at the six week mark. Each week when computing my average weekly weight gain I’ve subtracted 3 pounds from the total to account for the initial water weight gain from the creatine. I’ve decided to stop doing that (that practice seemed rather arbitrary and was starting to bug me; when looking at total scale weight then weight should be weight). So, without the 3 pound subtraction, I’ve been averaging a gain of 1.87 pounds per week. Now let’s look at this week’s measurements and body fat reading…

My body fat reading this morning is 12.8% (as measured by the Fat Track PRO Digital Body Fat Calipers). I was actually glad to see an increase in body fat this morning: I was starting to wonder why my body fat percentage was not going up, and was beginning to question my caliper skills. I suppose my initial reading might have been a tad high. I don’t know for sure. Anyway, my readings have been very consistent, so I think we’re definitely in the ballpark. Based on how I look in the mirror, I’d say 12.8% body fat is about right.

Moving on to the tale of the tape, this week’s measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) show continued solid progress. Over the past week I’ve gained another quarter inch on my chest, a quarter inch on my quads and a quarter inch on my arms. My calves and forearms showed some growth, but not quite a quarter of an inch. I also gained a quarter inch on my hips and waist.

So, over the past six weeks I’ve added a quarter inch to my forearms, three quarters of an inch to my arms, 1.25 inches to my quads, a half inch to my calves and 1.5 inches to my chest.

Based on my body fat readings so far on this bulk I’ve put on 7.82 pounds of lean mass and 3.38 pounds of fat. I’m happy with those numbers. If I subtract ~4 pounds from the lean mass figure to account for water weight gain (this is appropriate when attempting to separate actual muscle from lean mass), then that means I’ve gained approximately ~4 pounds of actual new muscle over the past six weeks. If I continue to gain muscle at that rate for the final 7 weeks of my bulk, then I can expect to wind up with a total of 8-9 pounds of new muscle. If I can hold onto most of that muscle through my cut, then I’ll consider this a very successful bulk. Adding ~8 pounds of good, solid muscle is not easy for a 40 year-old natural who’s already been training for six years. Muscle memory is also helping me out here. I suspect that future muscle gains in the years to come will be even more difficult. As a final note, keep in mind that these are all estimates done to the best of my abilities using the tools I have available to me. The key word here is “estimates”; this is not an exact science.

All my stats, past and present, can always be found on the stats page.

Today I’ll be doing my supplemental traps workout: power shrugs and some traditional barbell shrugs. Hopefully all the TLC I’ve been giving my traps lately will result in some growth in this very weak area!

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