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2006 vs. 2008 at same weight; Importance of keeping logs and records.

Thursday, December 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

December
18
2008

Out of pure curiosity, this morning I was looking back at my old bulking measurements and scale weights (my body fat measurement back then were way off and useless), with a focus on my my 2006 bulk. During my 2006 bulk I reached 212 pounds on October 9th. I thought it would be interesting to compare my measurements from that bulk to my measurements today at the same weight (211.8 pounds this morning)…

Waist: 33.75″ (2006) vs. 33.5″ (2008). This is a good indication that I have more lean mass now than I did in 2006 at the same weight.

Hips: 40″ (2006) vs. 40.25″ (2008). My glute development is responsible for this increase. More specifiably, the Bulgarian split squats!

Forearm: 13.75″ (2006) vs. 13.5″ (2008). Actually my forearms were just a hair below 13.75″ last Sunday (when my current measurements were taken), so I’m going to call this even.

Arms: 17.5″ (2006) vs. 17.5″ (2008). Dead even. In 2006 I was putting a lot of training emphasis on my arms, but not so this year. So I’m happy with this.

Quads: 25.75″ (2006) vs. 25.75″ (2008). Wow, another identical measurement.

Calves: 17.25″ (2006) vs. 17″ (2008). A quarter inch difference in favor of 2006. I need to work my calves harder!

Chest: 43.75″ (2006) vs. 44″ (2008). Awesome! My chest has received a lot of extra attention this year, and it appears to be working.

I’m pleased with these numbers. I’m almost positive that I’m presently at a lower body fat percentage now than I was at the same weight in 2006, and yet my muscle measurements are greater, or equal to, my 2006 measurements in almost every case. In other words, I’m putting on more muscle and less fat this time around.

Muscle memory has played a non-trivial role in my gains so far on this bulk, but I suspect that those days are drawing to a close. While measurements at the end of my 2006 bulk were quite a bit larger than what they are now, fat and bloat were responsible for a good portion of that (my waist was 36.5″ and my body fat was 19% when I finished). This time around I’ll continue to focus on adding quality lean mass, and not just “size”.

On a related note, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep records of your progress. It’s not hard, and the data is as interesting as it is useful. I love being able to go back and do comparisons like the one I did in today’s update. I’ve got photographs, measurements, food logs, training logs and scale weight data from early 2003 through today. All this data has proven to be invaluable when it comes to evaluating my progress. If you are just starting out, I strongly recommend that you not ignore this advice. If you do, I assure you that one day you will regret it.

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