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Happy New Year; Monthly Photos (huge update!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
1
2009

I’ve got a gigantic update for you this morning. I just took my monthly photos, and I’d like to do a few different comparisons to some of my older pictures. Before I get into that, though, I want to wish everyone a happy new year, and welcome all the new visitors to this site. I know many of you are complete beginners to proper nutrition, weight training and body recomposition. Don’t worry – everyone who ever made a transformation started at the very beginning, just like you.

Six years ago I decided to stop making excuses, and to start making positive changes. All it took to change my life forever was some self-education and hard work applied with consistency. YOU CAN DO IT, TOO! Please take a look around this site if you want to learn more about my own transformation, and then continue your education by reading the “sticky” threads in the Beginner’s forum (the threads that are “stuck” at the very top). I encourage you to create a free account on the forum and get involved with our friendly and helpful community. We warmly welcome new members of all experience levels.

OK, let’s talk about this month’s progress photos. As most of you know, right now I am “bulking” (eating and training with the express purpose of adding lean muscle). Some amount of fat gain during a bulk is normal, but historically my bulks have all been way too “sloppy”, and I wound up putting on a lot of fat along with the muscle. I decided that for this year’s bulk I was going to pay very close attention to my diet to make sure that I didn’t repeat this mistake again. After over three months of bulking, I’m happy to say that my efforts have been very successful. This past month I only added 3.4 lbs, but my body fat level did not change significantly (13.0% on December 1 Vs. 13.1% today). That means pretty much all of the weight I put on this month was lean mass, and I feel that 95% of that lean mass was muscle. My measurements and pictures back up that data.

For my first set of comparison photos, I’d like to show the progress I’ve made since I started my bulk on October 1, 2008:

October 1, 2008 - 195 lbs / 11.8% body fat

Oct 1, 2008 - 195 lbs / 11.8% body fat

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs / 13.1% body fat

Jan 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs / 13.1% body fat

October 1, 2008 - 195 lbs / 11.8% body fat

Oct 1, 2008 - 195 lbs / 11.8% body fat

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs / 13.1% body fat

Jan 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs / 13.1% body fat

While I’ve clearly put on quite a bit of size all over my body, I think my legs have shown the most growth. Just look at my quad, hamstring and glute development in the profile pictures. Not bad for three months of work. I have a feeling my legs are going to look an order of a magnitude better than they ever have once I cut back down to 6% body fat.

My arms, chest and shoulders have also shown a tremendous amount of improvement. My traps have grown a little, but I’m still struggling to get some height out of them.

Now I’d like to compare how I look three months into my 2008 bulk to how I looked three months into my 2006 bulk:

December 1, 2006 (3 months in to my 2006 bulk)

December 1, 2006 (3 months in to my 2006 bulk)

January 1, 2009 (3 months in to my 2008 bulk)

January 1, 2009 (3 months in to my 2008 bulk)

December 1, 2006 (3 months in to my 2006 bulk)

December 1, 2006 (3 months in to my 2006 bulk)

January 1, 2009 (3 months in to my 2008 bulk)

January 1, 2009 (3 months in to my 2008 bulk)

While I was bigger in the 2006 pictures, the size difference is pretty clearly due to fat. Because I will not have to go on a six-month, 50 pound cut to get back down to 6% body fat (as I did after my 2006 bulk), I will be able to retain far more muscle. Once I diet back down to 6% body fat, I think my physique is going to look considerably better than it did after my 2007 cut.

For my final set of comparison photos, I’d like to show the difference between my 2005 bulk, my 2006 bulk and this year’s bulk at pretty much identical weights:

January 1, 2006 - 214 lbs

January 1, 2006 - 214 lbs

October 1, 2006 - 211.6 lbs

October 1, 2006 - 211.6 lbs

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs

January 1, 2006 - 214 lbs

January 1, 2006 - 214 lbs

October 1, 2006 - 211.6 lbs

October 1, 2006 - 211.6 lbs

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs

January 1, 2009 - 214.2 lbs

The most obvious thing in these pictures is that I was clearly suffering from brain damage after my 2005 bulk: there can be no other explainantion for those horrible boxers. Seriously. What. The. Hell?

Completely retarded undergarments aside, it’s pretty amazing that I weigh more or less the same in all of those photos. I think this photo progression shows that my body is moving in the right direction (based on my own body composition goals). I’ve been working towards having more of an “X” shape to my body, and slowly but surely I’m getting there. I think after my upcoming cut I’m going to be closer than ever to reaching that long-term goal.

Of course there is still one more month of bulking to go! I’m going to continue to pay close attention to my diet and work my butt off in the gym.

Before I sign off, I’d like to let everyone know that our good friends at AtLarge have decided to extend their 15% off sale an extra week!

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