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Strongly considering a bulk…

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
6
2016

For past few weeks I’ve been putting some serious thought into the possibility of doing another bulk.

That was not a typo.

Bulking in 2008. Good times.

Bulking in 2008. Good times.

That last bulk I did was back in late 2008/early 2009 (video). Not too long after that, I found cycling and became slightly obsessed. 🙂 In an effort to become as light as possible, I cut weight–a lot of weight.

I didn’t want to become light at the expense of power, so most of that weight was what I refer to as “show” muscle. Pretty much every muscle group but those found in my legs was drastically reduced in size.

Working on the new forum software these past few weeks required me to go through a lot of old posts. I had a lot of nostalgic fun looking though some of the pictures, video and text from the past 13 years. As I browsed that old media, I realized how much I’ve missed those absolutely brutal weight training sessions. Those were damn good times.

When it comes to road racing I really have no aspirations, or even the desire, to get into it. It’s just too dangerous for my comfort level. At 47 years old, I don’t bounce off the asphalt nearly as well as I did 20 or 30 years ago.

On the other hand, Time Trial racing is fun, relatively safe and I’m not terrible at it. I definitely want to keep doing that. TT racing mostly involves flat courses, so my weight is not much of a factor. Putting on some muscle–even show muscle–is not really going to affect anything with regards to TT racing. In fact, it could help my power output.

My guns were a hair shy of 19 inches (pumped) back in 2009.

My guns were a hair shy of 19 inches (pumped) back in 2009.

Back in my body building days I was as heavy as 236 pounds (late 2006-ish?). In 2009 my arms were over 18″ cold, and right at 19″ with a solid pump going. I don’t want to get anywhere nearly that big again, but I wouldn’t mind putting on about 10 pounds of solid lean mass.

Can I even do that? I’m 47 years old. I have no idea what my Testosterone levels are, as I’ve never had that tested. I think it’s safe to assume that at 47 years old my T level is less than it was 8 years ago.

Added to that, as most of you know once this cut is over I’ll be switching over to a vegetarian diet.

It might be kind of interesting to see if a 47 year old man can put on appreciable muscle while consuming a plant-based diet, yeah?

John Stone Fitness Comments

45 Responses to “Strongly considering a bulk…”
  1. John – Been following you for quite some time now. I remember that 2008 pic very well. I would love to see you do a bulk on a plant-based diet. And I must say, I miss the old weight-lifting centric blogs 🙂 You should definitely give it a go. Plus it would be nice to show the naysayers that you can gain muscle without eating a single piece of meat!

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    • Hey John – are you thinking of going vegan or sticking with the vegetarian diet? It does make some difference in the types of proteins available to consume (no eggs or dairy) but studying the “Forks over Knives” diet it’s clear that you can find plenty of plant-based proteins to supplement with.

      Will be interested in learning how this goes for you. I just hit 50 this year and have lost some muscle over the past decade. It does get harder to pack on the muscle at this point even though I workout a couple of times a week and my testosterone levels have been tested as normal.

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  2. I’ve been waiting to see if you would ever bulk again. The results will be interesting, however no doubt you will have no trouble with the right vegetarian proteins and qestion.. Do At Large protein powders contain animal derived proteins (likely yes) and if so would you continue to use it?

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  3. This would be really interesting to follow to see how well you can put on muscle on a vegetarian diet and also to see how the added weight/muscle affects your biking. Can’t wait to see the numbers if you decide to do this.

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  4. Interesting you mention testosterone levels. I think I told you last year mine had gone down. I did some research and came up with at least 3 possible reasons besides age. 1. I used to take a daily zinc supplement and had inadvertently stopped. 2. I was also under an immense amount of stress in my marriage. 3. I had a sleep study done and discovered I had sleep apnea.

    All of these factors lower testosterone especially at our age. So, I went back to taking the zinc, resolved the relationship, and use a sleep apnea device now. Amazingly, the testosterone came back up to normal levels. Honestly, I think it was the stress that had the biggest impact, but it goes to show you have to pay attention to your health and things like that really can make a difference!!!

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    • Good stuff, Paul. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working. You have gotten huge since the last time I saw you!

      My stress level, as you know, is pretty high right now. I’m working on that, and one way or the other I should be in calmer waters by the time I bulk (if I do it).

      One of the few supplements I take is ZMA, right before bed. I swear by that stuff. Sleep great on it, too.

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  5. Actually, there was one other thing. I rededicated myself to weightlifting even at the expense of added weight on the bike. I think that was another key and honestly there is not a huge difference on the bike especially here in relatively flat Florida.

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  6. Freaking love this idea John! As I try to ramp up my calories, water, and weights/cycling, this would be fun to follow! Especially when you go Vegetarian! Really hoping you do this! Would you go back to a split, or full body compound lifts?

    KG

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  7. Do itttt! As for whether or not it’s possible, I think due to muscle memory alone you would most certainly be able to gain 10lbs of lean mass, though I’m by no means an expert on the subject.

    Would you be doing a traditional bulk (50:50 ratio of fat to lean mass type approach) followed by another cut, or a more slow “clean” bulk?

    Looking forward to reading about it if you choose to go for it!

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  8. If anyone can do a bulk while on a veggie diet and still cycling everyday it’s you.

    However, are you sure this is not just an excuse to eat*?

    P.S. I’ve nearly got the gear sorted to give zwift ago, fancy a ride when i do?

    * yeah this is from a guy who has a whole pay book of excuses to eat, yes I do need another milkshake, it’s calcium for my repairing collar bone and ribs 🙂

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