Posts Tagged ‘bulking up’

This year, I am bulking up very quickly.  I went from a low of 149 lbs in July and now I am  already into the mid 170’s.

In the last week, I am finally starting to look a little bit chubby and I plan on slowing down after New Years.

Since I was super skinny only 5 months ago and now I consider myself fat, I can describe some of the obvious body changes between being super ripped and slightly stocky.

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(Getting Stocky but extra calve work is starting to show)

  • I can’t stay awake.  Around 9:30-10pm at night I am just exhausted.  When I was really cut in the summer, I would stay up to midnight without a problem.
  • My strength is tremendous.  My bench press is up 30-40lbs already and I am up almost 20lbs in shoulder dumbbells.  The weights are feeling really light and I have been going up consistently every week.
  • My feet have been killing me.  I am going to have to purchase new sneakers this weekend as my feet as constantly hurting and swollen.
  • I am out of breath.  My breathing is noticeable labored.  That is a big reason why I believe you should continue cardio workouts throughout your entire life.
  • My appetite never ends.  It takes a ton of extra calories to fulfill my appetite.
  • It is easier to concentrate.  At work and in my private life, I feel like I have been able to concentrate a lot clearer.
  • I am in a better mood.  Low-calorie and low-carb diets often put me in a horrible mood.
  • My wife said I look better.  Interesting.  I definitely fill out my shirts a lot better, but my cuts are nonexistent.

Overall, I almost feel like a different person since I gained weight.  Different strength, different emotions, different attitude and different sleep schedule.

Both good and bad, I am an enjoying the differences that my body is going through during this years bulk up and hopefully I reach my strength gains soon.

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You need to EAT.  EAT, EAT and more EATING.

If you want to just put on lean muscle, that could be a problem.  But if you are looking to just lift some heavy-ass weights, you need to eat or you aren’t going to make any process.

I can’t BELIEVE how strong I am getting this year.  I cut off my cardio workouts about a month and half ago and I am already lifting near my  winter goals in some exercises.

So what have I been doing differently?

First of all, I stopped all of the high rep, multiple set nonsense.  Maybe that works for you, but for me it does just the opposite.  I lose muscle mass and my body starts to look very stringy.

But most importantly, I am taking in a TON of protein.  I don’t count my calories, but I am consuming a large amount of fish, chicken, peanuts and steak on a weekly basis.

Today I lifted 80’s for 7 reps in shoulder dumbbells.  That is not my best, but I am not far off from my peak.  At my best ever, I was up to 80’s for 10 and 105’s for 1.  I should be able to reach that pretty easily.

I am also surprised by how strong my muscle memory is this year.  I have been lifting heavy for the last 15 years and my body is responding so fast, it is almost unbelievable.

The late 30’s and early 40’s are very strong years for powerlifting and bodybuilding.  It’s hard for a young person to compete with someone who has years of 600 lb deadlifts and 400 lb bench press under their belt.   Building up mass takes time.

My basic goals this winter was to hit 315ish in the bench and over 100’s in the shoulder dumbbells.  It’s still not even November yet, but I think I might break that pretty soon.

I also planned to reintroduce my cardio workouts in December.  But with the success I’ve been having in the gym recently, I might even postpone that until February.

Why stop when something is working?

Pictures and more videos coming soon..

-John

I am only 5 or 6 weeks into my bulk up and so far my plan is going great.  I am already maxing out the same as I did last year in the leg press and I am rapidly gaining strength in the bench press and shoulder dumbbells.

If I keep up the pace I am on, I should destroy last years bulk up numbers.  But experience has taught me that A) my pace will slow down B) Injuries will happen.

This week I am going to attempt 75’s for 10.  Once I can hit 80’s for 10 I am right back into the heavy stuff.

The body definitely has muscle memory.  I haven’t gone this heavy in a while and the strength is coming back almost immediately.  I am surprised by how strong I am getting after just several weeks of extra calories.

It is fine to gain weight in the winter, but I want to make sure that I don’t put on too much body fat.  Lean muscle is the goal this winter.

I am also really enjoying the fact that I haven’t been doing any cardio.  The cardio workouts were really starting to wear me out.

Originally I had planned to reintroduce the cardio in December, but now I am thinking I might take a complete break until Jan 1.

Winter is right around the corner! I can’t wait for some heavy lifting…

-John

I officially started my winter bulk up last week and I am enjoying the extra calories that I am allowing myself to consume.

After months of near starvation and long cardio workouts, I am eating like I was just released from prison.

Although I haven’t weighed myself in about 10 days, the last time I checked I was up at least 10 lbs from my summer low of 149.

Whenever I loosen up my diet after a long season, I always gain a decent amount of weight almost immediately.  In a couple of weeks I am going to have to slow down and start eating a little cleaner, but for now, I am taking in a ton of calories.

I have to be honest, I really don’t miss the cardio.  I have been sleeping really well, I feel more energized during the day and I feel that my work performance has picked up.  I believe that cardio is important for getting cut, but I’m not convinced that I want to keep running outside long-term.

Another benefit is that my strength is also starting to return pretty quickly.   I benched 235 for 7 reps pretty easily last week and my shoulder is finally starting to feel better so I can lift heavier.  Once I start bench pressing over 300 lb’s again I will start to see a large increase in mass.

Overall, I am excited to get back into the heavy lifting and my body is really enjoying the extra calories.

I plan on going heavy for the next couple weeks and then I will reintroduce some light cardio towards the end of the year.

How is everyone else doing?

-John Andre

For years I have had REALLY small calves.  Almost embarrassingly small.

I always figured that I just had horrible genetics and they would never grow, but it looks like I was wrong.

In the last several years I started focusing hard on my calves and they are starting to explode.  I never measured them, but my calves are starting to become one of my best body parts.  I am actually starting to get more comments and questions on my calves than any other body part.

The calve muscles are a very important body part.  Generally, they are the only muscle in your legs that people can see when you wear shorts.  Unless your shorts are really tight, you usually aren’t going to show off your hamstrings or quads, but your calves are always visible.

Since my calves are starting to really stand out, I plan on DESTROYING them during this  years’ bulk up season.  I always say when you have a good body part, go with it.   I want to build up a tremendous set of calves for next summer.

My biceps are another story.

My biceps are “ok”, but they could be a lot better. I’ve tried many different training techniques, but I still haven’t found the best routine.  So far the best method I have found is by using heavy cheat curls.  Nothing else has really worked for me.

I am going to have to experiment with different exercises this year to improve my biceps.  There has to be some routine that will make them explode and I need to discover it.

In the next several weeks I will start to post some bulk up pictures and hopefully some videos.

-John Andre

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If you read my latest post, you would know that my running and summer cut up season is officially over.  It is now time to put on some SIZE and STRENGTH.

Today I had my first workout since  I stopped running and I actually felt pretty strong.  Although I’m recovering from a nagging shoulder injury, I  was still able to put up 225 lb’s for an easy 10 reps.

If I can get back to bench pressing 275 for 10 reps, I will be JACKED.

There are 2 keys to bulking up:

A)  Add strength: I need to put on some serious size and strength this year and the only way to do it is by lifting heavy.  For this winter, I am going to set definite strength goals that I need to reach.  I would like to get my bench press over 315, shoulder dumbbells over 95’s, leg press over 600 lbs and deadlifts over 500.

B) I need to bulk up cleanly.  It’s not healthy to add-on a sloppy 25 lb’s of  body fat and start lifting heavier weights.  I want to make sure that I only add on lean muscle.  A small amount of extra body weight is acceptable, but not so much that I am overweight.

Overall, I think bulking up is very effective when done right.  Just make sure that you don’t put on too much extra body fat and you should be ready to cut up when the summer arrives.

jaweightsathome

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I’m sad to admit it, but my season is over.  My legs are killing me, I’m burnt out from all of the cardio and I am starting to loosen up on my diet.

Tomorrow I am reluctantly doing a 5-mile race in Brooklyn and then its over.

This summer was really good for me, probably my 2nd or 3rd best shape ever, but I still  could have been a little bit better.

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2 things stood in my way:

A) I had an accident in late July and ended up in the hospital with stitches.  This completely killed my training right at the peak time.  I missed about 10 days of diet, cardio and heavy lifting.

Screenshot_2016-07-17-13-15-22

B) I got married in early August:  Of course I am glad that I got married, but it killed about 2 weeks of hard training.

Overall, a really good year, but It still could have been a little bit better.

There are a couple of things I need to change for 2017:

A) I need to get back into serious heavy lifting.  My body just doesn’t respond as well without the heavy-duty lifting.  I miss the solid dense muscle that I have built up in the past.

B) Less long-distance running, more sprinting.   I ran pretty hard for 8 months straight and now I am so burnt out that it hurts to walk.  I want to train for a sprinting race next year.  I haven’t run a sprinting race since I was 18-years old.

C) Less Pizza:  My diet is usually pretty good, but when I moved from Queens to Staten Island I started eating a ton of pizza.

Tomorrow I am going to run one of my favorite 5-mile races.  I am not expecting any type of good time since my training has been going horrible.  After the race, I am ready to shut down my season and slowly start my winter bulk up.

Full review of the race coming soon!

-John

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