Friday, September 14, 2012

From Plump to Pumped: The 'Fast' Way to Success

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything on my blog (though I've posted a few quick things on facebook, so make sure to follow/like the page!). It's been an extremely busy summer for me and so I haven't had the time to post anything. Now that the busy summer is over I can begin posting some more again :)

I'm excited to say my first returning post is an awesome one! One of my friends, Mykey, used the same principles I used last year detailed in my 12 week transformation series to get cut up for the summer. He was willing to let me interview him and share his dramatic results with others! 

He had tried cutting the previous year but with less success...he basically became a smaller version of himself due to following some bad ideas. But this year was a different story! The pictures below speak for themselves. He had awesome results and he looks amazing!

Check out the picture below from his attempted cut in 2011:

2011 Cut Attempt
You can see that he's significantly smaller but only slightly more defined. This meant he lost fat but also lost quite a bit of muscle :( Now check out the picture below for his 2012 cut! He's 185 lbs in the 'Before' picture and 163 lbs in the 'After' picture. A loss of 22 lbs!

2012 Aesthetic Cut!
Notice his abs are clearly defined, he has more of a V-taper, and clear separation in his arms and shoulders. He just looks damn good! Compare the 'After' pictures from 2011 and 2012 and you can see a HUGE difference this time around.  Mykey actually weighs 2 lbs less in 2012 but he actually looks bigger and more muscular! 

Mykey was basically was on his own with this and I wasn't personally consulting with him. He would occasionally ask me questions here and there, just like commenters on my blog do, but we weren't discussing his diet and training weekly or anything like that. He read my blog posts, used them as a guideline, and tweaked what he needed to find what worked best for him. So let's get onto the interview!

Aesthetic Muscle: I have to say this is the best I have ever seen you look. When I saw you in Vegas for my bachelor party, you looked aesthetic as f**k! 

Mykey: Thanks man, the advice on your blog really helped.  It feels great to work hard and finally get awesome results!  I knew we would all be shredding for your wedding so it would have been lame if I was the only one in our group of friends that was out of shape for the bachelor party vacation.

Aesthetic Muscle: Haha, more like shredding for the bachelor party :) What convinced you to cut this time around the same way I did in my 12 week transformation series?

Mykey: Around the holidays last year I was eating and drinking so much and was just getting fat despite working out up to 5 days a week at the gym.  After New Years Eve I just felt like a waste of life.  I took a picture of myself shirtless in the mirror and was unhappy with myself and decided that it was time for a change. 

I looked at pictures from my previous cut last year where I just ate less, lifted and ran on the treadmill everyday. I remembered you saying that my results weren't as pronounced as they could have been because I lost too much weight too fast.  I decided to try your approach because of your unbelievable results and I knew it couldn't have been a gimmick since I've known you for years.

Stop lying to yourselves and make a change!

Aesthetic Muscle: Yeah, seeing pictures of yourself is always a real eye-opener. I never understood how people can see themselves in pictures being fatter than everyone else and thinking its okay. 
So what did you do different between last year's cut and this year's cut?

Mykey: Last year I was just eating less and killing myself with at least 3 miles of running everyday combined with lifting.  

This year, the biggest difference was in my diet and using intermittent fasting.  I would fast for 16 hours and would eat within an 8 hour window.  I made sure to count my calories closely this time to ensure I was getting enough protein in my diet.  I cut out carbs aside from those I got from fruits and vegetables and I gave myself a cheat day once every weekend, but I made sure not to go overboard.  

I also took supplements like protein, creatine, BCAA's , preworkouts, fat burners,  fishoil and multivitamins in conjunction with my diet and exercise, which I never regularly did in the past. Below is list of the specific products I used during the cut. I didn't use all of them at once but used a variety of brands just because I wanted to try out different products:

One of mine and Mykey's favorite protein powders. It tastes like a milkshake!

In terms of exercise, I switched to a 5x5 routine and lifted as heavy as I could. The only cardio I did was about a half hour to an hour of walking on the treadmill or elliptical every other day. This was a huge difference from the endless miles I was running last year. 

Aesthetic Muscle: I was trying to tell everybody that I didn't jog a single mile last year for my cut! I hope this helps more people realize jogging miles and miles is not going to make them look awesome. Its also too bad they changed the Myofusion formula and OxyElite Pro is harder to get now. Those were two of my favorites!

Which difference did you think helped you the most?

Mykey: I truly believe intermittent fasting really helped.  In the past I had always been able to work out and get into decent shape, but I think fasting helped me lose fat while gaining muscle.  Before this year, I never really saw good definition in my muscles.  Once I started seeing quick results, it was much easier for me to maintain the motivation to go to the gym and intermittent fast everyday.

Aesthetic Muscle: Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time sounds like a wonderful thing to me! Which part did you find to be the most difficult? 

Mykey: The first day or two of fasting was a little difficult since the feelings of false hunger were unfamiliar.  It seemed like I was surrounded by friends, family and coworkers that ate what they pleased and expected me to as well.  The hardest part was blocking out everyone else while disciplining myself to take control of what I would consume to look the way I wanted.

Aesthetic Muscle: Yes, that's very true. I used to work in an office environment where everybody was so concerned about what they were going to eat for lunch, all the while they were snacking away at their desk! Plus, everybody is always telling you to eat this and eat that. Offices are a terrible environment people create for themselves in terms of health and good looks. 

Did you do anything different than what I had outlined?

Mykey: I did your 5x5 workout and eventually switched to the Bill Starr MadCow 5x5 for some variety.  I also fasted for 16 hours (sometimes more) as opposed to your 20.  I also worked out in the mornings instead of evenings so I followed the Lean Gains Early Morning Fasted Training Protocol

Instead of having a whole cheat day every 2 weeks, I would just have a moderately sized cheat meal or two once every weekend.  If it ever got bad I would fast the entire next day and continue with intermittent fasting the day after that.

 A terrible environment for aesthetics. Why does office food have to be all carbs?!

Aesthetic Muscle: Haha, there have been plenty of times that I've gone overboard on a cheat so I'll fast the whole day the next day too. Everybody thinks its so dangerous not eating anything but I actually think it feels great! 
So now that you've reached a personal best level of aesthetics, what are your plans in regards to your diet and training?

Mykey: From this point, I'm going to try my best to gain as much additional muscle as I can while minimizing fat accumulation in the upcoming holiday season.   Then once Spring and Summer come around, I'd like to cut down again and take some measurements and new photos to see if I improved from this past summer.

Aesthetic Muscle: Thanks Mykey for sharing your results and success on my blog! Best of luck to you this year!

As you can see from Mykey's incredible results, I'm not the only one who can do it. Many people I know have tried intermittent fasting with great success! And if you find intermittent fasting doesn't sit right with you, just try anything else to change your body! Make the decision to change your body and transform your life! Transform your life for the sake of your spouse, for your kids, and for your family and friends. Stop thinking it is okay to get fatter and weaker as you get older. Find the motivation and make a promise to yourself to live a healthier life and do your part in stopping the obesity epidemic! Sorry for the rant ;)

Me (far left), Mykey (far right) and few friends celebrating our cutting success at an All You Can Eat Buffet! Remember its okay to eat junk when you don't look like junk :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Universal Shock Therapy Preworkout Review

I recently got to try the Universal Shock Therapy preworkout I wrote about in my previous blog post. I was pretty excited to try this after reading the information packet that came with the samples. Universal also really promoted the taste as being something exceptional so I was thinking this may take the number one spot in terms of taste.

The flavor sample they sent me was Clyde's Hard Lemonade. It mixed smoothly and left no floating particles. It had a very good smell like a strong pink lemonade.

As for the actual taste?...It tasted pretty bad with 8 oz of water...very mediciny and bitter. There was also an aftertaste that was bitter too. I thought maybe I just needed to add more water, so I added more water and it pretty much tasted the same, just not as strong. The taste not being great was pretty disappointing. 

Mixed with 8 oz of water. 
I only felt a slight increase in energy. However I had a great workout this session. It gave me a feeling of restlessness where I just wanted to do my next set and not rest so long. It was a good thing I took this on my "medium" day (sets of 8-14 reps) instead of my heavy day (sets of 3-5 reps).

I felt strong throughout the workout but there was no noticeable "extra" strength I could speak about.

My endurance during this Shock Therapy workout was great. I didn't want to leave the gym when I was done with my workout. I felt like I didn't do enough and wanted to stay and do more!

I experienced an awesome pump in my biceps and rear delts. But, this was nothing new for me as I have no problems getting pumps in these body parts.

I really pretty excited to try this preworkout but have to admit...I was let down. From reading the hype on it, I thought it had the chance to be the best tasting preworkout but it wasn't even close and would even say it was the worst, second only to White Flood!

I thought it also had a disappointing initial feel...there was no burst of energy or focus like with C4 or CrazeI did end up having a great workout though but the taste was pretty bad!
I would only use this if I got it for free or a huge 75% discount!..even then I think I would combine it with C4 or Craze.

Free sample!
Let me know what you guys think of the samples you get from Universal :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Universal Samples!

I'd like to thank Universal Nutrition for the package of samples they just recently sent me!

The package  includes:
-1 Sample of Real Gains (Weight Gainer)
-1 Sample of Atomic 7 (BCAA product with added glutamine and citrulline malate)
-1 Sample of Shock Therapy (Their new re-worked pump/preworkout product)
-1 Sticker that says "Univeral is Numero Uno" 

3 different samples!
If you'd guys like to try some samples from Universal, you can request them at the following link:

Let me know how you like the samples! Oh and don't forget to like the Aesthetic Muscle facebook page as I prefer to post quick updates/supplements deals/samples there instead of writing a blog post!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Driven Sports Craze Preworkout Review

Driven Sports Craze has been the hottest new preworkout supplement on the market in the past few months. Many users on the forums have been raving about it's effects and I finally got the chance to try it. I was seriously considering buying Craze based on the user reviews but wanted to try it first so I emailed Drive Sports and they were kind enough to send me a sample :)

Sample packet from Drive Sports :)

This was the best tasting preworkout I've tried so far. There's a nice lightly sweet grape flavor with no bad aftertaste. It mixed very well with no floating sediments. It was very pleasant to sip on and I wished I had more :)

Foamy but mixed clean with no floating particles

Shaken in a blender bottle for mixing

The energy I felt on this was wasn't crazy hyped up energy or anything but I felt a good steady flow throughout the workout. Nothing high but no lulls in energy either.

I believe this is the area where Craze excels. It gave me a really strong focus which seemed to help me move more weight. I've seen some users say the feeling craze gives you is different than any other preworkout. I wouldn't say a lot "different" but the focus is definitely awesome with Craze, and is something that no other preworkout I've tried has made me feel.

I had some major endurance during this workout. By the end of my workout I felt like I still wanted to do more and could have stayed in the gym for for another 2 hours!

I didn't notice anything outside of the norm when it came to pumps.  My workout was kept in the 5 rep range so that may have been why. I'd love to try this in the 8-15 rep range and see its effects on pumps.

I had a great workout with Craze and I would have to say it's my 2nd favorite preworkout only behind Cellucor's C4 Extreme. I recently purchased a bottle of Cellucor C4 Extreme so I'm not immediately looking to buy Craze but if I come across a sale, I'll purchase it to rotate with the C4. 

I'll let you guys know on my facebook page if I find any awesome sales on Driven Sports Craze. 

PS, I've seen users say this makes a great pre-party cocktail if you're into that kind of thing ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bad experience with VPX Syngex protein

Last month I had a really bad experience with VPX Sports Syngex protein. I had decided to buy it because the protein was on sale for a cheap price and I had no problems with it previously when I tried their Cookies & Cream flavor.

I ordered two 5 lb jugs, one of each flavor: Chocolate and Vanilla.

When I first started using it, I had the worst stomach irritation/discomfort and diarrhea. I had never experienced anything like this before! It felt like I was urinating out of my ass!

I continued to use it for the next few days thinking that it may have been something else. But every night after I took the protein, I experienced the same symptoms. Immediately after discontinuing the use of the Syngex protein, the symptoms went away so I was confident the Syngex protein was the cause of my troubles.

This is how I felt

I searched some forums to see if this had been reported before and did find others that experienced the same thing, but also others who did not. I wondered what could be causing this horrible reaction in me and certain others but then not everybody?

I wrote to where I ordered the protein and described my problem and they told me they don't accept returns on opened items...Damn. This was all they wrote back to me:

"You are free to return any UNOPENED product for a full refund."

Pretty good customer service huh? So now, I have two 5 lb opened jars that I can't return and can't use :(

I decided to contact VPX on their facebook page and described my experience with the Syngex protein. They responded with a comment telling me to email them. I emailed them and got a quick response back from Jon Owoc.

I ideally just wanted a refund, but they offered to send me a jug of their SRO protein, which is lactose free, zero carb, whey protein isolate (they suspected it might have been the lactose in the Syngex that caused me troubles but I can drink milk, eat ice cream, and drink other whey concentrates just fine, so I disagreed with the cause). 

I doubted they would have refunded me for the money I spent elsewhere for the product so I took them up on their offer for the tub of SRO protein and also let them know my problems were not due to the lactose and maybe I had gotten a bad batch. They did ask for the lot numbers on the jars I had and said they would let their production know in case they run into similar issues in the future.

A few days later I received a package in the mail from VPX and I was happy to see they sent me a 5 lb jug of their SRO protein, a 2 lb jug of their Protein Rush product, and a box of their Zero Impact protein bars!

Thanks VPX!
I'm happy to report the SRO Protein causes no issues for me so I am actually able to use it!
I haven't tried the Protein Rush yet, but the VPX Impact bars are pretty good and cause no issues either.

This one bad experience won't prevent me from using VPX products in the future, but my bad experience with Nutraplanet customer service definitely gives me second thoughts about ordering from them again.

This is the first time in my plus 10 years of taking supplements that I've actually tried to return a product. It's too bad Nutraplanet couldn't do more for me considering I've been a long time customer and have spent thousands over the years, but I'm sure glad VPX was able to do something for me. Thanks for the great service VPX!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bulking is Done! - 22 Weeks Bulking Progress

After 22 weeks my bulk is finally over! After the holidays, I honestly couldn't wait because I was tired of being fat and couldn't wait to start cutting! Although it felt good at first to eat "bad" foods again, it got old pretty quick. Foods that I enjoyed while cutting started not to taste as good anymore and it got to be a chore to down it all. 

The end result of my bulk?... 19 lbs gained in 22 weeks. I didn't quite gain the 1 lb per week I set out to do, but I think that was probably a good thing. After 8 weeks, I started to feel like I was gaining a lot of fat so I may have subconsciously started eating less and consciously implemented more no carb/cardio days.

People may think I'm crazy, but I definitely enjoy cutting a lot more than I do bulking. After reaching low bodyfat percentages, it's difficult to be fine with being any fatter. 

Here are my starting and ending measurements:

164 lbs
183 lbs
+19 lbs

Obviously, I gained inches everywhere on this bulk, but I"m happy with the 2" inches gained in on my chest measurement since I did put an emphasis to improve it. I'm also happy with only gaining 2 inches in my waist, which is down from the 35" inches I was at the same time last year. 

One thing I didn't mention in my previous progress post is that I removed my leg days from my lifting schedule. I felt like my legs and especially my hips/glutes were getting out of proportion, thus ruining my aesthetics :) You can see that I gained 2 inches in my hip measurement despite despite not training hips at all for the last 6 weeks.

Overall, I'm happy with the end result. I have never been this big, strong, or "lean" at this weight before. Below are all my progress pictures that I during this bulk going from from left to right. (The pictures aren't perfectly aligned because I tried to scale the images all to about the same head size...and I got lazy with cropping.)

I'm not sure why the first picture's lighting is totally different but this was taken sometime around August when I was maintaining my lean condition for the summer. As you can see in the pictures as they progress, the cuts and tan decreases and the fat and size increases.

Looking at this picture sure does make me miss being at low bodyfat percentages!

Now that I'm done with bulking, I'm excited to start cutting and have actually been doing so for the past week and a half. It sure has felt great to start shedding the fat and seeing more cuts again! :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

LG Sciences Lipotropic Protein: 5 lbs for 18 dollars!

If you guys want some cheap protein, I just ordered some LG Sciences Lipotropic Protein from It's currently  5 lbs for 18 dollars!

Flat rate shipping is 5.99. Use code  CEL-emdub  for an extra 5% off. 

It is a blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, genus protein isolate(pea protein), milk protein isolate, egg protein isolate and micellar casein. 

I initially only ordered one bottle because I read reviews saying it was terrible but other reviews said it was pretty good. 

I received my bottle and tasted it. It doesn't taste bad and is definitely drinkable. But it does have a unique taste to it due to the pea protein. But for 18 bucks it is a steal! It is cheap because it is expiring in April 2012. So I ordered another 2 bottles :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cellucor C4 Extreme Review

Cellucor C4 Extreme Preworkout Review

Cellucor C4 Extreme ...pretty cool container!
My recent fishoil order from unexpectedly came with a sample of the popular preworkout product, C4 by Cellucor.

I've heard a lot about the product but never looked into trying it or buying it. I think it was because I had never heard of the company so I never considered it. I have to admit though that this preworkout has been the best I have sampled thus far!

Sample of Cellucor C4 Extreme from
It tasted good, mixed well, and provided me with one of my best workouts ever! So here's my review of the sample product I received:

The sample I received was a 2 serving packet of their Blue Raspberry flavor. It mixed very well in the blender bottle and left no floating remnants. It also had a great initial taste with a minor mediciny aftertaste that I've come to expect from preworkouts. Despite this aftertaste, I would say it's a pretty good tasting preworkout that I would have no problem sipping on if I chose to.

The energy I felt on this was awesome. 10-15 minutes after drinking the preworkout, I started getting that amped up feeling and was ready to pump some iron. I also started feeling the beta alanine tingles too...I think I actually like this feeling and it kinda gets me psyched to workout. 

I was stronger in every lift during this particular workout! This was unexpected but a very motivating feeling. I used more weight and did more reps during this workout than any other I've had with other preworkouts!

My endurance was very good during this workout. I never felt tired or exhausted and was able to put full energy and focus into my sets at the beginning of the work as well as towards the end of my workout.

The pumps were pretty amazing on this as well. If you've read my previous preworkout reviews, you know I don't have a difficult time getting a pump. But with this preworkout, I noticed my pump was even greater than normal and it felt fantastic!

I am very impressed with Cellucor C4 and would definitely buy it if I find a good sale on it. The effects in the gym were awesome with no negative side effects (unless you dislike the beta alanine tingles). I'll be keeping my eye out for any sales on this product and will let you guys know if I find any :)

Nutritional information:

30 ServingsBlue Raspberry
Serving Size:1Scoop(5.7g)
Servings Per Container:30
Amount Per Serving% DV
Total Carbohydrates1g<1%**
Vitamin C250mg417%
Niacin (As Niacinamide)30mg150%
Vitamin B1235mcg588%
Beta Alanine1500mg
Creatine Nitrate1000mg
Arginine AKG1000mg
Explosive Energy Blend718mg
Vitamin C (As Ascorbic Acid), N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous (135mg), Mucuna Pruriens, Niacinamide, Synephrine HCL, Folate (As Folic Acid), Pyridoxine Phosphate, Vitamin B12 (As Methylcobalamin)
** Percent Daily Values (% DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
† Daily Value not established.
Other Ingredients:
Natural And Artificial Flavors, (Contains: FD&C Blue #1), Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide, Malic Acid, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)

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