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! :)


Anonymous said...

Will you revel your cutting plan? Thanks!

Adelfo Cerame Jr. said...

Did you bulk using "IF"?

Duong Nguyen said...

My cutting plan is mostly the same as last year...just little changes that I'll write about in a future post.

Adelfo, yes I did IF during the bulk as well. Obviously, trying for 1 lb a week gain caused to me put on more fat than I would like. Perhaps next year a goal of .5 lb a week would be better :)

Adelfo Cerame Jr. said...

Huh?... So it is possible to bulk or do some type of lean mass regimen on an IF protocol... I was gonna try and do it anyway after my competing season, but now I see results, that it can be done and you don't need to go back to a 6-7 meal frequency.

I really enjoy my leanness though, so I may try to manipulate my macros where I just really eat big PWO to prevent gaining fat. Good stuff Duong!

Duong Nguyen said...

I really enjoy the leanness too Adelfo so maybe next year I'll bulk even slower doing .5 lb a week gain instead.

Richard Ma said...

This comment is a little late, but great job on your gains! My cutting has been going pretty well. I'm losing a little less than 1 lbs per week, which is what I was going for to maintain muscle mass. I have also increased my strength steadily and have not hit a plateau yet. I'm excited to see the end result @ the month of May. That is the point where I expect to be at my best. *fingers crossed*

Duong Nguyen said...

Thanks Richard! It's awesome when strength gains occur while cutting. Most things you read say it's not possible but IF'ing seems to make it so!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is keep up the great work. You don't push supplements and only use a few. You try new things and give an honest review. I only have one question that I hope you could help with. 1. I am pretty much on the same four hour eating window as you. Do you think or feel that this (I.F.) eating plan is compatable with us guys who work heavy labour jobs during the day? Or is it just more of a matter of upping calories and protein? I try and have three strength and conditioning (kettlebells) days a week with sports playtime (family time)the rest. I am not looking to be a muscle freak or anything but like they say "look good naked" lol. Thanks Hunter

Duong Nguyen said...

Hey Hunter, thanks for the compliments!

I don't have experience doing IF with a heavy labor job so I can only make guesses.

I would guess that IF would work fine for me...I would just make sure that I am getting enough calories in. But it is really about how you feel it works for you.

How has it been working for you so far? All I can suggest is give it a try and make ongoing adjustments as needed.

Anonymous said...

Some days better than others lol. Sometimes when the "feeding time" rolls around, look out lol. I keep reading some guys say to have BCAA, some whey, or some casein during the day. I personally like the idea of just packing water and my tea and walking out the door and not having to worry about anything. With my work I don't really have set breaks or a lunch time, so less to worry about is easier. Alot of people can't figure out how I can go all day doing everything I do do in a day and not eat. I do get some tummy grumbles and when someone does eat around me I want to eat, but I don't find it so hard (sometimes lol) Hunter

Duong Nguyen said...

Yeah I used to work in an office where everybody's highlight of the day was what they would be eating for lunch.

I have to admit sometimes things smelled really good and made it more difficult but I never gave in.
It's a lot easier now that I work from home and have nobody around me :)

If you feel tired or hungry during the fast, maybe try a fat burner which will give you energy and curb your appetite. OxyElitePro worked great for me but it seems the price of it has risen since last year.

Anonymous said...

what was your original bodyfat and end result bodyfat? how much lean mass did you gain and how much fat did you gain? i like the idea of intermitant bulking as i love doing it when cutting. currently i am around 13% and trying to gain muscle. would a one day 24 hour fast with 6 days taking up all thoose calories work in terms of bulking up and minimizing if not losing bodyfat?

Duong Nguyen said...

Unfortunately, I have no idea what my starting and ending bodyfat percentages were.

I don't have any experience with fasting one day a week but I did read that John Berardi experimented with doing that way. You could look him up...I know he wrote a free e-book about his fasting experiences and that was one of the ways he tried.

Anonymous said...

Hi Duong

Very impressed by your story. For bulking how many calories did you consume on weight/cardio days? What macros - how many grams of protein/carbs/fats.

Is there any detrimental effects long term in taking ghe supplements you do like bcaa and creatine?

Looking forward to hearing from you - Sam.

Duong Nguyen said...

Hey Sam,

I wrote about my caloric intake and macros in this post here:

"While I was cutting, I was taking in anywhere between 1,200 - 1,700 calories a day. I know this seems low but the average caloric intake was higher if you include my cheat days. So adding the 75 grams of carbohydrates will increase my caloric intake by 300 calories. My range will now be anywhere from 1,500 - 2,000 calories."

Over the course of my bulk, I did up the carbs gradually eventually taking in about 150 grams of carbs.

I've been taking creating on and off for 10 years now and feel perfectly fine :)

BCAA's is more a recent thing but I have also been experimenting with them on and off for the past couple years. I'm pretty sure there are no safety concerns with creatine or BCAA's.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Duong - are you ever planning to put a ebook together? You should and I would happily be your first paying customer!

I have started taking BCCA and creatine before weights and just BCCA before low intensity cardio. Is this right?

I have not taken any fat burners yet but in your experience do they really accelerate fat loss?

Finally, I am working out using the HIT methods of the legendary Mike Mentzer which means working out every 6 days. I notice in your bulking post you worked out every day but on each body part - do you not feel over-trained?

Again thank you for your time and keeping me motivated - Sam.

Duong Nguyen said...

Hey Sam, sorry for the delayed response. I haven't had thoughts of writing an ebook but maybe sometime in the future.

On my cardio days, I like to sip on the BCAA's/Creatine shake during my cardio. I normally just do incline treadmill walking so it's easy for me to sip...I'm not sure how it when you're running.

I do believe the fat burners can help you achieve accelerated fat loss. Also a lot of them are pretty good at suppressing appetite so that's always a plus when dieting.
Taking fatburners also helps keep sticking to me diet because I don't want to "waste" the fat burning effects.

I thinking your workout using HIT would work fine. I do workout every other day on each body part, but I only do one exercise per bodypart and about 4-6 sets. So the volume is kept low and allows me to recover.

Anonymous said...

Hi Duong - sincerely appreciate any time you spend so please don't apologise.

Are the fat burners you use the same as the ECA stack? Did you have any side effects?

Just to clarify cardio - do you do this fasted first thing in the morning? Do you do 45 mins and burn about 400 calories given your intensity?

Any tips on easy calorie counting?

Finally have you tried fasted resistance workouts on your journey?

Thank you again bro, Sam.

Duong Nguyen said...

Hey Sam, the fatburner OxyElite Pro I used is not the same as the ECA stack but it worked well for me and I didn't get any side effects. But you can use any fatburner you like, if you have access to the ECA stack then you should use it.

The cardio I did was not first thing in the morning. I would do it after work but still fasted.

I would say use something like to count your calories for a week or two. By then you should have a good idea of how many calories you are taking in without having to count everything. This works well if you tend to eat the same thing everyday.

I have tried fasted weightlifting sessions and I felt fine during them but I seemed to have gotten slightly sick afterwards (symptoms of a cold coming on) so I stopped those.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...