Progress Update: Moving from Bulking to Cutting
It’s been a while since I’ve done a progress update! As you know I was bulking for over 4 months to see how much muscle I could put on in preparation for a bodybuilding show in April. I gained quite a bit! Excuse the stern look in the photos below. I have a really hard time flexing and smiling at the same time! The progress photo below is from September 2013 to January 2014.
I basically ate whatever I wanted during my bulk. This caused some weight/fat gain but also really helped fuel and build dem muscles. Now I’m about 10 weeks out from my show. We are in the “cutting” phase of my training, which is different than the “bulking” phase in that my diet is is more deliberate and strict. Cardio has been added back in after doing almost none during the bulk phase.
Here is my first round of progress photos from bulking and after starting the cutting phase. First photo is from January 19th (about 14 weeks out), second one is from February 9th (about 11 weeks out). You can see some small changes and can tell I’m leaning out. We are going slow and steady rather than trying to rush into it and possibly burn away all the muscle I’ve built.
You can tell I’ve lost a little size in my shoulders but that is normal when losing the fat around the muscle. You will always look more “jacked” when bulking/building. I still have a long way to go as far as how much muscle I would like to have on my body, but I know that over many years of lifting and conditioning I will reach my ideal physique. It’s a journey not a destination!
So what I’m I doing as far as diet and training?
(Below I will share with you what I’ve been doing but remember these recommendations are specifically for me and my stats/goals and planned for me by a professional. Please seek guidance for your own goals. My coach is Lori from All Natural Health & Fitness if you are thinking of doing a competition!)
My lifting workouts haven’t changed much. I still do a 5-day bodybuilding split. At first I was doing two leg days but that shifted about 3 months ago to include more shoulder work. The big thing the judges look for in Figure is delt size. I have a long way to go there! Thankfully my back has gotten huge, and with my little waist I have a good “v taper”, which the judges love as well (back photo taken 8 weeks ago during bulking).
The only thing that has changed in the last few weeks is adding cardio back into my plan. I go to Beyond Fit three times a week for interval training (hiit) and do maybe one spin class or another group class like kickboxing or cardio dance at 24hr Fitness. I gotta have fun or I won’t do it!
For diet my coach had me try carb-cycling to see how my body reacted to lower carb/higher fat. So I had three days in a row with lower calories and lower carbs (macros about 40/30/30) then one high day (macros 60/20/20 with 300 more calories). By that third low carb day each week I was kind of grumpy. It was definitely more fat that I had eaten before and I did drop two pounds and start to lean out some. But I really love my carbs! So now I’ve switched to high carb/moderate protein/low fat for a three week experiment to see how my body leans out with that.
Carbs are good.
Thanks for following along my journey! I will keep you up-to-date on my progress as it continues. Do let me know if you have any questions!
I’m happy to announce that I passed my Certified Personal Trainer exam and I’m officially a personal trainer! I’m looking around for job options, but will also take online clients for any of you who don’t live in Austin. Rates will be up soon, and I’m offering large discounts to get my feet wet! If you have a number of questions or need someone to bounce ideas off of I have hourly appointments available at PopExpert.com (a very easy schedule service with video chatting!). I can’t wait to work with you to help you reach your health and fitness goals!