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Road to the Stage: WEEKS 13, 14 & 15

BODY WEIGHT AND CURRENT CONDITION

It’s hard to believe that I have already been dieting for 15 weeks. By most people’s standards, 15 weeks would be an entire prep, but I feel like I’m just getting started.

When I last left off my weight was 190.6lbs and in Week 13 I saw another great drop down to 189.7lbs. This is a drop of 0.9 lbs which is right on the money so I didn’t change a thing. Week 14 saw another full pound drop down to 188.7lbs. so I once again stuck with my plan for the following week.

Week 15 is when I hit a roadblock. My macros for week 15 were on point but my weight jumped up to 189.6 which is a 0.9 lbs gain. This gain was pretty significant so I had to make some changes to my diet to get things moving in the right direction again. I plan to address this weight jump in the “additional thoughts” section.

NUTRITION + CARDIO

As I mentioned above, there was only one change I made in the past three weeks and that was in week 15. Here are my new macros below. 

  • Protein - 275g
  • Carbs - 250g
  • Fat - 53.5g

I also have a high calorie day once every 7th day with these macros:

  • Protein - 250g
  • Carbs - 485g
  • Fat - 65g

For those that are paying attention, I only cut 15 grams from my daily diet with a little extra off of my high carb day. This may seem like an absolutely tiny cut but I had been losing pretty well in the previous weeks so I suspect that a small cut should be enough to get things moving along again.

The timing of my meals has changed a little since I had to cut my numbers. Once again, this timing can change if I need it to fit my schedule.

  • Meal 1 (upon waking) - P- 55   C-25   F- 12
  • Meal 2 (pre-training meal) - P- 55   C- 75   F- 12
  • Meal 3 (post training shake) - P- 55   C- 40   F- 1
  • Meal 4 (post training meal) - P- 55   C- 45   F- 8.5
  • Meal 5 (before bed) - P- 55   C- 65   F- 20

CARDIO

I am still not doing any cardio. A lot of people have been asking me about this. They seem to almost be nervous about me not adding any cardio. Haha! This is something that I have gotten a little more extreme with in recent years. For those that have a hard time building and retaining muscle (like myself) I have tended to shy away from adding cardio into their plans early. Then, when I do add cardio, I add very little, if any, HIIT to their program. I find that for some people, the demands of HIIT along with weight training and dieting becomes too much for them to recover from. So even when I do add cardio, it will most likely be some LISS (low intensity steady state) or MISS (moderate intensity stead state).

TRAINING

In week 13 I had a little setback with my training. I actually strained my hamstring a little. It is not anything major to worry about but it is enough that I cannot do some movements. I hurt it on a set of machine leg curls with a pretty light weight actually.

A lot of people tend to panic when they have a minor injury during prep because they are worried that it will hinder their progress when they can’t do certain exercises. One thing that all bodybuilders have to remember is that there is no exercise that you “must” do. There are many exercises that can effectively stimulate a muscle group and you can use any number of them to get the job done.

Whenever I have a small injury or strain, I live by the motto “if it hurts, don’t do it”. It may seem simple, but it works and it is safe. So with this injury, here I what I knew hurt:

  • Heavy weight
  • Squats
  • Lying leg Curls

Knowing this I avoided these three things. Doing this meant I had to scrap my plan for the day. For example, I had a heavy leg day upcoming where I was supposed to do everything in the 4-8 rep range. I was planning to do both squats and lying leg curls. Instead, here is what I did.

  • Hammer Plate Loaded Leg Press - 3 sets of 25+ reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts - 3 sets of 20+ reps
  • Leg Ext. - 3 sets of 20+ reps
  • Barbell Hip Thrust - 3 sets of 30+ reps
  • Seated Calf Raise - 8x270 (4 sets)
  • Decline Sit - ups - 10x30 (4 sets)
  • Leg Raise - bodyweight x10 (3 sets)

Now I didn’t get to use the heavy weight I had planned. However, what is important is that I still ended up with a brutally hard training session that had a lot of volume, and stimulated the muscle groups of my lower body. Sometimes people get down if they can’t do the exact training session they had planned. They would rather not do it or do it half assed if they can’t do it the way they wanted. However, it is good to remember that some stimulation will be better than no stimulation at all. 

SUPPLEMENTATION

I have kept my usual supplements the same as listed below.

  • Core ABC (7 scoops per day)
  • Core ISO (as needed)
  • Core PRO (as needed)
  • Vitamin D (1000 IU daily)
  • Multivitamin (once daily)
  • Core Commodities Beta Alanine (1 scoop daily)
  • Core Commodities Taurine (2 scoops daily)
  • Core FURY Extreme (as needed but typically one full scoop)
  • Core PUMP (one scoop before training)
  • Core HMB (4 grams daily)
  • Fish Oil (2 capsules daily)
  • Core Commodities Creatine Mono (5 grams daily)
  • Core Commodities Glutamine (15 grams daily, primarily taken for immune health)
  • Core Alpha
  • Core Hard
  • PES Anabeta Elite
  • MTS Baracuda
  • PurusLabs Recycle

ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND THOUGHTS

This week I want to discuss weight fluctuations. Weight fluctuations are a source of discouragement for a lot of people. For many, when they are in prep and they see their weight go up they automatically freak out and wonder how their weight could actually go up when they are working so hard. 

First and foremost, in this situation it is important to take a deep breath and look at the situation logically. First off, if you have been following your macros you must know that there is no possible way that you have actually gained fat. To store fat you must have additional energy intake and if that hasn’t happened then you can’t have gained. It is that simple. Secondly, it is important to realize that there are a LOT of factors that contribute to your body weight. Obviously fat loss and muscle growth contribute, but water weight fluctuations, GI issues, urination, and perspiration all play a part. So you need to realize that if any one of these things are off, you can get a weight that is actually higher. Also, stress can be a big contributor to weight fluctuations both upward and downward.

Now, I don’t know exactly what caused my weight to jump upwards in week 15. I didn’t have any GI issues, my macros were on point, and I didn’t have any more or less stress. However, something was different and I just have to live with it and move on. It does no good to keep endlessly searching for the reason for the increase. Most of the time you will never know the reason for a weight increase. You are best to just make some changes as a precaution and move on.


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