I got sick of trying to lose weight and decided to gain some.
For the past few years, you see, I’ve made a significant effort in health and fitness, since I’ve hit my mid-30s and my body has begun its long, slow decline toward death. Determined to fight death with a good set of pecs, I joined the local gym and started working out. As a mental “before” picture, imagine a guy who wasn’t fat but wasn’t muscular, either…an average man who didn’t look pitifully out-of-shape but really was. They all it “skinny fat” when you appear lean but have no true muscle beyond that of a 5th grader. So the goal, of course, was the same as most men’s goal when they enter a gym: lean abs and strong muscles. I was determined to make it happen.
The trouble is that it’s hard to lose weight without losing fat and muscle simultaneously, so you end up ten pounds lighter and weaker. The ultimate goal, then, isn’t to lose weight but to improve your muscle/fat ratio: a broader chest and trimmer waist, for example. There are hundreds of approaches and it all gets confusing, but it seems like most serious gym guys do a bulk/cut routine, where you gain weight to build muscle (bulk up) and then strategically lose weight to cut the extra fat (without losing the hard-earned muscle). You end up close to your original weight but with greater strength and a better shape.
So I just did six weeks of bulking up, gained ten pounds, and increased my strength on key lifts by about 25%. For the next six weeks, I’ll try to keep that strength while leaning down.
In a future post, I’ll describe my bulking-up routine, which might be interesting since I’m not a super-fit gym rat and still managed to get very encouraging results (without insane effort or a personal trainer). After that, I’ll describe my cutting strategy, and we’ll see if that works over the coming month.