Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Muscle Building Protocol #1 – Too Much Fat Update


The good thing about self-experimentation is that you tend to track a lot of data which gives you some real time feedback to play with. This real time feedback has provided me with the need to alter the experiment so that I don’t end up with too much additional body fat.

With my Muscle Building Protocol #1, I set out to build muscle. As such, I laid out a specific plan that at the heart of it included a nutritional and calorie plan designed to pack on the muscle. The trouble is, that even after 2 weeks on the protocol I have packed on too much fat (and some muscle and want to ensure that I stick with my overall goal.

Results to Date

So what has the data been telling me? Let’s start with a graphical representation of what has happened:

Here is what I read into this. First off, my weight went way up. Now I have been doing this weight loss thing long enough to know that water weight can play wicked games with the scale. That is why I generally don’t go by the scale anymore. However, there is no denying that the weight gain did go up – by about 8 pounds over two weeks. More importantly however are the other two readings.

First off, I had a professional body fat test done a couple of weeks ago and that reading was 10%, which was good considering where I came from 2 years ago. When I did the body fat test on myself at home using my Warrior Digital Body Mass Caliper I came out at over 13%. Now, I know these are not the most accurate by I did find that after my professional test I did get a rating just above 10% so perhaps it is not that far off. Looks like my body fat went up approx. 3%. Not a great sign.

Now, since I am looking at muscle gain I need to determine if all that extra eating did in fact allow me to put on some muscle. When I do the lean mass calculations (subtract body fat as determined by BF% from total weight), I went from lean mass of 134.6 lbs to 135.7lbs or a gain of 1.1 lbs. Given that a new lifter (I would say I am at that point as I have only been really seriously lifting for under a year) will only gain about 2 pounds per month, and assuming that that 1.1 lbs was all muscle then I am on track. However, there are too many variable to really know and I feel I need to act now to see if I can lessen the fat gain while still putting on some muscle.

Acting too Fast?

2 weeks is not a long time in the body recomposition world. In fact, I could argue that the changes to my body over the past two weeks could be just an overcompensation by my body since I am not used to eating this much food. I bet there is a lot of water weight in there. However, the body fat test does show an increase in body fat so I think it is important to act now. Another point on acting too fast, is that we just came out of the holidays and I was not attract and ate a lot on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. These excess calories certainly could have been more than I thought (probably are) and have added to the gain.

However, the fact still remains that fat went on too fast and I need to adjust to stop the damage

The Response: Adjusted Calorie and Macro Nutritional Protocol

Since I have put on some muscle, the logical response is to adjust calories as opposed to the workout program. Based on all of this data, here is the new muscle building which reflects the lower calories.

Calories RMR + 732 additional calories on all workout days
1790 + 732 = 2522 calories
Protein: 188 grams
Carbs: 302 grams
Fat: 62 grams

In addition, I am going to incorporate an Eat Style Eat scenario on non-workout days to this program so that I can manage calories. If you remember from my first post, I said I wanted to do this program with flexibility so that I can still eat during Friday date night with my wife, Sunday family dinners, and eat with my kids most nights. By building in this buffer I should be able to enjoy these meals which might take me higher in calories (I will track these calories still) and not go too far out of whack.

I am going to continue to track progress and see how I do. Again, I am looking to add some muscle, but not at the expense of too much fat. I know, sounds counterintuitive and at polar opposites, but keep in mind that I am not looking to get fat at the expense of muscle gain – my goal is still a lean physique. Make sense??

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