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26 Feb

11st 13lbs

Rejoined gym. Serious business now.


All Work And No Diet Makes Me A Skinny Boy

7 Jan

It’s like building a house on sandy ground. No proper diet = no proper bulk gain. I have spent a year and the gym, and despite being much, much fitter I am not much, much bigger. This is a great shame and it appears that the problem is down to simple maths.

Calories In Minus Calories Out

If you are a fat bastard, everyone knows that you just eat less food. Getting bigger doesnt seem to work like this. I eat more, and I get more belly fat and no more me. So clearly this is a case of too much of the wrong food, but keeping track of everything looks a bloody nightmare. I am also pretty sick of eating hemp, and need to think about ways of getting in more protein and less fat. Things high in protein and taste also come high in fat. So what is the balance?

Looking around the web and normal diet things, a person of my size and build should be eating 2100 calories made up of 20% protein, 50% carbs and 30% fat. But the view to bulk found on other sites including this one are hinting at 30% protein, 50% carb and 20% fat. But there are two problems – getting the protein cheaply and not getting the fat.

High Protein, Low Fat Food Must Taste Like Shit

A bit of reasearch has sugested the follwing tasty morsels for protein supplies:

1) Fish. All fish is good. Cheap good fish is tuna (tin) or pollock (fresh). One tin of tuna chunks in water is 140 calories, 32g protein, nil carbs and 1g fat. The same weight of steamed pollock gives 115 calores, 24g protein, nil carbs and 1g fat.

2) Tofu. Saying nothing more.

3) Cottage cheese. 140g of standard cottage cheese gives you 128 calories 19g protein, 5g carbs and 2g fat.

4) Now the mecca of protein and fat. Nuts and seeds. Plain pistachio kernels 140g will give you a massive 850 calories, 25g protein, 11g carbs and 77g of fat. Now that is not a healthy thing. Infact, scoffing a pack of pistachios will stuff you up. The incredibly tasty Morissons seed mix 140g gives you 836 calories, 37g protein, 71g of fat. So thats also not great. But there is a promised land. Morisons spicy broad beans! 140g will give you 513 calories, 31g protein, 47g of carbs and a mere 18g of fat.

The Golden Ratio In A Bag

Thats the Mecca. A 30:50:20 ratio. A double bonus – you can buy dried and split broad beans grown here in the Uk. Here is the link to where you can buy these in small bags or in bulk. And two recipies here and here for cooking them so you dont have to spend 70p for 40g. Having looked before I believe you can do similar with dried peas. In any case, I dont think you can get cheaper protein:

£19.50 (delivered) gets you 12.5kg of beans. You would be going some to eat more than 125g in a serving which means the bag would last you 100 days. So 20p a day You could go mental and have a kilo of beans a day cooked in a variety of ways for £2 and get your daily calories at an Atkins-respectable 40% protein, 50% carbs, 10% fat. For £2!!!

But The Counting Is Too Tricky

My wife uses a website to count it all. I disdained it as it was not keen to let you “gain” weight using it as the calculators get cross with you. But I reckon it can be done. £6.95 for a month. I am going to try it and see. At the very least it will tell me if I am eating too much cake or not.

More Gym

I asked the man in the gym how to get more bulk. He said work harder and work more than one mucsle at once. And do less cardio and more weights. So I am. This is the new “program” I am following. It is fun. I like lifting weight.

Anyway, the gym is now busy with the new “intake” from new year. Hopefully quieter in a months time. In the meantime, I will shake my head and wonder why they dont give five minutes in the induction to mention to women to wear appropriate underwear under appropriate leggings. Big lacy jobs under your normal tights is not a great look.after half an hour of sweating.

And Back To The Beginning

28 Oct

So, ventured back into the gym after harvest. It almost killed me. Most surprising is my total lack of stamina for any cardio work. I have been back a week and here are the observations:

Everybody’s Dead, Dave.

There are no people at the gym. Olympic fever must have died down now, or something, but even on a Friday night (posing night) there was maybe 5 in the gym late on. Monday (weekend guilt night) and Wednesday (totty night) equally quiet. This is brill for me as it means I dont have to wait for things.

Those who are still there have been going a long time, so I actually can say hello to them now.

Weak As I Am.

After three months off, I cannot run not lift. My immediate short-term goals are therefore to get back to speed on the cross trainer and to weight. I would have expected to have got much fatter, what with a diet of pork pies and crisps over summer, and a regime of sitting in a seat, but it seems the opposite has happened. My legs have shriveled to sticks, and I am down to 11 stone 10lbs, which is an epic fail. Perhaps my un-worked muscles have just withered away, which is a bad, bad thing.

So the goals – get back to bench pressing 50kg and deadlifting 100kg.Be able to run for one hour on the cross trainer at 8mph over a reasonable resistance level /  course. Get another stone back from somewhere.

But of course there have been changes and perks. The gym now has a bench that sticks your legs higher than your head. It is good, but a bit of a bugger to get on with a heavy barbell. I think that is the only material change. That with the recuction in people and the continued presence of Anna Kournikova’s stunt double makes the hour stint worth it.

All Stop For Harvest

31 Jul

There was slight shock when I told those at the gym that I was a farmer. Surely lugging bales and wrestling cows, hoicking bacgs of corn to the granary etc would mean the gym wasnt needed. I think they were slightly sad to learn I sat in either a cab or behind a desk all day eating sandwiches and crisps. Anyhow, harvest has arrived and that means I have to pretty much stop my normal gym routine. I think therefore time for a review.

Have I Got Some Bulk?

No. I weigh the same as I started. But I have got much reduced belly, and much improved ability to lift things and run a long way. I started bench pressing 20kg – I now happily do double that to warm up. I started wuith 5 minutes on a low level on the cross trainer – 45 minutes up a hill is now fine. I can deadlift my own body weight. All is generally good. And I am in a good mood. Its a good foundation to go forward.

What’s The Plan?

More bulk. No messing. Simply more weight and more distance. No point pissing about now. Beforehand, I liked to know I was going to achive x number of reps of a certain weight. Now I am going to break myself.

News Just In – Got Some Bulk

1 May

Well that’s a shock, but a good one. Today I have amassed twelve stones and five pounds, thats 3 more pounds than the start, and am finding 34″ waist trousers are falling down. So success all round. Still got more belly to shift, but I am pleased to say I now have some dinky little muscles. Better than that, I now actually know some people to chat to, which as I have a very antisocial job is a nice change.

Reps Vs Weight

What I have learnt from talking to others is that I am the only person who does 4 sets of 10 reps per exercise. They all seem to do 3 x 8, or even less, but with much more weight. Also, none of them do any sort of cardio work, and as such dont spend an hour in a pool of their own sweat. They also drink gallons of lurid coloured liquids.

I am sure this is not right for me. For one, I reckon I have bigger legs now as I use the cross trainer at a higher level and for much longer than I started. Same with all the weights. Although it is not massive bulk, I reckon it is more useful bulk. I have also learnt that I do something called “eccentric” exercise. The chunky chaps do their reps very quickly. I take a long time in lowering. They also tend to use a machine for things like presses, whereas I prefer being unassisted on a bench.

So am I wrong? They clearly are much bigger than me, but I am sticking to doing what I consider doing it properly. That being said I am now shifting  bigger weights, so hurray.

Trainers Vs Hot Women

It is a known fact that women cant bend over in the correct manner. I notice this with people not picking their children up. However it is much more distracting when it is some curvey woman in lycra at the gym. What is a fact, is that on certain nights when the hot women are in the gym, us men seem keener in lifting heavier weights and geneally being more boarish. At some point, the maths say, we men as a whole will get more training benefit from being around hot women and eggin each other on to lift more, than having expensive people shout at us. A bit like carrot vs stick. So, for mutual benefit, the Leisure Centre should offer discounted rates for attractive women to encourage proper gym use.

Lopsided Arms

13 Apr

It could be down to being right-handed, but my left arm is smaller than my right. This makes exercises which require both hands to pull or push a real pain as the weak arm is the cause of the fail. Tonight I spend half an hour being wobbly and unsymetrical as I tried some new exercises and new ways of doing things.

Dumbell Pullover

I found this on youtube and concious of how easy it seems to be to seriously bugger myself up without proper form I got some chaps at the gym to make sure I wasnt doing it wrong. Here is the link to the dumbell pullover which I did with the ezcurl bar and a whopping 10kg total weight……and it still hurt. I suppose it is muscles that dont get much strain but I was not expecting it to be so hard. Long arms I suppose dont help the physics.

Lying on the Bench

So, whilst I was on a bench, I thought I would do some presses. I normally do these on a Smith machine but I reckon that there is something extra in doing them unassisted, even if it means less weight until I get the hang of it. But it go me thinking about the simplicity of exercise and I am going to have a go figuring out a whole set of stuff I can do on a bench rather than moving around the gym.


Belly now bigger after Easter. And crips and gin. So back to health and some serious gym. I have been 5 times in 7 days and a swim with the kids too. Cardio work tomrrow and some crunches.

Long Time No Bulk

5 Apr

So its been a while. Most of that while I have been fitting in the gym inbetween bouts of illness. Today I have got accute sinusitis which is not very comfortable. As someone who doesnt have much contact with people, going to the gym is a sure fire way of getting sick with the air conditioning pumping “stranger germs” all over me for an hour, four times a week. Still, like a new teacher in a primary school, at some point I will become immune to all of these silly colds and coughs.

No More Bulk

So, distressingly, I am still twelve stones two pounds. But I need smaller waisted trousers again. And I have bigger muscles, especially calves. Also noticable is some little tummy muscles appearing. Also noticable is my lack of change of routine. Even though I have been given a varied routing for different bits of me, in reality the gym is quite full. Big tough blokes come and sit on the benches and occasionally lift something very heavy. Women of all shapes come and do their special womens things. As a result, there is simply no way I can go to the gym with a plan to do lots of chest work, as invariably what I want to do will have been occupied.

Crisp Capitulation

Couldnt do it. Have had a terrible week of poor diet. I’ve had two bags of crisps and a pot noodle and its only half ten. Woe.

Right, off to see if weekday lunchtimes are quiet or busy.