One year ago I started working with Alberto Nunez of 3D Muscle Journey. I told him that for most of my time lifting weights I had dieted. I felt like I was more of a professional dieter than a bodybuilder and I had never felt “big”. Weighing 203 lbs at the time I had spent most of 2017 dieting.
I thought I needed to stay fairly lean in my off season and not get to fat. My stage weight was 180 lbs in 2014 so I was currently sitting at 23 lbs over. I was thinking I needed to get down to 190 to 195 and then start a lean gaining phase up to 200 to 205. At that point I would diet back down again thus staying fairly lean all the time. This seems to be a very prevalent mind set in natural bodybuilding these days.
Much to my suprise Alberto suggested I stop dieting and eat at slightly over maintenance calories and lift weights. Every three months I would check in and update Alberto with progress pictures and he would say, “let’s keep going”. So here we are one year later at 220 lbs and I can honestly say for the first time in my life I actually feel “big”. The above picture was taken on a company field trip last week and I think it captures that feeling.
Doing the math I have gained 17 lbs in 12 months which averages out to 1.41 lbs a month or .33 lbs per week. Now some of that weight has definitely been fat but the rate of gain has been less than 1% of my starting body weight per month which should translate into muscle gain while keeping fat gain at a reasonable level.
Below are front and back comparison pictures from August of last year to today. For 21 lbs difference I do not see anything major that stands out. Yes a bit fatter but muscle wise about the same. Seeing the scale move up without noticeable fat gain is a win. Very eager to see a comparison when I diet back down to 199 lbs. Then hopefully I will see the fruits of my labor.
The game plan is to keep going until the end of the year and then start dieting down in the new year to see if any progress has been made. I am thrilled with how this last year has gone and I am enjoying the journey. Thank you Alberto for your guidance and wisdom of encouraging me to not be afraid of adding some weight to the scale and just focusing on performance in the gym. I finally feel big thanks to you my friend!