The 12 Month Bulk Is Over
It’s time to begin the plunge. Give or take a couple of minicuts that were appropriately brief, I’ve spent a solid 12 months amassing as much weight as I could. Which hasn’t been a staggering amount. But I’m certainly bigger and stronger than I was a year prior. I even had half a mind to stretch the bulk out over the summer.
- Pre-Bulk Weight – 85kg
- Post-Bulk Weight – 95kg
Except, I can’t deal with shoveling 5000 calories down my gullet every day. Not anymore. My appetite is shot, and I’m beginning to feel a little slow. So rather than grind through for a few more months, I’m preempting it by starting the latest cut. This is where it gets fun.
Here’s the thing. The thing that drew me into the carnivore diet wasn’t what it could do for the physique. It was its ability to purge the stress, clear the cobwebs, and light up my cognition. To put it plain and simple, being straight carnivore feels fantastic. It picks me up and sets me on a giddy high. Adding carbs might help boost muscle gain, but it also puts a dent in that high, a tug back down to reality that gets stronger with the dose.
Over the last 12 months of bulking, I introduced carbs in order to bust past stubborn weight stalls, before cutting right back on carbs once I figured I could still increase my calories with scrambled eggs drenched in butter. Which worked well enough to push me up to 95kg and crush several all-time PBs in the big lifts.
- Squat – 200kg – 212.5kg
- Bench Press – 155kg – 160kg
- Deadlift – 255kg – 265kg
Realising My Training Mistakes
Now, I’ll have to address the elephant in the room. Those aren’t spectacular jumps to show for 12 months of diligence. There are a couple of reasons for that.
One, I trained like an ass. Until recently, at which point I realised that training to failure on the regular was handicapping my progress by swapping out growth for fatigue. A few years late on the uptake, but I’m happy to hold my hands up when I’m wrong and scrap the playbook.
As a second, I’d picked up plenty of niggles along the way, and busted my back for good measure, all of which meant I was rarely in full form. Over the last few months, I’ve been working on smoothing over the underlying hip imbalances that upset the apple cart, and my recent PBs suggest I’m back on track.
However, this preemptive decision to shred comes right before the crunch end of my DUP strength block. I’m right at the end of Week 8, with another 4 weeks to go. But despite the drop in calories, I’m going to soldier on.
I don’t expect to gain any muscle beyond this point. You might hear the odd person preach the idea of recomp, the mythical state where you can build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Here’s the thing. If you tick one of the following, you have a fair chance as long as you get your ducks in a row.
1. You’re a beginner
2. You’re fat
3. You’re coming back from a long hiatus
But if you don’t, then snap out of it, and pick one. That’s what I’m doing. I might get stronger, and in fact, I intend to. Strength isn’t the sum of muscle size, there are a few other compounding factors, like coordination and neural drive. The plan is to clear up inflammation, sweeten my sleep, and reach new heights of explosiveness.
Why I’m Not Changing Anything
Now for exactly what I’m doing with the diet. I’m not actually big into counting calories, but I do occasionally tally up in order to touch base and make sure I’m roughly on the mark.
- Total Calories – 5200
- Carbs – 0g
- Fat – 420g
- Protein – 360g
Yes, that’s a lot of fat. If you want to try out those numbers for yourself, take your time working up to it. Otherwise you’re not going to be a fan of the side effects.
As for the plunge, it’s going to be just that. There’s little point in tapering when you’re already in tune with the diet and ketosis. I’m dropping that straight down to around 3000 calories, with room for a little extra on the weekends. In case I fancy throwing on a few extra burgers as a treat.
The calories are the only thing that’s changing in order for me to switch from bulk to shred. Take note, because that might seem a little foreign.
My DUP programme is staying the same. No jump in volume, or slash of rest time. I’ll still go hard and heavy.
The protein to fat ratio is still around 1:1g. I’m not sacrificing energy for a quick cut.
The amount of cardio I’ll do will remain at zero. I walk a lot, that’s enough.
I’m not going to go crazy on water all of a sudden, because I’m not big on getting up three times a night so I can bang my knee on the wall again.
I might add more abs, but that’s something I’ve been meaning to do anyway. Not that I’ll remember.
Training and dieting becomes simple once you’ve recognised what elements actually move the needle, and what are actually just filler. There’s no need to over complicate it, or chop and change the routine at the first hint of resistance. Get your eggs in line, and stay the course. Your progress will thank you.
As for me, I’m looking forward to walking around in the morning without being weighed down by a dozen eggs, and I’m desperate to find out what sleep is like without being heated up by the furnace of 400 grams of fat. I’m ready for the cakewalk.