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mchicia1
04-27-2011, 07:44 PM
Well, little background first...

I came on this forum 3 years ago or so and was skinny as a rail. I was about 180 pounds and at 6'5" with no muscle this wasn't pretty. Most on here said just squat and eat everything in sight...well I took that advice literally and gained all the way up to 245 and I made the 3/4/5 plate goal that I set for myself.

About two weeks ago, I was mowing the lawn shirtless because it was pretty hot out and I noticed that every step I took, I could feel my stomach bouncing and drooping. On top of that, my wife noticed it too as she peaked out the window to look at me. Not good!

So, I basically freaked out and went low carb for two weeks and I got all the way down to 233. Obviously way too drastic a change and my gym energy was non-existent. This motivated me to buy the lean gains book by Shelby Starnes..and here I am today.

I am two days into the diet..so far I have had just one low day and one high day. The diet will consist of two high days per week, one medium day, and four low days.

Since my weight will fluctuate daily, I will have to take pics to track progress. I will do this every week or two on a high carb day.

Here are the first pics...go easy on me :(. I am putting these here because it will motivate me to stick with the diet. Plus I want to help others in case this diet actually works out for me.

FRONT AND BACK FLEXED

http://img816.imageshack.us/img816/5891/img2978c.th.jpg (http://img816.imageshack.us/i/img2978c.jpg/)

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/4248/img2980zw.th.jpg (http://img153.imageshack.us/i/img2980zw.jpg/)

You can see the potential for me being lean right? I SEE IT! This is motivation.

FRONT AND BACK - FAT AS FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
This is also motivation because relaxed i look like one piece of lard.

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/7450/img2979r.th.jpg (http://img148.imageshack.us/i/img2979r.jpg/)

http://img864.imageshack.us/img864/6849/img2975oir.th.jpg (http://img864.imageshack.us/i/img2975oir.jpg/)
Note the depressed face LOL.

http://img194.imageshack.us/f/mediump.png/

Here are my low, medium, and high carb days..Adapted directly from lean gains.

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/406/lowu.th.png (http://img97.imageshack.us/i/lowu.png/)

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/399/mediump.th.png (http://img194.imageshack.us/i/mediump.png/)

http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/6057/hugh.th.png (http://img846.imageshack.us/i/hugh.png/)

Behemoth
04-27-2011, 08:58 PM
Mike you have a BARBARIC FRAME. Wow do you have so much potential. You have a lot of mass on you as it is, shoulders and lower back really stand out.

You're going to look nasty getting ripped up. I'm excited to watch you progress on stanes' protocols, big things should happen.

cphafner
04-27-2011, 09:05 PM
Sending you a PM

jAy_Dub
04-27-2011, 11:28 PM
You look awesome bro. Once you cut up a little bit you'll look fantastic.

After seeing you mention Shelby's book, I just bought it lol. I looked over the diet and it seems very legit and something that would work well for me. Right now I've been doing kind of a combination of the high carb day with high protein and fats as well on work out days and the medium carb day on my off days. Its probably a recipe for disaster haha.

LuNa
04-28-2011, 01:20 AM
Very solid base Mike. From the way you described it i was expecting something completely different. Dieting down should show some pretty sick results. Good luck dude!

mchicia1
04-28-2011, 07:15 AM
Mike you have a BARBARIC FRAME. Wow do you have so much potential. You have a lot of mass on you as it is, shoulders and lower back really stand out.

You're going to look nasty getting ripped up. I'm excited to watch you progress on stanes' protocols, big things should happen.

Thanks dude! I am hoping that I still look like I have some mass, even at 210 pounds after this is over. 210 looked skinny as hell on me the first time I hit that weight a couple years back, but maybe now since I will be a much lower BF%, I will still look good. I don't carry much mass in my legs yet, so that is probably why my body weight isn't more like 245-250 right now. I need to work on hitting the legs with higher volume. I train to failure on my upper body, but never on my lower. That is probably why I see a huge difference.


Sending you a PM
Pming you back.


You look awesome bro. Once you cut up a little bit you'll look fantastic.

After seeing you mention Shelby's book, I just bought it lol. I looked over the diet and it seems very legit and something that would work well for me. Right now I've been doing kind of a combination of the high carb day with high protein and fats as well on work out days and the medium carb day on my off days. Its probably a recipe for disaster haha.

Thanks Jay...I am pretty hard on myself, so all I see is a skinny fat guy. But that is a good thing I think, keeps me motivated.


Very solid base Mike. From the way you described it i was expecting something completely different. Dieting down should show some pretty sick results. Good luck dude!

Thanks man...you should see a side pic of me...pretty prego!

lenny spero
04-28-2011, 09:38 AM
if your serious about carb cycleing you shoulc e-mail shelby..he is very reasonable to work with and worth every penny imo..i worked with him for 12 weeks lost a ton if fat and get stronger,,

mchicia1
04-28-2011, 09:45 AM
if your serious about carb cycleing you shoulc e-mail shelby..he is very reasonable to work with and worth every penny imo..i worked with him for 12 weeks lost a ton if fat and get stronger,,

Yes, actually I was going to do that first before I even bought the book. I have a lot going on right now financially though, so that will have to wait. Once I get to the point where I can bulk again, I will probably utilize his services. I think it was only $400 for 12 weeks? Thats a pretty good deal.

cphafner
04-29-2011, 05:10 PM
Yes, actually I was going to do that first before I even bought the book. I have a lot going on right now financially though, so that will have to wait. Once I get to the point where I can bulk again, I will probably utilize his services. I think it was only $400 for 12 weeks? Thats a pretty good deal.

When I used him I think it was 350 for 12 weeks.

mchicia1
04-29-2011, 05:52 PM
When I used him I think it was 350 for 12 weeks.

Ya, both you and Lenny are a lot more advanced than I am though :). Going to try it on my own first. When (if) I get to your guys level, then I will seek professional help.

mchicia1
05-04-2011, 06:51 PM
I am about 10 days into the diet and things are going well. My lifting belt is feeling extremely loose on the 4th hole, whereas before, I could barely get the 4th hole in.

My strength has been going up on everything....just today I pulled 505 and repped out 405 for 10 on deads. I was very surprised.

Updated pics coming soon.

lenny spero
05-06-2011, 09:17 AM
I am about 10 days into the diet and things are going well. My lifting belt is feeling extremely loose on the 4th hole, whereas before, I could barely get the 4th hole in.

My strength has been going up on everything....just today I pulled 505 and repped out 405 for 10 on deads. I was very surprised.

Updated pics coming soon.

awesome..its amazing how once you start eating properly your lifts respond quickly...even though i lost basically 30-40lbs my strength level increased on all my lifts..when you first loose the belly squats feel kinda weird due to the change in leverages..

mchicia1
05-06-2011, 09:25 AM
awesome..its amazing how once you start eating properly your lifts respond quickly...even though i lost basically 30-40lbs my strength level increased on all my lifts..when you first loose the belly squats feel kinda weird due to the change in leverages..

Yes, I noticed both deads/squats felt different for sure. I think a lot of it was the fact that my belt was a lot looser...I can't quite get it on the 5th prong yet, so I am not getting much support from it right now. Ill see if I can take some updated pics tonight...It is almost 2 weeks into the diet, so it is probably the appropriate time.

Lenny, do you carb cycle to gain weight as well?

mchicia1
05-06-2011, 09:43 AM
Well I found a pic of a guy who represents exactly what I want to achieve....

Not sure if hes natty or not, but 6'5" 225 pounds at 8% body fat.

http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2009/10/13/322663/gallerypic/4158921.jpg

If I could look like that, I would be satisfied.

mchicia1
05-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Updated pics!

I am not good at posing and I am pasty white, so I included a few shots. Also, wife is away so I had to take them by myself. Tried to get as close as I could to the original shots. Do you see any progress? Not sure if I do yet, but I am down 3 pounds from the original shots. Looks like a little more definition in my chest and back? Tough to tell, but I think I see a little.

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8457/img2992p.jpg
http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2168/img2993g.jpg
http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/316/img2994iz.jpg
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/2687/img2995i.jpg
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/1476/img2996ht.jpg
http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7964/img2997c.jpg

LMFAO, my arms in the relaxed frontal look like the whacky arm inflatable tube man from family guy.


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTuQPMFdQjzJkUWvsKf4v1wvyuNgaa_3fgfbCMElek5gQa8aFzO&t=1

mchicia1
05-08-2011, 02:05 PM
More dieting PRs.


Nailed a 415 below parallel squat today and followed up with 315 x 10. Who says you gotta lose strength?

Behemoth
05-08-2011, 02:11 PM
You continue to impress with the amount of muscle mass you have on you. I think a few months of dieting would have you looking pretty damn alike that aspiration shot you posted. Keep it up Mike!

mchicia1
05-08-2011, 10:38 PM
You continue to impress with the amount of muscle mass you have on you. I think a few months of dieting would have you looking pretty damn alike that aspiration shot you posted. Keep it up Mike!

Thanks for the encouragement. Was tough to stay on track this weekend...took my buddy out because he is getting married in a week, then mother's day. Looks like I didn't gain any weight back though, so I did ok. Gotta get back after it this week and slave away at the chicken and rice.

mchicia1
05-11-2011, 09:22 AM
Ok my weight is fluctuating now...231 yesterday now 229 today. I haven't dropped below 229 in a week though..is it time to make adjustments?

Raleighwood
05-11-2011, 12:56 PM
Ok my weight is fluctuating now...231 yesterday now 229 today. I haven't dropped below 229 in a week though..is it time to make adjustments?

Don't sweat small fluctuations... Especially if they are in the right direction.

Not sure what your specific goals are... but if you are trying to get a lot leaner, within a small time frame, you can cut calories deeper and accept some strength loss.

A note on your PRs, I hit a couple after the first quarter of my cut. Just be prepared, cause those strength losses will occur as you start losing 10-15% of your body weight.

mchicia1
05-11-2011, 01:03 PM
Don't sweat small fluctuations... Especially if they are in the right direction.

Not sure what your specific goals are... but if you are trying to get a lot leaner, within a small time frame, you can cut calories deeper and accept some strength loss.

A note on your PRs, I hit a couple after the first quarter of my cut. Just be prepared, cause those strength losses will occur as you start losing 10-15% of your body weight.

The time frame isnt that small...I just want to get decently lean by the time July rolls around. Weren't you losing 3 pounds per week though? Thats pretty significant and probably a lot to do with strength loss.

Raleighwood
05-11-2011, 07:36 PM
The time frame isnt that small...I just want to get decently lean by the time July rolls around. Weren't you losing 3 pounds per week though? Thats pretty significant and probably a lot to do with strength loss.

I was averaging ~2.5lbs a week. Lost 13% of my original body weight. I'd guesstimate that I lost at least 10% on max lifts. I can do a one armed chin up now though :)

July is closer than you think

mchicia1
05-11-2011, 09:15 PM
I was averaging ~2.5lbs a week. Lost 13% of my original body weight. I'd guesstimate that I lost at least 10% on max lifts. I can do a one armed chin up now though :)

July is closer than you think

Thats a lot of weekly weight loss! You look lean though, so it was worth it for you.

If I lose 10% of my strength, ill be very pissed.

KIBBLES N BITS
05-11-2011, 09:47 PM
I went through the same thing, the first 4-6 weeks of my 16 week cut were great. I was hitting PR's felt strong, was losing ~2 pounds a week. Then it seemed like wham right after the 8 week my strength completely tanked. I think you should keep it slow and steady, 1 pound a week really is enough imo if you're really concerned about strength.

However, I was doing fasted AM cardio 7 days a week as well....another note, strength loss could be a loss of leverage as opposed to lost muscle mass.

When my weight loss stagnated, Shelby cut me back from 2 high days a week to 1 high day, replacing the 2nd with a medium day. That started my fat loss right up again. Might be worth a shot.

LuNa
05-12-2011, 01:48 AM
I have been dieting for 19 weeks now and im still setting squat PR's. My bench stalled pretty much, but i feel its due to the leverage loss because of a smaller stomach. Strength isnt going up as fast as on a bulk, but it does seem to increase. I havent made any calorie adjustments over the 19 week period, only included a once a week carb refeed and switched some meals from P+C to P+F. Im taking it slow and loosing at around 1lbs a week.

A significant loss in strength isnt acceptable for me really and because i am not doing a show or something of that kind, i am taking my time.

Keep up the work Mike. Losses on the scale are not as important as progress mirror/picture wise. Stay patient and make adjustments after you have been stagnant for several weeks.

mchicia1
05-12-2011, 07:12 AM
I went through the same thing, the first 4-6 weeks of my 16 week cut were great. I was hitting PR's felt strong, was losing ~2 pounds a week. Then it seemed like wham right after the 8 week my strength completely tanked. I think you should keep it slow and steady, 1 pound a week really is enough imo if you're really concerned about strength.

However, I was doing fasted AM cardio 7 days a week as well....another note, strength loss could be a loss of leverage as opposed to lost muscle mass.

When my weight loss stagnated, Shelby cut me back from 2 high days a week to 1 high day, replacing the 2nd with a medium day. That started my fat loss right up again. Might be worth a shot.

Yes that's true about the leverages. Right now it seems my loss has stagnated...I might make an adjustment and just put my high days on leg days. Right now I am running 2 high days per week but some weeks I have two upper body sessions and only 1 leg. If I just do it on leg days, some weeks will only have one high carb day. Maybe that will do the trick.


I have been dieting for 19 weeks now and im still setting squat PR's. My bench stalled pretty much, but i feel its due to the leverage loss because of a smaller stomach. Strength isnt going up as fast as on a bulk, but it does seem to increase. I havent made any calorie adjustments over the 19 week period, only included a once a week carb refeed and switched some meals from P+C to P+F. Im taking it slow and loosing at around 1lbs a week.

A significant loss in strength isnt acceptable for me really and because i am not doing a show or something of that kind, i am taking my time.



Keep up the work Mike. Losses on the scale are not as important as progress mirror/picture wise. Stay patient and make adjustments after you have been stagnant for several weeks.

Thanks dude...19 weeks of dieting, wow. that is dedication.

cphafner
05-12-2011, 05:06 PM
Well I found a pic of a guy who represents exactly what I want to achieve....

Not sure if hes natty or not, but 6'5" 225 pounds at 8% body fat.

http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2009/10/13/322663/gallerypic/4158921.jpg

If I could look like that, I would be satisfied.

Didn't that guy used to post on here? I don't think he was natty.

mchicia1
05-19-2011, 07:44 AM
Still dieting guys...

Morning weight was 226.8. That is a 7 pound drop since I started cycling and an almost 20 pound drop since I started dieting over 2 months ago. I wish I had pics of the 245...they must have been bad.

LuNa
05-19-2011, 07:54 AM
Keep it up dude! 20 lbs is great progress. How much do you expect you still have to loose?

mchicia1
05-19-2011, 08:04 AM
Keep it up dude! 20 lbs is great progress. How much do you expect you still have to loose?

Well, I am at the awkward stage....

Never dieted before, but read somewhere that you go through a couple awkward stages until you finally look good. Right now I am at the halfway point it seems...obvious fat loss, but still the muscles aren't popping...so I just look kind of skinny fat...muscles aren't really standing out yet. Once the diet is complete, apparently I will actually look bigger than when I started.

Will prob take some progression pics tonight to compare to the initial pics. I am blessed with the ability to lose weight/fat fairly easily with zero cardio, I also seem to gain weight pretty easily when I want to. I still consider myself an ecto though :).

mchicia1
05-19-2011, 07:26 PM
I am seeing a gigantic difference from the first shots now, especially in my back!

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/4828/img3008yz.jpg
http://img859.imageshack.us/img859/8268/img3009q.jpg
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/8494/img3010v.jpg
http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/8867/img3011g.jpg

mchicia1
05-26-2011, 02:04 PM
Still going strong here....haven't changed a thing in the diet, but did add one extra workout a week...

Weight is down to 223.5. Progress pics tomorrow probably.

bojackson
05-27-2011, 07:24 AM
keep it up. nice work...

mchicia1
06-08-2011, 07:15 PM
Ok guys, updated pics. Slightly flexed, not really trying to pull a muscle or something LOL. I am a BAD poser, never worked on it and the wife had to go somewhere, so these are a bit rushed but here they are. Pretty significant difference I think from the starting pics. I think if I was better at posing, it would be a bigger difference.

Bodyweight this morning was 221...down from 235 since the end of April....down a total 23 pounds since the end of March when I dropped dirty foods (245 then). Lifts are still gaining week to week, albeit at a slower pace (except for deads/squats, which are increasing at a faster rate believe it or not).


http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/3849/img3024pc.jpg
http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/8371/img3025lm.jpg

GazzyG
06-09-2011, 02:33 AM
Looking a hell of a lot leaner around that midsection now! Great progress.

mchicia1
06-09-2011, 08:28 AM
Looking a hell of a lot leaner around that midsection now! Great progress.

Thank you sir :). That Shelby Starnes book was well worth the 15 bucks.

Invain
06-09-2011, 08:43 AM
Good progress so far. You look great for being so tall. Would never guess 6' 5" by looking at your pics, which is a good thing.

mchicia1
06-09-2011, 08:53 AM
Good progress so far. You look great for being so tall. Would never guess 6' 5" by looking at your pics, which is a good thing.

I am lucky in that I am all legs, so I can still have a normal looking upper body (minus the long arms). At the end of the cut, ill take some full length shots so you can see how absurdly leg biased I am.

Gabrielle
06-12-2011, 12:33 PM
You are definitely getting there man. Great job with your carb cycling and weight loss. I would recommend tanning and what is your goal in the end?

mchicia1
06-12-2011, 06:25 PM
You are definitely getting there man. Great job with your carb cycling and weight loss. I would recommend tanning and what is your goal in the end?

Thanks..

Ultimate goal is 245 at 10% at one point in my life. I am not really sure what the goal with this cut is, I just wanted to get rid of my protruding stomach and see more definition in my arms/abs.