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aka23
06-25-2003, 07:35 PM
For the past 3 months, I have been attempting to gain muscle while maintaining a low body fat. My goal is to be 177lb and 5% bf or less. The attached six pictures show my progress at various points within the "bulk." Note that the upper three pictures are multiple weeks apart while the lower three pictures are only a single week apart. I had to reduce the image quality in order to fit it into under 100KB.

galileo
06-26-2003, 07:59 AM
I don't know how tall you are, but you look no where near 170+lbs. Your arms do look bigger than before.

In my opinion going up to at least 8% wouldn't hurt. Your abs would still be there, but you wouldn't look emaciated. But, as it is, good luck with your goals. I'd shoot for 200lbs based on where you are now though.

Y2A
06-26-2003, 08:06 AM
Lay off the donuts, fatty :) You can really tell an improvement from the second pic to the last one (since they are the same pose). Good work.

Frozenmoses
06-26-2003, 08:09 AM
You are a lean mofo. Congrats on the non-fatty weight gain!

Herc
06-26-2003, 08:14 AM
Ripped much?

:thumbup:

ericg
06-26-2003, 08:54 AM
Dam man you are fuken lean - im envious. Keep up the hard work and good luck

aka23
06-26-2003, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by galileo
I don't know how tall you are, but you look no where near 170+lbs.

I am 6ft tall. You probably assumed I was average height (5'10"). According to height weight charts 170lb at 6'0" is roughtly equivalent to 164lb at 5'10" or 158lb at 5'8".


Originally posted by galileo
Your arms do look bigger than before.

My arms are the following number of pixels in diameter in the second and final pictures. I chose these pictures because they are in roughly the same pose.

Second Bicep/Tricep: 21 pixels
Final Bicep/Tricep: 24 pixels

Second Deltoid: 22 pixels
Final Deltoid: 25 pixels

These numbers suggest a roughly 14% increase in the diameter of both measures during the 6 week period between those pictures. I expect that the difference would appear more dramatic in other poses, which involved more flexing. By the way my shirts fit, I can tell that my arms have increased in size significantly.


Originally posted by galileo
In my opinion going up to at least 8% wouldn't hurt. Your abs would still be there, but you wouldn't look emaciated. But, as it is, good luck with your goals. I'd shoot for 200lbs based on where you are now though.

I probably have not been up to 8%BF since my freshman year of college 9 years ago. You are entitled to your opinion, but I prefer a leaner look. I am not interested in being extremely large, like a bodybuilder. I prefer more of a swimsuit model type look.

I am not 100% certain that I want to be even 177lb. I think I would like to have a little more upper body strength and size, but I am concerned that increased weight may interfere with weight bearing activities, like running, or may make me less agile. My goal is slightly above the Stillman's "ideal weight" for sprinters my height, and quite a bit above his "ideal weight" for other types of runners. I may change my mind and modify my goals, as time goes on.

kook
06-26-2003, 09:35 AM
aka.. you can definetely see some weight gain, abs and waist are a bit fuller and it looks much better, not that the starting you wasnt unbelievable to begin

chest and arms look a bit bigger, and keeping that low bf level? its krazy, wish i had your parents

much luck

aka23
06-26-2003, 09:42 AM
Y2A, Frozenmoses, Herc, and EricG:

Thanks for the compliments. I am very satisfied with my progress so far.


kook,

Thanks. I do not think I have a big genetic advantage. My father is obese with a large "beer belly." He may be over 300lb. My mother and most of my other relatives have also struggled with their weight. I used to be slightly overweight near puberty. I first became very lean as an upperclassmen in high school after I cleaned up my diet, started working out, and did a lot of cardio.

Y2A
06-26-2003, 09:47 AM
atta boy, way to beat the odds aka :) Gives hope to those of us who arent genetic freaks ;)

steveo
06-26-2003, 10:34 AM
You are one ripped mofo'

Your chest and arms look biggers

nice work

Manveet
06-26-2003, 02:21 PM
Some really really good progress aka23.

How did you manage such a lean bulk? What kind of progress where you seeing on the scale week in, week out? 1lb gain, .5lb gain? etc.. I ask these questions because you must of been dead on in terms of calories every day to put on that kind of lean mass.

Gongrats, and good luck with future goals.

Gavan
06-26-2003, 02:59 PM
you are probably as lean as (safely) possible !!!!

Excellent !!!

SoulOfKoRea
06-26-2003, 04:27 PM
you are my id0l :)

aka23
06-26-2003, 08:11 PM
Y2A, steveo, Gavan, SoulOf Korea:

Thanks for the support.



Originally posted by Manveet
How did you manage such a lean bulk?

I attribute it mostly to the following:

1. I ate a consistent diet only slightly above my maintenance calorie level.
2. I did cardio nearly every day; using a variety of types, durations, and intensities
3. I had just started a new split, with superior training methods
4. This is my first controlled bulk
5. I started doing dumbbell and ez-curl bar exercises a month or two before my "official" bulk
6. I have been lean for many years and have background of cardio/training related adaptions


Originally posted by Manveet
What kind of progress where you seeing on the scale week in, week out? 1lb gain, .5lb gain? etc.. I ask these questions because you must of been dead on in terms of calories every day to put on that kind of lean mass.

Gongrats, and good luck with future goals.

You can get a rough idea of the rate of my gains by looking at the dates at weights listed in the picture. I originally planned to gain 0.5lb per week to minimize fat gain. After my body fat measures seemed to drop slightly at this calorie level, I increased to about 1lb per week. I did not attempt to gain more than 1lb per week because I felt is unlikely for a natural, amateur weightlifter to gain more than 1lb per week of muscle.

My calorie intake has been remarkably consistent. My average calorie intake during each week I kept my journal is listed below:

Week 1: 3269 calories
Week 2: 3305 calories
Week 3: 3336 calories
Week 4: 3415 calories
Week 5: 3452 calories
Week 6: 3585 calories
Week 7: 3501 calories
Week 8: 3538 calories
Week 9: 3532 calories
Week 10: 3549 calories
Week 11: 3579 calories

I expect that there was some type of recording error in week 6. With the exception of that week, there is a slow and steady increase related to the increasing requirement to maintain my weight. I mostly used my hunger and internal signals as a gauge for how much food to eat. This led to eating slightly more on training days than rest days. More detail about my diet and weight gain can is listed in my journal at http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29874

kook
06-26-2003, 11:56 PM
hey man...doesnt matter if you parents are fat or whatever...they still gave you good genes...


genetics cocks the hammer....your environment pulls the trigger....

go sleep on that

VERTIGO210
06-27-2003, 04:31 AM
Excellent work so far, I would up my BF% to about an 8 though. What weight are you shooting for when completing your bulking?

-Danny

aka23
06-27-2003, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by VERTIGO210
Excellent work so far, I would up my BF% to about an 8 though. What weight are you shooting for when completing your bulking?

VERTIGO210,

My current goal is to be 177lb and 5% BF or less.

Rastaman
06-28-2003, 12:35 PM
Aka you should try to get some pics of different poses in here or in your journal. It's hard to judge a physique from only one angle. Good work on the low bodyfat, but I think you have plenty of size to still put on. Oh, and by the way, I don't know which crazy weight chart you were using, but I find it borderline ridiculous to believe that 170 @ 6 foot is = to 158 @ 5'8.

Great progress from the first pic.

aka23
06-28-2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Rastaman
Aka you should try to get some pics of different poses in here or in your journal. It's hard to judge a physique from only one angle.

I take photos of the reflection of my bathroom mirror. The angle and using one hand to take the picture restricts the number of poses available. My chest has been my slowest gaining area. I expect that changes in my back and legs would appear more dramatic.


Originally posted by Rastaman
Oh, and by the way, I don't know which crazy weight chart you were using, but I find it borderline ridiculous to believe that 170 @ 6 foot is = to 158 @ 5'8.

I am using standard height/weight charts, like the one at http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/met.htm . The table lists a large male frame at 6'0" as 164-188lb. Interpolating for 170lb gives a 0.25 coefficient.

164 + (188-164)*0.25 = 170

The table lists a large male frame at 5'8" as 152-172lb . Using the same 0.25 coefficient gives an equivalent weight of 157lb .

152 + (172-152)*0.25 = 157

Using the same method for a medium frame also produces the same result -- 170lb at 6'0" corresponds to 157lb at 5'8".

WestyHeadbanger
06-30-2003, 05:06 AM
Originally posted by aka23


I prefer more of a swimsuit model type look.



eh?

aka23
06-30-2003, 09:05 AM
Perhaps I was not clear. I meant that I would rather have a lean, muscular look to the very large muscles that are common among well known bodybuilders. This type of body is common among male swimsuit models as well as males who did well on the show "Are you hot?". Galleries and height/weight specs are available at http://abc.abcnews.go.com/primetime/areyouhot/

ElPietro
06-30-2003, 10:09 AM
Sorry but for my personal opinion, you are not lean, you are emaciated. There is a difference and I guess it's all in what you want to look like. But in those pics I think it is bordering on sickly thin. Not trying to put you down, just to offer advice on getting your bodyfat levels up higher. To me, wanting to stay around 5% is a poor choice, but it's yours to make.

Rastaman
06-30-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by aka23
Perhaps I was not clear. I meant that I would rather have a lean, musclular look to the very large muscles that are common among well known bodybuilders. [/url]

Yeah... I would say you have the lean look but definitely not the muscular look. Too skinny!!

Harrison486
06-30-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by aka23
I used to be slightly overweight near puberty. I first became very lean as an upperclassmen in high school after I cleaned up my diet, started working out, and did a lot of cardio.

Hey aka23! I am slightly overweight now. I am no obese or obiously fat (with clothes on :p ) But I do have pudge in my gut and other areas. How did you manage to get rid of the fat?

the doc
06-30-2003, 03:31 PM
well you are certainly very lean.

i agree with others that you are to thin though. I myself would not want to be that lean, but would prefer a bit more soft look that the 8-12 % gives you. At that low of a BF (~5%) the facial features start to give way to bony structures.

Nonetheless, if those pics represent your goals, by all means best wishes on achieving them!

aka23
06-30-2003, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by the doc
At that low of a BF (~5%) the facial features start to give way to bony structures.

I did a google image search on 5% body fat, and none of the persons had what I would consider faces with bony structures. Some examples that came up are http://musclevideos.com/Mohamad/MomoM07.JPG and http://www.joelrodriguez.com/images/2001GA14.jpg . I expect that it depends on the person. My face looks almost independent of my body. Looking at only my face, one would think that I was average BF. Perhaps I will post a picture in which my face is not hidden in the future.

aka23
06-30-2003, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by aka23
I used to be slightly overweight near puberty. I first became very lean as an upperclassmen in high school after I cleaned up my diet, started working out, and did a lot of cardio.

Originally posted by Harrison486
Hey aka23! I am slightly overweight now. I am no obese or obiously fat (with clothes on :p ) But I do have pudge in my gut and other areas. How did you manage to get rid of the fat?

A poster asked me nearly the identical question in my journal today. Here was my response:

I started lifting and doing cardio when I was in high school, nearly 10 years ago. I was probably 15-20% BF. This is an estimate because I did not measure my body fat until I joined a gym 1-2 years later. If I remember correctly they measured my BF near 5%. I know my lowest measure from that period was at 3.5%. Back then, I knew much less than I do now and I would not recommend trying to imitate my poor training/diet methods as described below.

First I did aerobics type workouts I saw on morning exercise TV shows using encyclopedias for weights. After I learned a little more about conditioning, I switched to separate weights and cardio. I bought a set of 25lb dumbbells and did exercises I saw in a book I bought from a local store. I also did a lot of bodyweight exercises, such as chin-ups and dips. The 25lb dumbbells were my only weight equipment. I did not even have a bench. I focused my cardio around running to prepare for "the mile" fitness test in gym class. I did rollerblading and cycling on alternate days as recommended on Covert Bailey's television show.

As time went by, I became stronger and bought heavier dumbbells. First I bought 45lb, then 65lb. I also did increasing amounts of cardio. If I remember correctly, I did a long run 2x per week and did other forms of cardio on the remaining days of the week. I increased distance as my endurance increased until I was running more than 12 miles. I was also going at an intense pace. I remember measuring my HR at 80-90% of maximum. On most of the remaining days, I did about an hour of cycling or rollerblading. Both were at a much less intense pace than the running.

My diet was very high carb and low fat. I suspect that over 70% of my calories came from carbs and fewer than 10% came from fat. I think I ate Shredded Wheat 2 or 3 x per day, both as part of a pre and post workout meal. I was eating a large amount of vegetables and fruits, like I do know. I occasionally counted calories and found that I was eating about 2900 calories per day. I was mostly eating according to hunger. I set my meals such that I would start to be hungry exactly when the next meal began, and I tried to avoid eating when not hungry. Note that I would not recommend that others follow such a diet. A better alternative is Lyle Mcdonald's Baseline Diet as described at http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/mcdonald/baseline-diet-01.htm

My body composition changed rapidly during the first few months, then slower in later months. About a year later I had gained a lot of muscle, and lost a lot of fat. My body fat was probably around 5.5-7.5% (I had well defined abs). It probably first dropped to 4% about a year after that, after joining a gym and making minor improvements to my training/diet.

Since then my body fat has remained in the 3.5-8% range. It was highest during my freshman year of college due to poor diet and overtraining. In the other periods, it remained low as long as I did a lot of cardio with weight training. During different periods I did different types of cardio, worked out at different times, was on sports teams, tried to imrpove different skills, etc. I had roughly the same results -- very slow muscle gains while maintaining a low BF. I only started to see much different results and much better muscle gains during the past year or two, after improving my training. I feel that if I followed my current diet/training, I would have had better results than I did in the past.

Harrison486
07-01-2003, 08:07 AM
Tahnk you very much for that info.

RuLess
07-08-2003, 05:45 PM
very very nice.. but how do u find ya bf% ive been trying to

Dkm911
07-09-2003, 01:13 AM
dude i personally think ur bf levels look great, u look as lean as brad pitt did in fight club good job

aka23
07-09-2003, 11:32 PM
Dkm911,

Thanks. Brad Pitt and I are both the same height. I am not sure how our weights compare. I have seen his weight listed as low as 155lb and as high as 203lb.


Originally posted by RuLess
very very nice.. but how do u find ya bf% ive been trying to

It depends what you want to use the bf measure for. If you want to track changes and measure progress then I would recommend skin callipers. They are inexpensive and provide the consistent measure necessary to track changes. You might be able to get tested for free at your gym. Every gym that I have been a member at (24 Hour Fitness , Golds, and College Gym) has offered these skin calliper tests at no additonal cost. They can also be purchased online. Try typing 'fat calipers' or a similar phrase into a search engine to find sellers. You can probably get a good set for about $20.

A skin calliper test is only as accurate as the forumula you use. Each formula tends to overestimate or underestimate certain groups. The Jackson-Pollock 3-site (chest,abs,thigh) is one of the most common ones. It tends to underestimate totals in younger weightlifters. When I measure my body fat, I take the median of seven formulas using an Excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet does the calculations automatically after you type in the skin fold measures. You can download the spreadsheet at http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=493036&highlight=jacksonpollock#post493036 . Save it to your computer by right-clicking.

Skin callipers may underestimate your bf by a significant degree, depending on the formula you use. If you are really serious about getting an accurate measure, rather than tracking changes, then I would recommend underwater weighing. They offer this at my gym once or month or so. It also may be possible at local universities.

GetPsycho
07-10-2003, 06:15 AM
nice work. i will take lean and ripped over big and soft any day