Mass Phase Final Results
Well, my 9 weeks of building mass is complete. I have to admit that I am quite happy with my final results (video above). I set out with a few personal goals. I wanted to try and stay as regimented with my diet as possible, lift as heavy as possible with good form (to avoid injury), and to put on some weight while gaining some strength. All of my goals were met - except for a few small nagging injuries picked up just from the sheer forces my body was put under.
I still learned a few things along the way, not only about my own body, but also about what to value with health and fitness. I would definitely consider myself a 'hardgainer' with a body type somewhere between an ectomorph and a mesomorph. I have always been quite active and athletic growing up, so that, coupled with the fact that I have a smaller body type, creates difficulties for me in gaining any significant mass.
My diet was quite spot-on, hitting anywhere from 3500-4000 calories, 6 days a week. I was right around the 30% protein every day as well. Now I will mention that in order to hit my protein numbers, I was supplementing with protein shakes on a very consistent basis, while trying to use wholesome dietary sources as much as possible.
I do not want any of these things to sound like excuses, as I feel like I still put on some mass, as I intended to do, but there are some things to learn from my own little experiment these past few weeks. First of all, I was attempting to build mass by using my own home gym. Research tells me, which I knew going into this, that in order to build significant amounts of body mass, I should incorporate more large-muscle and multi-joint exercises into my program (heavy squats, deadlifts, bench press, snatches, etc.).
Also, I aimed to cut down on my activity level the best I could, so that my gains would not be hindered by doing too much cardio for example, but I still played hockey outside of my 6-day-a-week workout schedule.
One thing that ended up being one of my biggest successes through all of this, was my strength gains that I achieved. I continually pushed my 'numbers' as best I could through every workout, increasing either repetitions or resistance (weight) in order to promote muscular growth. My gains in strength will now help me with my future plans and training for the coming months.
Now that I was able to put on a bit of mass, and gain a pretty substantial amount of strength, I look forward to my upcoming P90X2/Asylum hybrid, where I can now take my strength gains and apply them to a desired goal (Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder).
This is where I feel I truly excel - competing. From the time I begin my hybrid on Wednesday April 25th, until I cross the finish line at Tough Mudder on Sunday August 19th, I will be competing. Sure, it is nice to lift some heavy weights and try and look all ripped and muscular, but I have been an athlete my entire life, and competing is what I like to do. I will be keeping everyone informed on how I am doing along the way!