hardgainer bicep

Current weight: 202lbs
Current body fat: 18.1%
Weight gain this week: 0lb
Weight gain so far: 12lbs
LBM so far: Approx 15lbs

Yesterday I weighed myself, and tipped the scales at 202lbs (14 stone 6 pounds / 91.6kg) which is the same as last week i.e. a 0lb increase in weight. Humph! However, this week I have definitely lost a noticeable amount of weight from my mid section and this is reflected in my body fat measurements which are now at around 18.1% (down from 19.6%), which means that I have added muscle and lost weight (bonus!). Because of this I have now added a Lean Muscle Mass (LBM) calculation to my stats above as my overall body fat percentage has dropped from 21% to 18% overall since the starting point.

So this week was my first week of 10×10 training, and I loved it and hated it at the same time! Using a weight that you can lift a maximum of 20 times, the concept is to perform 10 sets of 10 reps at a tempo of 1/0/1 and with a 90 second rest period between sets. Compared to the workouts on the previous cycle, this seemed really easy at first until I got to about the 6th set. At this point you can really feel your muscles working, and the rest periods start to feel very short! I found this particularly hard with dead lifts and with barbell curls. I now have another 2 weeks of this before returning back to my original training programme, and I’m going to look at still using a progressive load and increasing the weight on each exercise by around 2.5 – 5.0kg.

During this phase I also decided to start some cardio training on my rest days. Normally this can have an adverse effect on your weight gain goals, but I decided to use some HIIT (high intensity interval training) which is a short training session at high intensity, that can really help with fitness while preserving muscle; in some cases even helping to build it! My first session was hill sprints which I did at a local park after work. There is quite a steep incline at one side, so I sprinted up the hill for 10-15 seconds and then took a very slow paced jog back down the hill (90-120 seconds) before repeating it again. I did this about seven times in total which took around 16 minutes. I found it really challenging, especially as I’m now nearly a stone heavier than when I have previously sprinted, and it was great having some outdoor time. The only downside was that it was pitch black as it was at around 7.30pm at night, and I scared a few dog walkers that were probably wondering what on Earth I was doing. I also slipped and fell on my last sprint, which in hindsight was quite amusing as I was probably seen by a few people, but I got properly filthy doing it. On Wednesday and Friday I performed a HIIT routine using a cross trainer / elliptical trainer with a slow pace and low resistance for a rest period, and a fast pace and max resistance for the sprints which worked really well (and I didn’t get dirty!).

My diet this week has been better, with no treats apart from Saturday where I had 2 glasses of red wine to be sociable; this seemed like a slightly healthier option than beer! I have also started carb cycling. All I did was reduce my calories by 400 (100g carbs) on non-training days, which actually was quite tricky. I ended up not being able to have some carbs with dinner, so I think I need a smaller portion of them throughout the day to balance it out. Ultimately however the combination of diet and HIIT seems to have had a good effect on my body fat without compromising my muscle building goals.

I now have 2 weeks left of 10×10, and in that time I’m going to continue with the carb cycling and HIIT so it will be interesting to see how this affects my results.