This project was started when I decided I was too small at 166  pounds. I had done a previous Food Project where I lost a bunch of weight.  When I was younger, I had been at a fit 200 pounds for a short time, but I decided it was too expensive and too difficult to eat enough to stay that big. But, through my experiments with the past food projects I came up with some easy ways to eat large amounts of calories in short periods of time.

And in a previous fitness project, I created a workout schedule which was optimized by science. Then I tinkered with it to improve it over time. Here is the basic outline of my workout routine:

  • Don’t count reps. Count seconds under tension.
  • Rep max length: 30 seconds
  • Workout 3 days per week for 30 minutes to 70 minutes
  • Each of the 3 workout days is different. No exercises are repeated on different days.
  • Full body workout each day: because muscle protein synthesis is heightened for up to 48 hours after a workout. But only in the muscles which were used. So it is better to have a heightened state in my whole body for a larger portion of the week.
  • 8 weeks on, 1 week off
  • During first four weeks, if I don’t hit 30 seconds on a set, I start the next week’s set at one notch lower. Example: I lift 80 pounds for 30 seconds, then 90 pounds for 20 seconds.  The next week I will start at 80 pounds again, then the second set I go up to 90 pounds.
  • After the first four weeks, I don’t increase any weights. I stay at whatever weight level I am at for the remaining 4 weeks. The weight level is whatever the highest weight I can do one or two sets of 30 seconds on.
  • First 4 weeks of cycle: 300 seconds to 120 seconds of rest between reps
  • Next 4 weeks of cycle: 120 seconds to 60 seconds of rest between reps
  • Notes: For the first 4 weeks of a cycle I am trying to increase my lifts and find a stable number for the weight I am lifting. Then, for the second 4 weeks I am focused on maintaining that increased number while messing with my food and decreasing my rest between reps.

And here is my current food setup that matches with the workout cycle

  • The first 4 weeks, I eat 3500 to 4000 calories per day
  • The first 4 weeks, there are no other rules except try to get good fuel into body to recuperate
  • Try to eat the majority of calories in a 6 hour time period
  • The next 2 weeks, keep calories the same, but go ketogenic and decrease eating time to under 4 hours
  • The next 2 weeks, stay ketogenic, drop calories to 2300 while eating one meal a day
  • On my week off, go back to eating normal, calories around 3500
  • Supplements: Vitamin D

After my first cycle through this, I made good gains in my lifts as I was in the first 4 weeks of the second cycle. However, it will require a few cycles to see how well it works.

Problem

  1. Hit 200 pounds of fairly lean muscle from a starting point of 166 lbs

Desired Results

  1. Feel good
  2. Don’t feel overly constrained by diet
  3. Get stronger quickly at the gym

Timeline

  • Dec 15, 2017 – Ended first cycle at 177 pounds, started it 8 weeks before at 166 pounds
    • Max lifts during first cycle.
      • Deadlift: 225x30s, 30s, 30s (means 3 sets of 30 seconds
      • Pec Dec: 205x30s, 30s, 25s
      • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 50x30s, 30s, 28s
      • Calf Raise: 135x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Unweighted Dips: 30s, 30s, 30s
      • Barbell Bench: 80x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Incline Dumbbell Bench: 70x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Seated Rear Lateral Raise: 25x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Wide Grip Pull Down: 70x30s, 30s, 26s
      • Concentration Curl: 35x30s, 30s, 17s
      • Leg Press: 450x30s,30s, 27s
      • Ab Curl Machine: 60x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Squat: 185x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Barbell Shrugs: 185x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Incline Raise Back: 20x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Barbell Curl: 70x30s, 30s, 30s
      • Side Twists: 170x30s, 30s
  • Dec 27, 2017 – Started second cycle at 183 pounds. There was a 12 day gap because of the weekends (4 days) plus Christmas.
  • Jan 12, 2017 – Started eating vegetarian. Mostly because I was bored of cooking and it was easier. Plus.. for fun.
  • Jan 17, 2017 – Pulled a muscle in my upper back a week or two ago. I have found that sleeping on my back with pillows (plural) behind my upper back and head help. It makes it feel way better the next morning. Since I went vegetarian, my complexion seems to be more clear. And I have still been eating grains and even some junk food. It will be interesting to see if that continues. Today is the end of Week 3. I am thinking of switching to ketogenic today. This would mean 4 weeks of non-keto (1 week off + first 3 weeks). Then 5 weeks of ketogenic. Week 5: 3600 cals – 180s rest, Week 6: 3000 cals – 120s rest, Week 7: 2700 cals – 90s rest, Week 8: 2100 cals – 60s rest, Week 9: 2100 cals – 60s rest.