I wanted to create a follow-up to my post last month, Making Weight Gains for The Animals | Body Building for Veganism. I am now 1 month deeper into my journey into vegan fitness and things are going very well. I have added an additional 2-3lbs of muscle during the month and increased my abilities in all of my activities including bench, pull up, and rowing. I think I am ready to show my first real body shot in my life 🙂
The other day while I was drinking my breakfast Elixir of Life Smoothie Andrea shot a picture of me. I am still not ready to show my stomach but my arms have grown immensely over the past 2 months. Am I the Hulk yet, nope, but for the amount of energy I am putting in( 2-3 hours a week total work out time, maybe 45 minutes of upper body exercise) I am incredibly pleased with my results.
No Plateau Yet – I have heard about people will often hit a plateau after about 8 weeks of working out. I have done over 8 weeks so far and I am still seeing good gains each week. Gaining 3lbs a month in muscle is really perfect. Over the past week I have bounced between 184.5 and 186 so about 185 is my average. This is very clearly an upward trend. On the bench I have increased my reps from my initial 8 in July to 23 this week. I am so curious if my current routine can lead me to 200lbs.
My Stomach – For my entire life my stomach has been the toughest part of my body to tone. My legs have always been simple and my arms could get toned if I worked out but my stomach has always kept a layer of what I call fat, others often say is skin. I have always wanted a true flat ripped stomach. The problem is, every ab workout I do, I never really feel much in the abs. David and I have started using 25lb barbells on the ab throne and with some light twisting actions I am starting to feel a bit of a change.
Arms – Like my abs, I have not felt any real pain in my arms for months. On Friday, I chose to really overdo my workout in hopes to finally break down my arm muscles and feel some pain 🙂 It worked. Over the course of the day I did almost 100 declined bench reps( 5 sets of about 20), and 4 sets of 1 minute on the pull up bar( I use a pull up system that holds my legs using bands, I cannot do a full minute of pull ups, yet 🙂 ). Yesterday I had some aches in most of my upper chest and arms. I was still able to fill an entire moving truck with a few tons of clothing destined to Africa, which may have increased my aggravation. It was actually a hell of a lot of fun. I got to see what my arms were made of by throwing these bags weighing 30-50 lbs 10-20 feet in this truck. My left wrist got hurt about 20 minutes into the hour of work so I had to focus on using my right arm for the remainder of the time but wow, I could really throw the bags far. It was so much fun!!! I can only imagine what my body will be capable of in 6 months 🙂
This week we also started doing declined press along with our standard inclined press. I was told years ago that standard press was not as useful as those two so we have never done it. I also, at the recommendation of David, started bringing my arms back to a 90 degree instead of pulling down below with my elbows. I have not done a fresh press yet using this technique but I think it will increase my reps even more because I am not stressing my muscles during each rep. We are also on the lookout for some larger plates. I currently only have 2x 25s and 35s. So we want a set of 45s and some smaller weights so we can do shorter sets with much more weight.
Legs – During the past month David has given me some great challenges during our weekly routines. Weighted lunges and burpees have definitely worked my legs to the sore point a few times. I love that I continue to find muscles that still need work.
Energy/Life – I have noticed what almost all people who regularly work out is an increase in energy. For me, I already was full tilt with energy so this means that somedays my sleep schedule is really wacked out. I truly need a planet with 26 hours of sleep because I often have 20+ hours of energy in a day. Every morning I bounce out of bed ready to tackle the long list of projects with Loving Cooperative and help as many as I can during the day 🙂 I have noticed my moods to be MUCH more stable and I am really excited for what that means for me during winter. I am hoping that I will notice much less seasonal depression. Last winter was so horrific and I never want to experience something like that again!
Goals for the next 30 Days and Beyond
- I have a soft goal of breaking into the 190s by December 1st. I have no idea how possible it is but I definitely should be 190+ by Christmas. My stomach is really getting closer to the point that I am proud of it so I would love to have most of my stomach fat gone by the end of October.
- I want to ride my bike a bunch more before winter hits so I am asking all of my friends if they want to ride 🙂
- Another goal is to work even harder on strengthening my back. I have had a curved back for most of my life, I am very embarrassed by it. My workouts have make it much stronger but I still have room for improvement 🙂
- My flexibility still needs to improve too.
Unrelated to working out I have a bunch of LovingCoop.com projects which I am really excited about and looking forward to grow. I am getting close to 50 Loving Coop clients and my Plant-Based Entrepreneur interview went incredibly well. I think 10 organizations connected with my out of that event. I am working hard finding even more places to give 🙂
Questions? If anyone has any questions on my methods and how I have gained so quickly, just email me. I am so shocked that it is so damn simple to build up without adjusting my diet. All I am doing is eating my normal Elixir of Life Smoothie for breakfast each day, doing intermittent fasting(eating my breakfast smoothie between 1-3pm), drinking tea for pre smoothie, and then eating whatever I want for dinner. Most of my dinners would be considered healthy and pretty low in added fat. We do not use excess oil when cooking but it is not oil free. We often use plant-based cheeses in our dinner dishes. I love supporting other plant-powered eaters or plant-curious eaters so just send me a message if you have questions 🙂