End of Mini-Cut? Reverse Diet!

Well, the mini-cut came to an end this past week. My ultimate goal during this short, intense dieting period was to drop some unnecessary body fat, re-regulate my appetite, and most importantly, set myself up for a successful long term lean gaining phase. I believe I accomplished each of those tasks within this 6 weeks, so this past week I began to bring my calories back up, or “reverse diet”. In short, a reverse diet is simply bringing your overall calories back up to maintenance, or slightly above, over a few weeks time after a period of dieting. I decided to start by bringing my fats up significantly, which is something I have never done in the past. But that’s what this is all about! Trying different methods to see what works best for your body is the only way you’ll ever know what works vs. what doesn’t for your specific blueprint. I was only able to track my weight 5 days this week as I was out of town for a wedding this past weekend, but as you can see, my average weight actually DROPPED during the first week on higher calories. This often happens with people who begin to reverse diet usually for 2 reasons: 1) The Thermic Effect of Food (your body has to work harder to digest/process the extra calories, in turn burning more calories), and 2) Increased energy expenditure inside/outside of the gym. Over the weekend however, I did admittedly fall off the wagon diet wise Friday-Sunday, so my starting weight this week was very high in comparison to my average weight and will have a direct correlation to my average at the end of this upcoming week. But that’s life and I have no regrets of how much of a glutton I was!

Week 5 Starting Weight: 159.2 lbs

End of Week Avg. Weight: 159.0 lbs

Macros:

  • 5 Days @ 300 carbs, 175 protein, 100 fat

Training:

  • The second week of the new program I am on was even more intense than the first. But with the increase in calories, I feel like I was able to recover a bit better and definitely had more energy to push through each session.
  • Some big PR’s were hit this first week into the reverse diet, and I feel like my squat is the strongest it’s ever been, regardless of bodyweight. I was able to hit a rep PR on lowbar squats of 325×4 on Friday, after working sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps moving up in weight.
  • With an increase in calories, I expect to really see my lagging body parts start to come up. I will continue to push the volume for legs, back, and arms, while simultaneously focus on getting stronger in each of my compound lifts. On a side note, I feel like my bench press is finally coming back around, so as my body weight begins to increase over the next few weeks, I’ll be excited to start putting up some more weight there (just like every other gym bro).

 

Cardio: 

Cardio stayed same as it has been. The sole reasoning for this is because I didn’t want to change too many variables at once. I’m a huge believer in doing some sort of conditioning/cardio year round not only for heart health, but also for it’s abilities to help you recover, and eventually train harder and longer in the weight room. I will begin to taper back cardio this week though, most likely starting with reducing to only 1 LISS session. Stay tuned next week to see what adjustments I make. Here is what I have been doing the last 3 weeks for cardio:

  • 1 session of 800m lunges (First 400m w/ weighted vest)
  • 1 session of 400m weighted lunges
  • 2 sessions of LISS of 150 calories burned each (300 total)

 

Progress Photos:

**Disclaimer** – These photos were taken Saturday morning after consuming what I would estimate 6,000-8,000 calories worth of alcohol, BBQ, and cake throughout the day Friday. I’m not for one second saying this is okay to do, but I was actually pretty pleased how my body handled the amount of abuse I put it through. I was HURTING an hour or so before these pictures and had to use the restroom multiple times before it was possible to do any sort of posing (TMI?). But I wanted to keep myself accountable and get a few pictures up.

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