MBSActive Before and Progress

Post your before and after photos here. Share success stories and show your progress. This is also the section to post up your videos.

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mbsactive
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MBSActive Before and Progress

#1 Postby mbsactive » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:59 pm

Hi everybody. I started to type my background but it started to look like a biography. So, I deleted all that and I'm going to give you the short version.

I've been working out at the gym for several years. I struggle to gain muscle mass and I think I'm a little too fat. I know how to lose the fat (I can do it in no-time, believe me), but I can't seem to bulk up my muscles. I've been eating a little on the heavy side for about a year, and during that time I have gained about 7 lbs. I am currently at 192 lbs and have been stuck there for months and months. I'm 6 ft tall. Thought I was doing ok, but after finding some year-old "before" pictures on my hard drive and comparing them to the way I look today, I have decided that I'm not making any "visual" progress.

Here's me today (July 2008):
Torso July 08.jpg
Torso July 08.jpg (75.35 KiB) Viewed 4115 times


Here's my before and after torso pic:
BA Upper July 07 vs July 08.jpg
BA Upper July 07 vs July 08.jpg (55.67 KiB) Viewed 4115 times


Here's my best attempt at a chest pic:
BA Chest July 07 vs July 08.jpg
BA Chest July 07 vs July 08.jpg (44.23 KiB) Viewed 4111 times


Be brutally honest. Am I looking fit or not? I feel strong AND fat! I want to see some more muscle mass and lose the extra body fat. What do you think I ought to prioritize? Continue trying to gain mass? Go ahead and lose the fat? I'm not sure what to do next.

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cubby2112
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#2 Postby cubby2112 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:06 am

I can definitely see some muscle gain, especially in the last picture. Really, you can go either way with bulking or cutting, it just depends on what you want to do right now. You could probably cut off a little weight to stay more lean and have no trouble continuing to gain if you want to take a middle ground.

What does your diet and exercise program look like? Maybe if you post that we could possibly help you on your way to better gains.
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DV
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#3 Postby DV » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:12 am

It looks like muscle and fat gain to me. I second Cubby's request for diet and routine info.
Do what you always did, get what you always got.

mbsactive
Finch
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#4 Postby mbsactive » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:06 am

Thanks for the comments.

I'll keep track of my diet for a while here:

http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate ... ho/ritmatt

I don't think I'll track my exercise on the livestrong site, though. Too tedious. I keep a pretty good record of my exercise in a fitness jounal (the old-fashioned, but highly portable, paper kind), but I'll start another thread here on veganbodybuilding.com so you guys can take a look.

EDIT: Decided to track my exercise on my fitness blog instead. Updated my signature to include links to my diet journal and my fitness blog.
Last edited by mbsactive on Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tuc
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#5 Postby tuc » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:44 am

If you are planning to have a fast cutting phase in which you lose ~ 20 lbs then it's no problem to bulk even more, for example up to 200lbs and then start cutting. Anyway, I think it would be easier to cut down calories a bit and continue working out hard. As a result your bw may stay the same but you'll still gain muscle. I'd go for the latter.

It is clearly visible that you've been working out. Forearms and triceps look great. I bet you would look superb if you lowered your bf to ~ 10 % since you look like you have a strong frame.

Keep going, you can do it! :boxer:
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Gaia
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#6 Postby Gaia » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:09 am

To me, when I have been looking the same for months and months, then I know I have hit a plateau. Once you get to this stage, you have to change direction. You either gain more by eating more (yeah, yeah, you are probably eating alot right now, but you could still put a hemp shake someone in there!) or it is time to cut.

My body likes to go thru cycles. I have the glorious cycle of bulking during the winter, in which I can balloon up to 180 lbs (that is alot for a 5'3" woman), and then I cycle to the cut phase during the summer (cutting calories is not fun for a foodie like me! but I do enjoy the cardio out on the trails! no treadmills for me!) to a whopping 140+ lbs for contest weight.

I have found that on the second cycle of cutting, my muscles popped more and I was cut more. And on my third summer of cutting I was winning overalls! You might just want to cut to get down to a size you like to look, and then go back to bulking again (give your starving body the calories it wants and your muscles!). I think somebody coined the term "maturation of muscle" for this phenomenon.

mbsactive
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Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#7 Postby mbsactive » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:34 am

Thanks for the good advice, Tuc and Gaia.

I like the idea of bulking and cutting in cycles, though I've never really tried it. The bulk in winter, cut in summer idea that Gaia has is interesting. I definitely cut back on the cardio during the winter anyway. It's just too darn cold outside to go running and I get bored to tears on a treadmill.

Still on the fence about which to do first, though. On one hand, I like Tuc's idea of bulking up to 200 lbs first. That way I may have some muscle to reveal when cutting time comes. On the other hand, it's summer right now, and I have been planning to run my first marathon in late fall. Cutting now would definitely help in my training for that (and vice versa).

Anyone know of a good Internet guide for cutting? Is it just cut back calories and increase cardio?

mbsactive
Finch
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: MBSActive Before and Progress

#8 Postby mbsactive » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:31 pm

Nutrition and exercise information posted HERE.

Thanks for reading.


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