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  • 2 Month Progress Update by Chad Byers


    Please note: This is Part II of a series of articles following Chad Byers' quest to gain 30 pounds of muscle in a year. To read / review Part I, please click here.

    For the last two years, I have consistently been Intermittent Fasting (IF) and consuming approximately 4500-5000 calories while eating three meals per day. These meals were whole plant-based foods consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables, juices and smoothies, with the addition of some plant-based protein supplements such as brown rice, pea and hemp. While the combination of this diet and training allowed me to stay lean year round, adding additional lean muscle happened much more slowly.

    During the first couple of weeks (1-2) of my first bulking phase I continued to follow my IF schedule of 3 daily meals, eating the same types of foods without the addition of protein supplements, while increasing the total daily calories to 5500. I found it difficult to get in the additional calories at each meal needed to reach my daily total.

    In weeks 3-7, I decided that in order to consistently complete my daily calorie goal, I would need to add an additional meal. In order to do this, I would need to increase my feeding window by starting earlier. My first meal while IF would usually begin at noon, but I would now have to begin at 8:00 AM. In addition to adding an extra meal (4 total), I also added more variety of whole foods such as beans, quinoa, avocados as well as nuts and seeds to include more sources of proteins and fats.


    My training has, for the most part, remained the same. I am still strength training every other day and focusing on heavy compound movements. I alternated between low rep (5-6) and higher rep (8-12) days. I keep the weight as heavy as possible, even on my high rep days. As the competition gets closer, I may add in more isolation movements, but right now I am focused on building as much mass as possible. Sadly, I have had to discontinue all conditioning workouts with the exception of Tough Mudder training 1 day per week. This will help me to conserve additional calories for building muscle.

    Superset 1 (4 rounds)
    -No rest between exercises
    -Rest 30-60 seconds between rounds
    -Rest 2:00 between Superset 1 and 2
    1a. Box Squats x 12
    1b. KB Clean/Press x 12

    Superset 2 (4 rounds)
    2a. KB Row x 12
    2b. Decline Pushup x 12

    Post-Workout Smoothie

    • 2c rice milk
    • 6 bananas
    • 2c blueberries
    • 2c pineapple
    • 2c kale
    • 1c quinoa
    • 1c black beans
    • 2tbsp cinnamon
    Chad Byers

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