Thoughts on diet and exercise

I promised I would share some of my diet and workout routine with you lovelies today. I have mentioned it before in some of my instagram posts, as well as here on the blog, that I have been "bulking" for roughly six weeks now. 

What is bulking?

Traditionally, body builders would divide their diets in bulking where they would focus on putting on mass and then switch to cutting during contest season to lower body fat. First of all, I am not trying to be a bodybuilder.

I say that I am "bulking" (with the quotes) because in reality, I spent several weeks reverse dieting. For long periods of time, I was trying to eat too few calories for my height, activity level, and body type; and because of this, my workouts and energy levels suffered. I feel that I have spent a long time eating too few calories and unintentionally compromised some of my fitness goals without realizing it.

Because of this, I decided to reverse diet, where I increased my calories about 50-100 a day, and continued this for several weeks. So, for example, on the first week I was eating about 2100 calories a day, week 2 about 2200 calories a day, etc. I did this for about four to five weeks. I was trying to eat high quality foods with lots of protein during this time, though I did allow myself some wiggle room. 

After these several weeks, I started noticing significant improvements in all of my lifts, which felt amazing. However, I did not put on any noticeable weight or inches during this phase. Because of this, I decided that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to try a traditional bulk, particularly since I regularly have to lift heavy equipment at work. 

So, what has that meant for my current diet and workout plan?

I am currently eating roughly 3000 calories a day, shooting for 40%/40%/20% carbs, protein, and fat respectively. I lift five to six times a week focused on legs, back and biceps, chest and triceps, and shoulders. I alternate doing calves and abs each day as well. My rep ranges are more geared towards hypertrophy (maximal muscle growth) so each exercise is 3-4 sets of about 8-12 reps, often with the last set being a dropset.

I've tried to focus on feeling like I've really pushed myself during each workout and feeling a pump in the muscle even if I'm only at the gym for forty-five minutes. I am just now starting to do cardio again, but haven't done any for about two months.

What are my goals with this? Why would you want to "bulk"?

My goal right now is to focus on building muscle, and to develop a more toned, strong figure, particularly as I transition into cutting and losing fat in the upcoming weeks. A lot of people have the idea that women should not lift weights or eat too much because it will make them unattractive.

I am still wearing the same size jeans as I was before I started this process, approx. size 25-26, which is really fairly small. I can tell I have put on a few pounds during the bulk, but a significant amount of it has come in the form of noticeably more shapely legs, back, and butt. 

I am perfectly fine with this, I don't look like a man (which many people warned me I would), this process is a means to a leaner, stronger, more beautiful figure and I'm happy with where I'm at. I remember trying to put myself on a 1200 calorie a day diet and wondering if I would ever be able to deadlift my bodyweight. Today, I do my deadlifts with a plate on each side of a barbell (135 lbs) and pictured below I am doing romanian deadlifts with a 100 lb weight. Mission accomplished.

Have more questions? Email me at chicinsneakers.blog@gmail.com or on twitter @chicinsneakers

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