Month 19: When mere results aren’t enough

Week 1 vs. Week 82 - front

Week 1 vs. Week 82 – front
[Click image for a larger version.]

Measurement Sept. 1, 2012 March 28, 2014 Change
Weight (pounds) 121.8 122.6 +8.1
Body fat percentage 23.5 20.3 [Dec. 31] -3.2 percentage pts.
Fat weight 28.6 24.9 -3.7
Lean weight 93.2 97.7 +4.5
Total inches 113.6 115.0 +1.4

Exercise Start* March 31, 2014 Change
Kettlebell swing 32 x 20 lbs. 65/10 x 60 lbs. +200.0 percent
Myotatic crunch 6.5 x 2.5 lbs. 11.0 x 20 lbs. +700.0 percent
Single-arm kettlebell swing 25 x 15 lbs. 25/8 x 40 lbs. +166.7 percent
Isolateral dumbbell
incline bench press
2.4/3.0 x 30 lbs. 0.3/1.1 x 40 lbs. +33.3 percent
Yates row 7.0 x 55 lbs. 3.3 x 165 lbs. +200.0 percent
Reverse drag curls 6.0 x 25 lbs. 0.3 x 55 lbs. +120.0 percent

*I started these exercises on different dates.

I’m happy with my results so far. I bulked up quickly. I worked out minimally. I reduced body fat percentage easily.

Each stage has been fun and challenging and ultimately fruitful. I even hit a new milestone on Saturday: 5,000-plus calories. I can eat a 12-inch pizza solo in one sitting. In 30 days, I’ll know if my body fat percentage has plateaued or dropped further.

But I feel I’ve failed in one key area, an area that shouldn’t really matter. But it still gnaws at me.

I haven’t convinced anyone else to take the plunge. Not a single soul has given it a shot. To me, that’s failure.

I don’t preach this diet and workout routine as the gospel. I know it works on me, but I’d like more data. One person is an anomaly. I can safely say that I can add and shed weight with sustained, applied effort.

But I’ve never struggled with obesity or trying to lose pounds. I haven’t wrestled with other diets, or denial, or exercise, or temptation. I will admit that this experiment has been rather painless.

You might try “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links] and fail. Or have mediocre results. You might write it off as another fad diet. You might dig in for a few weeks, only to gradually give into temptation or the simple distractions of a busy life.

I don’t know. I only know my journey, which has been well documented on this site.

I figured I get at least a few takers by this point. I know several acquaintances had been watching from early on, just to see if a skinny boy could actually bulk up. But no matter how the numbers have shifted up or down, or the photos have shown growth and reduction, it has been me and only me.

You might roll your eyes at this point, which is fair. I roll my eyes when I see friends hawking essential oils or studies that prove vaccines cause autism.

It’s fine to have a healthy sense of skepticism, especially when it’s the zillionth diet or exercise routine touted by friends and celebrities and kooks. Heaven knows my skepticism remains, and I’ve been the actual guinea pig for a year and a half.

I’m happy to have proven to myself that I could do it and that I got the results I wanted at each phase. I’d be happier to have some company, but I can do only so much heavy lifting.

March’s average workout time was 25 minutes and 55 seconds.

I averaged 2,192 calories a day in March. I also had 125 g protein a day on average.

The project has cost me $849.08 so far. I spent $37.70 more on food in March compared to previous monthly averages.

You can see all the numbers updated in real time on the Measurements page.

Week 1 vs. Week 82 - side

Week 1 vs. Week 82 – side
[Click image for a larger version.]