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One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby Sven » August 4th, 2012, 7:08 am


I guess it is time to add milk. This is what Tim prescribes for anyone who does not gain at least 2.5 pounds per week. It seems like this is the most obvious change I can do which is likely to have a major and immediate impact.
I also plan to make other changes, e.g. swap my protein powder for an unflavoured one - but it will take a few days to arrive, and I doubt how much it matters in the bigger picture.
As mentioned above, I plan to make one specific change each week and carefully measure the impact. Watch this space..!
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby ez2cy » August 7th, 2012, 7:49 am


I am by no means a pro at any of this so take it with a grain of salt.

Measuring yourself or having someone else do it, I would think could lend it self to errors. I would go by more your strenth. If you can do more reps or lift more weight than it is working and you must be building muscle. Maybe just not enough to be measureable?
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby justhamade » August 7th, 2012, 12:27 pm


Sven wrote:Thank you all for your feedback so far. I will ponder how to incorporate your ideas as I am moving ahead.

>128 lbs which is very under weight

It is funny how I have never really thought of myself as too light. Not even Ez2cy's comment “Is there a typo” triggered that idea..! But I guess you are right, I really need to grow.

According to several BMI calculations I am still healthy though (just in the lower end of the normal range).
E.g. see: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthywe ... lator.aspx

The Top 10 Reasons Why BMI Is Bogus (Better Title: Do You Believe in Fairies, Unicorns, or the BMI?)
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby justhamade » August 7th, 2012, 12:29 pm


It's not magic, you won't see results in only one week.
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby Sven » August 13th, 2012, 6:57 am


So I have now completed another week on the program, and here are the results. Unfortunately, it is another mixed bag...

I followed pretty much the same diet as before, except I now added milk. I had two pints of semi-skimmed organic milk a day (1.1 litres).

I have also made some minor tweaks, namely, changing the liquid breakfast to a solid one (basically just swapping the first protein shake with the nuts and mackerel – see full diet plan above). And I tried to have more beef and less chicken, as suggested by Justhamade.

The lifting went well and progressed pretty much as it should. Specifically, this week I increased to:

A1 - 8 reps at 35 kg
A2 - 8 reps at 2 x 10 kg dumbbells
B1 - 8 reps at 2 x 14 kg dumbbells
B2 - 11 reps at 35 kg

Regarding the last exercise, the squats, I aimed deliberately to increase the reps rather than the kilos this time, to reach Tim's prescribed time under pressure.

I believe I am still pushing myself to the limit and could not possibly have done another repetition of any exercise. I was also feeling pretty knackered for the rest of the day after each gym session (and for much of the day after) which I guess is normal.

Now for the measurements. Again I was careful to measure under exactly the same conditions as last week...

Finally I am gaining weight! My weight is up by 1.2 kg in one week, which equals two and a half pounds.

My total inches are also up, by 5 cm (2 inches) in one week (measuring as Tim suggests in the book).

The bad news is that the extra weight does not end up where it should. Basically, the inches are pretty evenly distributed all over the body, and the stomach is still growing – by yet another half inch since last week.

So in two weeks, I have gained one full notch on my belt. This is painful to observe, as it is kind of reversing my hard-won results from months of careful diet (from the time before I started Occams).

By plugging the numbers into the Navy formula for bodyfat calculation, it seems I am up one full percent of bodyfat in two weeks (from 17% to 18%).

On this trend I will end up looking like the Michelin man. I mean the traditional one of the 1980s...

Image

So once again I am a bit lost as to what to do next..!

Anyway, here are my best ideas for this (third) week:

I have decided to keep drinking milk, as I feel the milk is not likely to be the source of the problem of fat gain. I mean, the trend has been constant, regardless of the milk.

But I will not increase the milk intake either. Instead I will make some other key changes:

  • My unflavoured whey protein has finally arrived, so I am now having that instead of the previous sweetened one. I guess having a load of articial sweeteners four times a day could be a really bad thing - an obvious potential problem source. This is one change that clearly brings me closer in step with Tim's advice.
  • I feel I am able to consume more of the protein shake when it is unflavoured. So I will try my best to increase total protein, to something approaching 300 grams per day.
  • I also got some casein to use for my last protein shake of the day. I hear this will release more slowly throughout the night, which can help build muscle or at least avoid wasting any during sleep.
  • No more than one glass of red wine per day... Because I have been in the habit of drinking two pretty big glasses every single day – another potential «issue».
  • I have now also taken delivery of that much celebrated Cissus Quadrangularis. So I am starting to take it as prescribed by Tim. Perhaps this is the magic pill that will turn my fortunes around..?!?

Thank you for all the encouragement so far, and stay tuned for next week!

Sven
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby justhamade » August 13th, 2012, 7:34 pm


Dairy does cause fat gain. It is one of the most insulinogenic foods there is see http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin/
In one study (PDF), milk was even more insulinogenic than white bread...


Now insulin is good for muscle building and anticatabolism but not good for fat loss. The GOMAD or LOMAD is recommended for ectomorphs that have trouble gaining any weight and don't care is some of the weight is fat.

How often are you working out? Adding some metabolic resistance training, like the kiwi workout, would be a good idea once a week. Will help with cardio and some fat loss.

Isolated Casein has a strong relationship to cancer see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casein#Cancer. I took it once before I knew this. Didn't seem to help much.

Sven wrote:No more than one glass of red wine per day... Because I have been in the habit of drinking two pretty big glasses every single day – another potential
This is probably the biggest issue. One glass a day might be ok for maintaining body fat levels but for fat loss, this is not good. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson194.htm

For the workout reps til failure. One thing I learned from another hypertrophy program is that if you fail 1/2 way through a rep it is beneficial to hold it there for the allotted time to keep the time under tension. Or if you can quickly drop the weight, do that and continue the full range of motion.

Good luck and keep at it.
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Don't stop after 7 days

Postby AnonX » August 18th, 2012, 4:41 am


One week is a short trip. Take me along for the journey. I want to read about the Every-man who took up the torch. Soon I will follow. Let us go on this ride with you for at least three months.
Are you eating enough protein?
Are you getting enough rest?
Are you pushing heavy weight untill TOTAL failure?
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby Sven » August 18th, 2012, 4:24 pm


I am done with the third full week of the program, and this time there is a most interesting development..!

At first sight this looked like another miserable result. That is, I put on a bit more weight, but my circumference (stomach) also grew. Again it looked very much like all the gain was fat.

But that is not, it seems, the real story.

First things first. This week I lifted these weights, all of which indicate good progress (the percentages indicate total change since I started):

A1 - 7 reps at 40 kg (+60%)
A2 - 6 reps at 2 x 12 kg dumbbells (+140%)
B1 - 7 reps at 2 x 16 kg dumbbells (+60%)
B2 - 10 reps at 40 kg (+23%)

On the diet front, I continued with the milk, but cut down on wine, added Cissus, and converted to my new unflavoured protein.

Now, results. My own measurements show a slight weight gain and some slight size gains. I am up another pound this week (half a kilogram). Unfortunately, once again the clearest size gain applies to my stomach area. The circumference at navel has increased at a perfectly steady rate of one centimetre per week, three weeks in a row. No other body part has grown that much.

When once again I plugged the details into the Navy formula for body fat percentage approximation, it looked like I had gained almost one full percent of bodyfat just since last week.

Actually, based on this method, it looked like the entire weight gain since I started on the protocol, has been fat gain, increasing my bodyfat from 17% to 19%.

This was all starting to look very bad indeed. I felt despair. I was lost.

But then... everything changed.

Until now I have been looking at circumference at navel as an indicator of body fat, as indeed Tim suggests. The Navy method is also mostly depending on this single measure for estimating bodyfat.

Yesterday, however, I also went back to have my bodyfat measured in a different way, namely, by the same 12-point caliper test as I have used before. Actually it is the Poliquin Biometric Modulation, which is kind of overkill for this purpose, but I feel it is very reliable.

This test shows a completely different picture. Compared with one month ago (same test, same practitioner), it looks like my bodyfat percentage has been perfectly stable (at 16%). None of the skinfold readings have changed significantly, except I have lost a lot of fat from my chest area. According to this method, almost all my weight gain has been muscle.

That was a pleasant surprise. Suddenly it looks like the protocol works for me after all..!

Totally during the three and a half weeks of Occam's, I have gained 3 kilograms (7 pounds), almost all of which I now believe is lean mass (6 pounds).

So I am feeling much more confident now:

Image

It does leave a big question, though. What is the reason my stomach keeps expanding? I suspect it is the same reason that I have been feeling a bit sick for much of this time. There must be something in my diet or habits that is blowing up the tummy. I now need to find out what the reason might be – hopefully it is something easy to fix.

The list of candidates is fairly short. It could be ALA, creatine, glutamine, etc. I will stick to Tim's philosophy of changing only one or two items at a time, until I find out. In the first instance I will continue with milk, but will stop taking creatine and glutamine. If you have any other ideas about this issue, please let me know...

Thanks for all the encouragement so far. I will now be travelling for the next two weeks, hence will probably not be able to follow the program with the same regularity. But I will stick to the principles as much as possible, and get back to it properly in due course..!

S.
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby Sven » August 18th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Unflavoured protein rocks! Like I suspected, I have found that I can easily consume a higher quantity of this, than of the sweet artificial variety. Initially I was worried it would taste horrible, but I was wrong. My unflavoured protein just tastes... nothing. Maybe a bit like milk. One can drink it straight, or mix it up with any favourite flavour.

It is actually good fun to try mixing various SCD-approved ingredients and see how this pans out. I found I quite like my proteins with cinnamon.

I did not enjoy coffee and protein together, but if you normally enjoy milk in your coffee, this might just be a desirable combination. However, whatever you do, please NEVER put hot coffee with protein straight to your shaker. It can virtually explode..!

Maybe some chemistry whiz can explain why. I guess there is gas trapped in any hot drink, and if you put this under pressure and shake, bad things will happen. I burned myself and got a mess all over my kitchen.
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Re: One man's journey with Occam's Protocol

Postby Sven » August 18th, 2012, 4:40 pm


>I want to read about the Every-man who took up the torch. Soon I will follow.

AnonX, if you are planning to embark on the program soon, I have this suggestion:
Start buying the food products and ordering the supplements that you are going to need. Some of them can take a bit of time to get hold of, and there is a learning curve involved.
This will have the twin benefits of
1) ensuring that you have what you need when you are ready, rather than having to wait and/or start out a bit unprepared when the day comes.
2) making a financial commitment. It is in human nature to go ahead with what we have started investing into.
Good luck!
S.
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