Fuckin’ A it’s that time of the year again! I can’t believe it’s been a year already since the inaugural Winter Bulk Up series. Last year was a ton of fun and a lot of you guys got in on the action with us, and this time we’re looking to do it even bigger.
Last year’s bulk up was the traditional stuff-your-face style for both VK and I. We ended up packing on roughly twenty pounds each, with VK ending at 185 and me ending at 203. Additionally, both of us were doing high volume bodybuilding style programs. It was my first time trying something like this out, and after cutting down to 194 afterwards I couldn’t complain- nearly 10 lbs of muscle gained in total.
However, this year I’m doing things differently. Size has taken a backseat to strength goals. I worked my ass off all summer and fall getting my Big 3 lifts up using my intermediate program, and the pay off was awesome. The feeling was awesome. At the peak of my training, right before that incredibly shitty, body destroying gastritis episode, I had maxed 475 on deadlift, 375 on squat, and 300 on bench- without using so much as chalk for any of them. That was the strongest I had ever been, and there didn’t appear to be an end in sight. I hadn’t encountered anything resembling a plateau and was still adding weight and/or reps every week. It was my destiny to hit 315 bench/405 squat/500 deadlift before the year’s end, and then continue on to even heavier weight afterwards.
Unfortunately, that gastritis episode fucked me up hardcore, setting me back further than I thought was possible in a 2 1/2 week time frame. We’re talking an average of 40 lbs lost from all 3 maxes, which was as mind blowing as it was frustrating. Full of rage that my destiny has been thwarted momentarily, I’ve returned to the gym with a fucking vengeance as if it was the equipment’s fault I’ve been set back. In the month since that bullshit I have managed to *almost* reclaim my previous maxes (thank you muscle memory), with the exception of my deadlift, which absolutely blows right now.
So with that set-up, here is my Winter Bulk Up goal:
By the end of March 2014, I will, at the least, be able to bench 315, squat 405, and deadlift 500. This will be without straps, chalk, a belt, or anything like that.
My buddy Matt will be on hand to record each max for your viewing enjoyment. The final, compiled video will be scored with Revocation’s “The Grip Tightens”. It will be awesome.
Here are my numbers as of this week:
Yes, I do realize my goals are arbitrary numbers and some people think that’s silly. They can go fuck themselves on their favorite hip abductor machine.
I also realize I might be setting an impossibly high bar trying to reach those numbers in 3 months considering I’m not even back to where I was in September, and my only response to that is go big or go home.
This shit is my destiny.
The Game Plan:
My programming will continue to revolve around my intermediate program. That “program”, which is hardly structured enough to be considered a program, is one of the main reasons I am even able to set goals like this. Its combination of high-rep and low-rep days and overall frequency and volume seems to be exactly what my body responds to.
While size is secondary for me this winter, I figured I’d throw up some before and after pics for fun and friendly competition:
I’m 193 at the moment. Still 6′ 3″. And carrying a lot of water weight thanks to Taze-3, that most kick ass of pre-workouts. Shit, I might end up crossing that lean 200 lb line during all this.
VK has his own goals and game plan that he’ll be detailing soon, and while I can’t tell you what it is I can say they are equally as ambitious. This should be a great time.
Just like last year, we’ll be keeping you guys updated as the winter slogs on. Anyone who wants to join in with their own goals and programs, by all means get in on this!
Follow NLU on Twitter- @NexxtLevelUp