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Max's Muscle Up Challenge

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Links please, sounds like a pretty funny read to skim through.

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wow some great transformations there... Awesome results Steve - Admire the dedication it takes to get the ripped.


Steve - looking at your before pics this year, were you still maintaining a healthy diet before shredding down again ?


Seems that last 10% of fat is all diet based / a lot of extra work, especially to maintain?


I've been training for around 2 years now (personal trainer kicks my ass 5 days a week, 45min weights 15min cardio)

I'm bigger than my trainer now, massive change in dimensions and can lift almost triple what i started on... that said have never been shredded.


I love good food, and even though i eat healthy 95% of the time i haven't set a strict diet like yours.


Is that what is making all the difference?


Normal day as an example :


breakfast: 3 eggs, 2 rashers bacon, 3 mushrooms omlette

morning : white coffee, 45grams dymatise elite shake in 50/50 water/skimmilk

mid morning : Kale , celery, strawberries, ginger Shake

lunch : 100gram chicken, broccoli, zucchini

snack : 95g can of tuna

dinner : 300gram chicken/steak, vegetables

Dessert : sometimes a paddlepop or a protein chocolate bar.

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Yeah I did a bit of a bulking experiment earlier this year knowing I would do the challenge again if I put on too much weight.


From the end of the challenge last year until Feb this year, I maintained my weight around 72-73kg. Only 2kg more than when I finished the challenge on a very strict diet. I was able to eat pretty freely on this maintenance plan of around 2100 calories. I just kept my protein macro high and didn't eat anything obviously bad. Also I trained 5 times a week and never skipped a day.


Starting Feb this year, I upped my calories to 3000 a day, not really knowing how fast I would put on fat or muscle. Still eating similar food, just a bigger lunch of tuna and brown rice with almonds. I started packing on about 1kg a week and after about an 8kg gain over 2 months, it leveled off to about half a kg a week until I got to 82-83kg. Then my weight stayed here with the same amounts of calories.


Here are some comparison shots.






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Regarding training during maintenance and training during the challenge, it didn't change much at all. I still did 5 weight sessions a week. All I did different was add in cardio that I wasn't previously doing. This included 30minutes on the treadmill or bike each morning before work. Then on Saturday I would go hiking that would normally take 2 hours.


In the second half of the challenge I added in an extra 15 minutes of cardio after my weight training in the afternoon and instead of regular low intensity cardio in the morning, I changed it to HIIT.


No doubt diet plays the biggest impact on how you look. You need to find where you maintenance caloric intake is and eat below that. But it is a balancing act as you want to lose fat, but not be too much in a deficit that you will also lose muscle. Including BCAAs in your diet will help preserve muscle. I was eating around 1700 calories a day. There is where I felt comfortable and not too hungry, but low enough to consistently be losing fat. My strength didn't suffer in the gym either, which can happen when you cut back the calories too much.


I'll post my meal plan in my next post.


It's one thing eating the correct food to get big and strong, but it's different thing to deny yourself food/snacks, especially when out with friends. Many times I would have a glass of water and grilled fish at a restaurant instead of all the wonderful things they would eat.


With the meal plan you posted, I would be cutting out the dessert meal. Or replace the protein bar with a shake. The bars are quite calories dense (300cal) where a shake is around 100cal.

Edited by steveP

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--- Food ---------------------------------------- Calories ----- Fats ----- Protein ----- Carbs



4 egg whites and 1 egg omelette.

2 pieces of wholemeal toast. -------------------- 338 ---------- 25% ------ 35% --------- 40%


170g of low fat yoghurt. 60g of oats in water. -- 330 ---------- 15% ------ 32% --------- 53%



30g of Max's SuperShred protein.

10g of instant coffee. -------------------------- 113 ---------- 2% ------- 97% --------- 1%


LUNCH (1pm)

150g of tuna. 125g of brown rice. --------------- 432 ---------- 12% ------ 47% --------- 41%


100g of smoked salmon and 1 egg.

2 pieces of wholemeal bread. -------------------- 433 ---------- 36% ------ 33% --------- 31%



10g of pre workout (BCAAs & Creatine). ---------- 34 ----------- 1% ------- 13% --------- 86%



30g of Max's SuperShred protein. ---------------- 113 ---------- 2% ------- 97% --------- 1%


DINNER (8pm)

1 kale shake (100g kale, 50g spinach, 25g celery,

25g Lebanese cucumber, 10g garlic, 10g ginger). - 84 ----------- 13% ------ 26% --------- 61%


300g of chicken breast. ------------------------- 495 ---------- 21% ------ 79% --------- 0%


275g of topside beef. --------------------------- 487 ---------- 28% ------ 72% --------- 0%


100g of smoked salmon.

4 egg whites and 3 eggs omelette. --------------- 448 ---------- 49% ------ 49% --------- 2%


250g of salmon. --------------------------------- 505 ---------- 59% ------ 41% --------- 0%


250g of squid. ---------------------------------- 513 ---------- 41% ------ 46% --------- 13%



30g of Max's Nitetime protein.

5g of psyllium husks. --------------------------- 122 ---------- 7% ------- 86% --------- 7%



TOTAL (Target. Based on 70kg: f*0.5, p*3.5, c*1.5) ------------ (35g) ---- (245g) ------ (105g)


Average ----------------------------------------- 1723 - 18% (33.9g) - 58% (244.3g) - 24% (97.1g) - Fibre 20.5g

Edited by steveP

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By the way I had skin fold tests done before and after the challenge.



Some stats from the skin fold tests.


--------------------- Start -------------- End

Weight: ------------- 78.9kg ------------- 68.7kg

Abs: ---------------- 21mm --------------- 7mm

Thigh: -------------- 24mm --------------- 13mm

Tricep: ------------- 18mm --------------- 12mm

Suprailiac: --------- 13mm --------------- 6mm

Body Fat: ----------- 18.2% -------------- 9.24%

Fat Weight: --------- 14.36kg ------------ 6.35%

Lean Body Mass: ----- 64.54kg ------------ 62.35kg










Progress photo at my lightest weight (68.6kg) in the final day of carb depleting looking pretty flat.



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king of pullups lol


Pushups body weight 71 in one shot.


Dips with 40lbs 20, never tried max dips body weight.

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