Latest posts

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,247
Posts
459,154
Members
26,888
Latest Member
CptnProton
What's New?

Accountability pics. First 'progress' pics in over a year.

macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,339
597
#25
Look great. Awesome quad separation. Can't wait to see the version of yourself you consider "in shape".
Yea....I know, it sounds a little funny. I am not a bodybuilder, and mostly trained for strength my entire life. Most of my life I stayed bulkier with barely one big "ab" ;-) It has only been the last 4 years where I have been focusing on just staying fit and leaner year round. I am trying to find that balance where I dont deprive myself the things I really enjoy either. Yes....I want my cake and eat it too!. Overall it has been going OK. However that I have never really pushed to that last bit where I attack the rest of the abdominal skinfolds. (that is some tough fat...and fat I have had for 45 years.....so it is stubborn). I have leaned out most everywhere, just the abdominal area is the last to go. (but getting better). When I finally shed the sub-q fat, it stays gone. Even bulked up to 230, my legs retain striations and vascularity and skinfold never goes above 5mm. I am hoping the same will be true for my midsection when I finally shed the last bits.



I used to split the dose, but got tired of the extra pinning. I just pin once a week now. When I say that I feel best on 120-150 that is true.....BUT I am very well aware that running it higher when dieting is a good idea (even if I dont feel as great). Dieting is in my opinion the most critical time for anyone seeking to be big and lean. Food (especially in a surplus is anabolic on it's own). Dieting.....everything is stacked against you.

I was lifetime natural until 2012. The biggest change I have seen, is I now can hold on to more mass and stay leaner. I believe I am able to carry about 10lbs more mass and be lean with AAS. My strength is really not changed (in fact I am weaker lb/lb then when I was natural). That has more to do with 4 years of sucking the fat out which leads to strength losses. I believe the loss of intramuscular fat decreases strength over time from lost leverages. My usage would be considered "beginner" by most standards, but I think I was given some GREAT advice by guys who have been in this game longer than I have.

If you are in it for the long haul, slow and steady wins the race. I have never been dependent on AAS for gains of either strength or mass. I have however seen over a good window of time, they can certainly shift the curve. Where this has left me, is I have never lost size or strength on "normal" levels. It has left the question in the back of my head.....what could I do if I really ramped up my usage to the 'big boy' level. But at my age, I am happy with a good balance in my life. (In fact there are times I go to lengths to hide my development as in the professional world, it is not unheard of to draw negative thoughts about someone overly into their overly muscular appearance. "Muscle heads" dont excatly bring great thoughts to mind in the business world).


Got to love it when you can tighten up and not flatten out like a damn pancake. Looking good!
Yep. I have struggled to find the motivation to devote to tightening up my diet. Just dropping the bloat has me fired up. This was me last week. (my wife snapped this pic of me busting on me becasue I hiked up my shorts getting some sun.

But you can see how flat the midsection is from all the carbs



This is a pic from a few years back and probably the leanest I have gone. Looking to get back to here or even just a tad more. But this time, I am going to stay there....and find the balance where I can have a few beers here and there, AND of course Pizza is a requirement! (aint no amount of lean worth it, it I cant have my pizza night!) ;)

 
BLTC

BLTC

VIP Member
Dec 23, 2010
557
83
#26
I used to split the dose, but got tired of the extra pinning. I just pin once a week now. When I say that I feel best on 120-150 that is true.....BUT I am very well aware that running it higher when dieting is a good idea (even if I dont feel as great).
What kind of negatives sides do you notice when you ramp up the dose? How high is it? 500mgs/week?

Dieting is in my opinion the most critical time for anyone seeking to be big and lean. Food (especially in a surplus is anabolic on it's own). Dieting.....everything is stacked against you.
Interesting point.. Do you notice it being easier to shed fat with the support of a trt dose as opposed to when you were natty or does the test bloat cancel the any fat reduction from an appearance perspective?
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,339
597
#27
What kind of negatives sides do you notice when you ramp up the dose? How high is it? 500mgs/week?



Interesting point.. Do you notice it being easier to shed fat with the support of a trt dose as opposed to when you were natty or does the test bloat cancel the any fat reduction from an appearance perspective?
I just feel kinda sluggish with higher test. Almost at times like I am just 'off' a little. It is not a huge thing....just subtle. I certainly dont "feel" much of anything ever, except getting back to normal T levels was life-changing for me. I suffered from the worst chronic fatigue. I could sleep 12+ hours and still would not be enough. By dinner I would want to be napping. Could not drag myself out of bed till 12-100pm on weekends. The only thing I forced myself to do was workout.

Funny thing, I had no issue regaining mass, nor strength. I had started back to the gym after a bad accident in which I broke my neck and suffered a TBI. Took me 3 years to figure out the accident left me with low t. Looking at me, I dont think I was the the typical guy complaining of low-t. I was only about 10 lbs lighter similar leanness. I was benching close to 400, closing in on a 600lb deadlift and squatting 500lbs. Even though my gym gains were not impacted, my quality of life was going down despite getting in better shape again. That was when we figured out I had low-t. (I was also hypo-thyroid which is also pituitary stimulated)

As for shedding fat....I can say shedding fat is "easier". Going on trt did raise my TDEE 200cal/day. (I was tracking at the time very close). This is probably due to the upregulation of thyroid which can happen when normal test is restored. (About a 6 months after going on TRT, I also then started medicating my thyroid).

I have never experienced "test bloat" at levels up to 600. I think what a lot of guys attribute to AAS bloating is really just being a tad fatter than they realize and eating like crap. Guys go on a bulk cycle and ramp up food too. People say it is the AAS, but I think "real" bloat as in water retention, just smoothes you out a little by making you skin thicker. You have to be pretty darn lean to notice skinfold increases. I am sure a guy who is contest ready can tell very small differences in water balance. A typical gym guy at 12-15%....>Skinfolds are really too thick to see water retention in my experience. Or if you can see it, it is only because you are studying your physique and it is subtle.

My experience with AAS is that I never really EVER have noticed it. It was quite disappointing really. I had waited so long to try and then when I did, I was convinced that I had bunk stuff. (which I know was not). @500mg I saw absolutely nothing...felt nothing, saw no increases in strength. I combined it with a structured 250 cal surplus and after 16weeks, maybe I gained 2-3 lbs. (real gain after I shed the fat from the caloric surplus) Scale was probably a 18-20lbs shift. Structured extra cals from carbs would cause a water/glycogen shift of 10-12lbs, and 1/2lb/week gain would yield 20lbs +/-. Then after the diet back down....2-3 lbs.

As I said, I was disappointed, but I realized that doing your first cycle after 10+ years of training and already being close to one's genetic limit, means gains are still hard to come. It is not like a kid doing his first cycle after only a year in the gym. Sure, he can put on 10-15lbs, because he is already so far under his max he can carry anyway. The rules change and full blown cycles dont have much effect (at least they did not for me). Personally, I think even some VETS confuse what their real gain is from a cycle after years into the game. Sure the scale moves....but I can do that with just food. It is nothing for me to bring my weight up or down 10lbs just manipulating cals and carbs. Heck I can shift that in a couple weeks. REAL gains become very tough to gauge. So much so that I stopped even structured eating. The diminishing returns just took over and it was not worth it for me to eat a 16-20 week surplus even with AAS assistance, because after I dieted back down, I was not really any different.

So....could it be I just needed more to progress.....sure. But for me the game has become the long game and I am OK with where I am at. Being fit, decently strong, and carrying on for as long as I can go with this is the goal now. All while trying to keep up with my kids and their stuff. That is really where my energy is focused now. And I have absolutely no complaints nor regrets.
 
S

searay

VIP Member
Dec 20, 2017
140
71
#28
definitely thick and solid at the same time especially from the waist down. good news is that you have the option to stay a little sloppy with your diet as you seem to keep very close to 10% so if you have a trip or special event you can quickly cut down to perfection and hold your size very well.
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,339
597
#29
Been pulling back cals almost 4 weeks now. Feeling like I did not get too far off track.

Snapped these the other night.





Tonight is a refeed night. I have really been pulling in cals hard.
Took my son to see Incredibles 2 on Sun and there was a scene in the movie where they were eating Chinese food. It looked so good. When I got out of the movie, I told my wife how good the food looked. She said she was thinking the same thing ;). Funny how real looking the renderings are in those movies. I said I'll grab takeout on the way home from the gym.
Sitting at my desk about 20 minutes post-feast and veins are popped out everywhere.... With my appetite suppressed as IF has done, I had a hard time finishing my food. I left room for some caramel M&M's though ;) No roof for icecream tonight. I am back on the horse!!!
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,339
597
#30
Sooooo little update here. My last post was back in July. I was right on track to getting to where I wanted to be. I continued my deficit and this is where I was just over 4 months ago. I think I was right at 200 in this pic (5'9")



THEN>>>>>>>> I got rear ended pulling into my driveway. It has been 5 months now....but after 2 months on not getting any better and terrible back pain I finally got my GP to order a MRI. 2-bulging disks, and 1-displaced disk pushing on my S1 nerve. There was also a spinal fracture (that they missed initially and only my PT saw it when looking at my x-rays which then got confirmed my by ortho doc). Wow.....I have been through a bunch before, but this really was difficult to deal with.

I continued to train as best I could, but some nights I was just 'showing up' at best. But I still made it 4 days a week only skipping a couple workouts when pain was too much to move. Any time I would raise my core pressure up, I would get sick to my stomach or worse. I concentrated on a lot of TUT and MMC with the best weights I could manage.

I did a few months of PT and that got me out of the worst part. Back pain is still there, but at least doc does not think I am going to hurt myself worst at this point.

I had to lax up on my diet a little. Hoping that the little bit of extra eating would help keep some mass on. My weight has drifted back up to 215 and I hope to slowly work my back up to where I can load confidently. I did go up to squats at 455 x3 this past week and bent rows with 405, but the week earlier, my back went out warming up squatting with 225. So I just am going to train with a tight core and slowly build it back up to bearing weight. I had planned on working deadlifts back in, but I am worried I wont be able to exercise the self control I need since I have not pulled in so long. I will just get excited and worry I will over-do it.

Keeping my accountability, I am going to keep lax on my food and see what I can do for a while. The extra bloat of higher carbs definitely cuts down on joint pain so I think it is good to eat a while. Plus I will be enjoying a lot of cookies and icecream ;)

Things may not always go how we want them.....but throwing in the towel is not an option. Getting ready to turn 46 and mark a solid decade back in the gym! THAT is my biggest victory so far.

Took these pics tonight. I am definitely smoothed out quite a bit, but it feels good to eat a little as well.



 
Top