Mass March 2014 – The Results

The gluttonous month of Mass March has come to an end and this year’s 6 contestants put on a combined weight of 47lbs!

With 12.6lbs gained, I was able to regain my Mass March title. Admittedly my bodyfat did raise by 3 percentile (from 12 to 15), but it was still a MUCH cleaner bulk than 2 years ago (gallon of homo milk a day).

March 1, 2014

 

March 31, 2014

1. Eating more food than I ever imagined possible. Again and again and again.

I seriously shudder when I think about the meals I consumed over the past 30 days. It was on more than when occasion when consuming a meal brought me to the verge of tears. The pain was often unbearable, pushing one’s stomach well past the limit not once, not twice, but three times a day. Then add two liquid meals on top of that, because chewing five supersized meals was out of the question. I was almost always bloated, slow, and sluggish from constantly being in a state of digestion.

This was dinner...on a low calorie day.

 

2. A disciplined regimen, planned out for every day, meal, and workout.

I followed this regimen (with a few minor changes, all made beforehand and saved in an excel spreadsheet) taken from Tim Ferriss’ health blog featuring a program by GSP’s trainer Dr. John Berardi. It’s very comprehensive and NOT for the faint of heart. Having a detailed plan for all 30 days meant there was no reason to falter.

This is 3 days of food. I prepped meals every Sunday and Wednesday (rest days)

 

3. A lofty goal.

I set my goal for 20lbs and although I was 7lbs short, 12.6lbs is the most weight I have ever gained in one month, making me the heaviest I have ever been. Setting a lofty goal serves more like a vision, it allowed me to really push it and break my previous record. As Bruce Lee once famously said:

 

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Mass March 2014

Well folks, it’s the third annual Mass March, the month when only the manliest of men take 30 days to pack on as much as lean muscle as we can.

It’s all about transformation and putting our bodies’ to the test. People often frown upon it, but for many of us it’s harder to put on weight than it is to lose it. Without further ado, here are this year’s contestants–who will have the iron will this year and be crowned the Mass March Champion of 2014?

Please Predict your Mass March 2014 Winner

  • Ajit Johal - reigning champ and registered pharmacist (33%, 5 Votes)
  • Peter Bleszynski - med school student who lives in the gym (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Bear Johal - puts real life on hold for Mass March (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Jordan Calvert - has never taken a day off (7%, 1 Votes)
  • Billy Quirke - always up for a challenge (6%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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The Contestants

Contestant 1

5am mornings and four packed lunches a day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AJIT JOHAL
Reigning champ (7.4lbs)
City of residence: Vancouver, BC
Starting weight (March 1st): 76kg (168lbs)
Mass Goal: 4.5kg (10lbs)

Motivation: “Defending the title!”

Diet: Simple.  Calories in > Calories Expended.  5000 calories per day, with a few clever natural supplements to establish a bit of an edge.

Workout: 5-3-1 protocol (3 weeks of progressively increasing major lifts, with a “deloading week” to prevent plateauing).
________________________________________________________________________

 

Contestant 2

flash, flex, repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PETER BLESZYNSKI
City of Residence: Krakow, Poland
Starting Weight (March 1st): 84.2kg (186lbs)
Mass Goal: 3.6kg (8lbs)

Motivation: ”Hate what you see in the mirror!”

Diet: Eat healthy, I don’t count calories. Eat when I am hungry. Protein every 3 hours.

Workout: Lift any weight I see for that particular day. I do isolation workouts. Day 1 Arms, Day 2 Chest, Day 3 Back, Day 4, Shoulders, Day 5 Legs. Repeat, no rest days, you get enough rest in your sleep. Abs every other day, no cardio.
__________________________________________________________________________

 

Contestant 3

The pump is the cure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JORDAN CALVERT
City of residence: Winnipeg, Canada
Starting weight (March 1st): 96kg (212lbs)
Mass Goal: 6.8kg (15lbs)

Motivation: ”Live to lift, love to eat, bump the beats and pray for gains.”

Diet: Backload, Warrior style diet, No Carbs in the AM to up regulate fat burning and heighten insulin sensitivity, Carbs during/prior to training, Mini Skipload’s (Eat as much high GI carbs in a 3hr window) when I feel flat or the pump is lacking at the gym (usually EoD due to very physical job), Protein from Eggs/Beef/Chicken/Fish, Low GI Carbs from Yams/Whole Oats/Jasmine Rice, Fats from Free Range Whole Eggs/Fish Oil/Coconut Oil, Skiploads include Chips/Pop tarts/Children’s cereal/Baked Treats/Chocolate Rasins pretty much anything high GI while watching fat content.

Workout: No days off, 4 day split, Legs/Arms/Chest+shoulder/Back rinse an repeat, MTUT, Tension over time, resistance bands, chains, heavy weight, high volume, reverse sets, foam rolling, 10-12k speed walk 5 days a week. The pump is the cure!
__________________________________________________________________________

 

Contestant 4

Billy "The Brunch"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BILLY QUIRKE
City of residence: Vancouver, British Columbia
Starting weight (March 1st): 178 lbs
Mass Goal: 3lbs of muscle; playing it loose with total mass goal

Motivation: “‘Ishes don’t care about cardio!”

Diet: Eggs in the morning, EVOO in the shake, skim milk and trail mix all day, red/white meat at night

Workout: Four no-excuse-are-you-a-hunk-or-not early morning workouts  per week (+regular squash, soccer, football, dball intramurals) TIME TO GO TO WERKWERKGOTOWERKK.  Push-pulls, legs and shoulder/arms/abs.
__________________________________________________________________________ 

 

Contestant 5

 It’s March already?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEAR JOHAL
Mass March 2012 Champ (11.8lbs)
City of residence: Vancouver, British Columbia
Starting weight (March 1st): 68.5kg (151lbs)–yeah, hot yoga will do that to you
Mass Goal: 9kg (20lbs)–20lbs or bust!

Motivation: “Changing your body allows you to understand your body, which, in turn, allows you to understand yourself.”

Diet: Eat ridiculous amounts of food. Cycled with low-cal days, high-cal days, and fasting days.

Workout: Training like a Warrior; 5 days a week; following GSP’s program, because UFC fighters know a thing or two about how to put on muscle fast.

 

Let the GAINS begin!

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The 2-Week Hot Yoga Challenge

I honestly never thought I’d say this, but I’m officially a fan of hot yoga.

Ever since yoga became a mainstream leisure activity, I frowned upon it, judged those who did it, and borderline resented it. I was dragged into it a few times throughout my university days and found it to be unbearably boring and uncomfortable.

That has since changed…

On Monday I started a 2-Week Hot Yoga Challenge; hot yoga every morning from 6:30-7:30am for 12 days straight. Today marked day 6, the official halfway point of the challenge, and I have nothing but positive things to say about it.

 

1. Flexibility, Mobility, and Energy

This is the cliché of yoga, which had previously annoyed me. I figured that just being active and stretching a few times a week would save you the dreaded “namastes” on a mat for an hour. However, as I reached the ripe age of 25 I found myself behind a desk for much of the day and my youthful limberness was leaving me rapidly. Gym sessions after work became torturous the morning after and weekend sports? Forget about it.

My body was taking a beating from my active lifestyle and all of a sudden crushing weights at the gym was no longer the solution (not that it had been for my women issues, but a man can dream, right?). My lower back was constantly stiff, sending a chain reaction of pain and misery down to my lower body. I can honestly say that only 6 days in yoga has really alleviated that tightness. My flexibility has improved immensely and my general gait has regained that bounce. As for the energy, that leads me to the second point…

 

2. The 5am Club

Nearly every self-help book out there always hammers in the fact that the most successful people wake up at 5am. World renowned motivational speaker Robin Sharma coins it as “The 5am Club”. It was something I considered trying, but the yoga challenge has finally given me that excuse to do it. The first morning was tough, but after that, it’s a breeze. Seriously. The only hard part is getting to bed at 9:30pm, but how many productive things do you actually do between 9pm and midnight?

Waking up at 5am is liberating, but also paradoxical in the sense that waking up early makes you feel less tired throughout the day. It’s that feeling of accomplishment–that you’ve done something before most people have even got out of bed. By knocking out that first positive in the morning, you’re just cruising throughout the day. At least that’s how I feel.

 

3. The Finer Details

Yes, it’s true what they say. As a guy, yoga is pretty awesome because you’re surrounded by fit, attractive women. Wearing skin tight clothing. Doing poses that you thought only existed on late night television…

 

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to week two and encourage all those who haven’t yet done it, to seriously give yoga a try.

 

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SuperHuman Strength: Update

 

After 3 months, here are my figures for the end of December (see original post HERE)

1. Bench Press - 175 (15 pound increase)

2. Military Press - 120 (20 pound increase)

3. Squat - 250 (30 pound increase)

4. Deadlift - 260 (30 pound increase)

 

 

Supplements taken for the first 3 months of the program have been whey protein, BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and a pharmaceutical grade Creatine Monohydrate, prepared by my brother, a registered pharmacist.

Creatine is the first supplement available at the NEW AGE HERO SHOP.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body’s liver and helps to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy for muscle contractions. Also found in foods such as meat and fish or in supplement form, creatine is known to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. It is used by top tier athletes and is now being tested as a treatment for heart ailments and neuromuscular disorders.

 

The most important things of the strength challenge (aside from the creatine of course):

1. FORM

Invest in at least one private lesson with a personal trainer and go over the form for all the lifts and some good warm-up exercises to reduce risk of injury and increase performance.

 

2. DE-LOADING

The last week of every month is called “de-loading” and it is astonishingly hard to go to the gym and do 5 reps at a weight that doesn’t even a break a sweat. Trust me, it will pay dividends.

 

3. CONSISTENCY

Strength gains are a long road and it’s important to stay focused on form and mental toughness. Don’t go too fast or you’ll injure yourself; but don’t go too slow or you won’t make progress. Find that steady increase which works for you.

 

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Life & Fitness: One Man’s Quest For Strength

I think one of my favourite parts about fitness is the linear transparency it has.

There are countless things in life where people say “what you put in is what you get out,” but in reality, it’s usually not true, as there are numerous variables that must be accounted for.

Fitness, on the other hand, allows things to be planned and regimented to the most minute details and does well to remove a substantial amount of those variables. It’s one of the few things in life where you can set your goal, plan your course of action, and then achieve it. Achieving one’s goal is a phenomenal feeling and results in the desire and motivation to succeed in other facets of life. Success breeds success, which is why fitness is so important in one’s daily life.

For the better part of the past decade, my main goals in fitness have revolved around “gaining” (a.k.a. putting on weight, preferably in the form of lean muscle mass). Very aesthetic focused, less-focused on strength and performance. A debilitating knee injury a few years ago caused my priorities to shift more onto performance and less on aesthetics. Since then I’ve slowly phased out the bodybuilding regimens for more athlete-catered, full-body workouts.

This brings me to my current goal: Strength.

 

“Use your BODY every way you can, it is the greatest instrument you will EVER own.”

-Baz Luhrman (Sunscreen)

 

The human body is a remarkable thing. Why not push it and see what it can really do?

 

 

 

The Quest for SuperHuman Strength Gains

The regimen is inspired by Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 as seen HERE

The 5-3-1 is rather simple, focusing on FOUR movements. I have provided my training maximums for the “Big 4″ when I started the program in October:

 

1. Bench Press – 160lbs

2. Military Press – 100lbs

3. Squat – 220lbs

4. Deadlift – 230lbs

 

The program requires 4 workouts a week, with each day based around the ONE compound movement, then followed up with other exercises of your choice, usually to compliment it. For example, on Squat day I will perform the squats as per the 5-3-1 regimen, and then finish the day with a superset of 1-legged squats, box jumps, and single leg dead lifts (all leg movements). That way I can be fully rested for chest day, if I wanted to do it the day after. The goal is to lift as much as possible, so the key is to not get carried away. Focus on the big lifts, the others are just extra.

What separates this program from all the others I’ve done in the past is its longevity. In order to see drastic strength increases, you need to put in the time. 5-3-1 is designed to be a year-long program, with steady strength increases over the course of 12 months. This may seem “less drastic,” however, a 10-pound increase each month for a year results in a 120-pound strength gain–very drastic indeed. I’m used to doing 1-month programs; the discipline for a year will be, bar none, the hardest part of this strength challenge for me.

 

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Bikini Body Blitz

After over a year of macho, testosterone-charged posts and challenges, I am happy to announce New Age Hero’s first ever female blog post, courtesy of friend, med school student and fitness enthusiast, Andrea Wasilewski.

 

Bikini Body Blitz

 

Andrea

This blog is all about the New Age Hero- and what’s more new age than a heroine? I’m honoured to be the first female contributor to New Age Hero and hope to show all the girls out there that muscles aren’t just for the boys!

After years of working out I’ve come to realize that personal fitness is one area in which you can’t cheat to get ahead.  If you eat a cookie- the scale knows. If you skip a few workouts, well like Shakira said- your hips don’t lie.  Achieving results takes time, diligence and unfortunately a lot of saying NO. But fitness is one area that when you put in the effort the results are beautiful.

 

With that said ladies, bikini season is right around the corner! So it’s time to dust off those Nikes, put down the cupcakes and pick up some weights. In preparation for my trip to Ibiza (hello nude beaches!) I’ve decided to start a 30 day fitness challenge to a rock hard bikini bod.

Before I get into the specifics, let me just say that taking on a fitness challenge is sure to fail if you don’t have a well outlined plan with specific and, most importantly, realistic goals.  Girls, I know stepping on a scale can be traumatizing so here’s some good news. Throw out the scales! The numbers on a scale don’t mean much here- we’re looking for specific measurements of progress: circumferential measurements. Measure your arm, waist, hip and thigh circumference once a week- on the same day and time each week! This is by far the best way to track your progress.

 

Starting Point:

Weight: 64 kg, Height: 177 cm

BMI: 20.4 kg/m2

Biceps: 26 cm

Waist: 67 cm

Hips: 88 cm

Thighs: 52 cm

 

Workout Plan

Weight training is a MUST if you want to build muscle, increase you BMR and burn fat. The fact is that most girls are scared of weights because they think they’ll end up looking like Arnold. This is FALSE. Weight training will give you definition and toning; and because of our low testosterone levels, looking like Sylvester Stallone is virtually impossible.

 

I will be doing high intensity weight training workouts 3 times per week with 3 days of cardio in between and 1 day of rest.  My workouts are mostly Cross Fit based using a combination of kettle bells, dumbbells, weighted bags and TRX. Follow the link to videos of some of my favorite exercises:

CrossFit Exercises

To increase the effort in your workouts follow each set with a 1.5 min fast walk on an incline (incline of 5 on a treadmill at least). This walk is your break- so use this time to drink some water and prepare for the next set.

Running, swimming or any activities that get your heart rate up are acceptable for the cardio days. I prefer to run on a treadmill for 45 min to an hour and aim to cover at least 7 km each run. 

 

DIET

Putting in the hours at the gym is essential but it’s your diet that will make or break you.  I’ve had a lot of success with the Lean Gains diet in the past and I think it is the perfect counterpart to this fitness challenge. Lean Gains is all about maximizing your body’s ability to burn its own fat, You do this by altering the release of metabolic hormones, by breaking up your day into 2 zones: the fasting and feeding zones. You can check out the diet here:

Lean Gains

 

Fasting zone (16 hours)

This part is easy. Just don’t eat for 16 hours! It might take some getting used to, but I suggest including the time spent sleeping in the fasting zone. When you fast your body releases less insulin and this causes an increase in growth hormone. More growth hormone= more fat burned. You can NOT eat during this time but make sure to drink plenty of water! Coffee and tea (no milk or sugar) are also allowed.

 

Feeding zone (8 hours)

You are allotted 8 hours in the day for eating. You can eat anytime within those 8 hours and are generally encouraged to eat a pretty large amount of food. Below I’ll give an example of a typical diet I consume. It’s very important to maintain the feeding and fasting zones to maximize your body’s metabolism! Choosing the times you want to use for your zones completely depends on your lifestyle, so pick something that works for you!

Unfortunately, alcohol is not a feature of this plan.  Unless you’re living the dream and day drinking, alcohol and partying will probably land in your fasting zone anyways. Nobody said this was going to be easy…

 

Sample diet:

Fasting zone: 6 pm – 10 am

Feeding zone: 10 am- 6 pm

 

Non-training day (1740 kcal)

  1. 150 g turkey breast + 50g brown rice + 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
  3. 4 whole eggs + 2 egg whites + 2 rice cakes
  4. 1 protein shake

 

Training day (2150 kcal)

  1. 150 g turkey breast + 50 g brown rice + 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
  3. 6 whole eggs + 3 rice cakes
  4. 2 protein shakes

 

Vegetables are unlimited and can be eaten in any amounts during the feeding zone. Also make sure to stay hydrated! I aim to drink 3 L of water a day.

Well there you have it! Wish me luck and check in regularly as I’ll be posting progress updates.

See you at the beach!

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DTP: Eat Clean, Train Dirty

Check out my original post explaining the DTP program first!

After 4 intense weeks I finally finished the DTP program. It was very different from my previous routine but I loved it! I gained muscle and lost fat resulting in more definition with an increase in overall strength. I started the program at 178lbs and ended at 184lbs. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to calculate my body fat % at the beginning of the program, however, a few days after I finished (post 2 nights of drinking and binge eating!) I ended with 12.5% body fat. I did stick to every workout, and my diet was generally healthy. That being said, there were one or two nights out with alcohol and a couple cheat meals. I was impressed with my results and I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who has either hit a plateau or just wants a fresh change.

 

What I liked about the program:

  • The workouts were short but very intense
  • I could see improvements after each week (increasing weights for exercises)
  • Very simple to follow, and minimal equipment was required
  • Foam rolling significantly improved my legs, specifically calf definition which has always been a problem for me
  • Leg day was my favourite day, just because I have never pushed myself that hard even when I was doing squats
What I didn’t like about the program
There wasn’t anything truly negative about the program. Certain aspects of the program take time to adjust to; you have to be accommodating if you want to follow the program strictly.
For example:
  • The cardio sessions significantly increased my appetite, I woke up and ate 1 or 2 times in the middle of the night almost every night. This got a little annoying…
  • I don’t like going to the gym just for 20 minutes of cardio and not lifting weights, I felt like I could do so much more since I was already there but I didn’t
  • Chest and back on the same day, I did see results in the end, but I am stubborn and will return to splitting them
Soreness:
The day after each workout the specific muscle groups were very sore, the exercises really isolated each muscle group which was fantastic. My legs were constantly sore for the 4 weeks because of the cardio on rest days. No joke, it was a struggle to get out of bed a few times.
The mental aspect:
The absolute requirement for this program is a hard work ethic. This might sound cheesy but it’s true. To really gain muscle the last sets and reps count the most. DTP forces you to go to failure every set, at a specific amount of reps. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to drop a weight so badly because my muscles were sore. However, with a specific rep target, I forced myself to that number every time. I know a few years ago if I were to do this, I would have probably called it quits way before hitting that target, which would mean less gains. To be honest, your not working hard enough unless your making some weird faces or letting out a grunt when reaching failure. Why do you think you hear tennis players grunting after each swing; it’s because they are working their asses off.
More specifics for the nerd

Before DTP, I was lifting heavy, with long rest times. DTP is a mix of lifting heavy, with high reps and short rest times. The whole idea behind DTP is to put your body into shock, making it adjust and grow in response to the shock. Let me explain:

Essentially, muscles contain two types of fibers, slow-twitch (Type 1) and fast-twitch (Type 2a + 2b)

Slow-twitch fibers help to sustain your muscles over a long activity period, these provide fatigue resistance. ex. marathon runners.

Fast-twitch fibers generate a  high amount of force in a short period of time. ex. sprinters

If like me, you constantly do a high weight and low number of reps with a long break, the primary fibers strained are the fast-twitch fibers. This leaves the slow-twitched fibers unstressed. So why train the slow-twitch fibers? Well, training more muscle fibers means greater overall gains in strength and muscle mass. That is the goal of this program. By increasing the amount of reps, and decreasing the rest time, you start to strain your slow-twitched fibers. This will allow them to grow along side your fast-twitch fibers.

 

Conclusion

Overall I would give this a program a 9/10 rating, just because nothing is perfect. I will definitely be doing this again, but for now it’s time to get cutting, Ibiza in 3 weeks!

Happy hulking!

 

 

 

 

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Mass March 2.0: The Results

Transformation is about winning the battle against your body’s natural resistance to change.

                                      ~Ajit Johal (2013 Mass March Winner) 

For thirty days in March, four ambitious men embarked on a challenge to gain as much mass as possible.  Each contestant used different methods of dieting, training, and supplementation in order to gain maximum mass in minimum time.  At the end of the challenge, one contestant emerged victorious.  Ajit Johal was able to gain 7.4 pounds during the month of March, edging out contestant Deep Dan by 0.4 lbs to win the 2013 Mass March competition.  This is his story of transformation.

Ajit Johal, 2013 Mass March winner with 7.4lbs in 30 days

 

 

Diet- When it comes to gaining mass, your ultimate weapon is the fork.  Failure to gain is the result of not using this weapon liberally!

At the start of the competition Ajit used the Cunningham equation to calculate the daily caloric requirements needed to gain mass.  This equation takes into account resting metabolic rate (RMR), the thermogenic effect of food (TEF), and activity levels.   In a nutshell, the equation determines all the calories your body needs to sustain itself during the day.  You can adjust this number based on your desire to gain or lose weight.  For gaining mass, calories in must be greater than calories out.  The equation is as simple as a Hardy Boys novel, and the end result is just as predictable.

 

The following were Ajit’s numbers during Mass March;

Non-workout days = 4,000 calories

Workout days = 5,000 calories

 

His dietary plan to achieve these numbers was as follows;

 

5:30  AM – morning shake consisting of 1 scoop protein powder, 1 scoop Rexall-Greens powder, 2 Tbsp’s of flaxseed powder, 1 Tbsp of chia seeds ——– 300 calories

 

7:00 AM – post workout protein shake —– 120 calories

 

8:00 AM –high calorie breakfast (four eggs, three strips of turkey bacon, 1 english muffin , and a weight gain shake) —- 1000 calories

10:30 AM — weight gain shake consisting of 500 ml milk, 4 Tbsp’s almond butter, and 1 whole banana —– 780 calories

1:00 PM — Lunch (typically meat with vegetables/ small serving of carbs) – 500 calories

3:30 PM — weight gain shake —- 780 calories

5:30 PM — High Carbohydrate dinner consisting of spaghetti w/ meat sauce (whole wheat pasta of course!) — 750 calories

8:00 PM – High calorie meal, or weigh gain shake — 750 calories

Total Calories for workout days = 4980 

Non-workout days were similar, but with 1 less weight gain shake and no post workout shake.

Ajit had about a 65-70% compliance to the above dietary plan.  Periods of non-compliance were largely due to the sheer volume of calories that needed to be consumed, and that fact that his food choices were primarily clean.  “Healthy” high caloric options such as cashews, beans, and almonds were instrumental in putting on “clean weight”.  Ajit started and ended the competition with less than 15% body fat.  While gaining mass was the ultimate goal, turning yourself into a fat slob is never a good thing.

Here is a small dietary change Ajit made to his diet half-way into the competition, which lead to a dramatic spike on the weigh scales.

At the beginning of the competition –  Breakfast, which was the first meal post-workout, would look like this……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 2 weeks and only 2.4 pounds, he changed his breakfast to this………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By consuming the majority of “carbohydrate calories” within 2 hours post workout, allows the body to push a lot of glucose into the muscles during an insulin spike. Insulin sensitivity is also highest in the morning, so flooding the body with calories during this time allows for some serious muscle growth.  This phenomenon was taken from the “carb-back loading manual” written by John Kiefer.

 

TrainingWhen it comes to the weights, go big or go home…. Stimulate all the muscle fibers you can!

Ajit followed the phase 3 hypertrophy program designed by Mike Mejia, co-writer of the “scrawny to brawny” mass gaining series.  The program consisted of a four day per week (upper/lower body split) routine  with a mix of heavy weight, low repetition work and some moderate load training to target all the different types of muscle fibers.  Heavy weights and low repetitions stimulate the growth of fast twitch muscle fibers which contribute to strength.  Moderate load training for higher repetitions targets type 2A muscle fibers, which do not have a large role in strength but have a large aesthetic growth potential.  Basically these type 2A fibers are the “show muscles” seen on body builders but not on power lifters.

 

SupplementationSupplements are the “extra ingredients” that make all the difference in gaining healthy mass!

Ajit supplemented with creatine , L-glutamine , and magnesium glycinate.   For detailed information on how these supplements helped him pack on lean muscle mass check out www.exuberancelife.com.

 

Final thoughts

Although Ajit fell short of his initial (albeit extremely optimistic) goal of 15 lbs, he was able to put on a respectable seven pounds of “clean” muscle.  If gaining mass is your goal, Ajit recommends a high caloric intake coupled with high intensity training and proper supplementation.  Remember that eating is your priority, treat it like it’s your job, and you will be watching the scales move in no time!

 

Ajit Johal is a registered pharmacist, and co-founder of a new health/wellness website created by healthcare professionals called www.exuberancelife.com.

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Dramatic Transformation Principle

Ok boys and girls, this is my first post so I hope you like it. After months of going back and forth, sharing progress reports, photos, and ridiculous conversations, Bear has convinced me to make a blog post. Time to put aside the med school text books and hit the world of blogging.

This is only about half of them.

Anyway, over the past couple of years I have never followed a strict routine at the gym. I added in exercises here and there, made some adjustments and did what I thought worked best for my body. My diet has been relatively healthy and stable even with the limited time I have in school. Until recently, this satisfied me, but after time everyone hits a plateau, I have reached mine. So I figured it was time to try something I read about during the summer, the Dramatic Transformation Principle. In short, this 4 week program is a combination of high reps and high weights. There are 4 days of weight lifting each week, with a cardio day separating each of those days. You have to leave your ego at the door, no more maxing your bench press, sorry dudes.

  • Day 1: Legs, Upper Abs
  • Day 2: Cardio
  • Day 3: Chest, Back
  • Day 4: Cardio
  • Day 5: Arms, Lower Abs
  • Day 6: Cardio
  • Day 7: Shoulders, Upper Traps

 

I wont describe that many more details of the actual program because the link I provided has everything you need to know about it.

As of right now, I weigh approximately 178lbs, max bench press (with the bar): 245lbs, incline bench (dumbbell total): 220lbs, squat: 265lbs. Deadlift: Not sure sure since I have never gone for a max.

Day 2- Ill try and get a back picture uploaded

Currently, I just finished day 2/28. Day 1 was a total of 360 reps of leg press, 220 reps of calf press, and decline crunches

It’s pretty tough to pick a good weight to start with because of the amount of reps you are doing, and the superset with calf press, but you get the hang of it quickly. The point is to end each set to failure with 45sec to 1.5 min breaks. The work out takes about 45 minutes to complete.

  • Leg Press 10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 reps
Today was day 2/28. It was weird going to the gym and not lifting a weight but I want to follow this program as closely as possible. The program suggests different forms to complete the cardio and I chose the treadmill.
3 minutes jogging, then 1 minute of running for a total of 20 minutes.
I started my 3 minute jog at 10km/h, and my 1 minute sprint at 14 km/h. I worked myself up to a 14km/h jog and 18km/h run for the last 2 cycles. I always put the treadmill on an incline of 1 just to make it a little more realistic to running on flat ground.
As of now, my legs are still sore, but I can’t wait for tomorrow, chest and back day!

 

In terms of diet, I am trying to eat as healthy as possible. Of course there are going to be some slip ups for those nights out, or going to restaurants; but for the most part it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
For this 4 week program I will be on whey protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s and using 1MR for my pre-workout.

Supplements

Well, it’s time to finish cooking up this week’s meals and then get back to the books. Stay tuned, results of the DTP challenge will be posted in 4 weeks time! Happy Hulking!

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Mass March 2.0

Well, it’s that time of year again.

Mass March 2013

New Age Hero’s most popular segment is returning for its second annual installment, as I, Bear Johal, will try and defend my weightgaining title in the gluttonous battle of 30 day bulking. I welcome anyone to join in the festive occasion of Mass March.

 Why We Do It?

I get asked this question quite often; it’s expensive, uncomfortable, and doesn’t exactly produce the most aesthetically pleasing result. The reason is transformation. There’s something strangely rewarding about being able to change your physique at will. Although the more conventional way is to get skinny, that road is just too played out–plus there’s nothing fun about eating salads all day. Mass March is a first hand investigation of human transformation and, for the contestants, a chance at fighting their ectomorphic genetics to pack on as many pounds of muscle (and fat) as possible. The fact of the matter is, the body needs fuel to build muscle and get stronger–we can worry about getting rid of the excess fat later.

This year will feature 2 new contestants from the medical field to accompany myself and Deep Dan, making it an all out brouhaha.

Who Will Win Mass March?

Please Predict your Mass March 2014 Winner

  • Ajit Johal - reigning champ and registered pharmacist (33%, 5 Votes)
  • Peter Bleszynski - med school student who lives in the gym (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Bear Johal - puts real life on hold for Mass March (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Jordan Calvert - has never taken a day off (7%, 1 Votes)
  • Billy Quirke - always up for a challenge (6%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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The Contestants of Mass March

Contestant 1

Heyyyy mamma rock me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bear Johal
Reigning champ (11.8lbs)
City of residence: Poitiers, France
Starting weight (February 28): 73kg (160lbs)
Mass Goal: 5.5kg (12lbs)

Methods

Diet: GOMAD (Gallon of Milk a Day), 6 eggs a day, ~4,000 calories a day

Workout: 3 days a week (Push/Pull/Legs split) Dangerously heavy weight, low reps

 

Contestant 2

Why so serious?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Dan
Reigning 2nd Place (8lbs)
City of Residence: Victoria, Canada
Starting Weight (February 28): 84kg (185lbs)
Mass Goal: 4.6kg (10lbs)

Methods

Diet: Olive oil, red meat, and cheerios, ~4,000 calories a day

Workout: 5 days a week (Shoulders/Arms/Legs/Back/Chest) Low rep legs, high rep arms

 

Contestant 3

the 5am club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ajit Johal
Pharmacist and co-founder of exuberancelife.com (and brother of the legendary Bear Johal)
City of residence: Vancouver, Canada
Starting weight (February 28): 77kg (170lbs)
Mass Goal: 6.8kg (15lbs)

Methods

Diet: Protein, fats, low Gi carbs, Cunningham Equation (5,000 calories on workout days, 4,000 calories on rest days), no alcohol

Workout: 4 days a week (upper/lower) low rep for fast twitch muscle fibers and moderate load for type 2a fibers

 

Contestant 4

What's a leg day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Sethi
Medical Doctor and co-founder of exuberancelife.com
City of residence: Toronto, Ontario
Starting weight (February 28): 72kg (158lbs)
Mass Goal: 6.8kg (15lbs)

Methods

Diet: “WIDD (Wolf it Down Diet)” 3,000+ calories a day, Gluten-free Paleo, high protein+fat, carb-cycling, no alcohol

Workout: 6 days a week (2 phases, 2 week cycle) phase 1 – endurance/neural stimulating, phase 2 – muscle hypertrophy

 

Mass March has begun!

Friends, readers, and fellow gym goers, I welcome you to join the movement. Post your goals and methods in the comment section and happy bulking!

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