It’s incredible what a difference a week can make when it comes to training. In my quest to go from a skinny guy to a guy with huge muscle and a gravity defying six pack, I was expecting it to be at least 3 weeks until I was really feeling the benefits. Colour me impressed with the way I am feeling after only 1 week.
Reading through comments left on the Shortcut to Shred program, it was made clear that results would come quickly in terms of cardio improvement, especially for those of the ectomorph disposition. Yet it was not suggested that the process of building muscle would have a similar impact.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not struggling to fit through the door due to an impossibly wide back or struggling to point to the beach due to the mountains growing where most peoples biceps are, but I do feel as though my gains from the previous program have become re-engaged. My chest feels fuller and tighter, my traps are suffering major DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness – that feeling of pain that usually kicks in a day or 2 after working a particular body part) and my arms feel as though they are adding to, as opposed to being disguised by, my t-shirt sleeves.
I’m sure numerous skinny folk can agree, that feeling is the one that matters, regardless of external pressures. Already I feel as though I am walking taller and that is great to experience.
The second half of week 1, as with the remaining weeks of this program, saw a shift in focus. Gone were the heavy weight compound exercises, replaced with lower weight isolation activities. This provides 2 benefits. Firstly, it ensures that during the duration of the program the 3 seperate muscle fibers are being worked. Secondly, research has shown this kind of training boosts muscle growth.
This provided a different challenge. My strength is still not where it needs to be, and rest-pause came into play a lot. However, thanks to the regular intake of creatine, I was far more intense than the previous 3 days. I imagine it was similar to how Popeye used to react after eating a tin of spinach.
The cardio acceleration element of the program has seen a huge improvement. I’m going quicker and more intense through the activities. My coordination is better and I’m lasting longer than the recommended 60 seconds in between weight lifting sets. Being strong at cardio is a natural trait of ectomorphs, but the improvements happening so quickly is a still a nice surpise. The added bonus of coordination development adds the cherry to the top of the cake.
Due to how the nutrition plan has been laid out, I was not expecting to see much of a drop in bodyfat after the first week. The 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight equals the following;
- 3 servings of rice,
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread,
- 2 bananas,
- 2 servings of spinach,
- 1 serving of broccoli and
- Added carbs to protein shakes.
That’s not to mention the additional fats and proteins I am required to eat, working out at roughly 2,700 calroies a day. As of week 2, where the carb intake decreases to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, I fully expect the fat to start melting off the mid-section.
Saying that, there have been some minor moves in the right direction. My weight is down 2lbs to 169lbs, my body fat percentage has decreased, albeit slightly, and I’m lifting heavier. Below are my pics at the end of week 1, with my starting pics available on the preview post.
As you can see, there is not much change at all to the naked eye.
Later this week I’ll be discussing the nutritional recommendations for Shortcut to Shred, how and why they work and how I am using these to consume the right foods. Until then, share your comments and stay strong
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