This is the second post in my superhero bulking journey series.
If you just got to this page and would like to read from the beginning in the series, go to part one here.
As I am writing this I am about 5 weeks into the Kinobody superhero bulking program. The total length of the program is 8 months.
First of all, it has been really great to start eating more calories than I did before when I was cutting.
Regarding my lifts, I have made good progress even though I didn’t train quite as often as I should between Christmas and New Years.
I live in Beijing and I was home in Copenhagen, Denmark to visit my family.
I did go to the gym twice so it is not a big deal. Had to make sure those Christmas calories was put to good use lol!
However, I did have some problems with training legs which means I regretfully have to modify the program.
All in all, besides the problems with my legs (they were completely destroyed) I feel great following the program!
The biggest thing that happened in the past was I finally broke my PR on standing barbell press. I was able to do 70 kg for 4 reps (this is more than my bodyweight).
Shoulders have long been a strong part for me and looking back it is funny to see that I have lost a lot of strength in my bench and incline bench press compared to one year ago, but I have gained strength to my standing barbell press.
The Superhero Bulking Workout And Nutrition Protocol
Explained very briefly, the Kinobody Superhero Bulking Program uses a 3-day split program with three training days per week.
The program uses four phases each 2 months long where different muscles are emphasized in the training.
The program puts a lot of volume on upper body movements and less volume on legs. This is because the purpose of the program is to build a superhero type body, which requires more work for the upper body than legs.
Since it is bulking program, you of course have to eat at a calorie surplus. But it is controlled and relatively small surplus.
Also because the program is for more advanced people where the potential muscle growth is smaller the calorie surplus needs to be adjusted accordingly.
The program uses calorie partitioning or cycling with higher calories on training days and encourages the use of strategic undereating to maintain a relatively low weekly surplus calories, e.g. 1100 calories.
All the nutrition principles used in this program I actually cover extensively in my free mini-book on diet and nutrition.
My Annoying Leg Problem
3.5 years ago I injured my calf muscles. Worst was in the right calf. I believe it was a combination of overtraining from doing too much CrossFit and being stupid enough to just train through the injury.
The result was very bad and I couldn’t walk normally for 2-3 months. The first month I couldn’t even sit straight without being on pain medication.
2.5 years ago I hurt my two upper thigh muscles doing some heavy front squats. It was painful, but nothing like my calf injury. It was more like close to an extended and extreme case of doms (delayed onset muscle soreness).
However, the past year my thigh problem has come back with a great vengeance! Every time I do moderate to intense leg training I get completely destroyed in my legs.
Not only do I have to lay off any direct leg training for a whole week, but it also messes with doing other heavy compound lifts for a few days.
Going into this program I thought I had the problem solved, and four weeks ago I did some leg exercises as the program instructs.
The pain I got which peaked around 3-4 days after was terrible and I basically could not lift anything heavy without getting major pain. It felt like someone stabbing my legs with a knife.
Until being more confident with my legs, I can’t do any heavy leg exercises and from this perspective, I have to modify the program.
Instead, I will be doing some yoga-style stretching and strengthening exercises for my legs.
Actually, because of the leg pain, I couldn’t go to the gym for a whole week and I obviously slowed down my gains.
The 2018 Kinobody Transformation Challenge
Like last year the Kinobody team has made a cool transformation challenge.
The idea is that you follow one of the Kinobody courses for three months and document progress most importantly take before and after photos.
The winners get cool prizes.
I decided that it would be a great idea to join the challenge as it coincides with this series of posts.
So I joined it.
If you are interested in joining as well the deadline for joining is 8 of January.
As I already have some decent strength and muscle, the changes I will get in the next three months are probably not as big or as visible as more inexperienced people.
With this in mind, I am not sure of how high hopes I should have of winning anything :p
My body weight has gone from 66 kg to 67,5 kg.
Taking into consideration that the 66 kg was just at the end of my cut, the increase to 67,5 is not bad at all. Increase in body weight is to be expected when a fat loss diet is over. More calories and food volume and how it binds more water in the body can account for a significant weight increase.
My waist has gone from 75,7 cm to 77,5 cm.
In just about 5 weeks this is a big increase and is actually not good. I am not sure whether bloating and stress from flying and changing time zones (Copenhagen to Beijing) could affect my waist measurement. But as I in the next coming week will get used to the time zone I will find out.
My chest measurement has amazingly increased from 101,6 cm to 104 cm.
I am sure this is partly due to the fact that I before was eating at a deficit and now I am eating at a slight surplus. This rebuilds muscle glycogen stores and intramuscular lipids (This is fat around the skeletal muscles, think of the fat in steak).
Shoulder width increased from 52 cm to 52,1.
Maybe not an increase at all but just an inaccuracy in the measurement.
Arm circumference changed from right arm: decrease of 36,5 to 36,3 and left arm: increase of 35,5 to 35,7.
The difference in arm circumferences has been reduced! But that wasn’t really the point.
Painfully embarrassing I have to admit I completely forgot about taking measurements with the fat percentage Caliper. So I have no other measurement to compare with, but I will have for the future.
I measured my skinfold around the waist to be 9 mm.
Progress In My Lifts
All the lifts below are done using reverse pyramid training, and I only count the first and heaviest set. Subsequent sets are mostly in the 6-8 and 8-10 rep ranges.
My Incline bench press went from 88 kg for 5 reps to 90 kg for 4 reps.
Normal bench press increased actually stayed the same which is 85 for 6 reps.
On Standing barbell press I went from 66,5 kg for 6 reps to 70 kg for 4 reps. This is a PR and I am really excited about that fast progress.
Weighted pull-ups increased from 32,5 for 6 reps to 34 for 6 reps.
Doing cable curls, I have increased the weight from 50 kg for 6 reps to 52,5 for 6 reps.
The program instructs doing incline dumbbell curls as default, but I feel that the exercise puts too much strain on my forearm so I have done cable curls instead.
For triceps, I have done cable extensions, but I actually didn’t increase the weight as I feel my form haven’t been good enough. I have done 60 kg for 8 reps.
No squats. Luckily, I still carry some size in my legs which goes back to doing an insane amount of squatting when I was doing CrossFit a few year ago. I guess I also maintain some level of strength through indirect work in other compound movements.
Check Out The Next Part Of My Superhero Bulking Journey. Click Here For Part 3.