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  1. #1
    David B.'s Avatar
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    Mid-Cycle Doldrums (repost)

    So, where did I screw up?

    I'm at the end of week five of my first cycle. I'm 46 years old, started at 230 lbs @ 5'10" at ~20% BF, been lifting for six years. My cycle consists of 400 mg of EQ/week, 500 mg of test. enanthate /week, and 50 mg/day of Reforvit-B (d-bol) tabs for the first four weeks. The EQ is Ttokkyo, the test. is Tornel T-200. I dart myself twice a week, Sunday morning and Wednesday morning. I have Nolvadex on hand in case of gyno (no symptoms so far...) and Clomid for after cycle recovery.

    For the first week I didn't feel much except for the flush from all the B-12 in the Ref-B tabs, but felt reasonably strong in the gym and gained ten pounds (of water?) right off the bat. Week two saw the d-bol kick in, amazing upper body pumps, good motivation in the gym. Week three and the d-bol bloat set in, a tendency towards cramping, and loss of flexibility. By week four I had so much upper body stiffness that I could barely get my arms back far enough to hold the bar on my shoulder when squatting.

    I was also injury-prone. On the first day of week two, leg day, I did something to my lower back while squatting, probably a momentary lapse in form or a distraction of some sort. I didn't feel it when it happened, but by the end of my workout I could barely walk, the dull pain in my lumbar region hurt so bad. It's taken three weeks for me to recover from that apparent lower back strain, with a lot of help from soaking in a steaming hot bathtub. I also pulled something in my neck when trying to hoist up the dumbbells before a set of seated dumbbell shoulder presses that week, which has since healed.

    After the end of week four I discontinued the Ref-B tabs, and the bloat has subsided and my flexibility is returning.

    But my weight is stalled at 245 lbs.

    I keep hoping for that famous EQ hunger to kick in, but it hasn't happened. Eating has become a chore. I feel like Mr. Creosote from "The Meaning of Life," it would only take one more wafer thin mint to make me explode. I am never hungry. Heck, even as I write this I'm avoiding a grilled chicken breast that's getting cold in my kitchen.

    Here's a sample of my daily food intake:

    Breakfast:

    4-egg omelette with 4 strips of bacon and some grated cheddar

    <morning workout Monday through Thursday, 3.5 mile walk on non-workout days>

    Apres workout:

    a banana and an EAS protein bar (25g protein) eaten in my car before I leave the gym parking lot

    Lunch:

    whatever I can throw together in the kitchen at work -- maybe a grilled chicken breast, or a couple of cheeseburger patties, or a big plate of tacos (at least six) w/shredded beef, or usually a big taco salad with about a half pound of shredded beef

    Late afternoon snack:

    Protein shake -- 2 scoops of Optimum Whey chocolate w/ an egg

    Dinner:

    a steak or a chicken breast, w/ baked potato or salad or steamed asparagus

    Late night snack:

    another Protein shake.


    Disappointed with the results from that diet, I have, over the weeks, upped the omelette to five eggs and five strips of bacon, and then this week upped it again to six and six. I also started adding two eggs to the protein shakes, and this week upped it again to three eggs, and I've started making the shakes with 2 cups of 1% milk instead of water. This week I also added a half-cup serving of oatmeal to the breakfast, which doesn't make it any easier to choke down all of that six-egg omelette.

    I allow myself two cheat meals per week -- pizza for dinner on Friday night, and pork fried rice from the neighborhood Chinese take-out for Sunday lunch. For the first couple of weeks I had a tendency to skip breakfast on non-workout days, but I've nipped that bad habit right in the bud.

    Due to the back pain, I discontinued the morning walks on non-workout days, because I could go for only about half a mile before I had to sit down and stretch. It felt as though every step was winding up my lower back like a watch spring. Today was the first day I've been able to complete the 3.5 mile "one lap of Hillcrest" walk in several weeks.

    My results in the gym have been mixed. My big lifts are only up a modest amount, but I've made miraculous increases on some "assistance" lifts. Bench, squat, and bent over BB row are only up about 20 pounds each, but I've added a whopping fifty pounds to my incline press (BB), with strong improvements on DB flies, low cable rows, and other secondary lifts. I've avoided deadlifts and SL deads due to the aforementioned back problem, but I think I'm ready to resume deadlifting this week or next.

    I see some improved size across my chest and back and shoulders, offset by a similar increase in the size of my gut. This week my testicles finally flew south for the winter, but it's sort of a relief to have those guys go on vacation for a while. Apart from the sides from the d-bol that I reported above, and one ugly "third eye" zit on my upper chest, I haven't felt anything "kick in" so to speak, although I've had some large mood swings this week. Hair loss is not an issue, I have no male-pattern baldness at all, even at age 46. I haven't experienced any prostate symptoms either. I'm still waiting for that EQ hunger though.

    My goals are pretty vague. I don't consider myself to be either a bodybuilder or a powerlifter. I don't have any particular desire to ever drop below 12-15% BF, and I doubt that I have the character to ever get to the point where I could compete in regional Masters PL meets. I guess I'm just a "bigorexic," what I care about is seeing increased numbers in the gym and on the cloth tape measure. I had hoped to get my arms to approach 19", and chest 50", on this cycle; they're presently 18 1/4" and 49".

    Somehow I've got to salvage this rather mediocre cycle. I figger it's all down to not enough food, but I feel like I'm already choking down all I can stomach without puking.

    Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

    --dnb

  2. #2
    Pheedno is offline Respected Member
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    Hey bro, my EQ hunger kicked in right about week five, and it comes and goes att this point. You still have 8wks left of juice flowing so stagnate Lbs, allthough dissapointing right now, can probably be overcome with some changes in routine.
    1.Diet, your scarfing the food down to the point of exhaustion. My advice would be to count the calories to a T on any particular day. See if those are suffecient. If not, add things that don't fill you up, but add on calories(example-Tblspn. of flax oil before breakfast adds 120 calories)

    2. Training-are you over training. I had this problem with stagnate weight. I took 5 days off in 14(2 weekends and a Tuesday) and my weight started to rise again. So check your training(not only days, but amount of time in the gym each of those days). Possibly change your split up. What is your split?

    3. Rest- Are you getting your sleep? Some guys can grow off 3hrs, some off 12. Depends on the person, but something to at least look at.

  3. #3
    David B.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pheedno
    Hey bro, my EQ hunger kicked in right about week five, and it comes and goes att this point. You still have 8wks left of juice flowing so stagnate Lbs, allthough dissapointing right now, can probably be overcome with some changes in routine.
    It's almost the end of week seven now, and I've still never had so much as a hint of EQ hunger, and am still stagnating between 245 and 250.

    1.Diet, your scarfing the food down to the point of exhaustion. My advice would be to count the calories to a T on any particular day. See if those are suffecient. If not, add things that don't fill you up, but add on calories(example-Tblspn. of flax oil before breakfast adds 120 calories)
    Good ideas. I hate to think that the sick-making volume of food I'm stuffing into myself is only the maintenance level for 250. I wish I could find a cheap, nutritious substitute for those breakfast eggs, that's the most filling thing in my diet right now.

    2. Training-are you over training. I had this problem with stagnate weight. I took 5 days off in 14(2 weekends and a Tuesday) and my weight started to rise again. So check your training(not only days, but amount of time in the gym each of those days). Possibly change your split up. What is your split?
    My split:

    Monday: Legs
    Tuesday: Chest and "push" Shoulder
    Wednesday: "Pull" Shoulder and Back
    Thursday: Arms, plus some abs, hypers, and calves
    Fri-Sun: rest

    Lemme explain the shoulder split -- my shoulders are injury prone, but I've found that if I do front and medial delt work on shoulder day and rear delt and traps on back day, I can push it without hurting myself.

    I know the four on/three off schedule isn't ideal, but it fits my work schedule, which always gets more hectic toward the end of the week. I do morning workouts -- get up about 8:30-9:00, fix breakfast, read a little e-mail just long enough to let my food settle, drag my ass to the gym about 11:00-11:30, come home about an hour later, finish reading my e-mail and read this board for a while, go to work at 2:00, fix some lunch at work, come home about 4:30-5:00, eat a protein shake, watch some TV, eat dinner about 7:00-7:30, go to work about 9:00 (split shift, I go to and from work twice per day), come home about 12:30-1:30AM, drink a protein shake, do some web surfing, watch a little TV until I wind down, abuse the cats, and go to sleep. Then, occasionally, in one of those brief gaps where I have some free time, I may try to work in a little bit of HAVING A FREAKIN' LIFE...

    3. Rest- Are you getting your sleep? Some guys can grow off 3hrs, some off 12. Depends on the person, but something to at least look at.
    This may be a problem for me. I work nights, kinda late, so when I get home it takes me a while to wind down and for the caffeine to wear off, then I collapse in bed. But it seems that no matter what time I fall asleep, I always wake up at 8:30-9:00, without an alarm. Maybe it's the two cats demanding to be fed, despite the fact that they've been out killing and eating various small fuzzy things all night.

    Thanks for your response.

    --dnb

  4. #4
    David B.'s Avatar
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    Reviewing at my own message, it looks like my diet is pretty lopsided. Seems like I get most of my calories and protein from the omelette and the two shakes, with lunch and dinner almost insignificant in comparison. My biggest missed meal opportunity looks like the time between dinner and the after-midnight shake, if I could get something down between 10:00PM and 11:00PM then maybe I could lighten up that omelette a little. I'm at work at that time, usually kind of busy, so I need to find something that I can prepare in advance and take with me. Maybe a fat tuna sandwich would do? Any ideas or suggestions?

    --dnb

  5. #5
    Pheedno is offline Respected Member
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    Shit bro, when I'm at work. I take a protein shake with 4 servings of oatmeal or 3 servings of grapenuts. It's easy, only requires water, tastes pretty good, and is 860 calories. It's always better to get protein from real food but sometimes it's just not possible. Eat your meat at home and do whats convenient while at work.

    The training split looks like it allows plenty of rest so your probably good to go on that aspect.

    Rst like you said could be factoring in some. Depends though, are yiu tired during the day? Some people can grow on 4hrs of sleep. It's like my training partner. He runs 15miles a day, and lifts weights along with a 12hr. shift at work and grows muscle like fungus on a baseball players shower flops.


    The thing I would ask my self is--Have I increased my calories since I gained this 15Lbs. If your eating the same amount at 245 as you were at 230, then thats your problem.

  6. #6
    David B.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pheedno
    The thing I would ask my self is--Have I increased my calories since I gained this 15Lbs. If your eating the same amount at 245 as you were at 230, then thats your problem.
    Actually, I didn't start any of the diet tweaking until after the weight gains stalled. The 230-245 weight jump was during the first two or three weeks of the cycle, when I was on d-bol. It happened so quickly, and I felt so bloated, that I just assumed it was all water. But after discontinuing the d-bol, the water weight gain seems to have been replaced by real lean (and fat...) growth.

    --dnb

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