A Five Week Personal Challenge

As most of you know I’m not a figure/fitness competitor.  Although I do admire those who do what it takes to prepare for competition, I’ve never felt the lure of the stage myself.  When people ask me if I compete I just tell them I’m allergic to lucite shoes so it’s impossible.  If I was going to give a real answer I’d have to say I’m a little shy.  I don’t enjoy being in the spotlight and I definitely don’t relish being in the spotlight while being looked up and down by a panel of strangers whose job is to discover what’s wrong with my physique.  No thanks!  I like to train because it makes me feel good.  It keeps stress at bay and helps me move through the challenges of life in a calm way.  Muscles are an added bonus.  I like the way they look on my frame.  I do what I do to please myself and not to meet someone else’s standard of “good, better, best.”

That being said, I know that an upcoming competition can be a motivating factor for gym rats like me.  Over the years I’ve offered myself a variety of challenges to keep my interest peaked.  I’ve run a couple of 5K’s ( I got a first and a third), I’ve done Zumba, kickboxing,  pullup contests (against myself) and squat contests.  All of them offered a little extra push to get me going on gym days.  Five weeks ago I decided to try leaning out.  I wanted to see if I could get very cut without losing too much muscle.  That meant I had to approach my cut very judiciously.  My body loves skinny and will take any opportunity to drop mass.   For four weeks, I relied on heavy cardio (5-6 times a week of hour-long sessions…moderate intensity, no HIIT) and then for the last week I researched and found the following article which I used as a base for my final 5 days.


Now this article was only a guide.  I just needed to know the basics and then as I do with most things I modified it to better fit myself. I manipulated my carb intake but on the high carb day at the end, I relied on fruit (as suggested by the article) as part of my first two meals then switched to white rice/potatoes as an accompaniment to my subsequent meals.  Over the day I did not consume the rather large amount of carbs they suggested since I’m a 110lb woman and the article was written for much heavier men and I don’t like to create big spikes in my blood sugar…easy and gentle is more my style.  I reasoned that the marked difference in the amount of carbs I was eating before that day and on that day was enough.  I didn’t use the glycerol or drink soda as the article recommended either.  I  also avoided the Epsom salt bath.  In terms of the water manipulation that week, I did increase my water intake for the first days of the week as the article suggested but I wasn’t drinking anywhere near 3 gallons (again, the article was written for larger men). When it came time to cut off water intake (which was only for a very safe 15 hours…most of those overnight) I allowed myself little sips which was more a psychological boost since I wasn’t a bit thirsty anyway, but again, easy and gentle is my style.

My experiment ended last Friday and I remembered to take some photos on Saturday afternoon (by then, after more than 24 hours of regular eating/drinking I was a little less cut but you could still see reasonable results).

Here I am looking to the right…

And now here I am looking to the left…

Now I’m looking forward….

And now backwards..

Ha!  Jus’ a lil joke…

I really did get some results out of my experiment.  It was nice to see some new striations and look a little harder for a while.  I’m now back to my regular fall routine…..at least until I get bored and start looking for yet another challenge!


15 responses

  1. Hello Beautiful!!!! LOOKING AWESOME!!!! Wow what progress you made! RIPPED UP!!!!!

    1. Thanks! It was an interesting (and painless) experiment. I wanted to see if I could really see any changes if I upped my cardio and gave that T-Nation technique a try. I was happy with the results…now I’m doing my regular fall gym thing but the effects are still visible…an added bonus!! Happy Friday!

  2. Good post, & I love using TNation articles on my blog as a they present a diff prospective on training and such. Thanks again for sharing

    1. Hi! This article was a good find for me. It was very helpful in getting me to my goal. I did make some adjustments to suit my specific body/weight but the article was an excellent guide. I was quite happy with the results and I just might do it again before a beach trip next year. Glad you stopped by!

  3. Hey Doc, Found your Blog. (kinda obvious huh?) Pretty cool. Looks like some good info. – Stay Strong

    1. Thank you so much! It’s nice to have a specific goal to work towards at times. It keeps me going…especially after 20 years doing the same old thing can get a bit boring…

  4. Back looks great…wow..perfection

    1. It was a very interesting experiment for me. I know bodybuilders do this sort of carb/water manipulation before shows but I never thought to try it myself. I’m glad I did. Thank you for the nice feedback. How are your workouts going?

  5. What a great thing to do, Lynn!! Your back is beautiful and so striated! I did a very sloppy comp-style routine before my photo shoot in 2012. Since I want to do another photo shoot in Spring 2013, I’m thinking I will do something similar to what you did to see just how ripped I can get and how muscular I REALLY am when I take such drastic measures. It’s fun to change things up, do challenges…keep things fresh!! You’re a wonderful inspiration and your positive attitude and fun spirit are so refreshing! Keep doing what you do, because whatever it is, you’re always AMAZING at it!

    1. Brooke this was a really interesting experiment for me. I couldn’t quite go whole hog since my body is very sensitive and I’m afraid to really dramatically manipulate my body chemistry. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the results I got even doing an amended version of the recommendations in the article. On another note, I want to thank you for all the kindness and support you show me (and lots of other people). You know I think you’re wonderful and it’s my pleasure to count you among my friends.

  6. Awesome! I always enjoy reading your posts. I always wondered why you don’t compete. I know you have your hands full with the family, but you should try it, I’m sure they will love it too.

    1. Hi Al…It’s just that darn lucite allergy that keeps me off the stage, I swear! Lol…

  7. You look fantastic!

    1. Thank you, thank you…it was fun trying something new. I thought the carb cycling would be awful but it wasn’t bad at all…plus the real concentration on diet was only for a week…that’s good for someone with my attention span. lol…

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