February is over. Time to assess how I fared in my self imposed Fitness February and do a 6 week wrap up of my experiences on The 4-Hour Body.
Fitness February Goals
Visit the Doctor - Done (barely). I was slack for this. I only ended up seeing the Doctor yesterday and even that was for another problem. I have been referred to a specialist though and through that I will get my blood taken and some test done to get a good snapshot of my health and fitness, which was the whole point.
Visit a Feldenkrais expert/Physio/Chiropractor - Not done. I have no excuse here apart from a lack of motivation. I really did want to go but it felt like other important things kept popping up and physio took a back seat. It is still on my to-do list though.
Trim Body Fat - Done. I definitely trimmed down over February, dropping several centimetres from my hips and waist. For more information scroll down to the 4 Hour Body section.
Build Muscle - Done. While losing a bit of fat I managed to gain weight still which was mostly muscle. I gained several centimetres, especially on my chest and my arms and shoulders are definitely more defined. See the 4 Hour Body section for more details.
Run better - Done. I only completed two full runs over 5kms but I also did several short practice sessions on the treadmill to work on my running style. My first run was on 18/02 for 5.38km in 34:03 which is an average pace of 6:20 minutes per kilometre. My second run was 5.47km in 30:41 which is an average of 5:37 minutes per kilometre, smashing my goal of wanting to run 5km in 30 minutes.
My 4 Hour Body Journey
I have had pretty good success with The 4-Hour Body concepts. I definitely lost weight on the Slow Carb Diet, and I have gained some muscle following the Occam’s Protocol after struggling early on but that was simply because I was not eating enough food.
My Measurement Changes
Left Bicep (cm): 32.5 >>> 32.5 (no change)
Right Bicep (cm): 33 >>> 33 (no change)
Chest (cm): 99.5 >>>102.5 (+3cm)
Waist (cm): 88.5 >>> 83cm (-5cm)
Hips (cm): 93 >>> 90.5 (-2cm)
Weight (kg): 84.3 >>> 82.9
Body Fat (%): 17.5 >>> 14.0
Note: I did not follow the supplement plan given for gaining mass with Occam’s Protocol. I went natural (except for some protein powder) so that means no Glutamine, NO-Xplode, PAGG etc. Which could well be the reason why my muscle gain was no where near the effects described in the book.
Close Grip Pull Down(kg): 40 >>> 60 (+ 50%) Shoulder Press (kg): 20 >>> 35 (+ 75%) Bench Press (kg): 25 >>> 40 (+ 60%) Leg Press (kg): 90 >>> 130 ( +44%)
I made significant gains in strength across the board. All from only 11 short work outs! Impressive.
Before and After Photos
There is not too much noticeable difference here but I promise it is there. I thinned down quickly around my waist and hips (losing 3kg in under 2 weeks) and then slowly gained size, especially across my shoulders and chest. Sophie has commented several times on my changed size and shape so unless she is just fanning my ego it appears my results are noticeable to others.
A good February. I achieved most of my goals and am definitely feeling fitter, healthier and happier because of it. My 4 Hour Body experiment was an overall success even though I did not turn into the Hulk. I enjoyed only spending an hour at the gym every week and still getting results. Much better than slaving away at the gym for hours on end. Less effort, same results.
I am going to take a little break from the gym to rest a few niggles I have picked up along the way (mainly a tight back which I think was me trying to be a he-man with the kettlebells). After that I will re-start my bulking routine, probably changing up a few exercises. I am not a big fan of the close-grip pull down so that will be the first to go.
The diet will continue. I modified it heavily to increase my food intake for bulking and now it has become habit. Its not a diet anymore but just my lifestyle. I am also considering trialling the Paleo diet/lifestyle. Maybe that is another experiment I can run sometime in the near future.