Bigger Smaller Bigger

by with John Berardi & Martin Rooney

I Look Dead


– 8:00 AM –

I slept like shit last night.

I woke up twice – once at midnight and once at 4:00 AM — to my stomach growling. Normally, I keep a glass of water on a small table next to me bed. Not last night.

But I fumbled around for a glass anyway and ended up knocking over my lamp, which woke Richelle up too. Might as well make another person suffer through this stuff with me, right?

I ended up falling back asleep but, despite my intent to sleep, in I woke up again at 7:00 AM and couldn’t turn back off.

So here I am, at 8:00 AM, writing while Richelle sleeps.

The good news? Despite my sleepless night, I’m close to my goal of losing 20 pounds in 5 days. This morning I weighed in at 173 and sent both Martin and JB a text letting them know.

JB hit me up first.

Sweet, one more sauna should do it. Stay light!

Then Martin’s text came through.

You are there. Stay strong. Remember, THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Do your sauna close to 4 so you won’t suffer much.

That’s good advice.

So if it’s 8:00 AM right now and I need to do the sauna at 4:00 and weigh in at 5:00… I have eight hours to do absolutely nothing.

And considering how much energy I have, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Nothing.

Time to cue up some movies, throw on my hoodie, and sit here feeling horrible till I go sweat out these last few pounds.

170 here I come.

– 5:05 PM –

Weight: 169.7

Well, I made it. After another 30 minutes in the sauna, I’m officially back to where I started four weeks ago. And I feel like absolute dog shit. I look very, very sick. Like, cancer sick. My face is all drawn and tight and I have no color in my skin. I’ve had maybe four small sips of water the entire day.

Day 33 (after depletion) — 169.7 lbs

And now I have to go run, jump, and lift stuff.

I’m an injury waiting to happen right now. I’m going to be decapitated by a barbell. I’m going to fly off the treadmill and fracture my hip like an 80-year old. I can feel it.

When most fighters, like MMA athletes, cut weight before their fight, they only do it for their weigh-ins. They don’t do any physical activity — especially strenuous activity — until a few hours later or even the next day when they’re fully re-hydrated. That would be incredibly stupid.

Well, guess who’s stupid?

I have no idea how my tests are gonna go. I predict there will be a significant decrease in performance.

But anyone with a brain could have told you that.

– 9:30 PM –

Weight: 179 pounds

I’ve gained 9 pounds in the past 3 hours thanks to my re-hydration protocol and a huge dinner.

But first, let me tell you about the “dehydrated” testing.

In one word: pathetic.

Not only were all of my stats worse than last week, they were all worse than four weeks ago when I first started this experiment.

Day 0 Day 28 Day 33 Day 34
Weight 169.6 190.2 169.7
Girth Measurements
Neck 15.25 15.38 14.38
Shoulder 48 49.25 47.75
Chest 41.5 44 43.25
Upper Arm 14.75 16 15.13
Waist 31.5 32.25 31
Hip 38 39.5 38
Thigh 23.13 24.25 23.5
Calf 15.5 15.38 15
Body Fat Measurements
Mid-Ax 2.8 3.8 2.8
Cheek 2.8 5.7 5.7
Chest 2.8 4.7 1.9
Ab 7.6 3.8 6.7
Subscap 5.7 7.6 5.7
Triceps 2.8 3.8 2.8
Suprailiac 2.8 4.7 4.7
Knee 5.7 2.8 3.8
Hamstring 3.8 4.7 2.8
Calf 9.5 6.7 7.6
Body Fat (%) 3.03 (probably ~6) 4.1 (probably ~7) 3.2 (probably ~6)
Vertical Jump
Jump 1 25″ 31″ 26″
Jump 2 29″ 32″ 29″
Jump 3 30″ 32″ 28″
Average 28″ 31.7″ 27.6″
225 lb Bench Press
Reps 8 15 5
One-Rep Max (lbs) 405 475 N/A
Speed (mph) 8 8 8
Incline (%) 8 6 3
Duration (min) 9:32 7:38 4:15
Duration (min) 3:11 3:14 1:28

While I didn’t decapitate myself with a barbell, my 5 reps on the bench press were sloppy and slow. I felt like the bar was pushing me down into the bench. I’m actually surprised I even got 5 reps.

My vertical jump didn’t suffer too much, though it was still a few inches less than what I got 5 days ago.

And I didn’t even pull a max deadlift for fear of my spine shooting out of my skin. I did my warm-up sets and got up to about 225 pounds before I called it off. I’m just not willing to seriously hurt myself for one measly number. But if I had to guess, I’d say I may have been able to pull 315 pounds. Maybe. But it would have been ugly.

And my sprints? I don’t even think you can call them sprints. It was more like awkward drunken heavy-footed lumbering on a treadmill. I’m pretty sure my arms just swung loosely at my sides the entire time. I didn’t even last 2 minutes on the T-Max.

When I finished, I walked over to a chair at Golds gym, sat down, and drank an entire liter of my “special rehydration beverage”.

It was delicious. In fact, I’m still drinking it.

One liter for every hour I’m awake, actually. Which is a ton of water.

This is definitely a lesson in extremes.

It’s like wandering around a desert without only a little bit of water that eventually runs dry. And then you find a lake and you’re overjoyed. But then, instead of enjoying it, you’re forced to drink the entire lake.

OK, that’s a bit melodramatic. Really, I can’t complain much. Being hydrated and peeing every 20 minutes isn’t nearly as bad as being dehydrated and wasting away on the couch.

After my “dehydrated” test, JB also suggested I eat as much food as I wanted in one meal. So I went out to my favorite restaurant with Richelle and ordered a pizza, roast chicken, a salad, pumpkin fritters, and two beers. It was incredible.

I test again tomorrow at 6:00 PM, fully hydrated and hopefully with a bit more energy than today. But right now I’m gonna go piss.

The experiment is almost over and that makes me very, very happy.

Knowledge Bomb!

The Reconstruction

Now it’s time to hydrate back up to a normal weight. Here’s how.

1 liter of “reconstruction drink” every hour I’m awake

On average, the body can absorb only about 1 liter (2.2 lbs) of fluid an hour. So we cap our water intake at 1 liter per hour. About 25% of that will be lost as urine. (Although it feels like much more.) And, by the final weigh-in I should be fully rehydrated.

Surge Workout Fuel is a blend of rehydrating carbs and acid buffers that will help speed up the absorption of fluid into my body, increase the amount of water I hold onto, and boost my performance for tomorrow’s testing.

As many carbs as I want

Now’s the time to load up on carbs and pull all the water I’m drinking back into my muscles. It’ll also help me feel more human. And look like less of a hospital patient.


Since sodium helps the body retain water, I’m adding extra salt to my meals.

Want to build muscle without a crazy 28-day plan?

Here's the 5-step approach that can work for any man, including a free workout program, the best supplements, and exactly what to eat.

By signing up, you'll also get exclusive updates from Precision Nutrition with key health & fitness strategies. Unsubscribe anytime. Contact Us. Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.