Bigger Smaller Bigger

by with John Berardi & Martin Rooney

Success! Now for the Hard Part


Hell. Yes.

A few minutes ago I officially weighed in at 190.2 pounds. That’s means I’ve gained 20.6 pounds in the last 28 days.

I text Martin and JB and let them know.

JB responds first.

Nice work man. Now the real work begins. I’ll be on call to help.

A text from Martin pings in a minute later.

Congrats, Nate. I’m proud of you. You’ve done well, young Jedi. But starting next week we’re gonna see what you’re really made of.

I’ve only been awake for 30 minutes and I’ve already been both elated at my success and apprehensive about next week and the extreme weight loss portion of the experiment.

The roller coaster continues.

But right now, I gotta go to the gym and test. I wonder what my numbers will be.

OK, so I just got back from the gym.

And I’m feeling pretty good about everything. Check it out:

Day 0 Day 28 Day 33 Day 34
Weight 169.6 190.2
Girth Measurements
Neck 15.25 15.38
Shoulder 48 49.25
Chest 41.5 44
Upper Arm 14.75 16
Waist 31.5 32.25
Hip 38 39.5
Thigh 23.13 24.25
Calf 15.5 15.38
Body Fat Measurements
Mid-Ax 2.8 3.8
Cheek 2.8 5.7
Chest 2.8 4.7
Ab 7.6 3.8
Subscap 5.7 7.6
Triceps 2.8 3.8
Suprailiac 2.8 4.7
Knee 5.7 2.8
Hamstring 3.8 4.7
Calf 9.5 6.7
Body Fat (%) 3.03 (probably ~6) 4.1 (probably ~7)
Vertical Jump
Jump 1 25″ 31″
Jump 2 29″ 32″
Jump 3 30″ 32″
Average 28″ 31.7″
225 lb Bench Press
Reps 8 15
One-Rep Max (lbs) 405 475
Speed (mph) 8 8
Incline (%) 8 6
Duration (min) 9:32 7:38
Duration (min) 3:11 3:14
Day 28 (after gaining 20 lbs) — 190.2 lbs

I expected some of the changes — namely the increase in strength — but others surprised me.

Girth Measurements

Expected: I was confident every part of my body would increase in size, and for the most part, that was true.

Surprised: My calf measurements actually went down. I believe it was the fat loss from doing the horrible Hurricane sprint days.

Body Fat Percentage

Expected: I expected my overall body fat to increase and all of the tested sites to increase as well. Most did.

Surprised: While most of my individual sites did in fact increase, there were a few that went down (ab, knee, calf). Those were three of the places that had the highest body-fat percentage on the initial Day 0 test. Another surprise was that while my total body fat percentage increased, it didn’t go up a whole hell of a lot.

Strength/Power/Muscle Endurance Tests

Expected: I expected to improve my performance dramatically in all three of my non-endurance tests (vertical jump, 225-bench, max deadlift).

Surprised: No surprises here. Super-stoked on my numbers.

VMax and TMax

Expected: I wasn’t sure to what expect here, honestly. I felt like I was in better shape than on Day 0, but I didn’t know if my short duration Hurricane sprint training (25 second sprints) would translate to better endurance.

Surprised: What surprised me about both the VMax and the TMax was that I actually felt like I had more endurance. If it were up to my lungs, I could have gone longer for sure.

But the weak link was my legs. After gaining 20 pounds in 28 days, the pressure on my joints while running got to be intense. I felt like I had cement bricks on my feet instead of shoes. I felt like my shins were being ripped in half.

So yeah, not so good on the sprint test. (I wonder if my numbers would have been different if we did a cycling test on the bike instead of the treadmill?)

Oh, and the only reason I increased my TMax by three seconds is because I was so pissed at my VMax time I had Kyle yell at me to stay on the treadmill long enough to beat my previous TMax record.

Which is kind of like cheating, but also kind of not.

Now the next part of the experiment begins.

In fact, it officially began today.

My diet has already radically changed — from crazy high-carb meals to absolutely no starchy carbs, fruit, or sugar.

Plus my concern about dehydration and yellow pee is a non-issue, at least for the few days, as I’m guzzling upward of 2 gallons of water.

But of course, that will change in just a matter of days as I slowly and deliberately start to dehydrate myself.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact I just spent 28 days trying to gain as much mass as humanly possible. And now I’m gonna lose it all in a matter of days.

If JB and Martin are right — that gaining mass was the easy part — I wonder what’s in store for me this week.

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