The one where BLACKICE'S "dad bod" goes away [EmpFit]

It’s been a while since I last posted in a journal, and to be honest… there are a few reasons.

  1. My last journal was all about a side hustle business I’d been working on, and to be perfectly honest… I slacked off, a lot… and barely any new progress has been made. Why? Keep reading and I’ll tell you!
  2. In the past few months we’ve moved to a new house and I left my old company to join a new one… so that’s kept us busy. Plus we got covid (while my wife and I were just bleh for a few days, my daughter got hella sick… super high fever…) and other misc life stuff.
  3. My other project really gained some traction… then lost it when the fellow I was working with had to drop out of the project due to personal events in his life… leading me to hire a freelancer, who utterly flaked on me and cost me $$$$ without any actual progress… luckily the original engineer has rejoined the project and everything is back on track.

All that to say… not a whole lot to report on for the actual purpose of the previous journal. I suppose I could have journaled my progress with Emperor/Sanguine/Quantum Limitless… ah well.

Hence a new one, for a totally different focus. This time?

FITNESS.

Yep, it’s time for getting ripped… or at least, losing the parts of me that make my wife say “look at how squishy daddy is!” to our daughter… :dizzy_face:

My approach is simple… I’m going back to what’s worked well for me in the past, but adding in some new tools.

STARTING STATS:
Age: 42
Height: 6’3"/190cm
Weight: 193lbs @ 15% bodyfat (the astute observers among you will notice that’s a bit down from what I posted 2 days ago on the EF ZP thread… my response: YEP.)

GOALS:

  • 180lbs @ 10% bodyfat
  • Visible abs
  • That famous “Hollywood” physique

EATING SCHEDULE : 16/8 Intermittent Fasting, working to 18/6 over the next couple of weeks, and eventually OMAD. Maybe. That feels easier when you don’t have family mealtime… :wink:

DIET: Generally a Mediterranean-style cyclical keto eating plan, which in the past allowed me to drop ~40lbs over one summer. These last 15-20lbs have been fairly reluctant to leave though… not that I’ve been super strict about my eating over the past 18 months or so… at least I’ve maintained and not gained!

EXERCISE: Currently, walking 2-3 miles (~4km) on weekdays, and up to 8-9 miles (~14km) per day on weekends as I have more time. Usually, we’ll do a loop around a nearby golf course, walk to the beach, etc. I do have a set of 100lb (beginner, I know) resistance bands that I will start using again until I get something better, and there is a personal training facility near to my house that offers SuperSlow/Body By Science workouts, so that’s definitely an option, in addition to the many gyms and other fitness clubs in the area.

THE MINDSET: Emperor Fitness, of course. I’ll be starting with a stack of:

  • Emperor ZP
  • Emperor Fitness ST1
  • Emperor Fitness ST2
    My goal for this stage is just fat loss; I haven’t decided on a workout option yet so I’m not going to really focus on building any muscle in this rotation. Later on, I’ll most likely run ST2 and ST3 together to focus on both. But BLACKICE, you say… how can you lose fat and build muscle at the same time??? Well, I’ve got a plan for that too. Some of you won’t like it, like… really won’t like it… but… can’t please everyone. :sweat_smile:

THE SUPPLEMENTS: (the ones specific to this project, at least)

  • 1,000mg metformin/day
  • 1,000mg berberine/day
  • 5,000IU VitD+A+K2

THE BIOHACKS:
By sheer coincidence, I just happen to have an eager lab rat that has exactly the same body weight and other stats as me, and this little dude will be participating in some experiments (see below). :sunglasses:

  • Photobiomodulation/red light therapy. I have a full-body Joovv light panel for recovery after a workout, once I get to that stage.
  • Polysaccharide complex combined with MCT oil. This combo expands to MANY times its own volume in the stomach, providing both bulk to enhance the feelings of satiety (to help with getting back into fasting) as well as providing prebiotic food for producing SFCAs in the gut. Plus, 2.4g of MCT with each dose… currently at 3-4 doses per day.
  • Ketones/BHB. Not 100% sold on this one yet as my diet alone gets me into ketosis easily enough.
  • BCAAs/HMB: Still researching this part, but it looks pretty well-established… the BCAA part at least.
  • PPAR modulators… specifically, a stack of GW501516 (Cardarine) and SR9011 (Stenabolic). These are controversial, and my lab rat has declined to comment in public on their use… suffice to say, he has done his homework and is comfortable with the risk/benefit profile.
  • SARMs… specifically, a stack of MK-2866 (Ostarine) and RAD-140 (Testolone). This combination of PPAR modulators and SARMs has been shown to promote simultaneous fat oxidation AND muscle growth, as long as the muscles are worked enough, the body remains in a fat-burning state (ketosis) often enough, and insulin & sugar spikes are avoided. As for the rest, especially anything relating to ethics (Lab Rat is not a pro athlete…)… he again says “squeak squeak” (translation: no comment) :rofl:

I have, unfortunately, lost the access I used to have to an LN2 cryochamber, EMS/Myostim, ARX, hyperbaric o2 chamber, and some other really fancy toys… but I’ll make do with what I’ve got.

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I’m still getting back in the hang of keto meals, as it’s been a while. I just tallied up my numbers for the day and it’s getting there but not quite keto… way too high on the protein and carbs, and not enough fat - 39% fat, 47% protein, 14% carbohydrates…

According to this BMR calc, my minimum need is 1,936kcal. At a “low active” rate, my caloric need for maintenance is 2,949kcal.

I put very little faith in calories as a primary metric (any more than I’d ever consider sheer word count in a book to be more important than the content…), but it’s one of the metrics that I track, and is a way of quantifying total intake. Total for the day is 2,137… and I had a fairly brisk 2.5 mile walk before dinner, plus playing with my daughter at the park… aka, not quite enough. Especially for when I want to start building muscle.

I got more MCT oil tonight; based on my spreadsheet I only need to add several more tbsps to bring the fat numbers up to fix the ratios. Made a bit of a mistake tonight having some black beans; even 1/3 cup was still ~28g of carbs. I was at 20g for the whole day before that. Oops. That really skewed stuff.

Overall though, I feel like I’ve made some decent progress already, and… I haven’t even got EF yet! (That’ll happen this weekend).

The actual process will officially be starting Monday; for now it feels like tidying my office in preparation to start using a new productivity system, and seeing results just from clearing off the desk. lol.

And finally… for anyone who reads this and wonders why the heck I would put so much focus into dropping ~20lbs… it’s more than just that.

I was a scrawny kid, right up until I discovered I wasn’t cool and started getting bullied and pushed around in school. Getting fit wasn’t an obvious option for me, and it was far easier to drown my sorrows in a plate of french fries and watch Darkwing Duck after school each day.

I’ll probably touch more on this as I get into EF and it brings up some of the baggage… but for now, moving on.

Many years ago I was a vegetarian (for all the wrong reasons), and because… surprise surprise… there’s a LOT of terrible food that is 100% vegeterian… I gained some weight. I was actually doing ok until my gf at the time moved in with me, and she was such a picky eater that she makes my toddler look like an adventurous gourmand. So, we defaulted to the lowest common denominator… pasta. Within a year I’d put on ~80lbs… I barely noticed, until I saw a pic of myself at my 30th bday and my first thought was “who is that fat f*ck on my couch??”

After that relationship ended, I discovered Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Body book. That helped a lot actually, and between that eating plan and working out all the time, I dropped almost all of the weight that I’d gained, over the next couple of years.

At some point during my marriage (now a few years after 4HB), I think I got lazy and the weight started creeping back on… Dinner at The Keg here, takeout pizza there, and fresh fruit all the time… it adds up… It should have been obvious, as my wife is tiny… 5ft tall, 92lbs tiny… but I suppose I ignored it.

Until 3 years ago… I was on stage at a conference, and at the time I thought I looked alright… but I was deluding myself. When I saw the photos afterward, I was mortified. It was a bad enough comparison that I was standing in between a health guru and a fitness model, but I looked like I had a goddamn tire stuffed under my shirt. :disappointed:

I got serious (again) about my health after that, and over the next few months, I dropped ~40lbs. For the first time in years, I didn’t have to buy XL clothes, and I fit into 34/34 jeans… after being 38/34 for years, that was a big deal for me. Then my daughter was born in Sept 2020 (and also covid happened), so we started ordering a LOT from DoorDash et al out of convenience.

It crept back up, and recently I was at my cardiologist’s office having a checkup. I saw myself in the mirror as I was taking my shirt off for the ECG and thought “s#it, that fat guy is back again!” Now, I weighed myself the next morning, and it wasn’t bad at all… I’d gained maybe 6lbs since xmas… but that wasn’t ok anymore.

I turned 42 earlier this week… (and it wasn’t until tonight that I realized that it’s now been 30 YEARS since I was last actually fit). We ordered in one of my favorite meals - cheeseburgers (on a gluten-free bun) from Red Robin, and my wife made me a small gluten-free cake. I say that like it makes it healthier somehow… lol… nope, just slightly less inflammatory.

I ate the burger and fries… delicious… ate a slice of the cake… delicious… then… suddenly I didn’t feel so good. Around 11:30 that night my wife was going to bed and I was laying on the couch reading. She kissed me goodnight and said don’t be up too late, and I said I was just going to finish the current chapter in my book and then was coming to bed. But actually, I was doing my best to not throw up lol.

There was nothing wrong with the food, and it wasn’t even more (aside from the cake) than I’d normally have at a meal… but for some reason, something had changed in my head and now it was intolerable.

So the next day I fasted for 22h, then 16h the day after that. Today I started the journal, and Monday is the start of my first rotation of Emperor Fitness.

This isn’t just about dropping 20lbs and building some muscle… it’s for every time a girl passed me over in high school because I was a pudgy nerd. It’s for every nice shirt I wanted that I didn’t get because it didn’t come in XL. It’s for every single time I looked away from the mirror rather than into it because I didn’t want to see what was there.

I’m sure someone will disapprove of something I’m doing, and that’s ok. I’m not doing this as an experiment to prove method A works better than method B, I’m not doing it to please anyone else (with the probable exception of my wife of course… haha), and I’m certainly not suggesting anyone do the same thing. I’m only doing this to get the result I’ve lacked for many many years.

Some of what I’m doing will certainly fail, some will be a waste of time and money… and I have no doubt my plan will change over time as I see what works and what doesn’t. Right now though… I’m going to throw everything I can at it, and adjust from there. In any case, I’m doing it.

Let’s go.

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Are sarms safe

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With moderate usage (ie not going overboard) and a reputable supplier, my lab rat has determined they’re safe enough. There are definitely some that I’d consider NOT safe, whether due to potential for harm from irresponsible dosages/overuse, or just low-quality product that may be contaminated with prohormones or who knows what else… and other ones with much less favorable anabolic/androgenic ratios (pure testosterone is 1:1, for comparison, some of the stronger SARMs are 10:1… whereas MK 2866 is about 90:1, or a fraction of the side effects relative to the same benefit) can TRASH your natural hormones… think steroids… The SARMs that my lab rat is looking at have a much much safer profile.

My lab rat sticks with proven, reputable, suppliers with up-to-date published lab quality reports, and products that have many years of safe and successful use, when used properly.

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From doing track, I’d like to give a recommendation on your cycle. Car farine is one of my favorite compounds, the feeling you get from it is really amazing. I trained in Toronto during December and only needed to wear a sweater even during the coldest of days, it could be 0 degrees and I’d be outside in a T shirt, probably not best used during the summer months, but the compound is fun to use.

As for the others parts of your stack, SR9009 was lack luster because of its low bioavailability, SR9011 is meant to remedy this problem but I’ve never tried that version so you’ll have to let me know how it works for you. As for the sarms I recommend that you skip them and go straight to Test, it might sound like a more extreme option but in my opinion running Test is safer and would give you better results. Using Ostarine fucked me up for a few months, (was severely depressed, developed some gyno that hasn’t truly gone away, etc.), since sarms mess with your hormones, I’m assuming that I crashed my own T levels which is not fun. If you really want to run sarms then I highly recommend that you add in a test base, just enough to keep your levels constant during your cycle. Monitor your estrogen levels (and any possible gyno) and have some a pct on hand as they can take a few weeks to arrive depending on the seller.

Overall I love the idea though, if your going to push yourself in this direction, I can appreciate you giving it everything you got. Good luck,:four_leaf_clover:!

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Sounds to me like you’re checking all of the necessary boxes, plus about 15 or 20 more for good measure.

I’m guessing you’ll see pretty fast and impressive results. If you ever build a custom for this stuff, I’ve been having good results with: SPS: Endocrine System, SPS: Fat Burn, SPS: Muscular System, Fusion Optimized.

I’m not as conscientious and systematic as you are, but I was still shocked two weeks ago to discover that I fit into a pair of pants that I’d ‘archived’ years ago. I’d gone to put on the regular pants and, similar to your situation, the waist had become comically large.

I, too, have found naturally beneficial palate changes happening. I just don’t want many of those non-beneficial foods. They gradually lost their appeal. A lot of changes happening.

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PM’d you!

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I’m the kind of person who will research something enough that I come back full circle, before acting on it… especially when it comes to the health of my lab rat. There’s actually some additional biomedical tech that I will be using, but it’s not something I can talk about just yet.

A custom for this intent is absolutely in the plans; has been for well over a year actually. I created the original plan for it long before EF was even released; back then it was Spartan based I believe. Here’s the cover art I made:

EXTREMIS

That one will be, at the moment at least, EF4-based, plus as many energy, healing (Paragon et al) modules as I can make use of. Still waiting to see what Hero is though. haha.

Nice! It’s a good feeling, isn’t it!

It’s weird; I don’t find the idea of a cheeseburger unappealing… but I just felt so GROSS after eating it that I had to make a big change.

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Probably the most excited I’ll get about an email all week. Thanks @SaintSovereign and @Fire !! :sunglasses:

About to load up my first rotation stack…

  • Emperor ZP
  • Emperor Fitness ST1
  • Emperor Fitness ST2

Let’s do this!

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Work is crazy this week so just a quick update while I’m waiting for an email to arrive.

I’m currently reading Body By Science (fantastic book, I highly recommend it) and certain parts are almost jumping off the page at me, in the sense that my attention is spiking when I read it, and it feels not just important, but EXCITING. Like the specific paragraphs are shouting “THIS!! THIS!!!”

Specifically, about depletion of glycogen and the role that building muscle mass plays in increasing basal metabolic rates. Basically, I’m feeling an overwhelming urge to start building muscle, despite that not being part of my “plan” for this rotation.

I’m willing to accept that it could be a bit of placebo, of course, but my biceps in particular feel different today. Last night I took my daughter out for a walk, pulling her in the wood wagon I built for her 1st birthday (which weighs30-40lbs, plus the 25lbs for the kiddo) and although we just walked around the neighborhood, we walked up and down several streets with hills and I felt a tiny bit of a burn in my biceps as I was hauling the wagon behind me. We did the loop twice, once for each arm, and rather than feeling sore… it felt GOOD.

I was also up far too late last night watching videos about SARMs on behalf of my lab rat, and was woken up rather abruptly this morning just after 7 by a contractor banging on my door to let us know they were here to install new gutters etc on the garage… a bit early for my liking, but they did a good job. Point is, I did pretty well on barely 6h sleep… I felt rather good this morning actually, aside from the sudden jump from dream to answering the door in my PJs. heh

I also got a nudge that I should look into mitigation effects that metformin can have on exercise results - If my memory serves me… Dr. Rhonda Patrick published something on that a few years ago. I’ve not focused much (read: at all) on exercise for a few years now, aside from daily walking etc… so it never mattered whether I took metformin or not. I need to look into that interaction, to see if the longevity benefits of taking metformin outweigh any diminishment of results from exercise I may experience.

Lunch today was interesting as well; I had basically the same lunch today as I’ve been having the past few days, but today it almost felt like too much.

3 hardboiled eggs
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup zero carb olive oil mayo
A few pieces of broccoli & cauliflower left over from my daughter’s lunch
1 small head of romaine lettuce, as wraps for the “keto-ified egg salad” mix.

Granted I’ve been sitting at my desk all day and not doing anything strenuous, but usually I’m pretty hungry by 2pm. Today I was more “meh, I could eat.” and then finished up the lunch more out of habit than hunger.

Overall I’m feeling good! Weight is still holding at 194; after the initial change I was hoping to see more of a drop, but it’s looking now like it had jumped up and has settled back down to the current baseline.

Time to go find a gym, I guess. :slight_smile:

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Ever consider MK677?

I did, and passed over it as unsuitable quite a while ago. Among other reasons, it acts as a ghrelin mimetic, which is not what my lab rat wants. :wink:

Man, your lab rat sounds picky af :wink:

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Yeah, he’s a real pain in the a$$ sometimes, haha.

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I woke up at some point in the night, because of a very odd sensation. The muscles on the right side of my torso, under my arm, were twitching like they were getting EMS pulses. Further back from my obliques, maybe serratus or forward lats.

Very strange experience, but not unpleasantly so. I went back to sleep and woke up feeling great.

Yesterday I mentioned a reduced appetite at lunch, and that held at dinner as well… we had some leftovers from the night before (we usually try to make a double batch of whatever it is, to make the next day’s meals easier), and usually, I would have looked at the amount left and determined it wasn’t enough for all of us. However, last night I still wasn’t that hungry and along with steaming some broccoli, it turned out to be more than enough… and bizarrely, my wife ate more than I did yet that was still more than enough for me!

Unfortunately, I only recalled this morning that today is recycling pick-up day so I didn’t take time to weigh before I chugged a bunch of coffee and went out to the garage to sort the recycling before the truck makes its way here.

edit: I was curious, so I checked… even after having some bp coffee, 193lbs. I still need to find a gym. :thinking:

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Just received a package, a box from my sister… mostly stuff for my daughter, but there was also a father’s day gift in it. A Star Wars-themed “best dad in the galaxy” t-shirt, size medium. My wife suggested I try it on. I looked at it dubiously, as I’ve been wearing large or XL (depending on the brand) for so long. I tried it on, and… a tiny bit snugger than I prefer casual t-shirts to be, but… it fits. :astonished:

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You’ll probably see the results a bit later. Somatic shifts sometimes run ahead of objective measurements. More like your body’s giving you a heads-up that ‘this is what we’re working on right now’.

Anyway, gym’s probably good in either event.

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This is occurring to me on CWON, also. My meat consumption is down 75%. In fact, I think the only thing I’ve had was a few strips of bacon for breakfast.

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No carnivore diet for you I guess. :rofl:

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I’ve been having an interesting effect that I’ve not experienced before on any other title… last night I kept imagining having conversations… more arguments, really… about health, fat loss myths, etc. At first I was getting annoyed, because these imaginary people kept arguing with me… but then I had the thought…

What if this is my brain addressing old beliefs, and I’m just personifying them as other people, for the new scripting to deal with??

Fascinating experience, although it did distract me from my book a bit. lol.

The other thing is… we went to the beach today, and my wife said I looked good. I took a selfie, and when I saw the pic, I thought “hey, I DO!” Obviously I’m not Captain America (yet), but I didn’t see a fat guy in the pic either. I mentioned this to my wife, and she said “uhh… you haven’t been ‘fat’ for a long time, you just think you are.”

Self-image shifting in EF? :sunglasses:

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