Transformation 5.0

33% Complete: A Look Back


33% of my Relentless Transformation is complete.  Done.  Gone.  Over.

I both can and can’t believe it.  It feels blink-of-an-eye short and grind-your-nails-on-chalkboard long, all at the same time.  I’m comfortable I have plenty more weeks to achieve my vision and terrified that they’re not even close to enough, all at the same time.

That is the transformation rollercoaster.  Put more broadly, that is the positive change rollercoaster.  It’s simple, but it ain’t easy!

I’ve written about the absolute importance of periodic reflection, so let’s reflect, shall we?

1/3 Relentless Transformation Review

First, where are we on the journey?  Pulling back to the macro view, you may remember this split:

  • 1-week post-holiday cleanse (Tuesday, May 27th)
  • 6-week muscle mass bulk (Tuesday, June 3rd)
  • 3-week body fat cut (Tuesday, July 15th)

We currently stand 3.5 weeks into the overall 10 weeks, and 2.5 weeks into the specific 6 week muscle mass bulk phase.

Key Physical Metrics:

  • Weight: +1.6 pounds  (Not quite what I envisioned.  I hoped to add 5 pounds by this stage.)
  • Circumference Muscle Indicators:
    • Chest: +0.5 inches  (Happy.  Technically I’m up 1 inch during muscle bulk phase.)
    • Thigh: +0.75 inches  (Happy.  Leg strength is way up.)
    • Upper Arm: +0.25 inches  (Ok.  Not yet 22″ pythons, but I’ll get there.)
  • Circumference Leanness Indicators:
    • Waist: -0.75 inches
    • Abdomen: -2.25 inches  (These metrics make up for the weight disappointment.  Combined with the other circumference metrics, as well as the bodyfat metrics, it’s clear that I’m altering the shape of my body in a meaningful way.  The magic duo – more muscle and less bodyfat – is happening.)
  • Total Bodyfat (total millimeters across all 5 sites): -5 mm  (A nice bonus.  Remember, this is not my goal at the moment, but I will certainly take it.)

Fitbit Data:

  • Avg Steps Per Day: 13,504
  • Avg Miles Per Day: 7.57  (These numbers underrate actual activity by 20% due to the Fitbit glitch.  The adjusted 16,000 steps and 9 miles isn’t bad!  That’s some rock solid activity complementing the lifting.)
  • Avg Total Sleep Per Night: 8 hours, 9 minutes  (Very happy with this.  8 hours was the goal.  Success.)
  • Avg Total Restless Time Per Night: 10.5 minutes  (Not exactly sure what to make of this one.  I’ll be interested to assess the ongoing trend.)
  • Avg Total Awake Time Per Night: 1 minute  (The Fitbit underrates this for sure.  Some restless time is awake time.)

Nutrition Musings:

  • Pequea Valley won the breakfast battle of the yogurts.
  • 5 different types of black gold have been sampled.  Rival Bros Revolver is king of the hill, although I’m not willing to rule out Stumptown Hair Bender just yet.
  • Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market is, hands down, my favorite place to shop for quality meat and dairy in the city.
  • Favorite peace of meat eaten all Transformation is the delmonico steak cut from Philly Cow Share (purchased at Fair Food).
  • The grass-fed dairy experiment has been a whopping success.  Couldn’t be happier.
  • Raw Tea has been a nice pre-workout boost.  Just enough caffeine effects.  No jitters.  As I put it before, it’s NO-Xplode minus the Hulk Smash rage.
  • I haven’t had one sip of alcohol in 25 days.
  • My worst “treat” has been a side of pasta salad at a friend’s party.  Zero sweets.
  • Hu Kitchen reigns as one of the best restaurants in existence.

Exercise Musings:

  • A major Transformation highlight thus far was completing the MuckFest alongside Team Relentless.
  • The Relentless 5K was a fun way to prep for the obstacle course race.
  • If you want to grow, strength volume must increase in some appreciable way.  That has happened.
  • 8 significant strength workouts have been completed thus far.
  • Staying off the gas pedal early has helped progress.  Soreness built steadily, instead of beginning at a debilitating level.
  • Burn reps were a very recent program inclusion.  They’ll stick around for a while, as they have clear growth related benefits.

The Grade:

  • A-.  I’m happy.  The dedication and the effort have been consistent.  No exceptions.  The workouts have been on.  The nutrition has been locked.  I’ve remained satisfied, rarely hungry, and I haven’t felt deprived.  Sleep has been solid.  Why the minus?  There is always room for improvement.  I can eat more during muscle mass phase.  That’s the biggest opportunity for added results.

Goals for the Next 33%:

  • Eat more.
  • Add focus on the stress management piece.
  • Visit Halcyon and add another float tank experience to the repertoire.
  • Navigate what will be the biggest social stretch of the program.  Use the 1 meal per week “treat” allotment if desired.  If not, keep moving.
  • Stay creative on the exercise side.  Linear volume increase has reached its limit.  Shake things up where necessary.

Must-Read Posts:

Top Daily Fuel External Resources:

And of course, this video, back by popular demand…

Day 25 Recap

The exercise world brought a critical rest sandwich day between big lifts.  Steps and miles checked in at 16,050 and 8.63 (add 20%).

Sleep checked in at 8 hours and 16 minutes (16 restless minutes, 2 awake minutes).

The nutrition

Breakfast: Grass-fed yogurt, (28g) whey protein isolate, (5g) creatine, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut flakes, organic blueberries, banana, cinnamon.  Black gold.

Day 15 Breakfast

Late Morning: Rise Bar.


Late Lunch: As has become the Friday habit, takeout from Grocery.  Lamb burgers with greek yogurt, brussels sprouts, sweet potato salad with celery and peppers, fresh nectarine.  Decaf black coffee from Bodhi.


Dinner: Ground bison, chopped organic bacon, wild rice, wilted spinach, salt/pepper/garlic/cayenne.


Daily Fuel

I’ve provided you plenty of resources above during reflection time.

It’s your turn.

Take a look back at your last 33%.  Take a look ahead to your next 33%.

Anything is possible.

Talk to me – what will you make of it?

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