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The "Benny Experiment"

September 17, 2017

I called this the "Benny experiment" because Benny himself will often laugh and say he is a "science experiment". Lol



I guess he's right.



Mind you, he is a very willing subject because he is getting great results very quickly!



Here's a preview: (the photo dates are shown in each photo) - Jan-Aug 2017



 Here's the story behind the "Benny Experiment".



I got chatting to Benny one day outside the gym, late 2016, and he asked me what I do and I explained the "AMP Your Workout"(TM) app I'd developed and he was very interested and said one day you he'd like to have a look at it.



I said "sure" but didn't think much about it as often people are very excited initially but then don't take any action. (I'm going to . . . " and "I want to . . . " don't actually mean much, and don't carry any weight with me.


(I recall once hearing a quote; "No-one has ever become famous for what they were going to do!")



However two months later, true to his word, Benny approached me and said he was ready to give "AMP Your Workout" a go.



He went straight out and bought a smartwatch, having found a good deal for a Samsung Gear on Gumtree.



After assessing his physique and us both establishing some goals, I sorted out a training and nutrition program (to match the intensity of AMP workouts) that would help Benny drop fat as well as fuel his workouts and enable him to build the muscle he wanted.



AMP training is intense - by definition of the way it works - it finds your peak muscle loading and work capacity for the greatest stimulation - more on that later . . . 



Benny is excellent to work with because he is open to new concepts and follows the guidelines and gets the results which of course fuels more enthusiasm for the next stage. 



I was already very confident of what AMP Your Workout could do because because I had used it with my own "rehab" after a major back injury in Feb 2012. For two and a half years could not even do ADL (Activities of Daily Living)! and I lost 16kg of muscle, going from 77kg at 8% body-fat to 65kg at 18% body-fat in that time. (see photos further down)



I got a health scare in September 2014 and cleaned up my diet and started training again, using AMP Your Workout - but I could not use more than 5kg Dumbbells because of my back injury. AMP Your Workout however could "see" that I was only using light weights and would always predict the light weight options for me - but it would ramp up the intensity with combos of TUT (Time Under Tension) and Rest (Work Rate)



My own story in brief - photo at left is before my lower back injury.

Photo 2 is 2 1/2 years after the injury with no physical exertion possible

Photo 3 is after 4m training with AMP Your Workout (Oct-Jan) with very light DB

Last photo is 6m training, still light DB (no more than 8kg)

Note, I am life-time natural



Back to Benny's story:-


Within two weeks Benny was already showing good results as you can see ( he started at the photo at the left, 26 Jan - and two weeks later, 13 Feb middle photo. Another two weeks later and even more results were evident as you can see in the photo at right, 27 Feb



From there it has been a steady progress and I have actually had to increase Benny's Calories three times as he put on more muscle and AMP increases the intensity and work volume of his workouts, steadily and consistently each time.



We increased Calories by 300/day on two separate occasions about 2 months apart.

Note that the results you are seeing here could have been even better and faster. Benny is quick to admit himself that he got a little complacent - he was quite happy with the results by April, (who wouldn't be? . . . dropping from 105 kg at 29% body fat down to 89 kg and 16 - 17% body fat)


The photo at left is 27 Feb 2017 (click photos to see dates)



And because his "benchmark" had previously been the 105kg at 29% body fat he was very happy - and this was reinforced by continual compliments and amazement by people around him and those in the gym.



As a result of this, and also triggered by Easter in early April when he had his first weekend "off" the diet and and enjoyed some of his usual treats, he found it difficult to get back onto the nutrition plan regime.


This of course wasn't helped also being continually surrounded with his lovely children and their constant supply of treats which made it all the more easy for him to simply reach for something when the urge occurred. The problem being that once he had a small taste of a treat it was hard to stop and these regular "treats" each day, although relatively small, turned "off" his fat burning mechanism that the diet had originally kicked in place.


(note that I usually suggest to people that the best way to change a habit is to make it difficult to engage the old habit, and easy to replace it with something else that aligns with your goals - in this case, it would be to not have any "treats" in the house - but this can be difficult with a family that does not have the same focus)



Benny plateaued at around 89 kg for about 3 months until he saw it was going to jeopardise his chances at the competition. Also by this stage he'd had enough time with his "new" athletic body and was ready for the next mountain to climb - and a new benchmark to aim for - which would be a new all time low body fat for him. (also refer my other blog "Competition Prep notes T-11 weeks")


At this stage he resumed the diet more consistently and the results kicked back in again very quickly.



As he got down to around 10% body fat the exchanges were starting to be noticeable almost weekly.

This is a cruel irony with dieting that when you most want the encouragement and excitement at a high body fat that changes are very difficult to see. If you go from 30 kg of body fat to 29 kg, it is very difficult if not impossible to see the change.



However if you go from 9 kg body fat to 8 kg it becomes a lot more noticeable.

As you get even lower as Benny did during the competition prep and you drop from 7 kg to 6 kg body fat the difference is quite startling especially when it occurs in one week.



Part of the reason for this is that if you have 7 kg of fat on board you will find that around 4 kg of that is interstitial fat which is regarded as quite critical by the body as it support various organs. This means you only have around 3 kg of fat stored as subcutaneous (under the skin). So if you now drop to 6kg, that means you have lost a kilo of fat but it will most likely have been dropped from the 3kg of subcutaneous fat


Photos below, 15 July - two weeks back in "serious" mode!