Destination Summer 2024

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The build up

Towards the latter half of Summer 2023, I started pondering what my current goals are, and this post is about what I settled on. I wanted to be in the best shape of my life, for Summer 2024. I knew from experience and seeing others, that it would not be a quick fix thing. I need to put in the work and I need to give myself the time to do it in. Thus I gave myself a year.

What this meant is that I would finish off the summer and much of autumn staying the course I was on, which was trying to cut as much as I could, through smart eating as well as the intermittent fasting I had been doing since last year. This was going to continue until shortly after Thanksgiving 2023. Well, given the publish date on this post, here we are.

The bulkening

I worked out the macros that I want to aim for, and as of Monday the 27th of November, I entered them into Cronometer for my new target goals.

  1. 218 g protein
  2. 192-ish g fats
  3. 35 g carbs

That is correct, I am going for “keto gains” here. I put “ish” on the fats because while I definitely want to try and get as close to 192g as I can, if I fall short, I’m not worrying so much. I still want to hit or exceed my protein goals. I feel like I’ve been approaching my workouts long enough that by and large I am pretty well “fat adapted” for energy source. The total calories, in case you’re curious, is 2740/day. I count my macros, they add up to what they will for calories.

Since around mid-October, I have turned to exclusively working with Better Living for 1:1 training as well as a high intensity interval training day with a friend. I am keeping my Anytime Fitness membership open, because they have been good to me over many many years, but also the location I train with Better Living isn’t a public spot, and I do want to aim for some steady state cardio regularly as well.

Typically it has been upper body on Tuesdays, lower body on Thursdays, and briefly the HIIT class on Wednesdays. Starting the first week of December, my schedule is increasing and going to probably upper on Mondays, lower on Tuesdays, rest day on Wednesday. Mix of both but mostly more upper on Thursdays, and HIIT class to end the week. As long as I’m not walking extremely funny, the steady state on my own time over the weekend. Otherwise, RESTING.

Dietary habits will remain the same, just more of it. I haven’t really blogged about it yet, but based on the macros above, one could easily surmise that it will be largely carnivore-ish. I’m definitely not going “nose-to-tail” carnivore but I will be largely focusing on meat for a primary source of fuel. I’m supplementing some of the nutrients that the other organs provide. I also couldn’t give up coffee, and I may treat myself occasionally to a thin crust pizza (though that will also be cut back on). I’ve worked hard to work on my blood sugar and self-diagnosed pre-diabetes, I’m not going to do a dirty bulk where I eat all those things I used to before I was smartened up. I’m still a Levels Health member and still receive the CGMs, and still want to make long term Type 2 Diabetes risk reversal. Smart bulking!

So, I’m going more often, I’m intending to go higher intensity, and I’m eating more food more regularly. Oh, I’m also going to do me damnedest to limit Alcohol consumption as well. I’ve never really outright said it, but I’ve had a long struggle with my relationship to alcohol, and I’m hoping I can get into a mindset, like having a 2024 goal, to help tame that beast a bit.

When it comes to resting, I’m likely not going to change much from my discoveries about sleep and my sleep patterns lately. Though tonight specifically, I may go a bit longer than normal. I have a re-watch of “Fat: A Documentary” to continue.

Thinning the Michael

A throwback to my previous Instagram handle 😀

The plan is to do the bulking for 16 weeks, as recommended by my friend Ned, who has competition experience. This means once we reach April, we start flipping the switch. In terms of diet, we’ll start dialing down the macros a little bit, start eating a bit less. We’ll keep the intensity going in the gym as much as possible, so that we retain the hard earned muscle mass, but the body fat will hopefully start dialing down again.

If things went really well, we haven’t added all that much in the first place, meaning it’ll be easier to shed all of what was added, and then even more from what I’m admittedly still starting out with.

If you encounter me during this time, and I’m maybe a bit grouchy, it’s nothing personal, and hopefully I retain my usual cheery disposition.

Hopefully by this time, I’m starting to really see the results and the hard work and effort that I put in over the winter months. Some solid, toned, grown muscle mass, and a physique to be admired.

Reasons to do this

There are many reasons to do this, almost all of which should be obvious. Things like:

  • Both overall physical and mental health
  • I want the look where it shows I’ve put in the time and effort, but not one where it appears I’ve always been athletic and “ripped”.
    • I want to come off as humble, but knows what he has.
  • Efforts to help ensure longevity in life, where not only am I still alive by definition, but still actually living life.
  • Impressing girls at coffee shops on weekends when I’m reading.
    • Seriously about the only way I actually get out of the house.
      • “Ooh, he works out his body AND his mind!”



Striving to eat whole food as much as possible, but I’ll accept protein whey in lieu of eggs. Sorry. Also hoping to not need to rely on traditional pre-workouts.


This will likely evolve as I continue exploring a bit more on the diet front.

  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Tuna fish
  • cheese
  • either whole or unsweetened almond milk
  • full fat yogurts
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • maybe beans at times.
  • Food For Life brand bread on occasion.


I’m already ready to see how I come out on the other side, but first I have to put in the work, and that has already begun. In the words of Liv…LET’S GO!!!!

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It’s Michael!

Photo of Michael, with his head tilted to the side.


Weight: 241lbs

Last updated: 2023-12-23


General Information

Gym enrollment date: 2015-09-21

First trainer session: 2015-09-23

Current routine

Small group class: HIIT. Personal training: strength and bodybuilding, 4 times/week

Personal Records

List of personal gym records