T Nation

Growth When Least Expected


I just returned from an awesome 5-day Caribbean vacation. Prior to leaving, I trained 6 days in a row, but did not train arms or delts. But in spite of the great vacation, I took no supplements of any kind, got drunk on one day, and missed many normally scheduled meals everyday... not to mention my protein intake was very low.

The day before I came home I got really ill with a bad cold, and because my equilibrium was off, I fell and cut my foot and bruised my elbow badly. The trip home took an excruciating 9 hours. Today I feel like total shit, no appetite, my ears are blocked up and I have a runny nose.

But just because I knew I was back on square one, I decided to measure my arms just to gauge how deep I was in the hole... and to my astonishment, my biceps are larger by over 1/4"!!! And at 5'4 1/2" tall, that kind of growth is damned near spectacular considering the sub-par situation I was in days previously.

Anyone have a friggin' clue as to what's going on here?
I mean, shit... if I grow this easily from poor practices, I'm going to repeat the pattern regularly! lol


Sounds like your body was using the extra calories to supercompensate from your previous training cycle.


At risk of asking the obvious, could you have been in need of a deload? Could it be water retention due to diet change?


But that's what's odd, Dave. I didn't eat anywhere near what I normally do at home.


Nice haha, I had a similar experience when I went on spring break. I ate a max of 4 meals a day and either got drunk or altered my state in other ways every day lol :wink: I ended up looking and feeling the best I have in a while upon returning.

Like davey said I think it's supercompensation. I train 7 days a week almost non stop so I guess that week off helped.


Ah! There's the logic! I'm sure I was slightly dehydrated all those days in the sun. I rehydrated last night... which would have added to my thirsty tissue. And yes, I probably needed the deload (usually my "deload" is just an extra day or 2. This time I did 6 days off).

Thanks CT!


Then maybe supercompensation without extra calories, did your weight stay the same?


You actually grow when you're resting. I'm guessing the rest you took gave your body some time to grow?

I actually still believe deload weeks still have a good place in bodybuilding for many lifters. Not everyone needs them but they are great for many others.


Good question. I almost never weigh myself, so I have no reference point.


Even with all the negative factors I experienced, I believe this wholeheartedly... now!


IronDwarf could have grown even with a decrease in calories. If I haven't worked out in a few day, it seems like the number of calories required for maintenance suddenly drops by about 1000kCal.


You were able to rest and recover, well, for at least some of the time on your vacation. I believe in, "Work hard, play hard, rest hard." This doesn't surprise me, I think your body got some much needed rest, you might be a bit leaner as well.


I'm convinced people look great coming back from vacation because it's probably been a while you'll gotten away from stress. And, no I don't just mean workout stress, but life stress.

Couple that with lots of food and probably getting laid a bit more (or with a different girl, or just in a different location) and boom! You're bigger and leaner.


I gained a 1/2" on my thighs in the two weeks after smolov ended. Yeah us!


Sometimes your body is just beaten down and you don't even realize it. Mentzer used to always talk about how after a brief lay off, most people came back into the gym a little stronger. The largest my arms ever taped was after I went away for a week and promised my then-GF that I wouldn't train ("not even pushups, I promise!" -lol. When I came back, my brother wouldn't stop pestering me that I had actually gotten bigger. Sure enough he was right, a full 1/2"!



you didn't promise her that you wouldn't be injecting snythol though. Very clever Stu...very clever.


LMAO! Stu pulling a Valentino?


It reminds me of that Poliquin's visit in the Dominican republic...


Rest=growth. You don't grow when your lifting...