It’s definitely been a while…
It was all the way back on the 25th of July that I embarked on the Visual Impact challenge and I must say it’s been quite a journey.
Today, almost six and a half months later (a little longer than that since it took so long to put this post together), I’m both happy and sad to say that I’m finished.
But through the culmination of all these experiences, I’ve learned more than I could ever have imagined. I’ve gained a much broader understanding and sense of how the body works and how it reacts to different forms of training and eating strategies.
Today, as the concluding post for this experiment, I want to share with you both my final results from the two week bonus phase and my final thoughts about body transformation.
Let’s get started…
What is the Bonus Phase all About?
The Bonus Phase of Visual Impact teaches a truly powerful training strategy that is used by a lot of actors and fitness models that helps them get that truly cut and defined look.
The strategy works in conjunction with Phase 3.
Phase 3, as you will recall, is designed for fat loss and strength development. We do so by structuring our training routine to focus on heavy weights, low volumes and strategic cardio. In the process, we also drop our calorie (and carb) intake to shed the fat and to reveal the hard and dense muscle we develop.
Depending on your personal stature and preferences, you can stay in this phase anywhere from three to five months.
What happens during this time is that your body will shrink. You’ll drop in body weight and body fat percentage accordingly. Your muscles will even shrink a slight amount and become a little flatter than normal. Don’t worry, this is all normal and necessary. As this happens, your skin will slowly shrink down to accommodate your smaller body size. The longer you stay in Phase 3, the more time you permit for your skin to shrink.
Now this is where the Bonus Phase plays its part.
By suddenly changing your training strategy, you shock the muscles into hypertrophy. Now, since your skin is already tight around your body, the sudden muscle growth (in size and volume) will cause your skin to be even tighter around your body, creating that sharp, super-defined look.
This principle is appropriately called the shrink-wrap effect.
So how do you change your training strategy?
You go back to the Phase 1 training style. If you recall, Phase 1 was all about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy – the process of funneling more sarcoplasm (muscle fluid) into the muscle cells to give them that fuller, more volumized look.
So we increase our volume, drop our weights and lower our rest period to, once again, create the much-needed cumulative effect that allows muscle to experience sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
What about the diet?
It stays the same.
We stay on our low-carb, low-calorie diet like we did in Phase 3. Only we add one very important supplement: creatine.
Creatine makes a HUGE difference in the Bonus Phase. It allows you to train harder (which you’ll need as you switch back to training with cumulative fatigue so you can get in those last few reps) and it helps funnel more fluid into the muscle cell, giving it more volume and resulting in a tighter fit.
The duration of the Bonus Phase can be anywhere from 2-4 weeks. After experimenting, I would recommend to stick to the longer end of the spectrum to allow the creatine to work to its full potential.
I finished Phase 3 at 169lbs and my goal was to put on 2-3lbs of muscle within a two week period.
Important note: Recall that I was in Phase 3 for only 5 weeks so I didn’t permit enough time for my skin to fully shrink down and accommodate to my smaller body size. Had I stayed in Phase 3 for longer, I might have experienced greater results. Just something to keep in mind when you’re going through the program.
Here’s what I looked like at the start of the Bonus Phase (also end of Phase 3):
You can see that I’ve really leaned down. At 169lbs and 9-10% body fat, I felt really good. But my abs werent’ as defined as I had hoped. Perhaps a longer time in Phase 3 would’ve made a difference.
Either way, here’s what happened after two weeks in the Bonus Phase:
I gained 3 lbs of muscle in two weeks and you can see how my skin really tightened up around my expanding muscles. My abs are slightly more revealing as well. For maximum results, I would have stayed in this phase for another two weeks.
So you can see just how effective this strategy can be. If you want really great results, stay in Phase 3 for no less than 2 months and then immediately follow it up by 2-4 weeks of the Bonus Phase.
My Final Thoughts
So this is it guys.
Over six months of training, dieting, experimentation and testing, the time has come. I’ve discovered a lot about myself and I’ve learned how important it is to have an effective strategy when approaching any fitness goal. Now the end has finally come.
But what is ‘the end’?
The truth is that there is and should be no end. The idea isn’t to make a one time change and then go back to your old ways. There’s no sense in that.
This program is designed to teach you how to effectively train and eat so you can transform your body into your desired outcome. But, more importantly, the program is designed to teach you how to maintain your new body.
In Rusty’s words,
“My advice is to get in shape just one time, then stay in shape for the rest of your life. To me, this makes the whole ordeal of training so much easier. Once you are in shape, it becomes second nature to you.”
And that, my friends, is the truth.
Over the past six and a half months, I’ve shown you what’s possible. Now it’s on you to grab life by the horns and make things happen. If you want a guide that will help you make that important change in your life, I highly recommend Rusty’s Visual Impact Muscle Building program. I’ve only scratched the surface with my posts here. His program is absolutely packed with information that will teach you how to customize the program for yourself, how to get results, and how to maintain the better body you’ve created.
It’s been a long and eventful experiment and I’m happy I took the time to go through it and, in the process, show you what is possible.
Now it’s time for you to do the same.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.
If you think there is some value in this post or any of my other Visual Impact experiment posts, please share them with your friends and family. It would help me out so much!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help you guys out with anything you need.