Bhaumik Case Study: How Bhaumik Got Shredded On A Vegetarian Diet

Bhaumik Case Study: How Bhaumik Got Shredded On A Vegetarian Diet

When Bhaumik came to RNT, he had one goal in mind: to take his physique to the next level.

As the classic over thinker, he’d been stuck in a rut spinning his wheels for a while, and despite regularly training, was never able to achieve the aesthetics he truly desired.

He wanted his abs to pop out, and more importantly, he wanted to learn the tools so that he could maintain his results for life.

If there were ever a prototype client we love to work with at RNT, this would be it.

Bhaumik’s only worry was that his vegetarian (no eggs) diet would limit his gains, and that he might not be able to achieve the level of fat loss that he was after.

This is something many vegetarians worry about, but having worked with many vegetarians and vegans from a wide variety of backgrounds, I really haven’t seen much of a difference when it comes to fat loss. Sure, the choices are a little more limited, but with the right planning and preparation, it can certainly be done.

So we did… And in typical RNT fashion, we’re going to break down step-by-step how Bhaumik got shredded and into the shape of his life over the course of 12 weeks.

Starting Point

Prior to starting with RNT, he was doing the following:

Training – 4 days a week on an upper / lower split. Bhaumik had been following us for a while before joining, so had begun to make some solid changes in his training to facilitate strength and muscle gains, incorporating strategies such as ‘heavy’ days and ‘light’ days.

Cardio ­– None

Diet – Bhaumik was familiar with using MyFitnessPal, and used the app to track his intake. His calorie intake beforehand was in the region of 2400 to 2600, with 160g of protein, 20-30% calories from fat, and the remainder from carbs. This put him in a slight surplus, and a strong position to begin dieting down.

Starting Bodyweight ­– 72kg

Starting Umbilicus – 80cm

Bhaumik’s Comments:I have been into weightlifting since adolescence, and it would be disingenuous to pretend my initial interest in bodybuilding stemmed from anything deeper than aesthetics. Bicep curls girls get all the girls was the theory. So being a regular fitness enthusiast, I was always working out but never consistently and most importantly never with an actual plan or goal. Not surprisingly, this haphazard approach only yielded AVERAGE results but this was never going to be enough. I wanted AMAZING results.  

I came across RNT at a perfect moment in my life, after having finished my formal Chartered qualification, I had the time to commit now to take my physique to another level. Trawling through fitness articles and pages, I came across RNT and Akash – I was instantly hooked and shocked at the transformations he had churned out. But what secured my decision to work with Akash was the impressive physique he has achieved himself. 

In an age of instant gratification, information overload and a lack of accountability – Results are farfetched. I knew Akash had the blueprint that I needed to circumvent these obstacles that most guys like me face. I also wanted to do this without consuming animal products that I was never morally in support of. So before signing up I was reassured by Akash that he had a track record of working with people with my dietary preferences.  

Initial Changes

To start Bhaumik off, here’s what we did:

Training – I kept his training the same – four days a week on an upper / lower split, training body parts twice a week. Throughout the week, we varied the rep ranges so that on two days we focused in the 4 to 8 rep range, and two days we aimed to progress in the 8 to 15 rep range. The training program stayed exactly the same throughout the transformation

Diet

His starting macros were as follows:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 70g

Carbs: 190g

Bhaumik had tried set meal plans before, but preferred a little more flexibility and the ability to change his diet on the fly.

This isn’t for everyone, and many will find this tiresome. But for some people it works, and my only caveat was for Bhaumik to send me some proposed meal plans to ‘ok’ beforehand, just so he wasn’t going for doughtnuts and ice cream six times a day!

This is what works well for him. Our approach with clients is never fixed, and the beauty of 1-1 personalised coaching is that we focus on fitting the diet around your lifestyle – it should never be the other way around.

Here’s an example of how Bhaumik set his diet up at the beginning of his diet:

Breakfast – Vegan Protein, Oats, Almond Milk

Lunch – Greek Yogurt, Avocado or Hummus, Bagel

Dinner – Protein Pasta, Nuts, Veggies

Before Bed – Casein Shake With Fruit

Supplements – Here’s what we used to begin with:

  • Vegan Blend Protein 
  • Vitamin D3 – 2000IU with breakfast
  • Creatine Monohydrate  – 5g with any shake
  • EAAs – 1 scoop during workouts
  • Casein Protein 

Cardio – No traditional cardio to begin with. All Bhaumik had to focus on was taking 8,000 steps a day.

1 Week In – 70.7kg

Bhaumik had a strong start to the plan and dropped an initial 1.3kg in his first week. The only issue he had to begin with was a lack of regularity, so we added one teaspoon of psyllium husk in the morning and evening to help.

Changes to be implemented: Add psyllium husk

No changes to training, diet and cardio.

2 Weeks In – 70.7kg

No change in bodyweight this week, and not much in the pictures too, so we make a few tweaks.

On his three non-weight training days, we dropped carbs to 140g. Additionally, we added 25 minutes of low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio on these days.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 70g

Carbs: 190g or 140g (-50g on non-weight training days)

We also increased steps to 10,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: Introduced carb cycling by reducing carbs on rest days to 140g. Added 25 minutes of LISS three days a week, and increased steps to 10,000 a day.

No changes to training or supplementation

3 Weeks In – 70.4kg

Bhaumik’s weight wasn’t moving as I’d have expected, but his waist size was coming down, and his strength in the gym was increasing.

This is very common in the first 2-3 weeks for certain body types, as when you go from not ticking all the boxes, to suddenly being optimal on all fronts, your body will respond with a ‘recomp’ effect (building muscle and losing body fat at the same time).

That being said, we still make a few small tweaks and reduced fats to 65g, training days to 175g, and pushed the 3 LISS sessions up to 30 minutes.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 65g (-5g)

Carbs: 175g (-15g) or 140g (non-weight training days)

We also added in yohimbine and caffeine into the mix to be used before the fasted cardio sessions.

Changes to be implemented: Fats reduced 5 grams, training day carbs down 15g, the 3 LISS sessions increased by 5 minutes. Yohimbine and caffeine were added pre cardio.

No changes to training.

4 Weeks In – 69.9kg

Things were beginning to kick into gear now.

Bhaumik was also finding it easier to have a set plan for his daily nutrition. Instead of changing it up daily, he now kept the ‘creative’ food choices for his weekends when he had more time to think about it. During his working week, he instead focused on following a more set plan to reduce thinking, limit decision fatigue, and allow him to focus on what matters in his day.

To take advantage of the yohimbine and caffeine mix, we increased LISS to 5 days a week of 30 minutes.

Changes to be implemented: Increase LISS to 5 days a week for 30 minutes.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

5 Weeks In – 69.8kg 

Weight held this week, and while he was leaning up slowly, we realised that for him to get his abs popping like he wanted, he had to get a lot leaner than we both anticipated.

And so we made a harder push this week, by dropping fats to 55g, and carbs down 15g everyday.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 55g (-10g)

Carbs: 160g or 125g (-15g across all days)

We also pushed LISS up to 30 minutes a day, and increased his step average to 12,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: Fats down to 55g, carbs reduced by 15g everyday, LISS up to 30 minutes daily, and steps increased to 12,000 a day.

No changes to training or supplementation.

6 Weeks In – 69.4kg

The grind was kicking in now for Bhaumik, and it was the first week that he’d found tough. Cravings and hunger pangs were kicking in, and he was noticing subtle mood changes.

This also coincided with him looking much leaner, and an outline of his abs starting to show.

We made one very small tweak on the diet, dropping fats to 50g. We also pushed LISS up to 35 minutes a day.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 50g (-5g)

Carbs: 160g or 125g

Changes to be implemented: LISS now at 35 minutes daily, and fats dropped 5g everyday.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Bhaumik’s Comments: ABS?! Could it be? Only 4 weeks in and I could finally touch my very own. The mirror selfies were picking up, narcissism was growing – all signs of amazing progress. This was just the beginning and I wasn’t going to stop. 

Being a big believer in flexible eating, sustainability was key for me in this process. I know a set meal plan doesn’t fit my idea of a good life. However 1 month into the plan, I also quit my job in pursuit of career ambitions. This going hand in hand with the cut meant that I was having less time to be creative with my food. I learnt from Akash that sometimes you just have to expend your mental energy in the right places, so I set a meal plan to follow in the last month. I was starting believe in the concept of limited cognitive capacity.

At this point I had also learnt my brother had gone vegan, in inspiration, I was starting to also cut out more dairy and began my transition to a more plant based diet.   

I was very happy with the progress, However like most guys, I was concerned with losing too much weight. This is a typical reason why most guys never get really lean and always end of “forever bulking”. I relayed my concerns to Akash who assured me that is is possible to retain muscle whilst being on such a deep deficit.  Again, knowing that Akash has led by example, gave me the confidence to trust him and the process.  

7 Weeks In – 68.6kg

This was the first time Bhaumik slipped on the diet, and it was for a reason many of you will find interesting.

After one of his leg sessions, he felt intense DOMS like never before, and thought if he didn’t eat more, he’d begin to break down a lot of muscle tissue.

These thoughts can be tough to deal with when dieting as the aim is not only to lose body fat, but maximise muscle retention too. I also think this can hold many people back, as they use this fear of losing muscle to prevent themselves from really pushing hard on a diet.

However, if you train hard, maintain your strength and keep your protein levels up, you’ll be fine.

That being said, while he did overeat, Bhaumik was smart in that he didn’t turn it into a binge, or let the next few days suffer too. Instead, he owned it, and got right back on plan the next day, making some adjustments to help buffer the overall calorie intake.

While there was still progress on the scale, the slip up meant we needed to adjust slightly.

We pushed LISS to 40 minutes a day, along with a step increase to 13,000.

We also pushed on the diet by dropping carbs to 140g on training days, and 100g on rest days.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 50g

Carbs: 140g (-20g) or 100g (-25g)

To spark his metabolism again later in the day, we also added a second dose of 200mg caffeine around 1pm.

Changes to be implemented: LISS at 40 minutes, and steps up to 13,000 daily. Carbs reduced by 20g on training days, and 25g on rest days. Second dose of caffeine added later in the day.

No changes o training.

8 Weeks In – 67.5kg

Big drop this week; over 1kg lost and also 1.5cm off the waist.

We were into the final third now and Bhaumik was looking very lean. When he asked why the big drop came all of a sudden, here was my response:

It’ll be a combination of factors, and also just what I like to call ‘gathered momentum’. Once you’re firing on all cylinders, your body is in a great place to burn fat. No specific factor at play here. Just the consistency week on week building and showing results’.

He was also concerned about his strength in the gym, and wanted to know whether plateaus were normal, and if we needed to change anything…

‘Right now you’re getting pretty lean, and you will require more rest between. I think shifting to ‘maintenance’ with your loads, and going for ‘relative strength’ PRs is where it’s at now. I would NOT change your main lifts, as these are critical in maintaining your muscle mass, and knowing whether you are maintaining strength or not. Changing big exercises at this point can be a disaster for muscle mass as you won’t know where you are strength wise with new moves.

Remember, if you can do the same at a lighter weight, that’s progress. Boredom right now shouldn’t be a factor; it should be based on progression.’

Given his feedback though, I thought now would be a great time to implement a mini refeed, so for his next training day of that week, we used the following macros:

Protein: 150g

Fats: 40g

Carbs: 300g

It was only to be done for one day, and for the normal diet to be resumed from the next day.

We also pushed LISS to 45 minutes daily, and steps up to 14,000 now.

Changes to be implemented: Refeed on one training day, LISS up to 45 minutes and steps up to 14,000 a day.

No changes to training or supplementation.

9 Weeks In – 67.1kg

Bhaumik had a lot of changes going on in his life, with the big one being quitting his job, starting a new job, and having to work away during the week.

To add to this, training was becoming a chore, he was worried about losing muscle mass, and was also being exposed to the typical Asian stigma of being lean with his family and friends.

Despite the challenges, the refeed did the trick, and we clipped another pound of body fat off.

Bhaumik also asked how far from ‘shredded’ he was, and I said he’d probably need to drop below 65kg to get in true razor sharp condition. This shocked him, as he’d never think he’d even need to be below 70kg to be where he wanted.

I think this brings me back to something many people underestimate, which is just how much body fat they hold onto!

I remember my first ever bodybuilding show, I thought I’d be 78-79kg on stage. Little did I know I’d end up at 70kg! At my most recent show in 2017, I was still only just over 71kg, but more muscular and way more conditioned.

The point here is that for natural guys looking to get into real good condition, you should never let social media ‘stars’ dictate your scale weight expectations.

The scale should only be data at this stage, with your overall look being the most important factor here. Being in fear of going below a specific number can hold many people back from getting into real, incredible shape.

After talking back and forth, Bhaumik was now pumped to take it to that next level, and push himself into a dark place.

We were about 2-3 weeks away from shredded, and just needed that little extra push, so we pushed fats down to 40g everyday, and steps up to 15,000 a day.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 40g (-10g)

Carbs: 140g or 100g

Changes to be implemented: Fats reduced by 10g everyday, and steps up to 15,000.

No changes to training, cardio or supplementation. 

Bhaumik’s Comments: I have come to learn from this process that, the mental strength required to get shredded is enormous. I was started to learn and embrace from this process the incredible self control, discipline  and dedication required for such a feat.  At this point, I was deep into my cut and was experiencing all the things that came with very low body fat. Sporadic bouts of anger, testosterone plummeting, broccoli starting to taste like dessert.  

It is now that a personal coach is so valuable. Midway or deep within a cut is when most people start second guessing everything – I was no exception. I remember sending emails to Akash doubting and questioning the process. Typical concerns about weight, cardio having a catabolic effect on muscle etc. With tons of conflicting information and opinions on the web, this is bound to happen. Without an experienced coach, two things result from this doubt, the concern with muscle forces one to abandon the cut and start a bulk again, thus never ever getting the shred they once desired. Second, plans get an overhaul and with this chopping and changing, results occur much slower and sometimes even regress.  However Akash’s reassurance every week allowed me to outsource the mental battle to him and just follow the plan with tunnel vision. 

10 Weeks In – 67.1kg

After last week’s pep talk, Bhaumik was fired up again, and his training performance reflected it, with a few PBs sneaking in here and there.

Only issue was his progress stalled, and he wasn’t looking much different.

It was time to pull the plug and bring out the #VaghelaGrind…

We dropped fats down to 30g, and reduced his training day carbs to 120g.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 30g (-10g)

Carbs: 120g or 100g

Over the past few weeks, it’s worth noting that Bhaumik slowly transitioned to an intermittent fasting style protocol, whereby he’d delay his first meal till the early afternoon, and condense his eating window to 7-8 hours.

This works great in managing hunger and allowing yourself more satiating meals throughout the day. For hard dieting phases, it’s one of the best ‘tricks’ you can use.

We also took LISS up to 50 minutes a day, and steps to 16,000.

Changes to be implemented: Training days carbs reduced by 20g, and fats down by 10g. LISS up by 5 minutes and steps up to 16,000.

No changes to training or supplementation

11 Weeks In – 65.6kg 

Big drops this week. The changes from last week worked, and he was almost ready. He mentioned this week that he had a few really ‘low’ days, and couldn’t resist the odd Indian sweet laying around.

When I get asked why I compete in bodybuilding, a big reason is that I love taking my body to the extreme.

By doing taking my own body to the extreme, it allows me to take my clients to the extreme too, while being able to relate to them every step of their journey.

That’s why all of us at RNT have got shredded, and why I’m a firm believer that every coach should do at least once.

Here was my response to his low days:

I know what you mean here. I remember one time on prep, two weeks out, I was so low that I felt like bursting into tears. It took me 50 minutes to walk home from the gym (normally a 25 minutes walk), and I was thankful to just get home. I was so f**ked that I had nothing left. BUT I persisted, and the end result kept me going. I don’t want you to fall into the trap of thinking a sweet or two can help, because then you start thinking a few more may help, and it can be a slippery slope. Embrace these hard days and just know that it’s THOSE days that if you can push through, it takes your results to a new level.

I also sent Bhaumik this article about the myth of discipline, which kept him going through this period.

We had about 7-10 days left now of hard grinding, so I dropped his training days carbs to 100g, so he was running the same macros daily now.

His macros were now:

Protein: 175g

Fats: 30g

Carbs: 100g

We also pushed his LISS up to 60 minutes, steps up to 17,000 and increased his caffeine intake to 400mg pre LISS, and 200mg in the early afternoon.

Changes to be implemented: LISS up to 60 minutes a day, steps up to 17,000, and training day carbs down to 100g. Caffeine increased to 600mg total in the day.

No changes to training.

12 Weeks In – Uh oh…

Bhaumik was ready, but exactly a week away from his shoot he’d woken up with bad food poisoning, fever and completely bed bound for 3 to 4 days.

This wasn’t ideal, and his bodyweight started to plummet down, as expected.

During this time there was no training, cardio and minimal steps, and the focus was to eat whatever he could keep down.

Luckily… by the time we were 4-5 days away from the shoot, he was back on track and able to go again.

We had to play this all by ear and on the fly, instead of the usual plan I have in place for more typical ‘peak weeks’.

The last few days ended up being:

Thursday: 175P / 60F / 300C

Friday: 175P / 60F / 300C

Saturday: 175P / 75F/ 200C

Despite losing a lot of fullness with his food poisoning, we managed to fill him back out just in time.

Game Day:

7.30am (2 hours before) – 20-25g Protein, 60g Carbs, 20g Fat, Extras Salt

During shoot – 2-3 scoops HBCDs

Lights, Camera, Action!

Final Stats/Testimonial:

Final Bodyweight – 63.5kg

Final Umbilicus – 70cm

These were his final comparison pictures:

Next Plan?

Get strong and build muscle!

Here’s what Bhaumik has to say about his overall experience with RNT Fitness, and training with Akash:

Getting lean is as much a mental game as it is a physical. The programme has taught me invaluable skills and most importantly. Akash has debunked some of the major training myths that guys like me often hold onto and thus never truly make progress. 

The process also taught me mental skills like patience, trusting a process, perseverance even when progress is hard to visualise. These skills are interchangeable and I truly believe it has a positive impact on my career and personal life as well, where I have used these new found skills to progress.   

On a final note, I would like to say that Akash is a winner – he gets shit done. It is that type of person you want as a trainer/mentor, the latter role he has fulfilled as well. A no bullshit, go getter. And I am glad I made one of the best decisions ever recruiting him. I know I will be working with him a lot more to fulfil more goals in the near future.  

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For more case studies similar to Bhaumik, check out this page:

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