Tone House’s Muscle Build Challenge (MBC) made its return this November, right in time for athletes looking to gain strength and muscle for the First Annual Lift Off.

During the MBC, athletes increase lifting intensity and eat calories closer to maintenance for 30 days. The goal and nature of the challenge is to combat restrictive eating and improve body composition. All competing athletes were successful in this!

Athletes ate between 90-105% of their calories over the challenge duration. For many this reduced cravings, improved energy & recovery, as well as fueled multiple personal lifting records. All competing athletes reported increased strength and overall confidence in their body.

November tends to be a time for “holiday eating” and worries about increasing weight and body fat. With periodization in training and shift in eating mentality – these athletes achieved what most people attempt to do while implementing restrictive eating, attending “Turkey Burn” challenges, and hitting endless cardio. We run this challenge to support our athletes bodies and minds.

A huge congratulations to Arthur Lee for winning the Muscle Build Challenge with the greatest percent change in skeletal muscle mass (while also getting married in November, congrats!). Lee reported a 1.52% increase in muscle, a with a total of 1.1 lb of muscle gained. He was the least resistance trained athlete – moving from 0-1 lifting days per week with multiple conditioning sessions to 2-3 lifting days per week with less conditioning sessions.

Muscle Build Challenge winner, Arthur Lee, flexing his arms in front of Tone House logo

We learn more of Arthur’s experience below:

Q: What made you decide to join the Muscle Build Challenge, & what goals did you have at the start? 

I was getting married on 11/11/2022 and while I did try my best to stay in great shape during the wedding, I was aware that I might get lazy after that date and stop exercising and eating right. So I signed up for this challenge to hold myself accountable and continue to eat healthy and exercise. 

Arthur Lee pushing sled

Q: What was your experience like working with Ryan, and what changes did you make to your diet and training routine? 

Ryan was amazing to work with and he was always encouraging and answered all my questions. Before this challenge, I was trying to run a calorie deficit and eat less to stay more lean. I was also doing a lot of cardio and just lifting once a week. Doing lots of cardio and trying to eat under 2000 calories per day was actually making me tired pretty often. Per Ryan’s instruction, I changed my routine to less cardio and more weight lifting (4 times a week), and focused more on being mindful of what I was eating instead of how much. For the challenge, I focused on getting the right amounts of carbs, proteins, and fat to support my active lifestyle. I ended up eating a lot more than I was accustomed to, but with the targeted eating approach, I had a lot more energy to complete my strength and cardio workouts and maintain a good level of energy throughout the day. This worked for all of my goals since I was able to gain more lean muscle, got stronger and able to lift quite a bit heavier, and even lost 1% in body fat. 

I thank Ryan for all his help and teaching throughout this process and my wife who was really supportive during the whole process and made this challenge easier by being an amazing cook. 

Q: What takeaways from this challenge will you continue to apply to your training and nutrition habits? 

Instead of trying to run calorie deficits or go on unsustainable fad diets, I will continue to be mindful of what I am eating and get all the nutrients I need to support an active lifestyle. I’ll try to keep track of everything I am eating to hold myself accountable and disciplined so that I can continue to get stronger and stay healthy. Also, I will continue doing a lot of strength training since this month has showed me that it helps with both building strength and losing body fat. 

If you’re interested in making big Nutrition and body composition changes in 2023, check out the 2023 TFRT Body Transformation Challenge starting January 9th!

Arthur Lee using Rogue echo bike

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