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A Mammoth Challenge to Get Lean
Canadian amateur bodybuilder Mark Ikonomu accepted a 30-Day Challenge to eat only Mammoth Meal. The results surprised even him.
Thanks to social media and the Internet, folks are increasingly recording themselves doing wild and crazy stunts, and sometimes the effort seems to get a little out of hand. At least that’s what we thought of Mammoth Supplements’ challenge to Canadian amateur bodybuilder Mark Ikonomu who, while following a pre-competition diet/training program during the month of January, was tasked with eating only Mammoth products (and ingredients that can be blended into a shake) for 30 days. Quite frankly, we figured it would either make or break his contest prep.
Would he balloon out like the blood-pressure-popping subject of the 2004 film Super Size Me, or would he present a decent—or dare we say, impressive—physique at our photo shoot? So yeah, that caught our collective attention.
Muscle Insider had a number of questions for the 23-year-old Classic Physique competitor from Oshawa, who competes in the Canadian Physique Alliance. For the record, while Mark followed a pre-contest training and nutrition plan, he did not actually compete.
Muscle Insider: So give us the bottom line: How did you look after 30 days?
Mark: I went from 220 pounds at 16 percent body fat at the start of the challenge to 190 pounds around 7 percent body fat at the end. My goal was to get under 200 pounds, shredded, and maintain as much fullness as possible while consuming only Mammoth Meal and Mammoth Products. I reached my goal.
Muscle Insider: What prompted you to even want to try? It seems awfully extreme.
Mark: The owner of Mammoth Supplements called me one day as he was going over their new product, Mammoth Meal, and the idea suddenly came to him. Initially I thought he was joking, but me being me, I said, “Hell yeah, let’s do it!” I think that kind of caught him off guard, but within days we put together a game plan for the month, scheduled doctors’ appointments and had blood work done. This was literally a spur-of-the-moment challenge we created together. When it comes down to it, I really enjoy pushing my limits and setting up new challenges. I have done some pretty intense dieting before for different fitness competitions, but I’ve never in my life done an all-water-based diet, and I was really curious to see what would happen.
Muscle Insider: Give us a breakdown of how the 30 days went.
Mark: Early on I started filling out and putting on muscle, as I was consuming a lot of Mammoth Meal. Many people tell me I look my best when I’m filled out, but my goal was instead to get as lean as possible. So I started increasing my cardio and decreasing the amount of Mammoth Meal I was consuming. Fortunately, in leaning out, I was able to hold onto a lot of my muscle.
Muscle Insider: How did you adjust the amount of product over the course of the month as a way of manipulating your calories?
Mark: First you need to understand the macronutrient profile of the product. Mammoth uses anE-Z Dose system that’s fully customizable: Each scoop contains 100 calories, made up of 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 2.25 grams of fat. So it’s pretty easy to adjust your macros. There are also five different protein sources for a well-rounded amino-acid profile, which also lowers the glycemic response of the meal, which tempers insulin release to reduce the likelihood excess calories are stored as body fat.
I started the challenge consuming four scoops of Mammoth Meal per shake (giving me 400 calories, 40 grams of protein, and 40 grams of carbs) and had seven shakes a day. By the end of the challenge, I weaned down to two scoops per shake (providing 200 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 20 grams of carbs per shake). I did this gradually over the course of the month to try to not only maintain as much muscle as possible but also ensure I still leaned out and peaked by the end of the month.
Muscle Insider: Most of us are thinking we’d be downright sick of putting down the same meal day after day. How well did you tolerate that aspect?
Mark: I definitely did not get sick of it; in fact, I loveit, especially the Strawberry Shortcake flavour! Don't get me wrong, I missed having normal food, but in terms of Mammoth Meal, I didn't get tired of it during the Challenge. Right now it’s still a part of my diet.
Muscle Insider: Since you’re probably an expert consumer of Mammoth Meal now, what recommendations would you give to the manufacturer?
Mark: Mammoth really came through with a solid formula. They didn’t cheap out by boosting the product with fillers, and they put a lot of quality ingredients into it in addition to the proteins, including nine whole-food carb sources like gluten-free oats, pea starch, and sweet potato. So in terms of the base formula, I wouldn’t change a thing! Now, as for flavours, besides the three I consumed (Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Vanilla Ice Cream), I’d like to see more variety. But I’m told they’re working on some new flavours.
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