This week has been solely focused on preparing my first body building show. There’s a few things that got added to the list of things I’ll do different next prep, like taking the whole week off pre show. Having to do fasted cardio for me entailed waking up at 4 am to do it before my 6am work start. I’m not one to complain about this kind of stuff but I definitely felt my energy at work suffer and do not want to compromise professional integrity in the future.
The second thing I’ll do differently is getting a full body wax instead of trying to shave my whole body myself. Not that it wasn’t fun, and that having my girlfriend help me shave the back of my thighs enthralling, but I feel like the full body wax would be a lot more efficient. You learn something new every day right. Plus I clogged the bathtub and my roomie got mad.
I am writing this the day before the show, and I can reflect a little on the whole dieting aspect. I feel like there’s a huge misconception with bodybuilding and extreme diets. I don’t know how I’ll do tomorrow but regardless, the past two months have been enjoyable. Yes there are things I would do differently next time, mainly, eat more! I came in this prep a little too lean and ended up being show ready too early. That was hard mentally to keep the diet super clean, but now that I know how my body reacts to dieting, I know I can enjoy a few more calories during my off season. I have the full intention to use these extra calories to train even more than before and push my body to new limits so don’t you go thinking I just want to enjoy more bad food just for the sake of it.
I’ve learned a lot from this prep. Actually weighting my food helped me realize how much (or how little) I was actually eating. I find that we are usually over eating all the time, and getting a bit anal with measuring my meals to the ounce only reinforced this sentiment. My biggest advice for anyone who wants to take their nutrition to the next level is to get yourself a cheap food scale and weight thins JUST ONCE! Just so you get an idea.
Take a chicken breast for example. The cornerstone of any muscle building diet. I used to not think twice about it’s macros. Now I know that on average, a chicken breast is roughly 170 grams, has 53 grams of protein and 280 calories. So just by having 4 of those a day I can hit my protein requirements and reach my calorie goal pretty damn quick.
I am taking a renewed interest in nutrition thanks to this prep and will take it in consideration when I build my future training plans. The biggest, immediate thing I plan on experimenting with is varying all my carb and protein supplements. Just to get different exposure to whats out there and to mix things up. I’m part of the school of thought that believes in varying your training plan and it makes sense to me to apply this philosophy to my nutrition. I will be experimenting with a vegetarian phase as well as a vegan phase in the near future.
Even though I’ve lifted weights for 10 years now, I have found a new passion in lifting. This is something I’m having a tough time explaining. I think it really comes down to having tangible goals again. I used to lift weights to be better at sports, but didn’t have enough knowledge to make plans that were very good. Once I acquired that knowledge through my degree and experience, I got injured and stopped playing sports. I had no goals to chase with that new knowledge. Yes I applied it to others and always took pleasure in seeing my students achieve their goals, but I never applied it to myself. The gym became a place where I hung out with my pals, and although we push ourselves to outdo each other, we plateaued regularly.
Now I can already see all the progress I’m going to make the coming months and how my body will adapt, and I can’t wait to start the process!
The final thing I have to say about this prep is how grateful I am for all of those that supported me through it. Whether it’s my students in the gym, colleagues, friends, family or girlfriend, I really felt like everyone was cheering me on the whole way. A huge thank you to all of you!
Here is a little more about how it all went down this weekend!
Got to wake up and enjoy what I call a close-to-perfect morning. Fresh eggs, fresh oatmeal with berries and cinamon and time to enjoy some reading. I think that one of most important things about a good morning is to know that yo have time to enjoy what you are currently doing. As a person who wakes up at 5am on the regular, that doesn’t happen much!
Had all the time in the world to make it down to New West for the show was held. Friday was for the athlete's meeting and first coat of spray tanning.
I’ve never done spray tanning before and to be 100% honest didn’t really like the way I was feeling right after it. Having the tan feel sticky under your clothes is not exactly stellar. Next time I’ll go do my prep somewhere hot and sunny and get a real tan.
And then, I had an amazing feeling! I got back to my hotel, sat down on my couch and realized…I literally have nothing to do. That was such an awesome thing to realize. I mean technically there’s always something I should be doing, but this close to a big event, you just zone in and focus on your goal. Mine is to make sure my too-big board shorts don’t fall off on stage… Any who, I got to play a bunch of online chess and it was fabulous.
After the athlete’s meeting in which I got to meet the brains behind the BCABBA and I was very pleased to find out how legit this thing is. I know I wanted to do more shows after this, and this organization keeps pushing me to do so in a great way.
Once the athletes meeting was over, it was time for my last meal of the day, a delicious burger at an incredible burger shack called “Lost in the 50s”. Imagine a burger shack from the movie “Grease” and it’s exactly that. Love it or hate it, I’m totally in love with it and genuinely considering the 1 hour drive from Vancouver just to get my burger fix from them.
Tomorrow is a 5am wake up to get my second layer of tanning. I’m mentally preparing for that awful sticky feeling that early in the morning, but looking on the bright side, once it happens, I’ll have a few hours to relax pre show and play more online chess!
I woke up at 4:50am on a Sunday. This is blasphemy. Just so I can get my second layer of tanning? Arch blasphemy…suck it up butter cup, the Wave’s coffee will be open for when you get your tanned ass back to the hotel.
Oh yea flip flops that early in the autumn morning are fabulous by the way.
The tanning went good, after coming back into my room I couldn’t really go back to sleep because of the excitement so I just chilled out and played chess. The cool thing about show day is that actually get to eat cheat foods like rice cake and nutella and chocolate bars to get your body to swell up with all the sugars. So I was also super eager to eat my chocolate bar.
After arriving at the venue, it wasn’t anything too crazy, just imagine a bunch of ripped dude in a room covered in plastic all over the walls to prevent the tan to get on there. The conversation floated around which gyms were good and bad or what crazy stuff some guys did to cut.
The time we got to pump up for the stage was surprisingly short, and you can add that to the list of things I learned. the time you start pumping seems like a sort of science, you need to gauge how quickly the categories ahead of you will take and get the right amount of pump. Too long of a pump and you will lose it or be tired on stage, and too short you wont be pumped.
That is the first thing I plan to improve for the evening show, get more pump time.
The stage experience was great, flexing in front of all these people didn’t seem to bother me and I enjoyed all of it. We old the poses for quite some time so you do get to work the pump a bit more on there!
After the morning show, you just relax until the evening show. More chess!
I had forgotten the toughest part of individual sports: waiting for your turn. The evening show started at 6pm and I went on stage at 9pm. Mental wasn’t ready for that and it was with excruciating pain that I saw all my potential cheat meal restaurants become less and less feasible as the time rolled on.
However, we finally made it on stage and everything went well. I didn’t do as good as I’d hoped but feed back from the gf and friends that were watching was that their was a noticeable difference in my competitor’s posing and mine. So now I know what to improve for next show!
All in all, an amazing experience, I will be doing more of these in the future, so stay tuned for more regular progress updates!