I returned last week from Cleveland from the 2010 IFBB North Americans and this concludes my 2010 competitive bodybuilding season. Unfortunately, I am not too happy with the outcome of this show. The mediocre display I presented at the North Americans was very disheartening since I thought I would be putting my best physique out there to date!
I have once again taken many lessons from the competition, as I usually do, and let me tell you, I won’t make the same mistake twice! Before I break down the week prior leading up to the North American downfall, I want to give special thanks to my beautiful wife-to-be, Gillian, for supporting me during this long show prep, which endured the entire summer. She truly understands the process, and without her continual support I would have never made it to the stage! Next I would like to thank my trainer and dear friend, Ronnie, for getting me in great shape even though we fell short of the goal we set out to achieve. Lastly, I would like to thank the 1st Phorm team; it is the ultimate honor representing an awesome company, and I can’t wait to start using Ignition again, pre and post work out during the upcoming offseason!
So to begin, let’s breakdown, the week leading up to the show: Sunday and Monday were lower carb days with carbs dropping down to 285g, protein at 545g, fat at 135g and calories maintained at 4,500. Water intake had been increased to 2.5 gallons two weeks prior. I did my last leg workout on Sunday, followed by 30 minutes of cardio. Monday morning began with 30 minutes of fasted cardio (on an empty stomach), then I trained back in the afternoon followed by another 30 minutes of cardio. Ronnie kept my cardio up since I wasn’t really in a carb depleted mode!
I woke up Tuesday morning looking great! I did 30 minutes of fasted cardio, then reverted back to a higher carb meal plan with carbs up to 465g, protein 475g, fat at 120g, with a total caloric intake of 4,750. Water intake remained at 2.5 gallons. Later that day I had the distinct honor of participating in a photo shoot with top photographer Jason Caine. The shoot was done at Ronnie’s gym, “The Fitness Vault”, on Chouteau Avenue in downtown St Louis! It’s an awesome facility, with a ton of equipment and a great atmosphere- if you are in the area I highly recommend you check it out! The photo shoot went great; Jason and his lighting assistant Cody are a class act. As you can see from the pictures attached to this blog, I was ready to step on stage and I feel that if I would have brought this package to the North Americans, I would have done some damage! This photo shoot was the highlight of my week- thanks again guys! I used the photo shoot as my workout for the day, and concluded the evening with 30 minutes of cardio!
Wednesday morning, I woke up weighing 223 lbs; I was pleased with how I looked and the weight I was maintaining. In previous years, I usually begin to start sliding in weight a few days before the show. I performed 30 minutes empty stomach cardio, and stayed the same meal plan as the day before. I concluded this final training day by doing chest and shoulders, with 30 minutes of cardio in the evening. Water remained at 2.5 gallons. I did all of my cooking and packed up a huge cooler of grub for the weekend. Trust me, when you have to fly out of town to compete it is a major pain in the ass!
Thursday morning I woke up at 4:00 am weighing 222.5 lbs. I was still pleased with how I looked but knew I had a full day of travel ahead. My flight left at 7:30 am, arriving in Cleveland at 1:30 pm. I had my third meal on the plane, and cut my water to 1 gallon. Once Ronnie, Gillian and I got settled in we evaluated my physique. We determined that I was holding a bit of water from the fight. My weight was 226.5 lbs, but by this point I did have 5 meals on board already. I backed off completely on the water to make weight Thursday evening, and I barely did at 224 lbs! We cut water completely that night at 10 pm, and called it a night. At this point I was feeling pretty confident and I was very excited for prejudging the following night!
Friday, I woke up weighing 222, and still pleased with how I was looking! Ronnie and I went to the hotel restaurant, and I had a breakfast buffet, which was catered to bodybuilders: a big egg white omelet, red potatoes, and pancakes. The bill for me and Ronnie both was a ridiculous $66, another reason you pack a huge cooler when you travel to a show! I did have a small cup of coffee, which would be the only fluid for the day. As the day progressed, I was still shedding water, but we felt I needed to be big, hard, and dry in order to be competitive in this very competitive heavyweight class! We started to supplement with scoops of complex carbs in between meals in order to help me fill out. Let me tell you taking powdered complex carbs without water is not fun, and by round three, I was starting to feel very bloated, with lots of burping and gas! By 2:00 pm, Gillian started applying my competition tan, and even though I didn’t look bloated I was feeling it!
By the time prejudging, rolled around at 7:00 pm, we had achieved the status of big and filled out. While I was backstage getting ready it didn’t take much for me to get a pump, but something didn’t feel right. I was very uncomfortable and continued to feel bloated, burping right up until I lined up to go onstage! It also didn’t help that there were only a few long mirrors backstage, which I think the promoters got from the local funhouse! The heavyweight class was 28 competitors deep and we came out in groups of 9-10 and did quarter turn comparisons. After that, each competitor did an individual 45 second routine. When it came time for the callouts, I was relegated to the third group of callouts. Although I was very disappointed, I knew that this was probably where I belonged!
My final placing was 15th place, and after looking at pictures from the show, I was not overlooked! I discussed things with Ronnie, and we both concurred we got caught up playing the “size game”, trying to fill out and look big, full and hard and sacrificing conditioning. It was a classic case of what is known as “spilling over”. I was so saturated with carbs, that as I started posing, I began smoothing out losing any separation that I previously had from months of rigorous dieting and training. It’s just amazing how fast the body can change, in such a short period of time! We also agreed that I need more leg size, especially the hamstrings, and I also need to work on developing the lower lats to help offset my long torso.
After pre-judging, the rest of the weekend was spent in pure gluttony eating everything in sight! Since I wasn’t close to contention, I showed up to Saturday night’s finals 12 pounds heavier than the previous night after 24 hours of eating and drinking! Since on the National level only the top 5 guys in each class pose at the finals, I simply walked on stage to be introduced and that was it. I haven’t seen those pics, and I’m not sure I want to either!!!
I am one week removed from the show and feeling good; I’m sitting at around 248lbs! I’ve eaten anything and everything I’ve wanted, but this will be short lived. It’s time for me to get back on track this week, as I’m back in the gym and eating a cleaner diet. Stay tuned for my plans for the offseason, and future competition!
Be consistent and stay balanced!
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