13 Weeks

Holy moly, this is going fast. 

I had a really excellent week. Got a lot of things worked out in my personal life, made some new friends, and thank the Lord, I am finally feeling motivated to hunker down and work my butt off for this prep. I’m still far away from where I need to be for stage, but the optimism is flowing. 

Today I ran stadiums for the first time in a while, and although my cardio conditioning isn’t what it used to be, it was much better than I expected. I went into the gym later to do squats, but felt pretty tired and my form was terrible. I am trying to improve my high bar squat, but unfortunately I’m so used to doing low bar that I end up reverting back to low-bar form when I’m tired. One of my sets is below. 

The strength portion of my programming comes from Chad Wesley Smith’s Juggernaut Method, which I’ve had success with in the past. I love the high volume of this program and how it complements building conditioning and agility simultaneously. I might need to re-assess doing stadiums before squats though. That was rough. 

Just a side note: I get self-conscious sometimes about people knowing about my competitive life. There is a lot of stigma around bodybuilding, and I feel pretty weird telling people I compete in a sport that is all about looking good. I wish it wasn’t that way, and I really wish I was talented in something badass, like olympic weightlifting or gymnastics, but for some reason God decided I was going to be good at physique-building, so I’m gonna stick with it for now. I just wish people realized that not all people who compete in this are image-obsessed attention seekers. I just like working out, and this gives me a fun goal to work towards and a sense of accomplishment. Anyway, that’s my rambling for the week. Thanks for listening!

14 Weeks

I messed up my calculations and was off by a week. As of this weekend, I’m 14 weeks out from my show. Eeeeek. I’m scared.

Let’s talk about my training program. Because I compete in an aesthetic sport, my first priority when it comes to training is getting lean (e.g, reducing bodyfat). This means I need to burn a bunch of calories when I train without also burning myself out or boring myself to death. That brings me to the second and third priorities of my training program: conditioning and variety.

You could probably do this and get toned.

You could probably do this and get toned.

Since diet plays the main role in competition prep, physique competitors (of any division, really) actually have a lot of flexibility when it comes to what they do in the gym. Have you ever seen a famous /successful bodybuilder posting videos on youtube or instagram that make you scratch your head thinking, “well if that isn’t the most ridiculously stupid workout i’ve ever seen…?” A great physique can be maintained with a huge variety of training methods. I suspect that a lot of the “special variations that will get you massive” competitors reveal to their legion of followers are usually just weird exercises they made up to keep themselves from getting incredibly bored doing medial raises and hack squats day in, day out. Let’s be real – in the 20 weeks leading up to a show, there are a billion different roads you can take in the gym that will lead to stage lean. As long as your diet in on point and you keep moving, you’ll be fine.

With that in mind, I am doing some weird stuff. When I explained my program to a friend, they responded with, “So, you’re training for powerlifting, crossfit and bodybuilding simultaneously?” Yeah. Pretty much.

If you’ve followed this blog before, you know that I really love the Juggernaut Method for strength training. It’s a great program for intermediate to advanced lifters. It also moves slowly, is about 16 weeks in length, and gives you plenty of room to improvise. I’m running a variation of this program. Instead of programming for increased strength in the powerlifting style squat, deadlift, bench and military press, I am working on improving lifts that I can’t perform as technically well: front squat, high-bar (oly) squat, push press and bench (because chest day is best day).

I just finished up the 10s wave this week and am quickly moving on the 8s wave (I don’t take deload weeks btwn the first two waves, only after the 8s). Below is a video of my rep-out for Front Squat. You’ll notice that I’m only doing 120 lbs. I’m not that strong in this lift, so it’s actually quite nice that I can work on getting stronger without it being incredibly taxing to my system. It allows me to save energy for the other stuff I do, which I’ll talk more about in posts to come.

Sugar, Hormones & Addiction

I know there are a lot of people out there who think sugar is evil and blame all the western world’s nutrition problems on simple carbs, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. This video is pretty straightforward in explaining why sugar isn’t actually crack cocaine, even though they sort of resemble each other in appearance.

16 Weeks

Hello! I started this thing 2 years ago. Strangely enough, people actually read it. I’ve had people come up to me in public and ask me if I’m swolesister. Weird, but pretty cool. Sometimes i hear about other bloggers posting … Continue reading