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.
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.