What a complete turnaround from last week’s down and out experience! Everything fell into place and it was due to re-programming my mindset and my nutrition plan. Mentally contest prep can sometimes get the best of you and that is exactly what happened in Week 5. I was not seeing the results I am accustomed to attaining and that left me to feel a bit discouraged. I was down on myself and I was definitely beating myself up. In order to overcome this problem I needed to step back for a minute and analyze what was causing my setbacks.
In years past, I always tended to gravitate towards clean eating (healthy) for contest prep…foods such as brown rice, oatmeal, shredded wheat, fruits, veggies, lean meats, whey, etc. but with this prep I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and try something different which was a vast array of food choices. It has been a terrific experience as far as the satisfaction of eating whatever I feel like. But of course…just as long as it all fits into my macros, but the downside is I have noticed major fluctuations with the scale that has seriously frustrated me mentally. Up one day, down the next, then back up and then down again. This is all normal when you are eating a variety of different foods such as the choices I have been making; homemade pizzas, egg omelets with low fat cheese, English muffins and so on and so on. All of these foods are very high in sodium and they are one of the culprits for the weight fluctuations. I totally get and understand sodium is definitely needed for an individual’s diet, but not so necessary in the large amounts I have been ingesting. Not just sodium intake, but carbs and other factors all play a major role with weight fluctuations as well and this does not necessarily mean I am not dropping any body fat, but it does play with my mental state to see the scale bouncing all over the place. It is funny because I can easily advise a client to not worry about the fluctuations because I know it is temporary, but for some reason when it is happening to me it is a completely different story. This is one of the reasons prep coaches are so vital…they tend to look after your sanity and see things a lot clearer when they are the one’s looking in from the outside. I am someone who prefers consistency when it comes to contest prep and without it I feel very unsure and a bit anxious. In 2009, eating clean did not bother me whatsoever, so with that said I have made the decision to eat clean again. For me, it allows for more structure and stability. I just want to see more consistency with my weigh-ins which will definitely help keep my mind at ease. If I can maintain my diet to be as steady as possible then I will be able to quickly pinpoint exactly what needs to be addressed regarding my nutrition in a given week. On Monday, I switched over and by my Wednesday morning weigh-in I dropped over two pounds. I have maintained that weight up until Saturday (today as I write this). The good news is even after my re-feed on Friday l have managed to hold the same exact weigh in. My mental state has improved twofold and I credit that to following a much more consistent meal plan. Adjustments will be easier to address and to say I am now highly motivate is an understatement. I feel confident because I know what to expect and when to expect it. I know many bodybuilders have a hard time following a set meal plan, but for me, it has proven time and time again to get the job done.
Starting Weight 12/06/10 – 206.5lbs Target weight: 160lbs
01/09/11 – 197.6
01/10/11 – 198.2
01/11/11 – 198.0
01/12/11 – 195.8
01/13/11 – 195.8
01/14/11 – 195.8 (re-feed of 160p, 400c, 40f)
01/15/11 – 195.8
200p, 250c, 40f on regular days (Saturday through Thursday)
160p, 400c, 40f re-feed once per week on Fridays
In my last blog, I listed my new training split and so far the first week went extremely good and I really enjoyed it. I am still focusing on a progressive loading scheme and since this week was the start of my new split I decided to reset my rep schemes. This week’s goal was to hit 8 reps on most lifts falling short of failure by 1 rep...next week will be 6’s and then the following will be 4’s. The big compound movements I am aiming for 3 sets and on all accessory movements the goal is two sets. After the 3 week cycle I will determine where to go with my training based on progress, recovery, fatigue, etc.
Monday – Chest & Back & Cardio (23 minutes LISS)
Decline Bench Press (Smith Machine) Warm ups: bar x 20, bar x 20, 95 x 20, 115 x 15, 135 x 12, 185 x 5, 205 x 4, Actual sets 225 x 8, 8, 8 *Note: Because of bad shoulders I ensure I do a lot of warm ups prior to my working sets.
Pec Dec 60 x 8, 70 x 8, 70 x 8 (substituted this for Incline Press because of my shoulders)
Pendlay Rows 245 x 8, 8, 8
Seated Rows 180 x 8, 8
Lat Pulls (Underhand Grip) 210 x 6, 200 x 8
Tuesday – Quads & Calves
Smith Hacks 325 x 4, 315 x 4, 225 x 10 *over reached on this one! Definitely did not hit my 8’s and I decided to drop weight on my third set and get in some reps.
Leg Extension 180 x 12, 8 *First time doing these in weeks…had to figure out my weight
Smith Machine Toe Press 415 x 8, 405 x 8, 395 x 8
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Delts & Arms & Cardio (23 minutes LISS)
Seated Military Press 155 x 8, 145 x 8, 135 x 8
Side Laterals 30 x 10, 9
Rear Flyes (pec dec) 65 x 8, 8
Overhead Triceps Press 135 x 8, 125 x 8
Triceps Pressdowns 110 x 8, 105 x 8
Dumbbell Curls 50 x 8, 7
Hammer Curls 50 x 8, 7
Friday – Hams, Glutes & Abs
Rack Deads 405 x 5, 8, 8 *Tested the waters with the first set to make sure my back was a go
Stiff Legged Deads 315 x 8, 8
Leg Curls 90 x 8, 8
Decline Sit-ups (arms overhead) Bodyweight x 8, 10lbs x 4 + 2 with BW
Saturday – Cardio (35 minutes LISS)
Sunday - Off
My lower back is now at 90% and I think within another week it should be back to 100%. I have decided to throw out free weight squats and deadlifts to ensure I maintain injury free throughout this prep. I have replaced those movements with Smith Machine hack squats and rack deads...both still very effective, but overall they are much safer for me. Yesterday I was a little tentative with the rack deads because it was the first time working my lower back since I strained it a couple of weeks ago. I began the movement just at knee height to make sure I wasn’t putting my lower back in a compromising position. Next time, I will begin just below the knee to get a little more range of motion, but only if I am 100% healthy.
Overall this week went really good and I decided to take a few vids of this week’s training sessions.
A great week in the books and I am once again back on track! Let’s keep it rolling! Until my next blog keep training hard, smart and naturally!
In : 2011 Contest Journey
Tags: jeff alberts natural bodybuilding contest preparation muscle weighlifting nutrition team 3dmj
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