I can honestly say this was about as relaxed and calm as I'd ever been before a competition. I had no expectations, no cares as to where I placed, who I would be competing with, and literally I had not a care in the world. I had done all my homework and with the encouragement of my many supporters, the 3DMJ coaches and athletes, I knew that I was at my all time best. I had no doubts that I was going into the Natural O at my peak, so with that being said, I did not care that I had no chance of winning. I had a ton of reasons as to why I was doing this show, but winning, or placing well, was not one of them.
I learned a lot from my IFPA Pro Debut in Kansas City and most importantly, I grew as a person, competitor, and coach. It was a hard lesson, but it really re-ignited my passion for bodybuilding. Thus, entering the Natural Olympia was really more about putting what I had learned, and how I had grown to the test. Could I set my competitive juices aside and just put out 100% knowing full well I could not and would not win and that even a top five was unlikely? Could I be smart with my diet and peak week using all that I'd learned as a coach and from my fellow coaches at 3DMJ to be the best ever Brad on stage? You bet I could, and I did.
I executed my diet plan to the letter every day of every week after my post-show celebration after the Kansas City. That lasted a day and one meal and that was it. I am not blessed with good structure and great size, so I had NO room and NO time for error. I took my time in the weight room and just slowly kept adding weight to the bar and adding more and more volume. I did not get all crazy with the cardio, I just kept active and knocked it out day by day depending on what I had scheduled. The scale was not my friend, but I did not care, I just stuck to the plan with unwavering faith and made sure to take in the exact macros regardless of what the scale told me. Like my son’s nickname on his Pop Warner Football team, I was “the tank.” I just kept slowly moving forward, did not make a lot of noise, and just knocked the days down.
The Natural Olympia was in my back yard, as Reno Nevada is a mere 40 minute drive from my house. I drove over Thursday to register and do some last minute grocery shopping, and then drove home. Friday I worked in X-ray, and then early Saturday morning, my good friend Ken and I drove over to Reno for the competition. I let the rest of the 3DMJ crew sleep in as they had arrived very late and we would meet up at the Grand Sierra Resort later in the afternoon. Alberto checked me out real quick as I headed out the door and the look on his face told me that I was ready.
Once we were there, it was a lot of hurry up and wait. We had a Team USA photo at 8am, and the Pro Men were going to be the last class up for pre-judging. So Ken and I just hung out and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and each others company. The show started right at 10am with the fitness competition and a mini AAU Powerlifting competition. We watched some of that until it was time to eat, and then we headed to a round table Pizza that was literally right around the corner from the venue inside the Grand Sierra resort. I enjoyed some rice cakes and half of a personal cheese pizza. The rest of the 3DMJ crew showed up about noon or so, and then the fun started. I was cool as a cucumber the whole morning, but once the crew was there, I started getting REALLY excited. This was the first time since the IFPA Pro USA where we were all together for a bodybuilding show. So as soon as I saw the crew, it made it all real, and all the more fun.
We slapped some dream tan on me, this was the first time I had ever used the stuff, I downed a bunch of water and started pumping up. I saw some of the other Pro’s pumping up and noticed that there was some very good physiques at the Natural Olympia. Among them was Kiyoshi Moody who was there to defend his title for a third time. It’s pretty much a given that he is a contender no matter what show he goes to, so knowing this I was un-phased by his presence. There were some Australian body builders there as well that had very good physiques. One in particular had glutes on him that traveled down to the back of his knees in a razor sharp diamond shape. He was going to place much higher than me as well, but again, I was un-phased. Looking back, the one emotion that really stands out as I was pumping up, was the looks on the Teams face as they just kept looking at me in amazement at my conditioning. At that point there, I could have gone home a happy man. Their words were VERY encouraging, but the looks on their faces were all that I needed to see.
The guys went out to watch the masters pro’s and my wife Jamie and son Xander showed up. Now I was complete. I had my best friends in the world, my woman and my son all present to see me at my all time best. Once again, I did not even need to step on stage. I was in Nirvana and as Jamie was looking at my chest and my legs in amazement, I just started showing off. She was snapping photos, and all it did was feed my excitement. The guys came back after the Masters Pros were done and we put the finishing touches on me as the Pro Women’s Bodybuilding class was being judged. Alberto measured me out about 5g of salt that I downed with half of a snickers bar and some more water. They called us into line and I was going to be the first one out on stage. I was not nervous in the slightest. They called my name and I just calmly walked to the middle of the stage, hit my trademark most muscular, and then walked to my position and stood in my front symmetry pose while the other competitors came out.
The judges put us through our quarter turns and a couple of muscular poses. Then just as expected, they called out the top five, which I was not a part of. I stood with the bottom five and watched as the judges put the top five through their poses. I remember as I was watching them, I found myself posing with them. Not actually hitting the poses, but just kind of doing them too. I watched them from some what of an envious position. A good sort of envy though, the sort of envy that makes you say to yourself, “I will be there one day!! I WANT to be there and when I do, I WILL show them how it’s done.”
I was getting excited and eager for it to be our turn. Not that I knew I was going to dominate the bottom five or even cared where I placed, I just wanted to get up there and show my hard work and how a Pro SHOULD show his/her physique. When I am on stage, I pride myself in looking the part. A PRO! I hold the front symmetry pose with all my muscle flexed THE WHOLE TIME! When the judges call the pose, I set my feet, work my way up and get into the pose. I don’t rush, but I am very efficient. I am almost always the first one to hit the pose, and I am almost always the first one back into my front relaxed pose. All the while smiling, and doing my damndest to make it look easy. So when the judges finally dismissed the top five, I almost ran to a spot at center stage.
That was about the most fun I have had on stage in a long time. There is a certain amount of freedom when you don’t care how you place. It makes the “fun” part of bodybuilding more fun. You just get up there and do your thing. For the first time in a long time, I went up there and did my thing and had fun doing it. Looking back now, I enjoyed and remember (almost) every minute of it.
After pre-judging we kind of split up a little. Jamie and Xander went shopping and Ken had to head back to his hotel for a course he was taking. Berto, Eric, Jeff and I all just kind of hung out at the Grand Sierra. It really didn’t matter what we did though, I could have been water boarded but under these circumstances and with this crew, it would have been better than any day at a regular job. We headed back to the venue and were surprised to find that they had moved the Pro Men to the middle of the line up to give away the car to the overall winner. That was a very good thing because it ensured that we would make it to the Atlantis all you can eat Sushi Bar before they closed. Needless to say the show moved very fast and the Pros were up before we knew it. Alberto was on top of it though as we held off on having the second half of my Pizza and just had a couple of rice cakes with about 15g of peanut butter. We were kind of in "hurry up mode" to get my color touched up, but there was no panic. Just calm execution as Jeff and Alberto slapped more Dream Tan on me. “He is getting harder and fuller” Jeff said as he slapped the dream tan into my chest. The whole time Alberto was just in calm control He knew what adjustments we were going to make long before we even saw what I needed. I looked a little vascularly flat, but he said “Not to worry, a little sodium and some water and you will blow right up.” “Just continue a slow gradual Pump up” Berto said to me. So I walked around and posed, and pumped and talked, and pumped some more. Then Berto measured out more table salt for me and I downed it with some water. “Now have 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and pump up some more.” Before I knew it my chest was blowing up and the skin on the outside of my pecs felt like it was going to tear. The Team just stared at amazement at how full I was getting.
The time for the Pro men came very quickly. They lined us up and like a thief in the night, yanked the carpet out from underneath us and put the brakes on. They wanted to pause for a brief intermission for some reason. It did matter though, I just grabbed a band and continued pumping up. I was going to be the first one out so I did not want to freak the expeditors out so I just kept pumping up right off stage. When the time came, I calmly walked on stage, got into position and when the music started, I executed my routine perfectly.
For the final pose down we all lined up on stage when the music started. Denny Kekos, the Promoter and PNBA president, said something to us from behind but I could not understand what he said. Then I saw a couple of the other competitors jump off the stage and started posing amongst the crowd. “Oh HELL yea,” I thought. This was going to be a first for me so I went a head and joined them in the crowd. Once the pose down was over, the surprises just kept coming as Denny Kakos not only presented all of us with medals, but with REALLY nice coats with a large PNBA logo on back and the PNBA and INBA logo on the front. It was a blast.
The Natural Olympia was a really nice “Cherry” on top of our 3DMJ bodybuilding tour for 2011. Like I said at the beginning, this was one of only 3 or 4 shows that all of us could be at together. We always find a way to get together for Powerlifting meets, the NGA Mr. California and the IFPA Pro USA, as these events are always family re-unions for us more or less year after year. This year however, we did a MESS of shows and only the above two and the Natural Olympia were we all present for. So to end the season with the whole gang together at the same time, at my all time best with improved size, conditioning, and presentation is all a guy could ask for...well, that and a nice celebratory meal right after the show!!!!!
In : Team 3DMJ
Tags: natural olympia brad loomis
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