The bulk staff are full steam ahead in their preparation for their respective comps!
Check out the updates on their progress below.
Peaking and Peaking Out!
With the Arnold Classic rapidly closing in, it was finally time to qualify. This was both good and bad for me, good as it let me do a smaller show leading up to the Arnold and get my feet wet ( as this was
my first show in 4 years). On the other hand bad, as I knew I was not in 100% condition yet and I didn’t want to look out of place! As a resident of Tasmania and not having a local IFBB show to do, I had
to enter the Victorian Qualifier. While it meant the hassle and added cost of having to go and do this show, I always knew it was a good thing as this show is run by IFBB Victoria and promoted by none
other than Toney Doherty, arguably the world’s best promotor! Knowing that, I knew the show would be well run and a fun day!
Leading into the show, carbs have been low and cardio has been double sessions a day. Going into the show I was very flat and we decided to play it safe, do a small load and keep the main focus for the Arnolds.
By not doing a big carb up and keeping things as normal as possible, this should allow training, cardio and diet to be largely uninterrupted and thus keeping fat loss at the maximum.
If had I had of been a head of schedule and in better shape, a bigger load would have been an option here for sure. By not doing a big load and not quite being ready yet, the result is always going to be a little flat.
The open under 90kg class was a quite a challenge, with all competitors in fantastic and dry condition. On this occasion, I was simply not hard and dry enough to place. While I did not place, I was still happy to get
back on stage, qualify, get my experience up and get a feel for everything again.
Coming off stage I was absolutely exhausted, so exhausted I believe I totally forgot my routine! The combination of being depleted and dehydrated can really get to you. As soon as I was off, a cold Poweraide went down well.
After that it was time to congratulate the winners and other competitors in my class. Showing respect and showing good sportsmanship is always
something I feel that’s important. With the qualifier out of the way, the real focus is now on nailing that dry condition needed to be competitive at the Arnold Classic level. This has always been my biggest weakness but feel I am now I a good positon to really come in at my best. This will involve zero carbs and up to 3 cardio sessions a day, nothing comes easy! More on this next blog.
I’m now 3 weeks in and already things are not quite going to plan. Luckily it’s still early days so I have a few things I will look into regarding my health, medications, supplements and calories. I am very happy I’ve given myself plenty of time for this prep. For some reason I’ve consistently been gaining weight since I started tracking my calories and weighing myself regularly. Training has been going great though, I’m feeling strong again since getting back into training. You can follow my training and journey via my facebook page or instagram.
I have spent the last two years doing research as well as tracking my calories on and off to see what I was consuming approximately while I was maintaining my weight.
I’ve been racking my brain to try and figure out where I’ve gone wrong or what I’ve changed recently to cause the weight gain. I’ve spoken with a trusted friend Paolo from Athletic IQ who is also one of the best coaches I know and one of the only ones I truly trust, to see if he could think of anything because sometimes you just need an extra brain, lol. So after a small lecture about how my body is healthier and happier being strong and with more calories (I was expecting this, I know he cares a lot about me and my health), we spoke about what could be the issue. I have recently started taking the OCP (oral contraceptive pill) and that is most likely the reason. During the time I calculated my maintenance calories, I was not taking the pill, so my maintenance calories are now possibly lower. However, in the meantime, I have stopped taking all other supplements (except for WPC and prescription medication) and as suggested by Paolo, I will have a blood test done to make sure there are no other underlying health issues. Providing the blood test comes back ok, I will continue with my prep and may just need to reduce my calories a little lower than I wanted to. In the meantime, I have a strongman comp this weekend which will be the qualifier for SA’s strongest man and woman. I will be resting for the next couple days until the comp so I am well rested and recovered and feeling strong.
Prepping for a bodybuilding comp is not ideal for a anyone’s health, you require a certain amount of calories and bodyfat for the basic bodily functions to work properly. For women when your body fat and calorie consumption is low, the menstrual cycle can also be interrupted causing a number of health problems. It’s also not just the physical problems that can occur but emotional, plus sleep is more difficult which magnifies everything. There are very few people who compete in a bodybuilding competition who don’t experience some sort of health problem along the way. When a bodybuilder steps on stage and you think they look in great condition, it is generally quite the opposite. Physically and emotionally, they are at their worst, they are tired, weak, hungry, dehydrated and in some extreme cases they can experience major health problems. As you can see from my first two blog entries, even though I am right at the beginning of my prep, things are already playing on my mind. However, I have plenty of support from my friends, family and sponsors and I know if this prep starts to make me unwell they will support my decision to cease as I have three beautiful young children who need me to be healthy to care for them.
With only 7 weeks until INBA Southern Cross Championships in VIC and 9 weeks until WBFF Gold Coast, it’s all getting very real. With season A fully underway every weekend there are new competitions and I’m reminded of my goals and what I’m training for.
I always find the weeks of 6-9 interesting, they have a different feel and are an easy time to lose focus. Often you have been training and dieting for some weeks now, seriously it seems like forever, but at the same time there are still almost as many weeks to go. Your only just scratching half way, but your progress is becoming all the more important with less time to rectify the wrongs. It’s at this stage that finding that inner motivation and remaining focused is important because it’s easy to get distracted.
I had my measurements over the weekend, my weekly check in, which I love. My measurements include skin folds and tape measurements of various points including my bicep, quad, abdominals and back all combined together to help determine where I’m at and where I need to go. They help maintain my focus and of course see the changes and my points that require work or attention (not that you can actually target train!)
In regards to my progress overall I am on track sitting at about 15% body fat and 56.8kgs, down from 20% and 60kgs last blog post. This week will see slight changes to both my diet and training which I have not yet had. The changes include reducing my sweet potato two days a week (mainly low intensity training days) and increasing the 4x HIIT sessions I currently do from 13minutes to 20 minutes each, as well as a new weights program which I’m loving. Just to clarify, I don’t make these changes myself, I have my trainer; Sam Grachan from biological labs a doing this for me! My next check in will be a fortnight a time.
In other news my INBA bikini is almost completed thanks for my co-worker Georgia Rowell who is also competing! Having never made a bikini myself before (actually all I have done is help glue some stones, Georgia is the talent with the sewing machine) I now realise where the cost of these bikinis comes from, with just the top finished collectively we have contributed 17hrs of work!
Overall at this stage I’m feeling good, nothing to drastic is happening with my diet and training so I feel on track, I have tired days, flat days and excited days that’s just how it goes but the countdown is on, stay tuned for more posts along the way and I hope your either inspired, engaged or loving your own journey after reading my post!
I am now 6 weeks out ! So far I’m doing quite well, apart from the fatigue that is starting to set in in the late afternoon – having very early nights now as I’m up at 5:30am for cardio. My strength levels are staying fairly steady, my weight on the scales has barely dropped which I’m not phased about at this stage as I am getting leaner every week!
Overall I think I’m pretty much where I need to be, my legs could be leaner but they seem to be the area that I hold the last bit of body fat. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and the changes and improvements they bring!
Keep up the Awesome work guys, looking great!