Well, it's been about 24 hours since I was on stage. Here's a quick recap for anyone interested in my experience at the NPC WA Ironman!
I got to the show two days early with my girlfriend. The trip is five hours north, so packing food for four days, driving, and establishing our hotel room wasn't a situation I wanted to do on the day of checking in. Therefore, we showed up a day early to settle in and relax before the competition began. I ended up packing 2 lbs of tilapia, 2 lbs of ground turkey, 1.5 lbs of lean steak, 3 lbs of chicken breast, and protein pancakes. Of course, I brought plenty of carbohydrates from potatoes to brown rice cakes to ezekial bread and ezekial cereal. Upon arriving my girlfriend and I went on a long walk to get some blood moving then proceeded to the hotel gym for some additional cardio, stretching, ab work, and I did a little circuit to pump up lats, delts, and triceps. That night we also enjoyed fifteen minutes of hot tubbing and early evenings going to bed at 10pm so I could become accustomed to waking up at 6am. For Friday I again did cardio, hot tub, and stretching before I finally felt ready to do business. Carbs were roughly 3-400 a day during this time, my fat was still very low, the only exception being the .5 lbs of steak per day I was now consuming. At 3 pm I got my private spray tanner and world class guy Jose Alexander to spray tan me with a product called Liquid Sun Rays. It worked well and I got two deep coats on before I hit up registration that night.
Always a nerve racking experience for a bodybuilder because everyone is eyeing you and everyone else. I wore my sweatshirt and sweatpants because I was freezing, not really concerned with taking the clothes off for my expected weigh up. When I entered the room, I bought my expensive as NPC card, and proceeded to register. I weighed in at 182.4, which is the lightest I've seen my weight in the afternoon all prep. NPC scales always read my light though, so I didn't fret, especially knowing I've had about 1200g of carbs over the last few days, along with 2+ gallons of water a day. So the "scale monitor" was David Patterson, an NPC competitor who is also an amazing bodybuilder poser in the Northwest. David and I had a brief disagreement on Facebook about a month prior to the weigh in, and after introducing myself, he was a bit upfront about me taking off my sweats for the weigh in. He was also disgruntled that I didn't "know any better". I knew I would be light heavyweight, so I didn't really care about bringing trunks down. Regardless, he wrote "TEST" across my registration sheet which implied that I would finally have the opportunity to undergo the lie detector/polygraph for the NPC. After turning in my music for my routine song, I went upstairs to a room with chairs outside and I was told by the head judge to wait patiently for my turn to get tested. The test took roughly 30 minutes and was the same questions over and over again, pretty boring, but at least I could prove I'm drug free to the rest of my competitors!
I awoke at about 5:45 on show day, ready to get yucky on stage! I ate a big breakfast of ezekial cereal, cinnamon, chicken breast, and yellow mustard lol. On top of that I had two pieces of ezekial bread and some PB2. I went on a walk on the treadmill with my sweats on to get some blood moving that morning, then proceeded to take off for the casino around 830am. I showed up for the competitor meeting at 9am and it was the most drawn out meeting I had ever had to sit through. Roughly 45 minutes of advertising for this bodybuilding show and that bodybuilding show in the Northwest. I understand the judges trying to get more competitors but it became ridiculous after we were all just ready to get it started! Thereafter, at 9:45 we finally were dismissed and the nerves set in!
I bring my own weights to bodybuilding shows because I don't always know if they will have what I need to pump up properly. I brought my EZ bar with 30 lbs attached to it,(2) 35lb dumbbells, and a thick resistance band for lat pulls. It seemed to work well to pump up everything, especially out in the sun, except my chest. For some reason my chest did not want to get pumped doing flies/presses/pushups what have you. I do not want to run into this problem again, so my last chest day will no longer be wednesday that week, instead I will put it a week prior so it isn't fatigued for when it matters most. Prejudging went by pretty quickly, and I pumped and posed hard for about 45 minutes before I lined up for the Open Light Heavyweight battle. To my surprise, even though only two other guys were registered for the show, six total had showed up to do battle! I was stoked, the more the merrier, I wanted to prove myself and I was being given the opportunity. By the time we hit the stage, we ran through our poses then I was moved to the middle where I was held through an additional set of poses before the pose down had began. I knew backstage that I was bringing the conditioning over every one of my competitors, they might have held a little more size then I, but not by much, but my level of conditioning held me strong through that morning!
I went back to the hotel after watching my girlfriend place top 3 in her bikini class along with my trainer Calvin getting top 2 in mens physique.
I watched a little bit of the tight stanford/arizona game before I began another carb load of four pieces of ezekial bread and pb2 before I passed out into a carb coma where I laid for an additional two hours. When I got up, it was 5:15 pm, the show was to start at 6, just perfect for me since I would be back on stage roughly at 9pm again. I packed my bag for the show and proceeded downstairs to get a meal off of the "bodybuilding" menu that they provided. I opted for two large mashed sweet potatoes and two 6 oz chicken breasts. I ate half of the delicious hot food (my first fresh food in days) before I took off for the show and brought the other half with me, which I engulfed at about 7:30. My routine began at about 9pm and I feel like although it went well, it wasn't as spectacular as I would have liked, I may be mixing it up for the next show in two weeks! The awards ceremony began and after fifth, fourth, third, I stood there with one other guy. When they called his name for second, I was stoked, I had won the class I set out to win, but the real battle was about to begin! Ken Ralston, the heavyweight winner was bringing a 200lb lean package of muscle. I knew I would be facing him for the overall battle more so then anyone else at the show.
Backstage, we shook hands and took a pic together before the battle began, and a hell of a battle it was!
From what I am told it was a split decision, Ken was given the Nod over me because his massive upper body size, specifically his chest muscularity really stood out over my own. I was told that I had better symmetry and proportion along with a better lower body. Watch the video below to see how it all ended up!