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  1. #121
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    Video: Contest prep training (@3.5 - 3 weeks out) + Posing practice
    Little bit of footage of 2 training sessions this week at 3.5 and 3 weeks out, respectively, and just a small amount of the posing practice we did (back poses). More to come!


    Full update, as usual, comes up Sunday. Just picked my laptop up from repair earlier today so I'm pretty behind on TWIN posts now. I'll try and get a good one out tomorrow.

    The weight is definitely dropping and while I'm still holding onto good amounts of fat I'd normally freak out about @ 3 weeks out, as I've said, my mindset going into this now is just to have a fun time and make the most of the experience. This serves as a good lesson for the next time I prep. Going to give myself a looooong time, make sure I'm at a low BF% to begin with, schedule in diet breaks, look for realistic weight changes and shoot for a much much leaner physique goal than I did this time. It's frustrating knowing I could get much leaner than this, but all I can do with the time I have is all I can do.
    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  2. #122
    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    Weekly check-in: July 17 - 23, 2016 (3 weeks out)
    Avg. weight: 171.3 (-1.9 lb.)
    This week's macros:
    Sun-Tues: Normal RFL
    Wed (up until pre-workout meal): 75% of RFL macros
    Carb-load (Wed’s pre-workout meal – Thurs PM): 900c/35f/220p
    Fri: 200c/50f/230p
    Sat: 85c/50f/230p

    Training/Cardio

    SUN - Depletion 1
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    MON - Depletion 2
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    TUES
    60min LISS (stationary bike)

    WED – Tension
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    THURS – N/A
    +Posing practice

    FRI - Power
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    Sumo DL
    (370 x 5) x 3 @9

    DB RFESS
    (55 x 6) x 6

    Seated calf raise - plate-loaded
    (3 plates+30 x 5) x 2
    3 plates x 6

    Bench press
    185 x 6 @8
    185 x 6 @8.5
    185 x 6 @9

    T-bar machine - plate-loaded
    (2 plates+35 x 6) x 2
    2 plates+35 x 5

    Steep incline DB press
    (65 x 6) x 2
    60 x 6

    Weighted pull-ups - medium, outwards grip
    (BW+15 x 6) x 2
    BW+15 x 5

    Decline DB tricep extensions
    35 x 6
    35 x 5

    EZ-bar curl - weight per side
    20 x 6
    25 x 5

    Standing banded ab wheel --> ab wheel from knees - for full exhaustion
    (4 --> 4) x 2

    SAT – SFS-type HIIT/LISS hybrid (Elliptical for HIIT and stationary bike for LISS)
    +Mobility work/stretching
    +Posing practice

    Thoughts

    On mood/energy/etc.:
    -Learning to accept and manage some of these feelings. Rather than get caught in the cycle of: Feel depressed/anxious, act irritably towards others, isolate/alienate myself further, get even more depressed/anxious... I'm trying to use mindfulness techniques to stay out of my head as much as possible. I find myself repeatedly coming back to the idea that, for better or worse, this is my present scenario, and I can either choose to spend each waking second analyzing it and how it's not what I want it to be or I can live inside the moment, smell the roses so to speak.
    -Especially now that I'm doing an hour of cardio 5x a week and then the long HIIT + LISS session 1x, energy has taken a huge hit. I just constantly feel like I need to lay down and just not do anything for a solid 36 hours, lol. But alas, we live to see another day. It's difficult to motivate myself to get the studying and article-writing done, on top of other daily tasks, but I'm reminded of the fact that I don't have a job/internship/school to worry about right now and should be making the most of my time.

    On weight:
    -It's nice to see the average weight down almost a whole 2 pounds, as the last couple days it's actually been increasing. Looking at average weekly weights and long-term trends really helps put things in perspective. As I've said time and time again, I'm not at the level of conditioning I'd like to be at even if I were 6 weeks out right now. But we're making the most with what we've got... I'm putting in the work in the cardio and diet department and just generally firing on all cylinders to accomplish as much as possible in these next few weeks.

    On health/injuries:
    -Left trap is still an issue, but I'm babying it a lot now that the show is so close. Also feeling a ton of knee aches and structural instability in both legs during cardio and walking. So mobility work/stretching absolutely needs to be made more of a priority now that recovery is nowhere near what it used to be.

    Changes for next week
    Right back to the same stuff, no changes. RFL-type macros for low carb days, but UD2 template. Posing practice needs to happen a lot more frequently now, we're tanning almost every other day (though you wouldn't notice if you saw me, lol), and we're monitoring closely our physiques in the mirror on Saturday mornings to see how the carb load treats us, as it's going to basically be the same approach we use when peaking.

    Stay tuned!
    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  3. #123
    Protein Protege TGreggors's Avatar
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    Almost there! Would have liked to see some front poses. Only piece of advice that I could think of would be to tense your ass on those poses in order to show off its leanness. lol how weird that sounds. guess that's just competitive bodybuilding
    Last edited by TGreggors; 07-25-2016 at 03:42 PM.
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

    Current training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=171615023

    "Training is the actual stimulus while nutrition is only permissive to muscle growth."-Eric Helms

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  4. #124
    Doozy IK9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    Almost there! Would have liked to see some front poses. Only piece of advice that I could think of would be to tense your ass on those poses in order to show off its leanness. lol how weird that sounds. guess that's just competitive bodybuilding, lol
    This. Squeeze them glutes
    Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=166196451
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  5. #125
    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    Almost there! Would have liked to see some front poses. Only piece of advice that I could think of would be to tense your ass on those poses in order to show off its leanness. lol how weird that sounds. guess that's just competitive bodybuilding, lol
    Originally Posted by IK9 View Post
    This. Squeeze them glutes
    Thanks for the tips, guys. Yes, squeezing my glutes was a cue I could've definitely used last time around. I have APT and tend to "booty pop" in my regular stance, so it's something I have to be extra conscientious of.

    And we'll get fuller videos of posing in very soon. This was impromptu... we were only using the videos so we can see each other's back poses, since you can't see them in the mirror. I last second decided to throw them in the video.
    My website:
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    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  6. #126
    Doozy IK9's Avatar
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    You gonna keep pushing all the way until show day or ease up a little on peak week or the week leading up to it?
    Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=166196451
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  7. #127
    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IK9 View Post
    You gonna keep pushing all the way until show day or ease up a little on peak week or the week leading up to it?
    Ah that's a good question. As of now, we're planning on using a peak week protocol Lyle outlined some time ago back on his forums, which I modified a bit just so that it's a little more consistent with how we've been doing things. I don't want to try out some totally new diet/training split the last couple weeks and ruin a good thing.

    Here's the gist of it:
    -Saturday (2 weeks out): Normal macros, normal cardio
    -Sunday: Low-carb (40c/30f/250p), Depletion workout #1, 1hr cardio
    -Monday: Low-carb, Depletion #2, 1hr cardio
    -Tuesday: Low-carb, no training, 1hr cardio
    -Wednesday: Low-carb, SHORT tension workout #1, 1hr cardio
    -Thursday: Stay low-carb, no training, no cardio
    -Friday: Low-carb, SHORT tension #2, 1hr cardio

    -Saturday (1 week out): Low-carb, no training, 1hr cardio
    -Sunday: Low-carb, LEGS-ONLY depletion workout, 1hr cardio
    -Monday: Low-carb, UPPER-ONLY depletion, 1hr cardio
    -Tuesday: Low-carb, no training, 1hr cardio
    -Wednesday: Low-carb, SHORT tension workout in the AM, begin carb-load after this, no cardio
    -Thursday: Finish carb load 24h after it started, then begin Friday's "normal" macros, low fiber, no training, no cardio
    -Friday: Wrap up Friday's "normal" macros 24h later, low fiber, and then just small high-carb meals w/little bit of protein until bed, obv. no training or cardio
    -Saturday: Show day, introduce higher sodium high-carb meals on an as-needed basis

    Depending on how conditioning is looking, I may start to taper cardio the final week. Very excited!
    My website:
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    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  8. #128
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    Quick update - 16 days out

    Feels crazy being so close to comp now. While I certainly still consider my physique not quite stage-ready, the 1hr cardio 5x a week and then HIIT and LISS combined 1x a week has absolutely helped harden things up and dry me out a bit. Tanning is also starting to set in, just enough that I'm no longer Casper-mode, at the very least.

    Mood honestly hasn't been that bad. I've been prioritizing getting my daily meditation in, and each night before bed I write up my schedule for the next day. This way, even with the very little amount of responsibilities I actually have this summer, I'm being as productive as possible. But yeah, the meditation and general mindfulness applied throughout the day really helps me manage any mood swings, although I'll admit prep is really testing that, especially with how crash-diety we've had to go these past 15 or so weeks.

    Honestly, the worst thing is just the cardio. I wake up each morning and immediately start thinking "ugh, 1 hour of cardio again??" And, as I told a friend the other day, by the end of the cardio sessions (especially as the week progresses and I'm deep into RFL macros with like zero substrate to run off of) I literally feel like I'm running a low-grade fever. Everything in me is telling me to stop and I'll get queasy or light-headed sometimes. And it's so easy to fall into the trap of telling myself "you're being obsessive" or something along that line. Yet I push through it each time. In the beginning, I was able to just put on a Sigma Nutrition podcast to keep from getting bored, but I'm now at the point where it usually takes an "epic trailer music" playlist on Spotify, lol.

    Strength is taking a hit, no doubt. I'm just glad it's taken up until this point to suffer actually significant strength losses, and as we only have a little over 2 weeks left at this point, I'm not too worried about them. I've decided I'll be moving Friday's cardio session to after the power workout (a decision I probably should've made some time ago), so that the anabolic effect from today's carb load is fueling the power workout and not an hourlong LISS session.

    I'll update a little more regularly from now on, as show day draws near. Video coming soon, too, and my dad and I will try to get a lot more posing footage in.
    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  9. #129
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    Video: Posing practice (@16 days out)
    Here's a more complete video of my dad and I practicing our mandatories. I have video of my individual as well, but I might just throw that in at the end of the training video I put up tomorrow. Any advice on posing technique for either of us would be HUGELY welcomed.

    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  10. #130
    Protein Protege TGreggors's Avatar
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    DAMN man, you've been holding out on the pics/vids! Looking really good. Seriously. Eyes legitimately got huge when I saw your traps in the most muscular. DAMN. DAMN. I definitely think you won't have to worry about holding your own. I think you'll do well.

    As for advice, this is based upon my extremely limited experience with competing, so I think others should definitely chime in also. On your side relaxed, I feel as if you could/should bring your rear arm further back, and that you should bring your front arm forward/up more. I feel like that would allow for you to display your torso better. And on your side chest, I feel that you need to sit down on your legs more, making them angled more toward the floor in order to better showcase your hamstring/glute development.

    Same pieces of your advice go for your dad as well, though, as you both hit those poses similarly. Also, though, I feel that your dad should make more of an effort to flare his lats on both the back relaxed, front relaxed, and on the FDB poses. Needs to try to flex those hammies as well on the rear relaxed pose.

    Am legitimately impressed with your dad, too, though. He looks really good. Seriously. Looking grainy as hell in quite a few shots. and he held on to a lot of mass. Too cool that he took the effort to do this with you. If I remember correctly, he wasn't too fond of your bodybuilding at all back in 2013, but it appears that he has had quite the change of heart! Anyways, you should both be proud. Yeah, you probably would have benefited from a longer prep, but I don't think that you look glaringly under-dieted by any means. You've put in the effort. Kill it out there!
    Last edited by TGreggors; 07-29-2016 at 10:36 AM.
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

    Current training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=171615023

    "Training is the actual stimulus while nutrition is only permissive to muscle growth."-Eric Helms

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  11. #131
    Doozy IK9's Avatar
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    Was worried for a second but you actually look pretty good in the video.. I think after these 2 weeks of depletion.. You'll look pretty gnarly. Excited to see how much more crisp you can look these last 16 days.

    Good job. Ready for gold!
    Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=166196451
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  12. #132
    Protein Protege TGreggors's Avatar
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    ^I agree. I think that digging in the manner that you have outlined above would be a good plan of action. Looks like you've tightened up noticeably since the last posing video.
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

    Current training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=171615023

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  13. #133
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    Getting to the point where I'm really unfamiliar with the bodybuilding process, but you're looking significantly leaner. Crunch time!

    Also saw you liked Milo on FB... recently discovered him. Love him now lol
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  14. #134
    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    DAMN man, you've been holding out on the pics/vids! Looking really good. Seriously. Eyes legitimately got huge when I saw your traps in the most muscular. DAMN. DAMN. I definitely think you won't have to worry about holding your own. I think you'll do well.

    As for advice, this is based upon my extremely limited experience with competing, so I think others should definitely chime in also. On your side relaxed, I feel as if you could/should bring your rear arm further back, and that you should bring your front arm forward/up more. I feel like that would allow for you to display your torso better. And on your side chest, I feel that you need to sit down on your legs more, making them angled more toward the floor in order to better showcase your hamstring/glute development.

    Same pieces of your advice go for your dad as well, though, as you both hit those poses similarly. Also, though, I feel that your dad should make more of an effort to flare his lats on both the back relaxed, front relaxed, and on the FDB poses. Needs to try to flex those hammies as well on the rear relaxed pose.

    Am legitimately impressed with your dad, too, though. He looks really good. Seriously. Looking grainy as hell in quite a few shots. and he held on to a lot of mass. Too cool that he took the effort to do this with you. If I remember correctly, he wasn't too fond of your bodybuilding at all back in 2013, but it appears that he has had quite the change of heart! Anyways, you should both be proud. Yeah, you probably would have benefited from a longer prep, but I don't think that you look glaringly under-dieted by any means. You've put in the effort. Kill it out there!
    Haha each week I told myself I'd upload progress pics (I've been taking them weekly and will dump them once the show date arrives) and then after I looked at them, constantly managed to convince myself I wasn't looking good enough. So I kept telling myself "Okay, just one more week and I'll look decent enough." That was my B.

    And much love my man, those kind words do wonders to boost me up, I really appreciate that! I also told my dad and he was feeling chitty about his physique that day, so I think hearing from someone else that he looks good lifted him up as well.

    As far as posing advice: I've been taking what you said to heart in recent posing practice. Now that I look at it, you're absolutely right. I'm not showing nearly enough in my side quarter turns and I'm basically not sitting back at all on my side chest or triceps poses, so you see like zero IT band and glute/hammy action. And the advice you gave for my dad is more or less what I've been trying to emphasize for him. He's obviously completely new to this, yet has caught on WAY quicker than most people in his position would, but you're right.. the back poses are not his strong suit at all. He's having trouble locking down that lat spread motion, but he's improving on it each day. Will post up more recent stuff soon!

    Originally Posted by IK9 View Post
    Was worried for a second but you actually look pretty good in the video.. I think after these 2 weeks of depletion.. You'll look pretty gnarly. Excited to see how much more crisp you can look these last 16 days.

    Good job. Ready for gold!
    Thank you homie, I've been grinding so hard just to get to this level of leanness so that I at least don't look silly on stage. However, we don't need to pussyfoot around.. I'm totally aware of how behind schedule both my dad and I are looking. Just planning on making the most of it at this point!

    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    ^I agree. I think that digging in the manner that you have outlined above would be a good plan of action. Looks like you've tightened up noticeably since the last posing video.
    Here's to hoping. And also keep in mind this was literally at the tail end of my 900g carb refeed and I was chugging water throughout it. Excuses? Yeah. Still, I think I look worlds better on Saturday mornings than I do here. It's just a bummer we haven't had the time to get in quality filming of our Saturday posing yet.

    Originally Posted by Kameronn View Post
    Getting to the point where I'm really unfamiliar with the bodybuilding process, but you're looking significantly leaner. Crunch time!

    Also saw you liked Milo on FB... recently discovered him. Love him now lol
    Haha it gets weird at this point... tanning, shaving, depleting, posing, etc.
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    Weekly check-in: July 24 - 30, 2016 (2 weeks out)
    Avg. weight: 169.4 (-1.9 lb.)
    This week's macros:
    Sun-Tues: Normal RFL
    Wed (up until pre-workout meal): 75% of RFL macros
    Carb-load (Wed’s pre-workout meal – Thurs PM): 900c/35f/220p
    Fri: 200c/50f/230p
    Sat: 85c/50f/230p

    Training/Cardio

    SUN - Depletion 1
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    MON - Depletion 2
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    TUES
    60min LISS (stationary bike)

    WED – Tension
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    THURS – N/A
    +Posing practice

    FRI - Power
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    Sumo DL
    (375 x 4) x 3 @9

    DB RFESS
    (60 x 4) x 6

    Seated calf raise - plate-loaded
    (3 plates+10 x 5) x 3

    Bench press
    N/A*

    *All went downhill from here. It started when I was warming up for the bench; I felt this weird sensation radiating out of my left pec insertion into and down my left bicep. Not necessarily painful, but so weird and concerning that I didn't feel comfortable benching. Went on to T-bar machine, and then my LEFT TRAP started acting up, way more than it normally does. So I racked the weight and tried single-arm DB rows, which hurt my RIGHT pec. So at this point, I was feeling run-down, everything was hurting, and I knew I still had an hour of cardio to do immediately afterwards. So I did some DB curls and tricep pressdowns and then called it a day. REALLY sucked, but it's better that than that I injure myself and spend these next 2 weeks hardly even lifting.*

    SAT – SFS-type HIIT/LISS hybrid (Hands-free elliptical for HIIT and stationary bike for LISS)

    Thoughts

    On mood/energy/etc.:
    -I've been able to keep the streak of MBR sessions going strong by scheduling my day the night before. This is something I've always known I should be doing, yet rarely have employed outside of school. Now that I've been doing it for a couple weeks, I feel so much more productive with my time and not like I'm sitting around all day thinking of what it is that I'm forgetting to do. This takes out the variables and allows me to concentrate my energy in improving and enjoying life.
    -However, as I said last time, prep hits you regardless. I continually find myself tired for no reason or doubting myself or craving food, etc. I'm just glad that this time around I know what post-show is like and so I know what feelings not to ruminate on. My main focus has been and still is doing my best at this show and having a good time, whereas at this point during my last prep, it was probably to figure out how big of a cheat stash I can compile for my post-show binge.

    On weight:
    -Exact same weight loss as last week, which is great, considering that's almost 2 pounds a week. Feels good to finally be under 170, as I was getting worried for a while there. Funny to think this is the weight I did my last powerlifting meet at, in August 2015. Hopefully that means ya boy put on some lean muscle, b/c I think I'm a ton leaner now than I was at my meet lol.

    On health/injuries:
    -Once Monday rolls around, I'm scheduling an appointment with my chiro for this trap and now this chest/bicep thing. Such a bummer, but it is what it is.

    Changes for next week
    Now we start the 2 weeks out peak protocol, so low-carbing for 1.5 weeks and then doing the carb load early Wednesday of the show, so that by the time it's show day, I'm full and tight and hopefully lean enough. That's all.... video coming soon!
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    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
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    Video: Contest prep training (@2.5 - 2 weeks out)
    We're closing in on it now. Sorry for the low quality footage.. and there wasn't much filming for the latter session due to all the issues I described in the last post.

    My website:
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    Woah, just now hit me that you're still close to 170. I know that it isn't good to compare yourself to others, but wow. Carrying an impressive amount of LBM, dude! 153.8 on stage over here at 5'10.3 :'( I cry. hope you don't go hard with the binge stash this time around. makes you almost feel obligated to eat all of that food
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

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    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    Woah, just now hit me that you're still close to 170. I know that it isn't good to compare yourself to others, but wow. Carrying an impressive amount of LBM, dude! 153.8 on stage over here at 5'10.3 :'( I cry. hope you don't go hard with the binge stash this time around. makes you almost feel obligated to eat all of that food
    I appreciate hearing that man! My dad's got even more LBM on him and he's 6'0... it's those Scandinavian genetics lol; I didn't manage to get all of them unfortunately.

    And yes yes 100%. My dad has a small appetite and so I don't think it'll be a huge issue for him, but regardless I've talked with him about it and made sure we're on the same page. We're going to enjoy ourselves after and focus on relaxing and enjoying activities we really couldn't during prep, but we're not going to binge for the sake of binging. I'm trying not to even think about what I'm going to eat afterwards, no matter how often that question comes up with friends and ppl at the gym... and it comes up often.

    Tentative goal is to use the post-contest period to get out more and chill with friends, apply more energy/focus to my studies and keeping up my site, etc. I want to take the discipline this prep has taught me and not let it go to waste.

    Great to have you guys here for the journey!
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    10 days out update

    I'm just going to start making these quick daily updates now that the show is so close. They'll be very concise and so I'm bound to leave some stuff out, but hopefully that'll all be covered in the full weekly updates.

    As I've mentioned numerous times, I'm loving this system of writing tomorrow's schedule right before going to bed. It puts my anxious, "perfectionist" (I hate that word) self to ease.

    However, things have been going pretty rough. I look back on moments from like 3 or 4 or 5 weeks out where I was thinking "damn this is really tough" and just laugh because that's all like child's play compared to how these past few days have been. My dad is now feeling it too, and he's a pretty stoic guy and has been battling thru exceptionally well so far.

    Mood swings can be intense and disconcerting at times; like, I'll feel totally fine and even happy earlier in the day or while lifting (like today) and then out of nowhere (like tonight) just get these seemingly inescapable and very real bouts of depression.

    Energy is basically a theoretical concept to me at this point... having spent so much time on sub-50g carbs and 30g fat these past 8 or so weeks, it now takes the biggest amount of energy just to complete simple day-to-day tasks. Yet my masochistic side kind of thrives off that environment in a weird way... knowing I have to work so hard just to do my hour of cardio or cook my meals is a rush. That said, this is clearly not sustainable and both my dad and I are missing that feeling of being pumped to lift. I also just miss the excitement I used to have in my daily studies (which I've been keeping up) and keeping up my site.

    Hunger is pretty bad, but like I've said, the fact that I'm not letting myself fixate on it and drool over junk food is really helpful. I remember how happy I would get last prep just writing down what foods I was craving in my log on here. I'm just not allowing that to be a theme this time... who knows if I'll be able to keep up the discipline I'd like after? Doesn't matter that much to me tbh, because I feel my level of emotional maturity (while still undeveloped due to my age obviously) has made great strides in the 3+ years since my last show.

    Physique is looking alright, and it kind of kills me that I'm not able to stop and smell the roses a bit. Like, even if I'm not where I should be at 10 days out (and I'm not), I'm VERY lean right now relatively speaking. I'm trying to at least enjoy that, because I haven't been this lean in such a long time. Also, I'm actually AT the goal bodyweight I had set for myself at the beginning of prep (officially released on Sunday's weekly update), which is crazy.

    Injuries and general CNS fatigue are creeping up pretty noticeably. So I'm just trying to do mobility/rehab/prehab/stretching early and often.. and generally listen to my body and not push things way too hard at this point.

    That's about it.. more to come!!
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    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
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    them feels brah
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    9 days out update

    Today was the last time we carb load until the Wednesday before the show. We actually veered and changed plans last second. Normally that's something I'm very uncomfortable doing, and furthermore don't trust myself to do accurately when I'm dieted this hard, but it was my dad's idea and his logic was pretty sound.

    Basically, our original plan was kind of a hybrid between peak week strategies of Lyle and Blade's. While I'm confident in my knowledge of basic nutrition science, my knowledge of peak week is admittedly weak. So we decided the original plan we had (basically do half the tension workout and half the carb load, twice) was too complicated and risked too many variables, so we're kind of just reverting back to what a normal week would look like... aka we did the entire carb load today. However, unlike a normal week, we'll be going straight back into low carb day macros starting tomorrow (rather than do the normal incrementally decreasing carb schedule of Friday-Saturday). If that made no sense, don't worry, it's because I haven't been doing a good job of explaining the diet up to this point lol.

    Got up kind of early today to get a head start on the day.. wanted to shave on top of doing my daily meditation and studying before getting the day going. That didn't really work out... I woke up, feeling like absolute death, ate a bit, and went back to sleep. Woke up at like 11 and realized I'm now pretty behind schedule on what I wanted to get done. Got my tanning done and then spent a good chunk of the day with my ex.. we metro'd into DC and walked around a bunch. The whole time I was super low on energy and just felt like crap.

    Crash dieting throughout most of prep has been taxing, to say the least. But these last few days have been a mental test like none other. Brain fog is very intense, I get tired doing very little, I've gotten comments from friends that I sound like I'm slurring my speech when I talk, hunger is thru the roof, starting to get minor injuries popping up everywhere, have bags under my eyes all the time, etc. If this were happening much earlier along in prep, this is where I'd pump the brakes and say "okay, this is clearly not sustainable." But with only 9 days to go, I'm confident I can tough it out a bit longer and see this through.

    I know none of this is healthy and, if nothing else, this has taught me the hard way that the next time I decide to do a show, I need to start dieting like ~30 weeks out. We checked the other day and, I don't know how this is the case, but we've only been dieting 12 weeks. That's insane, and it shouldn't have to take a 12-week starvation diet just to look good on stage.

    That's about it. Just trying to make the most of each day and practice mindfulness and enjoy the parts of my life I take for granted.

    Originally Posted by IK9 View Post
    them feels brah
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    Crash dieting throughout most of prep has been taxing, to say the least. But these last few days have been a mental test like none other. Brain fog is very intense, I get tired doing very little, I've gotten comments from friends that I sound like I'm slurring my speech when I talk, hunger is thru the roof, starting to get minor injuries popping up everywhere, have bags under my eyes all the time, etc. If this were happening much earlier along in prep, this is where I'd pump the brakes and say "okay, this is clearly not sustainable." But with only 9 days to go, I'm confident I can tough it out a bit longer and see this through.

    ^ when those hawt white lights hit your skin on stage.. you'll realize how much all this suffering was worth it.. remember them feels.. the end is near brotha
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    Nine days until you can just focus on recovering and becoming a normal human again. Just think, these twelve week crash diets used to be the norm! I know it's hard to say much to make you feel better, but you've got this. You're growing as a person right now. We're cheering you on. The final stretch!
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

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    8 days out update

    Woke up this morning with a burst of energy, as it's now hitting me how close this show is and how important these next few days are. It's just a little bit more grinding and it'll pay off in a huge way when we step on stage. Got my morning cardio and meditation done, showered and shaved, meals in, drove my brother and myself out to see the doctor, which is a long drive, got back and started to study but dad came home early and so we left for the gym, then groceries, then came back here, ate some more, and uploaded this video.

    Getting this pain coming out of my left pec into my bicep tendon, which I mentioned earlier was acting up. You can even see in the video I'm constantly looking at my left arm during the lat pulldowns and then eventually grab it. Talked about this with my dad and, while I'm planning on seeing the chiro the Thursday before the show, I honestly think these are just the starting signs of overtraining. Obviously not a term that applies to 90% of the people who think it's happening to them, but in this instance, with all these weeks of crash dieting and now constant cardio, stimulant use up the wazoo, etc. it's a very real possibility. All sorts of aches and pains are popping up.

    Other than that, not doing too bad. Trying to focus on the here and now, making the most of my circumstance. Some things in life are painful and suck, but that's okay.. I'm learning to accept that and not try to change things that can't be changed. I'm just excited to re-"normalize" after this show and then just have a fun time at school, training hard, studying harder, and ensuring I don't become a fat phook again.

    We're back on low carbs (40c/30f/250p) now until Wednesday afternoon, when we follow the tension workout up with the standard carb load and then run Friday's macros from Thursday afternoon into Friday afternoon.. and then just eat little meals based on our physique. Probably some high-carb, high-sodium foods Sat morning if we're looking flat, etc. Ultimately, the nice part about NOT being stage lean is that these things aren't as make or break. Just going to basically eat the foods we're accustomed to eating and get a pump.

    But yeah... this is the final stretch here. Going to give this all I've got, while still being smart about listening to my body. Final SFS cardio session is tomorrow (Thank God... those things are the bane of my existence), then just hourlong morning cardio up until Wednesday. This last push is exciting..

    Video: Contest prep training (@1.5 - 1 week out) + Posing practice
    These were both from the shortened Tension workouts this week, first on Wednesday and then today (Friday). Plus just some quick posing practice (we did more but only filmed what you see at the end).


    Originally Posted by IK9 View Post
    ^ when those hawt white lights hit your skin on stage.. you'll realize how much all this suffering was worth it.. remember them feels.. the end is near brotha
    Well put my man. Very true!

    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    Nine days until you can just focus on recovering and becoming a normal human again. Just think, these twelve week crash diets used to be the norm! I know it's hard to say much to make you feel better, but you've got this. You're growing as a person right now. We're cheering you on. The final stretch!
    @bolded: 110% my thought process right now. Not thinking about how much weight I'm going to throw around via the "anabolic rebound," not dwelling on bingeing, but not entertaining the thought that I'm going to go from 100 to 0 in any form either. I just want to return to sanity, heal up, see friends, and RELAX. And THEN it's back to getting swole.

    If I have even half the success you had keeping your body comp in check post-show (which shouldn't be impossible, considering I'm not stage lean), I'll be mad happy.
    My website:
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    You may find that some of the little pains may just tend to dissipate once you start eating/putting on some bf again...happened with my hip. Delt striations are looking nasty on the triceps pushdowns. Lol bet you're looking forward to those carbs next weekend.

    Originally Posted by DJaRiHardstyle View Post
    @bolded: 110% my thought process right now. Not thinking about how much weight I'm going to throw around via the "anabolic rebound," not dwelling on bingeing, but not entertaining the thought that I'm going to go from 100 to 0 in any form either. I just want to return to sanity, heal up, see friends, and RELAX. And THEN it's back to getting swole.

    If I have even half the success you had keeping your body comp in check post-show (which shouldn't be impossible, considering I'm not stage lean), I'll be mad happy.
    Best way to go about it, IMO. While I don't think intentionally going overboard is a good idea, just have to keep in mind that having shredded abs is not a prerequisite for being a good student, a good friend or a productive member of society. Just preventing bodyfat overshooting should be enough.

    But thanks a lot, comrade. Though I'm not entirely out of the woods yet!
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

    Current training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=171615023

    "Training is the actual stimulus while nutrition is only permissive to muscle growth."-Eric Helms

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  26. #146
    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    7 days out update

    As usual, the full (and final, I reckon) weekly update will be up tomorrow morning. But, in keeping in theme with this daily updating, I thought I'd drop something in here tonight.

    So we're officially one week out. Had the last SFS cardio session today, PTL. Those minute-long all-out sprints absolutely wrek me. Although it makes the 30min LISS that follows feel pretty easy in comparison. Also did our routine mobility/stretching/posing practice... I don't want to speak too soon, but I think whatever's going on with this chest/bicep issue (which T is probably on the money about) is going to be manageable for this next week. I'm making sure to listen to my body without becoming a complete hypochondriac and dropping all back exercises, for example, whenever my left trap acts up.

    Posing practice is becoming a lot more productive now. My dad started preparing his individual pretty late in the game (didn't really finalize his song until yesterday), but I think he's getting a better sense now of just what it's going to take to memorize it and feel comfortable executing on stage. Mine definitely needs some work, but it's at least reassuring to have it completely memorized so that I can apply my energy to working on the details (i.e. I need to smile more).

    The hunger is real and the energy is nonexistent, but the excitement around the fact that we're in the final stretch is keeping me going. Like I've said, I'm just trying to live and enjoy each moment. That means not just groaning and whining until we carb up, but embracing the struggles, accepting the situation, and learning some life lessons along the way!

    That's about it... full update tomorrow.
    My website:
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    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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    i like marshmallow DJaRiHardstyle's Avatar
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    DJaRiHardstyle is offline
    Weekly check-in: July 31 - August 6, 2016 (1 week out)
    Avg. weight: 166.6 (-2.8 lb.)
    This week's macros:
    Sun-Tues: 40c/30f/250p
    Wed (up until pre-workout meal): 75% of low-carb
    Carb-load (Wed’s pre-workout meal – Thurs PM): 900c/35f/220p
    Fri-Sat: Back to 40c/30f/250p

    Training/Cardio

    SUN - Depletion 1
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    MON - Depletion 2
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    TUES
    60min LISS (incline treadmill)

    WED – SHORT Tension #1
    +60min LISS (stationary bike)

    -Leg press (x6)x2
    -RDL (x8)x2
    -Seated calf raise (x8)x2
    -Kneeling cable crunch (x8)x2
    -Bench press (x8)x2
    -Plate-loaded row (x8)x2
    -Unilateral cable lateral raise (x8)x2
    -Rope pressdown (x8)x2
    -Seated DB curls (x8)x2

    THURS – N/A
    +Walking around DC a ton
    +Posing practice

    FRI - SHORT Tension #2
    +60min LISS (incline treadmill)

    -Seated leg extension (x8)x2
    -Seated leg curl (x8)x2
    -Calf press (x8)x2
    -Incline DB press (x8)x2
    -Plate-loaded lat pulldown (x8)x2
    -Face pulls, supinated (x8)x2
    -Rope pressdown (x8)x2
    -Seated DB curls (x8)x2
    -Ab machine (x8)x2

    SAT – SFS-type HIIT/LISS hybrid (Hands-free elliptical for HIIT and stationary bike for LISS)

    Thoughts

    On mood/energy/etc.:
    -As I've been saying in the daily updates, pretty much in the dumps these past couple weeks and it's only getting more and more intense. I'm not looking at it this time as "what it takes" or anything, but rather as symptomatic of a rushed prep from a less-than-ideal starting place. Just a lesson for next time that unless I want to go through this kind of central nervous system fatigue and taxing so early on in prep, I'm going to need to: A) start leaner, and B) give myself much more time. I'm confident that, years down the line, I can run a prep that fits well into my life and only adds to it.

    On weight:
    -So it's nice seeing changes in average weekly weight and not getting so hung up on weigh-ins on individual days, because I had no idea I'd lost so much weight from last week until right now when I figured out the average. This is right around the weight I predicted I'd need to work down to when I started prep... I'm now realizing I could afford to lose another 6 or so pounds to come in really conditioned, but tbh I'm not too unhappy with where my physique is, all things considered.

    On health/injuries:
    -Appointment with the chiro is Thursday. Going to definitely bring up this chest/bicep issue, as it's really worrying me. Other than that, just a bunch of the left trap acting up. I'm just happy it's taken until now for my body to start falling apart, considering how much damn recovery I've robbed it of the past ~13 weeks.

    Changes for next week
    It's now the final week. Plans, as I'm sure I've mentioned numerous times, are basically to stick to the same UD2 diet template we've been running, but we're going to push the Wednesday tension workout (which is, like the ones this previous week, going to be shortened and lightened) to earlier in the day. So then normal 900g CHO carb load into Thursday late-afternoon, and then Friday's normal macros (200c/50f/230p) run from then into Friday late-afternoon. Then just little meals to hold us off, judging by physique, etc. Not too sure of show day diet tbh, but we'll figure it out.

    My dad wants to get the full "peak week" experience and do some different things peak week, although he understands you can't go do something completely different from what you've been doing. So he's supplementing extra glutamine and has some theories about salt and water intake. I'm just trying to keep us cruising with what we've been doing, while making sure to be spot-on with macros and limit artificial sweeteners and excessive salt, etc. No need to strictly monitor water or sodium intake, as the body is much smarter than that and will respond via aldosterone in a matter of hours to normalize things, so the risk vs. reward doesn't really tip in our favor.

    That's about it... I'll keep up with these daily updates and try to get a few clips from each of this week's 3 workouts for a "peak week training" video.
    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  28. #148
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    6 days out update

    Ended up going shopping for shoes and other misc. items mid-day, right in b/w my morning cardio and evening lift, which kinda threw off my schedule a bit, but I was able to still get the important stuff done (although no posing practice, which kinda sucks) later in the day.

    Went grocery shopping tonight with the pops, and we picked up stuff we'll need for our final carb load and show day. Feels so cool to be in that final push and start to put all of this hard work into the finished product.

    Made some tentative slight changes to our peak week protocol. I was looking it over and decided using Friday's macros after the standard UD2 carb load is complete wouldn't make much sense... we're already only doing half the normal depletion work and half the normal "tension" work, all with markedly lighter weights, and part of the original point in Friday's macros was to fuel the power workout later that day. Without that workout, my worry is that we risk spilling over a bit by Friday night. So I'm thinking we'll just use Saturday's macros for that 24h period that follows the carb load, although that leaves me with only 85g carbs, so I may bump it up to 100 and then just base what I eat Friday night and Saturday morning on how I'm filling out.

    All's good though at this point. I've been able to stay dilligent w/getting my meditation done and I think that's helping quell my anxiety and irritability quite a bit... no question it's going to be more of a challenge to stay on top of this when the school year rolls around (especially w/living in a frat house), but I'm intent on keeping up this habit of planning the next day each night, based off a "to do list" I rack up through-out the day. It's always worked well for me at school, but I was never really good at following it as strictly as I could've (hence the drop in meditation and dietary adherence while on campus)... my goal this coming year is to change that.

    Friend and I are talking about going to Kings Dominion after my show, and if I'm feeling up to it, I might even grab a drink w/a friend this Sat night. But that's totally contingent on how much I feel like a walking water balloon and want to just hibernate for a solid 3 months, lol.

    More updates to come.
    My website:
    NoFluffStrength.com
    Never sensational. Always real.

    Currently just coming off of a show; follow my offseason log:
    Mindfulness, Mastery, and Muscle - DJaRiHardstyle's Offseason Mission
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172199513&pagenumber=
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  29. #149
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    Going to Kings Dominion after the show is going to take some energy! but would be a sick way to celebrate. and as for grabbing a drink, if you do, gotta fill us in on what it is at least when the time comes, haha. curious to hear your preference. I drink very seldom nowadays, but when I do, love me some whiskey and coke zero. or just some scotch on ice if i'm feeling classy and sassy
    Documentation of the full year of training prior to my first bodybuilding contest: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=167779831

    Current training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=171615023

    "Training is the actual stimulus while nutrition is only permissive to muscle growth."-Eric Helms

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    Originally Posted by TGreggors View Post
    Going to Kings Dominion after the show is going to take some energy! but would be a sick way to celebrate. and as for grabbing a drink, if you do, gotta fill us in on what it is at least when the time comes, haha. curious to hear your preference. I drink very seldom nowadays, but when I do, love me some whiskey and coke zero. or just some scotch on ice if i'm feeling classy and sassy
    we'll get along [=
    Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=166196451
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