Category Archives: Figure/Bodybuilding
Have you ever been interested in body building or physique contests? Have you ever wondered what its like on stage, back stage, or even in the crowd on the night of the event?
Preparing the Body
I know how I felt when I first thought of getting on stage and seeing what this whole competition things was all about. I was terrified. I didnt know anything about diet, tanning, posing, how to pump up, what suit to buy, what to eat the night before, and on and on and on. I realized I probably wasn’t alone, and that this “abyss”of the unknown may be keeping many from trying one of the toughest sports in the world when it comes to training and nutrition.
Competitors don’t risk falling off of a balance beam after years of preparation, or getting knocked out by one rogue lucky punch but, instead, the competition is soley in the preparation. The day of the show is merely an unvailing of a sculpture (or science project) that took months, and even years, to perfect – or at least improve.
Preparing the body for a show takes a lot of planning (and, as you can see in these pictures below shot at the hotel competition day, a lot of packing, cooking, supplementing and planning ahead).
Preparing the Mind
This type of discipline is grueling – and takes a lot of mental fortitude and drive to keep going till the day of competition. This is when, as a coach, a little encouragement can go a long way. I have close to 20 people that are going to compete with me in an upcomming physique event, and the following is a letter I wrote them to encourage them to persever till the end. I wrote this letter to encourage them to say the course no matter what their brain or body is telling them. I wrote this letter to push them to keep faith that in 5 weeks their bodies will be the most amazing aesthtically that they have been in years, if not ever.
Letter to my clients and future competitors out there where ever you are:
Secretly I am hoping you find it very fulfilling, beyond the seemingly narcissistic focus it may have at first glance. I promise you, this level of commitment, self denial and discipline has perfect carry over into our daily lives. It teaches us to be better parents, boss’s, moms, dads, husbands and on and on…
Here we are guys… 5 weeks to go. Some of you are still on the fence, and that is ok. But next week we are either crossing the line of committing to April 6th, or we are going to gracefully bow out for another show. I am asking you to humbly allow me to help you with that decision. Lets decide together if your physique will be show ready or not.
Please don’t let fear into your heart, or head, when it comes to this decision of competing. It is only a question of being ready or not physically. Emotionally and mentally you will be wondering “what if” all the way up to and even the day of the show. So get that out of your head.
You guys have already overcome so much. We have only been training as a team for 5 weeks so far, and every single one of you has amazed me with your level of commitment. We still have 5 weeks to go. I’ve never had a team with so many firsts, so personally I am overwhelmed with excitement.
Guys (and girls), I know the inbody is messing with your head, I know the scale is your best friend in the morning and then your nemesis by noon. You feel so weak trying to finish the most menial tasks around the house, never mind making it into Max to train. When you finally do have time to train you may feel like you’re letting something else go, or putting other priorities on the back burner. You are paying the price, you are paying your dues. You will all have different levels of sacrifice depending on your support structure at home. Some friends and family are supporting your every move, keeping you accountable, reminding you of how amazing your commitment is – and others… not so much.
Your spouse may feel left out. You may have guilt about picking your kids up at school only to drop them off again so you can train. Your best friend may miss her drinking buddy, or even be jealous that she doesn’t have the guts to commit to this epic training. Get all of this out of your head, because when your friends and family see you on the stage, all will be forgiven.
I have seen my clients go to a show with a skeptic husband, and I watch his face as his bride walks out on stage and his jaw drops. He stands to his feet and screams, number 17, number 17… Or the look on the faces of your kids shouting from the crowd, mom… mom… As a coach, this all plays a part of why I drive you guys, and beg for more when you have nothing left to give. If you are struggling with this, stay true to training, stay true to yourself. The one thing they can’t argue the day of the show is that you deserve the applause they are hearing for you right now.
I would like to encourage you, however, to arrange your schedule to train early or later or in the middle of the day as to not affect your friends and family as much. The less impact our training and diet has on disrupting our social lives, the more supportive our loved ones will be. It is a sacrifice to get up early, to get that extra cardio before your spouse or kids wake. It is a sacrifice to make PB&J sandwiches for the rest of the family when you’re dying to lick the spoon. It is a sacrifice to go out for drinks with friends and sip on un-sweet ice tea in a martini glass – but you didn’t think that all this sacrifice was just in the gym, did ya?
So here we are… 5 weeks out. We feel too fat, too flabby, too skinny, too hungry. By now, I think I have had a chance to talk to each of you about dialing it in for the show. If not, lets talk Saturday so we can straighten out these questions. But in the mean time, stick to the program. Regardless if the scale doesn’t move, stick to the program. If you feel skinny, it doesn’t necessarily mean eat more, and if you’re having a fat day it doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself.
You must “stay the course”. I know you are hungry, tired, emotional, scared, insecure… because I feel these things too – but guys, I can tell you what its like the day after… the accomplishment, the pride, the feeling as though you worked so hard and you deserve the compliments that people give you. It is worth it in the end.
Lets all commit to taking our training and diet up another notch. Don’t put your family and friends second, don’t let fatigue and hunger slow you down, don’t let your eyes tell you your not going to be ready, and never, never, never give up.
Think It’s Too Late?
Dr. Josefina Monasterio STARTED competing for the first time when she was 60. She is one of our Team Max members who will compete in the upcoming Southeast Classic in Hollywood April 6th, even after hip surgery. So, NO it’s not too late. Read Dr. Josefina’s story…
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #respectyourself
If you have been following this mess I call a blog at all for the last 5 months you may have heard me whine and whine about my knee. If not, you’re in luck because here I go again. 5 months ago I was getting ready for my first ever MMA tournament. I know,… shut it! But anywho, I was gonna try. Here’s a shocker: my 42-year-old butt got tore up by a 19-year-old monster. I tore my medial meniscus and sustained a 90% tear to my MCL. I was devastated, but now I’m back and I want to not only return to competing, I want my quads bigger and stronger than ever. The area I want to focus on for this workout is the Vastus Lateralis, the largest and most outer portion of the thigh.
How to Improve Your Sweep
How do we isolate out the vastus lateralis muscle, or as we call it in the physique world, “the sweep”? Vastus externus or vastus lateralis, depending on your A&P professor, is the largest of all the quadricep muscles. The action of this muscle is to extend the tibia or shin bone at the knee, but I’m here to help you learn how to perform knee extension to isolate out the other muscles that synergistically aid in this action. In sculpting, it is very important that we learn isolation. Whether we are a bodybuilder, a bikini competitor or a stay-at-home mom that wants to scult their body, we can all use these principles to learn to sculpt nicer legs.
Fat burn or spot reducing fat can not be limited to specific areas of the body, no matter what ”bogus science” and pills tell you. However, sculpting most assuredly can be reduced to a single area, action, and in some cases, specific fibers of a specific muscle – all based on how we execute the exercise. You don’t need a degree in kinesiology to learn these principals, just a little common sense is all.
So, how do we excite and fatigue the fibers of our outer quad to hypertrophy our SWEEP?
Ok, so here is one exercise you should be narrow-minded about. Narrow is better when we talk about our stance to accentuate or facilitate the contractile tissue of the outer quad. So lets think narrow when doing squats and leg extensions. Whatever exercises you do, stand with a more narrow stance (feet together). You may stop and ask, does that mean if I stand wide, I will work my inner thigh and medial quads? Yeppers! Now you are getting it. (another blog perhaps) Moving on…
With leg extensions, it’s all about being self-centered – literally. If you point your toes outward, you are working the vastus medialis, the tear drop shaped muscle on the medial side (inside) of the legs close to the knee. Since we want to work the opposite side of the legs, then (yes, you guessed it) we want to point our toes in the opposite direction, pointing toes together. Note: this doesn’t work by just pointing the feet from the ankle down, the whole leg must internally rotate to the center to excite the appropriate muscles.
Here is an example of my own leg workout where I use these same principles to improve my sweep.
Yesterday’s Leg Workout
Warm up: 4 sets / 20 reps
Deep weighted walking lunges (35-50 pound dumbbells) 45 seconds rest btw sets
Couplet: Leg Press & Leg Extension Super Set
(zero rest between super set, 1 minute between sets)
#1 Heavy leg press
5-8 plates each side, narrow stance (4″ apart) and push only on your heels
10 sets / 15 reps
#2 Moderately heavy leg extension
Moderately heavy leg extension (130lbs-160lbs) internally rotate your femur’s in (toes are pigeon-toed), and squeeze your outer quad in terminal extension.
10 sets / 12-15 reps
Repeat Super Set 10 Times
Puke and repeat for 10 rounds(sets) with 1 minute rest between (rounds) sets
Here are some pics from my last show, the Daytona Classic, just 10 days after getting hurt.
Before I answer, you should first know my goals. I work mostly for aesthetics but I put a definite emphasis on performance as well. I want to be as strong and conditioned as possible, without sacrificing size or leanness.
Barring any schedule conflicts or injuries, the following is my typical training regimen… I hope this is helpful.
7 Days a Week
6:30 am 40 minutes Cardio (usually elliptical)
10:30 am 45 minutes of chest (5 exercises)
2:00 pm 45 minutes of Back (5 exercises)
2:45 pm 45 minutes bag work or shadow boxing
10:30 am 45 minutes of shoulders (6 exercises)
11:15 am 45 minutes cardio/abs (supersets 10/5)
2:00 pm I hour of arms (3 exercises triceps/3-biceps)
5-7 pm 2 hours Jujitsu (1 hour drills/1 hour rolling)
6:30 am 45 minutes cardio (tread15/stairs15/elliptical15)
10:30 am 30 minutes of hamstrings(3 exercises) 20 minutes of heavy abdominals(3 exercises)
2:00 pm 45 minutes of quads (3-4 exercises)
2:45 pm 45 minutes bag work or shadow boxing
6:30 am 40 minutes cardio (usually elliptical)
10:30 am 45 minutes of chest (5 exercises)
2:00 pm 45 minutes of Back (5 exercises)
5-7 pm 2 hours Jujitsu (1 hour drills/1 hour rolling)
9am 45 minutes of Kickboxing on LiveExercise
10am 45 minutes of full body conditioning and Plyometrics (Chiseled Cardio Show on LiveExercise)
12:00 pm 45 minutes Treadmill Conditioning on LiveExercise
5:30 pm 45 minutes of shoulders
8am 35 minutes of Cardio (elliptical)
10 am 45 minutes of arms (3 exercises triceps/3 exercises biceps)
7am 45 minutes of cardio/abs
11:00 1 hour Boxing and sparring
6 pm 1 hour of quads/hams (3 exercises quads/3 exercises hams)
Note: I like to break up my workouts, but you can also do it all at once.
Here we go again.
The story began 5 months ago when I had an opportunity to try a line of supplements from GNC. It wasn’t a challenge as much as it was an experiment. I used this 90 day experiment to get ready for a few media events that BCX was contracted to complete. If you read my story you already know how aprhensive I was to rely on a new, and unknown, supplement regimine. Any trainer or nutritionist will tell you, training and diet is extremely important – but we were talking about taking it to the extreme. You know, I’m talking about the last little bitty pounds…. the ”miniscule” amount of water and fat that seems impossible to rid our butt and gut of. So, tried and true was the extreme transformation, it was truly “Beyond Raw”. So what now?
Physique vs Performance
I saw my physique change, but what about performance. Aesthetics is one thing, but what could Beyond Raw do to how my body could perform? My “huckleberry”, Alfonso Morreti (AKA “The Angry Trainier”) and I are not afraid to put our phsysiology on the line to give you guys answers. He and I are average Joe’s with a passion for results. We want to know what works – and what is just fluff. No doubt, Beyond Raw can chisel a 42 year old body, but can it take this physique to a level of performance that normal biology would deem, EXTREME?
I want to know if Beyond Raw can increase performance – and if so, in what disciplines. I know I can get leaner and build muscle at the same time – proved that already. Now I want to know, can these supplements make me stronger, more powerful, faster, create endurance, increase repair, and maintain leaness?
I want to know what discipline of exercise, in what arena’s, and what environments, could these supplements be employed to take both aesthetics and performance to a level that is Beyond Raw. (side note… every time I write “BEYOND RAW”, in my head, I say it like an announcer with a really deep voice).
My next experiment:
I plan to test the limits of GNC’s Beyond Raw line beyond aesthetics. To put these supplements to the test, we will see what they can do to take this physique from competing against aesthetics of body building in july, to a ½ Iron Man in September, to a MMA tournament in October. For some, this may not be crazy. But I promise this is already sounding insane to me – “beyond insane”. I havn’t competed in body building in over 6 years, I have no experience with marathons or tri’s (NONE!), and I just started training in mma late last year.
My goal is to “compete and complete” each tournament. Semper Persevera… never give up!!!!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open. One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”. Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point. As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well. One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”. So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm
Hate Sin? Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush… No we don’t hate sin. What we hate is the consequences of our sin. Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you. (another blog, another time). But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”. Hold on, here it comes…
Love your workout? Not truly…
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs. I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf. Love my workout? …not so much.
HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out. Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout. Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!
The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”
In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?
2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.
3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.
4. Grow a pair. Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.
5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!
The starvation… the deprevation… the deteriation. For a trophy? Of course not! This blog is for anyone who has ever thought about competing in figure, fitness, or bodybuilding. This past-time seems to have no functional ends. We dont play in a tournament, we dont test the strength of our muscle. We dont test the agility of a motor skill, we dont even have to get out of breath. Yet compared to any other sport in the world, who deprives themselves more, who trains harder, who else is stripped of there clothing in front of hundereds of strangers?
A Contest of Will
Unlike other contests of skill, this sport is a contest of WILL – especially for those of us who dont have great genetics or perfectly symetriical bodies to start with. But we train through what we dont have. Not that it is ever overlooked, but maybe for our weakness’s to someday become our strengths. If we cant be the biggest, we will be the most shredded. If we cant be the most symetrical, we will train to overwhelm the judges with Read the rest of this entry