So Im writing this update AFTER i’ve competed, and i’ll be bringing full NABBA North Britain Coverage in my NABBA Training Journal later this week. Here is my peak week recap, as I prepared for the NABBA North Britain 2014 though!
So I woke up 7.15 but had to wait till 9 for the gym to open to hit cardio. #firstworldgymproblems. I hate not being able to lie in on the weekends for this reason alone. There’s nothing worst than having to wait to eat when you’re starving. I Tried to get back to sleep but just couldn’t.
As usual, I took 5g of BCAA upon waking, as I do every morning prior to cardio. I also had some sugar free jelly to tie me over and ease the rumbling in my stomach. Gym time commeth, and i hit cardio for 40 minutes. I would normally train abs and calves following cardio on a Sunday (calves only if i miss them on a saturday) but I just felt too damn hungry so went home, had breakfast, and went back before my 2nd meal to hit abs and calves.
Diet on that day came to about 220 grams of carbs, usual fat and protein intake, but because I wasn’t hitting weights I lowered my carb intake, and to be honest, I wasn’t all that hungry.
Workouts this week were pretty much just 1 weight session a day, with cardio in the morning, and additional cardio every other day following weights.
Looking tighter than I did Friday. Carbs were 400g. This was my last leg session, and it was awesome. My training was largely in the 15-20 rep range, but I did drop to just 12 reps for 1 or 2 sets, but i then made these into drop sets.
Mondays Leg Workout
I used pretty much the same weight I would for a regular high volume leg workout. I didn’t feel the need to reduce weight, slow reps or anything like that on this day. It was just my typical leg/shoulder workout with the exception of coupling the muscle groups together in 1 workout as opposed to splitting them, something i’ve been doing for the majority of my NABBA contest prep.
Superset 5 x 15-20 (Any sets where I failed to hit 15 reps, i would drop the weight and burn out, ensuring weight remained dropped for the next set)
Lying Hamstring Curl
Seated Hamstring Curl
Superset 4 x 12-15
Seated Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Front Raise
Standing Side Lateral Raise Triple Drop Set 4 x10
I reduced the weight a little from what I would normally do. I really focused on getting a solid muscle contraction with every rep, and the weight was inconsiquential on this day for me, for both the chest and bicep exercises.
Chest, Biceps & Abs. For inclince chest press I trained largely in the 12-15 rep range, with 15 reps for all additional exercises.
This was waxing day, which i’ll talk more about below. Due to appointment times, I had to do my intense cardio session before breakfast. I trained back in the afternoon with abs, and then triceps and a 30 minutes walk in the evening.
This was my last ‘usual’ workout before the show. I didn’t train legs, as to not hold water, so just performed a high volume shoulder workout, with 20 minutes on the bike to finish off with.
I trained at 9, and performed a full body workout, which lasted around 50 minutes. I picked just 2 exercises per muscle group, and performed 2 sets on each exercise, hitting 15 reps for pretty much each set.
Diet – Carb Intake During NABBA North Britain 2014 Peak Week
Sunday – 350 up until show time
Following pre judging I had about 120g of carbs from pasta and sauce, a bit of a cheat meal, and I stopped tracking my macros for the rest of the day. This pasta meal really made me feel full, and I didn’t eat a whole lot more as the day went on.
Cravings, Mind Set & Avoiding The Post Show Binge
This time in November, I could not wait to hammer my epic cheat day. However this time around, my mentality is completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I will be satisfying my crave tooth. You can check out what I’ve got lined up for my post show treats IF you give 2 shiny fuarqs.
However I feel that I have learned from my lesson and am managing to control my post show binge this time around. I think I owe this to the following reasons.
Learning from last year.
For the first few days of eating junk I enjoyed it. The sunday, monday and tuesday, it was nice to have the option of eating all these forbidden fruits (hey, the cherry on a cherry bakewell is technically a fruit!). However pretty much half way into week 1 of my 2 week binge, I had developed a very bad habbit. I was lowering my carb intake through the day, to make up for the previous day’s overspil of calories. I would promise myself, that’s it , today is the day im back on track, then BOOM as soon as I was done in the gym i’d ruin a clean day’s worth of eating chicken and rice by smashing a box of pop tars, cherry bakewells, chocolates or just having a never ending bowl of cereal. I was no longer craving this food, I was doing it out of habbit, Just 3 or 4 days in, this had become the ‘norm’ for me. I felt like crap. Looking at my physique starting my diet for my NABBA 2014 journal, and comparing it to how I looked even a week after the USN Novice Finals in November, I felt gutted.
Advice From Eddy Ellwood
Starting my NABBA contest prep this year, January, Eddy looked at me and said I’d have enough time to get ready however I could not afford to have another blow out and put on so much fat again. What I worked so hard to achieve in the 10 months of 2013, I gave myself a severe set back by going off the rails with my diet. Now in the grand scheme of things, im probably over dramatising the damage I did, and perhaps this sharp learning curve will benefit me greater, long term, in relation to the damage it did this early into my competitive bodybuilding ‘career’. Had I been able to at least keep visible abs up until starting my NABBA 2014 contest prep however, It would have provided me more time to build muscle, which will have led to better net gains, as opposed to putting on fat, and having to start my cardio and diet earlier to lose the fat. A sentiment which Dorian Yates echoes in the many interviews I’ve read with him, and video’s of his I’ve watched these past few weeks. Which leads me onto….
Motivation From Dorian Yates
Since I first stepped foot in a gym, Dorian Yates has been one of my most influential, awe inspiring bodybuilders. A fellow brit who rose to become not just Mr Olympia, but one of the best ever, Dorian is a true living legend within Bodybuilding. My earliest experiences of Dorian were the Blood & Guts black and white workout videos, which I would often watch half an hour before heading to the gym. Hashtag – motivation. I was able to meet Dorian Yates last year at the Body Power Expo, get a photo with him, and even pick his brains about off season & contest prep diet changes.
The past few weeks however I’d been reading a lot of interviews with Dorian, and watching a lot of videos with him. Dorian’s approach to off season diet, year round, is very similar to the approach that Eddy recommends. Both British Bodybuilders, both top of their game respectively, both with similar philosphies to diet. What do that tell you? My mind set has now changed from ‘bodybuilding for 1 show’, then ‘chilling out’ in regards to diet for a few months, to ‘bodybuilding 24/7’. Yes I can enjoy the odd cheat meal here and there, however my mind set for finishing up the NABBA North 2014 and Body Power Expo is not that of looking forward to sweets, cakes, biscuits and chocolate. Rather Im looking forward to upping my carb in take, eating more oats, more rice, more potato, and making gains.
I cannot explain the different in mind set I currently have compared to my last show. It’s definitely a much more positive approach, and I look forward to seeing my progression over the coming year.
OF COURSE I’m still going to enjoy my Reeses Peanut Butter treats, many fudge’s that my TOP Fianceé has gotten me, along with a big ol’ slice of butter icing covered Costco cake following the show. After this everything will be in moderation
Learn How To Control Post Show Fat Gain Here (Coming Soon)
Sunday was my last session on the sun beds. I did want to go on up until Tuesday, but just never had the time to do it unfortunately.
Wednesday was the start of the manliest activities, leg waxing. In the past i’ve always shaved legs, however because my legs are that hairy I have to separate my shavings over 2 nights. I’ll do lower body then upper body. This show I decided to get my legs waxed, and shave my upper body.
I’ve got to be honest, getting waxed doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, however I don’t think id do it again. Id prefer to just shave.
Friday I went for my spray tan, which was a 24 hour developing tan, so I never washed it off until Sunday morning.
Well that’s it guys. Hopefully i’ll have a video to accompany this article, embeded somewhere above in this article. I’ll be aiming to get this posted on the Saturday, and my Show is Sunday, so I’ll cover how I did in a separate post & video.
Thanks for following the journey guys, but that’s not all! It’s still 2 weeks until the Body Power Expo, so keep coming back and checking in for those updates.
Click here to find out how I did in the NABBA North Britain 2014 (Coming Soon)