Bettering Your Physique Is The True Sign Of Victory!

In this article I talk about the mind games that bodybuilding can play on a competitor in regards to the bodyweight scale, a calorie restricted diet, and rigid cardio regimen. I will include the strategy that I use to overcome these obstacles.
In this article I talk about the mind games that bodybuilding can play on a competitor in regards to the bodyweight scale, a calorie restricted diet, and rigid cardio regimen. I include the strategy that I use to overcome these obstacles and how I maintain my sanity by understanding the vital aspect that they play in my conditioning for this year's competitive season.

Well, folks... I have a mere 13 days until the Mr. New Orleans where I lay on the line and compete as an open lightweight competitor. I have truly prepared for this contest season and I am READY to put my physique on the line. I know that I will be up against some monsters up there, but can they bring in the complete package? I guess that we will see. I spent half of the weekend with my nutritionist again and he reminded me once more of how the Mr. Louisiana would have to bring a very impressive Bantam weight to beat me. I have seen some really impressive Bantams there too, but this year I want to be that Bantam. I am really shredded at this point and only plan to get better. I really want this title (Mr. Louisiana) and I know what I have to do to get it and guess what... I am staying super focused and doing it! And I have you to thank for the super charged motivated mind set. Every time that you send me some type of motivational e-mail I get recharged and keep plugging away with true passion. I really love my sport and I have been told that several times. Flat out - it is true. You need to be unbreakable to be a great bodybuilder and you people are helping me stay that way.

The most important thing that I need to do at this time is stop worrying about muscle loss. When I lower my calories I tend to worry about losing muscle even though it is not happening. This is a natural process that all of us go through. This is the primary reason that I have been staying away from the scale. I know that I am losing weight but I do not believe that it is muscle. Why let the scales play with your head if the results in the mirror, what really matters are becoming better and better? If it were up to me, meaning if my nutritionist allows me to stay off of the scale, I will not know what I weigh until I hit the scales at the weigh in for the Mr. New Orleans on the evening of the 28th. The reason??? I am looking better and better each day. I often times surprised my own self, now how's that for improvements.

I also need to stop thinking that my cardio sessions are counter productive and take them for what they are, a beneficial addition to my master plan. This is one of the two primary reasons that I am so shredded right now. I need to continue to do my cardio sessions intelligently, as I have been, and I will be as great as I can be and that is the true goal. I read on an interview that Lee Priest did with he stated that he does not enter a show to try and win, he just tries to go in as the best that he can be. I like that theory. I am my best competition, if I beat my results from last year than I have improved and I am a winner. Therefore, all of my hard work throughout the year has paid off.

So... with that being said I will continue to focus and utilize my vital cardio sessions. My plan is to continue the 1 hour of water aerobics 5 times per week. This is more of a "you get out of what you put into it" aerobic session. I push myself to get the full benefit out of it, besides it is relaxing to me and I enjoy spending time with my mother who accompanies me during every session. In addition to the water aerobics I will do either 2 hard 15 minute sessions equaling to a total of 1.5hr of cardio / day. Or I may opt to do 3 super hard 10 min sessions. This still brings my total to 1.5hrs / day. If I can schedule this in I would like to do it this way because I can definitely go harder at 10 solid min than at 15 but I try to go just as hard regardless. Rationally I know that the 10 minute sessions are killer and allow me to go full tilt, rest, go full tilt again, rest and go full tilt again. On the weekends when I do not do water aerobics I will try hard to get 6 super hard 10 min sessions in each day. This will give me a super hard hour totaled in on the books. That means that for one hour straight I was kick'n some serious butt.

The only time that the cardio is performed on a lower level than normal is when I carb up. This is when I want my body to store the glycogen and not use it up. I will still do cardio on these days just not as much. I will do hard cardio later on in the day after I have strategically consumed all of my 500-600 grams of carbohydrates for the up-day. On these days I will shoot for 2-4 super hard 10 min sessions.

Let me tell you about this super hard double pathway intensely challenging 10 minute sessions. I originally stumbled upon the idea from following AST's two great natural bodybuilders, Skip LaCour and Jeff Willet. They used this approach getting ready for the 2001 Team Universe. I altered the concept some and do a little more cardio than they but I know that my body needs a little more because... well, because I know my body! I also shortened up the sessions some. Here is the adjusted concept. You should look at each cardio session as a mental & physical challenge. I go for 10 minutes as hard as I can and I record my distance, Kcals burned, heart rate (HR), and speed. Now, every time that I get on that machine I try to better what I did last session. Man this is an awesome way to kick your own butt! I love a challenge and trying to beat myself (which I am one of the hardest working natural bodybuilders in the state if not the hardest working) is a true fight for me. Each cardio session I improve or equal or die trying to equal my previous session. It is a mental game as well as physical, I am telling you from experience.

Think about it how hard could you go for 10 straight minutes. Not just hard, you could give it a "super hard" right? The concept is short-intense-frequent bouts of cardio keep the metabolic inferno super hot and turning over like a 400 horse power engine. Cardio sessions in this fashion disrupt the homeostasis in the body and the metabolic effect keep running long after you step off of the cardio machine. The body spends hours trying to bring itself bake to that perfect homeostatic environment and in doing this you are burning some Kilocalories my friend. You can feel the metabolic effect for a good while even after you stop your session. I envision myself as being, a 400 HP super determined, dominating, and formidable natural bodybuilding TANK! That is how I like to think of myself as I approach the realms of my cardio sessions! Try it yourself. Keeping the log is well worth it, and beside I did not mention one of the other benefits this training will bring... a super conditioned heart. Pretty cool, huh? Needless to say after incorporating this scheme in to my cardio regimen my heart is a one bad dude. I wouldn't mess with him :-)

This write up was just something for you guys to chew on. I have been receiving a flood of e-mail and I am writing down all of the great technical questions to assure that once the competition seasons is over I can write about all of your interesting questions concerning the off season. Thank you all for the support, especially Mr. Ryan Deluca and the crew over at These guys have supported me and I love being part of their reputable organization, having them on my side is a definite plus and I know that they feel the same about me. Everything is working out great between us and we both long for the day that I turn professional (IFBB) under their wing as a 100% natural sponsored athlete. Bye for now but stay tuned for more info as I continue to prepare for the Mr. New Orleans (-13 days away) and my ultimate bodybuilding goal of this year which is being Crowned Mr. Louisiana, Bantam Weight 2002 (-26 days out).

Dino Paul Pierce, CFT (III)
B.S. Dietetics
Natural Bodybuilder