One thing I have discovered is that posing is a major workout! Sunday is my only rest day right now, but it is also the day I practice my posing and take my assessment photos. By the time I am finished practicing my posing my muscles always feel like they got a workout, and I am sweaty like I just finished cardio. I did not realize how demanding posing could be. I am glad that I am practicing now so that when my contest date comes I will be use to it. Right now, I am not use to flexing and posing, and I notice that my body will start to shake when I am trying to hold a pose very tightly. Posing on a regular basis should get my body accustomed to holding the poses so that this will not happen during my contest.
I was very excited to be back in the gym after my recovery week last week. I felt totally refreshed and energized. I was ready to hit the weight room! The Max-OT routine I will be following for the remaining 9 weeks of my contest preparation is the same routine that Skip Lacour is currently following, with a couple of small changes. I looked at Skip's current routine and there are several things that I really like about this particular routine. For one, the volume of sets is low compared to other routines. My workouts have been drifting outside of the 40 minute range, which is the maximum time that a Max-OT workout is supposed to last.
I should be able to stay within the 40 minute time frame with this particular routine. The lower volume of sets will also be beneficial as I get into the very serious calorie deprived stage of my contest preparation. It will be much easier to keep maximum intensity during my workouts if I know they are only going to last 30-40 minutes.
However, with a low number of sets it is ESSENTIAL that I make every single set as intense as humanly possible in order to produce maximum muscle growth. There is NO room for half-assed sets whatsoever. If my intensity is high enough then the number of sets during the workouts of this Max-OT routine are PLENTY to promote muscle growth. It is important to understand that overload and intensity produces muscle growth, not long endurance workouts.
Another thing I like about this routine is that chest is trained on Mondays. I have been training my chest later in the week on Wednesday or Thursday for quite some time. My chest is one of my weaker body parts and working it on Monday will allow me to attack my chest workouts when I have the most energy, at the beginning of the week.
Nutrition and Supplementation
I weighed in at 224 lbs this week, which is down another four lbs from 228 lbs last week. I am pretty sure that one of the main reasons for such a big weight decrease is the simple fact that I was consuming less food this week (about 700 calories less than the previous week) since it was my recovery week and I was not weight training. I was also probably holding less water due to the lower number of carbs I was consuming. I would not be surprised if my weight actually goes up or stays the same at the end of this week as I will be weight training again and eating more calories each day.
I feel like I made some good progress this week in terms of bodyfat reduction. I had a good week of rest from weight training. In my new nutrition plan this week, I will be reducing the number of calories I was consuming the week before my recovery week by 229. I will first reduce my serving of Frosted Flakes in meal #1 to 1/2 serving for a reduction of 60 calories. In meal #4 I am going to take away 1 serving of eggbeaters, which results in a 30 calorie decrease. Also, during meal #4 I am going to reduce the number of canned white potatoes from 5 to 4, so basically I will be eating 1/3 can of potatoes, which results in a decrease of 20 calories.
Another 25 calorie reduction comes from switching to Barlean's Flax Oil during Meal #5 instead of Udo's Choice Oil Blend. I will also be replacing my post-cardio serving of creatine HSC with 1/2 serving of DGC, which results in a decrease of 44 calories. Since I still want to take advantage of the recovery benefits of creatine after my cardio workouts, I will be adding 1 serving (5 grams) of AST's Micronized Creatine to my VP2 and DGC mixture.
My final diet change is to decrease the serving of VP2 in Meal #9 to 1/2 for a reduction of 50 calories. With these diet changes, I am able to lower my calories a pretty good bit without making any drastic changes to my nutrition plan. All the same nutrient timing principles are still in place. As I get closer to my contest deadline I will have to start taking away calories from my pre and post workout meals in order to get extremely lean. The longer I can keep my pre and post workout nutrition in tact, the more muscle I will be able to build all the way up until the show.
I have also raised my daily water intake to at least 2 gallons a day. I have pretty much been drinking this much water already, but now this will be the minimum amount of water I consume each day. Drinking lots of pure water will not only keep all of the nutrients moving through my body and help with the bodyfat reduction process, but will make my body use to getting rid of water quickly and efficiently. This will be very beneficial during the last week of contest preparation when I am trying to achieve the dry "waterless" look on contest day. I will perform six intense cardio sessions again this week and strive to beat my previous distance each session.
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