My Journey To The Mr. Alabama 2003 - Week 4!

Follow me as I go through a strict training and diet schedule leading up to the Alabama State on August 9, 2003!
Week 4

I got some much needed rest this weekend after a very hard week of work and a demanding week of workouts. I spent a nice relaxing weekend with Tennelle and recharged my batteries. Besides completing my cardio session on Saturday and shopping for and cooking all of my food it was a pretty uneventful weekend, which is really what I needed.

I took my first set of assessment photos this weekend. Before taking them I was practicing some of the poses in my bathroom mirror. I remember thinking that I was looking pretty good. Well, after taking the pictures I realized two things: 1) I have a LONG way to go to look the way I want to on August 9, and 2) I don't know how to pose! Looking at myself in these assessment photos is tough. However, I know that this is the best way to provide an honest assessment of my progress during my contest preparation and I know that taking and posting these photos will be very beneficial towards my success in this contest and for comparison purposes in future years. I also noticed after downloading the photos to my computer that there was not enough light in the room. I will try to improve the lighting next week.

Now, as I said, I have a lot of fat to lose and I need to learn how to pose. The good news is that I have 14 weeks to do both. I weighed myself on Sunday (the day of the photos) at 235 lbs.

I also measure my bodyfat, which was 13.4% according to my calipers. I figured out that I need to lose about 1.6 lbs of fat per week to get down to 4% bodyfat for my contest on August 9th. I think this is very doable considering I lost 35 lbs of fat in 13 weeks last year during the AST World Championships, which is about 2.7 lbs per week.

Although, I am planning to use my bodyfat calipers as a gauge for my progress, I need to remember that what I see in the mirror and in my assessment photos is more important than the reading on the calipers. As soon as the new website design is ready I will post all of my assessment photos on Russyeager.com. You can view my assessment photos now here on Bodybuilding.com.

As far as the posing goes, I have purchased Earl Snyder's 'Posing Like a Champion' video. I have already watched the video once and plan to watch it many more times during the upcoming months. I will practice my poses each week when I take my physique assessment photos and then increase my posing practice as it gets closer to my contest date. Get your own posing vidoes, click here!

Training

I had a really great week of training. Every single workout was good. I was focused, intense, and maintained a strong mind-to-muscle link, which is one of the areas I am trying to focus on improving. I truly believe that bodybuilding is very much a mental challenge as much or more than physical. I made good improvements in the weight room and feel like I took my training intensity to a higher level this week.

I love the feeling of gaining momentum as my contest date approaches and I know that it is only going to get better. I can't really pick a "best" workout day this week because they were all very good. Now that I have established this standard I must work to make next week even better and take it to yet a higher level. This is what it is all about and what will allow me to reach my full potential.

All of my cardio sessions were good this week. I am starting to feel stronger during my sessions and am slowly increasing my distance/calories during my cardio sessions. Once again, my mental attitude going into cardio plays a very big role in how hard I work and how effective each cardio session is. Instead of looking at cardio as being something I have to do, I try to look at each session as another opportunity to get leaner! This attitude gets me pumped up to attack my cardio sessions all out.

Nutrition & Supplementation

I have made some more changes to my nutritional program this week that result in a decrease of 275 calories per day. I have reduced my serving of skim milk in Meal # 1 to ½ cup. I have removed the 4 potatoes from meal #3 and reduced the number of potatoes from meal #4 from 6 to 5 (Basically, I will now be eating ½ can of whole white potatoes with meal #4. I have also removed 1 chicken tenderloin from Meal #5 and Meal #7. Finally, I have removed the ½ tablespoon of natural peanut butter form meal #6 and moved 1 tablespoon of crushed flaxseeds from Meal #7 to meal #6.

Updated Pics:

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Back to week one.

Thanks,