This article is unlike the others in that in this writing I do not seek to explain anything. The latest tips for fat loss or mass gains are not presented as the goal of this article. My purpose is not analysis. Instead what you will find here are my bodybuilding writings and insights written as they occurred to me, without particular attention to the structure that typically binds the presentation of useful ideas. This article is predominantly a journal rather than a formal presentation. Accordingly it is easy to read and is simple to understand.
This article aims to provide you with insights into the mind of a bodybuilder and aims to provide you with a psycho-epistemology or mindset that will be useful to you as a bodybuilder. Although I am writing about my travels over a specific time period, the mindset presented here is useful if applied consistently in everyday life and in every situation.
From the period of December 20, 2002 to January 3, 2003 I stayed in upper state New York. Located near Vermont I had the pleasure to stay with family and experience the beautiful sight of the Adirondack Mountains. I had made a similar journey twice before, in the summer season.
My fiance and I stayed at her grandmothers for the two weeks we were there together, and over the course of this time the Holiday season came and went, as did my birthday. In all 16 hours round trip travel time was required.
I now present a chronological log of my trip. Pay particular attention to the useful bodybuilding anecdotes presented, and consider how you may apply them toward the development of your physique.
Day 1 - Friday December 20, 2002
I began my trip to New York by arising at 0500. It was still dark when I awoke and I immediately took a serving of Glutamine as well as my multivitamin. I then headed for the shower because I was really tired. I am not used to waking up at this time and as such was quite slow in getting my body to move on a schedule. The body operates on circadian rhythms and unfortunately the body is quite slow in adjusting to changes in schedule with respect to sleeping habits.
After my shower I cooked meal 1 and left my house in Waterloo, Ontario for the Kitchener, Ontario train station. My train in Kitchener arrived at 0644 and I boarded without difficulty. The trip to Toronto form Kitchener was only 1.5 hours and as such I did not want to fall asleep lest I end up missing my connecting train to Montreal.
I decided to take the train because driving 7 hours would be inconvenient and would interfere with my ability to focus on eating every 2 hours as required by my bodybuilding lifestyle. Also, I slept very little the night prior to my departure and even though I took ZMA to help induce sleep, it was to no avail.
I arrived in Toronto at Union Station at 0830. I had an hour to wait and it was time to eat so I went to Harvey's Restaurant and grabbed a chicken burger. It was the best thing on the menu, or I should say, the lesser of all available evils.
My food intake for the day appears as follows:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, 2 pieces flax seed toast, 6 whole large eggs scrambled
Meal 2: Harvey's Crispy Chicken Burger, French Fries, Diet Coke, 60g Whey Protein Shake
Meal 3: Chicken Breast (300gm) on whole wheat bread
Meal 4: Pizza and Diet Coke with 2 chicken burgers from McDonalds
Meal 5: Met-Rx protein bar (35g)
I see many of you out there shaking your heads that I would eat "fast food" in the morning. To that I say this: When traveling it is important to choose the lesser of all available evils with respect to food. Chicken is relatively lean, and although fried, the French fries provided a complex carbohydrate source which provided me with much needed energy.
I slept quite well during the train ride. It was somewhat bumpy, but that is how trains go, I suppose. I wasn't about to become stressed out about something I couldn't control, lest my cortisol levels skyrocket.
When I arrived in Montreal I hailed a taxicab and went to Central station. After standing in line for about 30 minutes I purchased my greyhound bus ticket and waited to board for the United States. I decided to call my mother back home, and we had a good conversation. It is good to busy the mind when stuck in one spot for long periods of time. It helps to reduce stress.
A little while later I boarded the bus. On the bus I began to feel hungry but had already eating all of the food I had packed. Because I was so tired I had forgotten my almonds and fruit mix that I was going to take on my trip. Oh well. Instead I sucked on a low sugar mint to suppress my appetite. Mint is a natural appetite suppressor, and as such helps fend of pains resulting from hunger.
When we arrived at the border another bus was before us and we had to wait for a considerable period of time. Everyone from the bus before us existed the vehicle en masse, and put their bags onto the pavement. Then out came the drug sniffing dog.
While the other bus was undergoing inspection we had to wait and watch the process. As many of you will know I have an associates degree in law, so I was familiar with what was going on, and the underlying law behind it.
Events began to get interesting, however, when the dog sniffed and starting pawing frantically at two of the bags lying on the pavement. It was clear that the dog had smelt something and so the National Guardsman picked up the bags and set them aside for inspection.
The two individuals to whom the bags belonged were escorted to witness the inspection, as their legal rights allow, and about 15 minutes later they emerged and some items must have been removed from their belongings as in their hands they had papers that I recognized as seizure notices. After all of this was done, it was our turn to undergo the process, much to my chagrin.
As a bodybuilder I can say that I dislike customs inspections. I understand the need for them, and I respect those men and women who serve the nation everyday, but I still become uneasy when going through customs. I had no illegal supplements in my bag [ZMA, Glutamine, Whey] but I still dislike the idea that I may be inspected because of the physique I possess.
Nevertheless, at the appointed time a national guardsmen and a border officer boarded our bus and instructed us to exit the vehicle, taking with us any personal belongings, and to put our bags and luggage onto the pavement. After doing this we were instructed to go inside the building and present our identification to the customs officers for clearance and entry into the United States. For some reason I was given a hard time when I was in customs. Although they were professionals they were not courteous, as I am used to with Canadian officials.
From having been in the services I can appreciate straightforwardness, but even this was excessive. I am a person and I appreciate even a small smile. I didn't get one. Perhaps I was nervous of being searched, even though I had nothing to hide. I can say this with certainty: Anyone with any ideas of smuggling any Testosterone, Clenbuterol, Winstrol-V or any other banned substance into the country is an idiot! You WILL get caught and end up in jail!
I have made this trip pre and post September 11th and can say from experience that there is a big change in how they treat people at border crossings.
One person who was on our bus was refused entry because of an expired visa. In times past they would sometimes overlook visas that were expired, telling the person to simply get an extension. Not after the terrorist attacks. So, when all was said and done our bus departed with a full compliment, minus one passenger.
At 1830 I arrived at my destination in Plattsburgh, New York. My trip had lasted 13 hours and I was very happy for the traveling to finally be over.
The first thing I did was eat, and enjoyed it. I was happy to finally be giving my body some fuel. When I took my ZMA I fell asleep quickly. I don't remember if I dreamed anything.
Day 2 - Saturday December 21, 2002
I awoke at 0815 and the first thought on my mind was eating. My fiance and I went for breakfast at a little restaurant that serves homemade, real, food. I had two eggs over easy with home-style toast, and an orange juice. I topped it off with a HDT ProBlend 55 Shake. I received the sample packet in my order from Bodybuilding.com and decided to save it for my trip. Doing this would reduce my expenses as well as allow for convenience when getting food was difficult. It is important to plan your meals when you know you will be traveling.
After meal 1, I decided that the first thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store to do some shopping. Here is my shopping list:
- 2 Dozen large eggs
- 2 containers low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 choice USDA steaks
- 1 lb salmon steak
- 4 packages pasta
- 1 gallon of 2% milk
- 1 large box minute rice
- 10 lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 yams
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pkg chicken noodle soup
- 3 Ida Red apples
Believe it or not this food cost me only $30. Also notice that nowhere on my list did I buy processed food [with the exception of cottage cheese and milk]. Just because I am away from home does not mean that I have an excuse to eat pizza and takeout food like they are going out of style.
After grocery shopping I was still tired from traveling so I had a serving of glutamine powder and went to bed. I arose three hours later from my nap and ate a tub of low fat cottage cheese, and an Ida Red apple with some water.
For today my meals appeared as follows:
Meal 1: 2 eggs over easy, 2 pieces of home-style toast, 2 cups orange juice, and HDT Problend 55 protein shake
Meal 2: 1 tub low fat cottage cheese, Ida Red apple, 2 cups water
Meal 3: 1 package of pasta, ? lb salmon steak on grill
Meal 4: 6oz steak on grill
Meal 5: Pizza
Meal 6: Protein shake (60g Whey)
After traveling for 13 hours yesterday I was not in the physical condition to train. Today my main concern was hitting a grocery store so that I could get my dietary regimen under control. Lets face it: There is little point in blasting away at the gym when your eating fast food and suffering from GI distress, acid reflux and fatigue.
A lot of people may remark that they "couldn't miss a workout" for anything. To this I reply that it is better to never miss a meal than to never miss a workout, if it is a choice between the two. Providing your body with the food it needs to support anabolism will go much farther in the quest to build muscle and lose fat than will mindlessly pounding away at the weights and starving your body.
At 2230 I took another serving of glutamine, as I did at bedtime last night and before breakfast and meal three, earlier today.
Given that it is the holidays and that I have just come off a 71-day fat loss phase during which I dropped 5% bodyfat, I decided that I could indulge in some pizza and it would not hurt me too much.
I have secured arrangements to get into a gym for free during my two-week trip in exchange for helping one of my fiance #039;s friends. This is a good cost reducing strategy if you can somehow work a deal like this during any trips that you may take. On Monday I am supposed to work out at this gym, which is located in a hotel. I am skeptical as to its quality because in times past gyms in hotels have been very poor.
I am eager and looking forward to working out. Now that my diet is back under control I am ready to get going again! Today I practiced my flexing and posing. The benefit of flexing and posing are threefold:
1. Improves mind-muscle connection
This allows you to get a better feel for each muscle group
Allows for more mineral and vitamin rich blood to reach muscles that in turn aids in growth and repair.
When lifting weights the muscle contracts and shortens upon itself, under stress. With flexing one is duplicating the procedure minus the weight. What I like to do is contract as hard as possible, hold it for ten seconds, and then stay tense on the "un-flexing" part of the flex. Put another way: when the flex is over keep your muscle tense and UNDER CONTROL slowly elongate the muscle. This is similar to lowering a weight under control, or the "negative" aspect of the weighted movement.
To relax I am sitting in the upstairs of my fiance's grandmothers house, in our bed, listening to music. As a bodybuilder it's important to find time to relax. Too often our minds and bodies are kept busy by the constant pace of life. Relaxing is cathartic and helps cleans the body of all the ills brought about by constant activity of both the mind and the body.
For the rest of the night I watched Dr. Phil on television and then headed to bed after taking my glutamine and ZMA.
Day 3 - Sunday December 22, 2002
Today I awoke at 1000 and the first thing I did was take a serving of glutamine. I then prepared breakfast. I did not sleep too well last night and awoke several times during the night to use the washroom. Here is a breakdown of the meals I have eaten today:
Meal 1: Frosted Flakes, Ida Red apple, Protein shake (60gm)
Meal 2: ? salmon steak on grill, pasta
Meal 3: Protein Shake with 20oz of low-fat milk
Meal 4: 4oz steak on grill, 2 cups of white rice
Meal 5: Protein Shake
Meal 6: Sesame Chicken, Broccoli and Rice
For breakfast I included some fruit as a quick acting carbohydrate source as well as a protein shake to cover my bases so far as protein is concerned. For meal 2 I had a ? pound salmon steak done on the grill and had some pasta as a starchy carbohydrate source. For my third meal of the day I gave my digestive system a break by having a protein shake with 20 oz of reduced fat milk.
Meal 4, I cooked a steak on the grill and also had some rice for complex carbohydrates. For meal 6, I took my fiance out to our favorite New York State Chinese restaurant. I really enjoy the sesame chicken as well as the fine assortment of freshly made vegetables. When traveling Chinese food is always an excellent choice, especially buffets.
After we left the Chinese restaurant we went for a nice drive back to where we were staying and enjoyed the silence. In upper state New York, especially near Vermont, there are a lot of roads and a lot of space separates buildings. You can drive for half an hour before you see another car. Things sure are more relaxed and slower paced there then here in Canada where I live. I finished off the evening by reading and then I popped 3 ZMA caps and took my glutamine and I was asleep.
Day 4 - Monday December 23, 2002
Today I awoke at 0900 and took a serving of glutamine and took a shower. Here is a breakdown of my meals for today:
Meal 1: Protein Shake
Meal 2: Cottage Cheese, Apple
Meal 3: Burger King Hamburger and Chalupa
Meal 4: Chicken Breast on grill, pasta
My diet for today was terrible. It sucked. It stunk. I tried to redeem myself by eating healthy for my final meal, but my diet was so terrible and incomplete that nothing was going to save me from this one.
My fiance and I had some shopping to do today so we were out for the majority of the day. I really should have brought a protein shake or bars with me since I knew that we were going to be out for a long while, but I did not. When we got to the mall I did not want to spend much money on food so I ate a hamburger. I should have gotten Chinese food with steamed vegetables.
It is very important when away from home that one plans ahead for meals because you want to avoid the type of situation I created for myself. Two hours is not a long time to go between meals and so it should be obvious that carrying a protein shake while going out should be the course of action you ought to take.
Further, my plans to workout today fell through. The person I was to go work out with had to work a shift at their place of employment. This is understandable. However, this misfortune demonstrates a truth that we should all remember and heed: Count on yourself only. You shouldn't count on yourself only simply because you wish to snub someone else, it is simply so that if such plans do not work, you have a contingency plan.
For the rest of my trip I am going to focus on callisthenic exercises when not having access to a gym. I was still fairly tired, and my fiance had to work in the morning, so I cooked her some food and went to be at 2230.
Day 5 - Tuesday December 24, 2002
Today I arose at 0900. I did not want to get up, but my fiance had to, so I did also. I woke up and went to get some food for my meal 1. My meal schedule for today was:
Meal 1: Protein Shake, Apple
Meal 2: Cottage cheese, Pear
Meal 3: 4 oz steak on grill, pasta
Meal 4: Protein Shake
Meal 5: Chicken Breast on grill, rice
Meal 6: Protein Shake
Today was hectic. It's the day before the big day and at my fiancé¥¦#039;s grandmother's house I helped prepare food for the holiday meal that is to occur tomorrow. I also made another trip to the grocery store to pick up some meat and pasta. I grabbed some milk and cottage cheese also. It is important to keep stocked up on protein and carbohydrate rich foods.
As you may see from the past several days, I consume a lot of red meat. Many bodybuilders try to limit the amount of protein they consume from red meat, but I never do this. Red meat is key for maintaining anabolic hormone levels in the body. I enjoy beef because of its muscle building abilities, but I also aim for lean cuts of red meat so that I do not add a lot of bodyfat as a result of eating it.
Yesterday I wrote about how my Monday night workout fell through, how it was now switched to Thursday and how I am now going to do callisthenic exercises. I will now be including a daily log of my exercise activities.
I took my final serving of glutamine, and took my ZMA. I slept in quite a bit because I woke up many times during the course of the night.
Day 6 - Wednesday December 25, 2002
I do not celebrate Christmas but I do like the time of year because it provides me with a nice break from the regular hectic activities of the normal year, and because of the food. It is important, however, to make wise choices when selecting food items.
Many people literally "pig out" just like the picture shows. But this is NOT a good idea as bodyfat levels can become out of control when eating habits go wild. A typical holiday dinner may appear as follows:
- 1 cup eggnog
- Potatoes [mashed or baked]
- Roast beef
- Cold salad
- Desert [cake, cookies or chocolates]
Total Calories: 2200
As many of you can see, this selection of food is a recipe for blubber. Whenever one combines simple sugars with bad fats one is guaranteed to store bodyfat. Instead of the gut creating meal above, take a look at my food choices instead, and notice the difference.
1 Turkey breast
1 cup 2% fat reduced milk
100 oz. Roast beef
The point is that its OK to relax a bit during the festive season, but it is not ok to turn the festivities into an excuse for gluttony. The times may be festive but it's not good to turn a meal into a feast.
I selected turkey as my main meat source because it is much more lean than roast beef. As I said previously, beef is OK so long as it is very lean but roast beef does not qualify. My meals for today appear as follows:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, Apple, and Protein Shake
Meal 2: 6oz steak on grill, pasta
Meal 3: Chicken breast on grill, rice
Meal 4: Protein Shake
Meal 5: Turkey breast, potato
Meal 6: Protein shake
I also relaxed a bit today by listening to some Elvis and Kenny G music and watched some movies on television. As a bodybuilder finding time to relax is very important. Whether it is a nap or watching TV or playing video games: find time to relax when you're able. I went to sleep about midnight after taking my ZMA and glutamine.
Day 7 - Thursday December 26, 2002
Meal 1: Oatmeal, protein shake
Meal 2: Cottage cheese, apple
Meal 3: Turkey breast, baked potato
Meal 4: Protein shake
I ate only four times today because I arose late and went to bed early. I went to the local Mini mart and chowed down on three candy bars that is a pretty terrible thing to do. I usually never do this, but for some reason I felt the tremendous urge to, and the urge was not going to go away. I made a pig of myself and I should not have. If you find yourself in this spot try eating all natural peanut butter to offset the cravings.
I am somewhat embarrassed to include this dietary transgression for all to see, but the point of including it here is to illustrated that if you are, at any time of the year, going to pig out and lose control, do try to pick the best of the worst.
Today I decided that I would stay home and do some callisthenic exercises instead of going to the gym. It is a good thing I decided to do this as the workout plans fell through yet again. The surest bet is anything you can do yourself, so I decided to workout as much as I could given the materials around the house.
My exercise regimen for today appears as follows:
|Triceps||Chair Dips 3x15|
|Chest, Delts, Pecs, Triceps||Pushups 3x15|
Granted I did not do a lot, but oh well, that's life! I could make all kinds of excuses about how it's the holidays and how "everyone else" is really lazy, but the point is to do something even if everyone else is sitting around. It is not necessary to do an excessive amount of exercise but do SOMETHING.
For the rest of the evening I wrote another article and watched television. I took my ZMA and a last serving of glutamine and went to bed at 2330.
Day 8 - Friday December 27, 2002
Today I arose at 1215 lunch time, after sleeping for almost twelve hours. I felt very good because I got a lot of rest. During the course of the night I had to get up several times, but overall I slept all right. I took a serving of glutamine and went to prepare meal 1. I made eggs and toast for my fiance and then prepared my meal. My meals for today appear as follows:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, apple, protein shake
Meal 2: Cottage cheese
Meal 3: 8oz steak on grill, pasta
Meal 4: Protein shake
Meal 5: Pizza
For breakfast I chose to have both quick and slow acting carbohydrates, and a fast acting protein to make sure that the protein offsets the catabolic state brought about by twelve hours of sleep.
Oatmeal is a great food to consume because it is a great slow carbohydrate source and also because it helps to remove bad cholesterol. Pasta, as seen in meal 3 is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and the 8 oz steak on the grill was very tasty. Best of all, it was lean cut.
For meal 5, I ate some pizza. Granted that this was not the best meal to eat, but I am going to lean up in the New Year anyhow. I'm not doing myself any favors by eating it, but it's my problem to deal with. And, unlike people who make "New Years Resolutions" to "lose weight"; I know how to drop bodyfat easily, safely and effectively.
New Years resolutions always fail and if the person making the resolution has to wait until the new year to initiate change rather than the immediate moment, it shows that they are not motivated or committed to the cause. Putting something off is called procrastination, not decisiveness. For this reason 80% of all major lifestyle changes fail.
Today was hectic and I did some exercises where I am staying. My activity log appears as follows:
I took 20 gm of glutamine today and also my multivitamin. I recently switched multi-vitamins from AST MULTI 32X PRO to the ECLIPSE 2000 COMPLEX 24. In the article What supplements should you take? I wrote briefly about how when selecting a multi-vitamin it is important to make a list of any allergies you have prior to purchase. I also mentioned that selecting a time-released vitamin is important. I made these recommendations based on my experience with the AST MULTI 32X PRO, which had the element Nickel (Ni) that is an allergen for me. And, they are also not time released, which with elements like Iron can cause diarrhea and stomach upset if they flood your system.
My problem with the AST may be that due to their non-time released nature and high dosages of vitamins and minerals it was flooding my system with too much at one time, or it could have been the Nickel content, or both.
In any event, I switched to the Eclipse 2000 complex 24 and I have been on them for a week. It is still too early to tell if they will be suitable for my needs, but I am hopefully they will be.
I spent most of the day going out shopping and I picked up some cool DVD's. I am looking forward to watching the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD when I arrive back home. I hit the sack fairly early tonight and was asleep by 2330. I took my ZMA and was, like usual, fast asleep in a dream state.
Day 9 - Saturday December 28, 2002
Today I awoke and took my glutamine and multi-vitamin, went downstairs to grab some food to eat. My meals for today appear as follows:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, Apple, Protein shake
Meal 2: Cottage cheese, steamed broccoli
Meal 3: Cookies and cream EAS protein bar, Lemon cheesecake EAS protein bar
Meal 4: 4oz steak, pasta
Meal 5: Protein shake
I went to bed early and after taking my ZMA I was out cold. I find that taking ZMA helps me to have amazing, vivid dreams. What I enjoy most is that even while "unconscious" there is still a state of awareness while dreaming. This awareness while being in a dream state is frequent while on ZMA.
Day 10 - Sunday December 29, 2002
Today I awoke early and cooked breakfast and headed for the gym. My arrangements for working out today "worked out" so I present my workout regiment here for your benefit.
|Chest||Plate Loaded Bench Press Machine
Incline Barbell Bench Press
|Biceps||Standing D.Bell Curls
My goal for this workout was to stimulate the muscles I was working. I was not interested in some medieval Dorian Yates style workout. I recommend only going heavy duty if you are in the optimum environment to ensure maximum recovery. Given that I was away from home, faced fiscal limitations, had to cook all of my own food, and was not sure where my next workout was going to come from I decided to focus on maintenance instead of muscle growth.
Besides, I am not bulking at the moment and will be using the fat loss program I detailed in A step-by-step plan for bodyfat reduction! So, there was little sense in eating for mass and then coming home to drop bodyfat. Today my diet appeared as follows:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, Apple, 6 eggs, 3 cups water
Meal 2: Post-workout protein shake
Meal 3: Chicken breast on grill, pasta
Meal 4: Protein shake, banana
Meal 5: 4oz steak on grill, baked potato
Meal 6: Protein shake
As many of you can see from my dietary logs of this day and days previous, I eat a lot of food grilled. I do this for three main reasons. They are:
If you have eating grilled food and its pan-fried equivalent then I don't need to explain exactly what I mean when I say that grilled food tastes so much better. After you become accustom to cooking steak on a grill, when your forced to eat pan-fried steak you will feel like you are eating an oil slick. When I have to eat meat cooked in a frying pan I actually don't want to eat at all, but I still do.
A grill is very convenient as well. Think about it! You turn on the propane, ignite, and slap your meat on. You can then walk away and busy yourself with other tasks while your food cooks. It sure beats slaving over a hot stove for hours while you wait for something to bake or fry. Unlike fried food grilled food will not stick to the pan or burn the butter or margarine it is being fried with. All in all a grill is much easier for a bodybuilder to use. And, another good thing: You can cook up to 10 chicken breasts at one time on them. So it's a time saver too!
From an aspect of health, the grill is a clear winner. As you cook the meat on the grill, the fat is cooked out of it. It's a process similar to fire-roasted chickens that are placed on spits in fancy restaurants. With a frying pan the reverse can often happen. With a grill a lot of the fatty contents of the meat is cooked out, but with a frying pan because of the oil based substance it is cooked in the pan with it can often absorb fat.
This fat can then enter your body, clogging your arteries and reducing the overall blood flow to certain areas. Reduced blood flow translates into decreased vitamin and mineral delivery to those parts, and thus reduces muscle growth potential. Bet you've never thought about it in that way before! For those three reasons I recommend cooking on a grill as much as you can, anytime.
When I returned home form the gym I read some books on meditation and philosophy, to relax. When it was time for bed I took my final serving of glutamine and took my ZMA, and fell asleep quickly.
Day 11 - Monday December 30, 2002
Today is my birthday! I am happy about that, but I also realize that as one becomes older serum testosterone levels and growth hormone levels decline. I make sure that I take ZMA and glutamine to offset these realities as much as possible, but still I know that as age sets in my ability to build muscle and maintain my physique will also decrease. One good thing for you hard gainers out there is that every year you age your metabolism decreases 1%. So, eventually you wont have to eat like a beast to simply offset catabolism and maintain nitrogen balance.
My fiance her father and I went out for Chinese food and it was awesome! I highly recommend Sesame [General Tso] chicken if you can find it. The chicken is good as it is mostly chicken meat with very little batter. I avoid chicken balls because of the high batter content.
Sesame chicken is flavored with sesame seeds and is quite spicy. One thing I enjoy about oriental food is the amount of spices they use. It is interesting to notice a shift from using spices to flavor foods to using fats and sugars. Anyone who has dieted down understands how important it is to use spices to flavor foods. Sugars are stored as fats and are detrimental to creating an impressive physique. Spices add a natural UNPROCESSED plentiful flavor to food, and if peppers provide the flavor may even act as a thermogenic, thus helping you burn fat even more!
Anyway, the sesame chicken is very good, is lean and is filling because it is a great source of protein. As usual I was sure to eat a balanced meal with chicken as my meat source and broccoli, mushrooms and bean sprouts for my vegetable carbohydrate sources.
When eating at buffets I would recommend avoiding pork products, as pork is very fatty, has a very low and incomplete protein content and profile, and also because it contains microorganisms that can irritate and damage the human digestive tract, and that can also survive the cooking process. There are other specific reasons why I never eat pork, but I will list only those that are relevant to bodybuilding. If those reasons are not enough, however, the revolting smell of the unclean animal and stomach churning greasy content of pork should be enough to make you steer totally clear of it.
The dinner went well and I also received a book titled The Tao of Physics. When I was younger I used to skip high school to read science and philosophy books. I stayed home for two weeks in a row at one time and still obtained a passing grade. In one course I was absent from thirteen scheduled classes and finished with a final grade of 97%! I enjoy science and philosophy and this book is about the similarities between both, so it looks interesting.
After the meal I went to the gym. Here is a listing of my regimen for today:
|Legs||Machine Loaded Leg Press
As you can see from my leg workout, I did only one exercise. Many may say that one exercise is not sufficient to properly fatigue a muscle. I remind you folks that as you become more in tune with your body, you will be able to increase the amount of intensity you put forth toward your workouts. You will begin to know when and how to work specific muscles and how and when to squeeze and flex those muscles while they are under tension. Once you advance to that level, a workout like the above can be done in 20 minutes, and so mine was. For more information on intensity, refer to my article titled Intensity: Do you have it?
I also had a workout partner today who was not familiar with the exercises listed here, so I was also doing a bit of personal training. Either way, leg presses were enough to trash my legs and before legs I worked back, so it was time to hit the hot tub and enjoy a post workout shake.
I relaxed as the warm water soothed my quadriceps and hamstrings, chugged a protein shake and ate an EAS protein bar. After I left the gym I went back to where I was staying and relaxed. I did not want to do any more that night because I was tired, so I just sat around and watched the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader calendar photo shoot. That was some fine viewing!
I went out to eat chicken wings after and came home to read and write. My meals appear as follows for today:
Meal 1: Oatmeal, Apple, protein shake
Meal 2: Chinese food [Chicken sesame, broccoli]
Meal 3: Protein shake, EAS Blueberry cheesecake bar
Meal 4: 4oz steak, pasta
Meal 5: Chicken breast on grill, carrots
Meal 6: Chicken wings
Granted that chicken wings as my final meal of the day were probably not the best thing to be eating because of their fat content and the slowing of the metabolism after 1400, but that's OK. I eat what I want, when I want to, but I make sure that I do it within reason. My point? Cheat a little, especially on your birthday, but do not over do it.
At bedtime I took my final serving of glutamine and my ZMA and went to bed.
Day 11 - Tuesday December 31, 2002
I awoke early and took my glutamine and had my usual meal of oatmeal, apple and protein shake. I had to hit the grocery store again because I was out of food. I did not purchase much food because in a couple of days I will be leaving for home. Given that I plan my meals for two-hour increments I can have a shopping list that is very precise.
I want to stress here the importance of precise shopping for the bodybuilder. Everything in the world operates according to the principles of supply and demand. It is important to determine what demand your body places upon you. Put another way, if demand is nutritional requirements brought about by heavy training, the supply or grocery shopping must be tailored to match it.
Thus, when shopping you should have a very specific idea of what you are buying and what you are not going to buy. For example, if you require protein and it is a choice between cottage cheese and junk food, which will you buy? The choice is obvious.
Knowing specifically what you are going to buy will also help you to save time. If you know what to buy and in what quantity, your shopping should take no longer than twenty minutes.
If the potato chip and candy isle is not on your list, then why go down it? Instead head to seafood for salmon steaks, or to dairy for cottage cheese, milk and eggs. Or go to meat for chicken or beef. This is how I do my shopping because I don't go to the grocery store to socialize; I go to get the basic tools that I use to build muscle: Quality whole foods.
When eating it is important to eat very specifically and in a way that is goal oriented. For example, if you were on a train and had failed to plan so that you have good food [protein, bars, shakes etc] to eat and you were hungry and had the following foods to choose from, which would be your choice?
B) O-Henry Bar
C) Chocolate Milk
D) Potato Chips
Many people would choose the apple, reasoning that it is "natural." Many would reason the O-Henry bar because of the peanuts. However, the correct choice is chocolate milk. Apples have no protein and are a fibrous simple carbohydrate source. Milk, on the other hand, does contain simple carbohydrates, but also milk proteins [casein, whey].
If your goal is to put on a horrendous amount of bodyfat then go ahead and reach for the can of "baked lays" big boy; if however, your goal is to stay lean and healthy then pick the lesser of the evils. Do NOT, however, resort to not eating just because the choices are not ideal. If you stop eating you can kiss that precious Nitrogen balance goodbye and your muscle gains with it.
Meal 1: Oatmeal, Apple, protein shake
Meal 2: Salmon steak, broccoli, 1 cup milk
Meal 3: Protein shake, 20oz low fat milk
Meal 4: 2 EAS protein bars
Meal 5: 4oz steak on grill, pasta
Meal 6: 6oz Chicken breast on grill
I strove to eat as healthy as possible today because it is the proper thing to do, and because on new years everyone basically ate anything they wanted, which wouldn't make it unlike any other day, sadly. The point to get here is that even when everyone around you has the rum balls, the chips, pretzels, cheesies, cake, candies and alcohol, it is quite difficult to stick to your guns. But, the following pseudomathematical conceptual equation helps me to keep things in perspective:
Junk food consumption = fat storage
Fat = health problems
Health problems = premature death
Junk food consumption = premature death
Not very nice is it? But it is true. I find that taking an abstract situation and defining its components in order to quantify the outcome not only provides a delay between craving for the food and the action taken in eating it, but also it really makes it plain: If you eat trash your body will become a run down, cholesterol ridden, flabby, derelict, unhealthy place, and you will be stuck living in it.
If the above reasoning is not enough to deter you from consuming copious amounts of processed junk, consider this analogy: Even animals know better than to put crap where they lay, so why would you put garbage into a body that you take with you everywhere, 24 hours per day?
Healthy eating is dependant upon your psycho-epistemology or mental context. One morning I was mixing chocolate Whey in with low fat milk and someone asked me if it was "coa-coa powder." How moronic is THAT? I would NEVER eat that processed junk. So the point to really understand here is that you must get your mind away from eating for illness and toward eating for health.
I did not drink on new years but did enjoy a generous amount of ice water, which, in my view, tastes better than alcohol any day. Best of all, ice water is free! And unlike alcohol that dehydrates you, water keeps muscles hydrated and helps remove oxidants and waste products from the body. A hydrated muscle is a growing, healthy, muscle.
Another thing about new years festivities is that when going to bars it is important to understand the effects of second-hand smoke on your lungs and loud music on the cochlea in your inner ear. Many would not think that hearing would be important for bodybuilding purposes but the faculty of hearing greatly contributes to maintaining physical balance. I do not need to explain why balance is important for compound movements like squats.
Also, second hand smoke has the detrimental effect of reducing the body's ability to utilize oxygen efficiently, and reduces the amount of oxygen found in blood. For the bodybuilder a reduction of blood oxygen levels means that it will take longer for muscles to recover. This means that gains will be slowed and hampered.
So for those of you who do smoke or who are exposed to a lot of smoke, know that your not getting as big as you COULD be getting or SHOULD be getting! There is a good reason to quit both the habit you have from the behavior of smoking and the addiction you have from its chemical element! Anyway, I am taking my ZMA and glutamine and heading to bed.
Day 12 - Wednesday January 1, 2003
It's the new year! And, like always the new year feels an awfully lot like the last year. Today I awoke at 0900 and prepared breakfast for my fiance and also cooked 6 eggs for my own meal. I had whole wheat bread toast with a small amount of margarine. To compliment my meal 1 I also had an orange and a pear. I popped my multi-vitamin, BCAA's and took my glutamine. Today was a relaxing day. I did some reading and bought some books from the local bookstore. Not much to report today.
My meals appear as follows for today:
Meal 1: 6 eggs, 2 pieces wheat bread, orange, pear
Meal 2: Protein shake, 20oz low fat milk
Meal 3: 3 cans tuna cooked with lemon and pepper, rice
Meal 4: 2 EAS protein bars
Meal 5: Chicken breast, broccoli, pasta
Meal 6: Protein shake, 20 oz low fat milk
I spent most of the day watching television. When it was time for bed I took my glutamine and my ZMA and went to sleep.
Day 13 - Thursday January 2, 2003
On my last full day in New York State I decided to go back to the store for some more EAS protein bars for my train ride back home tomorrow. This type of pre-planning is exactly what I have been talking about all along in this journal. Just because you are traveling does not mean that you can't offset the inconvenience as much as possible with a bit of foresight.
I spent the majority of the day packing my bags for my return and spending time with my fiancé¥® I watched some TV and watched the Star Trek movie marathon on the satellite dish. It was really awesome to watch three Star Trek movies in a row! I love Star Trek!
For today me meals appear as follows:
Meal 1: Fruit Salad, 6 eggs, Water
Meal 2: Protein bar
Meal 3: 4oz steak on grill
Meal 4: Protein shake
Meal 5: Chicken breast on grill
Meal 6: 2 protein bars
One thing I did not want to do today is forget my supplements in New York! This would not have been good. So, I was very careful to pack my supplements, and to make sure they were packed correctly so as to ensure that they did not become damaged or destroyed.
I did not do much today other than take care of loose ends and ensure that my food would be ready-to-eat for my trip tomorrow. At bedtime I took my ZMA, glutamine and fell asleep at 2330.
Day 14 - Friday January 3, 2003
I awoke at 0430 and hit the shower. I did not have a chance to cook breakfast so instead I had a protein shake. My bus was to arrive at 0633 to cross the border and have my back in Montreal at 0800. However, a recent snowstorm in New York City made it so that all busses were canceled. So there I was in New York State: Stranded. What's worse, I had a train leaving Montreal for Toronto at 0900, so I was on a time line that, if I missed it, I would be stranded in Canada as well! Now, don't get me wrong: I appreciate neat twists to any story line, but this cortisol inducing situation was getting me very worried.
Fortunately my fiance had money and a taxicab driver offered to drive me to where I needed to be in Montreal for a very reasonable price, considering the circumstances. So, I quickly got into the cab and headed for the border. At the border I had no problem going through and was back in Canada. What happened next, however, was quite a fitting end to my trip.
The cab driver that was kind enough to help me in my situation was female and had recently undergone lifesaving gastrointestinal surgery. As a result her stomach had been stapled and she was able only to eat small amounts of food. Because of this she was on a variety of nutritional supplements so as to ensure that despite her condition she would still obtain her required daily minerals, vitamins and macronutrients.
We began to have a discussion about supplements and I informed her that I am a writer for Bodybuilding.com, the worlds largest and best bodybuilding website. I began to tell her of Bodybuilding.com's mission and philosophy. Naturally at first she was skeptical, thinking that I was trying to "sell" her on the website, and that from doing so I would stand to gain. She began to ask me questions like why I was recommending it, whether if she buys something I receive a kickback, and about its credibility. She was unhappy with paying unfair prices at GNC and other retail supplement stores.
I told her that I believe in the vision and philosophy of Bodybuilding.com which is about helping people achieve their top physical condition while saving money, and providing people with accurate, scientific and up to date information. People have a RIGHT to be dealt with fairly, and Bodybuilding.com deals with people fairly. I told her that I receive nothing from referring people to the site other than the satisfaction of helping people, which I love to do.
I talked with her about how Bodybuilding.com has excellent customer service and genuinely cares about helping people get their products on time and cares about its customer's results. I told her that Bodybuilding.com is a company by and for the people. I truly believe in it, and am proud to be on board as a writer. If I didn't believe in the quality and mission of the company I wouldn't recommend Bodybuilding.com to everyone I know. I was happy to help her by pointing her in the right direction. I hope that the quality of her life can be improved because of my recommendation. I love the fact that Bodybuilding.com sells products that help people in improving the quality of their physical and emotional lives.
After I arrived at the train station in Montreal I waited an hour for my train. During this time period I bought food. My meals for today appear as follows:
Meal 1: Omelets, wheat toast, water
Meal 2: EAS protein bars
Meal 3: EAS protein bars
Meal 4: Crispy chicken burger, protein shake
Meal 5: Protein shake
Meal 6: Chicken breast, mashed potatoes
As you can see, my meals are not the ideal today. However, they are much better than on my way to New York. I am happy that I had the foresight to go to the store to buy more protein bars, as they were needed. A five-hour train ride offers little in the way of good food. The train company does sell food onboard but the prices are steeply over-inflated and what they do sell is terrible for anyone, especially a bodybuilding athlete looking to obtain nutrition while striving to keep slim.
I slept for several hours over the course of my trip from Montreal to Toronto, and upon arriving in Toronto I had to wait several more hours before boarding my train to Kitchener, Ontario.
When my train arrived in Kitchener I was very tired and could not wait to arrive home. Upon arriving home I took my final serving of glutamine and ZMA, and went to bed. My 13 hours of traveling were over!!
Summary / Conclusion
My trip to New York State was a nice change from my normal routine, and I spent time with family and friends! I dislike traveling, but the ends justify the means.
Traveling is never an easy task especially for bodybuilders and other athletes whose nutritional demands impose strict guidelines that may be met only under specific conditions.
Throughout the publication I have aimed to present useful anecdotes and insights that may be applied in the present moment toward your physique. I have also aimed to impress the truth that bodybuilding is a lifestyle that is lived every hour of ever day over the course of ones whole life. I hope that my insights and anecdotes will help you get your mind "into" the mode of thought required by a bodybuilder for success, and that they will serve you well when undertaking journies of your own.
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.
Copyright ? Clayton South, 2003 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.