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The Ultimate Journey Continues
May I welcome you back to the second part of this epic bodybuilding journey, which is engineered for you to follow as you wish. Since we last met, there has been much progress on my behalf, which is great news.
Mean and lean muscle has been gained, abs have been carved and strength has sprouted. As I am sure you learned from my last installment, this is all down to ultra clean eating, complemented with great supplementation and working my @ss off in the 'house of pain', the gym.
As you may not know I am still in school full time. At the beginning of the New Year, I spoke to my cousin Kris Gethin to discuss where I was going to go next with my training, nutrition and bodybuilding journey.
Originally I planned to compete in Barry, a town in my home country of Wales, however that wasn't to be. This was because I was very encouraged by the amount of weight I was gaining all of a sudden, and it was good quality too. Therefore I thought it stupid to stop there and milked the gains.
Instead, my first show will be this upcoming September, and you will be able to follow me through each article to the finish line where I look to make my first mark on bodybuilding.
My training has differed since we last met via Bodybuilding.com, where I now totally mix up leg sessions. Another prescription enforced by Mr. Kris Gethin enforced to me was to add high reps (20-30 reps), ultra high intensity and high weight to my leg sessions.
The object of the task is to reach total failure at around 20 reps and then rest/pause until I get to 30. Yes, heavy weight with high reps. I found that a general guide for me to check if I am doing this right is whether I "puke up" or not. Really, it's that hardcore, try it, my legs have inflated so much since I started it.
While we are on the topic of gains, I would like to point out my new gains, which I felt I really needed to before stepping on stage. My most obvious development since the pictures from installment number one is my chest.
I can now honestly say that it feels like having "body armour" strapped to my chest area which is a great feeling. It has done wonders for the illusion of a tight waist and the much sought after "V taper". By punishing my chest with heavy dumbbell flyes, even heavier pressing and cable crossovers I have achieved the kind of chest that I dreamed of as a young lad.
Referring to my pressing, I would like to point out that I don't heavily endorse flat bench pressing, I feel that decline and incline pressing has helped me build my pecs an awful lot more effectively.
I am a stronger believer in training the muscles at the gym, not your ego. I will give a great example of what I mean:
There was this guy who had the biggest ego I have ever seen in my entire life, as it happens we were both training chest that night. This 30-year-old man was the kind of guy that craved the attention of everyone in the gym and obviously not focusing on training properly. So when he attempted to bench press on a flat bench with 110KG and failed, I couldn't help but crack a smile of sarcasm which I don't think he appreciated.
This was also the same "fella" who was openly promoting the use of HGH and steroids to kids in the gym, although admitting he had to stop due to kidney pains, hmmmm... I will stay natural I think.
In the last few months alone, I could share multiple stories where people will not accept that they cannot lift a weight, so they persist to "cheat" and fail at gaining any shape, size or strength. I allow myself to learn from these individuals which have contributed greatly on my journey through bodybuilding.
On the subject of the three "S's", size, strength and shape I would like to share some great results which certain supplements have brought me. I am a firm believer that 70% of the success I have gained as a bodybuilder is through diet, 25% from the gym and the final 5% from supplements.
I have found that supplementing on Creatine and Glutamine (40g of Creatine and 20g of glutamine daily) has bulleted my strength through the ceiling and fills me with a feeling of strength. I was squatting 150KG for about 12 reps, now I am up to 230KG for 5 reps. That right there shows what good supplementation can do for you when you have reached peak with your diet.
Nitric oxide (or NOX) is probably my favorite supplement. The "pump" it brings to the muscle group you are working is incredible, not only making you look like an animal with veins bursting from right to left, but from feeding my muscles with important oxygen flow to train harder and recover quicker.
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This comical story is completely true and a direct result of NOX. It was a biceps session and I had completed dumbbell curls, concentration curls, EZ bar curls and was going to finish with hammer curls.
On my first set my biceps would only contract half the way which made me think I must be overly fatigued so I dropped the weight lower... and lower. The same thing kept happening but then I found it was due to the immense pump and the amount of blood that was stretching my biceps which meant I couldn't physically gain a full contraction.
So the moral of the story is to not try hammer curls at the end of a session when on NOX, but if you want them so pumped you can't curl, go right ahead.
All of the effects from the supplements I have spoke about combined with correct training has brought me gains like Father Christmas brings presents, but they are not that easy to portray in pictures.
I don't know about you but do you find it hard to get a picture that shows you as good as you are and to make people say "Wow"? This is something I find terribly irritating - all that hard work in the gym then not to be able to transfer that to a picture is a robbery to the bodybuilding ego that needs to be massaged occasionally.
I have found that taking them in natural daylight, by a window with no camera flash helps. If you are unblessed with skin that is stubborn to tanning like mine, the best bet is a spray tan or even some form of fake tan to bring out the definition. To overcome mates "ripping into you" for being worse than a "Nancy girl," just get them to get tanned with you, it helps.
Something I didn't expect through my physical evolution gains were some unwanted situations. As I train in a number of gyms I always meet many people, generally good but some are not. On numerous occasions I have been subjected to a "lecture" on how steroids are the "only" path to take to achieve my goals.
I have friends who use them in a sensible manner whom I don't oppose, but I would like to use this opportunity to insist that from personal experience it is vital to know and be aware of your personal goals and what you could be potentially be doing to yourself, don't allow yourself to be dragged into something for the sake of, to please someone else or to compete with someone else's physique.
From training in so many different gyms I have seen people who take these drugs to try to turn into a freak but don't put the work in or the diet, but still expect. I am starting to catch up with these people in regards to my physical evolution and soon I plan to surpass them.
All the way from my native Wales may I thank you once again for following my journey, and please keep following as we head for the stage. In the next installment the "official date" of my first show will be revealed.
Until then, keep training hard, eating well and enjoying the life of a bodybuilder.