One year on, one stone (14 pounds) heavier and an added inch to my arms has seen me back on track for the ultimate goal, to be competitive at my first show. Masses of weights have been lifted, thousands of reps have been screamed out and many meals eaten.
This consistency has brought me that much closer to my goal, which you will be able to witness. The last time we spoke, I had been grilled in the dungeon gym by the punisher Neil Hill. So what has happened in that time, and why am I back now?
Well this year has been a manic one for me; from work to working out, I have been here, there and everywhere. In order for me to have kept up my efforts, lots of preparation has been necessary.
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In Order For Me To Have Kept Up My Efforts,
Lots Of Preparation Has Been Necessary.
Many protein bars, tubs of boiled rice and dried out chicken breast have traveled with me from one place to the next. A lot of effort equaled great gains for me, which makes it all worth while.
One Year Later
This year my training has been very intense. My strength has indeed increased, but as I said before and I will say again, I focus on getting the reps as much as the weight I'm lifting.
Kris Gethin once told me, "It aint what you can lift, but what you look like you can lift." That is very true and I have constantly been asked, "Gosh you have grown, how much you benching now?" Which of course I reply with, "I don't know mate, I don't really bench, I use dumbbells instead."
Saying that, I have been training in the last year with a good friend from Poland, who is one strong S.O.B! If we train chest, he's benching up to 5 plates either side, which is scary strong. The man has triceps like magnified diamonds.
I guess it goes to show, what works for someone doesn't work for someone else. However, I wouldn't suggest too much low rep, super-heavy sets as you really run the risk of injuring the shoulder joint in particular, I can vouch for that.
Dealing With A Shoulder Injury
Which brings me nicely to one of the problems which I have faced this year. My right shoulder has consistently given me issues with training, where the pain has been, well the only way I can describe it as a "knife in my joint." It really has been agony, and was frustrating the h#ll out of me.
I dropped Kris an email, and he prescribed me with some rehab for the rotator cuff. Three times a week I have been doing 15 minute sessions with stretchy elastics, to strengthen the area. Slowly but surely, my shoulder is getting better and my delts are beginning to grow.
With this injury, I was limited to the use of dumbbells and certain machines only. No straight bars for any kind of pressing, no pressing machines and I really have to warm the joint up before I lift. The lesson for anyone out there who hasn't been injured before is, it can happen and take all precautions to avoid it.
My feeling regarding the cause is my past as a very keen tennis player, lack of warm-up sets and lifting too heavy where I am not hitting at least 8 reps. With all this said, I have made a special effort to warm up properly, build my weight up and get the reps out.
Nutrition has been pretty good for me; I have followed a high protein and high carb diet all year. Some of the sources have not been my first choice, where maybe I have been caught off guard with no food prepared, so I have gone and bought a load of chicken nuggets, maybe a whole chicken cooked or maybe too many protein shakes opposed to food. However I have kept my levels up one way or another, and because of that I have gained weight.
As mentioned earlier on, this year I have used a lot more supplements as meal replacements, especially when I have been on the road. Then I have gone a couple of months without any, just eating instead. The one time this year, my diet fell below par while I was in Cyprus on holiday. On the plus side, my fluid intake there was through the roof.
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I Have Made A Special Effort To Warm Up Properly,
Build My Weight Up And Get The Reps Out.
Watching The Welsh Bodybuilding Championships
One of the reasons I was so inspired to write the next part of the series now was that I watched my first live show. This month my girlfriend and I made our way down to a town called Port Talbot to watch the Welsh bodybuilding championships, where the absolute freak Zack Khan was competing.
I knew this was a worthwhile trip to make as top nutritionist and trainer Neil Hill was prepping Zack. As we pulled into the car park, 'King Khan' was walking into the venue, which caused great concern for me as I wasn't sure if he would be able to fit his 'barn door back' through the double opening doors.
On the way through the town, we were following a bus narrower than this giant. There on in, I could not wait to see him on stage. To be fair, one guy was getting towards his size, but not really, if you see what I mean.
I mean, Zack's lat spread was nearly as wide as two of his competitors next to him put together. Then he hit the side biceps pose, unleashing his 24" guns for all to see, as if they weren't apparent enough anyway. This show really gave me the bug, and I felt like I wanted to hurry the date of my show along - really it was a buzz watching these guys.
In the last couple of weeks I spoke to Neil, where he kindly said, "You can come and finish off your last leg session, you lazy f..." - well you get the picture.
Training in the dungeon with Neil is something I look forward to on a regular basis and something I feel very privileged about. On the other hand, coming to within an inch of death every week will be a grueling experience, but that is why we love bodybuilding right?
On the subject of training, listen to this - without spilling the beans too much, I have another article coming on here very shortly covering an incredible life changing story. The jist of it is that after reading my fat loss article on this very website, a gentleman contacted me for help, an S.O.S if you will.
Watch out for it, and see what he managed to achieve, how, and what he had to put up with while doing it. It might well kick you in the @ss to get on and set your goals.
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Training In The Dungeon With Neil Is
Something I Look Forward To On A Regular Basis.