The Early Morning Preparation
I awoke at 1:50 in the morning to eat a big steak. Brett Feldman advised me to this during our conversation and through emails. I went back to bed afterwards and was awoken by my alarm clock at 5:50 AM. I got up and immediately headed to the shower to wash off my coat of Pro Tan that I had applied the night before. I was advised to apply another coat of Pro Tan in the morning, but I decided not to do so for several reasons.
The main reason is because after I apply my coat of Pro Tan, I lose lots of definition until I wash the excess product off. I would've had to wake up a lot earlier to have given myself enough time for it to dry and wash it off. I couldn't do this because I was still letting my coat dry during the night from the night before. I believe that Dream Tan isn't such a great product because you don't wash off anything after you put it on.
As I noticed with Pro Tan, you lose all of your definition right when you apply it. If you can give yourself a dark enough tan with Pro Tan, there is no reason why you should use Dream Tan, unless you want to be at a disadvantage. I checked myself out in the mirror after I washed off the excess product and my tan looked great.
My face was still really pale because I was going to apply a make-up product to it later. You never want to apply Pro Tan, Jan Tana, or Dream Tan (if you use it) to your face. I looked at my condition and I appeared to be smaller, but all of the water from my legs and stomach was gone.
I wasn't really flat, so I decided to wait before eating any sweet potatoes. Brett advised me to eat only one or two sweet potatoes the whole morning before prejudging and to only eat them if I looked flat. I ended up eating two small sweet potatoes before I hit the stage.
Throughout the first part of the day, I had one gram of vitamin C every couple of hours. Brett Feldman said this would help act as a diuretic. I had one 250 mg pill of Niacin when I woke up, one about an hour before prejudging, and one about an hour before the overall. I also had a couple of 99mg Potassium pills in the morning. I packed all of my things in my bag and ran through the list of things that I would need at my show.
Here is what you should bring (some optional):
- Lots of food for the whole day
- Towels - Learn More
- Hot Stuff - Learn More
- Pro Tan (just in case you need it) - Learn More
- Dextrose (for before you go on stage if you look flat)
- Extra clothes
- Two copies of your posing music
- Extra eye contacts (is case yours fall out if you wear them)
- A comb, toothbrush, toothpaste (always be prepared, haha)
- Push-up handles - Learn More
- Resistance bands (I ended up not having to use these) - Learn More
- Make-up (to apply to your face before you go on stage)
- Make-up sponges to apply to your face
- Video camera (if they are allowed)
- A big smile at the show! It's contest day!
We (my dad, little brother Tyler, Jeremy Strangefeld, and I) left for Madison, Wisconsin at 7:10. I needed to be there at 9:30 for my polygraph test. I was a little nervous when I got there to take the test. I had never taken a test before and didn't know if my nervousness would interfere with the results. She had me go through EVERY supplement that I had taken in the past to make my memory fresh of all of the things that I have taken. She asked all the questions and went through everything before I was hooked up to the machine.
When she asked about prescription medication, I remembered when I accidentally took one of my little brothers prescription pills that he took for ADHD about two years ago. I panicked and thought I had taken a banned substance! I told her and she told me that it was ok and that it wasn't a banned substance. I was relieved and then we started up with the test after she finished all of her questions. I passed the test and chilled in the theatre with Jeremy.
I spotted Jim in the theatre and he came up and introduced himself. He is a really nice guy and has a lot of great bodybuilding stories to tell. He goes by the name of jimpern on the bodybuilding.com forums.
He flew all the way up from Georgia to see my competition. That really meant a lot to me. We talked bodybuilding and then headed to the check-ins, which was held at 12:00. I applied my make-up to my face at around 12:45 and then headed to the athletes meeting at 1:30 after chatting with Jim for a while.
The Backstage Atmosphere
I went backstage and chilled out. I met a lot of cool people backstage. One of those people was Septimiu Teodorescu. He gave me some good advice on what I should do to get pumped up. I took his advice because I had already planned to do the same thing. He helped me spray on some Hot Stuff about twenty minutes before show time and then I put back on my sweats.
I pumped up my back with barbell rows and dumbbell rows. I then did some dumbbell presses and flys. I was really getting a good pump and then hit my shoulders with shoulder presses and side lateral raises. I finished everything off with some alternate dumbbell curls and some push-ups. I ate a couple pieces of chocolate before I went on to give me some energy and to help my vascularity. I had Septimiu Teodorescu spray me down with Pam oil spray.
I kept flexing while I waited in line to hit the stage. I had a blast doing my mandatory poses in the lightweight category. I didn't have to do my mandatory poses by myself for the teen division because there were no other competitors.
There were, however, four very good bodybuilders in the lightweight class that I had to beat. The whole crowd was cheering for me because I was so young. I even heard someone yell, "that kid has a shredded ass"! I felt I did a great job with my posing, but I wasn't able to keep my abs and legs tight for the whole time. I am definitely going to be practicing my posing for a lot longer for my next competition.
After prejudging, Kim from www.zproductionsinc.com took some pictures of me outside in the sun. Other photographers, including Jim, gathered around her to take photos.
Many photographers asked for my address and volunteered to send me some pictures from the competition for free. Others wanted me to do some modeling in the future. I was filled with joy when all of those photographers introduced themselves to me and told me they thought I was great.
After my photo shoots, I headed out to Subway with my dad, Jim, Tyler, and Jeremy. I chose a garden salad with chicken and no dressing. I ate it slow and sipped small amounts of water with my meal.
After another long conversation about football, my future, bodybuilding, racing, college, cars, and many others subjects, we drove back to Monona Grove High School so I could get ready for my show. I wiped all the make-up off my face with my towel before applying more. I waited a few minutes and then started to pump up in the same fashion that I did earlier in the day.
I was the first to go on stage and wanted to light the crowd up like I did earlier in prejudging. They started my music a little late, but that was ok. I wasn't going to let that get in the way of presenting what I have been working on for the last several years.
The crowd was cheering loudly during my routine. When I finished posing to the song "O Fortuna", I was handed my first place trophy for the teen division and a bag of sample supplements. I hit a pose for the cameras and then I headed backstage, put on my sweats, and went to join my family and friends in the audience.
My older brother, Cody, had come with his friend Pat and Pat's girlfriend, Laura, to watch the evening show. Cody video recorded all of the parts where I was onstage during the night show. After most of the women were done with their routines, I went backstage to get ready for my next appearance.
They had all of the lightweights file on stage to hit their favorite pose before all of the lightweights did their posing routines. I did my left side chest and walked off stage. After all the lightweights were done with their routines, we all went back onstage to do a pose down.
I immediately ran to the center of the stage once the music started. I hit a most muscular right in front of the head judges and followed that up with side chest and other random poses. I had a great time and the judges were laughing because I was so close to them. The other competitors followed my move and went really close to the end of the stage. I went even further in front of them and had my feet off the stage in some poses. It was a blast. We lined back up after the music stopped to be awarded our trophies.
They called out 5th place, then 4th, and the 3rd place trophy was given to the person who I thought I had to beat to win. It was between me and this other guy. They called his name for 2nd place and a huge smile swept across my face.
First place in the INBF Wisconsin Natural Championships in the Men's Open Lightweight!
I was overwhelmed and filled with joy. They handed me my bag of sample supplements and my first place trophy. I did a pose for the cameras and then headed offstage. I asked how long the class winners had until they went on stage for the overall and the lady told me about 15 minutes. I was going to put on some Hot Stuff and pump up some more, but my Hot Stuff was gone. Some one must have taken it. I waited for Septimiu to come back from the light-heavyweight posedown where he took first.
He let me borrow his Hot Stuff and Pam oil spray. He and his friend sprayed everything on me and got me ready for the overall posedown. I pumped up some more and took in a mouthful of dextrose right after the heavyweight winner was announced.
I sipped some water before heading out on stage with the middleweight class winner, the light heavyweight class winner, and the heavyweight winner. The crowd was going crazy when they saw that a 16-year-old was going for the overall. I tried my best to look like I belonged on stage with these experienced athletes.
The Overall Posedown
The posing that they took us through was brutal. After they went through all of the poses, they sent me from the far right to the far left. We then had to go through all the poses again. After we had finished, I saw the judges pass all of their papers to the head judge who then tallied up the scores.
The announcer asked if the pose down was ready to begin. He didn't get an answer and then I heard the music begin to play. I rushed out to the front of the stage and the music stopped. I just stood there and everyone thought it was funny and started laughing.
I went back to my place in line and after all the laughing stopped, the real posedown began. I ran out to the front of the stage again to hit a most muscular and side chest. I followed that up with a back double bicep, a side triceps, and a front double bicep. I hit a most muscular and Septimiu said for us to both do a most muscular together in front of the judges. I hit it the hardest I could and the music stopped. We headed back to our spots in line and the announcer got ready to call out the winner.
And the winner was ... Septimiu Teodorescu!
We all shook his hand and filed backstage. I was disappointed that I didn't win the overall, but I gave it everything I had. I gathered my things together, grabbed a couple of Gatorades, and headed out with Jeremy to see my family and friends. Lots of people congratulated me and told me that I did a great job. I got a few pictures taken with my trophies and headed out to Red Robin with my brothers, Dad, Jim, Jeremy, Pat, Laura, Pat's friend, and I.
The Red Robin Rampage
I was searching through the menu and saw many great choices. I kept showing Jeremy different burgers and then I came across the Monster Burger. I showed it to Jeremy and told him that we should have a little contest together and see if we could both eat it.
We devoured everything on our plates and I had the waitress get more fries for the both of us against Jeremy's request. I finished the fries in ecstasy while Jeremy looked like he was about to explode. We had great conversation at the table and I was living up every moment of that night.
We talked about my future plans of competing in the 2005 NPC Teen Nationals, my writing for Bodybuilding.com, and much much more. We said goodbye to Jim and went back to our van where I finished off all of my Easter candy that I had been snacking on after my competition. We stopped at a rest stop and I looked in the mirror at my bloated stomach. It was weird because it was covered in veins and my abs were still visible despite my stomach sticking out so far that it would put Ronnie Coleman to shame!!
Today is a day that I will never forget. It was the most fun I have had my entire life. Posing in the overall posedown was the most amazing thing ever. I can't even begin to describe how it felt to go toe to toe with some of the best natural amateur bodybuilders in the Midwest. I never imagined that I would be in the overall. This was an experience that comes around once in a lifetime. The many weeks that I had to diet for this competition were all worth it and I never cheated once on my diet.
The glory that you get on stage is matched by nothing. Bodybuilding is the best sport, period.
Applied Knowledge is Power,