I am known on the boards as Ctgblue. I have been moderating here on bodybuilding.com for over 4 years now.

I was born on the west coast, grew up in the southwest, and now live on the east coast.

I have lived and worked on all 3 coasts as well as in the Midwest.

I have been pretty active most of my life. When I was young, parents did not give their kids a pill for hyperactivity. They whooped our butts and stuck us in sports. All sports! So when I was younger I played football, basketball, baseball, participated in track and field events (was a pretty good shotputter for a tall skinny kid), and was a very competitive regional swimmer. As I got in my late teens and early twenties I transitioned more to tournament and full contact martial arts as well as fencing in college.

When I was in my last year of college, I had a very serious back injury which led to some excess BF gain. When I graduated, I turned more to they gym to lose the body fat and regain the lean muscular look.

Like many of you, I struggled to gain muscle (the classic hardgainer whine) because I did not eat enough of the right foods, I overtrained, and I did not get enough quality rest as I worked a lot. I still managed to add almost 40lbs of lean mass to my frame over several years. Then spent years trying to reverse the process through stress, bad diet, no sleep, and other bad habits.

I got smart in my mid 30's and got it together and got back in the gym. I have managed to put almost 40lbs of lean mass back on even though I have: broken my collar bone, torn my wrist apart, and had a major car accident which required brain surgery (being in great shape saved my life in this one, in more than one way). I was also diagnosed with low test and forced to go on HRT for the rest of my life. So I am at a distinct disadvantage most of the time.

I am now in my 40's, married with children, and have recently transitioned from bodybuilding hobbyist to NPC competitor. (My wife told me to "get off your @ss and compete already or I'm cutting your supplement budget in half.") My goal is to place and then win a few local and regional shows. My wife and I are both certified trainers and we met through this crazy wonderful sport of bodybuilding.

Being on HRT I have the disadvantage of having to stay pretty lean all year. I do not have the capability to lose a lot of BF without losing a good bit of muscle with it. So I need to stay in the "One pound per week" type of condition to start pre-contest prep. People say you can't gain muscle without "bulking". Sorry, but they are wrong.

I have done it and so have most of the competitors I know. Unless you are a freaky muscular person, losing a lot of BF fast will lead to muscle loss too. Huge guys can afford some of this loss, most of us cannot. Why blow up 40lbs (mostly fat) just to have to drop 35lbs for a show, winding up with a net gain that you could have had by adding lean mass slowly (and not having to kill yourself pre-contest)?

Most of the year I am an early morning lifter although I will spend several months off of this routine and lift at lunch or in the evening. Lifting at these different times has given me a unique perspective on supplementation, rest, and recovery needs. I have tried MANY supplements and usually stick with what works for me, although I will experiment from time to time. I am very in tune with my diet and how I feel most of the time. This has enabled me to do some thorough product testing and be able to really tell if something works for me or does not. I have discovered some great supplements this way as well as being able to tell if something is really just "hype".

My workouts have changed a lot over the last few years, as my recovery times have lengthened. I tend to lift 4-5 days, with another cardio only day and at least one full rest day. I will prioritize lagging body parts to bring them up. Once I have them caught up I will change to another lagging part and work that one.

Having lifted on and off for 25+ years I have had to learn my body and know when to back off, because when I don't, I get injured. That just screws me up for a few months. I am a pretty big guy at 6'2' and 225lbs. But using bodybuilding standards, I am not huge by any means. So I have to work to my strengths which are my classic lines and small joints. While having small joints can make the muscles look a little bigger, they also come with smaller bones meaning you have to put on more actual muscle mass to look as big and you have a disadvantage in the size and strength of your connective tissue.

This makes for interesting problems when trying to put on mass without a nice case of tendonitis flaring up on a regular basis, as I can easily get stronger muscularly than my connective tissue will handle.

I will continue to slowly add the lean mass where I need it and work to come in leaner and dryer than the competition. Meanwhile, it's nice to be 40+, have a 52" chest and 33" waist, and be able to hang out during the summer at the pool with a six pack (that's not in a styrofoam cooler) while I play with my youngest daughter. People nowadays are definitely not used to seeing a guy my age with veins sticking out in his arms and legs walking around the local pool. Having the little kids at the pool ask you if you're a pro wrestler from TV = priceless!

I eat 6-8 times a day, as adding lean mass without getting fat has to be a lifestyle, not just a 'sometimes' thing. This keeps my muscles fed and helps keep my blood sugar levels and energy levels more constant throughout the day. Keeping in a positive nitrogen balance seems highly scientific and hard to do, but just keeping a supply of quality protein and complex carbs in my system works wonders to keep me growing.

I guess what I try to do is live a pretty healthy lifestyle. I hate hypocrites and I really try not to be one. If I'm gonna talk the talk, I'd darn sure better walk the walk. If you have a question, feel free to ask. But do all of us a favor, search the boards first, read the stickies and especially the FAQ sections in the related forums.

Contrary to the old saying, there ARE dumb questions. Those are the questions that have been answered 15 posts down or in the rules or FAQ threads. Like all of the vets and moderators on this board, I am happy to help, but I am not here to do your work for you. Bodybuilding, like life, is a product of YOUR efforts. Nobody should be expected to do it for you if you are not willing to do it for yourself. Self esteem is not given, it is earned.

Respect is not given, it is earned. Muscles are not a product of drugs or supplements or even a lot of food, they are earned through hard work, day in and day out. If you want to talk the talk, learn to walk the walk.

Until Later.


lift big 2 get big
NPC Masters Competitor
Mod @ bodybuilding.com
Mod @ Iron-forum.com
Obesity related illness will account for more than 1/2 of all health care costs in the next few years.
So why is the damn government waging war on the FITNESS Industry??
Before you criticize someone, try walking a mile in their shoes
Then, you are a mile away AND, you have their shoes!
I do NOT endorse illegal drugs where prohibited by law! Check your local laws.


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