Back in 2002, I purposely set out to take five years off from bodybuilding. Wow, how time flies! It's 2007 and I'm writing this "comeback" article just 10 weeks away from the Northwest Natural Pro-Atlas show in Boise, Idaho which happens to be Bodybuilding.com's home base.
Five Year Layoff
Why a five year layoff you ask? Well, for various reasons. But mainly to try and make some much needed improvements on my physique and spend more time concentrating on my personal fitness training business. As for that goal, mission accomplished! God has richly blessed our business with an awesome assortment of clients and four independent contractors that have successfully built their own businesses as well.
We are all very busy and are currently looking into taking over some more square footage to help meet our growing needs. And as for my physique, well you'll need to judge for yourself by checking out the new photos and posing video that are coming soon.
Compared to old photos, I would like to believe I've progressed. But according to the weight scale, I'll weigh in at about 5-7 pounds heavier at contest time. However, the scale doesn't tell everything. I've always said that bodybuilding is the only sport where you just get better with age.
| Mark At The 2002 NGA Pro Atlas.
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This is yet another reason I took five years off. I gave myself a goal of competing again at the age of forty. So, I'm looking forward to April 28, 2007, to have a chance to compete against what sounds like a crop of young guns. I hope it will be a great testament to my perseverance and dedication to the sport.
Another one of my goals is to meet one of the greatest fitness icons of all time, Jack LaLanne. If it wasn't for Jack pioneering the fitness industry, I'd probably be working my life away in a grocery store frying chicken in a deli or something.
[For those of you who don't know me personally, I really do work in the deli at a grocery store for the fantastic retirement and insurance plans it provides for my family. Luckily for me, it's just a part time gig, since I have the privilege of being self employed doing what I really love.]
So, Mr. 90 year old Jack LaLanne and wife, if you happen to read this or hear about it, my wife & I would love to arrange to come and meet you some day.
| Jack La Lanne:
Jack La Lanne hosted a nationally syndicated TV exercise show from 1951 until 1985, preaching good nutrition and physical fitness long before it was popular in the United States. To draw attention to the powers of physical fitness, La Lanne performed many famous publicity stunts over the years, including doing 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes and, on his 70th birthday, towing 70 boats carrying 70 people while swimming handcuffed and shackled.
What an honor it would be to meet the man who really started it all and opened so many doors of opportunity for people like me to study the human body that God created and how to train it to last as long as possible. I love telling all of my clients one of my favorite quotes from Jack, "If it tastes good, spit it out and you'll never be fat." Imagine what it would do to the face of America if people just followed that advice. What insight!
You might wonder what kinds of supplements I've been using or workouts I've been doing. Well, being a lifetime drug free bodybuilder, you will not be shocked if I tell you that I use a big dose of consistency. If I'm correct, they haven't banned that yet!
Ha, Ha! Being a fitness trainer, I believe I should practice what I preach. So, I eat lots of whole foods with a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and low in fat. I drink tons of purified water with extra glutamine included in my protein drinks. I do approximately 3,000 calories a day. My workout split has also been very consistent.
I do a four day a week schedule:
- Tuesday: Back & Triceps
- Thursday: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings & Calves
- Saturday: Chest, Biceps & Abdominals
- Sunday: Deltoids
I am confident about the changes I have made in my five years off from competing and am looking forward to the next decade of life and bodybuilding. I plan to compete more that I ever have in the past. I also plan to include traveling out of state as well.
As forty fast approaches, I'm already looking forward to looking better on stage than I ever did in my twenties and thirties. Life's too short not to make any improvements, so I'll continue to look for every opportunity I can to benefit my health and well being.
While continuing to use consistency as my drug of choice, my comeback to the stage at forty should prove to be just the beginning of great things to come for me in the pro natural circuit. And as always, I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. With that, I'll see YOU at the show in April!