My first bodybuilding competition grows nearer as there are now less than 12 weeks until the big day. My workouts are going well and my momentum, excitement, and determination is increasing with each passing week. It's kind of funny how perspectives change. Last year, I prepared 13 weeks for the AST World Championships and that seemed like a long time. Now, just under 12 weeks away from my bodybuilding competition I feel like it is "crunch time."
I am a big follower of Skip LaCour's website. Skip often discusses how other people in your life can have a big impact on the quality of your life. He explains how others may admire what you are doing and try to become a part of your journey, so to speak. He also explains that when you let people in to your close circle, they are going to require some of your physical, mental, and emotional energy.
While sharing with others is an admirable trait, it is important that you make sure you save enough physical, mental, and emotional energy for yourself! Interacting, networking, and forming relationships with other people is what life is all about, and can definitely add to the value of your life. However, it is important that you carefully choose who to associate with and how much time and energy you want to invest in others. If you provide time and energy towards other people but getting nothing in return from them, then you are surely lowering the amount of time and energy you have for yourself to help you reach your goals.
Skip also points out that you always have the decision of who you want to associate with and how you choose to spend your time and energy. So, if you are spreading yourself to thin for others then there is no one to blame but yourself. I am definitely learning this life lesson during my contest preparation, and while I inherently have a genuine concern for other peoples feelings and well-being, I must make sure that I am taking care of my own needs and well being.
I took my assessment photos on Sunday as planned. I opened all of the blinds in my apartment and made sure the flash was on, but there was still not enough light! It was rainy outside all day so opening the blinds was not much help. I started to get concerned that there was something wrong with my camera so I took a picture outside later on to see how it looked. That picture came out fine so I am certain that the lighting is just bad where I have been taking the photos in my apartment.
Next week, I am definitely going to find a better place in the apartment to take my assessment photos. I need these photos to be clear enough so that they can be used for what they are supposed to be used for, to ASSESS MY PHYSIQUE! My weight did not change from last week from 233 lbs. This is not necessarily a bad thing since I am still training and eating to gain lean muscle mass. I feel that I am looking leaner in the mirror, which is more important than the scale weight. I must continue to push hard and have confidence in my plan. Compared to where I was 12 weeks from the AST World Championships last year, I am way ahead of schedule and I am performing more cardio as well.
However, it is IMPERATIVE that I continue to push hard and strive to reach new levels and NOT ever become complacent or satisfied with how I am doing. What a tragedy it would be to get to August 9 and be wishing I could go back because I got complacent and didn't do everything I could to be my best. If I ever think that I am "ahead of schedule" all I have to do is look at either Jeff Willet's or Skip LaCour's assessment photos for their contests on July 26 and August 9. They are both extremely muscular, lean, and vascular already. This usually does the trick and reminds me to keep my nose to the grindstone.
I had a very strong week of training this week. I made solid increases in weight and/or reps during each workout and maintained good focus, intensity, and execution. Next week is my last week of training for this Max-OT cycle before taking a recovery week. I will then have 9 more weeks of all out training before my contest. My goal is to make next week my BEST week of training yet during this 8 week Max-OT cycle.
Cardio was very good this week as well. I am continuing to raise my standards and push harder. I try to connect how working very hard during my cardio sessions is only going to make me look better. This keeps me pushing hard when I feel like letting up!
Nutrition and Supplementation
I have shaved another 182 calories from my daily total this week. I have removed the Â½ cup of skim milk from meal #1. I have also reduced my post-workout serving of DGC from 1/2 to 1/4, as well as my pre-cardio serving of DGC from 1/2 to 1/4. Finally, I have reduced the skim milk serving from Meal #9 at 2:00 a.m. from 1 cup to 1/2 cup. Like I said at the beginning of this process, I want to keep the same number of meals and the same nutrient timing principles in tact during my entire contest preparation process.
I will simply reduce the amount of calories in each meal as we go. As I get closer to my contest deadline I will have to bend the rules a bit in order to reduce my calories sufficiently enough to get into the type of shape I am after. However, I still will base my nutrition plan on high quality protein consumption throughout the day and concentrate on the important post workout three hour "window."
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