Weight: 187 lbs
Body Fat: 14%
Weight: 227 lbs
Body Fat: 4%
Why I Got Started
I have always been into sports: running, swimming, rugby (when I was 15), martial arts, diving. I discovered bodybuilding by chance and late in my life. After I quit rugby, I felt the need to exercise. A friend of mine had just subscribed a gym membership.
How I Did It
I was 33-years old. My weight was 85 kilos (187 pounds) and my height was 183 cm ( 6 feet). Believe me, I have never been really skinny. I must admit I was not impressed by the gym. I thought it was stupid to struggle with a barbell and two 10-kilo (22 pounds) plates on the sides. I am honest. I kept on for several months.
Eventually, I bought a gym-set to work out in my basement. Lonesome and in my basement - that was the start of my career as a bodybuilder. I had no knowledge. I didn't read bodybuilding magazines. I had been training insanely for three years.
I had not been following any special training program. My only goal was to acquire a noticeable size. Later on I started to read bodybuilding magazines and got interested into any bodybuilding champion. I subscribed to a brand new gym in Dijon.
It was the Athletic Gym and the owner was Jacky Biondi. The ambiance and the people were wonderful. There I started to work out hard and to diet properly.
One year later, Jacky began to talk me into entering for a regional competition. The idea had never crossed my mind before that day! He pressured me so much that he got me persuaded. So I got it started!
Thanks to his advice I won my first competition at Macon in 1994. I was 37-years old! My height was always 183 cm ( 6 feet ) but now my weight was 83 kilos (183 lbs.)! Today I can barely realize what I was able to do and the results I got.
My regime doesn't change much throughout the year as far as diet is concerned - but the quantities do vary. I'm not making any more big weight-gains (I've already got up to 125kg). My out-of-season weight is around 108-110kg, for 98kg at the weigh-in.
My training is always pretty heavy, with a few lighter sessions to take the pressure off my joints. I don't have a set routine all year round - I tend to do what I feel I need to. I take on about 4500 calories a day out of season, and go down to about 2500 when I'm in training, with some variation from day to day.
When I'm preparing for competition, I start training between three and four months in advance. I used to start about two months in advance, but I was always tired and I lost a fair amount of muscle mass as a result. This allows me to lose weight slowly, and avoids sudden energy crashes!
I train with fairly heavy weights right up to the end, and I do a bit more cardio than usual during this period. I reduce my intake of carbohydrates little by little, and increase my protein to about 300-350g per day. Sometimes I take a sugar supplement to boost my metabolism, but nothing too drastic.
Each muscle is worked once a week during off-season. This makes for 4 training sessions a week in general. From time to time I do 5 sessions if I feel the need. So, I train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are my rest days.
Saturday & Sunday:
Abs are worked 3 times a week at the end of the set. Each series is executed to failure, with rest time around 1:30. This is an example, but it can vary enormously given to the fact I train on instinct. I don't have a predetermined program during the year.
I prefer to constantly vary the exercises, techniques, number of reps. During a workout, I can lift heavy and light, do pyramid sets, fatigue sets, triple sets, lowering my rest time at least by 30 seconds. This can seem like a lawless routine, but it is what works for me.
I'm pretty far from the almost scientific rigor that some advocate, so, in this sport there isn't an absolute truth. I often do just one exercise for a muscle group with a large number of sets.
As you gather, nothing revolutionary there. I think that cardio all year long is extremely important to stay in good shape! I do in general 3-to-5 exercises per each muscle group and from 6-to-15 reps.