Hi! Here we are at 8 weeks out from my first bodybuilding comp of 2012 and… er… I don’t have a lot to say but thought I should check in, in case anyone thinks I’ve fallen off the edge of the world or anything. I have not! Life is busy and a little bit crazy but I am still here. So, let’s see, whaddya want to know?
Yep, still training Training has shifted focus now from the muscle building I was doing over Winter and Spring to conditioning, losing bodyfat whilst hopefully retaining all that lovely new muscle! Or as much of it as I can, anyway. So I’m still lifting as heavy as possible, but am incorporating more techniques like supersets, shorter rest periods, higher rep ranges and conditioning work like “finishers” (oh how we love finishers) to boost the metabolism and tell the body fat, in the nicest way possible of course, to GTF. Buh-bye!
Yep, still dieting My diet is roughly the same as it was last year, but of course I’m learning all the time about what foods work best for me, what I respond to, what doesn’t do me any favours. For instance, this year I’m doing much less dairy (hardly any), and don’t do the oats thing, even though I know they’re a staple for lots of bodybuilders. I’m taking in more fats than I was last year, and probably less carbs. I carb-cycle, with one higher day (at this stage, anyway), and apart from that day, my carbs really are pretty low, but my fats are relatively high. I like it that way. I’d far rather eat salmon and veg than a bowl of porridge and whey protein.
I am not as lean at this stage compared to how I was 8 weeks out last year; this is for several reasons. Firstly, last year I didn’t have an off-season, I basically dieted for Coach Kat’s body recomp challenge, then decided to do a bodybuilding show and… dieted. So I dieted off the back of a diet (!) No wonder I was so lean. But no wonder I ended up a bit stringy by the end of the season. This year, not only did I start from a
much fatter build-phase, but of course I’ve now got a lot more muscle mass underneath it all. So, all in all, I’m looking different, and comparing this year to last year is a bit of a fruitless exercise. I know I’ve put on size (in a good way), and am really, really excited to get on stage and reveal it! I hope the judges like what they see
I’m posing most days; I tend to pose the bodypart I’m training whilst I’m at the gym (it’s hard and painful to do this when the muscle is already fatigued, but that’s the point) and then I do one or two “rounds” of all the poses after training. I’m liking what I see but may recruit someone’s help soon just to check that the rear poses are OK. I can’t see them!
Oh, my lovely routine <3 I got someone to help me choreograph it this year and I really love it. The song choice was always a good one for me, but recent events in my life mean that the lyrics are even more meaningful now. I might have to stuff a hanky down my bikini top and delicately dab away a tear or two on some of the rear poses
Yep, got one of those. In fact I’ve got a few, and need to decide what colour to wear for the pre-judge (plain bikini). I might put it to a poll via a thrilling blog post in the weeks to come. Hang on to your hats, folks!
So, to summarise, I’m here, I’m OK, I’m getting there. At 8 weeks out, I’m concentrating on losing body fat, getting my conditioning right, retaining muscle, posing and routine. I’m doing my best to relax, chill, stay happy and minimise stress. This prep is tough, and very different to last year. Sh*t’s tough, but so am I (tougher, in fact). And, you know, every prep is probably difficult, isn’t it? So, if it wasn’t this, it would be something else. As the saying goes, if it was easy everyone would be doing it (or something).
Are you training for something particular at the moment? How’s it going?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.