(Body) building works

**First up – the winners of the GOOD Hemp protein samples. Thank you all for entering and taking part. My five winners – chosen at random – are Anna, Karryann, BarnesFitness, Helen G and Dorthe Nielsen. Please get in touch to organise sending me your postal addresses.

Onto today’s post:

As bodybuilders, we spend so much of our year dieting (or maybe it just feels as if we do!) that it’s quite a novelty to be eating at maintenance or even at an excess. But this is body building, after all, and you can’t grow if you’re always dieting. My Facebook is full of such status updates at the moment, from bodybuilder friends for whom being off the competition diet is still a novelty. “If your abs are showing, you ain’t growing” is my current favourite. The point, of course, is that you’re not going to make any significant improvements in physique unless you back off the diet, eat up, and give yourself the chance to grow. Diet is for condition. Eating is for muscles!

My Mum is currently building a house. (I promise this is all one blog post, I haven’t just pasted two different ones together. Bear with me). For months, the structure was hidden behind roof-height scaffolding, which was covered in thick plastic. You couldn’t see what was inside. You could see a vague house kind of a shape, and of course we all knew she was building a new structure. We’d seen the plans and had regular updates. But, from the outside, it just looked like a big rectangle of scaffolding and plastic. Until the big reveal…

That, to me, is what off-season is like for me as a bodybuilder. It’s about building a structure, even if the finished item is under wraps, waiting for the scaffolding to come down.

I no longer look as I did when I stepped onstage for this year’s competitions, that’s for sure. But that version of me is still here, it’s just underneath. It’s still with me, I carry it around wherever I go. There’s just an extra me on top of it! And that extra me is helping to build the stage version of me to something bigger and better, ready for the big reveal.

On Facebook the other day, a few of us took this house analogy and ran with it. We were all under scaffolding and tarpaulin, we declared, working hard on our foundations and structures (and, for some, internal redesign and plumbing). We don’t care that from the outside it looks like a bit of a building site. After all, this is the building part of bodybuilding.

“I’m going to be a lovely art deco 1930s building next year,” I posted. “Streamline Moderne, lots of sweeping curves and long lines but with solid hard corners too. Lots of metal and sparkly glass, nice smooth finish. Ha! You? Some kind of big timber structure made out of solid oak?”

My bodybuilding friends indulged me, posting the kind of building they’re constructing under their winter scaffolding. We had some Colonial mansions, some solid oak beams and even an updated shed.

How about you. What kind of body are you building? There’s a certain beauty in scaffolding, you know. Strong, stable and supportive.

Eat up!

(Body) building works is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


14 Responses to (Body) building works

  1. Karryann says:

    Fantastic blog post,
    I’m not sure what my building will be as it’ll be uncovered for the first time next year, so a surprise for me as well as everyone else 🙂

    So pleased to be a winner, I’ll pm you on facebook, many thanks 🙂


  2. Jo.P says:

    Great blog, its got me thinking i like that. Jo.P


  3. Helen Milton says:

    Nicola can I just say thank you. Thank you so much for helping me to push on through. I have found it really hard making the transition that even when I had my BF re-assess (biosignature) I was still very very lean for the off season, actually too lean so I’ve had some time off and tried to relax. I didn’t ejoy it as much as I thought I would but I need to just let myself go and your updates/stories/articals are really helping me. So again thank you.


    • thefitwriter says:

      Oh Helen bless you. Thank YOU for that comment. I really admire your physique and your approach to training and nutrition, so to hear that from you really means something. I’m glad we can all help each other. I think it’s important in a sport like this. I think we all hope that the support we throw out there into the world is actually helpful to people, but it’s really rewarding to hear when it is! Given your level of knowledge and training, I’m not sure what I can write that would be of use to you (!) but if there’s anything you want me to tackle, just say and it shall be written! Nx PS Your building is one of my favourites 😀


  4. Flick says:

    Nice to see someone taking their growing seriously – so many women are scared of getting ‘fat’ in their off-season so miss out on the building fun!


    • thefitwriter says:

      Thanks! I don’t see the point of competing unless you improve in some way – and you’re not going to improve if you don’t give yourself a chance to grow 😀 Plus as you say, building is FUN! (new bench press PB today – wahoo!)


  5. Toby Hines says:

    I am building on to a very old structure. The original is solid enough but not big enough for the current inhabits so am building extensions on the back and an both sides. Modern extensions with very sharp lines. The builders are working away with precision, adding an almost unnoticeable layer each day and the sum of those layers will add up to something quite spectacular! 🙂


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hi Toby, I love this! 😀 At least your plumbing is still OK! 😉 Always good to find quality builders you can rely on. Hope they don’t make have too many tea-breaks during the day! Can’t wait to see all these buildings in 2012 or 2013…. *yay*


  6. Claire Birchenough says:

    what did you bench press today? I’m intrigued! I row and we too have off and on seasons, and it’s hard to allow yourself to have some fat so that you can build – I much prefer to have a *visable* six pack! But I’m doing bigger weights so that makes me happy (perhaps not as big as yours!). Really enjoy your blog, thanks for the advice. @cbirchenough


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hello, lovely new reader! 😀 At the mo, I do 12 reps, then 10, then 8, then 6, working up through the weights. So, for the final 6, I did 50kgs, but that was after 12/10/8 of lower weights (I think 40kg, 45kg and 47.5kgs). Pretty pleased with that! It’s always been the exercise I felt was weaker than it “ought to be” for me. Glad you like the blog, thank you for reading! PS Remember, “if your abs are showin’, you ain’t growin'”!


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