It’s been a while since I blogged about this year’s bodybuilding contest prep, so I thought it was time for an update!
I’m now mumble-mumble weeks out… let’s call it “about 12” although it could be less than that, or more than that, depending on what I decide to do, which will depend on when I feel I’m ready. How’s that for vague? ;)
Training is going really well, I always enjoy my lifting sessions and am enjoying doing my own training programmes this year. I stick to the same split (same bodypart/s on the same days) but tend to mix up my actual sessions from week to week. I have some favourites which I gravitate towards, and always include big compound lifts, but enjoy trying out new things and mixing stuff up, too. I share ideas and new finds with friends (often over whatsapp, in the form of spontaneous videos using household objects in place of the barbell… LOL you know who you are!) In general I am a high-volume person, and also use things like supersets and dropsets.
Diet is going OK too, it’s tough at times of course but that’s bodybuilding dieting for you! I find it fascinating how my body holds fat differently each year. This year for instance, my quads were as lean at the start of prep as they were at about 8 weeks out last year (on skinfold) and my abs (amazingly!) have remained pretty lean. In previous years, most of my bodyfat has been on my abs. This year it’s on my triceps (standard) but also on my bum and hamstrings. Boo! Oh well, I suppose it has to be somewhere. I just hope it starts coming off soon! Everything else is definitely getting leaner. I spotted my friend Gary Gristle last week (<< this is a weird lump of gristle on one of my shoulder blades, which is only visible when I get to a certain point of leanness). Next up will be spotting the knot on the stitch of my hernia repair operation. Then we'll really be motoring!
I’m doing a lot more cardio this year than I did last year (which wouldn’t be difficult, since I did no cardio – other than powerwalking with my dog – in last year’s prep). This is partly because I genuinely enjoy it, and partly because I feel I need to extra push (I refer you back to the fat-bum comment above). I’ve been doing either off-road rides on my mountain bike (love it!) or running hill sprints (don’t love it quite so much) in the mornings, or doing a bit of “gym cardio” (usually stepper or Arc machine) after weights sessions. I prefer morning cardio, though, and I prefer doing my cardio separate to my weights sessions.
Oh and I got tutted at by an elderly lady in the High Street today. I take this as a good sign! I was wearing gym kit (including sleeveless top) and she stared, patted the top of her own arm, and shook her head crossly. Cheers, lady! ;)
The amount of #gymselfies ^^^ (arrest me, social media police! :-P ) has increased, which is also a sign that I feel I’m getting leaner. So, if you want to keep up with prep in pic form, follow my instagram. Other than that… what can I tell you? Any questions, just ask :)
How’s your training, racing, competing or generally being-active going? Hope you’re having a great Summer so far.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.