I’ve been neglecting my blog… Prep is full on, work is (happily) busy, and time has a habit of flying by. But I really must update: so here it is. Just a quick prep update since I know some of you like to read about what’s going on.
I’m now just 18 days out (EIGHTEEN!) from my first show of this year – the UKDFBA (United Kingdom Drug Free Bodybuilding Association) UK Open Championships. It’s in Leamington Spa on 27th and 28th of this month. The show is going to be epic – on the Saturday, there’s the Open show and then on the Sunday there’s a WNBF Pro Show (including Pro Women) and a INBF International Show. Apparently numbers are high in all classes and on both days, and there are competitors from all over the World coming for the Sunday show. I really can not wait!
My goals are clear: to win the thing. I don’t mind saying it. Those of you who know me already know it, and those of you who don’t probably won’t be surprised. There’s a lot resting on the win: the winner of my class (amateur ladies bodybuilding) not only takes the British Title but gets offered WNBF Pro status. :-O ❤
So, I'll certainly be competing on the Saturday, but have every intention (positive thinking!) of competing on the Sunday in some capacity, too. I've booked accommodation right through to Monday morning. If all else fails and I don't end up competing on the Sunday, I'll be up front and centre watching and cheering anyway!
So, prep. I never really know what to tell you guys! Perhaps you can leave any questions in the comments section and I'll address them.
Basically I've been dieting, training, cardio-ing and ticking all the boxes every single day for a while now. A week ago I made some small but significant changes (with big thanks to one of the UK Team who helped me with his thoughts/advice/guidance). The changes are basically to keep my kcals roughly the same as they were, but to actually add in more carbs on a few days a week, but also to up my output. More food: more work. More energy: more attack. So I’m doing a little more cardio than I was, and some of the sessions are a lot harder than they were. Think running sprints, bike “efforts”, hill sprints. The rest of my cardio is longer, but steadier. I am still carb cycling (as I always do) but my low carb days are lower, my high carb days are higher, and my training is more intense. The idea is to keep my metabolism on side (after all, it’s the most powerful tool we have in the ongoing battle to get leaner than the human body wants to be!) and to “shock” the body, keep it from getting complacent, prevent it from slowing down and just ticking along.
So far it really seems to be working… I’m now seeing changes every day and am getting a lot leaner.
The question remains: is it lean enough, fast enough?
Only time will tell, and the moment of strewth will be on the 27th.
I know you like details so here are a couple of training sessions I’ve done recently
4 x 15 Close grip pull down
2 x 10 Heavy CGPD
2 x 10/10 dropset CGPD
4 x 15 Wide GPD final set a dropset
4 x 15 Bent over barbell row final set a dropset
4 x 12/12 single arm dumbell row.
2 x warm up
5 x 8
2×10 Dorian nautilus pullover machine thingy
Rear delt face pulls with multigrips (<<< my favourite bit of gym kit!) superset straight arm push downs
– seated ham curl – 2 w/u sets, 4 sets x 15 reps (4th set a dropset)
– lying ham curl – 4 sets x 20 reps
– 4 sets kneeling single legged ham curl superset 4 sets on seated ham curl, toes pointed – 12/12 reps on the kneeling, 15 on the seated
– SLDL barbell – warm up set then into 3 sets x 12 reps
– SLDL-esque thing standing behind the Paramount squat and using the bit you put the plates on as handles
– Seated calves – 4 x 30 reps
I must say I love SLDL of all sorts this year – up there with favourite exercise of 2014 I think!
And here are some recent pics (apologies for just copying them from my Instagram – that’s where my pics end up anyway so it’s the easiest way to get them here!)
How is my prep this year different to last year? Well, I’m bigger (I think/hope!) and – as always seems to be the case – it’s more difficult (or certainly “not as easy”) to get lean. That’s just the way it is! The first diet is always the easiest!
I’m eating more this year, and more of it is carbs. I’m eating more fish – partly because I live minutes from the sea and honestly what’s not to love about seafood which was out there swimming a few hours ago, and partly because I am kindly supported by fantastic local fishmonger Griggs (thank you, Andy!)
I’m probably taking fewer supplements, just because honestly I CBA with half of them and I don’t think many of them make a difference to me anyway. I’m not having much in the way of protein powders, because I don’t think I need them (I come straight home from training 99% of the time, so I just have a meal).
I’m sleeping more, and better. I sleep whenever I can, really. I am more chilled, happier and laid back (a good friend actually commented on this the other day and it was one of the nicest compliments she could have given!) I’m lifting heavier and keeping my weights higher and my lifts more compound-based. No circuits stuff or high rep/depletion type stuff, although that might change.
I’m rambling a bit now so will leave it there. But if you have any questions, please do ask away, I will answer if I can!
And, yes, I have a new (to me – second hand as always!) bikini, posing music and routine 😉 The important stuff, right? SPARKLES AND DANCING! Haha 😉
Hope you’re all well and enjoying your training, prep, racing, competing or generally being fit and healthy (<<< delete as applicable).
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.