Update: Notch Watch 2013

July 2, 2013

IMG_5023

Here’s my latest installment of Notch Watch – namely that I have reached the final notch on my lifting belt with more than two weeks to go til my first show of the year.

IMG_5017

Given that it took me until the end of August last year to reach the same stage, I’m pretty pleased! (It was at more or less the same point in prep – two weeks out from my first comp).

Here’s me wearing the belt, done up to the same notch at which I started this year… (I didn’t start documenting Notch Watch 2013 til partway through March.

75b31748e31411e2ae9922000a1f9b71_6

I do realise, by the way, that the concept of Notch Watch could be seen as totally at odds with the sentiments in my post about bodybuilding encouraging us to be bigger and more, rather than less of ourselves (you can read it here – it was shared a lot on Twitter: if you shared it, thank you). I can see that. All I can say is that, for me, in general I like how bodybuilding encourages us to be bigger – or at least to seem bigger, and more, and not to shrink away. But if we want to be stage-lean, the waist has to go down. That’s why my waist is the only bit of myself I’ll measure, because I actually want everything else to either get bigger or at least remain the same. The excess body fat needs to shrink away, not me and my muscles!

(For those who asked – I’ve checked my notes and as of a couple of weeks ago, when I last did measurements, I’d lost 10.7cm off my waist – that’s mid-Jan to mid-June).

Other than that, there’s not a lot to update: I’m currently 2-and-a-bit weeks out from my first bodybuilding comp of the year (Sunday 21st) and things are ticking along just fine. Nothing particularly exciting to report, diet and training haven’t changed for a few weeks (although I am getting some changes from coach Vicky tomorrow), weight is still dropping slowly and fat is definitely still coming off. Routine is choreographed and rehearsed, posing is being done on the daily, everything’s in check. I’m looking forward to getting on stage again!

Update: Notch Watch 2013 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.

Advertisements

It’s back…. Notch Watch 2013

March 14, 2013

Remember Notch Watch? It’s something I did last year, starting at New Year (possibly not my finest idea!) and I kept monitoring the notches of my lifting belt up until two weeks out (when I ran out of notches).

IMG_4218

I realised I hadn’t watched any notches yet this year (not my own, anyway) so took my belt in with me today for squats and snapped a quick pic before getting started.

Well – excuse the mega-baggy vest – but here we are on notch 6 of 8 with 20-ish weeks of prep left to my qualifier! (For comparison, I was on notch 5 of 8 at around this time last year.) I was pretty surprised by that. And it wasn’t even that tight – it was as tight as you’d do it up for squats but comfortable enough to walk about in.

IMG_4223

I can already tell that this year’s prep (and life in general) is different, and is showing itself as such on my body. I’m much leaner on the abs than I was this time last year (in fact I reckon I’m leaner on the abs than I was at about 6 or 8 weeks out). That’s cortisol for you! As ever, the human body fascinates me.

IMG_4220

I still have a long way to go before reaching the kind of stage condition I intend on presenting this year, but that’s just as well, in fact it’s really quite handy because there’s a way to go on the calendar too. 😉 I have a feeling it will all be timed just right.

Things with coach Vicky Bradley are still going great. I’ve started a new set of training programmes (I mentioned that here) and since my weight hasn’t moved much for a couple of weeks, I’ve also just started a slightly changed diet, to get things moving again.

Other than that, not a lot to report, because I’m happy and confident and feeling very positive!

Stay tuned for more Notch Watch – as and when I remember, that is.

It’s back…. Notch Watch 2013 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.


2 weeks out… and Notch Watch, chapter 4

August 27, 2012

Oops, looks like it’s been 10 weeks since I checked in on the old Notch Watch. Soz! I don’t honestly know where most of this year has gone.

This morning, I trained with new FBBBFF* Helen and she was tasked with taking my progress pics. Thanks, Helen! After that, I popped on the belt to see how I was getting on with progress through the notches, and I asked her to take a pic of the evidence.
(*Female bodybuilding best female friend ;D)

Sure, it’s pulled a bit too tight, but it did up! On notch number 8… of 8. Final notch reached, with 2 weeks of prep to go.

When I first popped this belt on, way back over the New Year break, I was – somewhat embarrassingly – on notch 4 (of 8). Eek! Haha.

There’s not a lot else to report, really: measurements coming down/staying the same (as I’d want them to), weight creeping down (infuriatingly slowly, as I’m getting used to), diet going well (hooray), training going as well as can be expected (at 2 weeks out), routine coming along well (I love it), bikini, tan and all bling assembled in my little red wheely case 😀

I’m exhausted, but very happy with progress, and my coach is happy too which is all I need to know!

This time next week I’ll be starting “peak week”, and this time in 2 weeks, my first comp of the year will be over! :-O Time flies! I hope your prep/training is going well 🙂

2 weeks out… and Notch Watch, chapter 4 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.


12 weeks out… and Notch Watch, chapter 3

June 18, 2012

Just a quick one today but I’ve decided it’s time to face the music and admit (to you – and myself!) that I am 12 weeks away from competing. Yes, my first bodybuilding comp this year will be on 9th September (Er…that’s actually now less than 12 weeks away – Ed. Yes, thank you – Me. I am you. You are talking to yourself – Ed.)

With prep, comes measurements. Numbers, weights, percentages and all other manner of measurements. With that in mind, I thought it was probably as good a time as any for the next installment in that thrilling saga we all know as “Notch Watch”. I know you have all been on the edge of your seats since the end of February (!) when I posted Notch Watch, chapter 2, in which I was on notch-level 5:

On Saturday, I lurked about in the loos and took this:

Notch-setting…7! Yes it probably is pulled a teeny bit too tight but notch-setting 6 was too loose. Just one more notch to go!

Will I get reach it? Will I have to punch more holes in my belt? Do I own a leather punch? If so, where is it? Will Dr Ramon Ramores save Crystal DeLite from certain death at the hands of the dastardly Luke Grayflint?

Who knows! Stay tuned over the following 12 weeks for answers to all those questions (apart from the last one, probably).

12 weeks out… and Notch Watch, chapter 3 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.


Prep update and progress pics

May 7, 2012

Hello and sorry for being an AWOL blogger! Life keeps getting in the way, dammit! Just a quick one for you today – a little update on bodybuilding prep and some progress pics.

So, prep is trucking along nicely. I am still loving my training, and not minding the dieting too much at this early stage. Training is still as hard and as heavy as we can manage, looking something like this:

M cardio, abs
T legs
W shoulders, cardio, abs
T arms, cardio
F off
S chest, cardio, abs
S back

Although I sometimes shake things up a bit – like today, a Bank Holiday here in the UK and what better to do on a Bank Holiday than AN EXTRA TRAINING SESSION? 😀 So I hooked up with my coach and we did a smasher of a shoulder session and some cheeky biceps too.

Diet is nothing to write home about at this stage, but I am slowly turning the screw and watching new lines and striations (and baggy clothing) appear on a weekly basis. It’s all good, although I’m feeling that itch which means it’s time to step things up a notch and see even more progress. As always, it’s a balance between coming in on time, not too soon and of course not too late!

I know I owe you a Notch Watch installment and that’s on its way. I’m nearly out of notches though! I’ll be back soon with something a bit more detailed and interesting (any requests? Just leave a comment…) but, for now, here are some piccies taken yesterday after my back workout.



Peace out.

Prep update and progress pics 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.


Notch Watch, chapter 2 (and some progress pics)

February 28, 2012

It’s been a while since the first installment of Notch Watch. Since the whole point is to watch the notches, shall we take a look?

Here’s the original pic, from early January, where I clocked in at notch-level 4.

Today, I dug out the same top and attempted to take a picture of my own waist in the mirror (how DO “kids today” take pictures of themselves in mirrors using their iPhones? I just can’t make it work #generationgap). The result, after 7 weeks of hard training and gentle dieting? Easily another notch. Here I am on notch-level 5. I’ll take it!

Fame has gone to thefitdog‘s oversized square head. After your comments on his post yesterday, he is convinced that everyone wants to see or hear from him on a regular basis. So, here he is with his own version of notch-watch (yep, I’d kill for that waspish waist, too. On the flipside, he has no ab definition whatsoever).

And, just to make this post even more pic-heavy, here are a couple of progress/posing photos taken by my coach on Saturday. If I’d known he wanted to take pics, I’d have worn a nicer top. Excuses, excuses. Anyway, we’re not here to talk about my outfit, we’re here to talk about my progress. I’ve been working hard – does it show? (I’m at least 20 weeks out from a show here, if not more – plans have yet to be nailed down!)

Oh, and one more – new sparkles! I ordered a “pre-loved” suit from Tamee Marie in the States, and it came last week. Here’s a sneak peak

Stayed tuned for further episodes of Notch Watch. Edge-of-the-seat stuff! 😉

Notch Watch, chapter 2 (and some progress pics) 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.


Notch Watch 2012

January 2, 2012


Santa was very kind this year; he brought me a lifting belt. As well as using it for its intended purpose in the gym, I thought I could use the belt as a visual measure of my progress (waist circumference being a pretty useful indication of fat loss) and thought I’d turn the progress pictures (and belt notches) into a blog series.

I hereby present to you: Notch Watch, episode 1, January 2012. In which I managed to reach four notches on the belt. (Yes, it’s pulled very tight – it’s meant to be.)

Stayed tuned for further episodes of Notch Watch, which will feature fewer inches of waist, and more notches of belt. I bet you can’t wait.

Notch Watch 2012 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.


%d bloggers like this: