Monday, April 26, 2010

8 Weeks Out

Most people only count down the weeks in their contest prep. But when you're OCD like I am, you count down the weeks left in your offseason. It gives me a good idea of how much time I have left to accomplish my offseason goals. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and I know I only have a certain amount of time left to grow. I know it's very black and white to think this way, but the way I conceptualize my offseason vs. my prep is like this....I spend the offseason trying to pack on as much muscle as possible (without getting too fat and sloppy), and then flip the switch at 16 weeks out. At that point, my focus is on holding on to whatever precious muscle I've put on and getting rid of all the fat. I know some people say you can still build some muscle during early stages of prep when you still have a decent amount of calories, but as far as I'm concerned, my hard work and focus for building is done in the long, cold months before the cardio and tilapia start.

And speaking of starting the cardio and tilapia, I have finally decided, after weeks of constant back and forth, that I'm going to compete this year, and Easterns is going to be the target show. That means that my diet starts June 24th, and like I said, I have 8 weeks left of my offseason. I have had three great weeks in a row as far as training is concerned, so I think I'm pulling myself out of the deep funk I was in. I've already touched base with a friend of mine to work on a mix for my posing routine (I know, it's the OCD), and I'm looking at suit possibilities. Here's to hoping I stay on track...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting To a Good Place?

Well, I'm closing in on 8 weeks left of my offseason. I know, I know, who the hell counts down the rest of their offseason? Umm, I do. Because I'm crazy. As I'm writing this, I'm finally coming down from a great back workout tonight. So far, this has been another pretty good week in the books as far as training goes. Monday's delt and chest workout was a little rough, though. I've been having a ton of pain in my joints again, particularly my shoulders, elbows, and wrists. I'm pretty sure it's not tendonitis because the pain is equal on both sides, and it's more of an achy feeling rather than the sharper pain I get from tendonitis. I'm apt to think it's more from my recent surge in strength and my increasing weight, so I'm not too worried about it. But it did make training painful on Monday night; though, the workout was still good overall. Sunday's quad workout was done solo since my training partner was away racing. Despite my hamstring pain and struggling with squats, I've had a couple of really great leg workouts the past couple of weeks. I've been able to really dig deep and pull out some reps that I didn't think I had in me. It's such a great feeling to have that drive back again. There's nothing like waking up the day after a leg workout and having that deep down, bruised feeling in your quads.

One thing I think I need to start being a little mindful of is the drastic progress my quads seem to be making this offseason. I'm a little concerned that my hams and glutes aren't caught up...hell, I know for a fact they're not. Rather than pull back on my quad training, I know I need to step up my ham/glute workouts. Unfortunately, I inevitably run into the same problem week after week with this injured hamstring. It's not the pain that gets me (well, not always), it's the numbness and lack of connection during training. It's even affecting my quad growth. It's pretty clear that my right quad is more developed than my left, and I'm hoping that once I'm in contest shape, that discrepancy won't be as blatant. I try to focus on feeling my left quad and/or ham depending on what exercise I'm doing, but there's still a lack of connection (that I'm desperately hoping isn't nerve damage).

Anyway, I seem to still be heading back to a good place with regard to my training. I hesitate to even say anything about where I'm at for fear of jinxing myself. But I've been doing well with just taking each day and each workout for what it is and hopefully be able to just string a few good ones together that will eventually lead to a solid final 2 months of the offseason.

As a little side note, I had a kind of funny-haha moment tonight when I was food shopping after the gym. As is typical for me in the offseason, my shopping cart was packed with tons of ground beef, chicken, eggs, cashews know, the usual bodybuilder fare. I also happened to have thrown a copy of the latest MD in there. Well, the kid who was bagging my stuff stops to glance at the cover of the magazine, looks at all my food, then looks at me and goes, "Guess you're into that bodybuilding stuff, huh?" Uhhh, duh. He then asks me if I'm going to eat all that food myself, which, of course, I am. He finishes by saying, "Yeah, I can're pretty jacked. How much do you bench?" Aaah, yes, all roads lead to that inevitable million-dollar question. But I don't bench, like ever. Just once, I'd like someone to ask me how much I squat or deadlift.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Less Talk, More Action

Ok, I've purposely taken a bit of a break from posting here because I started to find myself getting pulled way off track from what I'm trying to do this year, as far as this sport is concerned. I keep talking about all the things I want to accomplish this year, and I'm doing everything as was originally planned out. But it's all just felt so empty lately, like I was going through the motions and running a lot of lip service. And that is NOT me. If there's one thing I pride myself on, it's that I do what I say I will. I follow through...sometimes, to a fault. I've been known to be so stubborn as to follow through with something simply because I said I would, regardless of whether everything else says I should do otherwise. And this is where I found myself a few weeks ago. My workouts, my eating, all of it was being done to a T but not because I was driven to reach the end goal. It was being done because I said I would do these things to reach a certain goal. There was no desire, no purpose behind what I was doing. Basically, I needed to figure out if I'm in this because I love it or because I said I was gonna do it.

While I'm still feeling a little disconnected from all the positive feelings and thoughts I usually have about training and competing, I think I'm heading back in the right direction. I've had two solid weeks of great workouts. I am starting to make major progress each workout, which always makes me want to go back for more. While it no longer surprises me, it will never cease to amaze me how other people can impact how you go about pursuing certain goals or dreams. Sometimes the people who you think will be your biggest motivators and supporters can turn out to be your biggest hurdles. For now, I'm just focusing on getting good workouts in and trying to find my way back to that love of the sport.