THE FOLLOWING IS VERY ROUGH. I WOULD SAY MY BODY FAT IS AROUND 10-12% AND NOT 8%! (as I do it the same way each time, I still can see my progress even though it may not be right to others)
2014 has been a great year when I look back. I have joined a new gym, had a go at cutting with 100% dedication (to my knowledge) and used the trial and error method to figure out what works for me and what is comfortable for me. For example, my lower back has been injured in the past from poor form and so I try to make sure I do what I can to prevent further injury etc…
This year we were part of the DY Nutrition team at BodyPower Birmingham. To be part of that was more than a dream come true. It was truly overwhelming and an incredible opportunity !
I finally got to train with Andy Torres down Temple Gym after BodyPower and again, this is something I really wanted to do. As we have now crossed that bridge, it’s time to go all out and have a special training session with him in 2015. Plans are in motion and I/we are very excited for that to happen.
Going back to Temple Gym to seek advice and to be shown the correct way of training with Lewis Yates was another big thing this year as it was something I needed advice on as I couldn’t quite get the mind to muscle connection that I needed. Now I understand what I need to do, I will do it.
Following Roberts journey to NABBA was an incredible opportunity that would allow me to expand my knowledge with contest prep and diet. Also being part of Storm Gym and having advice from Julian at Storm Gym was something that has helped me throughout the year.
I have met so many different people this year and one person that stands out is Christie. We have trained together twice this year and 2015 will bring many more opportunities for us all to meet up.
This is the point where I can literally go on for ages with all the great memories and people I have met and been involved with this year, but I have to cut it down and make this post a little shorter…
Lets talk about food…
Looking back at my blog over the years, I can see just how wrong I was doing things to start and I already know that when I look back this time next year I will see just how much I have progressed again. (hopefully) I do put many random things on my blog as it’s my progress and that is all. I give people and option to read it or to not read it, it’s that simple. One thing for is for sure though, it is the best thing I have EVER done regarding fitness as it gives me a solid foundation to work on and look back at. I keep ALL my diet plans, all my training plans and this is what allows me to see my progress. Without all this, I would argue that I have not changed from 6 years ago, feel disheartened and perhaps give up.
I say this every year… MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS THROUGH PICTURES, MEASUREMENTS AND NOTE DOWN YOUR TRAINING PLANS AND NUTRITION PLANS!!! That is the one thing I urge anyone to do. If tomorrow is the start of your journey, then start it with pictures and measurements, put them away and compare them in one years time. (that’s just my advice though)
Here’s to 2014. 2015 will be determined by the effort, drive and determination we use to make positive changes.
Oh and I’m staying natural for 2015 and then I will asses where I want to go from there…
To be continued… (when the kids go to bed)
I was at my old gym for 2 and a half years. I bonded with the other members and got set in a way that allowed me to feel comfortable. The lads were great there and stuck together for years and years. They helped me out in other ways than just in the gym, they looked after me outside the gym if needed and that’s why I really didn’t want to leave there. Fortunately I felt that I needed to leave my comfort zone to allow me to progress forward.
My wife was advised to start training at a gym rather than training at home. We both decided to check out a gym that was much further away from our house than where I was at the moment. I looked at this gym 6 months before we joined and I felt quite intimidated at the time. This was all in my head though and how bodybuilding is portrayed through media that got me thinking like this.
As I/we have now had enough time to settle in the gym we realise that it is the best thing I did. Leaving the old gym to start fresh with the wife as my training partner and surrounding ourselves with a broader community with a competitive nature was going to open new doors for us.
A couple of months after starting storm-gym, a chap called Rob was going for his first competition and I followed his journey every Wednesday night till the day of the competition. This is one of the things that I really wanted from a gym. I wanted to get involved with other members and take knowledge as well as giving whatever I can back to the gym at the same time.
We have been there now for 8 months and as the gym is 5 years old, the owners decided to have a bit of a gathering to just get people mingling with each other and have a bit of fun as a community.
As there is a big car park at the front of the building, they set up a tent with a BBQ and disco. It was fully loaded with food and drink. One of the members owns a butchers which he supplied all the food. Another chap had a disco so he came along and did that.
We went as a family and let the kids run wild for a few hours. We got talking to some new folk and caught up with some of the people we already knew. One of the chaps was nominated to get soaked for ALS and so that was a great excuse to have a good laugh on his behalf. Ian was a good character during the soaking and a it was the first time we met him yesterday, although we did try to arrange a meeting a few weeks ago. (Ian is a natural bodybuilder that looks incredible when competing)
It was a cracking afternoon out and we thoroughly enjoyed it. A big thanks to all the team that organised it and we are proud of be part of a great gym!
I got chance to talk to the gym owner yesterday and also Rob. I think we are going to compete at NABBA May 2015 in our different categories. This is very exciting and either way I am going to better myself for my own personal competition for May, even if it’s in my own front room again.
Why NABBA and not a Natural competition?
If I go for a natural competition expecting to compete against naturals and I find myself up against people that have been using some sort of enhancements, I will feel gutted and cheated regardless of my place. If I go to a comp that I know I’m up against people I have no chance with, I will just go to enjoy it! Also at NABBA there will be three of us (or more) that will be competing but in different categories. This basically means that we will be going to support each other and it may take away the stress of being on my own.
I have 2 choices. Compete on my own as a first timer at a show that may not be natural or be with my gym buddies and have a great day out!
Nothing is set in stone yet. the only thing I’m sure on is gaining knowledge and discovering all aspects of the sport/lifestyle.
After dropping my body fat to my lowest point in May, I knew that I had two choices that I could consider. I could keep my body fat low and enjoy it like that for a few months, or I could bulk and hopefully build a bit of muscle for next year. If I was already near my maximum natural potential I would have enjoyed the lower body fat. As I have a very long way to go still, I really don’t want to waste time when it comes to building muscle.
I’m quickly getting back to the body weight I was when I started my cut at the beginning of this year. This is very disheartening as it’s so easy to put on weight, but very difficult to lose it. Especially losing the fat whilst maintaining/building muscle.
Positive points bulking-
- Full of energy
- Much stronger
- More relaxed with diet
- Sleep better
- Building muscle
- Recover MUCH faster even after harder training
- Body fat is increasing
- Feel disheartened after all that hard work cutting
- Feeling very fat even though you’re not
- Find it hard to eat a bulking diet as you are hooked on cutting diet
There are many more points, these are the ones that come to mind as I type this.
My plan at the moment is to just keep an eye on my diet and see what I can cut out or change around. I’m not having a bad diet at all. I just like to eat a lot before bed. I genuinely believe that the last meal is just as important as any other meal throughout the day. I believe it helps with recovering faster and it also seems to give me a big boost in the morning when waking up.
Although I have put on around 17lb of weight (weight = fat/muscle/water etc) I don’t think the fat is going on me in the same way as it was before. It’s more like toned fat now, rather than jelly fat. If I could give an example of what my body fat is like, it would be around my 4th/5th week of cutting.
Bearing in mind that I have never been fortunate enough to bulk from a good cut before as I have always bulked on top of being fat (Fat is over 20% BF). My strength has gone through the roof compared to how it has been in the past, yet my body fat is at it’s lowest point apart from when I cut. I can afford to put on another 5lb of weight over the next 3 months if I need to. I really don’t want to go any heavier than 13 stone as this will just mess with my head too much, even if it will benefit me more. It’s a difficult situation to be in unless you have done it before and know exactly what you are doing.
(To put that above paragraph into better terms. I want to stay under 15% body fat at my peak point. If I was 13 stone with 15% body fat I would be happy. I if was 13 stone with 25% body fat then I wouldn’t be happy)
This is what I like to use my blog for. I like making notes regardless to how crazy they may seem at the time. At least I can note down how I feel and what I’m doing, so I can compare everything months/years down the line.
I am going to try to give some of the ideas and stages I went through when I started my bodybuilding journey…
I didn’t wake up one day thinking that I wanted to try bodybuilding as such. I was over weight up to 6 years ago and I found it was causing me some annoyances in my personal life that I thought I would do something about it. I started to diet and walk more for the first few months to help me lose weight. Once I dropped over 3 stone, I got inspired by a friend (John) to lift weights. This was when I took my first of many steps on this journey.
I started by lifting at home with very basic knowledge on weight lifting and absolutely no idea food played most the part of the sport.
From my journey so far, here’s a few things that I would consider from the beginning to give me head start in the game.
If I could be perfectly honest, I don’t think you can just start bodybuilding. I genuinely believe that you must have some interest in it prior to wanting to start bodybuilding. Pictures, movies, sports, something must have triggered a spark and slowly led you to this door.
- I would most certainly look into a good nutritional diet for my body type and goals in mind.
- I would set out to have 6-7 smaller meals rather than 3 big meals.
- Study an anatomy chart and start to get an understanding of what each major muscle does. (Walk around the house and pull/push walls to see which muscle it activates and this can give a safe and easy understanding of how to work it in the gym.)
- Understand that your muscles repair and grow outside the gym when you are eating and resting.
- Understand the importance of muscle rest for quicker repair.
- To know that the importance of nutrition. Protein, carbs, fat and when to have them for optimum results.
- To understand the safe and best ways to train.
- Everyone’s body is different and something will work for you and not others etc.
- Don’t expect quick results.
- Get a training split together that ensures you don’t work the same muscle group before it’s fully recovered.
- Train legs too.
- To know the difference between a pump and a high intensity.
- Record myself and monitor from a different angle other than what I see in the mirror.
- Take pictures and measurements before I started. Regardless of how uncomfortable I felt.
- Drink lots of water.
- Make sure you are prepared to make it your lifestyle and not a hobby.
- Be prepared to ache for the rest of your bodybuilding life.
- Have a training partner that shares the same passion.
- Know that more can be less. (45 minutes of hard training is better than 3 hours of waiting around)
- Don’t train the muscle group that still ache. Let them fully recover for maximum gains.
- Surround yourself with like minded people that will support you when you need it. (and visa versa)
- Solid foods over supplements.
- Stay humble.
- Enjoy it!
There are many other things I would consider, but these are ones that spring to my mind. I never followed anything when I started and so I figured the majority of it out through trial and error. I still do use the trial and error method now, as I want to discover all possibilities of what I think will work for me. I now have a good idea of what will work and what won’t, what makes me feel uncomfortable and what suits me.
Should I start steroids when I start lifting?
In my opinion, NO! There are much more important factors to bodybuilding than steroids when starting off. First of all I would strongly advise anyone to get a good nutritional diet in place, discover how to control the weights and make sure you want to continue with the sport. There are no short cuts!
But I don’t want to get too big…
You wont! It’s a very long process even when you have everything nailed. (what is too big?)
(Female) I don’t want to look like a man!
You wont! You will look toned and fit. You will have the curves in the right places! Squatting is a girls best friend.
How can I get ripped fast?
Dedication, discipline, consistency, hard work, time, diet, passion. That’s my honest opinion. Building muscle whilst cutting body fat defies the rules of the human body. It can be done, it’s just very difficult.
This is the first time I have had a moment to actually sit down and think about the last 5 days. It has been an incredible experience and a honour to be helping out DY Nutrition at BodyPower 2014. Where do I start…
Thursday 15th May we set out to Temple Gym to get there for the evening and have a look around before taking the children to my parents and heading to the hotel before the start of 3 days at BodyPower helping out the people we love. It was chaotic, but organised for the whole three days. We had an incredible time helping out alongside Dorian Yates, Gal Yates, Rad, Nicola, Peter, Carla, Heather (My Wife) and the awesome little super star Tahnee.
Here’s some pictures that were took at BodyPower…
DY Nutrition Team
Nat (Dr Zaks)
Zak and Dorian
Marika Johansson – Gethin
Dana Linn Bailey
Phil Heath and Andrew Coulson
Me and my boy at Temple Gym
The Terrible Twins
Pizza Hut after an epic busy weekend!
Sunday night (just before midnight) me and Andrew Torres decided to plan a training session at Temple Gym. We met up on the Monday morning and headed off to The Dungeon for a bit off a mess about training and to get some pictures before going home. We have been looking forward to training with Andy for a long time and we are happy that Temple Gym was the place that got us together to train. Here’s a long video showing most of the training and more importantly we wanted to record this video all the way through for our own personal viewing. We will put it out there for others to watch, but we genuinely don’t think others will understand how much of a brilliant experience it was!
There are so many other things that I could ramble about for hours, I just feel that most of it I can keep in my head and heart without needing to bore anyone else to death with it.
I need to thank everyone that was part of this weekend! Everyone I met at the stand were amazing! I have learnt a lot from this experience and I will show what I have learnt on a daily basis. Being surrounded by the people I love is simple incredible. I don’t have words for what happened just yet, but I have emotions. I know there are so many people I have to thank and typing this is a poor way of doing it I know. THANK YOU to everyone for a dream that I/we will never forget!!!
On 31st December 2009 I had lost 2.3 stone and still had a 38.5 inch waist…
This May is 4 years into my weight lifting/ bodybuilding. The seed was planted by John on the 12th May 2010. From that day I have never ever looked back… unless it’s to see how far I have come. Closer to 6 years is took me to just get here, but I’m much happier living this life and challenging myself compared to how I used to live.
18-08-2012 Skin Fold Test…
It’s crazy how quick time goes by and I’m glad I started it then, even if it has took such a long time. Fortunately I look forward to the next 6 years and creating goals and dreams to fulfil and conquer.
(I was looking at all my old pictures throughout my journey and that’s why I ended up here typing this)
I have consider deleting all of these videos as they seem pointless and ridiculous now. However, I will keep them to look back on and help me through my next journey.
I have made a number of videos talking to myself about my journey and how I feel at random times with completely random thoughts. I have decided to post as many as I can here so I can look back at them in chronological order to see how my frame of mind was at certain times. I can look back and compare my nutrition with my emotions to see how I can change things around for next time…
19th February 2014 – Haters
7th March 2014 – Don’t Judge Others
17th March 2014 – Secret To My Success So Far
18th March 2014 – (update Pop Tarts failed to do anything expected 29/03/2014)
27th March 2014 – Surround yourself with posititivity
27th March 2014 – Random
29th March 2014 – Changes I have noticed today
31st March 2014 – Energy
1st April 2014 – Eating Disorder?
2nd April 2014 – Depressed
10th April 2014 – Update Ramble
14th April 2014 – I won’t change My goal
16th April 2014 – No Temptation
17th April 2014 – What I need to consider
17th April 2014 – Shopping
20th April 2014 Walking With Kids
23rd April 2014 – Night
24th April 2014 – Morning
27th April 2014 – All about measurements
30th April 2014 – Carb Depleted
01 May 2014 – last training session
Today was a day that I won’t forget in a hurry. After doing leg extensions I went onto the leg press. The gaffa came over just before I started and gave me a PT session for the remainder of my quad session.
Julian gave me some great tips with feet position, tension on the muscle and rest pause techniques to make sure I get the best results whilst in the gym.
Whilst on the leg press, I felt like I coped ok during the sets and reps as my quads were quite strong due to it being the second exercise. By the end of leg press though, I had a lot of muscular pain from the lactic acid build up and a lot less strength.
Moving onto hack squats (this is the exercise I feel works great for me, even though I hate the pain it puts me in. I just have to do it down to my discipline and I want to better myself) we did one set which was comfortable with 20kg and then I decided that 10kg extra per side would be adequate as I have tried 40kg per side before and it was way too heavy at the time. Coming up to my last couple of reps I could hear Julian telling me to do more. I did do more, I felt determined and wanted to push myself as hard as I could. I did it to complete failure and it left me feeling sick and my legs were like stone at that point. Heavy and hard to move is another way to say it.
We then did front squats on the machine. Again, Julian was behind me and I felt like I needed to give it my all despite feeling sick and my legs in agony. I did my first set with 120kg and did as many as I could do. After a minute Julian got me back under it and told me to just keep going. I kept the tension on the muscle throughout all the reps apart from the last few where I did rest pause as the lactic acid build up created and excruciating pain and I had no choice but to rest pause. I was in so much pain that I stood up to finish the set. I heard Julian shout one more. Within a split second I found my body going for another rep, I know it was a partial rep if even much of a rep at all, and then he shouted one more again. I went for another and probably got down an inch or two.
I got of the machine and I could hear Julian talking to me. Without sounding like sound ignorant chap that doesn’t love the advice, all I heard was some other language. I just wanted to get as close to the door as fast as I could as I could feel myself about to be sick. The next 10 minutes was spent trying to stand up, going to the toilet trying to be sick and just in excruciating pain in my legs.
Let me try to explain the feeling… Imagine sitting on the bottom step of some stairs. Then imagine getting a long bolt and putting it through your knee, down through your leg, through your foot and into the floor. Now tighten that bolt just enough to make sure it is pressed solid against the floor. Now try moving that leg, you can’t! (This is just an example of how heavy and painful my legs felt)
The question is, will I do that again? The answer is simply yes! I didn’t enjoy a second of the pain, but I know what I am up against now if I want to eventually compete. I won’t try to be brave and will admit that it scares me knowing how difficult it is training at this level. Half hour after finishing legs, I felt fine and all day I have been so happy, proud and more understanding of how to train harder. If every time I went through that pain and then felt better half hour after, full of energy and knowing I did my very best, I would seriously look forward to it and do that in every session. It’s very hard to be prepared for that level of pain though, but I hope that over time I will have a much better idea of what to do when I feel sick and how to deal with the pain.
I know I may come across as a cry baby moaning about the pain etc, but it’s pain I haven’t experienced before. I’m certainly not moaning about it, I’m just documenting it on here to remind myself of what it was like.
Here’s a video I made once I composed myself a bit…
And shortly after that…
I still managed to get my hours walking cardio done just now. I will also update my weight progress tomorrow…
I’m bound to have forgot a few major details, so I will update this tomorrow as I’m just shattered now…