Wednesday 30 June 2010

... and a change!

This very morning I decided to do the indoor rowing marathon AFTER the bodybuilding championship.

I had planned for the marathon well before the idea of the championship cropped into my mind, and initially I thought I would need the rowing training to help me get rid of the fat depods - hence I never questioned my decision wanting to do the rowing this October.

Now, 10 weeks into the bodybuilding training I am realising that it will not work this way round. In my mind the focus is on the championship, I just can't think of anything else. I do some rowing, but not enough to train for a marathon, and it is impossible to do this while keeping the focus on the weights at the same time.

My progress on the muscle front is so brilliant and I am feeling so good with it that I am not willing to interreupt it. Additionally my focus within this project has changed a bit. Whereas at the beginning it was all about 'going there and having some fun' and 'just wanting to have done it once in a life' I now am going there for the 'kill' - I want to win this!

I have seen the competition and I know that I can do it, or that I can get pretty close. If this lady is competing next year, then I want to give her a hard time - in the best possible way!

... and to get there I definitely will need these 11 month without any distractions.

So decided it is: I will swap the two events. I will do the competition first and then do the marathon next year. Life won't stop in it's tracks by next June and one will need a new focal point for 'after' anyway.

Since it is decided I feel relieved and free - hence the decision is a good one!

Just a quickie - Something 65...

Yippie, this morning I have seen a '5' coming after the '6' on my scale. It is 65.9 kg but still, it is showing. That makes a loss of 2.5 kg in two and a half month and given that I am aiming for a kilo loss per month that is bang on target.

Then I am going to have another photo shoot next week with a new photographer, weather permitting as it is an outdoor shoot, and I am just about to arrange for another one with ChrisW in three month time.

Weather is good, so I will be working a bit more on my tan, and training is fun and kicking in.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Shoulder Cable Fly, one arm - 2010

The 4th exercise is targeting the middle head of the shoulders as well.

Actually I think the official name is lateral lift. These names are really confusing and I never really know if it is lifting or flying that I do. However, I know how to execute the exercise so that it works for me!

This lateral lift comes in a two arm version as well, but that means that the cables have to cross in front of the body. That means that they either tend to tuck in the clothes when one is as upright as one would like to be for a good execution, or one has to bend forward a bit and then the movement feels awkward for me. So I rather invest twice the time and do the shoulders separately.

Again, the shoulders are kept down, there is no neck clenching.

Some more information on shoulder training you can find in the Incredible Ladies Sport section.

Shoulder Dumbbell Fly, seated - 2010

The 3rd shoulder exercise targets the middle head of the shoulders.

This exercise is usually executed while standing, I used to do it that way. Then a lot more weight can be used and it looks rather impressive, but it is all too tempting to use the momentum of the down movement to get the weight up again.

When I tried Oaks Gym - where all the big boys are training - I didn't find small enough weights and had to do the standing version. Result: Horrible muscle ache in the neck and none in the shoulders the next day. That means that with too much weight and using the momentum of the swinging weight there is no real focus on the target muscle. Additionally I am not keen to get a bigger neck than I already have, hence I am doing the not so impressive version which fully targets the middle head of the shoulder.

Additionally I would like to stress that in all shoulder exercises, the neck is actually never clenched, meaning that the shoulders are kept down even in the lift.

Some more information on shoulder training you can find in the Incredible Ladies Sport section.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Diary 19/06/10 - The new leg training...

... and it is a good one! After all the amendments I had made, today was the first time that I worked through the whole thing in the right order- or at least through what I thought the right order should be - and I could not run to my car despite rather heavy rain: That is what I call muscle exhaustion.

Squat, deadlift & Co
I had added deadlifts a while ago, but had put them at the end of the training, with the idea in mind that after the leg press, which was the main leg exercise and came first, I would be too exhausted to do deadlifts straight away. So doing all the other stuff inbetween would give the main muscle some rest before it gets involved in the next exercise. This allows it to survive longer and hence all the supportive muscles get the opportunity to be trained very well. Not a bad idea and it generally works for all exercises that involve muscle groups rather then isolated muscles, like bench press, deadlifts, squats.

Right now this theory has one flaw, though: My main muscle, the glutes, are weak. So my worry should not lie with the smaller supportive muscles but with the main one. And that means to kill it well and good!

So today I set out to do just that. Last week already I had decided to add squats to the program as well, as there is nothing better to build glutes than squats.

Squats as well as deadlifts are exercises which cannot be done to full exhaustion of the muscle, though; one needs to stay in control of the weight in order to not topple over or to get injured. The idea now was to do the exhausting and control demanding exercises at the beginning and use the machines to finish it off.

Thus squats came first... still only 30kg, but felt good and controlled... and then deadlifts. The efficiency of the squats showed instantly as I had to reduce the weight of the deadlifts from 80 to 70kg and if felt really, really heavy.

But good! That's what we want, we want those glutes to give in and not being able to move anymore. Given that, the weight of the deadlift doesn't matter as long as the target muscle is hit!

Next the leg press on my usual machine (cable). Had to reduce the weight by 1 1/2 plates and it was awfully heavy. That firstly shows that so far the leg press did a good job by hitting the right muscle, and that secondly it is a great tool to finish off what the squats and the deadlifts had started. I never felt wobblier on my legs when clambering from that thing.

After that all the other exercises followed: Leg extension were affacted and I needed to reduce weight; hamstring curl was amazingly good, pobably by then there was enough resting time between the deadlifts and those curls; then came calves and adductor and abductor muscles on the machine.

And now I am pretty happy that I can sit here and write, although I should be in the garden weeding... I just don't feel like bending over right now.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Just a quickie!

Just came back from a great chest/back session and feeling confident again! Needed that!

After all the video editing yesterday of last week's competition it slowly had trickled in what I have let myself into. I am too chunky for the fitness/toned competition already, but still far off the physique/trained competition. This woman is really good and ripped, she was in the competition at least twice and is experienced... Well, I know what I have to do, but still: This morning I woke up and felt rather nervous for no particular reason.

I have to start on the posing now. I don't want that dancy stuff, I have a melody in my mind and don't know what it is... and I can't sing, bummer!

So for now I am sorted. A good training did the trick. The week off did me good and I am definitely getting stronger. Did 50kg bench, 10 and 8 reps and it felt very controlled - good one! Saturday is legs - can't wait! Hope fat will go down soon. Haven't measured in two weeks due to too much of the wrong food for b-day treats. I am so happy that now routine is kicking in again. Spontaneity is overrated!

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Anglian Boydbuilding Championship 2010

Great Yarmouth, 6th June 2010

There we were, at the typically English seaside town of Great Yarmouth on a typical English day in June, on the Britannia Peer waiting for the show to start. The trip from Ipswich was something like an hours drive, the show starting at 4PM and entry at 3PM - so nothing to worry about for next year when I want to be here not to watch, but to compete!

The event is sponsored by ASN, a local supplier of all sorts of protein powders and supplements which one can't get around if doing this sport seriously.

Especially protein is important and there is not enough chicken, cottage cheese and beans around to compliment the need; the more that there are amino acids as building blocks of natural proteins which are not good for the body in big amounts, and these powders don't have those.

Since IL is supporting local business I can live with taking part in an event that is organised by somebody selling that stuff, and Bob Lockwood, the owner, is a really nice chap and working hard to pull off this event year after year which shows an amazing quality of muscle athletes.

located in Bury St. Edmunds

Well, and Bodybuilding is not a mainstream sport, this is how all the events are sponsored all over the world to make it happen at all.

So by 4PM there were

quite a few people in their chairs

A nice young gentleman, selling ASN products,
the white chocolate bars are really yummy!

A stage

and trophies and medals.

And those are the ones I am after next year!

Unfortunately I cannot cover the whole show, but there are pictures of the various competitions on the ASN website, like 'people who never competed before', 'young people,' 'over 50s' - very impressive results and great inspiration, 'over 40s' and the 'big boys' as I like to call them.

So here I will focus on a fun part during which the audience is asked to show off best upper body, and the ladies competitions of course.

Best Upper Body Contest

The 'Best Upper' was rather special because two little boys were competing with some really big boys, and as they didn't have a clue what to do they followed the lead of the muscle man.

Bob Lockwood moderating the competition

of course this gentleman didn't stand a chance against the two!

Comparison line-up!

Guess who...

... will win?

It's a tie - Bless!

The Procedures

There is a two minute posing show to be performed, then usually a relaxed pose from each side, then the compulsory poses are requested, and when there are many competitors they have to show those in smaller groups for better comparison - there was one bloke who had to go through it 4 times, he was close to fainting.

This didn't happen to the ladies as there was only very little competition.

The Ladies!

Now! I have to explain that there are two different types of ladies competition. The general terms are 'Fitness Category' and 'Physique Category'.

Fitness was called 'Toned Figure' and Physique was called 'Trained Figure'. I guess I won't have to explain the difference a lot, the movies are talking for themselves.

A lot of eye candy, but not what I am up against next year!

THIS is the challenge I am facing!

She won by default as there were no other competitors.

I must be mad!

Sunday 13 June 2010

Diary 13/06/10 - A week off

I took a week off and I think it did me some good. Too much was going on, with the trip to Great Yarmouth last Sunday, my photoshoot on Wednesday, B-day and resulting trip for shopping on Saturday... So I thought: Well, instead of training half heartedly, give yourself a rest with prospect of training even better the week after and really enjoying the stuff that was on this week.

Great Yarmouth was fantastic and I will cover it in a separate blog post, and the photo shoot was... Wow! One of the pix is 'picture of the week' on IL this week, and a few B&W experiments came out quite nicely. Well I posted them here, you probably would want to make up your own mind, let me know what you think!

Those photo shoots are just great to help seeing instantly what is already in place and where work still needs to be done.

Obviously there is still fat to be lost, but there is no point of going too far straight away when there is still a year to go. The back is not too bad, but it becomes obvious that the rear head of the shoulders still needs some development, and it wouldn't hurt to get some development on the middle head as well.

Arms are still a bit chubby, so a bit of mass to compensate for the volume when the fat goes would be nice as well.

I quite like the proportions, though. Volume wise I think I am not too far off, I just need to replace the soft stuff with the hard one.

Having said that: I am now very inspired to go back into the gym. One week of holiday is long enough, the more that those occasions go along with all sorts of the wrong food as well. All I want now is to fall back into my routine, and being able to enjoy the gym.

Great Yarmouth was a wonderful inspiration for the posing training, so off I go into the next phase!


Pictures by Babul Bhatt

Saturday 5 June 2010

Diary 05/06/10 - No way around squats

For starters: There are no measurements today! Reason being that nothing has changed, and things might even have gone depressingly worse. So I didn't even go on a scale.

Oh that darn second half!

This basically confirms parts of which I mentioned in the ‘It’s a female thing article’: Don’t be too hard on yourself in the second half of the cycle. Since I am eating below the calorie allowance for such a long time now, and observing myself like a lab rat, I can even see the subtle difference hormones make.

At a doctors check-up I was once asked whether or not I feel bloated during that time and I said ‘yes’. But to be honest: I felt bloated quite often back then, could have been caused by all sorts of things. Now my food is stripped down to the things I like and which I feel good with and I can instantly see the impact when something changes. The other day we had an old friend over from Germany, I had three days with proper meals at night including pizza and sweets and I felt like a blob - and I didn’t even go beyond my calorie allowance. It’s the salt and the sugar which are my enemies.

And now I can feel the changes in hormones more clearly than ever. I didn’t even know when I was due and all of a sudden I was much hungrier; not peckish, really really hungry. I could juuuust survive on my allowance and one day I had to go beyond. And it is carbos I am after, some egg or meat won't do, it has to be bread or pasta.

So what are the choices? I either don’t eat, am grumpy and perform badly in the gym, or I have my food and am fine. This week I opted for the latter. Additionally I can’t get myself to endurance training. It’s horrible! I find all sorts of excuses not to do it and if I eventually am on the rower I don't feel like sweating but 'breaking into sweat', which is a completely different matter and rather feels like hot flushing. The instant I am through with that crap I am fine again.

Hence no measurements this week and the decision not beat me up in the month to follow, but just to plan ahead and not to neglect the rowing during the first half.

It is amazing however, how well weight training goes. I had great workouts and the warm weather is supporting me wonderfully. I love weight training when it is hot.

Yesterday I have been laying carpet all day and couldn't make it to the gym, so I decided to do it all in one go this morning: Chest, back AND legs! And I did it! I even shot some videos of chest and back until the gym got too full, and then I concentrated on that silly buttocks of mine.

Picture is from 2007 as demonstration for IL site

In the Exercises file I already had mentioned that I might integrate squats again. Today I gave it a shot. I have a bit dodgy knees from heavy squats when I was younger and so I didn't do them in a long, long time. I however know that they are the best exercise ever to grow a nice round rear - what can I say: All those leg presses seem to have done some good. I already have some basic strength and 30kg felt rather good. It is a patheticly low weight, but it is a start. I however can already tell that they will do the trick, I found fibres I haven't used in a while and I am now looking forward to a nice muscle ache tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow: It is the day of this year's Anglian Bodybuilding Championship and we will go to Great Yarmouth. I am very excited about this and can't wait to get the vibe of the event. I am hoping to have some nice pix tomorrow and maybe even a movie!

Until then, keep it strong!

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Shoulder Barbell Press, seated - 2010

The 2nd shoulder exercise, targeting the same muscle as the first. Enjoy!

Some more information on shoulder training you can find in the Incredible Ladies Sport section.