I've been thinking about competing in bodybuilding and/or physique (I think my legs say bodybuilding) so I was looking around for competitions that would be fairly close to me. I found two NANBF competitions that are pretty close to me in May 2016, the Natural Iowa in Des Moines May 14 and the Heartland Classic in Omaha May 21.
That gives me about 32 weeks from now until the shows. I'm looking for some opinions on a few things. First off, do you think it's possible for me to get to the point that I'd be competitive? I'm assuming the Des Moines show will be a lot smaller than the Omaha one so that might be a good entry point (first time competing) for me to get my feet wet. At the same time, I'd like to shoot for being a big presence in Omaha if possible.
I've got some pictures attached here to give you an idea of where I'm at. All these are cold, just after waking up. Sorry for the terrible lighting and distance from the camera. If you want to see anything else, let me know and I can snap a (better) picture or two to give you a better idea. My thoughts: I think my chest is small to non-existent so I need to work on that. Really my entire upper body is lacking compared to my legs I think so that's going to be a big focus. Thoughts?
Where I'm at: I'm a 20-year-old college student, which gives me some advantages. My recovery ability is probably better than it ever will be now so I'm always going into the gym fresh and ready to kill it, plus I've got the whole youthful hormone advantage. Hopefully this will help me make good progress in this upcoming almost 2/3 of a year.
Food and supplementation are totally under my control and mental fortitude is good so I expect I can progress well. I've been doing a slow recomp, eating about maintenance 2,500 calories per day. With my class schedule it's been convenient to do small protein pulses throughout the day with whey, casein, or a blend, then have Plazma pre- and intra-workout and then the rest of my carbs (and calories) for the day in the next few hours post-workout. I've just started using Indigo so that should help out too. I've been leaning out and gaining strength on all my lifts so it's going well. I'm just starting the last week of Christan Thibaudeau's Athlete Lean, Athlete Strong and I was doing a Waterbury-inspired 10x3 before that. My weight hasn't changed much since I started the recomp process. Right now I'm sitting at 200 pounds at 6 feet.
Secondly, assuming I can be competitive at the show, what do you think my best plan of attack is to get there? Recommended training methods/programs? How long would you block out (and this obviously may change depending on progress) for dieting down for the competition? I would imagine a coach would be exceptionally helpful. At what point would you look into hiring somebody?
My last question is about the NANBF. I'm not really familiar with any of the organizations. How reputable and how 'clean' is the NANBF? Is it a good organization to go with or would you recommend others?
Thanks a lot. Best,