Congratulations on competing in your contest, you are right, what you did is an amazing accomplishment and you have very right to be proud. Just from your pictures your waist looks fine compared to everything else, plus you have great overall leg development, even keeping most of the size in contest shape which can be a rarity. In terms of putting on more size I wouldnt be too worried about staying overly lean, eat plentiful but perhaps keep incorporating cardio 3 or 4 times a week moderate intensity for a half hour or so to help with conditioning but still being able to consume plenty of calories to gain more size. In regards to training your are right to go back to basics. I’m personally an advocate of high intesity workouts, less frequency but high intensity workouts.
20 plus weeks is a long time to be in contest prep, you mentioned that you hit a wall regarding getting leaner 10 weeks prior to your show, it could be that your body began losing muscle and retained a small bit of fat because of the long term calorie deficit which may have affected your overall conditiong onstage. Generally 12 weeks would suffice for contest prep also some high calorie days thrown in strategically during prep to keep you sane and perhaps prevent some muscle loss.
Again you have great potential and I look forward to seeing your progress.[/quote]
Hey Hitkiller, thanks for all the advice and kind words! After talking to most of the guys back stage, it seemed like most of them find their bodies less reluctant to give up the stubborn fat(glutes, hams, lower back and abdominals) when they stayed a little leaner throughout the year. Now when I say I am going to stay leaner, I am not talking crazy lean by any means, just leaner relative to where I was at the beginning of the prep.