T Nation

First Time Stepping on Stage Soon

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for taking a peek. My name’s John Bosse and I plan to do most of this journal through video logs. As you may or may not know I am one of the videographers for the podcast Inside Natural Bodybuilding with Mike Neumann. I’ve been around the sport for a long time, but have never actually competed. Here goes nothin! I’m admittedly late to start doing this. I started a verrrrrryyyy slow prep back in Sep 2012 with the goal of doing my first shows this fall. It’s OK I think the most meaningful stuff will happen from here forward.

Here’s a vid clip introducing my idea to start documenting from here to finish and why I waited this long. I will paste in more vlogs that I just started doing eventually. I am a little unorthodox in my approaches so I think that’s a good way to hash out some of the mistakes I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned.

My profile pic is from when I first started prep in Sept 2012. I’ll first post general stuff about how I train and eat and then get into the recaps that bring me up to where I sit currently - about 40 lbs lighter.

Basically doing this for accountability to see this through thanks for any support in advance. I have a MS in Sports Dietetics, am a Registered Dietitian, BS Exercise Science, NSCA-CPT. Hoping I can also bring a little insight as well as proof that despite an academic background in ESS and nutrition I have been humbled by prep in seeing all the weird things that happen that we can’t fully explain and I wouldn’t pretend to.

John

[quote]setprsnow wrote:

… as well as proof that despite an academic background in ESS and nutrition I have been humbled by prep in seeing all the weird things that happen that we can’t fully explain and I wouldn’t pretend to.

[/quote]

Yeah, I’m glad you have that attitude about things. As a guy with a formal academic background (MS in biochemistry) and years of training and a little coaching under me, it frustrates me to no end when some guys with academic backgrounds either a) never step up their game and pretend they can explain things that i KNOW they’ve not a fucking clue about because they’re fat and slow or completely new and never coached someone before or b) pretend that there’s only 1 way and they know it is the ‘best’…cuz if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that there is no ONE single way. I have ways I like, am experienced with, and know work. And I have ways I don’t like for most occasions but know work, and others I’m not an expert at so won’t try to use overmuch. Basically, one big grayscale picture, not black and white.

I’m glad you’re not one of those types of people and you’re putting yourself up to the next step–I once heard a very very smart man say that training is “half art and half science, you can’t get good results without being part artist…but you can definitely hurt somebody not being a scientist”. In other words, biology and nutrition isn’t a godlike trump card because of exactly what you mentioned…but if you don’t know about those things you can seriously hurt somebody, so you should be open to both science and–for lack of a better word–“bro” knowledge. At least within reason. Always respect that that there’s stuff that works and we don’t know why or can’t prove why, and there’s stuff that SHOULD work but just doesn’t. At least that’s been my experience.

Anyway, you seem like a cool cat so I’ll be following along.

Lets do this.

Aragron is right. I am a huge supporter of academia and also try to walk the talk. Sometimes there is a rift between the lab and the weightroom.

Best of luck!

thanks for checking in guys. i will start by explaining my training and dieting philosophy in coming posts, but just a quick general note. so kcals in equals kcals out right? lol for literally 5 weeks now my weight has yo yoed in a highly predictable fashion whereby the mornings after my higher intake days i am always my lightest and the mornings after my lowest intake super sluggish sloth days my weight always creeps up a good 2 lbs. exact patterns for weeks - when i get doing monthly recaps up till this point logged, you’ll see for the present past 5 weeks. unreal. yeesh if only they’d taught me this stuff in school :).

My Resistance Training - here’s an example split
Leg Training - no less than 2 days between workouts - no more than 7 days between workouts - typical is 3-5 day between sessions

Upper Body split into: 1) Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio : 2) Back/Shoulders/Tris - both of these days have “pushing” and “pulling” in them - there’s always either 2 or 3 days between each day. So it might be like Monday is upper workout 2) Friday is Upper workout 1) and then from there just those continued with 2 or 3 days always falling between each one. Usually there’s 3 days after an upper 1) since I feel I need that extra rest day from pressing before doing the more auxillary type pressing work (shoulders and tris) in upper 2). Then typically 2 days after upper 2) before hitting upper 1) again. I personally like this approacjh rather than all push stuff together or all push stuff together so I can hit each separate bodypart as heavy as possible rather than say be prefatigued from chest pressing for shoulder pressing, etc. Just my take.

Other Training: once a week a day that’s cardio, core stability (weighted planks of various kinds), traps, forearm extensors, a little extra outer hip work

So a typical couple weeks might look like this (as mentioned above there’s always autoregulation on when workouts are in):
Mon: Lower
Tue: Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio
Wed: Off
Thu: Other Training
Fri: Off
Sat: Back/Shoulders/Tris
Sun: Lower
Mon: Off
Tue: Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio
Wed: Other Training
Thu: Off
Fri: Lower
Sat: Back/Shoulders/Tris
Sun: Off

So I train 4 to 5 days per week and the exact days vary depending upon mostly how I feel training wise, but also life.

The Actual Workouts

I used a hybrid of a variety of styles. As you could see above there are basically 4 different training days I have:
Lower
Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio
Other Training
Back/Shoulders/Tris

For each of those 4 training days I then have 4-6 workouts that I will cycle through in repetitive fashion.

Using lower as an example it might be:
Lower 1: 5-8 rep range back squat centered workout
Lower 2: 8-12 rep range leg press centered workout
Lower 3: 6-8 rep range RDL and volume leg extension/quad work
Lower 4: 7-10 rep range volume leg press and smith squat centered workout
Lower 5: 1-4 rep range heavy trap bar centered workout
Repeat

Lower I’ve generally had 5 or 6 different versions to cycle through, upper I’ve generally had only 4. But again just in general this is my style and it varies within those ranges.

[quote]setprsnow wrote:
thanks for checking in guys. i will start by explaining my training and dieting philosophy in coming posts, but just a quick general note. so kcals in equals kcals out right? lol for literally 5 weeks now my weight has yo yoed in a highly predictable fashion whereby the mornings after my higher intake days i am always my lightest and the mornings after my lowest intake super sluggish sloth days my weight always creeps up a good 2 lbs. exact patterns for weeks - when i get doing monthly recaps up till this point logged, you’ll see for the present past 5 weeks. unreal. yeesh if only they’d taught me this stuff in school :).[/quote]

lol, yep! And people always start off thinking I’m crazy for being so detailed in my note taking for clients, but after a few weeks, you can predict patterns with a decent amount of certainty. Definitely not the kind of stuff you find in basic nutrition or training texts :slight_smile:

S

More on my training style and why based on my science background I’m a big believer in particular methods of eccentric training:

For the longest time I trained one style - very heavy, intense, and low volume reminiscent of Max OT training where it was all 5-10 rep work and limited sets always to failure. While this is still how I train most of the time and the style I personally enjoy most I have def found need to mix it up over the years as you can see by the above. Within those multiple versions of a workout some days are just a couple sets per exercise whereas on more of a volume day it might go as high as 6-10 sets per exercise, especially lower stuff.

So previously my “periodization” was accomplished via exercise rotation only. Now it’s a whole mix of exercise rotation and undulation of volume and rep schemes.

Negatives

Explore the scientific literature and you’re bound to run across some data on eccentric training. It just seems to keep coming up that there’s something special about eccentric training. I have been a big believer in this and work in strategic eccentric training quite a bit. Here are some common examples:

Chest: at my heaviest off-season weight I might decline smith bench 445 6 times. I’d do that and whatever else I was doing then come back to decline smith negatives at the end for 3-4 controlled negatives with full spotter assistance on the concentric. Do even though at this point I’d be fried and totally unable to do 445 concentrically more than maybe once or twice, I can get say 495 for 3-4 if I am just doing the negative.
Back: will end workouts with negative pullups. I prefer parallel handles just for shoulder safety IMO. load up the dip belt, stand on something to get you to the top position. then let go and fight the descent. same thing where at the end of back I can handle something nuts like over 200 lbs on the dip belt when I could never do anywhere close to that concentric at that point or even fresh
Bis: one arm DB preacher curl negatives. fight the weight down - use the free hand to assist up, repeat. at the end of bis I can handle very good weight, again just for the negatives. be really careful with these, could see it as an easy opportunity to tear a bi if not careful
Tris: one-arm cable triceps pressdowns - rip the weight down with two hands, fight it back up on one, etc.
Hams: curl up the weight of a leg curl machine on two legs and then fight it down on 1. for example if I could do 200 lbs for 8 reps with both legs I might choose a weight like 135 lbs for this. goes up easy on 2 legs, but then is a bi**h to lower on one - which is the point

I think you all get the idea - get creative and there’s pretty much a way to get good negatives going for any body part here. The whole difference if you’re taking advantage of the fact you can do heavier weight eccentrically. I always see people just doing a weight they can do up and down and doing negatives with them, but doing them super slow. i’d really recommend using a weight more than you can handle for positives for maximal effect. there’s even research studies showing faster negatives do more for hypertrophy than slow so the super slow negatives practice you see all the time might be untrue.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]setprsnow wrote:
thanks for checking in guys. i will start by explaining my training and dieting philosophy in coming posts, but just a quick general note. so kcals in equals kcals out right? lol for literally 5 weeks now my weight has yo yoed in a highly predictable fashion whereby the mornings after my higher intake days i am always my lightest and the mornings after my lowest intake super sluggish sloth days my weight always creeps up a good 2 lbs. exact patterns for weeks - when i get doing monthly recaps up till this point logged, you’ll see for the present past 5 weeks. unreal. yeesh if only they’d taught me this stuff in school :).[/quote]

lol, yep! And people always start off thinking I’m crazy for being so detailed in my note taking for clients, but after a few weeks, you can predict patterns with a decent amount of certainty. Definitely not the kind of stuff you find in basic nutrition or training texts :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

i know it’s crazy there’s always some fluke things where someone could say oh come on calories in and out is a science you must’ve just had a fluke weigh in. but when a pattern repeats itself for 5 weeks uncanny with all other variables the same and consistency…ya, something contrary to academic belief is def going on

Eating!

I eat a lot. I use largely a servings approach - call me a Dietitian. In the off-season a serving of cereal around 100 kcals is a serving of oatmeal around 100 kcals is a serving of brown rice is a slice of whole wheat bread. Etc. you get the idea. So then my daily targets are something along the lines of say _____ servings of each food group. I’ve done this approach most of prep.

I do measure things with measuring cups, particularly when prepping food in advance, but also eyeball when eating out, etc. I have not used a food scale all prep until say the last 8 weeks or so. This is because I am so darn busy that I usually eat almost the same thing so I’m very seasoned at eyeballing. Now as I’ve been mixing and matching more foods and trying to get more volume (to feel full) out of each meal I’ve leaned on the scale to keep me in check and since the numbers game is more critical now. Still though - for me personally I am not a huge macros guy. Only because for me personally I feel it gives too much freedom in where those macros come from. All food measuring and weighing is estimation anyways.

A label says 100 kcals, but reality is it could be 95 or 103 - I’ve just never seen to the need to get picky down to the macronutrient when it’s a very close estimate. For me, again for me, not hating on anyone’s methods, I prefer to say while 100 kcals from honey bunches of oats may have a different macro profile than 100 kcals from honey nut cheerios, in general it’s very similar. So for prep my diet has transitioned to more of something like this:

___________ kcals from lean proteins
___________ kcals from “carb” foods
___________ kcals from fruit
___________ kcals from veggies, etc.

and I transfer that into macro notation when checking in with others since I know most people work on that system. when people have the arguments of oh come on how can you have a pop tart for the same carbs as equivalent carbs from an apple I personally see that as an issue with the macros approach. they’re probably not quite the same in terms of effect on the body as carbs, yet since it’s close enough we say close enough. that’s ok. just to me i’d rather have my kcal targets for each food group or type so I know i’m on a pretty similar keel on terms of what i’m throwing at my body each day while still having a lot of flexibility. so that’s how I do it. kind of a hybrid approach.

Fat Starting Pics Late Sept 2012 When I Decided I wanted to Compete Fall 2013

[quote]setprsnow wrote:
Fat Starting Pics Late Sept 2012 When I Decided I wanted to Compete Fall 2013
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[quote]setprsnow wrote:

[quote]setprsnow wrote:
Fat Starting Pics Late Sept 2012 When I Decided I wanted to Compete Fall 2013
[/quote]
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[quote]setprsnow wrote:

[quote]setprsnow wrote:

[quote]setprsnow wrote:
Fat Starting Pics Late Sept 2012 When I Decided I wanted to Compete Fall 2013
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[/quote]
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zero posing practice ever at that point. bear with me lol

This explains how I undulate my food intake and where I started from. High off season macros, but also a relative fatty when starting, lol
Eating to Fuel Training

So for each of my above training scenarios I have a certain intake I consume for that kind of day. So starting prep my numbers by converting my servings approach to macros per Sept 1, 2012 were:
Lower
Fat 68, Pro 483, Carb 681
Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio
Fat 68, Pro 483, Carb 681
Other Training Day
Fat 67, Pro 480, Carb 654
Back/Shoulders/Tris
Fat 66, Pro 478, Carb 638
Off Day
Fat 111, Pro 354, Carb 456

Before I get the high protein police…that’s not a bro intake I started overnight. that was gradually worked up over a longgggggg period of time. and includes phases where I added equivalent additional kcals from carbs instead only to get substantially fatter than when those added kcals were from protein. so despite going a little against the grain, that’s how I arrived at such a high protein intake. additionally, would were really want more carbs with them this high already? just saying. and yes of course I know I got too fat prior to this prep. again, just for this level of bodyfat I found through careful experimentation that I could eat more protein than carbs even if it meant going quite high. was just looking for a way to add kcals and keep pushing my metabolism.

Also on another note my “set of eyes” is Cliff Wilson of Team Wilson. I send Cliff updates and get feedback, but am largely running my own prep. Cliff will be dialing me in during the final stages via his protocols.

Here’s a recap of my morning weights the first three months
Sept, Oct, Nov I was bad at remembering to log my weights at the beginning

238.8 1-Sep
236.8 9-Sep
238 10-Sep
239.4 16-Sep
240.2 26-Nov
243.4 27-Nov
239.4 28-Nov
240.2 29-Nov
238.2 30-Nov

December 2012

Also did not document well, but here’s the weigh ins I did record
237.2 1-Dec
239.2 2-Dec
239.8 3-Dec
4-Dec
239 5-Dec
237 6-Dec
237.8 7-Dec
235.8 8-Dec
236.4 9-Dec

Macros Update as of Dec 15 this was where I was at. At this point was mainly just leveraging my off days. Making most of the kcal cuts on those days:
Lower
Fat 76, Pro 466, Carb 621
Chest/Bis/Forearms/Rotator Cuff and a Little Cardio
Fat 76, Pro 466, Carb 621
Other Training Day
Fat 77, Pro 462, Carb 594
Back/Shoulders/Tris
Fat 74, Pro 461, Carb 578
Off Day
Fat 117, Pro 398, Carb 337

Pics

You didn’t miss much I either didn’t take them or they showed little change - again learning the hard way that my tiny nitpicky cuts mostly on off days was not really enough to move the needle

Jan 2013

Weigh Ins - finally starting to move things
1-Jan
231.8 2-Jan
234.6 3-Jan
235.8 4-Jan
234.2 5-Jan
233.6 6-Jan
233.2 7-Jan
8-Jan
9-Jan
233.4 10-Jan
233.8 11-Jan
232.4 12-Jan
231.8 13-Jan
233 14-Jan
233 15-Jan
232.2 16-Jan
231.4 17-Jan
231.8 18-Jan
231.8 19-Jan
232.6 20-Jan
232.6 21-Jan
230.8 22-Jan
230.8 23-Jan
229.2 24-Jan
230 25-Jan
231.2 26-Jan
229.8 27-Jan
230 28-Jan
230.8 29-Jan
230.4 30-Jan
228.8 31-Jan

Macros

Did not document well throughout in a manner that provides much useful info to anyone other than me who can translate the mess

Cardio

Began implementing one 2 minute elliptical break daily at work LOL. taking microprogression to an extreme

Feb 2013

Weigh-Ins
228.6 1-Feb
228.2 2-Feb
227.8 3-Feb
228.2 4-Feb
229 5-Feb
228.6 6-Feb
229.2 7-Feb
229.4 8-Feb
230.6 9-Feb
228.2 10-Feb
228.8 11-Feb
229 12-Feb
228.4 13-Feb
229.6 14-Feb
229.8 15-Feb
228.2 16-Feb
227.4 17-Feb
228.6 18-Feb
227.4 19-Feb
227.2 20-Feb
229.2 21-Feb
227 22-Feb
227.4 23-Feb
225.8 24-Feb
226.4 25-Feb
226.2 26-Feb
226 27-Feb
225.4 28-Feb

Macros - again my bad, but nothing notable to report in normal language that’s useful just gradual carb cuts of say 10 g as I saw fit, but really not that much

Cardio
Upped my daily 2 minute break to 3 mins. Yes ridiculous I know lol.


March 2013

Weigh-Ins
225.6 1-Mar
225.2 2-Mar
224.4 3-Mar
225.2 4-Mar
227.4 5-Mar
224.6 6-Mar
224 7-Mar
223.6 8-Mar
223.2 9-Mar
225 10-Mar
227.2 11-Mar
225.8 12-Mar
224.2 13-Mar
222.2 14-Mar
224.2 15-Mar
222.8 16-Mar
222.8 17-Mar
222 18-Mar
222.4 19-Mar
221.6 20-Mar
221.4 21-Mar
220.4 22-Mar
219.8 23-Mar
220.6 24-Mar
222.6 25-Mar
222.2 26-Mar
221.8 27-Mar
221 28-Mar
221.2 29-Mar
220.8 30-Mar
220.2 31-Mar

Macros
Again sorry for being so useless in this department. Nothing organized to report besides that I tended to start to make cuts from protein during this period to save carbs

Cardio
At this point was up to three 2m30s elliptical breaks daily moderate intensity

I explain my philosophy on the mini cardio breaks here - a little weird of a strategy, but sure makes cardio manageable:
[youtube]AWWlmbp5PX0[/youtube]

Attached are pics from March 17 2013

more march 17 pics