T Nation

Joshua's Journey

Hey guys and gals. This is the new location I will continue with my journaling and documentations of my 20 week prep for my show on November 19th in Hermosa Beach, CA within the UNBA natural organziation as an MPD athlete.

My former post and pics, story etc…can be seen in the bodybuilding forum section under the heading “Just Under 14 Weeks Before 2 MPD Shows” (which is now just 1 by the way…)

One reiteration I will make now. I am working with a coach for this prep since 6 weeks out through show day and will continue for first 4 months of my offseason after the show. Peter Fitschen is my coach. Known the guy forever and so we go way back to grad school days. Trust him like no one else period!

I am 11 days out today. Weight today was 180.6. Posting pics tomorrow morning as my coach wants to see them as well.

Macros now: (and past 2 weeks)


6x weekly cardio at 40 minutes LISS
Lifting ~5x a week using 2 on 1 off repeating rotation… this coming Saturday is my last hard formal lifting session as agreed on with my coach.

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Today’s outcomes: 11 days out…

10am: 40 minutes outdoor flat power walk on shore front in the san diego sun…needed this so bad! clear my head some!

545pm: legs!

mobility work, hip series, warm up series…

leg extensions/prone leg curls: 3x15 each, warm ups

inner/outer thigh machine: 2x15, warm ups

deep, narrow smith squats: 3x15 w/ slow eccentrics

45 degree leg press ss w/ seated calves: 4x15 and 4x10

horizontal single leg press ss w/ calf press machine: 3x13 and 3x10

seated leg curls ss w/ leg extensions: 3x15 each

walking bw lunges: 2x20 steps w/ hands behind head

foam roll, band stretch…done!!

peak week is here at last! the final 7 days baby!

today is my final formal hard training day with cardio (45 mins) done this AM and back session yet to come tonight. tomorrow is just 45 minutes cardio and thats all. monday my coach has me starting a BIG frontload based carb up that tapers down over the week pending my look from pics i send him and my weight. this AM I was 178.6 and feel/look flat as ever. not having done my refeed yesterday as normal i am super flat of course. coach wants me more on the flat side to better respond to the front load coming monday so we dropped it out yesterday.

pics from this AM right out of bed…

6 days out from show day. new prep all time low this am. 174.2 pounds. carb up front load starts today baby!

pics from this am.

Today’s update…4 days out!

173lbs this am after 1 day of carbing up…dropped 1.4lbs!

Pics from this AM.

Did 325g carb yesterday, today was 260g. Based on my weight and pics in the AM tomorrow, my coach will adjust tomorrows intake as needed. LOVING the carbs regardless after going 8 days straight at 90g and 1600kcals overall! Talk about zombie mode!!

The one good thing about getting super lean like this is that you get to see how much muscle mass you REALLY have on your frame without fat to alter or cloud the look of how someone carries their size be it fat or muscle or both.

Seeing these in the final week here makes me realize how crucial and nessesary more size is for me in my entire upper body from the lats on up. Legs look pretty good actually I may say myself but hot damn batman! My arms, chest and shoulders all need size, thickness and mass in a bad way! More so because I am built narrow, tall, lanky and naturally thinner. Gonna be one very intense offseason of me in the kitchen and under the bar and away from the cardio as much as possible that is for sure!!

Coach gave me the go ahead to keep carbs higher yet today at 260g! Happy as hell to get that news let me tell ya! Was 172.8lbs this am so just hair lower than yesterday yet.

Just got chest, tris and shoulders pump workout later on today. Already did my 30 mins LISS this AM. 3 days out baby! So close!!

172.0 this AM…still dropping a hair each day even with carbs around 260-320 range past 3 days. Coach put me up to 300 agian today and I loving it! Head off to Hermosa Beach, CA tomorrow at 12 noon after doing BluePrint For Athletes Blood testing profile for hormones and recovery status at Quest in town. Doing a little self study to see how the same labs looked 8 weeks ago, 1 day pre show and agin 8 weeks post show. Want to see what physio like effects I have from the ringer that is contest prep.

pics this am out of bed.

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175lbs this am…pics below…heading up to Hermoa Beach at noon to get this baby on the role! Show weekend is finally here!! Coach keeping me 300g carbs today as past 2 days were. Loving it! More rice cakes and honey baby!

Morning of the big day baby! Sitting at 175lbs even. This after 2 days at 300g carbs, 270 day before and 325 day before that.

Coach has me doing small meals every 2.5 hours of 30 carb and 20 protein as I move through the day. Water is normal, salt is normal. These taken literally right out of bed pre food, drink, pump etc. Just got my 2nd coat of tan done and much darker now!

Gonna send pics to coach in a couple hours, do a mini pump/pose session in my room, eat a meal and scoot out about 1145 to make the venue check-in time of 1215. The show starts at 1pm and right through into finals.

For now its me and my Wisconsin Badgers kicking some Purdue ass to keep my mind calm before heading out to do work this evening! So excited I stuck this out all 20 weeks to the very end! Let the cards fall as they will now. I know I did all I could to be ready for today since prep started 20 weeks ago!

Nice work man, good luck! Looking forward to hearing out it went!

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OK so lets keep this short and to the point. Got a plane to catch this afternoon to begin a much awaited and needed week of leave time back home in Wisconsin with family and friends and food!

This weekend was awesome! Draining but awesome and memorable. Culminating weekend of a 20 week prep always is! Please see the video link below to see how the contest panned out.

(28 minutes)

Yesterday I had a 3 hour photoshoot which I will say right now was harder then the show was by far! I was freaking exhausted after that shoot! Outdoor and indoor scenes and 4 outfits with 1000’s of shots taken in color and black and white. It was fun as hell and I know the outcome of the pictures will be awesome as my guy does good work with fitness based shoots.

I finally got to have my first non diet meal last night post shoot with a close friend as well. We went to a local farm to table joint and OMG was that amazing! Coming off 6 weeks of no dining out AT ALL and being at 1600 calories prior to peak week each day…I am biased but I think that was one of the top 3 meals I have ever had in my life!

Coach and I already have my reverse diet in place to start today and my offseason training plan set to begin tomorrow for block 1 which is 6 weeks using a progressive DUP based system of training by adding size and strength over time. I will add more details later.

Later gang!

Back in the game of offseason gains!

Day 1, week 1, block 1, 6 weeks. Weight today: 176.0

10 minutes

CARDIO (5x a week 30 mins LISS for now, likely to drop quick)
15 minutes bike pre and post lift

Bench 3x10 @65% (150lbs)

Rowing Movement - seated cable cg rows, 3x20-15-10
Pulldown/Vertical Pull - cg lat pulls, 3x20-15-10
Chest Fly/Crossover - DB flat fly, 3x20-15-10
Side Delts - machine laterals, 3x20
Arms- bb curl/skull crusher s.s. 3x20-15-10 each

Front and side plank iso holds 3x30 seconds each in series

New macros as of yesterday: (adjusted weekly as weight moves up or down)
225p, 175c, 50f (6 days)
200p, 300c, 50f (7th day)

Day 2, week 1, block 1, 6 weeks. Weight today: 176.0

Weight: 176

10 minutes

15 minutes incline walk pre/ 15 minutes bike post

Squat 3x10 @65% (210lbs)
Deadlift 3x3 @75% (295lbs)

Angled Leg Press: 3x20-15-15
Leg Extension/Hamstring Curl ss. 3x20-15-10 each
Seated Calf Raise 2x12
Standing BW Calf Raise: 2x25

Ab Wheel Roll Outs: 3x12

Yesterdays meal 2/5 on the day, caught a picture before inhaling it…Hyvee salad bar single trip for $6 = winner!

Day 3, week 1, block 1, 6 weeks.

AM Weight: 174

5 minutes incline walk pre/ 5 minutes bike post

10 minutes

Seated OHP: 3x8 @ 70% (95)

BW pull ups: 3x15
Inverted ring rows: 3x15
Standing DB Laterals: 4x15 w/ 20’s

Arms Direct Work
ss combo 1 2x15 each DB curls w/ db tate press
ss combo 2 2x12 each Cable tricep press down (straight bar) w/ DB hammer curls
ss combo 3 2x10 each Single arm OH cable tricep extensions w/ low cable single arm concentration curls

Seated ab crunch machine

Professional shots taken from stage are in at last! Slideshow of images found here:


Day 6, week 1, block 1, 6 weeks.

AM Weight: 174

30 minutes: 50/50 incline walk and upright bike

10 minutes

Bench 5x3 @75% (150lbs)

DB Chest Press 3x12-10-10 @ 50’s
Prone Bench DB Rows 3x15 @ 50’s
Close Grip Pronated Band Pull Ups 3x12
Rear Band Flys: 3x20
S.S. of D-Handle two arm low bicep curls w/ tricep press downs 4x15-12-10-8 each

swiss ball crunch 2x15
hanging knee raises 2x15

I normally don’t wander to logs pertaining to aesthetics but my god you are lean as fuck and putting in some great work!

I got down to about 5.5% based off a prediction from a 10 site skinfold assessment i got done 1 week pre show day. i can say now that is not a healthy sustainable body comp for me to be at long. i started at 13% via the same test from the same technician so i am pretty confident i can use the two measure to gauge the changes i made in the past as well as those i make going forward this offseason.

getting lean has never been super hard for me. its a struggle sure, like anyone else but how long i need to drag that out is typically shorter.

gaining size and keeping it over time is the hardest part of the game for me due to a variety of reasons from genes mostly but also my job is a big factor.

thanks for taking a look at my log. please keep doing so and make comments, ask questions, offer opinions…the whole point in keeping it here is to help others, provide insight and learn.plus it keeps me accountable to myself knowing that others with respect and knowledge in the sport are watching me from time to time!

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got my latest labs in from quest via the blueprint for athletes testing services i use.

mid july first month of prep and then 1 day before show day were blood draws. amazing to see how much the body changes during a 20 week prep on the inside as well with these lab insights!



Day 7, week 1, block 1. Weight today: 175.5


CARDIO: 5 min pre and post bike

10 minutes

Squat 5x3 @75% (245lbs)

BB Good Mornings: 3x10 @ 135
Leg Extension: 3x12
Hamstring Curl: 3x12
Seated Calf Raise: 3x15