Okay, so in keeping with what seems to be an annual thing here, I will be detailing my contest preparations for this year in this thread. I will describe any changes I make to my training, my diet, and even my posing, and try to provide the rationale for everything. It's very important to stress that I DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I MAKE MISTAKES. Yes, I have had very good fortune that after years of training, starting to compete just a few days before my 36th Birthday (waaay back in 2009), I have been what many would consider 'successful' in the shows that I have entered. This will not always be the case, but the goal is not to see how many competitors you can beat, but to see if you can make improvements with each successive outing.
I always try to answer any questions people have about what I'm doing, and as always, differing opinions are welcome (I know that I'm not the only guy on here to don a pair of posing briefs! -lol)
After my Spring 2010 contests, I was dealing with several injuries that I honestly believe hindered progress that I could have made during the rest of the year. Initially, my plan was to compete in an April contest, but decided that taking a few extra weeks, and picking a show in late May would enable me to really focus, albeit for a short duration, on remedying a bit of atrophy that set in on my left triceps (left elbow/forearm issues). The other physical 'issues' include my lower back, still from a pretty severe injury sustained in a strongman contest in 2007 (couldn't squat or leg press for a while, reason why I'm so concerned about my legs lagging behind my upper body). As well as some odd twinges in my rear left shoulder (supraspinatis?) that popped up towards the end of the summer, and definitely limited my rear delt work (as well as a few triceps exercises).
The plan at this moment (AT THIS MOMENT!) includes two shows for the Spring, and possibly one in the Fall (very up in the air though). Unlike last year, the two shows have much more time between them, and I am also starting in much better condition. Although my overall 'size' is arguable, my plan was to compete in a different federation this year, and knowing how important conditioning is to the judges I've seen at a few of their shows, made a very concerted effort to keep my weight under 200 lbs. Last Spring, I started my diet at 208 lbs, and in 16 weeks came down to about 173 lbs onstage. This morning, I weighed in at 197 lbs, and while my legs will always be an issue for me, there are most definitely looking a hell of a lot tighter than they were even a month into the diet last year.
Added to my usual pre-concerns, are work related issues that will have me working 2 hours later each day than I have been used to, a couple of training clients that I am going to do my absolute best to stay with on a weekly basis, as well as a decent number of people who work with me online in a coaching or contest prep manner, which certainly eats up time as I keep pretty detailed files on each of them. Somewhere in there, I will tend to my dog (who I plan to get a kitten to keep her company sometime this Spring), my neighbor's dog (who I care for quite a bit as she works 10 hour shifts as a Nurse, and spend as much time with my girlfriend as I can (really hoping to get her a ring if I can in the near future).
For now, the closest target is the Mr. America contest, which is owned, and being promoted by Bob Bonham, who has decided to run it through the INBF this year. I'm sure a hell of a lot of 'monsters' will come out of the woodwork, so I've definitely got my work cut out for me. I know I'm not the best bodybuilder out there. Yes, I was the 'best' guy onstage at a few shows, but you never know who will show up. Know this though, I intend, as always to bust my ass, and leave nothing to chance. Win, lose, or draw, I will walk off that stage with my head held high knowing I brought my best.