T Nation

UC123's 1st Show Prep Log


#1


Decided to start a log thanks in part to pwolves17. This will be my first show, entering Men's physique obviously. NANBF (natural show) I'm currently 7 weeks out.

Stats:
6'2"
222 lbs.
11-12% bodyfat.

I'm trying to get down to 7% and it's been going slow. Normally that wouldn't bother me because I understand slow steady progress is still progress, but I am feeling the pressure of the time constraint here. I have good days and bad days. Today started off well, but the last couple days had me down on myself. There are definitely points where I feel like throwing in the towel- not because it's too hard, but again just because I'm not sure if I have enough time to lean out and get to a low enough bf%. I will be doing the contest with my gf (bikini) and I guess now we're going to do mixed pairs as well, so that's a lot of motivation right there that I really needed.

I've been doing roughly 5 low(er) carb days a week, one moderate carb day, and one 'refeed' day. I always try to come in around 50g/carbs on the low days, but that has yet to happen- it typically ends up being around 65-70g. The moderate days are around 120 and the last 'refeed' day I had was 500g. I really over did it on that day thinking pizza and breadsticks would be an acceptable choice, but after three days of bloating and looking like shit now I know better and that's not going to happen again. My refeed days will consist of much, much cleaner carbs.

I still kinda feel/definitely look bloated by the end of the day. I've not been able to definitively determine why this is. I don't know if it's a mild food alergy, an aversion to gluten, something in the protein supp. I have a very minimalistic diet, but aside from almonds and peanut butter I can't think of what would cause the bloating. I don't think it's the chicken or egg whites, lol.

If anyone sees anything in the pics that need to be addressed or has any pointers that'd be great. I'm willing to listen. I know my arms are ridiculously long and work against me so as of now I'm thinking I need both my bis and tris to grow to match my back/chest. I'm also concerned about the roundness of my shoulders- you can't see it in the pics very well but they're not perfectly rounded at the top- they're like indented. I think this is due in part to overactive traps.

Anyway, I'll post pics and things as they happen.


#2

Another pic:


#3

If you aren’t moving fast enough then you need to make a change…I would suggest reducing your carbs further or cutting the cheat day. In my experience I can’t get away with a cheat day every week and burn fat quickly.

My advice would be actually stick to your 50g carbs a day and have 1 cheat MEAL a week rather than a cheat day. I would offer a disclaimer and say I have never got down to contest fat levels though…so other people may tell me I’m completely wrong!


#4

Good stuff to do a contest. Nothing puts all the little puzzle pieces into perspective like prepping for a show and truly seeing what you’ve got.

Good days and bad days? Yep, part of the process
Feeling good but worried about time left? Part of the process

Cheat DAYS of about 10x the amount of carbs you’re eating on most other days? Well obviously people will have differences of opinions and approaches, but I’m the type who likes to know exactly what he’s doing, and do just enough to get the result you need. ie. If you can get the hormonal and psychological bump from 300g of carbs (which is plenty if your average day is ~50 and one moderate day of 120), then 500 will simply create a situation where you have not only spilled over your glyocgen storage (into fat), but also have most likely added so much sodium and water that you’re feeling bloated as hell. Mentally that’s not going to help you. If done correctly, most people look bigger, and even tighter following a higher carb day of a cyclical or refeed based diet.

If the photos you’ve put up are a good indicator of your current condition, I think time shouldn’t be a concern. Of course I also think that you need a much better handling of refeeding in order to progress at the continual rate that you need to.

Best of luck!

S


#5

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good stuff to do a contest. Nothing puts all the little puzzle pieces into perspective like prepping for a show and truly seeing what you’ve got.

Good days and bad days? Yep, part of the process
Feeling good but worried about time left? Part of the process

Cheat DAYS of about 10x the amount of carbs you’re eating on most other days? Well obviously people will have differences of opinions and approaches, but I’m the type who likes to know exactly what he’s doing, and do just enough to get the result you need. ie. If you can get the hormonal and psychological bump from 300g of carbs (which is plenty if your average day is ~50 and one moderate day of 120), then 500 will simply create a situation where you have not only spilled over your glyocgen storage (into fat), but also have most likely added so much sodium and water that you’re feeling bloated as hell. Mentally that’s not going to help you. If done correctly, most people look bigger, and even tighter following a higher carb day of a cyclical or refeed based diet.

If the photos you’ve put up are a good indicator of your current condition, I think time shouldn’t be a concern. Of course I also think that you need a much better handling of refeeding in order to progress at the continual rate that you need to.

Best of luck!

S[/quote]

Really like reading your posts Stu :slight_smile: Thanks for posting as often as you do!

Koing


#6

Thanks Koing, just trying to help :slight_smile:

S


#7

Just stopping in to say I’m following along. Same height, but no as big as you. lol

I’m prepping for my first Physique show as well, good luck man!


#8

[quote]elbreeno wrote:
If you aren’t moving fast enough then you need to make a change…I would suggest reducing your carbs further or cutting the cheat day. In my experience I can’t get away with a cheat day every week and burn fat quickly.

My advice would be actually stick to your 50g carbs a day and have 1 cheat MEAL a week rather than a cheat day. I would offer a disclaimer and say I have never got down to contest fat levels though…so other people may tell me I’m completely wrong![/quote]

Definitely not doing cheat DAYS- and I’m not going to be doing “cheat” meals either. I’ll be doing ‘treat’ meals if anything, but it’ll just be foods with more carbs- no garbage.

I had a family reunion today but was mentally prepared knowing there would be shitty food there. Today was already scheduled as a carb-up day so I wasn’t too concerned about food anwyay. I ended up eating two grilled chicken breasts, a burger (no cheese, no toppings, only half a bun), fruit (strawberries, pineapple, grapes), baked beans, and had a Quest bar for dessert. I did end up having A cookie, a rice krispy treat thing, and the top half of a cupcake. Not all at once- that was over the course of like 3 hours. It was hard to stay away when it was just sitting there and NOBODY was eating any of it.

My next mistake was on the way back home, we stopped at Panera and I got 4 bagels for sandwiches when we got home. I ended up eating all of them. However, anytime I get bagels (which is basically never) or any type of bread (which I haven’t had in weeks anyway) I always pick out the excess bread in the middle and the outer most portion so it has about half the amount of carbs it would have otherwise. I just don’t like THAT much bread.

I felt bad about some of that, but did spend a full two hours in the gym tonight. I am 7 weeks out as of today from the show and I don’t anticipate any further setbacks like this. I realize bagels aren’t really a setback and I never buy cupcakes or cookies or any shit like that nor am I ever around food like that so I’m not worried about having those temptations.

I did notice however while we were eating how much my tastes of changed. For the first time in my life I actually grabbed broccoli off my gf’s plate and ate it raw. As a picky-eater that is a huge milestone for me. It didn’t taste bad at all- actually tasted kind of like fruit. The longer I go on eating better/smarter, I swear the easier it becomes.


#9

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good stuff to do a contest. Nothing puts all the little puzzle pieces into perspective like prepping for a show and truly seeing what you’ve got.

Good days and bad days? Yep, part of the process
Feeling good but worried about time left? Part of the process

Cheat DAYS of about 10x the amount of carbs you’re eating on most other days? Well obviously people will have differences of opinions and approaches, but I’m the type who likes to know exactly what he’s doing, and do just enough to get the result you need. ie. If you can get the hormonal and psychological bump from 300g of carbs (which is plenty if your average day is ~50 and one moderate day of 120), then 500 will simply create a situation where you have not only spilled over your glyocgen storage (into fat), but also have most likely added so much sodium and water that you’re feeling bloated as hell. Mentally that’s not going to help you. If done correctly, most people look bigger, and even tighter following a higher carb day of a cyclical or refeed based diet.

If the photos you’ve put up are a good indicator of your current condition, I think time shouldn’t be a concern. Of course I also think that you need a much better handling of refeeding in order to progress at the continual rate that you need to.

Best of luck!

S[/quote]

I absolutely agree with all of that. Way over did the carbs that day. It was not my intention and it was a huge learning experience of what not to do going forward. I think I will use the 300g/carb benchmark you mentioned and that will be helpful. With set parameters I do much better than just winging it.

My biggest dietary concern right now is fat and whether or not I’m getting too much. The past few days have been around 80-90g/fat (which is better than the previous weeks where it was 100-120). I’ve been wondering if I should lower the fat and up the carbs a little. I’d be interested to hear what you think. I’d have no problem trying it that way vs. what I’m doing now, but again I feel like time is against me and I don’t have time to waste experimenting.

The photos are from Friday. My phone camera takes kinda shitty pics especially in that mirror- makes them sort of hazy so I’ll do them with my gf’s phone in the future. I think I’ll also take shots of BBing poses since those show the muscle groups far better than physique ‘posing’ does.

Lastly I’ll just mention that I’m aware of the lat imbalance that I have- left smaller than the right. I’m trying to fix it the best I can. In April it seemed to be OK, almost normal, but now it’s pretty noticeable again as I neglected my foam rolling and everything after moving. I’ve also started to switch up the way I’m doing biceps to hit the outer-most part since that has been neglected as well. But yeah I’ll put up more pics to see if you guys notice anything that needs to be addressed.


#10

[quote]Uncreative123 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good stuff to do a contest. Nothing puts all the little puzzle pieces into perspective like prepping for a show and truly seeing what you’ve got.

Good days and bad days? Yep, part of the process
Feeling good but worried about time left? Part of the process

Cheat DAYS of about 10x the amount of carbs you’re eating on most other days? Well obviously people will have differences of opinions and approaches, but I’m the type who likes to know exactly what he’s doing, and do just enough to get the result you need. ie. If you can get the hormonal and psychological bump from 300g of carbs (which is plenty if your average day is ~50 and one moderate day of 120), then 500 will simply create a situation where you have not only spilled over your glyocgen storage (into fat), but also have most likely added so much sodium and water that you’re feeling bloated as hell. Mentally that’s not going to help you. If done correctly, most people look bigger, and even tighter following a higher carb day of a cyclical or refeed based diet.

If the photos you’ve put up are a good indicator of your current condition, I think time shouldn’t be a concern. Of course I also think that you need a much better handling of refeeding in order to progress at the continual rate that you need to.

Best of luck!

S[/quote]

I absolutely agree with all of that. Way over did the carbs that day. It was not my intention and it was a huge learning experience of what not to do going forward. I think I will use the 300g/carb benchmark you mentioned and that will be helpful. With set parameters I do much better than just winging it.

My biggest dietary concern right now is fat and whether or not I’m getting too much. The past few days have been around 80-90g/fat (which is better than the previous weeks where it was 100-120). I’ve been wondering if I should lower the fat and up the carbs a little. I’d be interested to hear what you think. I’d have no problem trying it that way vs. what I’m doing now, but again I feel like time is against me and I don’t have time to waste experimenting.

The photos are from Friday. My phone camera takes kinda shitty pics especially in that mirror- makes them sort of hazy so I’ll do them with my gf’s phone in the future. I think I’ll also take shots of BBing poses since those show the muscle groups far better than physique ‘posing’ does.

Lastly I’ll just mention that I’m aware of the lat imbalance that I have- left smaller than the right. I’m trying to fix it the best I can. In April it seemed to be OK, almost normal, but now it’s pretty noticeable again as I neglected my foam rolling and everything after moving. I’ve also started to switch up the way I’m doing biceps to hit the outer-most part since that has been neglected as well. But yeah I’ll put up more pics to see if you guys notice anything that needs to be addressed.[/quote]

I’d definitely take out 25 grams of fat right now, and likely lower that further in the coming weeks. That’ll still leave you with enough for good hormonal function but will make a significant dent in your daily caloric intake, should give you a nice boost in the fat loss race


#11

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
Just stopping in to say I’m following along. Same height, but no as big as you. lol

I’m prepping for my first Physique show as well, good luck man![/quote]

I read through all of your thread too and have been following it. Some good info in there. I’m prollllllly not going to be as thorough as you though, lol.

I have taken a note from it though and have changed up my routine to add in more triceps on chest day and bis on back day. My split right now basically looks like this:

Day 1: Chest/Tris
Day 2: Back/bis
Day 3: Legs (heavy/all)
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 5: Optional/ light legs & abs
Day 6: Tris and Bis
Day 7: Optional/ light legs & abs

We typically take one of the optional days off- which one depends on our schedule. Cardio is done typically on whichever light legs & abs day we do and then beyond that it kind of depends on how much time we have. Sometimes we do it on ‘day 1’, sometimes ‘day 6’- the only day I would never do cardio would be on the heavier legs day. Just not a good idea.

Heavy legs consists of Squats, reverse lunges, leg press, calves. Lighter leg days focus more on hamstrings- stiff legged deadlifts, lunges, ham curls, maybe one legged quad extensions. I feel like those aren’t the best for my knees anymore though.

I’ve been doing some morning cardio. Nothing too crazy. Definitely going to have to bump it up over the next couple weeks.


#12

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:

[quote]Uncreative123 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good stuff to do a contest. Nothing puts all the little puzzle pieces into perspective like prepping for a show and truly seeing what you’ve got.

Good days and bad days? Yep, part of the process
Feeling good but worried about time left? Part of the process

Cheat DAYS of about 10x the amount of carbs you’re eating on most other days? Well obviously people will have differences of opinions and approaches, but I’m the type who likes to know exactly what he’s doing, and do just enough to get the result you need. ie. If you can get the hormonal and psychological bump from 300g of carbs (which is plenty if your average day is ~50 and one moderate day of 120), then 500 will simply create a situation where you have not only spilled over your glyocgen storage (into fat), but also have most likely added so much sodium and water that you’re feeling bloated as hell. Mentally that’s not going to help you. If done correctly, most people look bigger, and even tighter following a higher carb day of a cyclical or refeed based diet.

If the photos you’ve put up are a good indicator of your current condition, I think time shouldn’t be a concern. Of course I also think that you need a much better handling of refeeding in order to progress at the continual rate that you need to.

Best of luck!

S[/quote]

I absolutely agree with all of that. Way over did the carbs that day. It was not my intention and it was a huge learning experience of what not to do going forward. I think I will use the 300g/carb benchmark you mentioned and that will be helpful. With set parameters I do much better than just winging it.

My biggest dietary concern right now is fat and whether or not I’m getting too much. The past few days have been around 80-90g/fat (which is better than the previous weeks where it was 100-120). I’ve been wondering if I should lower the fat and up the carbs a little. I’d be interested to hear what you think. I’d have no problem trying it that way vs. what I’m doing now, but again I feel like time is against me and I don’t have time to waste experimenting.

The photos are from Friday. My phone camera takes kinda shitty pics especially in that mirror- makes them sort of hazy so I’ll do them with my gf’s phone in the future. I think I’ll also take shots of BBing poses since those show the muscle groups far better than physique ‘posing’ does.

Lastly I’ll just mention that I’m aware of the lat imbalance that I have- left smaller than the right. I’m trying to fix it the best I can. In April it seemed to be OK, almost normal, but now it’s pretty noticeable again as I neglected my foam rolling and everything after moving. I’ve also started to switch up the way I’m doing biceps to hit the outer-most part since that has been neglected as well. But yeah I’ll put up more pics to see if you guys notice anything that needs to be addressed.[/quote]

I’d definitely take out 25 grams of fat right now, and likely lower that further in the coming weeks. That’ll still leave you with enough for good hormonal function but will make a significant dent in your daily caloric intake, should give you a nice boost in the fat loss race[/quote]

Yeah I think that’s not a bad idea. I started that today. I came in at 52.5g/fat; 84.5g/carbs; 262g/protein.

Today was the first day I’ve felt good about how everything has been going. Like it’s all starting to come together. I’m feeling optimistic and like I have just enough time. I feel like I discovered a hidden jem with that Light & Fit greek yogurt. I’m weary of anything dairy, but I feel like using that to replace one of my servings of almonds or peanut butter is a better choice for now since it’s got 0g/fat, 8gcarbs, and 12g/protein. I mix in about 1/2 a serving of vanilla whey and it’s amazing plus then the macros work out to about .5g/fat, 10g/carbs, 24g/protein.
The almonds and PB were killing me. Two servings of almonds and one serving of PB comes in around 46g/fat. That’s probably the hardest thing to give up since I felt it was a safe food considering it’s moderately low in carbs.


#13

[quote]Uncreative123 wrote:
I did notice however while we were eating how much my tastes of changed. For the first time in my life I actually grabbed broccoli off my gf’s plate and ate it raw. As a picky-eater that is a huge milestone for me. It didn’t taste bad at all- actually tasted kind of like fruit. The longer I go on eating better/smarter, I swear the easier it becomes.[/quote]

Funny how that happens, I have had the same experience.

Logged in and following along.


#14

Looking good Uncreative, and a good thread I’m In.And your right on about the clean eating,a day away from my staple veggies and I crave them something fierce.As Tim said It’s crazy how that happens.


#15

Just a quick update. I hadn’t anticipated on not updating this as often but my life is currently in total upheaval. In the middle of a bad break-up, still debating whether or not to even do the contest. Everyone is telling me to still do it for me…but my heart is just not in it like it was. I went out drinking twice (two nights in a row) not too bad- kept it to light/low carb beer and vodka.

Still didn’t eat like shit though- the “cheat” I allowed myself coming home to sober up was two servings of low-carb oatmeal and peanut butter, and maybe a protein bar. So all things considered, it’s a miracle I’m doing as well as I am. This picture is from Saturday exactly six weeks out from the show. I’m still going through all the motions and eating like I’m going to do the show, but I just don’t know. It’s a shitty time for sure.


#16

Sorry to hear about the breakup man, that’s rough. I kind of got the impression from an earlier post that competing was your gf’s passion and that you were doing it as a hobby to do with her. If that was the case, I would completely understand if you are no longer motivated to compete. However, if you wanted to compete and are just feeling lethargic overall, I’d suggest using the prep as a distraction for the next 6 weeks and go all out with it


#17

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
Sorry to hear about the breakup man, that’s rough. I kind of got the impression from an earlier post that competing was your gf’s passion and that you were doing it as a hobby to do with her. If that was the case, I would completely understand if you are no longer motivated to compete. However, if you wanted to compete and are just feeling lethargic overall, I’d suggest using the prep as a distraction for the next 6 weeks and go all out with it[/quote]

It’s not really a passion, just something we’ve kind of evolved into. We’re back together for now and still planning to do the contest. It’s complicated- but it always is, isn’t it? Anyway, here’s some updated shots from a few days ago. Not gonna do the face censor thing anymore cause I plan on putting a video up at some point.

The last few days have been a NIGHTMARE. I cannot stop eating. I don’t know if my metabolism is crashing or what. I’m not having cravings for shit-food, but I am just constantly hungry. I’m still eating clean, but I’m eating so much that my carbs are coming in around 150, fat around 70-75, and protein around 320. The macro breakdown (f/carb/prot) has been roughly 12%, 36%, 52%. I have been peeing A LOT these last couple days too. Nothing has changed in my diet or fat burning supps so I don’t know what’s going on. I am pretty confused.

I’ll upload a back shot too


#18

This back shot is from about a week ago. Hard to get good ones. Lower back definitely needs work. I already had this pic-comp put together, so I guess now you can see where she’s at too:


#19

Really? So I’m thinking I might have a possible thyroid condition, but no comments or other opinions at all?


#20

[quote]Uncreative123 wrote:
Really? So I’m thinking I might have a possible thyroid condition, but no comments or other opinions at all?[/quote]

What makes you think that?

Contest dieting will leave you ravenous at times. In fact, I’ve seen many competitors that cheat throughout the prep and end up coming into the show bigger and leaner.