Let’s go! I’ll just address the points AG asked about then if there’s anything you want expanded on then ask away.
Squeaky clean these days, although it wasn’t always the case. When I first started training I weighed about 130lbs. Managed to stuff my face up to 210 (yes, I did a couple of AAS cycles, more on that later) and I thought I was the baddest mofo on the planet. I was big enough that people would comment, I was putting up alright numbers in the gym (was on course for a 180k bench before my shoulders finally gave up) and was stretching sleaves. My mates would say things like “looking a bit fat these days” and I’d be like “fuck you, pussies, this is what a man looks like.” I thought it was all just banter and that they were just ripping on me the way you do with your mates until I saw some photos where I just looked downright chubby! In my head I’ll always be skinny, so to actually see myself looking a bit fat gave me quite a shock!
So I decided to cut. I figured if I lost ten pounds I’d be shredded, and jumped on a PSMF a la Lyle McDonald and filled myself with clen. My scale weight went down, and down, and down…
180 god damn pounds I ended up at! Now, I’ve got crazy striations everywhere with mad veins in my abs, and am really enjoying rocking the physique model look but I just feel so skinny! I think if I stay this lean and add another 10lbs I could do some damage in a physique contest, but I’m not sure I want to (I’ll come back to that).
So my diet now involves mostly eating chicken, white rice and avocado out of tupperware. I work crazy shifts and it’s the easiest way to hit my macros in a healthy way that involves minimal food prep. I cook myself something nice for dinner when I get home, but it’s always made from scratch with macro targets in mind. Being good at cooking - which I am - makes the bodybuilder lifestyle livable.
I’ve experimented with low carb diets, intermittent fasting and carb backloading. While I think there’s merits to these approaches, the more I learn about nutrition the less I think the minutiae matter. Just hit your macro targets whichever way you find easiest, and stop eating processed shit. That’s really all there is to it.
Years of 5x5 left me strong, injured and skinny. I understand the importance of building a strength base, but it just didn’t work for me (for bodybuilding purposes). Now I do all those things that make old-school lifters roll their eyes like focussing on feeling the muscle working or whatever and as a result I grow and stay injury free. I’ve never squatted or deadlifted 400lbs like conventional wisdom dicates you’re supposed to. Strength training just never did a damn thing for me. I can get more out of front squatting 80k for a set of 30 than I ever did FSing 3 plates for 5s.
My upper body training is nothing unusual, with exercises split into push/pull workouts. Thanks to injuries, dumbells, machines and cables are all I use for my chest, and I don’t do any overhead stuff for my shoulders. I do raises by the ton as I have a very narrow bone structure. The upside of my bone structure being so tiny is I am maintaining a 28" waist fairly easily. I generally work up to a heavy set of 8 for compounds, and keep iso stuff 10-15 reps.
My lower body training is a bit more specialised thanks to my lower back being fucked up. Everything I do is done to minimise lower back strain. I pre-exhaust my quads and hams with leg extensions and curls, then front squat deep with ludicrously high reps to get the maximum I can out of the lowest weight. I’m of the opinion that quads only grow from high reps anyway. Weighted GHRs make up the bulk of my heavy hamstring training. Since my cut I’ve fallen back in love with abs training, but mostly just do a few sets of cable crunches and leg raises at the end of a leg session.
I started AAS too soon. I can admit that. I was 180lbs when I did my first cycle and thought I was ready as I’d added 50lbs naturally, but really I should’ve waited a little longer. Someone like Flipcollar who’s just started using but has already built an awesome physique is in a much better place than I was to really get a lot out of AAS.
I’ve had some ok results from cycling, and will do another in the summer which’ll probably net me another 10lbs, maybe slightly more, and I’ll do my damndest to stay as lean as I am. If I do that, I would be in a place where I could do some damage at a physique contest, and while I’ve considered it, I just don’t think the whole standing up on stage with fake tan on doing those little quarter turns thing is for me. I’m a pretty grizzly looking dude with a big beard and scars so I don’t think I really have the right look for physique anyway.
Realistically I think I’ve maybe 2 more cycles in me at most. That’d take me up to 200lbs (or slighty more) and at the level of leanness that I am that’ll look incredible. I’ve never wanted to be 250lbs with abs, and am not prepared to push the boat out in terms of calories or dosages to achieve that. I don’t have the genetics to be a mass monster, and that’s fine with me.
So that’s me! I dunno if there’s anything in there that anyone could really learn from but if you want me to expand on anything let me know.