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Thread: Be realistic with your Physique

  1. #1
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Be realistic with your Physique

    I have seen and have several clients who formerly got bad advice and prepared for their contests with a "win at all costs" mentality that is now hurting them long term. Ladies, (and gentlemen, too), you need to start choosing your coaches and trainers more wisely. Going to extremes of 2-3 of hours cardio per day, plus training, plus over-dieting, may get you to the winner's circle, but at what cost to you? One of the reasons I got into the whole Metabolic Power/Metabolic Training design was to try to find ways around these other potentially damaging pre-contest protocols.

    I hope anyone reading this is paying close attention and will forward this to any other women they know who are dieting for a show and may be doing damage to themselves. If your nails are brittle, and your hair is falling out, these are warning signs. Please heed them.
    I feel sorry when I see women at figure events damaging themselves for a bit of glory. Some are born to do it, others struggled like hell to get up there, and unknowingly have set themselves up for a one-way ticket to damage.

    Repeated bouts of dieting and training to compete can permanently alter metabolism for the worst. If you have a coach/trainer pushing you to always compete, to "get your face out there," you may need to reconsider both the advice, and the advisor. Unfortunately competition also seems to appeal to people who are least genetically suited to do it, thereby again increasing the odds of metabolic damage. It is a fact, although no one wants to admit it, that many active individuals just do not function well at very low levels of body fat. Many also cannot healthily achieve it, nor should they try. This is a reality no one seems to want to recognize.

    Do not fall prey to cultural or coaching pressures in setting unrealistic body composition goals. Many who wish to alter their physique have unrealistic body images that they haven't the time, the ability, or genetics to achieve. Make sure guidance is based on what is best for you, and what is reasonable for you as well. If not, the road may lead to shortcuts that have long term adverse consequences

  2. #2
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    Genetics are overrated. Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I believe that all humans' genetic potential are so superior to what we believe them to be that we simply do not have enough productive, youthful years in our lives to ever truly reach our full potential.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    Genetics are overrated. Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I believe that all humans' genetic potential are so superior to what we believe them to be that we simply do not have enough productive, youthful years in our lives to ever truly reach our full potential.
    There are many out there who don't eat or train to the level they should to truly see their potential but at the same time I know many who do everything in their power to be the best, but when it comes to physique competitions the ones with superior genetics will almost always be on top. This is not to say you should go up against them, but just be realistic because many go down a dark path just to try and beat someone else in in the big picture a $5 dollar trophy isn't worth the possible damage.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    Genetics are overrated. Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I believe that all humans' genetic potential are so superior to what we believe them to be that we simply do not have enough productive, youthful years in our lives to ever truly reach our full potential.
    Nothing you do in the gym or at the table is going to change your overall structure. Size and conditioning is not everything in BBing.

    Genetics are not overrated. Good genetics are a minimum requirement in any sport someone wishes to succeed in at a high level. BBing is no exception.
    Last edited by FearFactory; 07-16-2013 at 02:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Allen:

    What would your recommendation be in terms of the number of bodybuilding contests to compete in per year?

    I'm competing for the first time August 10th, and while I'll be in pretty good form, I don't think I'm going to be quite lean enough to really be competitive. I think I'll probably be about 4-5 lb over my best weight based on my weight loss projections.

    Rather than head directly into the off season, I was considering treating the Aug 10 contest as a "warm-up" for another contest that is scheduled Sep 7th (less than a month later).
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iplan View Post
    Allen:

    What would your recommendation be in terms of the number of bodybuilding contests to compete in per year?

    I'm competing for the first time August 10th, and while I'll be in pretty good form, I don't think I'm going to be quite lean enough to really be competitive. I think I'll probably be about 4-5 lb over my best weight based on my weight loss projections.

    Rather than head directly into the off season, I was considering treating the Aug 10 contest as a "warm-up" for another contest that is scheduled Sep 7th (less than a month later).
    I never recommend any client do more than 2 contests per year, if a couple are back to back then maybe 3 max. Your body is not made to be in that type of condition so repeatedly doing that to your body can cause physiological issues.

    Never put numbers into the equation when preparing for a contest, just go by the mirror more than anything. Just because you maybe 4-5 lbs lighter on the scale still doesn't mean you will be in contest condition. Post a pic on here and I can give you a better opinion on where you are at.

    If you can afford it I always recommend any first time competitor to have a coach. This way you can learn along the way as well as have a second objective eye that will tell you where you are and where you need to be.

  7. #7
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    I do have a coach. He goes to my church, and he used to have a part time contest prep business in CA before he moved to SC. He's been mainly focusing on my diet ~ which had stalled out.

    Here are some poses per request. These are from this afternoon at 185 lbs ~~~ cold. I think they'd be a little bit better if I had pumped up before taking them, but I still think I'd be very disappointed with the results.

    I thought I was "closer" to condition than I actually am. My posing needs work also.

    Since last fall, I've cut 40 lbs, and (assuming the camera is telling the truth ~ which it undoubtedly is) I'm still no where near where I need to be from a conditioning standpoint ~ and there isn't all that much muscle on display either.

    I posted the best two of the mandatory poses.

    Suggestions?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Iplan; 07-18-2013 at 01:03 PM.
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Not bad. How old are you? You look to be about 7-8 weeks out conditioning wise. I would do this one contest for the experience then take at least 1-2 years to put on some quality size.

  9. #9
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    I'm 45 years old. The Sep 7 contest seems about right then - and I'll plan on using Aug 10 as a warm-up.
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    Genetics are overrated. Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I believe that all humans' genetic potential are so superior to what we believe them to be that we simply do not have enough productive, youthful years in our lives to ever truly reach our full potential.
    I would argue the exact opposite.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
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  11. #11
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    Iplan, what is your current diet like?

  12. #12
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bryduck View Post
    Iplan, what is your current diet like?
    Hey Matthew! I've had to make a big cut (over 40 lbs) to get down to my current weight ~ which is 183 lbs. I'm still not contest lean though, and my body is putting up a big fight now.

    After my diet had stalled in the low 190s, I went to a low carb diet.

    This is my current set up (per day) ~~~~ 6 meals:
    (2) eggs
    (3) 4 oz. talipia fillets
    (8-10) tbs of natural peanut butter {"How do you spell 'sanity?" Answer: P-nut butter}
    2 protein shakes (Nitrean+)
    Lots of water
    Lots of raw celery stalks
    Lots of raw green beans

    Total is about 1800 kcal per day.

    Macros:
    61% protein
    33% fat
    6% carbs

    I'm doing fasted AM cardio 5 days this week (about 30 - 45 minutes each or a SuperSet Complex that Allen suggested in one of his article).

    I would like to lower my protein intake (which is 270 grams or 1.4 x bodyweight), and add some carbs ~ but I don't want to risk spilling over.

    Thoughts?
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  13. #13
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iplan View Post
    Hey Matthew! I've had to make a big cut (over 40 lbs) to get down to my current weight ~ which is 183 lbs. I'm still not contest lean though, and my body is putting up a big fight now.

    After my diet had stalled in the low 190s, I went to a low carb diet.

    This is my current set up (per day) ~~~~ 6 meals:
    (2) eggs
    (3) 4 oz. talipia fillets
    (8-10) tbs of natural peanut butter {"How do you spell 'sanity?" Answer: P-nut butter}
    2 protein shakes (Nitrean+)
    Lots of water
    Lots of raw celery stalks
    Lots of raw green beans

    Total is about 1800 kcal per day.

    Macros:
    61% protein
    33% fat
    6% carbs

    I'm doing fasted AM cardio 5 days this week (about 30 - 45 minutes each or a SuperSet Complex that Allen suggested in one of his article).

    I would like to lower my protein intake (which is 270 grams or 1.4 x bodyweight), and add some carbs ~ but I don't want to risk spilling over.

    Thoughts?
    Your calories are to low. The reason your body is holding onto what's left is because your metabolic rate has down-regulated and your body is in survival mode. You can only continue to cut calories for so long before your body reacts in a negative way. All the cardio, no carbs, and you also need more quality fat sources if you are going to do no carb (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, etc..). You should also have a re-feed meal or day in there since you are doing no carbs.

    This diet is a recipe for disaster and can lead to some physiological issues. I would gradually increase your calories and place some carbs around your workouts at least. I would immediately do one clean re-feed day to try and kick start things to upregulate your metabolism, thyroid, leptin.

  14. #14
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    Your fats are really low for someone on a low carb diet. How do you feel? I would imagine tired. What is this superset complex? Do you have days where you replace glycogen? How long have you been doing low carb?

  15. #15
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    I also agree with Allen on this. Food for thought, my gf is dieting on 2400 calories and she's roughly 120lbs. I also agree with Allen on better choices of fat: fish oil, coconut oil and mct oil.

  16. #16
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    I did have a cheat meal on Sunday. I had been eating 2300 kcal, and the diet had stalled ~ which is why the 1800 kcal diet was recommended to me.

    The idea was "you're not going to be lean enough at your current weight loss rate, so you need to 'catch' up." After I made the change, I dropped about 7 lbs (have to go back and check my notes to be sure), but I've stalled this week.

    The contest is August 10 (10 days out). I like the idea of adding carbs peri-workout, but I don't want to regress or bloat either. How many would you add?

    Also, do you believe that I could refeed today to reset my metabolism a little bit, and then improve my physique between now and contest time?

    Shoot, I'm teachable: It might be easier to say: make your macros this ~ and then I'll do it. lol

    Best,
    J
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  17. #17
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bryduck View Post
    Your fats are really low for someone on a low carb diet. How do you feel? I would imagine tired. What is this superset complex? Do you have days where you replace glycogen? How long have you been doing low carb?
    I do struggle with fatigue ~ especially later in the week.

    I have been doing a cheat meal every Sunday afternoon. Nothing like Skip Loading, just a plate of spaghetti and some desert or something like that.

    I gain a few pounds the next day, and on Monday, I feel great. BUT by Tuesday afternoon, I start to feel pretty worn out. Usually I'm at my low weight for the week on Thursday.

    I started my low carb diet around June 20th ~ so a little over a month ago.

    The Superset Complex: (I thought this was from one of Allen's articles, but it was actually from Riley Bestwick): http://www.wannabebig.com/training/c...-for-fat-loss/

    I usually do the barbell complex (which is the first one listed): 3 sets of 12 (instead of 8 which is what is suggested in the article)
    Romanian Deadlifts
    Bent Over Rows
    Front Squats
    Push Press
    Barbell Rollout

    You do 12 reps of each exercise (without changing the weight on the barbell and no pauses in between exercises.) Then you wait for your heart rate to recover, and repeat two more times.

    I don't always do the Superset complex. Maybe once a week. Then the other days I do the elliptical or something else. Today, I did 200 sledge hammers (hitting a tire) without stopping, then immediately followed up with a 25 minute walk.
    Last edited by Iplan; 07-30-2013 at 02:19 PM.
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  18. #18
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    It just seems their is a lot of "guess work" going on and pin balling. You have to realize that getting ready for a contest is never linear and just because there was a week without weight loss doesn't mean you should change things. This is just trying to force the body and then it reacts negatively instead of coaxing it to respond.

    At 10 days out there isn't much you can do and doing anything extreme will do more harm than good. At 10 days out you should be stage ready. There is no way you should be doing BB complexes this close to a contest, you do not have the recovery capabilities to do them and you will end up burning off muscle. I do have my clients do complexes and such at the beginning of prep but the lower your bodyfat gets the less intensive you can handle things on top of your regular weight training program. Its all about the whole context of the program and not randomly placing things in there.

    So at this point just up the calories a bit and just practice your posing and step on stage and get your feet wet.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearFactory View Post
    Nothing you do in the gym or at the table is going to change your overall structure. Size and conditioning is not everything in BBing.

    Genetics are not overrated. Good genetics are a minimum requirement in any sport someone wishes to succeed in at a high level. BBing is no exception.

    I would go even further and say that there is no other sport that is so dependent on good genetics as BBing..(if one plans on turning pro that is).

  20. #20
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iplan View Post
    I did have a cheat meal on Sunday. I had been eating 2300 kcal, and the diet had stalled ~ which is why the 1800 kcal diet was recommended to me.

    The idea was "you're not going to be lean enough at your current weight loss rate, so you need to 'catch' up." After I made the change, I dropped about 7 lbs (have to go back and check my notes to be sure), but I've stalled this week.
    Fat loss is also not always linear. You may lose more some weeks than others despite having the same Kcal deficit.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

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    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

  21. #21
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    I think you need to look into hiring a new coach to fix the issues in your diet.

  22. #22
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bryduck View Post
    I think you need to look into hiring a new coach to fix the issues in your diet.

    Yeah, can you tell I'm winging it? ~ lol

    Actually I really don't have a 'true' coach. I seriously looked into hiring a coach at one point, but I had lost 30 lbs on my own, and a lot of the advice I was reading on forums and such was just a simple bundle of contradictions.

    EG: "you have to cut water on Friday & Saturday" ~ from one coach
    from another coach, "you're natural. you'd be crazy to cut water ~ if anything drink more"

    So since it seemed like such a such a personal thing anyway, I just kept on winging it.

    Then when I stalled out for 3 weeks about a month ago (after realizing I was already way behind, I took the advice of a friend with some contest prep experience (as a coach) and went for a "shock." He advised going zero carbs and then later I cut calories by 500 per day ~ to equate to an extra 1 lb loss per week. It sucked, but it worked. So far, I haven't lost any strength, but now I'm stalled out again, and cutting calories further is just not in the cards.

    So I've been boosting my cardio, taking in a bit of caffeine, and today ~ taking your advice (adding some carbs around the workout, and replacing some of the peanut butter with olive oil).

    The contest will come and go, and it'll be a learning experience. I was telling a friend that I'm actually looking 'more forward' to the competitions I do in 2014 (than these first two) ~ because I'll know so much more.

    One thing is for certain. When I head into the offseason after the Sep 7 (the second) contest, I'm going to go with a lean bulk. I'm never going to put myself in a position of having to lose 45 - 50 lbs to get stage ready again. ~ lol
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  23. #23
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I think you got really good advice in this thread.
    Last edited by chris mason; 07-30-2013 at 10:20 PM.


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  24. #24
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    You will always read a lot of conflicting info on the internet. But there is NO way any real "coach" can say you will need to do without having worked with you. I use the term coach loosely as everyone on the internet believes they are an expert. For example I just got 2 new clients who are 8 weeks out from a contest and are twins. There coach is an IFBB Pro and had them doing the exact same thing diet, training, and cardio. After I assessed them they are now both on very different protocols because they were in 2 different places physiologically.

    WHat I do with clients is dictated by their bio-feedback every week, no one size fits all. WHat you did all prep and how your body was responding will dictate what you do the final week. SO when they said to cut water or not to cut water that is a cookie cutter approach. I have some guys drink water all day long on contest days and I've had others where we had to cut it way down.

    If you wanna be a good competitor having a true coach in your corner will keep you on the right path so you are not bouncing all over the place from one diet to the next and one training program to the next. This is very common in this industry.

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