Note: please post in this journal to share knowledge (avoid good luck reaching your goals/keep it up/i love you type of posts).
I do not intend to use this web space to log all my lifts of every workout or write down my diet to the last celery I've eaten. Instead, I will write down my analysis from my experiences so that perhaps some may also learn from them, and because I think it is important to keep track of what works and what doesn't so it can be refered to in the future. I am working on improving my english grammar too, so if you spot mistakes you can PM me if you want.
Bodybuilding is about making wrong and right turns, making notes, so that later you always take the right turns. I've already made several of those turns and there are many left to take.
I am 23 as of now and I've been training since I was 15 on and off. During the past few years I had to put my bodybuilding ambitions on hold because of school. Some people are able to do the two at the same time, but I am the perfectionist type and getting A's and looking good was an either/or choice. The good news is that I am now done with school, and working out has once again become a priority in my life.
I started off being small, 130-140 as a teenager, and worked my way up to 210-215 in my last bulk cycle. I competed once as a lightweight and I won my division. That was a few years ago and I'm sure some veterans remember the great days (search Road to ripness to read my competition journal).
To begin with, in bodybuilding I think it is important to look at the larger picture and be patient. Before, the rule of losing 2-3 pounds of fat a week just wasn't good enough for me. If I wanted those abs, I'd have them the soonest that I can. Now, I've come to realize that the body doesn't change overnight. The body is like the weather, it will change degree by degree and not from winter to summer in a few days.
Those who have dieted down before know how much low carb diets can be mentally straining. I have made the stupiest decisions while dieting when I was getting tired of the diet and wanted to speed things up. Now, I've learnt to make decisions over the course of weeks by analyzing results and facts rather than letting my impulses guide me. It is always better to diet too slow than too fast. If you have never competed in the past and intend to then I recommend that you diet down to competing shape severals weeks/months before the show. Don't just set a date and hope things are gonna turn alright. Getting ready ahead of time will allow you to be relaxed coming into the show and it will also give you the time to learn how to peak on the contest day instead of 2 days after.
Influence of endurance/calories intake/bodyfat on strength
Before, I thought training for endurance meant I wouldn't be able to keep my strength. I've been doing some boxing lately and so far I tend to want to disbelieve this theory because I was able to improve my high rep strength and maintain the same level of strength when doing low reps (6-10). I can't really comment whether or not it has affected my 1 rep max because I never do them. However, there seems to a correlation between strength-bodyfat-endurance. I'm saying that because in 6 months of boxing and while being fat, I never really improved endurance-wise. I've lost 25 pounds so far in a bit more than 2 months and in those 2 months my endurance has improved more than it had in my 6 months of being fat. Even though I was keeping my strength from 210 to 190, my strength seems to be taking bigger hits while losing the lower bodyfat percentiles.
Suprinsingly, the strength is not directly affected by my calories intake unless I make too drastic changes to my diet. At the beginning of my diet, my calories were too low and I could barely do 10 push ups. When you're in a caloric deficit, you know it because your motivation is below zero and even if you try your muscles get tired after a few repetitions. I think the objective here is to always have carbs to fuel up your exercise. That's why I think my low carbs diet in the past have failed. My current diet includes a high carb day that serves to fuel my muscles in the low carb days.