Diet and Nutrition

An Interview with Forum Member, Unholy – Part 2

If you read part 1 of this interview, you’ll know that forum member, Unholy (Paul in real life) transformed himself from an overweight, out of shape 295lbs to a fit and lean 190lbs. Not only that, but he is now on track to compete in his first bodybuilding competition.

In the 2nd part of this interview we caught up with Paul and talked about his progress since we last spoke 6 weeks ago , his vacation, current challenges and where he wants to be when we next speak. (4 weeks out from his first bodybuilding competition)

So, with no further adieu, let’s get going….

Wannabebig: Hey Paul, it’s great to catch up again. It’s been about five weeks since we last spoke, so can you remind our readers when your first bodybuilding competition takes place?

Unholy: Sure. My first show will be the INBF NYS Bodybuilding Championships on October 24th, so as we are speaking, I am eight weeks out.

Wannabebig: How are you feeling about it?

Unholy: Pretty damn good, actually. If you remember from my last interview, I said I wanted to be flirting with the 180s and to have dropped another 2-3% bodyfat, and I’ve pretty much done that.  I’m currently sitting around 181-183 lbs. at 7-8% bodyfat right now.

The pressure is definitely on though. As the home stretch approaches, I’m swarmed with other things in life, school, and work, and also in the middle of a move. My recent vacation was a good break though, and I am very focused on my goal.

Paul at 180 lbs – August 24th 2009

Wannabebig: Talk about making it hard for yourself… nothing like chucking in a house move and vacation right into the middle of your contest prep! What are the ideal weight and bodyfat stats you’d like to have when you step on stage?

Unholy: 175-176 lbs. at 4% bodyfat would be ideal. Though this is pretty ambitious for a first show, I’m aiming high. I do believe that if I work hard and stick to it 100% over the next eight to ten weeks, I might be able to get there. If I do, then I should be pretty competitive as a middleweight despite my height of 6’0”.

Wannabebig: Seeing you at 175 lbs. and 4% is going to be mind blowing! Have you changed your diet, considering you are getting closer to the big day?

Unholy: Certainly! I’m consuming an average of 2250 calories a day now. That’s down 750 cals a day from when we last spoke. I’ve cut carbs from 150 g/day down to 90-110 g/day, but my carb-ups are slightly more aggressive too. I try to get 225-250 g every third night as opposed to the 150-185 g that I was eating previously.

Wannabebig: You also mentioned that food cravings would be your biggest challenge in your last interview. How are you doing there?

Unholy: Well, except for the 7500+ calories a day I consumed while on vacation in Egypt, I have been doing fairly well with cravings.  They have been harder to control as I’ve leaned out more and more. When I dropped my calories from 2500 down to 2250, I noticed the cravings were intense during the 24 hours following my carb-up meal. After I flew back from Poland on Saturday night, I weighed in at 176.2 lbs and freaked out. I ate a solid 12000 calories over a 72-hour period…I was trying not to wither away and I bounced back a bit. There is no need for me to be that light just yet!

Wannabebig: What about your training? Have you changed your routine as you get closer to the competition?

Unholy: Yes, I’m going with slightly less reps…shooting for heavy weight in the six rep range. It’s easy to over-train at this point in time. Calories are sparse and any extra work on the muscle after I’ve triggered growth is unnecessary. Preserving lean body mass is the goal and heavy weight in the lower rep ranges is optimal for this.

By the way, you can check out all of my training sessions as well as my daily food intake via my WBB Training Journal – My Road to the INBF and OCB NY State Bodybuilding Championships

Wannabebig: How is the posing practice coming along?

Unholy: Pretty good, I would say. I try to practice for 15 minutes every day. It’s been tough, since I was on vacation for the last 17 days, but I’ve been working on it every chance I get. There are a few mandatory poses that I have greatly improved on and that are starting to feel very natural, i.e., side chest, side triceps, back double biceps, most muscular, etc.

Some poses are still extremely hard for me to hit correctly, such as front/rear lat spread and front double bicep.  I’ll be meeting with Gerry over these next few weeks to work on those poses. He told me I won’t be posing like Kai Greene but I will definitely be able to improve a great deal by show time.

Wannabebig: How was your vacation?

Unholy: Fantastic. I flew from NYC to Rzeszow, Poland and  spent five days visiting family and hiking the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland. We climbed the second highest peak (~6000′) on our second day…talk about cardio!

After that, I flew to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt for seven days and nights. I then flew back to Poland and spent a few more days with the family and visited Krakow by train…just got back on the 22nd.

Wannabebig: What was your best meal on your vacation? Come on…you must have cheated a bit!

Unholy: I’m not sure if you want to call it a cheat, but I consumed 7500+ cals/day for six days in a row while in Egypt. This was mostly from pasta and pastries/cake. The hot foods were awful!

The original plan was to stick to the diet but the resort food made that extremely difficult. Not having taken any diet break for quite some time, I decided what better time than on vacation! The gourmet pastries and cakes made it very easy to get all those calories in.  It ended up working out well, and when I got back to Poland, I went low carb for four days. The result was an overall 6 lb drop over the 17-day vacation.

Wannabebig: Not many people can boast a weight drop right after vacation! I think I packed on about 7 lbs. on my last week long vacation. Was it hard having a vacation in the middle of your prep?

Unholy: Actually, it was quite the opposite for me. After dieting for so long, I needed a mental and physical break from it. I’ve been counting calories and hitting premeditated macros since October 1st 2008 with very few breaks. This was exactly what I needed.

Plus, I took my secret weapon along with me -  See below :)

Paul’s secret vacation weapon and a bunch of funny looking shorts

Wannabebig: Ha ha, nice one. If you got your case inspected, I’m not sure what would surprise officials more, the Nitrean or the color of some of your shorts, lol! And, my thoughts are with the locals :)

Anyway, enough about funny looking shorts. Mentally, all this preparation must be pretty tough. Where do you get your inspiration/support from?

Unholy: I get inspiration from a lot of places. Following WNBF events has shown me that you can get freakishly big without any hormones. It’s also very motivating to see my own results. Being an ex-fattie, this is more than I could have hoped for.

I also have to say that my girlfriend has been a tremendous help. From making sure I get out and do my cardio, to researching prep-friendly recipes and preparing meals
for me…I couldn’t ask for more.

Wannabebig: We’re going to talk briefly again at four weeks out. Where do you want to be then?

Unholy: I want to be stage ready, ~176lbs. Most importantly, I want to get to the point where those troublesome poses of mine that I previously mentioned feel natural and look optimal for my physique. I will likely be dropping calories to 2,000 in four weeks. That should be the final drop. I’ll also shift my carb-ups to 250-275 g every third night.

Wannabebig: Good stuff! Well we wish you the best of luck and will be watching your WBB training journal closely over the next few weeks. We’ll catch up again when you are four weeks out and a super lean 175 lbs!

We couldn’t end the interview without sharing some more recent pictures of you at 180 lbs. (August 24th 2009)

Here we go!

Keep an eye out for Part 3 of this interview, where Paul will be just 4 weeks out from his first bodybodybuilding competition!

Written by Daniel Clough

Discuss, comment or ask a question

If you have a comment, question or would like to discuss anything raised in this article, please do so in the following discussion thread on the Wannabebig Forums – An Inspiring Interview with Forum Member, Unholy – Part 2 discussion thread.