2 Days Out, 2nd Day Of Carbing UP… And Time To Get “Painted”

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Thursday, October 14th, 2005. Let me tell you about day two of my carb up phase, plus my adventures in “fake tanning”…

I put on my first coat of “fake tan” today. There are a lot of artificial tanning products that you can use these days, ranging from bronzers to self tanning lotions to “paint on tan.” I use the “paint on tan,” a product called “Pro Tan.” It’s kind of messy, gets all over the place and is basically an all around pain in the ass, but it’s absolutely essential to be very dark onstage and a natural tan is NEVER, EVER good enough. A base tan helps a lot, because putting artificial tanning agents on ghost white skin doesn’t look nearly as good, but even the darkest skin types always need additional color.

When you get onstage under the lights, natural skin tone looks ghost white and even a natural tan looks pale under those bright lights. Being pale makes you look softer and fatter. When you are darker, it enhances your muscle definition and makes you look leaner and more muscular. Your skin color is so important that if two bodies are completely equal in size, symmetry, leanness and muscularity, but one is tanned and the other is white, the tanned one will win.

So what I do is, I get a “volunteer” to help me out and we “spray” the fake tan color onto nearly every inch of my body, and then use a paint brush to even it out and brush it in. (I don’t use the pro tan on my face; intead I use one of the “self tanning” lotions for that). The active ingredient in Pro Tan literally stains the outer layer of your skin, so the color will stay with you for 4-7 days or until you exfoliate (if you scrub vigorously with a loofah and strong soap or detergent, you can get 80-90% of it off in a day or two if you need to, otherwise it just wears off over several days).

One coat is not enough. For me it takes three coats, and I have been known to do four. Usually I do one coat Thursday night, one Friday morning and one Friday night. On Friday morning, after getting the first coat the night before, I will take a shower, but I will not scrub my skin, as I mentioned, that exfoliates and takes the majority of the color off. However, I do get in the shower to wash my hair and just RINSE the body. In the shower, you see some of the color coming off you, but that is simply the excess that had not soaked into your skin, but was just lying on top of your skin. If you don’t rinse in the shower, then that excess color will drip off you when you start sweating on stage. Picture for a moment, brown sweat dripping all over your body. Yeah, that’s what happens if you have a ton of excess coloring on your body and you don’t follow this procedure. There’s always one poor schmuck onstage every time with his tan dripping all over him! not a pretty sight.

So the process is: shower/scrub skin before first coat, dry off, put on coat #1. Go to sleep, wake up in morning rinse in shower, dry off, put on coat #2, shower and rinse Friday night, dry off, put on coat #3, check it out, see if you need coat #4 (and if you usually do, then sometimes start this process thursday morning or even Wednesday)

Yeah, it’s every bit of the pain in the ass as it sounds, and then some. In fact its worse. Even if you wear rubber gloves, some of the color gets on the palms of your hands and really stains it there, especially if you have callouses. It gets all over your clothes and your sheets (and the lighter the clothes/bedsheets, the worse the stains, of course), it gets tracked all over your bathroom…ahhh, what fun! (and if you travel to a show, oh my god, the hotels just love you to death! ha ha ha ha ha !)

These days, a lot of competitors do not use pro tan anymore, they use bronzers which are lotions that are simply rubbed all over the body on the morning of the show, which give you a really dark brown color. Two of the very popular brands are Dream Tan and Jan Tana. These seem to work great for some skin types, but not so well for others.

I’ve seen a few people completely botch their bronzer jobs to the point that they looked dark brown and the only way I can describe it is that it was as if the bronzer went on too thick, almost like a thin layer of clay (if you can picture that), actually covering up the muscle definition! EGADS! Advice: be sure to test this stuff out before the day of the contest to see if it works for you. After all these years, I still stick with pro tan, even through the tedious multiple coat process (Its not TOO awful for me, I seem to get by with a base tan and 3-4 coats, some people seem to need a lot more.

By the way, these fake tans look really fake up close on the street or at the beach, but onstage they look awesome (they also look great for color photographs).

Enough about tanning… here’s what’s going on with the diet, etc.

Today was the second day of carbing up and I ate 400 grams of carbs today, including yams, oatmeal, and a lot of white potatoes, along with small servings of lean meat with every meal and one serving of red meat.

My water intake was at one gallon today. That’s just slightly less than yesterday and close to “normal” intake for me, but still not below normal (the low water intake happens tomorrow)

I started with my potassium supplements today and began taking an all natural herbal diuretic supplement that contains multiple ingredients, the bulk of which consisted of dandelion and uva ursi (natural herbs).

I did not do any training today whatsoever. The only exertion was two sessions of posing, 20 minutes each on the mandatories, and a half an hour or so working on my routine for the night show (with music).

Things are really starting to come together today. I filled out nicely today. By nighttime, I looked much bigger, fuller and more vascular. However, I’m pretty sure that I can take in the full amount of 500 grams of carbs tomorrow that I had planned on. Here’s why: last night, I started filling out but was still a little flat. When I woke up this morning, I was very flat again. So I moved forward with 400 grams today.

By 9 pm today, after my last meal, I had filled out tremendously, but I could see that there was room to fill out more, and I also felt a little hungry today. I figure I might wake up fuller tomorrow, but still just slightly flat, and if that’s what happens, then I will move forward with the full 500 grams of carbs tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, this will be somewhat of an experiment, so we’ll see how it goes.

One thing I noticed that is really good news is that I pump up incredibly easily. Over the past several weeks, I have not been getting very good pumps during my workouts in the gym. This is not surprising, of course, because my carb intake was so low 3 out of every 4 days. Tonight I did one set of push ups, one set of lateral raises and one set of curls just to see what I would look like pumped, and I freakin’ blew up like a balloon! It was freaky! I haven’t experienced pumps like this for as long as I can remember. This is very, very good news indeed and a good sign.

Tomorrow is T-minus ONE DAY and counting, and my last day of carbing up, then it’s showtime.

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