The “Master Plan” For Bodybuilding Competition #2
Tuesday, October 18th, 2005. Here we go again! Two more weeks of training then it’s time for the next (and last) competition of the 2005 season – the NPC New Jersey Gold’s Classic on Saturday, October 29th. I’ve done three shows in a year/season before, but I think two competitions is plenty for me this year… Then again, I’ve been know to change my mind, and there are more shows on the contest calendar… But then again… I’m hungry! In fact, somebody send me food in mass quantities! (anything except chicken breast and green vegetables, please!)
- A1 Incline Smith Machine
- 3 light warm up sets
- 1 set X 155 lbs X 15 reps
- 1 set X 175 lbs X 12 reps
- 1 set X 185 lbs X 12 reps
- A2 Low Incline Dumbbell Flyes
- 3 sets X 40 lbs X 12-15 reps
- no rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
- B1 Flat Bench cable Flyes
- 3 sets X 60 lbs X 15 reps
- B2 Flat bench dumbbell Press, neutral grip (palms face each other)
- 3 sets X 60 lbs X 8-12 reps
- no rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
- A1 Incline Dumbbell Curl
- 1 set X 30 lbs X 15 reps
- 1 set X 35 lbs X 12 reps
- 1 set X 40 lbs X 10 reps
- 1 set X 45 lbs X 7 reps, drop to 25 lbs X 12 more reps
- B1 Icarian Curl Machine, One Arm At A Time
- 2 sets X 60, 50 lbs X 10, 8+2 forced reps
- C1 Cross body alternating Hammer Curl
- 2 sets X 40 lbs X 12 reps
- A1 Dumbbell Wrist Curl
- 3 sets X 60 lbs X 15-20 reps
- A1 Swiss Ball crunches
- 3 sets X 40 lbs X 12-15 reps, very slow/strict
- B1 Swiss Ball side crunches
- 3 sets X bodyweight X 20-25 reps per side
In past years when I competed more than once in a season, I always, without exception, came in leaner, tighter and harder for the second (or third show). Because of the fact that most people will usually show up in better shape the second time around, I know a lot of bodybuilders who select a primary contest, and then choose a “warm up” show two or three weeks prior. It’s a little challenging to do two shows back to back one weekend after another, but spaced out two weeks, I consider it ideal.
As long as you don’t binge or otherwise fall off the wagon, additional time on your diet will only improve your conditioning. As a body builder, when I say “conditioning” I’m referring to low body fat first and foremost, but not just low body fat. Conditioning also means the appearance of muscle hardness, separation between muscle groups, striations, vascularity, the thin-skinned look and sharp, crisp muscle definition.
That’s the plan for these next two weeks – better conditioning… get even leaner, tighter and harder for this second show. I’ll probably be even lighter (body weight) for this second show as well.
I definitely came in very full last time in terms of carbing up. You can always tell when your carb up timing and when your quantity of carbs consumed was on the money by seeing how you look the day after the show. Its very common for a bodybuilder to pig out the night of the show on every type of junk food imaginable, and then actually look better on Sunday! It’s maddeningly frustrating, and usually means you under-carbed. On the other hand, if you are “washed out” (holding water, spilled over, even a little puffy looking) the day after the contest, (after eating your “cheat meal”), but you were sharp and full for the prejudging and the night show, then you got your carb up just right.
The latter is what happened to me last week. However, I do feel that I was just slightly water retentive and could have been dryer, resulting in more muscle definition and a crisper, sharper look. I may change my water and or carb intake slightly for the next show to see if I can come in just as full, but also dryer. Instead of increasing the carbs from Wednesday through Friday I may go back to the way I used to do it – front load the carbs and decrease them from Wednesday to Friday, or I may consume just slightly less carbs overall.
I’m not going to concern myself too much about my placing, because you just don’t know who is going to show up at these competitions (and what they’re “on”). I’m simply going to focus on what I can control, and that is improving my own conditioning. However, the way I see it, if I took 2nd in the novice middleweights looking the way I looked last week (99% of my best conditioning), and if the level of competition is similar in the novice middles at the Gold’s Classic on the 29th, then I’m confident that I can take 1st place if I improve my conditioning the rest of the way to 100%.
At this point, that doesn’t necessarily mean stricter dieting or more/harder training, it just means more time dieting and training. In fact, I plan on actually eating a little more carbs on my low carb days – probably 175-200 grams, and keeping my cardio at one 45 minute session a day. To eat less carbs/calories or continue with double cardio at this point would risk muscle loss.
As for training, I will continue with my 4 day split, 3 days on 1 day off, one major, one minor muscle group per session. I will be training hard, but not with the fierce intensity I did over the first three months of my precontest training phase. As with overdieting, overtraining at this point could cost me precious muscle tissue. So, I will do as Lee Haney used to preach, “Stimulate, don’t annihilate.”
Actually I’m going to have to take it a little easy on pushing workouts. I’m not sure how or when it happened, but somehow I injured my left elbow/tricep. I first noticed it on Sunday when I was at Body Quest gym the day after the competition. I could tell I tweaked something even while just working out with light weights for photos. Today I could really feel it in my pressing exercises and I was forced to use fairly light weights for higher reps, and even then it hurt more at the end of the workout than at the beginning.
With the exception of on and off low back issues that kept me from heavy squatting this year, I’ve been pretty fortunate in the no-injuries department. You do have to be careful though, because when your body is this light, depleted, fatigued and overtrained in general, you are much more susceptible to all kinds of pulls, strains, or who knows what else.
Between now and the October 29th competition I only have two more workouts for each body part, so it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m not going to push it; I’m simply going to stimulate pump/blood flow and work high reps on tricep day, and also on my chest and shoulder pressing exercises (for shoulders, I’ll just do laterals and upright rows instead of presses, so I don’t even involve the triceps).
After the competition, I plan on taking a full week of total rest, then starting back up slowly with a couple weeks of less intense training before getting into the hard and heavy off season mass building training. This will give time for my body to recuperate completely and for the little aches and pains to heal up completely. Then it will be time to “KICK SOME MASS!”