If you’re serious about making progress, you want to look your best when you hit the stage, you want to optimize every workout and you want to enable maximum growth potential, THEN YOU DON”T PUT SHIT IN YOUR BODY!!! PERIOD!
It’s not just about numbers! It’s not just about manipulating macronutrients to allow yourself to get lean enough. When you’re only giving your body a set number of calories per day, you want to get as much bang for your buck out of every gram and ounce of food possible! Why would you cut yourself short, by allowing even a small percentage of your caloric intake to come from food that will do nothing positive for your body. During contest prep this becomes even more important! You’re restricting your caloric intake while actually increasing your activity level…you need the absolute best sources of fuel possible, because you get a very limited amount. If you own a sports car would you put low grade fuel in it? Snack food like Baked Lays is NOT OK to eat! I don’t even eat this sh*t in the off-season! It’s useless! Cheat meals and desserts just rob your body of an opportunity to grow. They clog your digestive system, not allowing for optimal assimilation of nutrients. They cause a rapid surge of insulin, leading to fat storage…even if you can undo the damage, you’re wasting time catching up instead of getting ahead! Maybe you’re one of those freaks with a metabolism that allows you to eat sh*t without getting fat…doesn’t matter, these foods are still not going to help you grow. By choosing to eat sh*t instead of nutritious, balanced meals from optimal sources, you are making a statement that you are neither serious about your health or your fitness related goals…especially if you plan on hitting the stage!!! Garbage in, Garbage out!!!
I know this post will piss some people off and frankly I don’t care. Ultimately, it’s your decision how serious you want to be about your health, fitness or competitive goals. ..But please do not tell me that you are serious about making gains with your physique, taking it to another level onstage or improving your health and fitness if you are going to put processed sh*t (this includes protein bars) in your body as part of your regular nutritional regiment.
The choice is yours!
Scivation Xtend (around 10 scoops per day)
Primaforce: alcalean, creaform, DAA (cycled 4 weeks on/off…currentlt off), elastamine, forskolin, idebenone, insopro-r, lean green, pro liver
Vitamin D3 (10,000 iu per day)
Vitamin C (500mg x 2)
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men (multi-vitamin)
Diesel Nutrition Diesel Test
Turmeric (500mg x 2)
Meal 1: Eggwhite/Oatmeal/Blueberry muffins w/ natty pb or Eggwhite/Oatmeal/Sweet Potato waffles w/ PB
Meal 2: 6oz Chicken Breast, 4oz Broccoli, 1/2 cup Oats, 35-40g Hummus + red hot, spicy brown mustard
Meal 3: 2 scoops Scivation Whey, 20 almonds, grapefruit
Meal 4 (preworkout): 7-8 oz Flank Steak, 2 cups quinoa (or oats)
Meal 5 (post-workout): 2 scoops Scivation Whey, 1 cup oats, granola bar (nature’s valley)
Meal 6: Ole Mexican Xtreme Wellness High Fiber, Low carb wrap with Tuna and hummus
Meal 7: either eggwhites + 2-3 whole eggs (the ones with 660mg omega 3′s per egg) or 2 scoops Scivation whey + natty PB
as of late i’ve been adding small meal or extra calorie in here and there. I often end up eating 8 meals instead of 7. This past week Monday morning I weighed in at 218.5 lbs in the morning and thursday was weight hit the highest point in my off-season: 219.5 lbs. The inclusion of red meat on a daily basis has enabled me to bring my weight up considerably, whereas much of the off-season it has remained atypically low
For those interested, my current workout split looks as follows:
Monday: Shoulders & Back + extra arms (triceps and biceps)
Tuesday: Quads, Hams, Calves
Thursday: Chest, Triceps, Biceps
Friday: Lower Back, Hams, Glutes, Calves
Sat & Sun: off
I do cardio at least 4 days a week depending on my schedule with a mix of steady state and HIIT. I also perform abdominal and core exercises several times per week, sometimes in the morning with my cardio and sometimes mixed in with my weight training. I also often throw extra pull-ups in on either thursday or friday, because you CANNOT have too much BACK!!! In the last week Vaughan and I have added forearms exercises in a couple times a week as well with our monday and friday workouts
Trap Bar Deadlifts 535 lbs x 14 reps
York Squat Machine (lots of sets)
Prone Leg Curl superset w/ Calf Raises on leg press
Standing Calf Raises
Seated Calf Raises
Unilateral Leg Press
working set #1
working set #2
working set #3
Giant set: step-ups, lunge/ squat/ lunge/ squat, stairs w/ 140 lb weighted vest
Farmer’s Walk with 220 lb tanks
Prone Leg Curl ( double drop set )
Leg Extension (double drop set)
videos on the way!
this is the fifth article I wrote for NB&F magazine, which appeared in the February 2011 issue
Physical strength is the product of mental fortitude. The human body is designed to adapt to stresses imposed upon it. In order to become physically stronger (which can be defined in various ways) you must continue to impose stress greater than that which your body has already enabled itself to sustain and recover from. In other words, you have to take it to another level if you want to continue improving. Success in any endeavor requires one to get out of his/her comfort zone. In bodybuilding that translates into the willingness to endure pain.
When I look at my own physique and I see the progress I’ve made since being a skinny little boy earlier in life, I am reminded of everything I’ve put myself through over the years to get to where I am. I also know that I need to continue finding new ways to challenge myself, so I can force my body to adapt and become stronger. The longer you’ve been training, the harder this becomes. Each day I walk into the gym I think to myself, “what are my competitors doing?” Part of my philosophy as a competitor is to choose a path that few are willing to follow and even fewer are able to follow. When I plan a leg workout, I often try to come up with things that would make others uncomfortable just to watch. Why? Because when I step onstage, I’ll know that no one standing next to me worked harder and while my physique may not be the best, it will demonstrate my willingness to work.
Since I have been very young, I have always thrived on the ability to do things that others either can’t or would not want to try. The fact that I’m willing to do these things voluntarily lets me know that I am different. Why is this important to me? Because I do not want to be like everyone else! My greatest fear in life is mediocrity! Over the years, I have realized that I seem to be very different than most other people. They don’t understand why I would want to do what I do on a daily basis and I can’t understand how many of them are so easy to give up at the first sign of resistance. How can they not have more resilience?
You can study workout methodologies, splits, rep schemes, etc all day long, but in the end if you aren’t willing to endure some pain, then you will never have an exceptional physique. Not everyone is mentally tough enough, however, to voluntarily put themselves through such rigors. Having worked with numerous clients over the years I have grown to realize that I cannot help someone become physically stronger if they are mentally weak to begin with. Furthermore, mental toughness is something you can’t teach. It’s acquired and learned on one’s own over the course of one’s life. I owe much to my parents for teaching me the value of hard work and sacrifice. I learned very early in life the concept of hard work being equivalent to money in the bank. It’s been said before, but YOU GOTTA PAY YOUR DUES!!! Some people just never figure this out I guess. You can give them all the knowledge you have, but it’s useless because they can’t implement the most basic concept: HARD WORK! I’d rather have a client who’s terribly out of shape, but willing to work over someone who’s very fit, but can’t handle a little bit of pain and is afraid to make sacrifices. It’ll be easier to enable the first type of person to see improvement and results.
Being mentally tough is essential, not only for bodybuilding, but for life. So where does this trait come from? I would argue that it is the result of hardships faced throughout your life. If you haven’t faced some level of hardship in your life, then either you’re too sheltered or you’re just lucky. For everyone else, hardship builds character, enables you to cope and most importantly imposes mental stress that allows for adaptation. This adaptation of mental strength is what provides the foundation for what you must do in order to attain physical strength. A strong healthy body is often the sign of a strong healthy mind. When you look at the very top WNBF pros, you’ll likely find many differences in their approach to training and nutrition. One thing they’ll always have in common, however, is mental fortitude, because without it they would not have gotten to where they are.
This is the fourth article I wrote for NB&F magazine, which appeared in the November 2010 issue
I stated in one of my previous articles that bodybuilding is as much about breaking through psychological barriers as it is physical ones. When I initially wrote that I was referring to one’s ability to make their body do something it doesn’t want to do (body follows the mind). It also pertains, however, to the concept of plateaus, which is what I would like to focus on here. When you’ve been training for 10-20 years or more, it is inevitable that you are going to encounter plateaus with your training. It is crucial that you are able to find a way around these sticking points in order for you to continue making your physique progress. The longer you’ve trained and the more your physique progresses towards your ultimate potential, the harder it is to continually make gains. You have to be willing to sacrifice much more, be more detailed and more disciplined even in order to attain the smallest marginal differences. One of the most important aspects of breaking through these barriers is to recognize the difference between a physical and psychological barrier. Physical barriers, while annoying, are much easier to work around once identified. An example of this is not being able to attain a new personal best at a given lift in terms of weight or reps. It’s not that your workouts aren’t necessarily optimal. You may just need an extra day of rest, a change in volume (sets or reps) or modification to your workout split. Personal records are only one indication of progress, but should not be overly weighted. You can continue to stimulate growth of muscle fibers with effective workouts in which you don’t necessarily outperform yourself each time.
A much trickier obstacle to get around is the psychological plateau. This is when your mind becomes desensitized to the ordinary stimuli. Every competitor has experienced being in a rut at some point. Not having the usual excitement to hit the gym, frustration with lack of drive and inability to equal usual workout intensity are typical symptoms of what is otherwise termed as feeling “burned out”. This is arguably a much harder problem to deal with and requires one to step outside his/herself and establish an objective perspective on their own methodology. This kind of psychological barrier is generally caused by a feeling of monotony. Bodybuilders are notorious for being creatures of habit. Our days follow a similar pattern, which provides structure. This is a good thing 99% of the time. Now and again, however, it becomes the enemy! When you sense this is happening, it’s time to start changing EVERYTHING up. You need a new structure or outline to your day to break the monotony. You need to make both big structural changes and changes in small minor details. Anything to refresh your mindset: Change your workout time, change your meals up, design a completely different workout split, get new music on your ipod, try working out at a different gym, trying working out with someone who can challenge you in a different way, incorporate new types of physical challenges (tire flipping, martial arts, stadium steps…anything different from what you usually do), invent new pre-workout rituals. The bottom line is that you can’t continue to get effective results from a routine that your body and mind has become overly accustomed to. There are limited opportunities to make an impact on your physique before you step onstage again. Don’t allow yourself to be the victim of psychological monotony for another day. Refresh your daily routine and walk into the gym with a vengeance so you can make every workout count!!!
This is the third article I wrote for NB&F, which appeared in the August 2010 issue
When you look at the top pros in the WNBF, you may stop and notice that the vast majority of them are not spring chickens. They’ve been around the iron game for awhile. Most are probably in their mid to upper thirties, while many are even in their forties. What does this mean? First it’s good to know we’re involved in a sport that allows us to continue competing for as long as we can stay healthy and injury free. Second, if you want to make it to the top you have to pay your dues, because there are a lot of guys who have put in their time. A common denominator amongst these top pros is that most of them have been training for 15-20+ years. If you consider an average of 5 resistance training sessions a week, 52 weeks a years over that many years, you’re looking at some tremendous repetitive stress being placed on the body, namely tendons. How is it then, that many of these pros are able to continue coming back to hit the stage, year after year, demonstrating greater and greater progress with their already top level physiques? When you’ve been training that long and you train with the intensity required to consistently place at the top of WNBF shows, it is inevitable that you are going to encounter some nagging injuries and setbacks. I am far from being a top pro, but I am 34 years old, I’ve been competing for over 13 years and I have been training for over 20 years. My next show will be my 30th competition and while I have had disappointing placings, I have continued to make improvement, despite battling numerous bodily issues along the way. In my 13 year career, there were only two years in which I did not compete. I’ve dealt with tendonitis in my arms, shoulders and knees, rotator cuff issues, lower back problems, etc. I still have never had to step away or take time off from training. I have just found ways to work around injuries and aggravations, so that I can continue to make gains, while my body is given time to repair itself. It’s not always about training harder…sometimes it’s about training smarter. Don’t beat your head against a brick wall. As we grow older it becomes necessary to adjust our training methods so as not to continue aggravating existing issues. First off, when you start to develop nagging aches and pains, it’s time to incorporate therapy and preventative maintenance. For instance, rotator cuff exercises for 5 minutes at least three days a week can help keep shoulder pain at bay. Consider how you can strengthen areas that cause problems. Example: Lower back issues can be related to hamstring weakness or inflexibity. You also need to identify specific movements that are aggravating. Sometimes, adjusting your foot positioning on a leg press or squat can take stress off the knees. Consider the angles at which you push and pull…do any feel better or worse for your shoulders, if you’re having issues with them? In the case of tendonitis in the forearms and elbows, experiment with different types of grip (wide, close, medium, pronated, supinated, neutral) and figure out what feels best and worse. You don’t have to completely eliminate anything, but you may alter certain movements while an area is attempting to re-cover. You can also change rep schemes and workout formats/methodology. For instance, instead of working down to a 6-8 rep weight, try picking a weight and a number of reps and continue doing sets (with the lighter working weight) until you achieve the number of reps (50,75,100). Use variations of the same movement. My lower back can’t handle doing traditional heavy deadlifts anymore, but I can get great work for my lower back, hams and glutes doing stiff leg deadlifts with slightly less weight. I concentrate more on form and keep reps higher with more controlled speed. I actually feel like I benefit more from this than when I used to go extremely heavy with conventional deadlifts. On certain exercises, I’ve figured out that it’s not beneficial to exceed a certain amount of weight, even though the strength is not an issue. I have also gotten a lot stricter on my form with everything. As we get older, it becomes a little easier to check our egos at the door and focus on performing exercises correctly rather than just seeing how heavy we can go. Despite not being able to go as heavy on certain movements like squats and deadlifts as I once did, I know that I am overall stronger and have a better physique. This is the result of smarter, more effective training methods. Dealing with injuries over the years has taught me a lot about my body. I have learned something from every ache and pain I’ve encountered. Bottom line: don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do and figure out how to keep moving forward.
This is the second article I wrote for NB&F magazine, which appeared in the May 2010 issue
Importance of Off-Season
For the natural bodybuilder, gains are made in the off-season. Period! It’s unlikely for one to add muscle when they are in a caloric deficit preparing for a show. So if you don’t want to look the same as you did the last time you stepped onstage, then YOU BETTER TAKE YOUR OFFSEASON TRAINING SERIOUSLY!!! What you do on a daily basis in the off-season is just as important as what you do in-season. I can’t understand competitors who don’t get serious about their diet or training until they decide to start prepping for a show. It’s too late then! A true bodybuilder is always getting ready for the next show. The day after you’re done competing, if you’re a true competitor, then you’re already thinking about what you need to do in the off-season to get ready for the following year. EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT EXISTS ONLY ONCE AFTER WHICH AN ADVANTAGE IS EITHER GAINED OR LOST! Are you letting your competitors gain an edge over you while you waste valuable opportunities to grow. Every workout, every day needs to be optimized!!! I don’t care if you’re next show is 2 years away. You don’t miss meals! You make sure you get adequate rest and recovery. You don’t compromise your body doing stupid things! And you TRAIN YOU ASS OFF like you’re next show is only 2 weeks away! This requires sacrifice and it requires you to have faith in the fact that your success in the future is reliant upon every little thing you do, every day leading up to that event over a very long stretch of time. You cannot measure the effects of your actions from day to day or even week to week. You can, however, recognize when someone has paid their dues in the off-season when they step onstage a year or two later. Likewise, you can tell who didn’t take their off-season seriously when they show up looking the same as the year before. Where do you stand?
Ok, now that we’ve addressed the importance of off-season, let’s talk about strategy. I constantly hear bodybuilders talk about or ask me questions about bulking in the off-season. In simple terms, bulking refers to an ingestion of calories that exceeds caloric expenditure, creating a caloric surplus. Theoretically, a caloric surplus should prevent catabolism and enable greater anabolism (assuming calories are properly allocated and come from good sources). The question is how much of a surplus is actually beneficial? Many bodybuilders think they are going to get big by eating tons and tons of food in the off-season. This may work for the chemically enhanced bodybuilder, who is providing the body with exogenous sources of hormones, insulin, hgh, etc, which enable greater synthesis of protein and other nutrients. For the natural bodybuilder, however, I would maintain that there is a limit to how much extra food you can really benefit from. Consider the role that each macronutrient plays. Once the body has what it’s capable of using at one time, force-feeding any additional nutrient is only going to result in one thing: the excess being stored as fat! While you should maintain higher bodyfat levels in the off-season (within reason), the more you have to take off come contest season, the more energy must be expended towards doing so. This means more cardio and more drastic caloric deficits, both of which translate to less energy expended towards your workouts and greater chance of catabolism…kind of defeats the purpose of what you were trying to attain with all those extra calories in the first place.
When determining sufficient amount of calories to allow for growth, you should monitor the progress of your physique throughout your off-season with progress pictures, tracking of bodyweight (same scale, same time of day), and bodyfat measurements (I use a 7 point skin caliper test). Make sure the test is administered by the same person under the same conditions (same time of day, day of week, etc.) These three measures will indicate whether or not you should be increasing your calories. Weight should be tracked on a weekly basis, while bodyfat measurements and progress pictures can be taken about once every four weeks. These will help keep you honest and on track. This will also ensure that you have a solid starting position for your next contest season.
I would also advise that while you are taking in more calories in the off-season, that is the time to incorporate cardio, contrary to popular belief. Cardio vascular health and efficiency enables blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrient delivery are dependant upon blood circulation, which determines both short and long term recovery (how fast you’re able to recover from one set and perform the next and how long it takes to recover in between workouts). Being in better aerobic and anaerobic conditioning as a result of cardiovascular exercise increases your work capacity, enabling you to work harder during your workouts, which translates to more intense workouts and more muscle. You can’t get your legs to grow from doing squats if you get tired and winded after the first couple working sets. Aerobic and anaerobic capacity is a limiting factor to muscle growth. Furthermore, by incorporating cardio in your off-season routine, you’re more likely to utilize the extra calories you take in and the cardio itself is less likely to cause catabolism during this period since you are taking in more calories. If you play your cards right, you may actually to able to taper cardio down or even phase it out as your contest approaches, saving your energy for your workouts and posing sessions.
In order to have a productive off-season, in which strength and lean mass gains are made, you stay lean and focused on your next goal, you must have a strong transition from the end of one season into your off-season. At the end of a contest season, if all you’re thinking about is food and how much you want to eat, then your off-season will likely suck, because your mind has already set the tone for what is going to happen after your show. Just like you have a plan of action to get yourself in shape for a show, you need a plan of action to come off of a show and work towards the next one. Right now I have six weeks left in my 25 week contest prep. I have already created a sample off-season diet to start following the Monday after the show, which includes more calories (mainly from added carbohydrates and fat). I thought about how to structure my meals, so that they seem slightly different than what I was doing for the 25 weeks before. I’ve also started jotting down some lofty strength goals that I am going to pursue. I’ve picked a weight that I want to perform for a given number of reps on several different exercises, beyond what I was capable of doing in my previous off-season. My mind is already thinking about making progress as a bodybuilder when my last show of the season is over.
Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy some good food when the show is over and will have my cheat meals here and there, but structure, planning and discipline must be maintained. Allow yourself a certain degree of leniency over the first month or so (you don’t want to set yourself up for failure), but keep some rules and phase yourself back to a completely structured plan over a period of several weeks. You have to realize that by the end of a rigorous contest season the metabolism has been slowed significantly. If you just go ahead and eat whatever you want for days on end, your body will store fat very efficiently. Your winning physique will quickly be lost, you will physically look and feel terrible and worst of all, it will affect you psychologically. When you’re used to looking in the mirror for several months and seeing a shredded physique that then suddenly disappears in a matter of days, it can cause depression! The best way to combat this is to start working towards your next goal right away and keep things in check so you don’t look like a water buffalo inside a week. A few tips along these lines: Sunday is generally a travel day to get back home, but Monday you should be back in the gym working out. Get back in your routine! You’re going to want to eat certain less than healthy foods that week, so build some cheat meals into your structured plan. For instance, give yourself a 24 hour period from the end of the show Saturday night until Sunday night when you go to bed to eat whatever you want. Monday morning you’re back to a structured meal plan with more calories (incorporating some different foods, so it doesn’t seem the complete same) and wait until Wednesday night for your next cheat meal. Stay on track Thursday and Friday and wait until Saturday afternoon/evening once you’ve gotten a certain number of good meals in. Leave Sunday open to eat what you want. Over the next month, work on making your cheat meals cleaner or less frequent. Continue incorporating some cardio while your body becomes acclimated to higher calories. Remember, a true bodybuilder is one who is working towards improvement 12 months of the year!!!
This was the first article I wrote for NB&F magazine back during the fall of 2009 when I was prepping for the WNBF US Cup and World Championships
What It Takes
By: Kurt Weidner
As I sit here and write this article, while I consume another delicious serving of chicken and broccoli, I begin week 16 of a 25 week preparation for the WNBF World Championships. This preparation really began over a year ago last summer, when I returned home from the WNBF Mid-America. The end of this summer also marks over twelve years as a competitive natural bodybuilder, for me (Worlds will be the 29th show of my career). In that time bodybuilding has certainly become a very large part of my life. So I would like to share with you my perspective on what this sport is about to me and what it takes to succeed not only onstage, but also as a competitor carrying out all the other demands that life places on us. First of all, what is natural bodybuilding about to me? For me it is about challenging the limits of the human body. Every day I am manipulating my physique via specific regimented training and nutritional methods with the end goal of maximizing muscle mass, shape, definition and symmetry while minimizing subcutaneous fat and water to look as close to perfect as possible for a single day…in an event in which I am compared to others trying to do the same thing. Everyday leading up to that event the actions I take bring me closer to my goal. In each 24 hour period I am focused on every detail…every hour of sleep, every meal, every workout, every posing session…it’s all part of the bigger picture even if my next show is a year away. The package I present when I step onstage is the culmination of all those things. Discipline, focus and sacrifice to be my absolute best for one day. My lifelong challenge is to see how far I can take my physique. Part of the challenge is to do this without the use of performance enhancing drugs. In my eyes, those who choose to build their physiques using drugs lack the mental fortitude, patience, discipline and dedication required to do it naturally. Besides, I am not interested in destroying my body, which is what drugs do, no matter what kind you are talking about.
Having competed in sports my entire life, I can honestly say that this sport (I prefer to call it a lifestyle) is very unique. It requires complete focus and attention to detail all the time…not just while you’re onstage or in the gym. If you truly want to succeed at the higher levels you must be willing to devote all of yourself, not just for days or weeks, but months and years! While I do not claim to be more than an average bodybuilder, I do feel that I have worked hard enough over a very long period of time to demonstrate considerable positive changes in my less than genetically optimal physique. It took me a long time to get there. I began competing at 21 years old and I did not win my first overall title until I was 26 (if I remember correctly) and had competed in nine or ten shows already. Let it be known that I am an extremely competitive person and I do not enjoy losing…for me taking second place is a loss (it’s not a win). I took my fare share of second places as an amateur and as a pro have yet to win a class. Every single time, year after year, contest season after contest season I go back to the drawing board and figure out what I need to do to improve. How can I train harder? What can I do to bring up my weak points? How I am going to make sure the outcome is better next time? How am I going to assure myself that the overall package I bring to the stage the next time around is going to be harder to beat? If it’s not, then there’s no point in me ever stepping onstage again.
I get very frustrated with young competitors, who think that because they trained hard and dieted strict for a few months that they should be able to step onstage and win. YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES!!! There are competitors out there who have been paying their dues for years and you are going to face them when you step onstage. You want to win? Ask yourself: How many years are you willing to train as hard as possible, eat right everyday, practice posing, do the right thing both in and out of the gym DAY IN AND DAY OUT??? Don’t tell me about it, just do it! Then one day you’ll step onstage and it’ll be your turn to reap the rewards.
Bodybuilding is a very physically and mentally demanding LIFETSYLE. Everyday we are putting pressure on ourselves to bring our physique to the next level…to raise the bar and set a new standard of excellence! Physically we are pushing ourselves to the limits. What’s more is that we are doing it while in a constant caloric deficit. Ultimately, we are making our body do something it doesn’t want to do…THAT’S WHY IT’S AWESOME! WE WANT TO PROVE THAT IT CAN BE DONE! THAT’S WHAT THAT DAY IS ABOUT WHEN YOU STEP ONSTAGE!!! You must be willing to do whatever it takes to get there, because you know that the feeling of achievement far outweighs any degree of sacrifice you had to make or pain you had to endure to get there. If you’re like me, you’ve experienced that feeling onstage enough to know that you’re willing to put yourself through anything (no matter how hard) to get that “high” again, but only better. This is why I don’t need drugs. I get a natural euphoria from competing that I created myself. It comes from within.
This is where I would like to point out something else that I think is very important. While the lifestyle is demanding and implementing it to the degree that will bring you success at the highest levels is even more demanding, you have to remember one thing…YOU CHOSE TO DO THIS! Why? For me, it gives me purpose, it provides a challenge and gives me a constant goal to strive towards. NOBODY IS MAKING ME DO THIS! For that reason, I do my best to never complain about feeling tired, light-headed, exhausted, etc. I am a bodybuilder and it is part of my life, but life goes on. I have plenty of other tasks that need to be performed on a daily basis and they are indifferent as to what I’m putting myself through. Housechores must be done, the dogs must be walked and given attention, I have to continue to devote myself to my clients at work. I must invigorate them and motivate them to continue improving their own lifestyles. The lawn has to be mowed. Life does not get put on hold during contest preparation. You must be able to balance things and get it all done and most importantly, be able to do so without complaining about it or without it affecting others’ perception of you or your bodybuilding lifestyle. If you are going to constantly complain about how tired you are, how hungry you are, hard much carb depletion sucks, then CHOOSE another activity. This is not for you. We all have our days when we may be a little irritable, but the bottom is, if you are in this for the long haul, then you need to learn to suck it up and deal. Besides, while I love bodybuilding and I am willing to dedicate quite a bit of time and effort towards improving my physique, it does not pay the bills and it does not take precedence over certain other priorities. It shouldn’t have to. You must learn to balance it with everything else.
Along the same lines, remember that since you chose this lifestyle YOU NEED TO LEARN TO ENJOY IT! I have often heard competitors gripe about what they have to go through and they dread beginning their contest preparation diet. You should look forward to the beginning of a new season, enjoy the transformation process that your body goes through and not just simply look forward to it being over so that you can eat your favorite foods again. Preparing for a show is an exhilarating experience. Take pride in what you are capable of doing during this time. When I get light-headed, walking my dogs up the hill by my house in the later weeks of contest preparation, it tells me that I’m getting closer to my goal and thus I enjoy it. I take great pride in finding a way to work just as hard in-season, completing 50 set leg workouts on 1500 calories less than my off-season maintenance level. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I remind myself before every workout that I absolutely cannot allow caloric restriction to prevent me from having a good workout. This lifestyle is as much about breaking through psychological barriers as it is physical barriers. On your absolute worst day of contest prep, when you are as run-down and depleted as you can be, remind yourself this: there are many people out there who deal with pain and suffering everyday with no choice in the matter. Some face conditions that offer little for them to look forward to and they would give anything to have the opportunities that you have, yet somehow they don’t complain and find a way to smile each day.
Focus on the positives. Don’t think about the food you can’t eat. All the restaurants and grocery stores will still be there when your season is over. Don’t think about being tired. Find it in yourself to give more and convince yourself that your body will follow your mind. Think strong and be strong. Remind yourself everyday of why you measure all your food, plan every meal, push yourself to exhaustion in the gym, , endure more pain…because you know that in the end IT’S WORTH IT! There’s no better feeling in the world than producing a finished product worthy of your own satisfaction when you finally hit the stage and more importantly, being able to look back at the 6 month journey leading up to the show, knowing there was nothing else you could have done that would have made you look better.
following my weekend at the Arnold, I set a PR on the Hammer Strength H-Squat during my tuesday (3/8) leg workout
2011 Arnold Classic
This year I was fortunate enough to have the honor of working the Scivation booth at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. I feel very privileged to be a part of Scivation. I have been involved with Scivation as a sponsored athlete for almost six years, taking me back to the early days of the company. It’s amazing to see the growth and progress that has transpired during that time. It reminds me of why I chose their products to begin with well before I was ever sponsored. It’s rare to find ethics in the supplement industry, but this is a company that designs products with the intent of actually using them, NOT JUST SELLING THEM and making a profit. Special thanks to Marc Lobliner and Rob Moran for running a great company, offering the best products on the market, and allowing me to be a part of team.
The presence of great competitors at the Arnold provides an atmosphere that is energizing and electrifying. Despite waking up at 3:30am Friday, driving 5 hrs to Ohio, working the booth until 6pm, I was still able to hit a PR on deadlifts at 8pm during my training session with my old workout partner, Brian Whitacre. The Adrenalin was flying and I managed to pull 525 lbs for 13 reps on the trap bar. Brian is one of my closest friends, though I rarely get to see him anymore since I live in VA and he lives in OK. My 2 training sessions with him alone made my trip to Ohio worthwhile.
I had the opportunity to train with Brian Whitacre during his time in Blacksburg, VA as he was finishing his Phd. Brian was the best training partner I could have ever asked for. He’s constantly looking for new methods to improve his physique and is always game to find ways to take it to another level. Like me, Brian enjoys employing methods of training that others would likely not want to even try. Brian has won the pro lightweight class at the WNBF World Championships 3 times now. The few opportunities I get to hang out with him are always highly valued!
Being at the Arnold gives you that much more incentive to not only train, but train balls to the wall! While working the booth all the day, the one thought that stayed in my head all day was “I can’t wait to go hit the gym tonight!” Being in the company of so many top level natural pro competitors was certainly both inspiring and motivating.
During my time at the expo I had the opportunity to chat with world renowned female bodybuilder Brenda Rahe. I was even fortunate enough to get a picture with the World Champion. The Scivation booth also featured WNBF Pro Rob Moran (vice president), CEO and Scivation owner Marc Lobliner, Musclemania pro Matthew Liller, IFPA pro Tommy Jeffers, IFPA pro Layne Norton, IFPA Ron Parmeter, Ryan Doris, Bob Kupniewski and Derek Charlebois to name a few.
Overall, the weekend in Columbus was a great experience and it was exciting to be a part of Scivation as the company is ready to introduce new products to the line and release reformulated versions of existing highly demanded products.
Two weeks ago we filmed Kurt’s exquisite culinary skills as he showed us how to bake his infamous blueberry muffins. Know that his supervisors were most pleased with the final products.
- Kurt will be posting a write up on his visit to the Arnold
- This weekend we will be filming with yet another insight into the wide world of Kurt Weidner’s refrigerator, so be sure to look for the new video! Sweet potato waffles this time!