As many of you know, for the past several months I have been preparing for my first natural bodybuilding show. The show is scheduled for October 8. When I started training in April, my measurements were the following:
Bodyweight - 220
Bodyfat % - 14.7
Waist - 35"
Bicep - 16 1/2"
Chest - 43
Thigh - 26
Initially, I used a 5-day split. I also was strict on my diet. My diet consisted mainly of boiled chicken, brown rice, potatoes, eggs, whole wheat, and water. I also made the mistake, fortunately only for a short time, of consuming lots of milk; up to 1 gallon per day. I was following some old-school bodybuilding methods to bulk. Not good for me.
My program and diet worked and I started growing. I grew tired, however, of the five-day split. I soon plateaued. I then tested my strength and found that I had grown weaker. So, I changed my program and since June, have been on a 4-day split. Additionally, I added a max-effort upper and lower movement each week. My max-effort movement changes every three weeks. Generally speaking, the first movement each day I train like a powerlifter (i.e., heavier weight/fewer reps). The accessory movements I train like a bodybuilder (i.e., lighter weight/more reps). My strength shot back up and I grew some more. Currently, my training looks like this:
Monday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Tuesday - Legs, Back and Biceps
Wednesday - Sprints
Thursday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Friday - Legs, Back and Biceps
Around the same time (June-July) I began to cut. My goal was to lose weight but not muscle. So, I knew I had to drop weight slowly. If I cut to fast, I'd lose muscle. So, I gradually dropped my calories while increasing my interval sessions. Additionally, to help ensure I maintain my muscles, I increased my protein intake. It worked!! I dropped weight and any lose of muscle size was nominal. Currently, my measurements are as follows:
Bodyweight - 208
Bodyfat % - 12%
Waist - 32"
Bicep - 17 1/2"
Chest - 45
Thigh - 28
Here are some progress pics:
To be honest, I am starting to doubt that I will be ready for the October 8 show. While my size has increased, I still am not where I want to be. Additionally, from what I understand, I will need to be around 6% bodyfat for the show. A 7% drop in bodyfat in one month while maintaining my size doesn't seem realistic.
While I have made many mistakes in my preparation for my first bodybuilding show, I have learned a lot. I have decided I will seek out a mentor to help guide me, give me objective criticism and to let me know if I'm on the right path. I'll post soon whether I'll be doing the October show or if I will be postponing my first show. Thanks for your support!