Road to the Worlds
15 weeks out from the World Championships held in Belfast. Currently I am training hard, keeping lean, but gradually taking my calories higher, keeping things simple and not over complicating my prep. At the minute I am feeling a lot stronger, hitting personal bests on squats and the leg press which I am really enjoying. Training is going great, I've got an amazing support network around me. Three weeks into my diet and I am really enjoying my meals, I have got a good routine going where I prep my food twice a week; Sunday & Thursday, this works out perfect for me. So no excuses, it roughly takes me 2 hours maximum, but I like to be accurate with my food weighed out so I maybe spend a little extra time over this.
Competing is not my only focus at the moment, I have about 8 weeks until I shoot with Christopher Bailey for MonsterSupplements.com, this is going to be a great day shooting & videoing myself and Josh Beet (MonsterSupplements Guru) ready for when we hit body power NEC Birmingham in May. So right now I am working towards that, as well as my competitions.
Early on in the month I arranged to meet with a friend of mine who won British freestyle dance champs 5 years in a row and the worlds once, we have been working closely to put something special together for my next competitions, this is something out of my comfort zone but I am really enjoying it. I am practising weekly to begin with and soon I will be slipping into my heels to practise my quarter turns & poses, this is one aspect I take seriously as I feel you must present yourself well on the day and this is what I intend to do.
Training has changed slightly for me, lots of sets, high reps and adding more weight, keeping my form throughout. Drop sets, working sets and training to failure is what I use in my workouts too, but most importantly new ideas, exercises, different routines etc. To keep it exciting and keep my body guessing.
I am paying particular attention to other body parts more than others, I use the mirror, scales and pictures to assess where I am and how I'm looking, this helps especially if you are dieting for 14+ weeks, as you can look back and see where your improvements are needed or where you have improved on.
My training partner Richard Wilds has been incorporating different exercises into my routine to help target the muscle from different angles, this has been a great help especially for legs as most basic leg exercises can become repetitive, and after almost a year of training them constantly I can begin to see why they could hit a point where they are not being forced to change.
I have some small goals that I have set myself over the coming weeks and I am happy with how I am looking at the moment, I learnt a lot about myself last year which really has helped me progress this year.
I chose the highest quality butcher rather than buying from the supermarket. My reason being, very simply; you pay for what you get, and I want to ensure that the foods I eat are the best.
The type of content that I consume each month is 5kg of each chicken, salmon & haddock. A few changes have been made since off season such as dropping the beef for now, this is something I will perhaps put back into my diet, but for sure the next 14 weeks I will most certainly be sticking to fish. I am taking each week at a time and depending on how I am looking will determine how I tweak my foods. I have been adding Himalaya salt, herbs & spices to my meals, olive oil, coconut oil and even some fresh lemon juice which makes a huge difference to the taste, so why not give it a go!
For the first few weeks of getting into my prep I have been really strict and opted not to have a cheat meal once a week, however now I am three weeks in I will use the cheat meal tool to begin with, not necessarily being too greedy and binging but using it to my advantage rather than going overboard. I will gradually use these days as re-feed days and increase my carbohydrates, I don't run on a low carb diet so it's not a massive issue for me but I feel it will do me more good than bad, I may even apply these every 10-14 days.
I'm considering switching to turkey next month for something a little different to chicken, keeping my foods interesting and just mixing things up. It's the same as what I'm doing regarding training, all aspects of fitness can be switched around to help keep you motivated, but the single most important key to body building is to be consistent, and that I am good at.
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