Sunday, May 7, 2006


It's all over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it! I placed 3rd in the Novice Light Heavyweight Class, and took 5th in the Light Heavyweight Open class. I couldn't be happier with my placings. I thought the judges decisions were very fair, and maybe even a little generous in the Novice class. I never thought I'd have walked out with a 3rd place trophy. I have a very hectic few days coming up on me now, but as soon as time permits I will write a detailed account of the whole day here. I just wanted to post the results. I'll have lots and lots more pictures as well.

I would like to take a moment to thank the following people who came out and lent their support. It meant more to me than you could ever know.

Thank you to...

Rizzi Bolur
Rick Bach
Steve Finkler

Mike Else
Ian Hoffman
Lauren Hoffman

My Mother
My Father
My Stepmother Andrea
Neil Miller

And of course Holly, who has put up with more shit in the course of this whole process than anyone. Her patience, encouragement, and love made this possible.

I'd also like to make another special mention to my Father, who helped me through every single step of this process, and was there for me every step of the way. I literally would not have been able to do it at all without him.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Well, This Is It!

Alright! Here we go!

I have one more meal this evening... my last batch of turkey burgers. My next meal will be real food again. My water cuts off at 7pm this evening. Then I'm dry until after pre-judging tomorrow. Then I get a little water, just to keep from passing out.

Neil rolls into town in a few hours, and Holly will be here soon. My Father comes by in an hour and a half to apply the second coat of Pro Tan. Then I just dry off, relax, and try to get as much sleep as I can.

This will be my last post until after the show. I will post again with pictures, and the results as soon as I can.

Thank you to all of those who are going to come out and lend your support. Your presence means the world to me.

Now it's time to go and do a bodybuilding competition!

Larry Weiss

This is a very important dedication...

I have planned on writing this since I decided to compete, and on this the eve of my competition I feel it's time.

Several people have asked me about this picture up in my place.

This is Larry Weiss.

Larry is very heavily responsible for my interest in working out, and bodybuilding. Not to take away from my parents by any means, as they were both a huge influence on me. Going to see my Father compete was my initial inspiration into bodybuilding and something I've always been proud of him for doing...

Larry was instrumental in getting me on the road there myself.

Larry was good friends with my Father, they even lived together for a period of time. He was responsible for encouraging my Father to begin his bodybuilding career. He was an ex-vietnam vet, and a very knowledgeable bodybuilder. He had more trophies than anyone I've met to this day. His room was just crammed with them. Larry was the guy in the gym who everyone was always asking for advice from. He was a very cool tempered man, who was clearly at peace with himself and the world around him. He lived each day to the fullest, and had fun in everything he did. I don't know if he ever went more than a minute without smiling or laughing.

A laugh I can still hear to this day.

When I was in high school and decided to start working out, Larry took me under his wing. Larry would go into the gym, train for 2 hours, then I'd show up, and then he'd train me for 2 hours, and then he'd hang out for another few hours. He was the epidimy of a gym rat. He loved to be there.

Larry drilled the importance of proper form into me from day one. He would not let me lift any kind of signifcant weight unless I could execute the movement properly. He would always tell me, "learn to do it properly, and the weight will come." Larry was right.

I am often accused of being on steroids or growth hormones due to the results I've gotten from my workouts. The reality is that the results I have gotten are soley due to the fact that I was taught to do everything right, right from the beginning. So my workouts garner the maximum results. Not to mention, Larry would have never approved of steroids, or HGH. Larry taught me not only proper form, but the importance in how to organize and plan effective workouts.

Larry was an unending well of support and encouragement, not only in bodybuilding but in life.

He knew I had a hard time in school, and didn't always have the best relations with my folks. Larry was sympathetic, and encouraging to me. He tried to build confidence and strength of mind in me, as well as strength of body. Back in high school, when Regal Begal Productions was in full swing, and we were making the movies and newsletter, he loved it. He was a big fan.

He, my Father and I went on motorcycle trips often. Larry loved to ride, and had a Honda Goldwing that had more lights on it than a Vegas casino. He was also rarely seen without some crazy hat on, and you rarely saw the same one twice.

That was Larry.

I'll never forget a trip my Father and I took with Larry, and one night after dinner we were in our hotel room, and he had me laughing so hard I puked. It's actually one of my fondest memories of him outside of the gym.

Larry had a radience to him that everyone around him felt. Just being around him put you in a good mood. So much that he was approached about doing a public access workout television show, which he innevitably entitled, "Let's Workout", as that's what you'd often hear Larry suggest. I was fortunate enough, and honored to have been a guest on his show when he did an episode focusing on bicep movements. Larry was always impressed with the shape, and peaks on my biceps.

One of my favorite moments on that show, was when we demonstrated "buddy curls". This was something Larry and I did in our own workouts with one another often. I loved doing them. One person holds an empty EZ curl bar, while the other person provides the resistance for one intense all out, balls to the wall rep. I asked him if we could include it in the show since I loved it so much, and he didn't bat an eye. We did it.

Larry pushed me more than anyone ever has in any workout I've ever had. Larry had me leg pressing almost 900lbs at one point. He'd put me on the leg extension machine, and would have me do drop sets pulling the pin one weight at a time for the whole stack. My quads would be on absolute fire, and they literally buckled out from under me on several occasions... and I loved every single second of it. I have yet to have a workout to this day that even compared to the ones I'd have with Larry every single day after school and on the weekends.

Without the time I spent with Larry, and the knowledge and confidence he instilled in me, I would not be sitting here pro-tanned and less than 24 hours from competing in my first bodybuilding competition. He wanted me to compete in the teen division back when I was 18. Which is something in retrospect I wish I had done. All of the things I learned from him have not only benefited me in my own workouts, but have allowed me to excel in my career as a personal trainer. Something else that I would never have aspired to be had I not had the greatest personal trainer ever.

Post high school, when I was supporting myself working 60 hour weeks I couldn't work out anymore, and had lost touch with Larry. I wish I hadn't.

A few years back, Larry was diagnosed with cancer. He was gone within 6 weeks. It all happened so fast, and so few people knew about it that I didn't even hear about it until he had already died, and was buried. Larry was given a military burial ceremony. I was devestated when I heard the news. The thought of never getting to train with him again, go on a trip... see him eat 3 dinners at once... it broke my heart that I never got to say good bye, or even more importantly... thank you.

Last Father's day, my Father and I visited Larry's grave for the first time. It was very difficult for me to stand there and see his name on that headstone. But it is a very beautiful military cemetary. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my father cry in my life. That day standing there with him over Larry's grave was one of them. My Father is not a very outwardly emotional man, but he won't hesitate for a second to tell you how great of a friend, and how important Larry was to him.

He was that special.

In wrestling there is a tradition. When a tag-team partner, or fellow wrestler dies, you honor their memory by writing their initials on the tape around your wrists. While I don't have to tape my wrists during my workouts I do often use wrist wraps for chin-ups, shrugs etc. LW has been written on them since I got the news. They are the very same wristwraps I've used since Larry and I trained together almost 10 years ago.

Now, when I'm in the gym and in my last few reps of a set, and need to push myself through them, I just hear his voice in my head cheering me on telling me to push, and it gets me through it. He's still coaching me in that way.

In the wake of his passing, I refused to perform buddy curls with anyone. That was our thing. In time, I allowed myself to finally break down and do them with some of my clients... to honor his memory. I know he'd want me to, rather than go the rest of my life and never do those again. But there isn't a single time I do those and just wish more than anything that he was on the other end of that bar.

There are very few friends of mine who ever had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Larry Weiss, but the ones who did always had great things to say about him. Even then people knew what he meant to me.

Back in the day when you were called on stage to do your routine, the announcer would usually thank a short list of people for you if you'd like. This apparently doesn't happen anymore, which is unfortunate, as I would have very much liked to have acknowledged Larry Weiss.

Since the day I decided to do this, I knew I wanted to dedicate my competiton to Larry.

Tomorrow night I will be honored and priveledged to have Larry's eldest son Grant in attendance to support me. It means the absolute world to me that he'll be there.

When I take the stage tomorrow evening I will perform my 1 minute routine, and at the conclusion I will point straight up to the heavans... that is me thanking Larry.

As I've sat here writing this I'm ruining the pro-tan on my face as I am streaking it up with tears.

To Larry:

Thank you SO much for your time, your patience, your smile, your caring, your understanding, and your love. Not a workout goes by that you are not in my thoughts. I'm sorry I never got to thank you while you were with us, and that I never got to say good bye. I know you will be there with me in spirit when I take the stage tomorrow night, and I dedicate all of my efforts for this show to you.

If there is a heaven, then I will see you there... and we will do some buddy curls.

I love you and miss you,


The Day Before The Show

This will be my last day of posts until after the show.

I had so much momentum going into this weekend, until I had everyone who said they were coming, bail out on me. Now it has really taken the wind out of my sails, which sucks to have this happen the day before the show. I was doing so good up until this.

Granted, my emotions are very fragile presently due to the diet, the drop in water, and everything else that comes along with the conclusion of this whole process. I had a hard time sleeping last night, because I've just been feeling depressed ever since I was flooded with e-mails and voicemails of EVERYONE cancelling.

This is such a big deal to me... I don't know...

I really don't want to take away from how much I appreciate those who ARE coming out to support me. If anything my appreciation for their presence has only been amplified a thousand times now.

You have to understand that at a bodybuilding competition, you NEED to have as big of a cheering section as you can. You need to be able to feed off the crowd, and short of the people who have come out specifically for you, there won't be anyone else cheering or screaming for you. Most people in the audience are there to see the person they came out to support and that's it. Depending on when their person finally hits the stage, the crowd may have had to sit through 50 posing routines already, and are just straight up tired or bored.

Well, anyway...

On the brighter side of things, today is indeed the last day before the competition. This will be my last day of eating turkey burgers, my last day of drinking nothing but water. Granted, tomorrow I won't be eating or drinking anything, but the next time I do I will be able to have whatever I want.

This is one of those times of reflection. Like your last day of school, or your last day at a job...

10 Months ago I decided to finally do this competition. I had several people all telling me that I should compete. I never thought I'd have anything to offer in a bodybuilding competition, and being aware of the politics involved in such a competition, I had avoided it.

The night that finally pushed me over the edge that made me decide to do this, was a party at Tree's. I still remember it perfectly. I was standing outside having drinks and talking with Dan & Mash, and they both were on me about doing a show. Up until this point, I felt like when most people suggested me competing, they were simply trying to be complimentary and that was it. I knew if Mash and Dan, were insistent that it was a good idea, then they weren't bullshitting me and they really felt I should do it. I respect them, and so if they say I should do it then that was that. The next morning I was at the gym working out, and that conversation with them kept running over and over in my head. That day I decided I was going to do it.

So here we are... 10 months later, 45lbs lighter, and 1 day out from the competition. Unfortunately neither of the gentlemen who inspired me to finally do this will be in attendance, but my appreciation for their encouragement remains great.

Thank you to both Dan & Mash, for making me believe in myself enough to go through this whole process and accomplish this goal. I miss you both.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

1st Coat Of Pro-Tan

Well, I'm sitting here naked... waiting for the first coat of pro-tan to dry. I'll get a second coat tomorrow evening, and then the last one the morning of the show. It's messy stuff, and it's wierd to be painted up like this... but this is all part of the deal.

Getting It Over With

Well, I just found out that I will most likely go up early in the show. The Novice class is one of two classes I'm competing in, and is the first one up. I'm also in the light-heavyweight open, but you only do your routine once. So unless I somehow place in the top 5 of the open, I won't have to go up again. So I'm glad I'm going to get to just get up there and hit it.

I'm excited, and looking forward to it all.

Last Workout Before The Show

Well, I just had my last workout before the show. Everyone in the gym is cheering me on, and as I said before, they are all SO supportive of me, and I just can't express how appreciative I am of it.

So, now at this point I just need to keep practicing my posing, and get some rest.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Last Day Of Work Before The Show

Well, today was my last day at work before the show.

I got lots of good luck wishes from clients, as well as cards from them and co-workers. I have had TONS of support througout all of this from everyone, and I am very appreciative of it all. I cannot say that I went without the support of my friends and peers during this.

It's funny, because there's so many clients who I've taken on in the course of this, and they've never known me in any other state than the one I'm in now. My co-workers have never seen me eat anything other than turkey burgers.

They're all taking me out to lunch on Monday. That will be a trip for both them and me, as I've never gotten to go with them all when they go out for food.

It meant a lot to me to have all of the support from everyone today, and I'm just trying to ride the wave of momentum I've got going straight through the show.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Getting Rough

Last night really sucked. Being hungry hasn't really been much of an issue for me since the beginning of the diet. But last night I was just starving. Even after having my dinner, I had that almost sick feeling from being so hungry, but that was the last meal of the day, so there was nothing I could do. So around 8:30 last night I tried to just put the day behind me and went to bed. I knew this could lead to me waking up real early, but I didn't mind that. I'd get my workout and tan overwith, and have more time in the morning to get some stuff done. But I was up all night. I only average about 5 to 6 hours of sleep these days as it is, so around 12:30 last night I woke up and was wide awake, and still painfully starving. I slept a little on and off the rest of the night, but overall it sucked. I drank lots of water to try and ease some of the hunger cravings. I'm supposed to be drinking shitloads of water regardless, so it was productive in that regard. By the time I got up and went into the gym this morning, I was a wreck and have been since. My nerves are going full blast right now. For no good mental reason. It's just the low carbs, training, stress, and lack of sleep. I feel like I could either break out into hysterics laughing, or break down and cry. I just have to make it through today and tomorrow, and then work will be done for the week, and then I'll get through this shit a little easier.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Posing Routine

Well, I just got back from my Father's. I had he and my stepmother watch my posing routine, and they both said it looks great. So I'm glad they think it looks good. I still have to tighten it up but it generally looks good now.

The posing routine is what everyone is essentially coming out to see. It's my one minute of time I get on stage. I come out, I stand on the X and hit all of my best poses to my music. So I want it to be as perfect as possible. You're not judged on it at all, but like I said it's what everyone is going to see, when I'm on stage for the 1 minute of time that everyone drove and hour and a half to come out there.

I really think I've been my toughest critic throughout this whole thing. My Father thinks I look great, and I'm ready for this. I still think I've got some tightening up to do, but we'll see what happens after I'm done zero carbing, and I drop my water. It's kind of a wait and see situation now.

I have gotten a lot of postive responses to the picture I posted of me 1 week out. I've recieved the following:

"Holy Shit!"
"Jesus Christ"

So that's good. I'd be more worried if people were saying:

"Yeah... I guess"
"I don't know buddy... when is the show?"

I'm really happy with the song I've chosen for my posing routine. I've last second found one I'd like to do as well, but maybe for the next show if there is one. But this one works for me on several different levels. I've tried my best to keep it under wraps until people hear it at the show when I do my routine.

We'll see how it goes. I'm more concerned with nailing that than anything else that day.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

1 Week Out!!!

Well, this is it...

I guess it was bound to come at some point. 1 week from today is the competition. Everyone keeps telling me, "Well you only have one week left!". The thing is... this is going to be the toughest week of the whole thing. Today I begin running on zero carbs until Friday. Then I'll carb up to about 150, but then I drop my water and dehydrate.

I've taken off this Thursday and Friday from work so that I can prepare for the show, both mentally and physically. I'm still working the kinks out of my posing routine. I'll be heading over to my Father's tomorrow to have him take a look at it, and me. I've got the routine down at this point. I need to work on foot and arm postitioning. Posing is not easy, contrary to popular opinion. If an arm or a leg is in the wrong place it can shift the balance of the muscles in the rest of your body, and look lopsided. But I still have a week and hopefully can tighten it up by the show.

I weighed in today at 186lbs. I also have cooked my last batch of turkey burgers. The next time I go grocery shopping it will be for real food again.

I'll work out through Wednesday, and then that's it. I won't lift another weight until I'm in the pump up room at the show getting ready for judging. I'll probably be checking in here quite a bit throughout the next week, so stay tuned...

As I said before... this is it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Home Stretch

Well, in the last week and a half here, I'm just trying to maintain as much muscle as I can. My workouts are short and simple. I'll do split workouts rather than one body part a day. For example Monday is Chest and Triceps. 3 chest movements 3 sets each, 12-15 reps a set, and then 2 bicep movements following the same formula. I'm not lifting heavy at all, I'm just trying to keep the muscles from going flat on me in this last stretch of the process.

Right now my workout schedule will be as follows...

Mon: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Chest and Triceps
Friday: Back and Biceps
Saturday: Shoulders and Legs
Sunday: REST

My cardio is back up now as well. I start each workout with 30min of high intensity cardio in which I burn between 420-450 calories. Then I do abs which usually consists of hanging leg raises, crunches on the stability ball supersetting with medicine ball twists. Then every few days I throw in some cable oblique twists as well. Then I start my weights.

My brother told me last night, that in spite of the fact that my Mother has yet to see what I look like beyond my face, that I'm not ready for the show and that I have no chance in it. My Father who saw me last Sunday in my posing trunks going through my routine, says I'm right where I should be, and that I look good. He says that I could do the show right now and look good, and in a week and a half, I'll do the show and look... great.

The bottom line is that at this point I look how I look. There's not much more I can do at this point to change anything. This Saturday I begin zero carbing, in which my daily carbs will be between 0-50 each day. This will really dump out any extra body fat I may be holding, then the night before the show I carb up to 150. This will harden all the muscles, and bring out my veins. I will also be dehydrating those last few days, and that's it. Then it's time for the show.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wrestlemania 22

Well, I've had a suprising number of people asking me why I haven't written anything here about my experience at Wrestlemania 22. Which I appreciate, because that means that people understand what it meant to me to get to go. The only reason I haven't written sooner is just because I've been so damned busy with work, and training for this competition.

But by popular demand... here it is...

After 1 year of counting down the days literally to the big day, changing the number of days left on my dry erase board everyday, I finally came down to the day of the show, and changed it for the last time...

I got to the place and it was exciting to see all the WWE trucks everywhere. They had tents set up with various displays of wrestling memorabilia from over the years. Obviously there were long lines of cars just trying to get into the place, and then all the lines to stand in once you got in.

So I finally get inside, and I was sitting right next to the Titantron, which for those who don't know, is the big screen that's usually front and center over the entrance ramp the wrestlers come down. So while I couldn't see the big screen, I was front row in the balcony looking over the competitors as they'd come down to the ring, which I also had a great view of. They had a few warm up matches before Wrestlemania went on the air, and the crowd was all pumped up. One thing I won't forget was right before the show went on the air, the entire crowd broke into a rawkus Eddie Guerrero chant, in memory of the late wrestler. Completely unprovoked, everyone just started chanting his name, and it just thundered off the walls of that place, and then the lights went down as the chants continued and then the fireworks hit, and Wrestlemania was underway.

The crowd was great. Every time I've gone to see the WWE live, you can always tell a difference with a Chicago crowd over most crowds in other cities. Chicago is always very loud, and vocal. Which is great. It really adds electricity to the whole event, and the wrestlers feed off of that amped up crowd, and then it translates into better matches. I wish more cities could understand that. By getting into it, and becoming a part of the show, you're creating a better show for yourself. I don't know if there's just more hardcore wrestling fans in Chicago or what. Who knows what determines an entire crowd's habits.

The show started with a music video montage of moments from past Wrestlemanias... it was at that moment that reality set in and I was starting to finally realize that I had made it.. I was at Wrestlefuckingmania... I honestly felt honored to be there.

The 6 man "Money In The Bank" Ladder Match was great.

The "Money In The Bank" match involves a briefcase suspended 20 feet over the center of the ring. Inside of it is a contract for a title shot at the WWE Championship which can be redeemed at any time for up to 1 year. Ladders are strewn everywhere to use to get up to the briefcase, as well as to be used as weapons.

I was excited going into this match, as one of my favorite wrestlers was in it, "The Whole Dam Show"-"Mr. Monday Night"... Rob Van Dam. RVD in a ladder match at Wrestlemania was all I needed to hear to know this was going to be fucking awesome. The other wrestlers in the match far exceeded my expectations of them. It was an all around great match.

"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair was in it and took a massive suplex from Matt Hardy off the top of a ladder, and I thought his 57 year old ass was dead. It THUNDERED through the arena when that fucking guy hit the mat. Flair was taken out of the arena by medics, as he was screaming in pain. The whole place chanted his name as he was taken away. Less than 5 minutes later he limped on his own back out to the ring to finish the match... 57 years old... unreal.

Shelton Benjamin did a great move... running across the ring, and up a ladder that was leaning on the ring ropes, and diving into a group of his opponents. Very cool.

As predicted, RVD won, and became "Mr. Money In The Bank". RVD earned himself a gauranteed title shot whenever he wants within the next year, and I hope when he does go for it that he finally fucking wins. RVD has yet to ever be the World Heavyweight Champion, and I think it will be great when the day finally comes.

The Hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley also far exceeded my expectations. I hate Edge. I was never a huge fan of his. Then last year he stole the girlfriend of his real life best friend, and fellow WWE Superstar Matt Hardy. The girl who is also a WWE competitor named Lita, was once my absolute favorite women's wrestler... until she turned her back on her boyfriend. This was not part of a storyline, this was all very real, and a situation that hit a little too close to home for me. So I turned my back on her, and my dislike for Edge grew into hatred.

Now, all that being said. There is no denying the ability Edge has to put on a great match. I hate doing it, but I have to give him credit where it is due. His match with Foley at Mania this year was fucking great. There was barbed wire, thumbtacks, and burning tables... They beat the shit out of each other. In the end Edge won, but it was a great match, and something to see in person.

The "Casket Match" between The Undertaker and legitimately the world's strongest man Mark Henry... pretty good.

Nothing that knocked my socks off, but a solid match nonetheless. The Undertaker's 14-0 undefeated streak at Wrestlemania was at stake, against the 400lb powerhouse that is Mark Henry.

For those who don't know a casket match is a match unique to The Undertaker. The only way to win the match is to beat your opponent down to the point that you can roll their lifeless body into the casket sitting at the edge of the ring and close the lid.

An extra large casket had to be made for the huge Mark Henry, and in the end The Undertaker's undefeated streak was untouched as was victorious.

If there was one match I could count on being great going into Mania this year it was the "No Holds Barred" match between "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, and The WWE Chairman Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Vince McMahon has never had a bad match that I've seen. They are always bloody, intense, and usually hysterical on top of everything else.

Vince's son Shane was ringside attempting to give his Father an unfair advantage. Michaels subdued him, and handcuffed him to the ring ropes to keep him out of the match. But not before burying his face into his Father's bare asscheeks.

The match was finished off with a beaten down Vince McMahon laying on a table, and Shawn Michaels leaping off of a 20 ft. ladder driving an elbow right through Vince and the table. HBK got the 123 and the match was over. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
There are two major championships in the WWE that constitute the 2 main events at Mania. Monday Night RAW's champ carries the WWE Championship. Friday Night Smackdown's champ carries the World Heavyweight Championship... these two major titles were up for grabs in the 2 main events this year.

First up... the WWE Championship.

"The Game"... "The King Of Kings".... "The Monarch Of The Mat"... "The Cerebral Assasin"... he has many monachers, but most know him as Triple H. And he once again found himself in the main event at Wrestlemania. This time as the challenger attempting to take the title off of the current champ "The Doctor Of Thugonomics" John Cena.

This was more than any other match the best example of how intense the Chicago crowd was. In spite of being the champ, and the good guy in the match... the fans had grown to resent Cena for becoming such a goody goody, and he had been catching boos for months. HHH went into the match as the crowd favorite, and the crowd made sure these two competitors knew who they were pulling for. Every blow that Cena would land on HHH would meet with boos from the fans, while every blow from HHH met with upoars of cheers from the crowd. Back and forth, boos and cheers the whole match. The crowd was absolutely electric.

Unfortunately HHH was unable to defeat Cena for the title, and tapped out at the end of the match. The crowd was not happy.

Next up... The World Heavyweight Championship.

The Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship involved the champ, and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle vs. "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio.

Rey had dedicated this match to his best friend, the late great Eddie Guererro... so naturally he had the crowd on his side. This was a great match. Very fast paced. The crowd was less split on this one. Mysterio was clearly the favorite, although admittedly Angle did have many supporters as well.

In the end it Mysterio who pinned Orton to win for the first time in his career The World Heavyweight Championship. At 5 foot 4, and 175lbs this made him the smalled World Heavyweight Champion in wrestling history.

As he celebrated his victory, Eddie Guererro's widow Vickie Guererro, and his Nephew Chavo Guererro came out to celebrate his victory with him.

Being apart of such an incredible Wrestlemania was an honor, and something I'll never forget. It was unreal, and I still can't believe I was there.

Next year Wrestlemania 23 emminates from Detroit... if I can get tickets... the countdown will begin once again.

I love wrestling... It truly is one of my favorite things in this world, and I would do anything to be apart of it someday.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

2 Weeks Out

It's hard to believe it's getting this close now to the show.

Right now the diet is going ok... my energy levels are managable. I think the excitment and anticipation of the show helps override any exhaustion I'd feel otherwise.

I still have some concerns however. My abs are not coming in the way I'd like them to. My legs are looking better, but still not quite what I was hoping for. These are obviously points I'll be focusing on once this whole thing is over. I'm long past the stage of being able to build any muscle. The diet doesn't allow your body to do much in the way of building muscle, you're fighting just to maintain. I've definitely lost some in the course of this diet, but I also know I can put it back on easily enough once the show is over.

I'm practicing my posing twice a day right now. Which most people don't understand how exhausting that can be. I hold each pose as solid as I can for a minute at a time. I break a sweat within a few poses. You are flexing every one of your muscles at the same time and trying to hold it as hard as you can so you don't lose any definition.

For example when you hit a front double bicep shot, which is the most common pose you see people do. You're flexing your biceps, flaring out your lats, holding your abs, flexing your quads, squeezing your butt, and keeping a smile on your face for the judges the whole time. This is why so much time needs to be put into practicing posing. If you can't hold these poses solid for an extended period of time, and your competition can, then you'll go flat and they'll look solid.

I'm down to 190lbs now which for those keeping score means I've lost 40lbs. in 10 weeks.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Feelin' Good

Well, I stopped by my Father's for Easter. He took a look at me and was very pleased with where I'm at. He says I look great, and I have maybe 5lbs left to lose, and that's it. This was good to hear, as I've been worried about how I look with 3 weeks to go, but he said I'm right where I should be at this point.

So now I'm getting more and more excited about the show. My diet will pretty much level out for these next 2 weeks, and then that last week will be crunch time, and I'll be running on about 1000 calories a day, and zero carbs. But at this point, I feel like, "bring it on".

Today was a good boost for my morale, which I needed going into the home stretch.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

3 Weeks Out

I'm exhausted right now, so this will be short. But I wanted to report in...

3 Weeks out, and I'm about 194lbs. I still have a bit to lose, so I'm resuming my twice a day workouts. The diet continues to clamp down more and more. My abs need to come in more, which I'm really hoping will happen as I continue to lose fat, and when I drop all of my water.

My abs and legs are my two biggest downfalls... unfortunately these are two things that are glaringly obvious in competition, but there's little I can do about it now.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Well, today I began my tanning. I am being extra precautious in doing so, as I once had a very bad tanning experience long ago.

When I was about 17 I was on a cable access bodybuilding show my trainer/mentor/friend hosted, called "Let's Workout". My father thought I should get tanned for it. So the night before the taping we went to a tanning place and he threw me in there for like 15 minutes. For the next 3 days my entire body was itching head to toe in the worst way. It was a very intense 72 hours. So much that I've never forgotten it.

So I made sure I was extra moisturized, and I started off with only 8 minutes. It seemed to go ok, and I did manage to get some color out of my first visit.

I just need to get a good base tan going, then I'll get painted up with pro tan the last 3 days leading to the show.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Well at just over 3 and 1/2 weeks from the show, I'm concerned about my abs. They aren't coming in as much as I'd like them to. I still have 3 1/2 weeks to go, but I don't want to take any chances. So I'm going to start up the two workouts a day, and get some heavy cardio and abs in before breakfast again. It's going to suck, but I've gotta do it. I barely have time and energy for all that I'm already doing, but like I said, I've gotta do it. This means I'll be up at 5:30, go to the gym, train, come home, eat, go back, train, come home, eat, shower, pack my food, go to work, come home, go to bed, do it all over again the next day until the show, or until my abs come out of hiding.

Like I said before, the last 4 weeks of this is when things get really heavy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wise Words

On April 1st, 2006... the night before Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago, Bret Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.

In closing his acceptance speech he left the world with a few final words of advice that I thought were very wise, and really applied to the undertaking I'm currently in the midst of.

He said...

"The best way to rise to the top is to give yourself up to lonliness, fear nothing, and work hard."

That had really stuck on me, and I'm trying hard to hold that in my mind, and in my heart as I push through these final weeks leading up to the show.

He also said, "Life is based less than you think on what you've learned, but more on what you've already got inside you."

Saturday, April 8, 2006

4 Weeks Out

Well I weighed in at 197 today. Not too bad. It was an exhausting week. Very busy at work. I'm still running on very low energy, and it makes everything a thousand times harder. Daily activities are 10 times a task as they usually are. Working out is currently not fun for me. Only because I have nothing when I'm in the gym. My whole body feels empty and hollow. I'm braindead from the low carbs.

I am looking forward to the day I return to the gym post-competition. When I can go back to throwing around some heavy fucking weights, and getting big again. I do enjoy how I look lean, and I'll maintain that throughout the summer, but come mid fall I'll start throwing the weight on again. I figure I'll probably hang out around 200-205 for the summer. It is nice to have my old face back. I've had a fat bloated fucking face for a long time now, mainly due to the obscene amounts of sugar in my diet. So I'll find a happy medium where I can get big, and not have such high sugar levels.

Other than that, I'm just taking it all one day at a time. These last 4 weeks will be the hardest yet, getting harder with each passing week. Everyone keeps telling me, "at least it's almost over", but it's one of those things where you're so close, yet so far away. I'm extremely irratable these days, and Holly bares the brunt of this.

I'm going to go to Peggy's party tonight, but then that'll probably be my last major public appearance until after the competition. I don't want to spread my assholness around to too many people... or no one's going to want to come see the show.

Low energy, no strength, and an irritable son of a bitch... that about sums me up right now.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

5 Weeks Out

Well, I weighed in this morning at 199lbs. So I'm still on track with my weight.

I upped my carbs a bit the past few days, and my dizzy spells have ceased. So that's good. Once again the diet clamps down even more as week 5 gets underway. The weekends are hardest, when it comes to sticking to the diet. I have yet to falter, but when I'm at work moving around all day doing shit, I don't have time to think about it. The weekends I finally get to relax, and recoup from the week, but it also leaves me that time to think about being hungry. It's also harder to force the 1 gallon of water down each day. When I'm at the gym, or at work I'm drinking water non-stop.

Other than that there's not much left to report right now. This will be the last week of moderate difficulty in the diet... Week 4 is when we really get fucking serious.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Faint Spells

The last few days I've been having dizzy/faint spells... It's like the room takes one big spin all of a sudden that makes me want to just drop to the ground. It can happen walking, training, or even just sitting in a chair. I also get blackouts, where suddenly everything starts going black on me and I have to hold on to something, in case I pass out.

I have yet to completely lose consciousness, but I am finding myself grabbing onto things to keep myself up, and wait it out. The problem is, this starts first thing in the morning, and after the first one, it feels like someone poured acid onto your brain, and it's just fried, and then it feels like that the rest of the day. Which leaves me 12-14 hours still ahead of me at that point. It makes you feel like lying down and wanting to take a nap, but I can't. Not only do I have to go to work and be enthusiastic, and encouraging to the clients, but I'm spotting them on movements. If I pass out in the middle of a session, I'm fucked, and so is the client. That's my only worry. I can handle all of these unpleasant side effects of this diet and training, but I can't let it effect work either.

There are a few theories floating around right now as to what is causing it...

One is that my blood sugar levels are low, which they are. My diet currently contains little to no sugar at all. There's plenty of Equal, and Splenda going around, but not any real sugar. Nor do any of the foods contain much natural sugars.

Another is the recurring problem of low carbs. My carbs don't need to be as low as they are right now, but I have this calorie ceiling over me, and I'm trying to keep my protein levels high to maintain as much muscle as possible in this process. However, high protein foods have little or no carbs in them at all. So I'm cramming as much protein into the calorie limits I have, but am therefore sacrificing carbs.

And lastly... In my current state my brain is working twice as hard to maintain cell function in all of my various systems in my body. It's focusing so hard on this, that it does tend to let other things slip. One being my breathing pattern. My breathing could be speeding up into short breaths, and I don't even realize it. This causes hyper ventalating, and then ultimately the blacking out/dizziness. To alleviate it, I was told if I hold my breath for a minute, and burn up some of the excess oxygen, that will help level me out, and then I have to set a slower breathing pace, so as to show my brain how I should be breathing...

What a pain in the ass.

Anyway, I'm working on all of this, and trying to figure out where I need to make adjustments. This is all part of doing a competition for the first time. Figuring out what works for YOUR body, and what doesn't. If I were to do this all again, I would obviously have a better idea as to how I could do it all more efficiently.

This is all a good example of why bodybuilding competitions, are not particularly healthy for you. There are benefits... flushing your body clean of toxins, removing all the body fat inside you and starting over clean... but there are negatives obviously as well.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

6 Weeks Out

Well, my father has allowed me this weekend to ignore calorie restrictions and bring my carbs up for two days. For two days I can have up to 200 carbs, and eat as much of whatever is on my diet menu as I want. Which still won't be much, as my stomach has shrunk significantly and it doesn't take much to fill me up. I'm feeling a little more energy coming back to me on account of it, but I should even more so by the end of the day. More energy would make the rest of my life so much more bearable. Imagine that feeling of complete and utter exhaustion where you could fall asleep where you stand, where you're so tired you could just cry... and it's only 10:30 in the morning and you have a full day of work ahead of you. It's rough.

Fortunately though, I love my job. If I hated my job, or my boss, I don't know how I'd get through any of this. But I am lucky enough to love what I do, and have a job that keeps you busy the whole time, and distracts you from the hunger, and exhaustion. Once I start training people it's pretty much non-stop until I go home. So I'm running around all day, training, and demonstrating movements. Then if I do have a few moments to myself, I grab a few sets of crunches, or chin-ups or something just to keep the momentum going.

I'm helping out at the Willowbrook location for the next few months... afternoons into the evenings, as well as some mornings in Naperville. So Willowbrook is about a 35 min. drive for me in mid-day traffic going there, and about 25 coming home at night. So I'm moving the whole time I'm at work, but as soon as I get in that car and am sitting there for the drive home, the adrenaline wears off and a very HEAVY exhaustion sets in. It all catches up with me. By the time I walk in the door I just go straight to bed. I've got nothin' left then.

I'm putting in a lot of hours right now, which I really don't mind as I said I do love what I do, but boy I'll love it a lot more when I can actually visit the Portillo's across the street from us that I am tortured with the smells of everytime I come in and out of work.

I weighed in yesterday at 202lbs. My Father looked at me, and had me run through my poses and he seems to think that I have about 10lbs. to go before I'm in competition state. Which is manageable. I've lost 26lbs. in 6 weeks, so 10lbs. in 6 weeks should be no big deal. If I lose 2lbs. a week for the next 5 weeks, and then maintain that last week, I'll be good. Plus when I dehydrate I'll drop a few more pounds easily. So in the end it will probably be more than 10 pounds.

In talking to other competitors about my plans for the off season after the show, they told me that putting on 30lbs from your competition weight is all you should put on to train for gaining muscle. I was originally planning on getting up to 240 but that would be more fat sitting on me than I would need. So if I come in around 190 at competition time, then I'd be looking more around 220-225 to put on this year. Which is about where I was at last year, which is good. Plus, how I put that weight on will be done smarter this year. I'm more educated on this now, and will be able to more efficiently, and in a healthier way put the weight on. I think I could throw it on within two months. My sugar intake has been extremely high the last few years, and I'll be taking it easy on that shit from here on in. I'll be eating cleaner, but on a diet that will be higher in carbs to allow me to put on more size.

So now I'm finally at the half way mark in the diet. It feels like it's been going on for 6 months rather than 6 weeks, but you can't stop the clock, and there is a definite end to this. So I just have to hang in there 6 more weeks, and then I will be able to rejoin the rest of the world.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Well, I weighed in yesterday at 204... I'm still losing weight faster than I should. In 4 days I lost 3 pounds. My carb intake is too low. But the problem is trying to keep my protein levels high, within the calorie restrictions I have, and still get the carbs I need... as most of my high protein sources are little to no carbs.

I'm drained...

Little sleep, training, dieting, and 16 hour days... I feel like I can barely hold myself up right now...

That's all I've got energy for right now.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

7 Weeks Out

Well, things are a little better.... my nerves have calmed more the past few days, and things have settled. My computer is still fucked, but I'm getting by with Holly's laptop.

The diet crunches down more as of today. It's funny, how as little as I get to eat, it suddenly seems like a lot, once you get more taken away. Like, last night was my last night of have spinach, and three turkey burgers for dinner. Now I can only have the 3 turkey burgers, or have 2 and some spinach. Then you think to yourself... this is the last time I'll have 3 turkey burgers and some spinach for the next 7 weeks... as if that was what I'd go running back for as soon as the diet is over.

7 weeks still feels like a long time... especially when you consider that I'm not even half way through the diet yet. But I'll make it. The one good thing about being allowed less and less food per meal, is my grocery bill will get cheaper as this goes along. Eating good, is WAY more expensive than eating shit all time.

Things will be getting intense from here on in. My work schedule is going to be changing up this week, and I'll be up in the morning... train, come home, eat breakfast, go back for the second workout, come home, shower, eat lunch, pack my food for the rest of the day, and then work from 1 - 9, then come home, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day... for the next 7 weeks. But being busy is better than not while on this kind of a diet... it helps keep your mind off of food and eating. The downside to a diet like this, is it leaves you with very little energy. That will hang on you all day.

I'm 207lbs, as of this morning. With at least 9 lbs to go to make my weight class of 198, but odds are I'll have to lose more than that. Once I make my weight for my weight class, then you're just going on how you look. Then you'll know how much more you have to lose. At my current pace I should lose that 9lbs within the next 3 weeks... then that last 4 weeks will be fine tuning.

So here we go... 7 weeks to go.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

8 Weeks Out

Well I weighed in this morning, and I'm still the same weight as my last weigh in a few days ago... 210lbs. It's ok though... I only lost 2lbs. this week, but I'm supposed to be leveling out a bit on my rate of weight loss. I did eat a little more than usual this week. I was within the restrictions of my diet, but I've been taking in a lot less than my limit most days, plus my cardio was cut in half this week. But I'm feeling good. My calories cut some more as of today, still managable though. Things will start getting heavy in about 2 weeks though. Then things will really tighten up on the diet, and continue to exponentially all the way down to the show.

I've got at least 12lbs to go to get into my weight class... but odds are I'll have to lose more than that to look the way I'll need to for the show.

I'm already looking forward to the show being over. Not because of the diet or the training or anything... I'm pretty much used to it at this point. I'm looking forward to bulking up again. As good as it feels to be lean, I like to feel big too. And I'll be shooting for 240 this year. I've learned a lot about dieting in the course of this, and this year I know exactly what to do, to get that weight. Knowing it will work, and knowing what to do with it this time, is exciting.

People ask me how big I want to get... my answer is always the same... as big as I can. I'll probably wait until after my birthday in late August. In fact I may start the bulking up diet the day after my birthday... August 27th. I'd like to look reasonably defined for the summer... so I can take my shirt of outside, and not look too gross. I'm sure there'll be plenty of baseball being played, and I do like getting the sun on me when I'm out there, but last summer, I wasn't too comfortable when I'd have my shirt off out there. This year should be better coming off of the competition. I won't let myself go completely to shit or anything.

Anyway... there it is.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006


Well I weighed in today... 210lbs. So in 3 1/2 weeks, I've lost 18lbs. I'm still a little ahead of myself, but whatever. My weightlifting is going much better now that it gets it's own workout without any cardio. Currently I get up, I go to the gym and do my half hour of cardio and abs. Eat breakfast, and then return to the gym as soon as I can depending on my schedule that day. If it's possible to go back right after breakfast I do. Otherwise it's usually late afternoon, or the early evening. At which time I do abs again, and then whatever my weights are for the day.

Now that I've been cut down to a 5 day a weeks schedule, it goes as follows:

Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Legs (Quads, Hams, Calves)
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Arms (Biceps, Triceps)

Each body part gets 4 movements each, consisting of 4 sets each, with 1 minute rest periods between sets, and 10-12 reps worth of weight.

For abs, I'm doing 3 sets of leg raises for the lower abs primarily, and then I do what I call concentrated crunches for upper abs. I have found these to be more effective than the monotonous 1000 crunches a day. Every 2nd crunch you do, hold it in the crunch position, squeeze your abs... and count 2.

So you do one crunch, come up for the second one and then hold.... 1.... 2... do another crunch, and then on the next hold... 1... 2... and so on. Right now I do 3 sets of these between 50-75 a set. Twice a week I add weighted side bends, and lower back raises to work the obliques and lower back. These don't get as much attention as they are muscles that build easily, and give you a thick core. Which symetrically speaking isn't currently in my best interest.

Other than that... things are progressing nicely. My defintion is finally taking shape, I'm getting harder (my muscles that is....), and I'm getting excited about the show. However things are about to get a step harder this coming week, as the diet is going to crunch down even more. But I shall adapt... I just may lose my mind along the way. But I don't know how much left there is to lose at this point anyway.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

9 Weeks Out

Well, 9 weeks to go. My Father is of the mind that I'm losing weight a little too quickly. After 3 weeks I've lost 16lbs. So he's cutting me down to 1 cardio a day now, and only training 5 days a week. At least for the time being, until I'm more lined up with where I should be. I should only be losing about 3 - 4lbs a week. So once I'm back on track, I may or may not return to the 2 cardios a day. Otherwise I've been feeling ok. Just tired. Carbs have been pretty low, and in spite of my heavy reliance on coffee as of late for energy... it only gets you so far.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm fucking exhausted...

An unprecedented 5 cups of coffee today, and I'm still ready to pass out. My calories are down to 1700 a day, and my carbs are averaging less than 100. I've been busy as all hell, not getting any sleep, and everything is just happening all at once. I've got shit going on tonight I can't get out of which is going to only allow me 6 hours of sleep, assuming my usual sleep problems don't keep me from utilizing all 6 hours of it. I don't see any point where I'll be able to catch up on any significant amount of sleep until Wednesday... today is Friday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cartoons Today Suck

For someone who has grown up loving cartoons, and comic books, it's very disappointing how lame cartoons are today. Even Cartoon Network has gone down the shitter in the past few years. They were our last hope.

All the remakes of old classic cartoons suck, like the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, and the most recent attempt at reviving The Transformers. They've gone so over the top with the remakes, that they have taken the heart out of what made those cartoons great in the first place. Any original cartoons now are Japanimation based, and it makes me want to throw up. I'm so sick of the style. It has completely taken over, and now every cartoon looks the same.

I'll allow Cartoon Network features a little more of a diverse array of styles. But even still, there's a Cartoon Network style that seems constant in a lot of cartoons on there. Then of course they have all the Japanimation shit on at night. Japanimation can be cool, there are good cartoons out there, it's just been SO overdone that I just can't stand to see it anymore. I can't wait for the cartoon world to move on past this, and for animators, and cartoonists to show some originality.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yeager's Music

Now, think back to that time period... 94'-98'. Everyday I'd come into Yeager's after school to train, and hang out for the evening, and all they played ever was Q101. Now between 94'-98' there was SO MUCH great music on the radio then. Alternative music was at it's peak. Every band out there had a hit song, and almost all of them were awesome. Most of the singles that were big back then are still heard regularly to this day.

In an effort to remind me of where I came from, and to inspire me throughout my training I have tried to put myself back into thatYeager's mindset as much as possible. Thus my reason on telling the story of the place, and it's signifigance. I've been doing this by breaking out my old Yeager's shirts, and thanks to the convienience of mp3 players, have compiled a playlist of over 100 songs from back then that I listen to on random every workout. The whole playlist is over 6 hours long, so it takes me about 2 days worth of workouts to get through it all. It consists of songs from bands such as:

Collective Soul
Green Day
The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Rage Against The Machine
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Smashing Pumpkins
No Doubt
Alanis Morrissette
Pearl Jam
Stone Temple Pilots
Beastie Boys
Foo Fighters
Nine Inch Nails
The Wallflowers

I'm sure there's still some I could add to the list... so if there are any suggestions do let me know. But this is what I listen to everyday in the gym. This is the soundtrack for the next 12 weeks.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


When I first began working out in high school it was 1994. I trained at a gym that was down in the shopping center down on Finley and Butterfield. It was called "Yeager's". Named after the owner Mark Yeager. A big part of why I got into working out in the first place was due to Yeager's Gym. Picture any Balley's, or Powerhouse or whatever... then picture 1/10th the size of it. That was Yeager's... an above ground basement. About 80-90% of the equipment there was MADE by Mark himself, and it was the best shit I ever worked out with. He had something for everything there... something the clubs 10 times bigger STILL don't have.

Being such a small place, you had little choice but to get to know every person there. The great thing though, was that everyone there was fucking awesome. Everyone was your buddy, and they were all extremely supportive. It was "Gym" gym... 95% of the people working out there were competitive bodybuilders. At one time Carlton Fisk was a regular there, and a fucking asshole I might add. (side story available at bottom of entry)

I didn't really get to join any sports in high school, but I didn't mind so much, because I lived for when school would end, and I'd go to the gym. I'd workout, and then hang out. I'd spend 3-4 hours there. I'd train, and then as the other big guys were coming in after getting out of work, I'd hang out to watch them train. They'd explain to me what they were doing, why, and how. It became my hangout, I didn't have much of a social life otherwise, so I spent all of my free time there. Weekends... everday after school.

A close friend of my Father's... a man by the name of Larry Weiss, a Vietnam vet and the greatest guy you could ever know, met me there everyday after school to train with me. I'll be writing more about him, as I get closer to the show. But this placed fueled an interest in weightlifting and bodybuilding that has remained in me to this day.

Yeager's was sold in 97', and the new owner ran the place out of business within about a year. This was also in part due to Powerhouse opening in Lombard. This was obviously a sad day for me when Yeager's closed. I boycotted Powerhouse for a long time, until I finally accepted that it was the only decent place around at that point to work out at.

To this day, I don't know that I've ever had a workout like the ones I'd get at Yeager's.

(side story... Jason Holman asked me to get his Carlton Fisk baseball card autographed for him. So I said "Sure, no problem!", you know, I see the fucking guy everyday this should be easy. So I see him at the gym the next day and I asked him, if he'd mind... his response was, "$25". I was still too young and naive to realize that he wasn't joking, so I just laughed... holding the card out waiting for him to take it. He was for real. So I felt like an asshole going back to Jason the next day, and telling him it was actually going to cost him. Had I been in his shoes, I'd have said fuck it then. But he pony'd up the $25, so I took it back to Carlton the next day, and he took it... said thanks, signed the card, and walked off without saying anything... fucking asshole.)

Sunday Morning

It's a pleasant Sunday morning...

I'm sitting here having my morning coffee, chillin' online. I've got one workout out of the way, with one to go. It's fucking freezing outside, but the sun is out and that's good enough for me. Tonight is WWE No Way Out, the last Pay-Per-View stop on the road to Wrestlemania 22. The next PPV will be the grandaddy of them all, and I will be there to experience it first hand.

So I've got that goin' for me... which is nice.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

11 Weeks Out

Well, the first week of dieting is now behind me with 11 weeks to the competition. Last night was a better night of sleeping than I've had this past week. I may be starting to adapt a little more now to the lower calorie intake.

Last week before I went in for my first workout of the day, on my first day of dieting before eating anything, I weighed in at 228 lbs. I weighed myself this morning to see where I am a week later, and I weighed in at 219 lbs. So that's 9 pounds right there. I have a feeling the rest won't fall off quite as easily, but it's a nice to chunk to get out of the way.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Sollution To The Knee Issue

I consulted with my chiropracter about my knee, he checked it out and said that there wasn't anything majorly wrong with it that he could tell. The meniscus, and ACL seemed fine... He said that taking time off from using it would cause it to atrophy more than heal itself. It needs to be stimulated so that it will heal. He suggested that I try using the elliptical rider to get my cardio in and see how it feels, and ease my way back into lifting with it. I rode the elliptical twice yesterday, and then again this morning, and so far it seems to be holding up ok. I'm burning enough calories in my half hour on there too. So that's a relief.

In the meantime, the diet has been a bit rough. It's not so bad during the day, but at night is when it's really kicking my ass. After I have dinner, I feel hungry again within a half hour or so. Then I'm hungry all night, and can't sleep on account of it. Add that on top of my sleep issues I've had already going into this, and I'm just not getting enough rest right now. I had a feeling this would end up being an issue, but I'm dealing with it the best I can. Part of the problem was how fast we dropped my daily caloric intake, it was faster than my body could adapt to.

But I'm toughing it out for now, and we'll see where things go from here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Late Night

Well, it's almost 3 am right now...

I'm starving my ass off, and I can't sleep. Having sleeping issues going into this is bad enough, throw on top of that sheer hunger, and now sleep may become even more of a rarity. I don't know... it's still too early to tell. I may get used to it. But for right now it's almost 3 am, and I have about 5 hours before I can eat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Plan

Well... after consulting with my Father on how to handle this situation with my knee we've decided to go the route of cutting calories sooner than later. This will be rough... but necessary.

I won't do any cardio at all for the next two weeks. I'll replace my morning cardio with an additional abs session, so that I'll be doing some minor level of cardio work, and increasing the amount of time put into my abs along the way. I also won't train legs for the next two weeks either. Then after the two weeks, I'll come back light, and ease my way back into things cautiously.

After the two weeks, I'll come back to doing the stairs, but on a much lighter setting. I was cranking on level 8 before, I'll come back at level 3.

I will also continue to ice my knee 3 times a day.

This unfortunately still leaves an air of uncertainty about things... but I have to try whatever I can to get me to that show.

Severe Knee Problems...

Well my right knee is being a problem again already...

This is not good. It's not good to be acting up so early in this portion of the training. If this was happening like 2 weeks out from the show, I would just tough it out... But I have 12 weeks of twice a day intense cardio sessions. Which at this point equates to 162 more times on the stairs.

My knee hurts just walking on it right now, let alone when I'm stomping on the stairs for an hour a day. It's like a burning/cold feeling under the top of my knee cap. Without any health insurance currently, there's not much I can do about it from a medical standpoint.

I'm going to try and start training on the bike instead, and see how my knee responds to that. Like I said, it hurts just walking on it, so I'm still going to feel it on the bike. But if I can do less damage to it, that would help. I can't push it too hard, because like I said... no health insurance, and if I blow my knee out, I'm definitely out of the competition.

In the meantime I'm icing the shit out of it, and still taking my glucosomine....

It sucks, because I'm conditioned now on the stairs. I can handle the workload in every way, other than my knee. Now I'm starting from scratch with the bike... (assuming my knee can handle it), and now to get myself to where I can ride 400 calories in a half hour could take a few weeks... which isn't a lot, but when you've only got 12 weeks to competition time, and need to be burning 800 calories a day in cardio, it's a HUGE setback. If the bike is in fact possible, then I'll have to do it for as long as it takes to get to 400 calories, whether it's 45 minutes or an hour, or whatever.

The only other alternative, is to cut my current calorie intake drastically to make up the difference in cardio... regardless though, I still need to be able to perform some level of cardio. Oh yeah... and let's not forget... LEG DAY!!! Leg press, leg extensions... if I can't do those for the next 12 weeks I'll lose what little quads I have...

This is very depressing... but I'm going to try every way I can to get around this, and make this work. I'm so fucking close to the end of this, I've got to finish it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Next Day...

Well this morning I got up, and went in for my half hour of cardio... Man, it kicked my ass. I was exhausted from the day before. Within the first minute on there my quads were exhausted, and wanted to just stop. I somehow made it through the half hour on the stairmaster, and then dragged my ass home, so that I could finally have some breakfast. I couldn't believe I got through it.

I have to say that my lowfat yogurt in the morning is quickly becoming the highlight of my daily diet. With only 60 calories, and 5 grams of protein... it's nice. You can squeeze a few of those into a meal, and maybe use one for desert at night. Compared to the bland tasteless shit you eat all day, the yogurt is an explosion of fruity flavor in your mouth!

When I went in for my second workout of the day, I was dreading hitting those stairs again... Suprisingly enough I blasted right through those things. I don't know... but it was a lot better. So hopefully I'm adapting to the high levels of cardio, and then it won't be a big deal... currently it is the most unpleasant part of my training.

I can tell already though, that after this is all said and done, my regular diet is definitely going to change. For as tired as I am right now, and as sore... I still feel pretty good... clean. I feel a lot less sluggish. Which is something I didn't realize I was until I started feeling this way. Not to mention I'm getting so much more protein in my diet currently. Had I been eating cleaner sooner, I may have been able to come in bigger than I did. In bodybuilding there's always things like that you'll discover about yourself, that you wish you had figured out years earlier. Then you think about how much bigger you could be.

But... better to find out at all, rather than never.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Here We Go

Well... today was the first day of the diet.

So far it's ok... but I'm not sick of any of this food yet. Though I can see it coming quickly on the horizon. More than anything I'm just exhausted. Between the early morning intense cardio workout, and then the 2 hour workout later in the day... I felt fine most of the day, and then after that second workout it slowly crept up on me and now I feel like I've had the shit kicked out of me. It's 8:30 on a Saturday night, and I'm looking at goin' to bed in a half hour. This is why I've told people I won't be around much. Between the scheduled meals, the two workouts a day, the time spent practicing posing, and then the inevitable exhaution... there's no room for much of a social life.

Regardless... Day 1 of the diet is done... 83 more to go.

Monday, February 6, 2006

The Diet Draws Near...

Well this weekend starts the 12 week diet. So these next few days I'll be enjoying whatever real food I can get my hands on. Tonight will be my last Subway meatball sub... so I'm looking forward to that.

Here is a short version of what I'll be doing starting next week... I have a feeling I'll be writing on here much more once I get started so I'll detail it more as I'm going through it.

I'll get up, and before I eat anything I'll go into the gym, and do 30 min of cardio. During which I must burn at least 400 calories if not more. So the intensity level must allow this. My meals the first week will consist of about 400 calories a meal, spread over 5 meals throughout the day. Which for the first week isn't too bad. For the first 4 weeks, the daily calorie allowance will decrease by 10% each week. The decreases... will increase after the first 4 weeks. So I have my first cardio workout before breakfast, then later in the day I'll do my second 400 calorie, 30 minute cardio session, along with abs, and my usual weightlifting routine. I'll be drinking at least a gallon of water a day, and my last meal must be done by 7 pm. The foods I'll be allowed to eat in the first 4 weeks are as follows...

Chicken Breasts
Turkey Burgers (no bread)
Fresh fruit
Water, coffee, tea
Fat free yogurt
Lenders regular bagels. Not New York kind.
Oil and Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Ketchup, Mustard
Pickles, Olives
Air popped popcorn
Oat Meal

That's the basic outline...

Until then... I'm pigging out!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Competition Info

I got the official info on the competition for all of those wondering where, and when it is. I thought it was going to be in Rockford, but they moved it. It's still near Rockford, but it's actually a bit closer which is nice.

Grand Prix Natural Bodybuilding and figure championships
May 6, 2006
Belvidere HS Performing Arts Center
Belvidere Il.
Guest Poser Tricky Jackson New IFBB PRO

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Back For More

Well, I made my return to the gym this past Monday after another 2 weeks off. So far the joints are holding up ok. Today will be my first day working legs again, so we'll see how the knee holds up. Either way I'm going to just have to work through it, because I need to train 6 days a week from now until the show. I'm taking my glucosomine for my joints, and I'll just keep icing my knee when I can. I'm also working on keeping myself covered up more while working out. I overheat real easy, as I don't sweat for some reason. So with no sweat my body just builds up all this heat, and then I want to pass out. So I usually work out in a tank top, or cut off sleeve shirt. But this leaves my shoulders exposed and they cool down easily. So I'm going to start wearing a warm up shirt over my tanks to keep me warm. But I have already found that I need to regulate how much I wear it. Yesterday I was training back, and kept covered up. I was feeling a bit dizzy near the end of the workout, but was so close to finishing it that I just wanted to get through it. My keeping my shoulders warm was making for better sets too. I got through them but then when I was standing in the locker room afterwards talking to some of the guys, I started getting these heat rushes to my head, and thought for sure I was going to pass out. Those heat rushes left me with a headache the rest of the day. A smarter man, would have taken the warm up shirt OFF when he started feeling dizzy... especially considering it was right near the end of the workout. But... a lesson was learned.

So now I've got about 2 more weeks of regular training before I start dieting.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Eating My Ass Off

I think I've been psyching myself out to a degree over this impending diet. I'm not really all that worried about my ability to do it, I'm just not looking forward to not being able to eat all the things I love. So I'm constantly having cravings now for everything. I really got an urge for KFC which at some point this week is going to have to happen. Today I had a bowl of cereal, 3 bananas, 2 chicken breasts, 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a Marie Callendar spaghetti and garlic bread, and 2 hot dogs.

I'm just enjoying it all while I still can.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tommy Else: Wrestler

People ask me all the time why I don't become a professional wrestler...

With all of the time I've spent watching it, analyzing it, learning the business... I suppose it seems like a natural assumption that I'd like to participate in it. The fact of the matter is, I would love nothing more than to be apart of it. The reality of the situation is that I'm too old to just start breaking into it on a professional level. Most competitors who are breaking into the business are between the ages of 18 & 24, and they have some level of High School or Collegiate sports experience under their belt. I don't even have that. I've never done anything but lift weights since I was 15.

Regardless, I do think about it quite a bit. For all the love & desire I have for it, it would seem a shame if I lived my whole life and never did get to step into the squared circle at some point. Like I said, to be any sort of professional is an opportunity that has passed me by, but I'd still live to throw on some tights and get in the ring, even if it were in front of 50 people.

With that in mind, I've been thinking...

After I've finished this bodybuilding competition, and I can get settled in my new job, I'd like to start looking into wrestling schools. I'd like if nothing else to learn how to wrestle. I want to learn arm drags, suplexes, submissions... And then possibly get to compete locally. If only for a short while. I don't see it being something I'd do long term unless I somehow found that I was a natural for it, but I doubt it.

Like I said, it just seems like it would be a shame if I lived my whole life as a spectator for something that I love, and never tried to do it myself even once. You never know until you try. I'd rather try and fail, then have never tried at all. If nothing else I'm sure I'd walk away with an even greater respect, and understanding for the business than I already have.

I've always had, and even more so in the past few years, a fatalistic sense of destiny. I just have this feeling that I'm not going to live a very long life. I may have another 20 years at best, but I have a hard time seeing myself making it past that. I hope I'm wrong, but I just have a bad feeling about it. Just under 5 years ago I suffered through some events, that I feel like stunted my life in a way... and literally sucked half of my life out of me. Like someone cracked the hourglass, and now it's all spilling out slowly but surely.

The one upside to this haunting feeling, is it has pushed me to start enjoying each day I have, enjoy each moment I spend with friends and family, and strive to do all the things I'd like to do in my life. My Father has always strived to do all of the things that he wants to in his life, and I've always respected that. He's competed in bodybuilding, he took up scuba diving and swam with the sharks, he ran the Chicago Marathon, he competed in 2 Iron Man Triathalons, he's learning how to play piano, and taking up golf. Not to mention all the places he's travelled. I think he has the right mentallity, and I'm trying to follow the same, and do all the things I want to in my life, and not waste a minute getting there. People like to assume that they'll have time later in their lives to do things, well I'm happy to just wake up and be alive each day, so I'm trying to do as much as I can now, to do all that I want.

So before it's all said and done, Tommy Else WILL step into the squared circle and compete.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More Time Off

Well, I attempted to return to the gym this week with poor results. My shoulder was a little better, but was still acting up. Same with my elbow. But my right knee is the biggest issue. It hurts as only an injured knee does. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's injured, but it's severely worn. I can feel it just walking, let alone if I put any additional weight on it other than my own. A bum knee means a few things for me at this point. Without a healthy functioning knee, not only can I not train legs, but I can't do any cardio on it. Which in about 3 more weeks will be the majority of my time in the gym.

So, I'm taking off the rest of this week entirely. To allow my shoulder, and elbow to heal even more, and allow my knee as much rest and recoup as possible. Using my knee wraps, I'm wrapping ice packs around it on and off all day, every day. I'll continue to take my glucosomine to help heal the joints. If I can get it into some kind of reasonable working condition, then all the time off, and time lost in the gym will be worth it. Because, if I were to go in and push it right now, I'd risk officially injuring it, and then be out of the competition all together. Hopefully this will all just be a minor setback I'll look back on as something I overcame to get me to the show. I'm not too worried, just a little frustrated.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Finkler's Redemption

For the longest time Steve Finkler and I have had a bit of rivalry over WWE Superstar Kurt Angle...

Since the beginning when I started watching wrestling I've always respected Kurt Angle. For those who don't know, Kurt is a legitimate Olympic hero, having won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta Georgia in freestyle wrestling in the 220lb. class. To watch him wrestle is to watch an artist at work. He is perfect. He moves with fluidity, and grace.

His character in the WWE is the arrogant asshole who is a gold medalist, who can't pass up the opportunity to tell others about it, and insists that he is everyone's Olympic hero. He claims to live by his three "I's"... Intelligence, Integrity, and Intensity. The last "I" is the only thing he lives true to. Otherwise, his character is the most underhanded, perverse, classless superstar in the WWE.

For some reason, Steve really attached himself to Angle, and one day I must have made some negative comment about him, and Steve jumped all over my ass about it. This was 4 years ago. He insisted that at some point I was a big Angle supporter, which I don't particularly remember, but he insists it's true, and ever since he's been pushing me to get back into Angle. Like I said, I have nothing but respect for Kurt Angle. I'd say he's one of the top 5 superstars in the WWE today. I'm thoroughly entertained by him. But for the sake of argument, I've fought Steve on this Angle thing since he brought it up. Angle makes it easy for me, as he's always pulling some classless act such as demanding to have sex with someone's wife, or engaging in beastiality. So it's not too hard to fight Steve on his claim of Angle's greatness. Angle's win/loss record also works in my favor. As great as a wrestler as Angle is, he ultimately loses about 98% of his matches. He manages to win the really big ones that matter the most, but week to week usually screws himself, by trying to cheat and it backfiring on him. I'm hardly the only one who isn't pulling for Angle. For the past 4 years Kurt Angle has not ONCE been able to come down to the ring to compete without the entire crowd chanting in beat with his entrance music, "YOU SUCK!" Like me, everyone one of those people respect the shit out of Kurt Angle. It's just part of his character, and it's fun for the fans.

Every title match Angle competes in is very tense for Steve and I now. Neither of us usually have a vested interest in any match in particular, but somehow our pride has now been put on the line everytime Angle competes for the title. Like I said, Angle's win/loss record works in my favor more often than not. Just this past Sunday, Angle competed in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship. Deep down, I had a feeling Angle was going to win it. I even called it, and admitted it to Steve before the match. Miraculously Angle was the FIRST guy to be eliminated. The whole bar erupted in celebration, chanting ANGLE SUCKS!!!

I have enjoyed many a celebration over Kurt Angle's losses. Poor Steve, I think has taken this a little too personally sometimes. It's really all in good fun. I think it's just frustrating for him to be on the losing end so often. I am a bit rough on him though. I rarely pass up an opportunity to rip on Angle, or accuse Steve and Angle of being lovers. Everytime Angle has a title shot I wear a shirt Holly helped me make that says "Angle Sucks!". (Which I incidentally have gotten many compliments on at the bars we're at for the PPV's). For Steve's birthday, I got him a shirt that said, "I took it in the ass from Kurt Angle, and all I got was this lousy shirt!"

This morning as I was having my morning coffee, checking for the latest updates as I usually do... They announced that at the taping for Smackdown last night, which will air this Friday night, The World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, was stripped of the title due to injuries that will not allow him to compete for 6 - 9 months. With the title vacated, a battle royal was held to determine a new champion.

In an unprecedented turn of events, Kurt Angle who is NOT on the Smackdown roster, but is from RAW, was somehow allowed into the battle royal and WON The World Heavyweight Championship!


Like I said, this won't air until Friday and currently Steve knows nothing of it. I'm not going to tell him. I was planning on skipping going to his place this Friday night for Smackdown to do other things, but now I have an obligation to be there. I owe it to Steve to be there in person, so that he may revel in this rare victory. I have rubbed Angle's losses in his face for 4 fucking years. This Friday night, will be a HUGE night for Steve Finkler. So I'm canceling my plans, and I'm going over there to take my lumps like a man.

All I can say is that I hope Angle holds onto that title until Wrestlemania 22, so that I may be there in person to watch him lose it!