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.