Here I am again with some more snippets for my Blog #2. I was thinking to myself what would be those necessary ‘snippets’ to put into a blog so as to cater for all the potential reader’s tastes and interests. My thoughts were along the lines of the following:
1. Inspirational moments or things that have given me the drive and motivation to compete in the sport for 18 years to take me now to almost my 50th contest.
2. Training, nutrition and supplementation tips and advice.
3. Progress updates on my own pre-contest, contest results, off-season plans and future goals.
4. Miscellaneous info ranging from food posts to funny characters seen in the gym to competition anecdotes.
My biggest inspiration for me that started my journey into competitive bodybuilding was without doubt my father John Winter who did very well in his early twenties in Yorkshire, England. He was actually 2nd in Mr North-East Britain way back in 1958. And back then there could be 60 guys in just one huge division and the judges would take all day to whittle them down to the finalists and then the eventual winner. He was in great shape for many years after that and I was always amazed at how he could wiggle his pecs and blow up his massive biceps through his thumb. I remember when he flexed his triceps they looked completely deformed…I was only 8 years old and was very small as a young boy! I used to love looking at his Mr North-East Britain plaque and his old black and white contest photographs. I would spend hours reading through his old Ironman magazines that canvassed guys like Sergio Oliva, Boyer Coe, Larry Scott, Tony Pearson, Chris Dickerson, Arnold, Dave Draper, Steve Reeves, etc. My Dad wrote my first training programme and joined me up at a local gym, Rockingham Health Academy, when I was 18 years of age. I was hooked and have trained at a variety of gymnasiums for all my adult life to date.
I mentioned in my last blog about my so called ‘cheat meals’. These occur usually every Friday night where I eat basically what I want with a few guidelines. I almost always start with a soup that my mate brings over made from heaps of fibrous carbohydrates/vegetables, followed by my mixed grill that is a protein overload of 3 items (eg: Scotch Fillet steak, ½ dozen NZ Oysters & Pork Pie) and then the final course is the carb overload usually comprising Magnum Icecreams, mini Crunchies & Flakes, Lindt Dark Chocolate with expresso coffee from my La Cimbali Coffee machine. The final flourish is normally a Scotch or Brandy ‘digestive’! I will incorporate this deviation up until about 3-4 weeks from the show but it only works if you are clean with your diet during the week and are doing a fair amount of cardio, usually twice per day. I find that my physique looks better at contest time if I have been able to eat plenty of food in the weeks leading up, so a good amount of cardio is necessary as well. The higher calories with increased exercise certainly turns your body into a furnace creating a very fast BMR. You can then be burning fat even whilst asleep. Like the annoying guy with the high pitched voice on the Celebrity Bodytrim TV ads says…”you become an automatic fat-burner!” I also find that if I am feeling a bit depleted at the end of the week that cheat meal gives you a fantastic mini rebound that propels you through the next few days. Maintaining your sanity is another aspect I guess by having this to look forward to.
Many people have commented about my back over the years, in particular my back double biceps pose. They often ask what I do for my back in terms of exercises. I have always said that to develop a thick wide back…”ya gotta row!!” I have always done heavy bent over barbell rows with the overhand grip and then saw Dorian Yates back in the 1990’s do the underhand variety which really targets the middle back as well as the lower lats that insert down near your hips. This exercise combined with wide grip chins and reverse close grip chins is the way to create a complete back from top to bottom and side to side…length, width and thickness are necessary for a 3 dimensional back. I also do heavy stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings and glutes and will talk about that in another blog as I separate my hamstring work from my quads on a different workout day.
I will now spend the next week as the last one of my 4 week rebound after the May/June contest season. I will then have 10 weeks to prepare for my big 50th contest on September 15th. My carbs will drop to about 120g per day, my protein will increase to 375g and my cardio will increase to twice per day…low intensity first thing in the morning with higher intensity after my evening workout.
Until next time train hard, eat well and keep your eye on the prize!
Best wishes, Craig W.