Craig's Blog #18!...
Hi there everyone,
Very nice to be able to touch base with you all again with more bit and pieces from CW's bodybuilding lifestyle. I trust you all had an excellent festive season with your family and friends and have started 2013 with some action plans on all those New Years' resolutions you boldly put out there!
I have just recently returned from Melbourne back to WA after 5 glorious weeks with my fine fiancée Louise. We had a great time with lots of catch ups, great eating, interesting excursions, movies, relaxation and yes some hard training!
I really enjoy training in Melbourne at all the amazing gyms over there. The iconic Doherty's 24/7 in Brunswick and Vaults City Gym always inspire me to train hard with that great hardcore atmosphere, excellent equipment and bodybuilding nostalgia with all the photos on their walls of past champions.
Derrimut 24/7 in Caroline Springs is also an incredible place to train with it's huge array of equipment, massive supplement and clothing store, a cafe that caters for bodybuilder's needs at reasonable prices, cross fit, boxing, MMA and much more. It's like Bunnings for Bodybuilders!!
The nice thing about having done 52 contests (but who's counting anyway) with many interstate shows over 18 years of competitions is that you get to meet loads of fantastic, like-minded, positive and motivated people. So in coming over from WA to train at the best gyms in Melbourne I guess you're bound to stumble across some of these interesting characters. This in itself motivates me to train hard as it is easy to feed off their enthusiasm as well as the fact that they all look great and are awesome competitors themselves.
Below are some photos of some of the people I 'bumped into':
Exercise of the month:
I have always been a great fan of the walking dumbbell lunge as a terrific unilateral movement that works almost every muscle in your your lower body. It is a very grueling exercise that is also very taxing on the heart and lungs. I usually perform lunges on the week that I do leg presses as my heavy compound exercise.
Just recently I added one legged leg presses to my Quad workout and did these after full squats instead of dumbbell lunges. This is a fabulous exercise where you can really focus on that all important mind to muscle connection. You need to leave your ego out of the equation here so as to maximize the muscle contraction whilst minimizing injury. I got a great pump in my quadriceps and was certainly hobbling around for a few days after that leg session!! It is a great way to finish your quad workout after pre-exhausting with Leg Extensions and Full Squats beforehand. Give it a try, especially if you want to isolate the quads whilst placing a bit less emphasis on the glutes.
While I was in Melbourne training at my favourite gyms I thought I would give the Hammer V-Squat a go instead of my usual compound leg exercises. This is fantastic piece of equipment that allows you to squat past parallel whilst maintaining a perfect posture in it's well designed frame. You can easily adjust the placement of your feet so as to focus on different muscles of the quadriceps. And being plate-loaded means that you don't get the assistance that all those pulleys provide on a regular pin-loaded machine, making it feel more like a compound movement.
I was lucky enough to be able to use Derrimut Gym's quite new Hammer V-Squat which was placed right in front of Mark 'Meataxe' Taylor's Tom Platz's Quadriceps wall mural...a very inspiring masterpiece indeed to provide some great motivation for my grueling leg workout.
CW's acceptance of the "Toe shoes"
A knowledgeable WA bodybuilding friend of mine by the name of Aaron Kohn recently alerted me to the benefits of the so-called "toe shoes" or Vibram Fivefingers. These goofy looking shoes always intrigued me as I already knew about the benefits of weight training with very thin flat soled shoes such as the Asics Split Seconds Wrestling boots and the New Balance Minimus running shoes.
The super thin soled Vibram Fivefingers enable you to get much better flexion in both the top of the positive & bottom part of the negative with calf training which in turn really amplifies the stimulation and burn in both your gastronemius and soleus musculature.
Also great with squats and deadlifts when trying to get that 'pushing through the floor' feeling with your feet and toes splayed out creating a greater surface area with a more even weight distribution from big toe to little toe to heel. I have even noticed DOMS in my calves after performing walking treadmill cardio! So if you can get past the 'duck feet' look when walking into the gym then these shoes are really worth trialling.
Another mate of mine, Torrie Browne, stirred me up about these shoes referring to them as Vibram Fishfingers...so I promptly sent him the the following fun photo of my evening meal versus my offending new shoes!
To train abs or not to train abs??
When people ask me what I do for abs they get confused when I say nothing!
I tell them that the abdominal wall gets hammered several times per week by the big lifts and that training them direct on top of these movements is basically overtraining the area!
Your abdominal musculature contracts hard against your training belt when performing exercises like full squats, deadlifts, standing barbell curls, heavy tricep push downs, bent over rowing and the list goes on!!
Instead of doing ab work at the end of your workout do 20 minutes of cardio to remove some bodyfat which in turn will define your abs even more (Pictures below taken in October at the ANB Nationals 2012).
Some 'Faux' Food dishes to consider
Whilst in Melbourne Louise and I tried to make our evening meals at home as healthy and enjoyable as possible whilst also trying to keep the evening carbs in check. Especially after some of the crazy carb meals during the festive season and treats whilst out and about.
Louise loves her cooking gadgets and her recent purchase of a Spiralizer enabled us to have what ostensibly looks and tastes like spaghetti but minus the calories and insulin spike from the carbohydrates. Many vegetables such as zucchini can be literally turned into turned into faux pasta in a matter of moments.
Louise very cleverly made a faux spaghetti pesto and garlic dish, faux spaghetti bolognese and an awesome faux spaghetti marinara. She used zucchinis in the Spiralizer to create these tasty meals.
I have always liked using eggs via omelettes to mimic pastry bases on pizzas as well the flour based crepes. So my strawberry faux crepe made from eggs instead of flour is again a taste sensation but minus all those unwanted carbs.
The faux pizzas are also great with the egg derived omelette base and whatever toppings you desire like tomato, cheese, olives, mushrooms, spring onions, anchovies, capsicums, etc.
Ready for pre-contest mode after a great offseason
So now that I am back in WA and back at work as a High School Teacher I reckon it's the perfect time to switch back into pre-contest mode for the May/June contest season.
During my offseason I slowly added approximately 6kg to my frame after last year's September/October season. Of course some of this with be fat so I will now slowly chisel away on that unwanted stuff over the next 16 weeks before my first contest for 2013 on the 18th of May.
I have a few new things I would like to trial in my preparation and quest to create a bigger and better version of last year's model so to speak. In Blog #19 I will allude to one of those changes that you should find interesting and something you may want to give a go yourself!?
Also looking forward to repping the black and yellow with Eastcoast Supplements this year as well as helping all my clients attain their own personal goals whether it be to compete, shed some fat whilst toning up, add some serious muscle mass or to simply create a more athletic looking physique.
My weight training is something I always really enjoy so I am also looking forward to some big workouts at my new gym in WA... Nonstop 24 Hour Fitness in Port Kennedy. Chad and Amy Francis have done a great job in setting up this facility and I know some of the hard trainers in my district are just loving it.
A Meet & Greet with legendary Milos Sarcev
In closing I will share with you the photo below of legendary IFBB Professional Milos Sarcev and my friend Torrie Browne. We were very fortunate to meet Milos at a 'meet & greet' at Pure Fitness Gym just days before his Muscle Training Camp here in Perth.
Milos was incredibly friendly and personable and so interesting to talk to. He himself had an amazing record of more than 100 contests where he always showed up in fantastic shape. He had the perfect combination of mass, symmetry and condition.
Torrie told him that I had done 52 contests, Milos immediately said "You've got to keep competing!!" and promptly wrote that on the photograph of himself also shown below.
These words were very motivating indeed and have made me even more driven to keep competing than ever before. Milos has that positive, confident and champion mindset that is very alluring and contagious. It really was a very inspirational occasion!
So until next we cross paths in good old cyberspace I wish you all the very best for 2013 and may it be an exciting, fun-filled and fruitful year for you all.
Kind regards as always, Craig W.
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