Hi again everyone,
Nice to be back blogging again on the good old ANB Australia Website with some more of CW's bodybuilding health and fitness lifestyle bits and pieces.
Busy as hell!!
I have been absent for some time on this forum due to an incredibly busy start to my year at the school where I teach. So busy infact that I have only just been able to cover off all my bodyparts each week with my training in the Gym. When these kinds of busy periods occur in my life I try to switch my very regimented approach to training to a more versatile approach.
On a good week, with no interruptions, my current training regime looks something like this:
Monday: Quads & Calves (Gastronemius).
Tuesday: Chest, Biceps & Forearms.
Thursday: Hamstrings & Calves (Soleus).
Friday: Delts & Triceps.
Saturday: Back, Rear Delts & Traps.
So as you can see I train my whole body over 5 workout days. When my life gets too hectic I sometimes simply compress this to either 4 days or even just 3.
For example, in a week with 4 workouts I will simply put the 2 leg workouts together and do Quads, Hamstrings & Calves. To accomodate the extra bodypart, so as to avoid a workout which is way too long (which, incidentally, I try to minimise with my HIT training ethos) I will cut back the volume by either taking out a particular exercise or by doing just 1 or 2 sets per exercise instead of 3 or 4. I make a conscious effort to keeping my workout duration to anywhere from 40 minutes to 60 minutes.
In a busy week with only 3 training days I will do Quads, Hamstrings & Calves on the first day, Chest, Delts & Triceps on the second and Back, Biceps & Forearms on the third. In this scenario there is usually only 2 exercises per bodypart, but following the premise of HIT, I will still make sure, where possible, that the working set is that hard, all-out set to positive failure.
Cardio of course is a whole other ball game and fitting that in as well can be challenging too. This is where my 20 minute high intensity interval (HIIT) cardio works well. Sometimes, on a day when I have to miss cardio I will, reluctantly, lower my carbs to offset the reduction in activity. I generally don't like doing this as I find my physique looks more vibrant muscularly when I eat more and do more cardio to facilitate fat loss and keep that proverbial 'furnace' burning.
Time management is an important skill and, if you're organised, you'll be amazed at just how many things you can cram into your working day. Having said that, I still reckon 26 hours a day would be awesome!!
Mediocrity is mediocre!
Most of you by now would have seen in previous Blogs my thoughts on always trying to better yourself by setting goals, creating purpose in your life, maintaining a positive focus all whilst having a passion in your life. These ingredients combined with love are very important aspects to help us maintain a happy disposition and fulfilling existence.
So it was a pleasant surprise when good old Eastcoast Supplements, of whom I am a Team-member, recently created and produced a new T-shirt to add to their already cool clothing line. The words on the front of the tee read..."Why do I lift?" with the answer on back..."BECAUSE F*CK BEING AVERAGE!"
A bold statement indeed, but one that we all need to think about as accepting mediocrity or less is counterproductive. As human beings we need to keep evolving and moving forward, we have done this for hundreds of years, by constantly striving for improvement we not only feel great physically but perform better mentally too. After all as they say in the classics..."A healthy body is a prerequisite for a healthy mind!"
Exercise of the Month
In this Blog I would like to focus on the reverse close grip pulldown or chin. Many people have asked me over the years what exercises I like to do for my Back training. I always tell them that the number one exercise for overall mass on the back is the bent-over barbell row. A close second to that is the reverse close grip pulldown or chin. This movement not only works the terres major and minor muscles just under the armpits but also effectively stimulates the latissimus dorsi musculature which runs from the terres minor all the way down to an insertion point just above your hip. The movement itself must be performed with that 'stretch and squeeze' principle. Allow yourself to hang at the bottom of the movement with arms fully extended followed by pulling up to the top so that your chin gets above the bar, this then maximizing the muscular contraction.
The wide grip pulldowns or chins are also important but they mainly hit the terres major and minor. So, if you want to optimally develop your back with that great V-shape from top to bottom, then make sure you include the reverse close grip pulldowns or chins in your back training regime.
Konjac Slim Pasta ideas
Recently Louise put me onto Slim Pasta made from the Chinese root vegetable Konjac. Konjac has zero carbs, zero fats and has the taste and texture very similar to spaghetti and aldente' pasta. It is also surprisingly high in fibre with a good amount amount of vegetable protein.
We have put together some delicious dishes including spaghetti bolognese, fettuccine marinara and special fried rice. The Slim Pasta company also produces Konjac rice. You can buy this from the Wholefoods section of Woolworths Supermarkets as well as most Health Food stores. It is also available from their website. Slim Pasta have a Facebook page too which constantly post different recipe ideas for you to consider.
Pre-contest dieting doesn't need to be bland or boring, give it a try, if you like pasta then you'll love this...minus the 'carb guilt'!!!
Eight weeks out!
Ok I am now about 8 weeks from my WA State shows and have shifted some of the festive sludge I put on over Christmas, New Year and holidays whilst in Melbourne. My good buddy, Angus Bailey, thought it would be a good idea to start some posing practice a bit earlier than usual so as to try and boost our motivation, improve our posing techniques and create some stamina for what is a fairly grueling time on stage under those very hot bright lights.
The first session went really well with both of us offering constructive criticism for the other. After some 53 contests and 18 years of bodybuilding competition it was great to be able to tweak some of my poses to produce a slightly better overall look. Angus is a naturally gifted bodybuilder as well as being very well coordinated, so I really appreciated his observant, impartial point of view. He is a young guy in his mid-twenties with a truckload of potential so it will be great to help each out as the main event approaches.
They say practice makes perfect, but perfect practice is even better I guess!!
CW's Year 12 School Ball 2013
Part of the reason for my extremely busy start to the school year was the school Ball I had to organize with my fellow Year Coordinator and student Prefects. This year we held the function at the Perth Hyatt Regency Hotel in their sensational Grand Ballroom. It was a grande, glitzy, gala and splendiferous occasion with a gold and silver theme. We decked out the tables beautifully and had the added bonus of the Head Boy's father, a professional sand-sculptor, create a magnificent sand castle in a goldy/yellowish coloured sand that we sat on a table covered in a gold tablecloth, all this surrounded by gold and silver foiled star-shaped Lindt chocolates!
My Year 12 students all looked amazing in their beautiful Ball gowns and sharp suits. They danced the night away and even got stuck into some Ballroom dancing moves they had been learning in their Physical Education classes. One of the highlights was most definitely the Tango contest where some couples really demonstrated the 'eye of the tiger', so to speak! All of this adding to an already terrific vibe to the whole night.
My fine fiancée Louise flew over from Melbourne to be part of the event and that was certainly the icing on the cake to have her by my side.
It is always a great feeling when all your vision, creative planning and hard work all comes to fruition. Again demonstrating the importance of goal setting combined with a productive purpose and powerful passion.
I hope the start of 2013 has been a good one for you and that you have set some goals for yourself to achieve at some point during the year. These goals don't need to be huge but something tangible and realistic that will give you some fuel to create that better version of yourself. Remember the old adage "Look good, feel good, am good"...I find this to be a great reminder, even to myself, when periods of reduced motivation creep into my life.
Kind regards and best wishes until next time, Craig W.