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Craig's Blog #29

Hi again everyone!

Wow!...how this year has flown and my monthly blog has turned into a quarterly one!

I hope your offseason has been as 'kind' to you as mine? As I type this next episode in my series I am almost ready to finish my offseason and begin my pre-contest phase for the September/October bodybuilding season.

The offseason for CW was certainly a period of relaxation with cardio only 3 times per week for 20 minute sessions, weight training in the gym only 3 times per week, training the whole body over 5 workouts or 10 days and a generous carbohydrate intake over 4 or 5 meals per day.

This resulted in a body-weight increase of approximately 6-7kg. My strength levels definitely increased as did the fullness of my muscle bellies. And obviously my fat cells increased in size too!!

The goal now is to very slowly reduce my carb intake whilst increasing protein levels as well as increasing the number of cardio sessions per week. I have allowed myself a good 18 weeks or so to 'budge the sludge' so as to hopefully hang onto my offseason gains in muscle mass.

What I do know, from personal experience, is that the more fat you accumulate in the offseason the longer you have to give yourself to get that off. If you try and lose all that extra baggage by crash dieting with loads of cardio in a short amount of time then you are absolutely guaranteed of losing some of your hard earned gains in lean muscle tissue.

My best ever contest conditions were the result of slow and steady dieting over a prolonged period where I still ate a good amount of calories and never really actually felt like I was 'dieting' so to to speak.

At 49 years of age I am now setting my sights on my last season of Masters division competition. The last decade has been an amazing journey competing as a Master with some incredible battles, meeting so many wonderful competitors that are now life long friends, 6 national Titles, undefeated as WA State natural Masters champion, 2 Bronze Medallions at international level and 2 Overall State Titles with many second place overall finishes.

So this means I am now as hungry as ever to finish this awesome decade on a strong note by kicking off my final Masters season with the ANB WA State Titles in September. This should be another great ANB showcase and I am looking forward to strutting my stuff once again and letting loose my new 2014 posing routine which will be a lot of fun.

Obviously this means that next year I will be competing as a Grandmaster!!!

I was saying to some friends recently that the term 'Master' sounds pretty cool but 'Grandmaster' sounds somewhat old and ancient!!! I did feel a tad better, however, when one of my good mates, Les, said it brings about connotations of a martial arts Grandmaster who are often referred to as experts in their chosen code.

In any case my goal for the Grandmasters division in 2015 is to bring my best ever package whilst trying to defy the ageing process. I am hence hoping to bring better condition and symmetry with increased muscle mass.

Time will tell If I can actually pull this one off!!??

When to start pumping up backstage??

With the advent of the first contest season nearly upon us I thought I would discuss a topic that has had several trains of thought attached to it.

Many years ago I realised that pumping up backstage before a show needs to be carefully kept in check so as to leave something for the actual stage itself.

Muscle glycogen is good for approximately 45 minutes so my own approach is to start pumping up around 15-20 minutes before going on with some push ups, towel pulls, light bicep curls and posing practice...but nothing too vigorous.

The feedback I have had many times is that the longer I am onstage the fuller and harder I start to look. And of course this is exactly what I want to do in trying to leave a lasting final impression with the judging panel.

As coincidence would have it I had a interesting conversation at FitX in mid March with Shaun Rhoden after watching him take out the IFBB Australian Grand Prix on the Saturday night. I mentioned to him how I noticed his physique getting better and better the longer he was on stage whereas some of the others were starting to fade with some visibly struggling. Shaun said to me that he always saves it for the stage by not going too crazy pumping up beforehand!

This was music to my ears and I got similar feedback when I posted this quandary into social media from a number of very talented bodybuilding competitors.

CW finally got to meet a couple of his idols!

After watching the IFBB Pro Show at FitX and getting my photo with the winner Shaun Rhoden I noticed that my legendary icons and idols Dave Palumbo and Chris Aceto were doing the RxMuscle.com wrap up of the show and yours truly managed to scam a photo with these mighty fine gentlemen.

I have listened to their Heavy Muscle Radio podcast for years every Monday night and often use it as a 'bedtime story', after all mainstream television has been absolute garbage for some time now.

I was also lucky enough to get the inaugural winner of the IFBB Australian Grand Prix, Chris Cormier, in the pic too.

Gotta just love this awesome sport of bodybuilding...it's definitely more than a game!!

Side chest posing tips!

Again with the contest season just around the corner I would like to discuss two of the eight compulsory poses in the muscularity round that I feel need some clarification.

In my humble opinion I have felt that both the front double biceps and side chest poses have always been about looking as big, wide and thick as possible and have had nothing to do with showing off the abdominal wall.

The pictures below show Arnold using his expanded rib cage to create that bigger surface area of muscle so as to in turn create the illusion of even more size.

The other pictures show the competitors flexing down on their abs thereby making them look smaller with ultimately less width and thickness.

There are other poses such as the overhead abdominal & thigh and side triceps that obviously rely heavily on a chiselled and flexed mid section.

    

Transitionary Posing reminders!

As most of you are well aware by now Dorian Yates was one of CW's favourite bodybuilders from back in the 1990's.

The DY had a very large frame yet was able to pose majestically with both style and grace.

Here we have CW attempting Dorian's pre front lat spread transitionary pose.

There are two problems with my attempt however:

1. I forgot to flex down on my abdominal wall!

2. My muscle mass is approximately 40kg less than the DY!!!

For all those practising their symmetry turns and compulsory poses for the upcoming May/June contest season, make sure you remember to both create and practice your transitionary poses too.  

CW's Reuben Sandwich! 

Here is an awesome American style sandwich you must try...

Four slices of Burgen Dark Rye, 4 slices of Coon Swiss cheese, 250g premium Silverside beef and Sauerkraut.

Layer the ingredients in between the slices of buttered Rye bread with the buttered side facing out.

Then grill the sandwiches in the good old George Foreman for a couple of minutes.

Macros

Protein: 50g

Carbohydrate: 50g

Fat: let's not worry about that!!

Tastes freaking awesome and relatively easy to throw together.

The experiment continues!!

As you may have read earlier in this blog I am still currently training my whole body over 10 days and training only 3 days per week with the following 5 day split...

Day 1: Quads & Calves

Day 2: Chest & Biceps

Day 3: Hamstrings & Calves

Day 4: Delts & Triceps

Day 5: Back, Rear Delts & Trapezius

Recovery time is critical for natural bodybuilders particularly if you train hard and heavy like I do with HIT style workouts.

As we get older we also need even more time to recuperate between workouts so as to maximise growth and repair.

Dorian Yates when interviewed prior to the 1997 Olympia said that many if his rival competitors were training 3-4 hours per day where he was training only 3-4 hours per week!

Of course the DY's physique spoke for itself as did his six year in a row undefeated reign on the My Olympia Title.

So I have decided to maintain the status quo with this workout regime to see how this affects my physique come contest day. I am hoping that it should yield even more muscle mass than before.

The diet and cardio will be the deciding factor in terms of my condition.

Watch this space folks as to whether CW can deliver this very desirable objective.

A proud day for CW!

My gorgeous daughter Lauren Winter, who was the trophy girl at last year's ANB WA State Title got married recently. This was a very proud day for me as her father and the day went really well with everyone having a wonderful time.

I welcomed her husband Anders into the Winter clan and whilst making my speech made it very clear to everyone that I thought he was a terrific young man but in the same breath reminded him that I knew a lot of people and we wouldn't want to see him 'sleeping with the fishes' if he did the wrong thing by my daughter! All jokes aside, I trust Anders implicitly and feel confident they will have a great future together.

So if Lauren gets the gig to hand out the trophies at the next ANB WA show she will do so as Lauren McLeod. 

Anyway, it has been very nice to once again do some more blogging with my awesome ANB family via this wonderful website.

Until next time I wish you all the very best with your own personal goal setting and health and fitness lifestyle. And remember if you feel like you are starting to lose the edge and are getting a bit lazy, always remember one of my favourite sayings as to why you should get physical again...

"Look good, feel good, am good!!"

Take care and kind regards, CW. 

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  1. Re: Craig's Blog #23

    Oh yeah, best of luck for the ANB Asia-Pacific! I'll be keeping an eye out for some good news!Train hard...

    -- Peter Varley

  2. Re: Craig's Blog #23

    Hey Craig, nice blog buddy. Yes, we all either get those positive comments (eg, "you guys are awesome...

    -- Peter Varley

  3. Re: Craig's Blog #19!...

    Hey Leonard, so glad you liked my Blog #19 buddy :-)) Always glad to be of service ;-) Hope you're training...

    -- Craig Bodychisel

  4. Re: Craig's Blog #19!...

    Thanks so much for creating a Blog. A great read with heaps of info that I can commence myself. Look...

    -- Leonard Alfred Birch

  5. Re: Craig's Blog #13!...

    Thanks Gemma for the kind words and glad you enjoyed Blog #13! Look out for Craig's Blog #14 in the ...

    -- Craig Bodychisel

  6. Re: Craig's Blog #13!...

    So great to read your achievements! Love how you have involved your family and they support you. The...

    -- Gemma Dawson

  7. Re: Craig's Blog #7!...

    As usual very informative and motivating. Thanks Craig for yet another awesome blog! Maria

    -- Maria McCarter

  8. Re: Craig's Blog #4!...

    Thanks for that Lauryn I'm glad you enjoyed my Blog #4 :-))Kind regards, Craig W.

    -- Craig Bodychisel

  9. Re: Craig's Blog #4!...

    Cool blog Craig.. A really interesting read. :)Lauryn

    -- Lauryn Dina Meredith

  10. Re: Craig's Blog #1...

    Hi Craig, Great Blog. We look forward to having you be a contributor to the ANB site!

    -- Maria McCarter