Hi again Everyone,
I thought it was about that time again for an update in CW’s bodybuilding world with a few bits & pieces of advice, motivation and fun.
It has been a very nice last few weeks or so as I immerse myself fully in that wonderful post contest rebound of less cardio and more food particularly some of those less than ‘clean’ foods that I have been craving so much. The little things sometimes mean a lot like every Friday at my school where I teach we have a morning tea at recess where there is always loads of crazy carbs and tasty morsels in the offing. For weeks I have had to stay away from the staff room and miss out on these nibbles. But now the fact that I can join in and partake if I feel that way inclined is extremely satisfying indeed! I was talking to another bodybuilding mate of mine, Torrie, recently and he said that you don’t really appreciate a lot of things in life unless you have experienced the sheer ongoing deprivation that a pre-contest diet can bring about. Torrie, my Supa Food buddy Big Les and I went to Fremantle a couple of Sundays ago for some deviations to the diet. For a brief moment we joined the raw food cult at The Raw Kitchen, then went to the Asian food court for some beef, chicken and squid and finally ended up at the good old Freo Markets for orange Slushies from Les’s stall and dark chocolate filled ‘Organic’ Donuts from another stall close to Les!
My guidelines for coming out of contest mode
So with this post contest period in mind I have 4 rules that I use to assist me in going back to normality, so to speak, without blowing out too much and stacking on too much unwanted body fat.
1. For the 4 weeks straight after the last show I allow myself numerous treats but maintain modest once a day cardio where I will either walk my Beagle Mr Brown for half an hour before breakfast or barely raise a sweat on the lifecycle for 25 minutes or so after my evening workout in the Gym.
2. To make use of the extra rest with less cardio and extra calories ingested I take no time off the Gym in this 4 week period. This rebound period always results in a growth spurt of varying degrees and is a great time for making some good gains. You are also very receptive to muscular growth when you are very lean and somewhat overtrained and depleted from the rigorous pre-contest phase.
3. After the 4 weeks is over I then go back to just the one cheat meal per week on a Friday night (Supa Food Friday…see the collage pic below). The rest of the meals are from quality protein, complex/fibrous carbohydrates and good fats. I will maintain high protein, double my carbs from the lowest point in my pre-contest period and increase the intensity and/or duration of once per day cardio. My protein levels are always around 350-400g daily year round because whether it’s pre or post contest we are always trying to add lean muscle mass and protein, the building blocks of life, will do that for us. The quality protein sources I use are chicken, tuna, whole eggs, lean red meat and of course a good whey protein isolate powder. I prefer these sources as they are the highest on the Protein Efficiency Ratio scale.
4. I try to make sure that my daily carbohydrate allowance is consumed by around 1-2pm. With the last meal of the day at approximately 9pm I will allow myself some good fats from whole eggs, cheese, Macadamia/Cashew nuts or avocado. (Pictured below is an example of one of these meals with CW’s pizza omelette made from 4 whole eggs, sliced mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, grated cheese, chopped black pudding, whole egg mayo, salt and black pepper accompanied with a bowl of cauliflower purée, chopped spring onion & white pepper as well as a generous handful of nuts and a Be Natural bar).
I will then continue to monitor my progress over the next few months and continue to manipulate my ingestion of carbohydrates and the amount of cardio I do. These guidelines have worked well for me over the years resulting in minimal body fat being added whilst trying to add lean muscle mass. I usually go no more than about 5-6 kg over my on stage weight during the offseason.
Renewed motivation through a change in surroundings
As I have mentioned before changing your surroundings can be very motivating and can give you some fuel for some awesome workouts which will in turn stimulate some new found muscular growth. I recently joined a new Gym called Nonstop Fitness 24/7 in Port Kennedy which has only just opened it’s doors. It is chockablock full of great equipment with a great variety of free weights, machines and cardio equipment and unlike my old Gym this one doesn’t shut the doors at 12noon on the weekends and close on Public Holidays!
One of the main reasons I joined this Gym was the plate loaded power pressing and pulling machines they have, very similar in function to the Hammer Strength equipment.
The power chest press machines are fantastic and really focus all the load on the pectoral muscles rather than the deltoids. I have always been a delt-presser when using a barbell or even a dumbbell but find with the power press that due to it’s action going from outside to in as you press that you actually push your pecs into your chin and as you’ll see in the collage below. Keeping the chin on the chest definitely improves the involvement of your pecs. Jay Cutler explained on one is training videos that to take out the deltoids when pressing you pin your shoulder blades together whilst arching your back and tuck your chin into your upper chest and keep it there through the entire movement. There is a flat press version that focuses on the middle & lower chest as well as the incline press version that hits the upper pecs really effectively. So I will be incorporating these movements in my HIT chest workouts and will look forward to hopefully seeing some improvements in this area over the next 12 months.
Jessie Onag sent CW some snaps
I discussed in my last Blog how the winner of my division at the ANB Nationals, Jessie Onag, spoke to me about how he enjoyed my blogging and shared the same values as myself in regards to the journey to the show and the reflections afterwards as being even more important than the actual event itself. A few days after Blog #14 was published Jessie kindly sent me an email with a couple of photos (see one of the photos shown below). This was a great surprise and it was terrific to hear from him. Jessie is yet another fine Gentlemen I have met on my interstate contest travels and I hope to stay in touch with him as well as compete with him again somewhere, someday, sometime soon.
A very nice time with client & friend Charbell
I recently spent the weekend in the South West of WA at a picturesque town called Bunbury with a client and friend of mine by the name of Charbell. He runs the Welcome Inn Hotel which is literally a stones throw from one of the best beaches you’ll ever see.
Charbell and I did a HIT Back session at the local South West Sports Centre where I gave him a few tips about some of the key back exercises and gave him a taste of the level of intensity he needs to be training at to maximize this style of training.
While we were there we saw on the Sports Centre’s noticeboard some details regarding an 8 week biggest loser fat/weight loss challenge. Charbell and I after lengthy discussion about goal setting thought this would be a perfect short term goal to have a crack at before his longer term goal of doing his first natural physique contest sometime in 2013. So we finished our workout, paid the entry fee and signed him up for the competition.
I have blogged about the importance of goal setting to create that all important purpose in your life to work towards something you are passionate about. This gives you focus, drive and a new found motivation that can help you better yourself in a big way. It was almost a spooky coincidence that we stumbled across this Biggest Loser Challenge that fits in perfectly for Charbell to get the ball rolling in the direction of the bodybuilding stage.
When we got back to the Hotel we then promptly put together a nutrition and cardio programme to address these goals and put him on the right track to achieving the best condition he’s ever been in.
Charbell and I then had a sensational ‘last supper’ at Nicola’s Italian Restaurant in the town centre. We both had the seafood platter and an amazing date & fig pudding with vanilla bean gelato. His 8 week plan was to start on the following Monday! It was great to see the fire in his eyes as he now has this tangible goal to work towards.
CW’s Cardillo belt finally arrived!!
For the last 20 years or so of my training, watching and reading bodybuilding DVD’s and magazines I have always admired the iconic Cardillo customized weight belts that the IFBB Professionals wear. I stumbled across their website at cardillousa.com a few months ago and ordered one of their awesome belts with the words CRAIG WINTER embroidered on the back. I wasn’t quite sure what to put on it, all I knew was I wanted to get one! So I guess my full name was a safe bet and at least it’s now unlikely to get lost or stolen!! I find even those little things like purchasing a new weight training belt can be just enough to reignite your enthusiasm for hitting the Gym.
The belt is made from high quality saddle leather and required no ‘wearing in’ whatsoever! Have a bit of fun, check out their website and personalize your most important & valued training aid!
Anyway, until we next cross paths in cyberspace I wish you continued progress and success with your health & fitness lifestyle and look forward to having another waffle and yarn with you in Craig’s Blog #16 in the not to distant future!
Kind regards, Craig W.