My past posts went over 10 reasons why I decided to do a physique competition and 7 things I did to prepare for a physique competition. Here’s my 9 things I’m doing while training for a physique competition.
Today I am going to talk about 9 things I’m doing while training for my physique competition. All of them I believe are equally important and have helped me stay on track not lose my mind and push me to the next level.
So enough chit chat let’s get right into it…
Here are the 9 things I’m currently doing while training for a Physique Competition
#1 Consuming Quality Supplements
I’ve always been a fan of quality supplements and in fact, I will take most of these regardless of training for a competition or not. It’s also very important to remember supplements are not some miracle pill and should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and resistance program.
Fish Oil is something I truly believe everyone should take, it’s great for your skin, your brain, and your heart. It’s also an essential fatty acid and increases oxygenated blood flow! For more amazing fish oil benefits you can read them here.
Struggling to get those difficult to find vitamins?
Multi Vitamin has been a staple for me since I started learning about the health and fitness space. A good multivitamin will help you in many ways from helping build muscle, burn fat more easily and increase bone health.
CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid is something I take every morning as well. CLA’s are a group of fatty acids that are produced naturally when we eat and start to digest unsaturated fats. CLA has been shown to improve overall body composition and aid with body fat loss.
Post workout I’m consuming two scoops of lean protein with water or un-sweated almond milk.
#2 Cutting Calories
In order to cut my body fat down, I had to dramatically cut my overall calorie consumption down. Considering that before dieting & training my overall calorie consumption was somewhere between a whopping 5,000-7,000.
Initially, in the first month of calorie restriction, I was consuming somewhere between 3,200-3,500 and losing weight. I dropped from 218 pounds to 204 in almost 2 weeks, talk about dropping weight fast!
Since then it’s been tricky and I have been hovering around 198-200 but recently I have dropped my calories to 2,700 & will start carb cycling (fun fun!). Overall I am happy with my progress though as I am around 6% body fat roughly 1 month out from hitting the stage.
For more information on how I determined how many calories to cut out of my diet you can check my previous post: 7 Things I did To Prepare For A Physique Competition First Update
#3 Writing all my meals down
Yea I’m that guy now that picks everything up at the grocery store & asks for nutrition lists at restaurants.
In reality, though, it’s helped me immensely to write all of my meals, calories and macros down. I would be absolutely be shooting from the hip if I were guessing everything. If you’re ever want to look into a simple diet plan, be ready to track everything you’re consuming!
After over 60 days of writing all of my meals down, I pretty much know exactly how much I’m consuming per day with out even looking or writing at this point. So at the very least even if you’re unable to write everything down for the day(which often happened to me) you get a very good idea how many calorie things add up to be.
#4 Figured out my Macros
If you’re just going for a typical weight loss diet, counting macros might be considered over kill for you. However in my case obviously I’m training for a physique competition and everything little thing adds up.
Speaking of initially when I first started eating my meals I was only consuming around 200 grams of protein. I felt as if I was eating “a lot” of protein, as most of my meals were heavily dominate towards meat.
After further analysis of how much I should be consuming and talking to my trainer, I realized I really should have been up to consuming about 325.
Wow! I was way off…
All in all, I think it’s important to check out your ratio of macro’s so you can further manipulate your body fat loss. For more information on how to do this be sure to check out this post about your macro’s: Change Your Macro Ratio Into Grams Of Food Based On Needs.
#5 Increased My Reps
While my actual training schedule stayed the same in regards to certain muscle groups for certain days, my reps & sets changed.
Just in case you were wondering here is my training schedule:
Monday – Chest (4-6 miles of cardio)
Tuesday – Back (4-6 miles of cardio)
Wednesdays – Abs & Legs (4-6 miles of cardio)
Thursday – Shoulders (4-6 miles of cardio)
Friday – Arms (4-6 miles of cardio)
Saturday – Abs/Full Body (6-8 miles of cardio)
Sunday – (6-8 miles of cardio)
I know what your thinking, way too much cardio (we can talk about that later).
In regards to the resistance training, I was always an 8-12 reps guy. Since training with my trainer, I have entered a new rep range of 12-15 followed by a drop set. This type of training has pushed me much further than before and given me more endurance & volume while training.
If you want to learn more about drop sets & pyramid training you can check out this post here: Drops Sets & Pyramid Training Workouts.
#6 Bought Wrist Wraps For Back Day
I was always against wrist wraps, and I’m not exactly sure why. I guess I just thought they were for total rookies and people with weak grips.
For myself I grew up training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing & Maui Thai, I guess I just thought my “grip was strong enough”. It was really kind of egotistical for me to think this way, in fact since I bought wrist wraps I’ve grown my back by literally two-fold.
Eventually, your grip will give out before your main muscle group does. What does this really mean? Well means you’re missing out on a ton of reps you could be using to build your muscle group. If you were like me and hated wrist wraps, I would encourage you to give it another try and check out the gains!
If you want to learn more about weight lifting wraps you can check out this post here: Weight lifting straps
7) Increased My Cardio So I Can Eat More
I love to eat, like a lot…
In fact, before deciding to train for a competition I wasn’t nervous about the training in the slightest. Instead, I was nervous about the lack of calories & occasional frozen yogurt or cheat meal.
I’m freaking hangry if I don’t eat enough, and well food makes me pretty damn happy.
So what did I do to fix this?
I upped my cardio; I’d personally rather train harder knowing that fact that I can “eat more”. While in the grand scheme of things it comes down to calories in versus calories out/spent, psychologically this helps me out big time.
If I needed to run an extra mile for consuming more calories, well shit I was going to do just that…
#8 Found a healthy desert to Curve my sweet tooth
Look I’m normal, I have cravings and I enjoy sweets from time to time so when they were all cut from my diet it was difficult for me to adjust.
Luckily I found some solutions that helped…
I was over at my friend’s house and ask him if I could make a protein shake, as I was “hangry”. He offered to make it and said, “Try this out”. Best protein shake I’ve ever had let me tell you.
What was in it?
Actually, it was fairly diet friendly, thank god.
Here’s the Protein Shake Recipe
2 scoops of whey protein
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
Half a Banana
One spoon full of organic cocoa powder
One spoon full of Almond Peanut Butter
Couple Ice cubes & a splash of water for an easier blend
A lifesaver let me tell you! Try this out if you’re like me and need to curb your sweet tooth, in my opinion, it tastes just as good as a milk shake.
#9 Upped my intensity level dramatically
Finally, but just as important I upped my intensity on every lift.
What is intensity?
- Extreme effort put forth in an exercise set independent of the amount of resistance used and the number of repetitions (reps) desired.
Now while my training schedule was relatively the same my actual intensity was relatively normal before training with my trainer. This is one of the things I was blessed to have, someone that was standing over me and pushing me to the next level. I’ll be honest before I wouldn’t really go till absolutely “failure”, in fact I would just stop when it got kind of uncomfortable.
Well, that all changed…
Now a day’s (aka the last 60-90 days) I will go until I cannot lift another weight. After ever set I feel exhausted, and then I rinse and repeat. This has helped me put on more lean muscle mass, help me burn additional body fat and challenge my body overall.
All in all of the 9 points have helped while training for a physique competition. I think all are equally important and have aided me during this time of training.
Curious to hear more about my journey to the fitness stage?
Oh, yea one other thing I almost forgot I’m NOT doing a Physique Competition, for money, for sponsorship or anything materialistic.
I’m doing it to become a better version of myself & bring the readers first-hand experience on how to train for a Physique Competition.
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