I promised you guys I’d blog about how I managed to get in competition form in just 5 weeks. I posted a progress pic on Instagram which got a little bit of attention and a floodgate of DMs and comments asking how it was possible. Keep in mind that I was under the careful direction of a coach who is an expert in his industry. His approach was scientific and deliberate and it was up to me to stay committed and disciplined for the program to work for me. I do not suggest copying exactly the way my meals and workout routines were designed unless you’ve consulted a doctor and he has given you the go signal to diet and exercise similarly as I did. It’s always best to consult a physician and hire yourself a trainer or a coach who knows what he’s doing.
This is the photo that got people’s attention. Many were astounded that I managed to get into that shape in just three months. It actually wasn’t three months. It was about 5 weeks only because even when I got back from SF in February, I didn’t start working out and dieting until about the second week of March.
I had to eat six meals each day to feed my body and gains. My meal plan was designed to get me as much protein and little carbs for the weight loss and muscle building we were aiming to achieve. My carbs mostly came from the oats and veggies.
Meal 1 & 3 : 125ml eggwhites, 35g quick-cook oats, 1/2c chicken broth
Meal 2: 100g chicken breast, 40g asparagus, 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Meal 4: 100g ground sirloin beef, 50g broccoli florets
Meal 5 & 6: 150g cobbler fish, 40g asparagus
Because I had to lose fat and bring down my weight in a relatively short time, I did cardio twice a day. I dedicated 45 minutes to fasted cardio (cardio on an empty stomach), drinking my BCAA supplement throughout this exercise. I either did an inclined treadmill session when at the gym or a stationary bike ride when I chose to do cardio at home. It’s so important to stay hydrated, so make sure you get your H2o in.
My conditioning program split up muscle groups into different days.
MWF I worked on glutes. I did sets of kickbacks, hip bridges, hip thrusts, donkey kicks, and rainbow kicks. Sometimes I would do leg presses and squats but didn’t want my quads to get too big because the category I compete in requires a slimmer look compared to the Figure and Physique categories where muscularity is a huge requirement.
Tuesdays I worked on my shoulders and chest. Shoulder presses, lateral and front raises, pec flyes (on the machine) lateral pulldowns and dumbbell chest flyes were on the menu. I did 4 sets of 15 reps.
Thursdays were for back and deltoids as a whole (shoulders). On this day I would do military presses, squat rows, dumbbell rows, and assisted pull-ups. Sets of 4 with 15 reps.
As I came close to competition day, my reps increased to 25 to 30 and I did 5 sets. You can check out my workout routines on my Instagram page.
In bodybuilding, generally, an athlete has to look ripped and shredded. During competition prep this year, my diet contained salt and I still drank a lot of water up until a day before competition. Last year, I depleted salt about a week and a half out which made it maddening and difficult for me. I barely made any (muscular) gains because I had difficulty eating my proteins without any taste, and therefore couldn’t get enough protein in me. This time I could still enjoy my meals because I got to keep salt in my diet until about one day out. The day of the competition, the artificial tan was applied on me, some oil too to give me sheen and enhance muscle definition from on stage.
It feels like the entire 7 weeks from Day 1 of prep to the day of the competition went by too fast. I miss the grind and the hustle; I miss having something to work furiously towards. Now that I’m off-season, people ask what I plan to do. I’m definitely sticking to my fitness routine because it’s become second nature to me that skipping gym day feels a little awful. I’m still eating clean and training pretty mean. My diet isn’t as restrictive (and really, it’s not as bad as some people will make it out to be). I get to enjoy a cheat meal every 4 days, and here and there I’ll treat myself to a little sweetness. I just keep in mind that I worked very hard to attain this level of fitness, and no one else can ruin that for me except for myself.
There you go! It’s very simple in theory but the application is where the challenge lies. If you’re the kind of person who hates backing down from a challenge whether self-imposed or posed by others before you, then you’re like me and can’t entertain the thought of failing due to lack of heart. I went into this wholeheartedly and determined to be in better form than last year.
This experience has uncovered a great passion deep within me to help others get in better shape. I want to help encourage and empower others to achieve a better level of fitness, strength, and happiness for themselves. If someone like me who was down in the dumps, had every excuse to sulk and let myself go could do it, you can too.