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 Post subject: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
Hey all,

I've been bodybuilding for about 4 years and have gone through all sorts of phases, from powerlifting to recently toning down my workouts to prepare for figure competitions...Fortunately, I realized early on that a.) going to the gym became a colossal bore for me when it was no longer about getting as muscular as possible and b.) I can't get excited about walking around onstage in 5 inch heels as the culmination of years of hard work! Nothing against figure or fitness competitors: I know it's just as hard as bodybuilding; I just don't have the right temperament for it. So here I am, 5 months out from my first (small and local) competition in which I'll likely be a lightweight bodybuilding competitor as well as competing in the couples division with my husband Derek. Exciting and frightening all at the same time!

My current weekly routine is below; I'll be posting the (hopefully quickly increasing) weights I do regularly. Derek changes my routine about every one to two months - it's so convenient being married to a personal trainer! What pretty much remains constant from one routine to the next is:

No heavy legs as my legs are already pretty big and I also dance
Extra shoulders as that is my weak point
Light arms as my arms blow up and easily overpower my shoulders
Lots of cardio because, sadly, I need it

March-April Program

Monday
Morning:
Cardio (Run 2 miles or 20 minutes stairclimber)
Evening:
Cardio (Run 2 miles or 20 minutes stairclimber)

Tuesday (Legs)
Morning:
DB Walking Lunges 3 x 20/each leg
Free Motion Squat 4 x 15
Romanian Deadlift 4 x 15
Bridge w/ One Leg Extended 3 x 10

Evening:
Cardio (20 minutes elliptical)
Abs x 3

Wednesday (Shoulders)
Morning:
DB Shoulder Press or Arnold Press 4 x 10-12
DB Seated Front Raises 4 x 12
Upright Row 4 x 10-12
Cable Laterals FST 7 7 x 10-12
Bent Over Laterals 4 x 10

Evening:
Cardio (Run 2 miles or 20 minutes stairclimber)
Abs x 3

Thursday (Upper Body Circuit)
Morning:
Each set 10-12 reps, repeat circuit 4 times

DB Incline Press
DB Row
Push Ups
Lat Pulldown
Cable Bicep Curl 21’s
Cable Straight Arm Pressdown

Evening:
Cardio (20 minutes elliptical)

Friday
Morning:
Cardio (Run 2 miles or 20 minutes stairclimber)
Evening:
Cardio (Run 2 miles or 20 minutes stairclimber)
Abs x 3

Saturday (Legs, Plyometric)
Morning:
Bench Step-Ups 3 x 20/each leg
Box Jumps 3 x 20
Jump Lunges 3 x 20
Traveling Jump Squats 3 x 20

Evening:
Cardio (20 minutes elliptical)

Sunday (Upper Body)
Morning:

Warm-up sets not included; final set of each exercise includes a high intensity technique such as forced reps, rest-pauses, or drop sets.

Barbell Bench Press 3 x 8-12
Cable Wide Grip Row 3 x 8-12
Barbell Wide Grip Decline Pullover 3 x 8-12
Barbell Shoulder Press 3 x 8-12
DB Seated Bicep Curl 3 x 8-12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8-12

Evening:
Cardio (20 minutes stairclimber)
Abs x 3
Calves

I'll be posting my weights and 1RM's shortly - I found an awesome Android app called JEFIT that generates little graphs and charts of all that for me and has rest timers and everything!

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Last edited by marcella on Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:28 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
So glad you started a log on here!

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:15 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:53 am
Posts: 1481
Location: Scotland
Looking forward to reading your log =]

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:21 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
Thanks guys!

I realized I actually misspelled the name of my sweet Android bodybuilding app: it's JEFIT and the screenshots of my online logs are what I'm going to use for tracking my workouts. It has an automatic 1RM calc, so that's what's shown below and it looks to be pretty close in those cases where I'm going all out - not so much on things like bicep curl.

4/10/2011 Upper Body Routine:
Image

Right now I'm significantly weaker than I once was, but the good side of that is that I get to see progress with every workout!

The barbell wide grip decline pullover is new; normally I do dumbbell, but was intrigued by the wide grip option that my app had listed. I had to hold two BodyBars to get the right weight for me - it was a little light, but taking an extremely wide grip made it pretty hard and I really felt it in my lats. Pullovers are always classified as a chest exercise, but Derek always groups it as a chest/lat exercise and I have to agree.

Seated barbell shoulder press is my current favorite shoulder move...I bring the bar all the way down to my collarbone and angle it slightly to the back as I go up and I feel like the strictness really targets my middle delts. That's important for me because it's a major weak point that's only now - after like 2 years of effort! - starting to come together. That's part of what made me despair of ever succeeding in figure - they need huge shoulders and small arms and I tend to the opposite! At least now I'm getting more proportional there.

Biceps...it's always hard to reign myself in here because who doesn't love to push the envelope on lifts - especially those for which you're naturally strong? I used to do a whole bicep workout, and my max is probably around 35 lbs for dumbbell curls, but I try not to go beyond 3 sets of max 20 lb weights for biceps in my upper body routines now because they seem to grow with the slightest provocation. Derek and I have a running joke that if we could be combined into one person, we'd be an unstoppable bodybuilding machine because our weak and strong points are exactly opposite...

And:

4/11/2011

Morning Cardio: 2 mile run at the nearby Forest Hill Park with one of our dogs, a golden retriever named Joe (usually referred to as Jo-Jo or Jo-Jo Bean)

Afternoon Cardio: Another 2 mile run at the park with our other dog, a yellow lab/chow mix named Gretchen, who doubles as a big furry anchor whenever I attempt to take her for a run

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


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 Post subject: Legs Day
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:36 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
4-12-2011

Image

*Hack squat isn't quite right...it's a selectorized free-motion squat, but close enough!

This is kind of an old-fashioned, boring legs day - I much prefer plyometrics day! Ever since I came to grips with the fact that my legs are naturally big and bulky and the heavy squats and things were not helping the issue I've tried to stick to high rep, relatively low weight or body weight exercises.

I also have some kind of lower back issue...every time I do anything that involves having my knees in an even slightly bent position while tensing my lower back, the right side of it kills me for the next day or two. So deadlifts and bent over rows, for example, are excruciating, and even box jumps bother it a little. I think it might be from having super-tight hips from sitting all day for work for the last several years but no amount of stretching seems to make it go away entirely. I really have to commit to foam rolling daily and see if that works.

Evening: 20 minutes elliptical

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


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 Post subject: 4-13 and 4-14
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
4/13/2011 Shoulders Day!

Image

Looking at my logs in comparison to everyone else's I realize that they must be pretty boring: I'm not trying to max out the weights! It's interesting that my app is calculating my 1RM on Arnold press as 35 lbs when a few months ago that was my work set weight! I'll have to see where I stand next week.

One thing I've learned in my everlasting struggle to get bigger shoulders is that super strict form > more weight - of course, that's usually true but especially here where the emphasis can shift from front delts to middle delts very easily. I have to watch out for that because I have really big front delts and pretty small middle delts. They're just starting to catch up now that I've dropped the weight to where I can keep my upper back off the chair and bring the weights all the way down to my shoulders on presses and take a wider grip on upright rows...details like that have made a huge difference for me. It was a wrist injury that finally made me change - funny how that works! Before that I wouldn't even consider scaling back the weight.

Evening: My cardio was gardening: I decided to mix my own soil, and by the time I was done hauling around all the bags of sand and everything else and mixing up the huge pile with a shovel for an hour...I was done for the day.

4/14/2011 Upper Body Circuit

Image

I used to think that circuit training had to involve balance balls and clippings from Self magazine but it turns out they can be pretty hard. I do the whole circuit with no rest between exercises, but rest between circuits for about 3 minutes. Cable Bicep 21's are 7 reps of the bottom half of a bicep curl, 7 reps of the top half, and 7 full reps. The cable triceps pushdown is really a straight-arm pulldown.

When I was done, I ran two miles at the nearby park - beautiful out but lots and lots of pollen; my nose was running like crazy!

Phew, finally caught up on here! Tomorrow I'll have to post my starting measurements.

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


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 Post subject: Current Stats and Diet
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
Weight: 114.4
Body Fat: 16.6% (I suspect my scale is off and I'm really more like 19% or so, but it's a basis for comparison down the road)
Height: 5' 2"

Chest: 31.6"
Waist: 26.0"
Bicep (not flexed): 10"
Shoulders: 36.75"
Forearms: 8"
Neck: 10.8"
Hips: 34.5"
Thigh: 19.3"
Calves: 14.2"

I don't actually have any specific goals here, just curious about where I end up. I do hope my shoulders get bigger and a smaller waist would probably be good too...

I'm too sleepy - after eating a cheat meal at our favorite vegetarian restaurant of a triple chocolate truffle cupcake, half a vegan cheese, cauliflower and broccoli pizza, and half a whole wheat pita stuffed with broccolini and white bean spread (yes, I may have overdone it!) - to post diet specifics. BUT I did post on my blog today listing our weekly groceries and what I make with it all (sounds boring, but I felt it might help all those people who say eating a lot of produce is expensive or confusing to shop for). So that can serve as a snapshot of my current diet: here!

An awesome thing about our meal tonight: one of Derek's personal training clients, a doctor, took us out to celebrate the fact that over the past 12 weeks of working with Derek and adopting a plant-based diet he's become huge and ripped. In fact, he's probably going to compete as a vegan bodybuilder too, and the more of us out there the better!

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


Last edited by marcella on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:41 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
4/15/2011

Abs (3 sets of weighted Russian twists, side crunches, and heel drags)
20 minutes hard stairclimber

I also actually took the time to thoroughly foam roll and for the first time in probably 2 years my calves felt loose. I've also heard, as I'm sure most know already, that foam rolling helps stretch the fascia giving muscles room to grow...in that case I wish I could figure out how to get at my shoulders!

I'm putting together a video of Derek and I working out and I look so small in every clip! Depressing: I need to eat more!

4/16/2011

Plyometric Leg Day:

Bench Step-Ups 3 x 20/each leg
Box Jumps 3 x 20
Jump Lunges 3 x 20

Didn't make it to the traveling jump squats - ran out of time.

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:28 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
I just started foam rolling - love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:12 pm
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Location: Richmond VA
Can't wait to see our video! Gonna be awesome!!

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Richmond, VA
Foam rolling is awesome - painful but stretches out my super tight hip and leg muscles like nothing else.

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Bodybuilding, Recipes, and Nutrition!


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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Rabbit
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Location: Richmond, VA
Ran two miles yesterday and two miles this morning...That makes 10 miles for the week - nothing for a runner but it's a good amount for me!

Can't wait to train upper body tonight; watched Pumping Iron 2 about female bodybuilders last night and that always gets me pumped

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:05 pm
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Location: Richmond, VA
Had a great workout today - increased the weight on almost everything. I'm excited about getting my bench max back up; on the one hand I usually feel exasperated when people ask me how much I can bench because it's so cliche...on the other hand I like to be able to say I can bench a lot! The most I've ever done is 95 lbs x 2 when I weighed about 107 pounds: that was for a bench press competition. I'm not going to powerlift now because it's not in line with my goals, but I intend to lift as much as I can on everything for 8-12 reps. Using lots of high intensity techniques to get there.

Image

I did find that by the time I got to triceps (close grip bench), I was almost completely out of oomph: next time I'll put it before biceps...certainly don't need those to grow before my shoulders do.

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Posts: 21052
Location: Austin, TX
Great to see your journal!

I didn't miss a journal update for months, then got injured, and started working 12 hour days again....but I'm trying to get back on here when I can.

Keep up the great work!

VB&F is printed and I'll have it in a few days too. Woohoo!

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 Post subject: Re: Five Months to First Bodybuilding Competition!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Location: Baltimore Maryland
super stoked to see you have a journal! and can't wait to read and see your progress =)

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