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 Post subject: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:12 am 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Going back to competitive bodybuilding after a few years of not competing. During these years I have been traveling almost constantly. I am also changing from a meat based diet to a vegan diet. So this should be a good challenge. I have twenty weeks. My baseline is about 11% body fat and 185-190 pounds. This week will be a weigh in and all that goes with it.

Previously I competed as a heavy weight, but on the low side of heavy. I am much more interested in competing as middle weight and a more Frank Zane type physique. I have a lot of reasons for this, but that is another blog.

My diet is pretty simple. Five meals a day, 2000 calories, basically a third fat, a third protein, and a third carbs. My weight training schedule for now is three workouts per week, much lower than what I have used in the past. In the past the training volume was six workouts with no cardio. I have been running a lot of the last year and need to keep up my running for other reasons, so I will keep running in the mix two or three times a week. Additionally, I am doing three 90 minute Bikram classes a week. This is another experiment. I estimate that an hour and half in a sauna doing yoga burns about 700 calories. It is also a great way to get lactic acid out of the muscle.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:42 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
A week later and here is the latest. I am keeping my protein up about where I want it. I had worried about this as my previous experience as a meat eating bodybuilder was to eat a lot of beef and lift like crazy. I am lifting less often and with fewer sets. I shifted from a one body part per day routine to a program that looks more like Dorian Yates type training program.

My strength remains high even on 2000 calories a day. My body fat check this week revealed about 14%. That puts me at 193 with 14% body fat with LBM of about 166 pounds. If I can keep my muscle mass high, a competition weight of 176-179 looks pretty good. Tomorrow is weigh in so I am anxious to see where I am going to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Okay tipped the scales at 198 and 13%. So weight goes up and body fat goes down. I am happy. My diet is about 2000 calories a day. I stick to clean or mostly clean foods. I mostly avoid anything processed.

My cardio has been pretty minimal. First I like cardio outside and DC is cold and my cardio partner got bronchitis last run. So I am really trying to keep it simple. My cardio has been Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Bikram Yoga sessions for an hour and a half.

Weights are back to my normal schedule. I like to hit it once a day and only one body part per day. If I cannot get it done in an hour, then I need to kick it up a notch. Today was shoulders. I was pretty pleased with my efforts and the weights were solid. Even though my calories are restricted I am still putting up respectable poundages (e.g. 85# dumbell presses supersetted with 30# side laterals).

Sixteen weeks from tomorrow I will be back in Oregon and heading to the beach, so I better look the best I have ever looked. :lachmal:


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:40 pm
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Sounds impressive! Keep up the good work. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Great week. Body fat is coming off and I am seeing some really great results in the gym. I added some cardio this week. So where I am is here: cardio is 20 minutes to 30 minutes a day. I am doing some running, but on those cold days I am wimping out and just hitting the machines. Bikram is three times a week, which is a new addition in the past three months. It is a great cardio workout without pounding the joints, always a problem for bodybuilders who carry more weight on their joints than most. Wieght workouts remain five days a week, one body part per day. I am hitting 9-15 sets per body part. Supersetting and giant setting is included in every workout. Rest interval is such that when my set finishes and I catch my breath I am into the next set.

Diet: 2000 to 2400 calories per day. The only day I was really hungry was Friday when I messed up my timing. I made the mistake of hitting my weight workout, doing a thirty minute run, eating and having about an hour to hit my yoga class. I am eating as much protein as I can get. I am not really concerned about fats since the only ones I see are clean, e.g. nuts, maybe a little olive oil. I am cutting out basically any processed carbs. The biggest thing is I am eating the traditional four to six times per day.

Weigh in is Tuesday, but I may hold off until Friday to align closer to my deadline, which is a Saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Ok doing great. My weights are dead solid. Squats are a little bit of problem because of a sciatic nerve issue so I am holding them at 315, no heavier. My leg presses were solid at 900 pounds for clean reps. Back day was good. Started with weighted pull ups with 25# for 8 reps for sets. I managed to pull some really great barbell bent over rows at 275. I usually like to use mostly dumbbells on my chest, but the gym I worked chest in has smaller bells, so I stayed mostly to the bar. I kept solid form on some sets of 225 bench followed up with some 185 inclines and finished with flies and a couple of sets of cables. Shoulders went well with 85 pound dumbbell presses and some supersets of laterals. I finished the week with a great arm workout narrow bench at 225 followed up with weighted dips 90#, some hammer curls at 65# and some concentration work at 40. My cardio is 20 minutes at the end of my workouts, and 3 hour and a half Bikram classes a week. I love the bikram because it pushes the water like crazy.

Diet was good this week. I was pretty much spot on with at least a gallon of water every day. I am now 14 weeks out from competition. I started at about 15% body fat and about 192 pounds. Since then I have pushed up to 200 pounds and am at 11%. This is not that unusual when I look at old logs. The 11% number makes me ecstatic since I was hoping for 11% at 10 to fifteen pounds lighter. With only 22 pounds of body fat I should be able to compete much heavier than I had hoped.

I am debating between starting shaving and tanning next week or the week after. I hate shaving, but it is a necessary evil, especially if you have as much hair as I do.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:20 am 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 21052
Location: Austin, TX
Yo Steve,

How are things man?

Good to be in touch lately....hope all is awesome!

Robert

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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:22 am 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Another week down last week. My diet has been a little sloppy, but I managed a 200 pound and 10.5% by my test. I am convinced the test is generous to me. I started posing practice, and I am not convinced. That said I look reasonably good and should be able to hit my numbers. Earlier fears about strength were unfounded when I managed to weighted pullups with 90 pounds strapped to my waist. It was only two reps, but on a dare why not?

I have had some requests for photos, so here is a link to some old contest photos. The goal this time is to be as muscular, but leaner by about two percentage points.
http://www.atlasfitfoods.com/stevearntt.html

This week is going to be hard since I have five house guests in the house who want to eat chocolate and cheez its all f(&*^ing day. tofu, rice, vegan chili, and protein powder is making me a little cranky since I really want to eat.

All this said, it is time to go train back. Wish me luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:39 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:01 pm
Posts: 177
DCNINJA wrote:
Earlier fears about strength were unfounded when I managed to weighted pullups with 90 pounds strapped to my waist. It was only two reps, but on a dare why not?

That's some nice weights, according the diet I wish you luck and I am sure you can make it work since you got previous experience.

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We see the winners and "learn" from them, while forgetting the huge unseen cemetery of losers.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
:twisted: :evil: Last week was the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. The good was I managed a four pound swing to 196. The bad was trying to diet with five house guests who were constantly eating a vast array of sugary goodness and happiness in my home. I normally could care less about sugary goodness, but it has been six weeks of restricted intake. The truly ugly was that I missed a workout and a yoga session.

My strength is still pretty high. i am getting to the point where I am getting less comfortable with heavier weights, which tells me I probably broke the 10% line. My body usually lets me know I am getting there by sending little pains into my joints on heavy lifts. So my training will probably start involving more super sets, giant sets, drops, and less rest to keep intensity high.

I am not usually a big supplement rah rah person, but since ephedrine is no longer legal I need a new boost during hard workouts when I am out of gas. I have found two supplements that I like for this. The first is Plasma Jet, a great supplement. I feel good when I take it, which is really only about once a week. The other is No Explode. I had taken No Explode previously before morning workouts and it always made me throw up so I swore it off, but now I am getting some real benefit taking it during afternoon workouts.

Posing practice was yesterday and I can see that my posing is improving. I am really shy about posing, so I am forcing myself to pose more in the gym and am no longer allowing myself to wear a shirt during Bikram. The goal is to be more comfortable with myself on stage. I was a fat kid so I always have a body image that I am the fat kid with the gross body. So extra work on posing and the additional time seeing myself in the mirror should help me get more comfortable.

Diet remains constant. 2000 calories a day with a bump every few days to 2400. The fat is coming off nicely and I should be contest ready right on time. Next week I should start cutting back on protein supplements since they cause me to retain water a little bit. I want to get down to middle weight and the only way I can do that is to make certain I am dry as a bone when I get on stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:47 am 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 21052
Location: Austin, TX
Nice!

When is your contest? I don't recall the date....I enjoy reading other bodybuilder's blogs about pre-contest. I look forward to watching your progression and reading about it.

I threw up a few times after NO Explode too, but now I use it everyday and I'm fine.

All the best! Have a great week!

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Check out my Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness Book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Bodybuildin ... 497&sr=1-1


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Competing in the OR Ironman. So I am in the zone for show time. I am excited to see the upcoming vegan bodybuilding tour de force. I have to say the responses that I used to give vegetarians are the same ones I hear now, and man is conventional wisdom wrong on this one. Turns out the world is not flat.

Something you might want to try to push off water and get a different cardio workout, Bikram yoga is an hour and a half at 105 degrees. I have been using it for cardio because it is different, no impact, and I like flexibility benefits. If you give it a shot let me know your thoughts. Best of luck in your competition.
Thanks Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:10 am 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Another week flew by. Second week in a row with house guests, which means I missed some cardio :oops: and my diet was well... :popcorn: not where I wanted it. I did manage to push off two pounds to a weight of 194 mostly because I was taking everyone sight seeing and I cut calories during that time. I checked my bodyfat and it is right at 10%, I trust this measurement better than I did the 10.7 or so I got last time. My abs look good, muscles are full, and I am pretty happy with where I am.

Today I started a new supplement, Mitotropin. Since the ban of ephedra I have been down on all fat burners. I have yet to see one that works half as well, okay one that works. Secondly I miss that buzzy feeling.

I am upping my cardio a little bit. I have a lot of time left to dial it, but I want to get a little leaner early on to preserve muscle at the end, and I do not want to be too restricted the last two weeks. So I expect a little cardio now will pay big benefits later. Also I just found out I have to travel for a week about four weeks out from my show. I might be able to recover from what is sure to be a an awful week if I am leaner earlier. If not, I may need to put off to a different show by two weeks. Either way I am not going to get stressed out about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:08 am 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
Yesterday the scale tipped at 195. Ouch, but wait... Wait a second what happened, I also noticed something I had not seen in a while on my body, striated delts. So I peeled my tank top off and looked in the mirror. Abs looked good (okay they looked at least as good as they did last week), my chest is starting to get the hint of a split in the upper half. So I finished my workout and headed home for a quick look at the body fat measure, which as we all know is not the best measure in the world. I managed a slightly lower body fat measure. I will take that all day long. Lower body fat and maybe some extra muscle.

I looked at last weeks posting. Out of town guests were making my training and diet a little tough. The increase in rigor this week probably caused a bump in muscle. OR more likely, I had more sodium over the weekend when I ate some microwave popcorn on Sunday while watching a movie. MMM, a likely culprit. That could easily set me up for failure since my diet has been ultra low sodium and no processed foods to speak of. I had about two gallons of water yesterday. I also did a great Bikram class that had me sweating like a fiend. I am going to make a small wager that I will be under 195 today. Also, I noticed when I left yesterday the scale was not zeroing out correctly. I go through all of this stuff to point something out. Just because one number looks wrong, it does not mean what you are doing is not working. I could have gained a pound last week even though at my weight I am eating at a 500kcal per day deficit not incluidng my exercise deficit of roughly 500 calories. This should amount to 2 pounds of weight per week.

This weeks net increase in weight could be due ot a lot of things. The bottom line is that I am not going to get worried. Instead I am going to keep training hard, sleeping, and dieting. I am increasing my cardio slightly, but I had done that last week already. The increase in cardio is for two reasons. One I want to come in a little leaner, and more cardio is a good insurance policy. Secondly I have a running event coming up to which I am committed so I have to make sure I don't embarass myself too badly.

8 more weeks until the show, and I am confident that I am going to do very well.


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 Post subject: Re: Steve's training blog
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:59 am 
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Manatee

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 275
Location: DC
The word for the day is accountability. You are 100% accountable for who you are. Last night I was teaching class (martial arts), and one of my students said he would kill to have a physique like mine. I wondered how true that was. I said it was just putting in the work. He said he was too old. I pointed out I had him by half a decade. Of course he looks ten years older than I do. He made a lot of excuses for why he could not get there. That led me to today's word of the day. I am 100% accountable for what I do and or do not do. Not only in bodybuilding where every day shows you are either doing the work or phoning it in. In life everything counts. There are no insignificant moments.


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