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Re-gaining control. It's on like Donkey Kong


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Be proud of your accomplishment. Everyone on this board is proud of you. I have a couple of comments. First, there are politics involved in every comp. Remember that. 2nd OCB figure tends to be big and muscular. Most vegan women have trouble putting on the muscle necessary. It requires alot of work and time. Although I have the opposite problem, I put on muscle easily but have trouble dropping the body fat (so I am jealous). 3rd, as a new competitor they don't know you, the best thing you can do is come back at your next show better than your last. The Judges love that. What I am saying is don't give up, you look great and you should keep going.

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thanks guys! I guess I shouldnt be bummed- at least I got 6th in Novice tall =D

 

paige- don't worry I'm not giving up, thats just not the type of person I am.

I really think eating such low calorie really screwed me over (which is most likely why I stopped my period and stopped maing gains in size even though I was lifting more than I've ever lifted before)

 

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0SKV001I060099&po=99&pc=108

I'm in photo 100-103

 

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0SKV001I060066&po=66&pc=108

 

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0SKV001I0N0329&po=329&pc=546

in 330-332

 

let me know if you can't see them- I'll post some Myke took once I upload them

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So here is what I got back from the judges:

 

 

 

"Hi Ashley,

Thanks for reminding me which classes you were in. I always go back and review the photos before sending comments. I find that my notes are written so hastily during the show that I sometimes need a reminder to help me decipher my notes.

 

I remember that you had a fairly nice stage presence, which is good. I think you looked a little nervous at times, but for the most part you looked confident and like you were enjoying yourself on stage. That can be the hardest part for a beginner, and I think you handled it well.

 

To improve your placing in the future, I think you mainly need to work on developing some more muscularity. I'm also a tall competitor, and unfortunately, our height stretches our muscles out, making us look less developed than the shorter competitors. Overall, your conditioning was ok, but your muscularity just did not show through. I recommend taking 6-12 months to concentrate on making good mass gains. Your legs look pretty good, right now, so I would focus mainly on upper body development - aim for nice full, round shoulder caps, and wide lats. You will need to lift heavy with lots of presses and lat pulldowns. Also, try deadlifts emphasizing scapular retraction at the top of the lift to help build out your lats. If you can do pull-ups, that will help too. And do not forget your diet while gaining. You still should eat clean - avoiding junk - but get in enough protein and complex carbs to fuel muscle growth.

 

Other than that, I think you did very well for a first show. Your posing was very nice, without a lot of the stiffness and awkwardness that most novices show. Remember in your side poses to rotate at the waist, bringing your back shoulder to face the judges.

 

Keep up the good work, and you will do well in this sport.

 

Sincerely,

Katie"

 

 

"Ashley,

 

Congratulations on doing the show! I have noted on my sheet that you have nice smile/stage walk. For future shows, come in a little bit more defined and work on your gluts/hamstring tie in. Hope this helps. Good luck with future shows!

 

Dianne"

 

 

"Ashley,

Congrats on your first show!

You did a great job with the presentation portion of being a figure competitor. Your hair, makeup, suit, tan etc were wonderful!

You could have placed higher in this show by being leaner and showing more muscle mass.

You did a good job with your posing! But your face gave a sign that you may not be comfortable on stage, so something that may help you place higher next time would be to try to come across more confident while you're up there

Congrats again and keep up the hard work!

 

-Mel"

 

"Hi Ashley,

 

For figure right now basically you need to work on adding more muscle to your frame.

Chad"

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So- obviously I need to put on some size.

 

I was thinking of doing this routine-

 

http://www.muscleandperformancemag.com/training/2010/7/the-three-month-mass-gain-plan

 

 

What are ya'lls thoughts on this plan?

 

 

The diet is under construction- I know I need to eat more (I was only eating 1080 for the show prep and grew a little but obviously stopped- not nearly enough calories to support much growth)

 

I've been looking at Tosca Renos vegan plan in her eat clean book I got when I met her- I'll post more about that when I get a chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Side note-

 

I'm going to go meet with the physical therapist I saw for my Thoracic outlet- the last time we met I was having issues with my hip/groin ROM and it has gotten dramatically worse, in fact I can no longer bend my right leg to sit "Indian style", driving is a problem and obviously bedroom activities...

needless to say it will make leg day a biotch!

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1080?! I can't even get through a morning run much less grow on that many cals. That takes some discipline. I looked at the link. It looks like a fine program, but if you don't eat you will be wasting your time. Also, Tosca, while great and clean she is not about muscle growth. I have been eating out of control for a few weeks now, although unintentional, I have seen real gains in muscle growth. Your feedback was really good.

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I know!! I thought 1080 was pretty low, now you can see why I think it may play a role why my period stopped.

anyhow, I've been back to training the past couple of days following that program and it feels pretty awesome! I'm really loving not supersetting everything right now.

 

The only set back at the moment is the hip issue I've been having, I met with my usual therapist today and will be seeing him at least once a week. I can still do some leg things just need to take it easy on the leg press and squats (for now, which sucks since that is really where I need to grow the most).

 

my focus now has been on eating more in general -which hasn't been of the greatest foods always and I'm trying to work it all out still.

Paige- is Tosca's program simply not the right foods or not enough? I am new to the whole bulking thing?

 

Started classes today- looking forward to grading all of the students term papers- 10pgs each and 85 students?!?!? sounds like a blast!

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I think that program looks alright, but I really disagree with reaching failure on every set. Good way to exhaust your CNS imo. I am a fan of pyramiding up and failing on the last set, putting everything into it. Some things I'd change:

 

-I wouldn't do leg presses on leg day if you're already doing squats, romanian deads, ham curls, and extensions. Focus on getting deadlift and squat numbers up, and do the extensions and curls as a finishing accessory movement.

-Also, no need to do romanian deadlifts one day and then regular deadlifts on back day, I think once a week is fine. Deadlifts done with intensity take a lot out of you.

 

I've kind of moved away from the typical bodybuilder routine of 1 body part per day, 4-5 times a week with endless sets. Right now I do less volume 2x a week, kind of a push/pull style routine. More potential growth in my experience. Suppose it depends on your recoverability. I think hitting things twice a week with proper volume is better than once a week with excessive. I wouldn't be doing 3 separate isolation exercises for bi's/tri's.

 

Try the routine and see how it goes. Make sure you're eating enough to support growth.

 

In short whatever you do, Progressive Resistance = growth.

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I re-read Tosca's book today because it had been awhile. This is not really for putting on size. However, the basic concepts of 5-7 small meals a day with a combo of clean protein/carbs/fats is good. However, you will need more. Also, this book advocates meat eating. It does not address the challenges we vegans face. I just ordered Robert's BB book which I found at Veganproteins.com. I bet there is a good plan in there that might help.

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I think that program looks alright, but I really disagree with reaching failure on every set. Good way to exhaust your CNS imo. I am a fan of pyramiding up and failing on the last set, putting everything into it. Some things I'd change:

 

-I wouldn't do leg presses on leg day if you're already doing squats, romanian deads, ham curls, and extensions. Focus on getting deadlift and squat numbers up, and do the extensions and curls as a finishing accessory movement.

-Also, no need to do romanian deadlifts one day and then regular deadlifts on back day, I think once a week is fine. Deadlifts done with intensity take a lot out of you.

 

I've kind of moved away from the typical bodybuilder routine of 1 body part per day, 4-5 times a week with endless sets. Right now I do less volume 2x a week, kind of a push/pull style routine. More potential growth in my experience. Suppose it depends on your recoverability. I think hitting things twice a week with proper volume is better than once a week with excessive. I wouldn't be doing 3 separate isolation exercises for bi's/tri's.

 

Try the routine and see how it goes. Make sure you're eating enough to support growth.

 

In short whatever you do, Progressive Resistance = growth.

 

 

Hey Zack! glad to have you checking in on my progress!

 

I'm not following the program 100% for multiple reasons. I'm not going to complete failure each set, but I am picking a heavier weight to fail by the third set. I plan on increasing the weight by at least 5lbs each week.

I'm not doing either leg presses or squats until I get my hip issue resolved. I went to see my therapist and we're working on my psoas muscle- it is ridiculously tight!!

 

As far as diet...that's where I'm a bit more concerned. I want to make sure I'm eating enough, but not too much and that I'm eating the right things. I'm going to come up with a sample and maybe you can help me out.

It seems tricky to use Robert's sample menus since they are written for a male bodybuilder- not a female figure competitor. I want to eat a lot, but not 5000 calories!

 

Also, When bulking what are your thoughts on cardio?

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I'm not following the program 100% for multiple reasons. I'm not going to complete failure each set, but I am picking a heavier weight to fail by the third set. I plan on increasing the weight by at least 5lbs each week.

I'm not doing either leg presses or squats until I get my hip issue resolved. I went to see my therapist and we're working on my psoas muscle- it is ridiculously tight!!

 

As far as diet...that's where I'm a bit more concerned. I want to make sure I'm eating enough, but not too much and that I'm eating the right things. I'm going to come up with a sample and maybe you can help me out.

It seems tricky to use Robert's sample menus since they are written for a male bodybuilder- not a female figure competitor. I want to eat a lot, but not 5000 calories!

 

Also, When bulking what are your thoughts on cardio?

 

People train diff because it depends on how YOUR body responds to the program. Then of course most people need to change periodically so they don't stagnate. That being said there are basic rules of thumb you can expand on, so what Zach said Although I personally respond really well to DC.

 

Major yes on upping the calories, they were very low. My thoughts on cardio when bulking is don't. Some people will just do 30min 3x's weekly. But NEVER do anything resembling interval training. Keep it steady and pretty easy going. Looking forward to following!

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I plan on increasing the weight by at least 5lbs each week.

 

That may get hard to do after a while. Just make sure you are logging your sessions, and that you are progressing in some way every time, whether it's 5 pounds or just 1 rep. If you aren't progressing, something is not on point - diet, sleep, overtraining..etc.

 

As far as diet...that's where I'm a bit more concerned. I want to make sure I'm eating enough, but not too much and that I'm eating the right things. I'm going to come up with a sample and maybe you can help me out.

 

For sure post it up. Seasiren may be a better choice for help in that regard though. She's a female competitor.

 

It seems tricky to use Robert's sample menus since they are written for a male bodybuilder- not a female figure competitor. I want to eat a lot, but not 5000 calories!

 

They're also way high in carbs from what I remember.

 

Also, When bulking what are your thoughts on cardio?

 

I used to not do any at all, but I started a while ago because it makes me feel so much better physically. I keep it short and sweet at a pretty high intensity (1 mile or so as quick as I can - sub 10 minutes, haven't timed myself lately). I LOVE sprinting and interval style stuff, sometimes I'll do 30 minutes or so at low intensity. It seems like seasiren, veggieprincess and other female competitors advocate the low intensity type. To me the point of cardio is to stress and strengthen your cardiovascular system. I don't feel like low intensity does that. Doing cardio obviously burns more energy hence you'd have to eat more. I Suppose it depends on your goals, I haven't had any issues with gaining strength while doing my cardio, but as a female competitor it may be different for you.

 

If your primary motive is to get in shape for competing, then I wouldn't be doing anything that may jeopardize that. You need to be putting on some lean mass.

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Thanks for the input Zach! I may add in a bit of cardio once in awhile. I never feel like I did anything when I do low intensity cardio. I also feel like it would burn muscle not fat- I feel this way mostly when I compare what sprinters look like compared to long distance runners. Of course my goal now is to not burn either, of course I'm hoping not to gain too much fat but this is where my diet comes in and to be honest up until this week was a bit of a binge. I'm getting back though and will probably just have to work a bit harder when it comes to comp time to loose the extra bit of fat from the junky foods.

 

Robert, I can work out Tuesday afternoon (have class at 7pm), Wednesday is usually off but we can still do something, Thursday afternoon and Friday whenever- Where are you staying? I could probably get you a guest pass to my gym

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So I'm trying to get my diet figured out and am posting what I ate today to get some feedback from any of you figure girls (or bodybuilding guys). I don't think I need to bulk- in fact, I don't want to change my number on the scale too much unless it's all muscle gain. I think I binged a bit more than I intended and am paying for it now. I plan on eating clean but am honest- I'll have cheat meals or days here and there (especially with travel-trying new places).

at the comp I was at about 125lbs and 1080 calories- not too positive of the breakdown. and am now around 138lbs!! I'm sure some of that is water retention but still shocking ( I guess you get used to it the more you compete... but it's frustrating when your pants no longer fit!)

 

Here is today's food:

Meal 1-

3/4 cup soymilk (to finish it off)

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Banana

NitroFusion

1 piece rudis spelt bread

1tbs PB

 

Total 37g prot. 37g carb 405 cal.

 

Meal 2

2 rice cakes

harmonized protein powder

apple

 

Total 27g pro. 51 carb 322

 

Meal 3

Morningstar ckn meal starters

2 Ezekiel wraps

with mango salsa

 

Total 29 pro. 34 carb 310

 

Meal 4

1 tbs PB

1 slice Ezekiel bread

1 cup soy yogurt

a few frozen mango pieces

 

Total

18 pro. 44 carb, 371 cal.

 

Meal 5

1 serving seitan w/ 2 tsp mango salsa

2/3 cup green beans

 

Total

25g pro. 23 carb 205 cal

 

Meal 6 (still need to have)

 

Nirtofusion with ice

 

Total

25g pro 5 carb 136 cal.

 

 

Daily Total:

 

161g. prot.

194 carb

1749 Cal.

 

I did shoulders today and 15 mins walking on the treadmill at an incline (just to make me feel a bit less chubby, lol) and I"M FREAKING HUNGRY!!! What do you think of the number of cals? and everything else

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I looked into my BMR needs (w/ an online calculator), apparently 2400 or so. So maybe 1749 is a bit low- I'm going to add in a butt ton of Veggies and see if this brings up my calorie numbers and not change the carbs and protein too much (plus with all that protein such veggies are not a bad idea.)

 

I'll follow this diet for a few weeks (except while I'm on vaca in Mass. next week) and see how it goes.

 

 

any input guys?

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I looked into my BMR needs (w/ an online calculator), apparently 2400 or so. So maybe 1749 is a bit low- I'm going to add in a butt ton of Veggies and see if this brings up my calorie numbers and not change the carbs and protein too much (plus with all that protein such veggies are not a bad idea.)

 

I'll follow this diet for a few weeks (except while I'm on vaca in Mass. next week) and see how it goes.

 

 

any input guys?

 

What is your fat intake at? I would bump it to around 2kcal and go from there. Also, (I know I'll get heat from VeggiePrincess if she reads this ) as long as you're eating at or below maintenance calories, you're not going to add bodyfat from a high-ish portion macros from carbs. You need to be a few hundred calories above bmr. I'd bump the fat some unless it's already too high?

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I looked into my BMR needs (w/ an online calculator), apparently 2400 or so

 

It is my understanding that the BMR is how many calories a person would burn if s/he did nothing but wake up and sit in a chair for the day before going back to sleep. You can actually get it measured now instead of relying on a formula. I had it done about 7 years ago after a should operation. The physical therapy place I went to for rehab had a machine. I sat in a chair and for 15 minuets I breathed into what looked like a large breathalyser. I would guess other sports therapy places might have these and I am told some of the fancier gyms do.

 

I and a few other people I have talked with have had poor experiences with mathematical formulas to calculate caloric needs. The results from the formulas are often FAR off from reality.

 

I have gotten a more accurate idea of my calorie needs for maintenance and weight loss by keeping a daily calorie count in a food diary and weighing myself on a good scale daily. By good, I mean consistent. In other words, if you step on the scale 3 times in a row you get the same exact weight each time.

 

A lot of factors beyond fat on your body influence scale readings. This is one of the most useful articles I have read that explains what is going on when you step on a scale:

 

Why The Scale Lies

http://beforewisdom.com/blog/?p=262

 

You can make sense of what you see on your scale with daily weighings by taking a weighted average that filters out fluctuations probably NOT due to fat. Fortunately, with this site you don't need to do the math yourself ( I can't ). You just type in your daily weighing and it gives you a "running average"....what your real, non-water weight likely is, :

 

http://www.physicsdiet.com

 

Good luck.

 

Let us know when you go to the contest

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I looked into my BMR needs (w/ an online calculator), apparently 2400 or so. So maybe 1749 is a bit low- I'm going to add in a butt ton of Veggies and see if this brings up my calorie numbers and not change the carbs and protein too much (plus with all that protein such veggies are not a bad idea.)

 

I'll follow this diet for a few weeks (except while I'm on vaca in Mass. next week) and see how it goes.

 

 

any input guys?

 

What is your fat intake at? I would bump it to around 2kcal and go from there. Also, (I know I'll get heat from VeggiePrincess if she reads this ) as long as you're eating at or below maintenance calories, you're not going to add bodyfat from a high-ish portion macros from carbs. You need to be a few hundred calories above bmr. I'd bump the fat some unless it's already too high?

 

 

I figured out that my food (that plan from yesterday) is around 70.9 grams of fat for the day- How does that look?

Also, I'm not looking to loose weight, my main focus is on gaining muscle right now. will eating below my maintenance calories even allow for this?

since it reads around say 2000 calories for maintenance should I be shooting for around that or 2100-2200?

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Also, I'm not looking to loose weight, my main focus is on gaining muscle right now. will eating below my maintenance calories even allow for this?

 

Nope, can't gain anything on a deficit.

 

since it reads around say 2000 calories for maintenance should I be shooting for around that or 2100-2200?

 

If your maintenance is 2000 cal, I would start around 2300 and see how it goes. If you're gaining strength, and slowly adding weight, then you've probably got it about right.

 

Bump your fat and carbs. Protein is high enough imo. A good ratio for you could be around 55%carb/30%protein/15%fat or somewhere around there.

 

Maybe seasiren will read this and chime in.

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