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Joel's training journal

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Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it all.

I've still got about 2kg to lose this week to try and make the 78kg weight class for Saturday. I managed to get in at just on 80kg for the show last week but it was a struggle.

My diet this week is very plain and my calories are pretty low.

I had some pasta on Saturday night after the show but have since followed basically the same meals each day.

Meal 1 - Sunwarrior (2 scoops), raw cocoa powder (1 tablespoon), coconut butter (10g)

Meal 2 - 100g tofu, 2 cups broccoli

Meal 3 - Sunwarrior (1 scoop)

Meal 4 - Same as meal 2

Meal 5 - Aminos during training

Meal 6 - 1/2 avocado, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, spinach


I'm not adding any seasoning to my foods now, just a little bit of olive oil to the tofu.

Supplements are the protein and aminos, vitamin C, 7-keto powder, Tribulus tablets and I'll start on the potassium tablets later in the week when I start the herbal diuretics.

I am drinking about 4 litres of water or green tea a day now and will cut it out later in the week and just drink dandelion root tea and sip on a little bit of water.


Training is just brief sessions because I'm trying to do about and hour to an hour and a half of walking or cycling a day now.

I'm still trying to train heavy but it's a struggle now.

Had my last leg session on sunday 11/10

Sumo deadlifts - 60kg x 6

100kg x 3

140kg x 3

180kg x 1

Front squats - 100kg x 6 x 4 sets

Split squats - 60kg x 6 x 2 sets

One arm chins - 6 x 4 sets

Narrow grip pullups - 6 x 2 sets

Decline situps - 10kg x 10 x 4 sets


Trained chest and arms yesterday

3 trisets - Pin press - 90kg x 5

Incline bench press - 80kg x 5

Dips - x 5

2 rounds - Seated dumbell curls - 20kg x 6

Dumbell skullcrushers - 20kg x 8

Close grip chins - x 6

Dumbell extensions - 15kg x 10


Have a couple more sessions this week and will stop on Wednesday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday was my first session since the comps finished. I ended up having about 9 days off.

I didn't end up doing the third comp, just missed out on making weight.

I'm glad the dieting is all finished, now I can work back up to training more heavy.

Trained chest, shoulders, arms and abs - might go back to a 3 day split, I like that I won't have so many exercises each workout.

Bench press - Bar x 15

60kg x 8

80kg x 4

100kg x 2

120kg x 1

125kg x 1

130kg x fail - I paused on all the reps for the heavier sets

Incline dumbell press - 35kg x 8

50kg x 4

Military press - 70kg x 5 x 2 sets

Barbell curls - 45kg x 6

50kg x 4

Closegrip bench press - 80kg x 6

Skullcrushers - 40kg x 8

45kg x 6

Trunk twists - 10 x 2 sets


I haven't been eating all that much extra since the comps, I have had some pizza and stuff but have mostly just dropped some of the fats in my diet and adding in some more legumes and fruit.

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Thank you MaryStella!

Yeah I'm glad it's all finished for now. Don't know if I will look at competing again but I'll never say never.


Had a workout yesterday, trained legs and back. I'm still trying to write up a new program which will be a 3 day split but for now I'm using a 2 day split based around low volume, higher intensity stuff. The type of training I have generally used to get my best results.


Deadlifts - 60kg x 8

100kg x 4

140kg x 3

160kg x 2

190kg x 1 - Felt pretty good. I cheated a bit by using wrist straps, the weather is getting warmer now and I couldn't get a good grip using the regular over/under grip. Think I better start using chalk again.

Front squats - 60kg x 6

110kg x 6

Glute/ham raises - 6 x 2 sets - Haven't done them in a while, they didn't seem this hard the last time I did them.

One arm chinups/pullups superset - 6 x 2 sets

Dumbell calf raise - 25kg x 12 x 2 sets


Diet is good, more relaxed but pretty clean. I've been making my own raw dark chocolate which is a good snack and a change from the cookies I was making for my pre contest diet.

The ingredients are raw cocoa butter, sunwarrior protein, crushed flax seeds, agave nectar, raw almonds and chocolate coconut butter. It's just a matter of slowly melting the cocoa butter and mixing all the ingredients through before putting in the fridge for a bit. Kind of like high protein chocolate.

My meals have basically been the same over the last week.

Meal 1 - Protein drink - Vega, cocoa powder, flax seeds, maca powder

Meal 2 - Lentil burger or tempeh, broccoli, sunflower seeds

Meal 3 - Dark chocolate, 50g of pistachios

Meal 4 - Vega sport, aminos, creatine - I drink it on non workout days too

Meal 5 - Lentil burger, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds

Meal 6 - Almonds, walnuts, goji berries and raisins


Every few days I might have some wraps or wholemeal spaghetti with Parmazano vegan cheese but for the most part I eat the same. I don't want to put on too much weight, I feel more comfortable around the low 80kg mark.

I have just received my comp photos in the post so I'll post some up when I get a chance.

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Yum - that chocolate sounds delicious! Can't wait to see photos!


The chocolate is great. I'll post some photos up in the next day or two.


I like your diet and I think it's awesome to see a big dude eating healthy. Thumbs up!


Thanks mate, I think that is what has helped me get in good shape.


do you feel any benefit from it?


I seem to recover pretty well from doing a fair bit of exercise so I think it helps.



I had a workout this morning, chest, shoulders, triceps and abs. Have started a 5/3/1 program, I think looks like a pretty simple routine to follow, it should help boost my strength now that I feel ready to train 100%


Bench press - Bar x 12

60kg x 6

95kg x 5

100kg x 5

105kg x 5

Incline dumbell - 40kg x 8 x 3 sets

Lateral raises - 17.5kg x 8 x 3 sets

Dumbell skullcrushers - 20kg x 10 x 3 sets

Trunk twists - 10 x 3 sets


My diet has been pretty good, I have had a few things though over the last few days because of World Vegan Day and stuff. There were a lot of good things to eat there/

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how do you like the vega sport?


It's pretty good, I generally drink it during my workout and seems to keep my energy levels up without the need to use caffeine in any great quantity.

It will be something I keep using I think.


Had a deadlift workout yesterday.

It's just sets of 5 for this week so I guess it's a good way to ease back into proper training.


Deadlift - 60kg x 10

100kg x 5

135kg x 5

145kg x 5

155kg x 5

Single leg squats - 3 x 3 sets - just onto a low box

Glute/ham raise - 5 x 3 sets

Bentover row - 90kg x 10 x 3 sets

One arm chins - 6 x 4 sets

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Yeah there's a little bit of caffeine in it, it's enough for a bit of an energy rush but not like I get when I have coffee, which is probably a good thing.

The chocolate turns out just like dark chocolate, same consistency even with the protein powder in it. The fat content is pretty high but I keep sugars down in my diet so there are just fuel for me.


I had a couple of sessions over the weekend, still on my week of fives.

Saturday - Military press day.

Presses - Bar x 10

40kg x 6

65kg x 5

70kg x 5

72.5kg x 5

Dumbell bench press - 35kg x 3 x 6 sets

Dips - 20kg (held dumbell between ankles) x 6 x 4 sets

Skullcrushers - 45kg x 6 x 4 sets

Trunk twists - 10 x 3 sets


Sunday - Squat day

Squats - Bar x 10

60kg x 6

100kg x 3

125kg x 5

130kg x 5

135kg x 5

Deadlifts - 100kg + 2 bands x 2 x 6 sets

Split squats - 60kg x 6 x 4 sets

Pullups - 6 x 6 sets

Barbell curls - 45kg x 6 x 4 sets

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There's not much caffeine in it, at least not compared to what I was having when I was drinking a lot of coffee.


I've had to have a forced lay off for a couple of weeks, my lower back is playing up a lot. I haven't had any problems for a while now but I guess all the heavy lifting has taken it's toll.

I've just trained once in the last week and it was just basically bodyweight exercises like pullups and dips which don't really aggravate the pain any further.

It should be good in another week or so, i just have to rest up a bit.

Diet has still been good, have been sticking to moderate protein with a little bit more sugars from dried fruits and stuff, fats are lower now too, mostly coming from avocados, nuts, olives and dark chocolate.

I'll have some photos up soon, just had to get some help putting them onto the computer, I'm still not all that good with that stuff.

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Here are a couple of photos from the comp that I won, I'll have some more soon, just been pretty busy.

I mucked up one of the photos when resizing it so it's a bit small. I'll put some more up soon.



Went back to training yesterday, still not properly yet but feel a lot better.

Trained legs, back and biceps.


Split squats - 40kg x 6

80kg x 3 x 3 sets

Front squats - 60kg x 3

80kg x 2 x 5 sets

100kg x 2 - I did all my reps with a 2 second pause at the bottom, couldn't bring myself to bounce out of the bottom of the movement, plus I was watching the weightlifting championships and was inspired by the way the lifters can power out of the bottom after they look like they are stuck.

I had tried the 100kg after one set of the 80kg but felt it too much in my back, so went back to the 80's and just kept it at doubles.

Pullups - 6 x 4 sets

One arm chins - 6 x 2 sets

Seated dumbell curls - 17.5kg x 6 x 2 sets

Trunk twists - 10 x 2 sets - Really felt like awkward doing this, lower back is still too tight.

Jacknives - 12 x 2 sets

Step ups - 10kg dumbell (x 2) x 12 x 3 sets - Did them explosively and went up on my toes for each rep, did them as a calf exercise.


Diet is good, have lost the desire to cheat now, guess it's a case of "what you can't have you want more and vice versa". I'm more happy to just try different vegetable and legume combinations, rather than eat pasta and pizza and stuff that I banished while dieting.

Hopefully this week I'll be able to get back to trying the 5,3,1 program.

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