Another week has passed, and with it; new challenges have presented themselves.
Decreased Caloric intake coupled with an increase in Energy Expenditure is a potent cocktail for Fat Loss, but a challenge to the resolve of a first time competitor!!
Whilst this is not my first ‘prep’ scenario, I have dieted aggressively for Photoshoots before, I had been warned that “Contest prep is a whole different ball game”. How right they were!!
This week, we decided to really turn the screw.
Bodybuilders are renowned for the paper-skin like condition that they bring to stage in comparison to Physique athletes for instance; and the 80kg division is infamous for displaying athletes with absolutely jaw dropping levels of body fat, so it was never going to come easily – especially for someone who is in their first run at it!
To get that lean is unnatural to the Human body. The human body hasn’t changed from a morphological standpoint since we were Cave dwellers. We’re designed to carry a small amount of muscle mass and gain body fat through the Summer months with the Seasonal availability of Fruits and Berries. This helped us to generate the energy to procreate and just as importantly, to store the energy we’d require to survive the famine of the Winter months.
As Humans, our bodies are not built to deal with the year round availability of extremely high energy and processed food stuffs – hence our obesity epidemic, but they are also not built to carry excessive muscle mass with scantily low levels of body fat. From a survival standpoint, that would be a big no go and would probably ensure you were the first of the tribe to fall victim to a harsh winter!
So in order to convince your body of otherwise, you have to be both smart and determined. You have to be armed with the information that it isn’t going to be easy and that your willpower is going to have to out last your body’s stubborn inherited programme to protect itself and its body fat stores. Only your mental robustness will decide who concedes first.
Now this isn’t applicable to all dieting or health conscious, holistic approaches to being in great shape. Quite the opposite. A relatively low level of body fat and balanced approach to nutrition, training and exercise is fantastically healthy and your body will reward you for it. It’s rewards will come in the shape of a great hormone profile, making you feel and look great, as well as with endorphins and feel-good chemicals being released in to your system periodically to reward you for being kind to yourself and ensuring your longevity.
Ordinarily, the above scenario is where I am to take ALL my clients. Health, happy, lean and leading a balanced and holistic approach to exercise, nutrition and life. But ultimately, contest prep requires you to go above and beyond that. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Arguably what pushes a lot of people to go in to this sport is not wanting to be like everyone else. For me? I want to be the very best possible version of myself, mentally and physically. Typically, the dusk is always darkest before the dawn and hardship breeds greatness.
In order to manipulate the energy balance as effectively as possible at this point, Calories have been removed from the Non Training Day as well as an increase in overall daily activity.
Here’s how my rest day looks right now.
This is really going to start to pinch as my Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, i.e. the amount of Calories I burn outside of weight lifting, is also going to increase as a by product of walking 9 Thousand steps per day!
For the first time in Prep so far, Cardio has gone mechanical!
For this, we’ve opted to do 45 minutes at 140bpm (72% of my Maximum Heart Rate!) for 45 minutes every day.
My step count also needs to equal 9000 steps per day!
And that’s it! Those are the changes that have been made this week and I’m really excited to see what difference they make and just how peeled I can get!
The post Episode #008 – “If it was easy, everyone would do it” appeared first on Marc Rhodes PT.