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Mighty's Contest Updates & Q&A Thread
 

bugeishaAD
Level 3

Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3439

Great arms and delts, obviously. You seem on target to come in peeled.

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ESX
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Join date: Mar 2012
Posts: 233

Can i ask a quick question regarding cutting?

I am in the last week of a 12 week cut and have gone from 193 to 173lbs. I ate about 2600 calories on training days (4 times a week) and 2400 on non-training days. Also 20 minutes cardio every moring and evening. I would pretty much lose 1.5lbs a week but every three weeks or so i would suddenly drop 3lbs or more? After that i would freak out about losing muscle (not got loads to lose) and incrase calories another 200 or so. This would put me back at 1.5lbs a week loss, then a few weeks later another 3lb drop so i would increase again. So now im eating about 3000 cals on training days and 2800 on non. I kept my carbs high the whole time with no refeeds/low carb days. Protein was also high and fat fairly low about 30-40g a day.

Thing thats got me is i was expecting to have to lower calories and increase cardio as the weeks went on but i've gone the other way? What gives (not that im complaining)?

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Myosin
Level 10

Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 543

Looking very sharp, as usual. I tried to scroll back and look it up, but could not find it.....did you decided to use Indigo during your prep this time around?

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

ESX wrote:
Can i ask a quick question regarding cutting?

I am in the last week of a 12 week cut and have gone from 193 to 173lbs. I ate about 2600 calories on training days (4 times a week) and 2400 on non-training days. Also 20 minutes cardio every moring and evening. I would pretty much lose 1.5lbs a week but every three weeks or so i would suddenly drop 3lbs or more? After that i would freak out about losing muscle (not got loads to lose) and incrase calories another 200 or so. This would put me back at 1.5lbs a week loss, then a few weeks later another 3lb drop so i would increase again. So now im eating about 3000 cals on training days and 2800 on non. I kept my carbs high the whole time with no refeeds/low carb days. Protein was also high and fat fairly low about 30-40g a day.

Thing thats got me is i was expecting to have to lower calories and increase cardio as the weeks went on but i've gone the other way? What gives (not that im complaining)?


First, keep in mind that a lot of times the scale weight isn't truly reflective of fat loss. Fluctuations of anywhere up to 5 lbs can be attributed to glycogen levels, water levels (which are tied somewhat to carb intake as well as sodium intake), and even how much 'fibrous bulk' is in your intestine at any given time. Obviously you couldn't possibly be eating enough of a deficit to lose 3+ lbs of fat per week. The humongous weight losses people see on "reality tv shows" are possible because the insanely overweight people are overeating at such an excessive rate that simply by switching to what should be maintenance numbers, their body can register a loss on the scale.

In your case, I would venture to guess that you lost 1.5-2 lbs per week, but it didn't register as such immediately. I've had a good number of prep clients who may go a week or more without any loss of weight according to the bathroom scale, and then one morning, POW!, a sudden loss of 4 lbs! So in the grand scheme, I wouldn't worry about the huge drop.

Now,. getting to the possible speeding up of your metabolism, you have to realize that any type of change, can cause the body to react in some manner. Many a natural competitor will crash their weight down several weeks before a contest, and as they can only cut calories so much before excessive muscle loss occurs, they can then begin raising macros, which can have a stimulatory effect on the metabolism as well (raising #s = speeding up met rate). It all depends on the current situation your body is being subjected to when you either raise, or lower any of your #s.

We've got a serious amount of variables when we're dealing with the human body and it's metabolic processes, specifically in terms of the individual issues each trainee brings to the table. In your case, so long as you were able to maintain the majority of your muscle mass while dropping a very commendable 20 lbs, I wouldn't think that you had done anything incorrectly in the process :)

S

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

Myosin wrote:
Looking very sharp, as usual. I tried to scroll back and look it up, but could not find it.....did you decided to use Indigo during your prep this time around?


I actually can't this time around. Things are just really really stressful with my personal life at the moment. Not only did Cat and I just move into a new Apt (where the rent is quite a bit more than my old digs), but as we're a few months away from having to pay for our Wedding, we recently found out that Cat's going to be losing her job due to budget cut backs.

As she always earned more than I did, and now we've lost more than half of our income (I don't really make much as a NYC teacher)we're trying to be pretty smart about our 'investments'. Obviously we can still rationalize a lot of the 'support' stuff I need for a prep, simply because my past contest successes have generated a small, albeit steady revenue stream the last few years. That's actually how I was able to get Cat her engagement ring in the first place :)

The actual prize money in Pro Shows isn't really anything that you can count on as a source of income, in fact, it's usually pretty laughable. So even competing in my upcoming contest isn't for any monetary rewards, merely trying to prove that I can still keep improving.

This certainly isn't a negative review of the I3G, as I was more than happy with my 2011 contest results. I do believe that nutrient partitioning supplements have their place at a certain level, I'll just have to settle for the less-than-the-very-best supplement this time around, and hope that everything else falls into place.

S

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ghost87
Level 2

Join date: Jul 2005
Posts: 448

The Mighty Stu wrote:
Myosin wrote:
Looking very sharp, as usual. I tried to scroll back and look it up, but could not find it.....did you decided to use Indigo during your prep this time around?


I actually can't this time around. Things are just really really stressful with my personal life at the moment. Not only did Cat and I just move into a new Apt (where the rent is quite a bit more than my old digs), but as we're a few months away from having to pay for our Wedding, we recently found out that Cat's going to be losing her job due to budget cut backs.

As she always earned more than I did, and now we've lost more than half of our income (I don't really make much as a NYC teacher)we're trying to be pretty smart about our 'investments'. Obviously we can still rationalize a lot of the 'support' stuff I need for a prep, simply because my past contest successes have generated a small, albeit steady revenue stream the last few years. That's actually how I was able to get Cat her engagement ring in the first place :)

The actual prize money in Pro Shows isn't really anything that you can count on as a source of income, in fact, it's usually pretty laughable. So even competing in my upcoming contest isn't for any monetary rewards, merely trying to prove that I can still keep improving.

This certainly isn't a negative review of the I3G, as I was more than happy with my 2011 contest results. I do believe that nutrient partitioning supplements have their place at a certain level, I'll just have to settle for the less-than-the-very-best supplement this time around, and hope that everything else falls into place.

S


Bodybuilding, or any passion, outside of work, is really difficult. I competed several times before I was married. Now, 12 years later, married with 2 young kids, I'm now thinking of competing again. It's difficult enough to compete when one is single. With so many more commitments, it's a tremendous challenge. Doing homework with kids, kids activities, doing work around house , while trying to do food prep, train, sleep well. In addition, we can't ignore our jobs. I commend you for doing this. Again, it's been 12 years since I last stepped on stage, hopefully I can do it again this fall. I'm gearing myself up more mentally than physically right now.

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

So here I am, 8 weeks out, and 181.6 lbs. The tightest I have ever been at this point for a contest. I've got upper quad cuts (been visible for the last few weeks already), delt striations, veins running the front of my calves, and according to my brother, a couple of veins through my upper back / lat area.

In the past, I've always counted on the last week water to allow me to just barely squeak under the 176 lbs limit for the Middleweight class. At this show I'm doing, there will only be Pro Men's Lightweight, and Pro Men's Heavyweight. So I figure worrying about what I actually weigh is pointless, and that by just trying to raise the bar with my conditioning, I'll avoid beating myself up mentally as I am sometimes prone to doing. The last couple of weeks have seen me adding in a bit more in terms of steady state cardio sessions, as I think they played a role in my thinner and grainier appearance last June. As I can already see hints of that look peaking through (in certain lighting -lol), I'm feeling really good, and even hopeful that I can come in a couple of lbs tighter than my best showing to date (shredded hams? Glutes?!)

Cat caught a few video shots of my training session this morning, and while the abundance of fluorescent lights really washes me out horribly, I think I'm holding onto some serious size considering my current weight (we all know how unreliable the scale is come game day). Maybe I should start tanning just for these videos :)

S

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timmcbride00
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Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1164

Awesome video, keep killing it. Looking great at 8 weeks out.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Awesome man.. looking really great. Just watched your 2011 Hercules footage again on your channel, your dominance in that class was truly inspiring, your most muscular in particular is just amazing. Definitely one of my biggest inspirations in the natty BB world.

On that note, do you do much work for your great symmetry or is it just a result of good exercise selection? I have noticeable right to left imbalances as most do.

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thoughts1053
Level 5

Join date: Apr 2008
Posts: 742

Hey 4-eyes, you definitely need a tan, lol. But seriously, looking great Stu. Gonna kill it at the show and looking forward to training together.

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Lonnie123
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2004
Posts: 6235

Stu, would you mind checking out the posing routine I just put in my log? ( http://tnation.T-Nation.com/...24&pageNo=6 )

Any advice and comments are welcome. I'm really happy with it, and will get a better version of it tomorrow night after the carb up and tanning.

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

jake_j_m wrote:
Awesome man.. looking really great. Just watched your 2011 Hercules footage again on your channel, your dominance in that class was truly inspiring, your most muscular in particular is just amazing. Definitely one of my biggest inspirations in the natty BB world.

On that note, do you do much work for your great symmetry or is it just a result of good exercise selection? I have noticeable right to left imbalances as most do.


Thanks man. It's always cool, and quite humbling at the same time to hear how other people draw inspiration from my own training and competitions. I guess it's just part of the cycle, as I'm now going to be 'up there' with the guys I first drew inspiration from myself.

As far as symmetry goes, it's not like I consciously worry about it (aside from a bit of atrophy in my left tricep due to injury that I'm well aware of!) I assume it's most likely from my growing preference of dumbell work in recent years. When one side is doing the majority of the work, it's certainly easy to see. Unless of course you may have a bit of nerve damage, or even scar tissue build up, which can create development problems.

Are your imbalances left/right all over, or simply in one area(arms, legs)?

S

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

So for the last week or so, I've been looking over results and pics of recent WNBF Pro shows, and I've really become focused on Trevor Sajdak. In pics from his most recent Pro Win, the guy is clearly the lightest competitor in the Pro Heavyweight class (~183 lbs), but his conditioning is just the most insane thing since Whitacre. As I've been re-inspired here to push the envelope in my own contest condition, I'm looking for any excuse to go for a walk, stay on the bike a little bit longer, and of course suffer a bit more on my Low Diet Days.

Taking a page from my brother's book (He competed once before, and although I did his diet and entire prep, he made a few substitutions that I later found out about -lol) and enjoyed an entire Shrimp Ring from the deli counter at the super market. Of course I replaced the Cocktail Sauce with Frank's Red Hot, but the total caloric breakdown was only 90 calories! Crazy, I know. I've always used Scallops, and Tilapia ('white' fish) on my diets when I need to cut #s a bit, but it never occurred to me to eat shrimp (yummy -lol).

S

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corstijeir
Level 100

Join date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3457

Stu - huge and conditioned, loving it man. Keep giving us more!

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Your conditioning has been pretty amazing as it is, my mind would be further blown if you could take it even further.. can only imagine the amount of visible chest fibres that would be on show!

The Mighty Stu wrote:
Thanks man. It's always cool, and quite humbling at the same time to hear how other people draw inspiration from my own training and competitions. I guess it's just part of the cycle, as I'm now going to be 'up there' with the guys I first drew inspiration from myself.

As far as symmetry goes, it's not like I consciously worry about it (aside from a bit of atrophy in my left tricep due to injury that I'm well aware of!) I assume it's most likely from my growing preference of dumbell work in recent years. When one side is doing the majority of the work, it's certainly easy to see. Unless of course you may have a bit of nerve damage, or even scar tissue build up, which can create development problems.

Are your imbalances left/right all over, or simply in one area(arms, legs)?

S


Yes I imagine it's very cool to be getting into that tier of experienced pros! Exciting.

It's all over to slight extent but it was a big visual different in my lats, and a measurement difference (1/8" or so) on my arms. My chest especially in front relaxed looks way wider/fuller on my right side compared to my left (http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/9900/cropped3.jpg)

It's interesting you mention the dumbbell work because I have definitely seen significant left-to-right improvements (I hope my current avatar is getting towards balanced lat wise) using more unilateral work (at least one dumbbell exercise for chest training, one arm barbell rows/meadows rows for back etc). I guess if I make sure to always use at least some unilateral or dumbbell work I should work my way towards symmetry. I will make sure to foam roll/work on my mobility so that isn't the limiting factor too.

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Blackaggar
Level 2

Join date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2531

Your doing awesome man excited to see the competition photos in 8 weeks :D

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

ghost87 wrote:
Bodybuilding, or any passion, outside of work, is really difficult. I competed several times before I was married. Now, 12 years later, married with 2 young kids, I'm now thinking of competing again. It's difficult enough to compete when one is single. With so many more commitments, it's a tremendous challenge. Doing homework with kids, kids activities, doing work around house , while trying to do food prep, train, sleep well. In addition, we can't ignore our jobs. I commend you for doing this. Again, it's been 12 years since I last stepped on stage, hopefully I can do it again this fall. I'm gearing myself up more mentally than physically right now.


I can only imagine! I joke with Cat that I better get this all out of my system now, because obviously priorities change over time. Of course with all the non-bodybuilding stuff currently going on in our lives, and pulling us in so many directions, I can't even picture how much more difficult it would be with two young children at home.

Still, I do think there's a mental advantage to be more 'seasoned' as a competitor. For as much as I may occasionally whine about being one of the older guys in the open classes, I doubt I would have had the discipline and fortitude to undergo everything necessary during a prep when I was younger.

Definitely keep us informed of your Fall competition plans!

S

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

Well, tonight I didn't really feel like spending hours and hours in the gym (now that I'm doing small bits of steady state bike after my weight work just to burn a few extra cals each day), so I threw in some supersets. This is something that I would try way back when I first started training, and would actually believe what I read in Flex magazine. However, in recent years, despite positioning my exercise choices in specific order to get the most out of them, I typically do straight sets.

Tonight's session was as follows:
-Front squats - 8 sets
-Super set of leg extensions / walking dumbell lunges - 6 sets
-Dumbell Stiff leg Deadlifts - 8 sets
-Seated Leg Curls - 6 sets
-Seated Calf Raises - 6 sets
+ 30 mins very easy peddling on a recumbent bike.

I don't usually sweat much when I train, but those quad super sets, especially after the squats just toasted me! Definitely gonna keep these in my rotation :)

S

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thoughts1053
Level 5

Join date: Apr 2008
Posts: 742

The Mighty Stu wrote:
Well, tonight I didn't really feel like spending hours and hours in the gym (now that I'm doing small bits of steady state bike after my weight work just to burn a few extra cals each day), so I threw in some supersets. This is something that I would try way back when I first started training, and would actually believe what I read in Flex magazine. However, in recent years, despite positioning my exercise choices in specific order to get the most out of them, I typically do straight sets.

Tonight's session was as follows:
-Front squats - 8 sets
-Super set of leg extensions / walking dumbell lunges - 6 sets
-Dumbell Stiff leg Deadlifts - 8 sets
-Seated Leg Curls - 6 sets
-Seated Calf Raises - 6 sets
+ 30 mins very easy peddling on a recumbent bike.

I don't usually sweat much when I train, but those quad super sets, especially after the squats just toasted me! Definitely gonna keep these in my rotation :)

S


I've been doing supersets during my whole prep this year. They definitely keep the heart rate and pace of the workout up. I like them. If you have the equipment, you should try walking lunges to trap bar deadlift; kills the quads.

BTW, do those sets include warm-ups or are those all work sets?

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

thoughts1053 wrote:
I've been doing supersets during my whole prep this year. They definitely keep the heart rate and pace of the workout up. I like them. If you have the equipment, you should try walking lunges to trap bar deadlift; kills the quads.

BTW, do those sets include warm-ups or are those all work sets?


Those were just my working sets. I've actually had sessions where I've handled some insane volume. These says, while I no longer push for those last few grinding reps, I'm definitely more prone to just adding sets until I feel that I've accumulated enough 'quality reps' for an exercise.

I'm definitely feeling the effect from that session though (2 days later), which kind stinks because no matter how great your diet and supplemental/nutritional support may be, if you're in a caloric deficit as well as being worn down from months of contest prep, you're not going to recover as quickly as you'd like. I do think that all the extra 'movement' (cardio, nepa etc) helps with nutrient delivery, but to be honest, I'd love a heck of a lot more sleep than I usually get -lol.

S

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ryanbCXG
Level 5

Join date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5735

The Mighty Stu wrote:
thoughts1053 wrote:
I've been doing supersets during my whole prep this year. They definitely keep the heart rate and pace of the workout up. I like them. If you have the equipment, you should try walking lunges to trap bar deadlift; kills the quads.

BTW, do those sets include warm-ups or are those all work sets?


Those were just my working sets. I've actually had sessions where I've handled some insane volume. These says, while I no longer push for those last few grinding reps, I'm definitely more prone to just adding sets until I feel that I've accumulated enough 'quality reps' for an exercise.

I'm definitely feeling the effect from that session though (2 days later), which kind stinks because no matter how great your diet and supplemental/nutritional support may be, if you're in a caloric deficit as well as being worn down from months of contest prep, you're not going to recover as quickly as you'd like. I do think that all the extra 'movement' (cardio, nepa etc) helps with nutrient delivery, but to be honest, I'd love a heck of a lot more sleep than I usually get -lol.

S


HOw much volume you doing for your other body parts?

I love volume and that is the way that i incorporate it and i feel its just safer. Not to push to failrue. Keep 2 in the take but add in some extra sets.

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

Just got in from the gym, and enjoying a lovely plate of egg whites and veggies (I know you're all so f-ing jealous -lol). Buddy snapped this earlier tonight, definitely nice to see that things are coming together. Hopefully my legs will match my torso, and I'll be able to really dial everything in these next 6 weeks.

(I'll write more in the morning, I'm just so wrecked at the moment)

S

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Stu, having a most muscular that looks anything as freaky as yours is one of my big life training goals! Just screams bodybuilder.

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The Mighty Stu
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 9868

Some footage from earlier tonight. 6 Weeks out, weighed in at 180.4 lbs yesterday morning. Haven't been able to count on regular weekly drops recently, but as long as I still keep looking leaner, I'll trust in the process and keep my fingers crossed :)



S

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red04
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3233

Your shoulders look awesome, I am so jelly.

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