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For competitors: What was your hardest prep and why?

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  • For competitors: What was your hardest prep and why?

    Hey guys! I was just wondering out of you guys who have competed, which was your hardest prep in terms of mental games, cravings, injuries etc. and why? and how have you dealt with it? I'd love to hear from you guys!

  • #2
    While I've come to the realisation that I'm not a bodybuilders bootlace with terrible genetics, I have thrown my hat in the ring and did 2 shows. The first one was back in 2012. That was probably the hardest, as after the first month, my diet coach cut all carbs save veggies. Ended up doing cardio for 1 3/4 hours every day. The last month and a half was cycling between 2 protein no fat days, and 1 pro/fat day. That was tough! Cravings were almost unbearable. I remember being a sales rep at the time, and I stopped off at a service centre to use the bathroom. There was a coffee shop inside. Behind the glass case was all manor of baked goods. I caught sight of the choc chip muffins that were on display. I found myself just staring at them, transfixed. If I had stayed there another minute, I would've licked the glass! A month out, I had to fly interstate for business training for 9 days. Here I was surrounded by nothing but buffet food. For all meals. So I packed tuna, almonds and protein powder. And did my absule best to eat cleanly at the buffet, which meant chicken breast and salad. For breakfast, it was hard boiled eggs, but as it was no fat, I ate the whites and scooped out the yolks! That got me some interesting looks!

    My second was with Skip last year. It was definitely a better experience. Although it was when I came to the realisation that I really had no place being onstage. We had trouble getting me stage lean. I got lean for me, but we realised that at 6'6" I was just lacking in muscle mass woefully. The biggest hurdle during this time was a couple of days before we were due to start the prep, I had a heart operation that I'd been on the waiting list for for 3 years. So the first 2 weeks were doing no weight training. Then I came down with severe flu, which left me bed ridden for another 2 weeks. Skip had told me to rest when I came down with it, but stupid me didn't listen. Paid the price the next day!


    • #3
      The hardest prep for me was the one I did in 2002 after moving to Colorado and not being on stage for 10 years. I remember many times during that prep thinking, "Am I going to work my ass off and then get my ass kicked?" I really wasn't convinced I was in good condition until I hit the stage.

      Dieting is hard but the doubt is the worst.


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      • #4
        Mentally and physically, my first season was by far the hardest. I think the unfamiliarity with the process was a huge challenge (and self-doubt), as subsequent years of competing seemed easy in comparison. At about 6 weeks out I realized I needed something closer to have a carrot dangling in more manageable reach, so I did one that was in 3 weeks, and again in another 3 weeks. Those last 3 weeks probably didn't need to happen as it took a long time to recover and I didn't enjoy it or look any better. I learned my lesson for a few years and only would do 1 show a year. In 2014, I attempted 2, and aborted before doing the 2nd one. Had to revisit the lesson.

        Every year that I competed, the hardest part was adjusting to the contest and prep being over. Very anti-climactic, watching condition slip away, body all beat up. The consolation there was that I knew it was part of it, and eventually, a less extreme version of life would feel normal again.
        2014 Greater Gulf States 2nd WPD Class B
        2010 Jr. USA 2nd LHW
        2009 Houston Pro/Am 1st LHW & Overall (Am)
        2008 Jr. Nationals 5th LHW
        2007 Greater Gulf States 1st LHW
        2007 LA Championships 1st LHW & Overall


        • #5
          Like Skip, my prep after a 10 plus lay off was the hardest. I got as heavy as 269 pounds, had my first neck surgery and hit my mid forties. To say it was a struggle was an understatement. From the old man abs, to the loose skin to the countless hours of cardio (which back in 1992 wasn't nearly as intense and as many sessions), trying to be a good dad, husband...being a grown up basically.

          Contest History:
          2017 Muscle Heat - 2nd Place Masters 40+ HWT & 3rd Place LHW
          2017 Gold's Classic - 3rd Place Masters 40+ HWT & 4th Place LHW
          2016 GK Classic - 1st Place MW & 4th Place Masters 40+
          2016 Charlotte Europa - 3rd Place MW & 1st Place Masters 35+
          2015 Mid-Atlantic Classic - 4th Place LHW & 4th Place Masters 40+ HWY
          2014 Muscle Heat Classic - 4th Place LHW & 4th Place Masters 35+ HWY


          • #6
            My hardest prep was in 2006 while I was in college... I worked two jobs (insurance and financial services agent) and as a trainer for the school (I ran bootcamps and did personal training) and took my classes whenever I could fit them, usually at night, and on top of that, at the time, I was pledging a fraternity. We would get woken up in the middle of the night, we would have to be at our pledging house every night for an unknown period of time doing whatever it was the brothers wanted us to do that night... Fitting in my own training and meals was a nightmare. I had a lot of protein shakes and hard boiled eggs to get by...

            My brothers supported me through my prep, but I still did everything I had to for pledging. On the day of my show, about 12 of my brothers showed up unexpectedly and were in the audience screaming. It was an awesome feeling... I ended up winning the juniors category and the open lightweight category (different weight classes for USBF -
            Be true to yourself and fuel your body with nothing less the highest quality supplements. Only available at Use discount code: KSP945 to save 5% on your order!

            Stickies...just read the damn stickies...

            2014 Xcalibur Cup Bantam Open - 1st
            2014 Tracey Greenwood Classic Bantam Open - 1st
            2015 Beat Cancer!


            • #7
              wow these are all great to hear guys! We always see the pictures and videos of the competitors smiling on stage looking very happy, but the grind, struggle and journey to get there is pure blood, sweat and tears. Keep sharing your stories PLEASE! I'd love to hear them all, this is very motivating!