I recently read a great forum post by a lifter on bodybuilding.com. Check it out here. It’s called the 80/20 Rule for Lifting and calls your attention to reality: 80% of what you do doesn’t matter.
Supplements, routines, macro nutrient minutiae: all that is distraction to a degree. You should focus on the 20% that matters and I’m calling that 20% “The 3 C’s: Challenging, Consistent, Clean.”
The 3 C’s are what you must do to achieve any growth or body change result:
Lift weights that challenge your muscles to failure and keep increasing weight as you gain strength.
Keep at it. This is how results happen. It takes time, but if you keep at it you will see your body change.
What you eat matters. Lean protein, complex carbs, natural fats. Don’t eat crap or else you will never get where you want to be. Your body is made in the kitchen – no joke on this one.
Follow the 3 C’s above, see results, repeat.
I’m changing my outlook on this bulking period and sticking with it until March: Screw the details.
Lift heavy, lift often, eat enough, rest enough. Oh, and have fun.
What does your bulk look like?
It’s a new year, and while that doesn’t mean it’s time to start over, the beginning of a new year is a good place to start.
I have been training myself since my competition last November, and while I have positively changed the appearance of my physique (stronger, more define abs, better glute structure), I have not gained the upper body size I have been chasing after for two years.
Over the holidays, I got the urge to compete again in order to have a focus, a plan, a goal; however, after reviewing the pure financial cost associated with pursuing another competition – forget about the opportunity cost – I just can’t swing it this year.
While chatting with my targeted trainer / coach the other week, I told her how I had been lifting for over a year but hadn’t gotten the size gains I wanted. She mentioned that I probably needed to stimulate my body in new ways – more dynamic movements and a modified diet, consisting of more carbohydrates.
So while I save up the funds to hit the stage in 2015 – if not sooner – I have resolved to make some shifts in my overall training / diet regimen starting this week to see where it takes me.
The Plan: Clean bulk over the next 3 months, starting the cutting phase in April
The Diet: 45 carbs / 40 protein / 15 fats
– Starting with 2000 calories, making adjustments as I review my measurements and weight every week
The Workout: 3 days instead of 6 days
– Incorporating more rest days
– Targeting all body parts each work day with more dynamic / power movements
The Results: Will keep you posted with photos and measurements
All my posts thus far have been about my meals, supplements and a little bit about motivation, but I recently realized that you don’t know a thing about me or how I got interested in Figure competition.
So allow me to introduce myself:
My name is Christina and I am a 28 year-old fitness loving girl living in the city of New York. All my life I’ve been into sports and fitness. I rowed during high school and was recruited to row on the United States Junior National Team my junior year of high school.
I was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Virginia where I rowed as a Division I athlete on the varsity team for my first year. However, sadly, after my first year at college, my love of rowing waned and I made the decision to resign from the team. Despite losing my athletic scholarship, I decided to stay with the University to continue my studies and to fund myself via academic scholarships.
Brains over brawn.
While rowing was gone from my life, my love of fitness did not disappear and I took up running and signed up for a class on weight lifting as one of my electives. It was in that class that I learned about creating my own routines, weekly splits and learned the fundamentals of pyramiding and super setting.
I carried my enthusiasm for fitness with me throughout the rest of my college career, into my young professional life up until today, where I became enamored by bodybuilding.
I constantly read about figure competitors: diets, supplements, routines, desiring results like those I saw on the pages of magazines. I lifted weights diligently and trained on my own for about a year and a half.
I weighed and packed my meals, almost completely eliminated alcohol and did what I knew in the gym.
I found that the more I mentioned to people my goal to compete, the more people started to mention that they knew someone who had competed in the past, so I kept telling people my goal.
I looked for coaches but didn’t know where to begin and just ended up continuing to craft my own workouts, hoping for success.
In early December, I signed up to take a Trapeze Class with some of my girlfriends at a local gym. Before going I went online and checked out the gym’s amenities and trainers and noticed that one of them trained Figure athletes.
The morning of the class I asked at the front desk if it was true that they had a coach that trained there. “Yes, he’ll be here later if you want me to introduce you,” the front desk gal said.
“That would be great!”
The rest is history. We’re now working towards a June show for practice and a September show for placing.
As my father always told me, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for,” and I really feel that I brought this into my life in a positive way.
I believe that I can get there and am excited about my goal to compete. This journey has already taught me so much about myself and I can’t wait to learn and accomplish even more.
What are you hoping to accomplish this year?
Thursday had come to a close at work and I was doing a quick change in my office bathroom before I met my trainer for our 7:15PM session.
As I emerged from one of the stalls a co-worker eyed me. “Going to the gym again?” she asked.
“Yep – hitting the gym again,” I said.
“I guess…oh never mind,” she said as she washed her hands, “I was about to say something that is borderline offensive.”
I looked up at her. I was crouched on the ground tying my sneakers, “No, go ahead, what were you going to say?” I asked with a smile.
“I was going to say, ‘I guess those are your going out clothes, huh?’”
I laughed, “Well, they kind of are, but I kind of like it like that.”
As I walked to the gym I passed people dressed up and on their way to grab drinks or dinner and the words your going out clothes kept playing back in my head.
Should I be dressed up now, going out, grabbing a drink? Would I be happier if I were about to get buzzed rather than about to get my butt kicked by my trainer?
My honest answer was no.
At the end of each day I look back and think, “Will I regret any of the choices I made today tomorrow, and if I will, then what do I need to do differently to try to make tomorrow an even better day?”
I rarely regret my decisions, but I can say for sure that I don’t foresee myself ever regretting going to the gym in order to make my goal to compete happen.
I’m so excited to compete this year and every choice I make that helps drive me towards that goal is a worthwhile one.
So what if my going out clothes are sneakers, sweatpants and a tee shirt? This is me right now – this is me working towards a goal that I want and this kind of going out – going to the gym – makes me feel energized, fit and amazing and while a cocktail can do a lot – it sure can’t do all that.