Monday, May 11, 2009

"Off Season" Training with Dave

"Off season" always sounds kind of funny to me, but it is kind of a term that people familiar with bodybuilding and figure competitions use a lot when an athlete is not dieting down or prepping for an upcoming contest. I don't really like it because it seems to me that many competitors use it as an excuse for putting on unnecessary fat. I fell victim to that last fall after my first shows. Everybody told me I needed to "bulk up" so I would put on muscle. It's funny because at my second show I weighed 138lbs the morning of the show. At Emerald Cup 4 weeks ago I stepped on stage at 129. I weighed as much as 151 in my last "off season." So you can see just how hard I had to work to strip off the much needed "bulk" I added to my physique. Blood. Sweat. Tears. And not enough oats. I hate being low carb, it just doesn't agree with me (or my family, for that matter). 

I've been working really hard, with Dave's help, to keep my fat gain (my post competition rebound) to a minimum. As Dave likes to say: "What does gaining fat have to do with gaining muscle?" There's nothing wrong with putting on all that bulk if that's what one desires, but for me, I was very unhappy gaining as much fat as I did and it was a lot of work in the gym and on the stepmill to pull it back off. I have determined that I am much happier in my own skin when I can maintain a lean, fit physique year round.

I was really anxious about seeing Dave today and having him look me over and frown his disapproving frown...well, actually, truth be told, I don't think I've seen that frown very often, if ever. Oh wait, yes, when Jon first took me down to meet Dave. Yeah, that was not fun, but it sure did motivate me. It wasn't so bad. Actually, it was pretty good. I came out at the same bodyfat I was at 4 weeks out from the Vancouver show. Excellent! I am hopeful that my continued efforts in keeping my diet dialed in and the cheat meals in check I can maintain this and slide easily into contest prep this summer.

Now, for the training part of the session. 

Let's talk about redefining "intense." Holy crap - Dave KILLED my delts. Killed 'em. I wasn't pushing as much weight as I normally would, but using full range of motion and some new techniques really had me writhing in pain. And, of course, since I'm training with Dave I can't quit. I can't say "I can't". The workout was quick and intense and my delts were totally fried. I am really excited (well, okay, I'm actually dreading it) to implement this program into my training and hope for at least a little growth in my delts over the next few months. He also sent me away with a cool and killer chest routine using giant sets/circuits and I'm excited to try that this week...after my delts have had some rest. 

Leaving a training session with Dave is a good wake up call. I know I need to work harder in the gym and train with greater intensity to see the kind of gains I'm hoping for. It can be hard to push yourself to work as hard as is necessary...I am fortunate to have great training partners who I know will push me these next few months to really kick it up a notch so when I leave the gym and ask Dave's question..."Did I work as hard as I could have?"...I will say yes more often than not.

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