The past few weeks of my prep I have continued to get slightly leaner and lighter whilst ever so slightly increasing my intake to reverse diet. Right now, my plan is to slowly continue reversing with the goal of filling out slightly more before show time. The drop in scale weight and subtle losses in size are good indications to me that I can continue slowly reversing. I do not want to get any smaller at this point, but I would like to maintain my level of definition (especially in the midsection) if possible.
I have been doing consistent research and feel that the WBFF would appreciate a bit of a fuller look as opposed to just being as lean as possible, which is unlike the standards for other federations and other shows I have done in the past. This is why I feel comfortable increasing my intake slightly at this point as opposed to continuing to decrease calories and/or increase cardio with the goal of becoming more 'shredded'. I know that I could be leaner if I wanted to be and by no means do I think I am 'shredded' by a traditional bodybuilding standards, but in this case, I am comfortable with sacrificing being as shredded as possible for the sake of having a better overall shape to bring to the stage.
Here is where my physique is sitting at 6 weeks out:
Weight: 114.0 weekly average (7 weeks out), 114.0 weekly average (6 weeks out)
Waist: 22.8 in
Hips: 35.25 in
Although these are the only two measurements I feel I am able to consistently measure on my own, I do notice my legs look a bit smaller and leaner as well. I would like to bring some size back to my lower body as I reverse calories slightly back up in the coming weeks.
Upper Body Days (3x/wk): 40F/285C/160P
Lower Body Days (3x/wk): 40F/335-350C/160P
Rest Days (1x/wk): 40F/235C/160P
Re-feed (1x/wk on a lower body day): 40F/400C/160P
I have added just 10-20 grams of carbs per day since my last check in at 8 weeks out.
Going forth, I plan to add another 10-15 grams of carbs per day.
Mon: Full Leg Day
Tues: Full Upper Body Day
Weds: Rest Day
Thurs: Full Leg Day
Fri: Full Upper Body Day
Sat: Leg Day (Glute Focus)
Sun: Full Upper Body Day
Cardio: 12-15k steps/day. I don't remember the last time I stepped on a piece of cardio equipment. I don't do any formal cardio (i.e. on machines) other than outdoor walks with my dog, though I started boxing training on Wednesdays. I did not add in boxing for an extra cardio workout, I just want to learn how to fight. However, I am aware that it does act as cardio (if you have never done boxing before, it is great conditioning).
I am very happy to report that I am not losing strength in the gym and have actually hit some PR's for this bodyweight in the last two weeks. This reassures me that I am not losing much muscle mass and any size I may have lost (such as that mentioned in my legs) is probably from having less full glycogen stores, which should be easily reversible via slowly increasing carb intake.
I want to continue to keep my reverse dieting gradual as to avoid getting too much softer or gaining too fast. I feel that I also am reversing far enough out to allow myself to pull back a few weeks out if I notice I am looking worse or significantly softer.
3-5 grams creatine/day
Pre-workout: (most) lower body days only
I still feel pretty good in terms of energy on a daily basis. I have only had a few days where I felt pretty tired during this prep, and it could easily be chalked up to insufficient sleep rather than excessive dieting/activity. I am happy with where my physique is at and am excited to fill it out a bit more as I feel my 'best' looking physique is 1-2lbs above where I currently am sitting. If I can manage to get there while maintaining this waistline, I will be really excited to see what I am working with.
I am continuing to pose every single day for a minimum of 15 minutes. Although it still feels a bit uncomfortable, I get a tiny bit better everyday and that's what really matters. Posing also allows me an additional time to assess how my physique will look when I am posing in heels on stage (which is sometimes slightly different to how my physique seems to look in day to day life). Even though it's uncomfortable, I am working on a posing routine that allows me to showcase my best attributes and own MY best self, regardless of how anyone else looks on stage. Everyone else is irrelevant, all that really matters is that I bring my personal best which I am working to do everyday.
My knee pain isn't continuing to get worse even as I push my training so I am pretty happy about that as well.
It is sometimes a struggle to fit everything in during the day from training clients to training myself to posing to physical therapy to taking care of online clients to taking care of my daily chores, my dog and trying to maintain somewhat of a social life. I wish there were more hours in the day. That being said, I am grateful to have a life so full of purpose and days so full of things I love that I truly wish I could fit more in as opposed to dreading everyday. I am always grateful for the opportunity to be here, the tools I have available to me that allow me to showcase my best self and the privilege to endure a prep.
Some of you may have noticed by now that my physique doesn't change drastically on a weekly basis. That's the point. Throughout this prep, I want to demonstrate a healthy and evidence based way to lean out and/or reach body composition goals and showcase the fact that just because I am not 'in prep' year round, does not mean that I blow my diet or training completely out of the water. I want to look and feel good year round whether or not I have a show coming up. This also means that when/if I do decide to diet for a show, I don't have to make drastic changes or lose crazy amounts of weight to get there. Although my nutrition and training is slightly more relaxed when I am not preparing for an even (show, photoshoot, etc.), I still stay mindful of my intake relative to my expenditure, I still train hard and I still take the initiative to reel myself in when I start to go a bit off of the rails. Because of this, I really do feel good in my skin year round and don't use 'bulking' as an excuse to hide behind a physique that I am insecure about. At the same time, I don't expect myself to be shredded or in my peak condition all the time and that's okay, too.