The Road to My First “Men’s Physique” Competition – Week 1

SupremeGains.comWeek1ProgressReport

Hello fellow Hard-Gainers!

A week has quickly gone by and it’s time for the first progress report, in my quest to compete in the 2016 IFBB/NPC Men’s Physique Competition, being held on November. This leaves me roughly 8 months to get competition ready – which I think is doable.

If you’re new to this blog, you should know that this is my first-ever competition and everything from this point on will be a learning experience, filled with obstacles; considering, I’m extremely out-of-shape – roughly 50 lbs. overweight, with no muscle – in my late 30’s, and a little apprehensive of what lies ahead (i.e. the sacrifices, change of lifestyle, unknowns, etc.). Nevertheless, I never back down on a challenge especially when I’m making it public.

In the end, I’m not looking to place in the top 5 or win the competition, but if I do, then what an accomplishment! Honestly, however, the fact that I’m able to get in shape good enough to compete, will already be a win in my book.

Breakdown of Last Week’s Progress

Date range:  02 Mar 16 – 08 Mar 16

The Background

Starting-off this new regime has been slow on purpose, because I used this week to primarily formulate a plan that is realistic and doable. My nutrition and workout habits will definitely change in the coming weeks, if I want to see any progress; but for now, I’m using this time to make small changes that will eventually become routine when all is said and done.

I remember a time when I used to be leaner, due to constantly hitting the weights, doing cardio, and eating less. I would workout 6 days a week, for 2-hour sessions each day, and take fat burners for energy as well.

SupremeGains.comLeanerMe

Now whether or not those fat burners actually aided in torching my fat stores, is another story altogether and will be reserved for a future article.

Because the gym was like my second home, my friends thought I didn’t have a life and that I neglected them a lot. I guess after thinking about it, they were correct, but the work paid-off regardless; until, I screwed it all up 4 years ago, through crappy nutrition and just being lazy. Well that is all about to change from here on out.

The Nutrition Plan

SupremeGains.comNutritionPlanDuring this past week, I’ve been focusing heavily on learning more about eating like a bodybuilder. I say “bodybuilder” because learning about nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle, is different from actually eating to build muscle for a competition.

For instance, to eat clean, you don’t have to count calories, track macros, and take supplements. You just minimize your food intake, minimize/eliminate junk food, and eat freshly-made, whole foods.

But if you want to build muscle and go down to sub-ten percent body fat, you’ll have to eat select foods around the clock and not deviate from that schedule as well. Furthermore, you’ll have to take specific supplements and definitely hit the weights using a program that is tailored to your muscle-building goals.

As you can see, there’s a lot more involved in transforming your body into a bodybuilder, than just an average Joe wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Anyway, the food I’ve eaten the past week (and the timing of it) have not changed much. The only difference is that I’ve minimized my junk food intake to two days, as opposed to three or more days on a typical week. Below is a typical day for me:

5:30 am – 6:30 am: Protein shake; 1 cup coffee; water; get ready for work

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Lunch break; small salad, protein, fruit, bottle water

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Work end; carbs, protein, water

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Carbs, protein, water

Weekend: Junk food

A Detailed Explanation of Current Meal Schedule

As you can see, the timing of my meals and what I typically eat are inconsistent, and not ideal for bodybuilding either. For one, the type of macros I listed here (i.e. protein and carbs) are vague because it would vary between having rice or bread for a carb source, and chicken or beef for the protein…and even after saying that, I’m still being vague. It really just depends on what I feel like preparing that day. Preparing food ahead of time is also a routine I’m going to adopt eventually though.

Another problem with this schedule is that I’m not portioning my meals correctly, as well as not eating enough. Even though I don’t plan to count calories until four months out, I know that I’m currently consuming between 2000-3500 calories per day (just from experience), depending on that day, with this meal plan. I will eventually go down to 2000 calories (and probably even less) during the course of this journey, but it has to be consistent and a gradual change – which is not the case right now.

As far as macronutrients are concerned, can you spot what’s missing in my current meal plan?

If you answered healthy fats, then you are correct.

Consuming fat typically scares those trying to lose weight and build muscle; but in actuality, fat is an essential nutrient the body desperately needs. You just want to ensure that you’re consuming the healthier kinds, instead of the process one – Trans Fat. Heck, even consuming saturated fat is alright, especially when you’re an active gym-goer.

But everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb.

So with that said, I know that I need to include healthy fats into my meal plan. The fat in the protein I’m currently consuming is questionable, since it’s coming from the dining facility at my workplace. Who knows what type of oil they use to cook their meat. Sometimes, the meat they serve has breading as well, which definitely doesn’t help with my diet goals either.

Finally, I have yet to decide whether or not consuming carbs late in the day is actually hindering my progress, and whether or not the type of carb matter (i.e. simple vs. complex). Perhaps it doesn’t make a difference, as long as I don’t exceed my macronutrients – which could be difficult, since I’m not tracking those numbers yet – but I’ll just have to wait and see my results after a few more weeks.

Meal Goals

So setting goals in general, has always been easy for me; but actually achieving them is another story altogether. Honestly, I’m not a good “finisher,” which is a characteristic I’m going to change, starting with this blog. Either way, if you’re not the type to set goals, I encourage that you start now because the rewards are amazing when you do achieve them.

Below are my meal goals for this 8-month training period. There may be some revisions along the way, depending on the situation, but the general concept will not change:

Month 1:  Limit junk food to 2 days per week; eat fresh, whole foods; drink lots of water; supplements; don’t count calories (in process)

Month 2: Limit junk food to 2 days per week; eat fresh, whole foods, and incorporate more veggies; drink lots of water; supplements; don’t count calories (not started)

Month 3: Eat anything on “cheat day;” eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water; supplements; don’t count calories (not started)

Month 4: Eat anything on “cheat day;” eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water; supplements; start bringing own lunch to work; follow stricter eating schedule/diet; count calories (not started)

Month 5: Eat anything on “cheat day;” eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water; supplements; bring own lunch to work; follow stricter eating schedule/diet; count calories and cut 500 calories (not started)

Month 6: Eat anything on “cheat day;” eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water; supplements; bring own lunch to work; follow stricter eating schedule/diet; count calories and cut an additional 500 calories (not started)

Month 7: Eat a cheat meal once per week; eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water; supplements; bring own lunch to work; follow stricter eating schedule/diet; count calories and cut an additional 500 calories (not started)

Month 8: (Competition month); No cheat meals; eat fresh, whole foods and incorporate more veggies; one week detox; drink lots of water, but limit during competition days; supplements; bring own lunch to work; follow stricter eating schedule/diet; count calories (not started)

Final Thoughts

So that was pretty much all I did for the previous week. My workouts will change the following week as well, but there is no strict planning set-up just yet with that either. As far as my nutritional goals, I think it’s doable, and through the moderate change in eating habits, I should have no worries deviating from this plan.

I have always failed when it comes to dieting, because I didn’t make small changes. Furthermore, I didn’t count calories, so I would never know if I’m eating too much or too little whenever I work out. After the competition, however, I would have done this long enough to know what to eat and how much to eat, so counting calories will be out of the picture. In the end, I don’t want my life after the competition to just be about recording everything I ate and how much of it. That’s not realistic to me.

So, what do you think of my first week’s progress? Are my goals unrealistic? Is there anything I need to change or add? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until the next progress report…

Stay healthy,
Warren

About the Author Warren

I'm on a mission to transform my body to compete in my first-ever, "Men's Physique" competition. I also want to help you lose fat and build muscle, using everything I've learned and experienced along the way. Join me in this journey so we all can create Supreme Gains!

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