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"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:14

Contest Preparation

Many are called, but few are chosen. This is true when it comes to competitive bodybuilding. Changing your physique to make it better is one matter, but preparing to place yourself at the scrutiny of others (in a public setting) is another. Not only do you have to be physically ready, but you have to be mentally ready as well.

This article gives you all the ins-and-outs of contest preparation.

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Carbohydrate Cycling

Carbohydrate cycling is a 6 day program that will allow your body to burn bodyfat while still retaining muscle mass. It's a technique that is described in detail in the book SLICED by Bill Reynolds and Negrita Jayde, however I will summarize it here.

Over the last 10 years I've competed, I've used this technique each time and without fail I've been able to achieve exceptional definition while retaining the muscle mass that I gained during my bulking phase.

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Gaining Muscle Mass

Due to the complexity of muscle tissue, it often takes years to develop quality muscle mass. The key is to be consistent and be aware that bodybuilding & body shaping are built on three factors:  Nutrition,  Consistent/Intense Exercise and Rest.

This article goes into the details of each factor.

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Beating that "New Year's Resolution" Fizzle Print E-mail
Written by Skippy Podar   
Friday, 02 January 2009

ImageWell, it's that time of year again.  New Year's Resolution season, with its hopes, dreams and promises.  Sadly, many of us will 'fizzle' long before we see the manifestation of our hard work.  Here's an article that hopefully will help you stay on track during this exciting, yet challenging time of the year.

As a manager of a large health club, I found it encouraging to see so many new members this time of year. Sadly, after about 2-3 weeks, many new members let excuses rob them of the opportunity to improve themselves. 

Everyone joins a health club for the same underlying reason; they want to improve themselves and/or their quality of life. For example, no one buys a power drill because it's "glamorous" or "fancy". They buy it because they need a hole in something. All tools considered, a power drill is the best tool for achieving that goal. So by joining a health club, you're choosing the best path for achieving your fitness/physique goals. Hiring a personal trainer in addition to that is even better, because they provide guidance and accountability.

Challenges and distractions of course will creep in, and that's where we have to be strong.  I had one couple join our health club back in early December, use the facility consistenly for about a week or so, and then I didn't see them again until they came back after Christmas to cancel, saying they "just don't have any time". It's really sad too because they let the "reason why they joined" take a backseat to all the other junk going on in life, and they'll end up going back into the same old rut. They'll convince themselves that they'll never meet their goals, and that it's always 'the other person' who can keep a resolution.  This doesn't have to be.

Finding the time to exercise can be a challenge, however finances can also pose a problem.  True, the economy is rough right now, but at most gyms/health clubs, a membership on average costs less than $2.00 per dayMost people spend more than that on their daily cup of coffee!  Yet, a gym membership is the first thing a person will get rid of when trying to economize, not realizing that consistent exercise releases endorphins that help manage stress and make you sleep and feel better.

The trick is, we have to set ourselves up to succeed at the beginning.  We all have down times when we hit a slump, and even the most diehard fitness fanatic will have a time when they just feel "burned out". However, there are ways to get back into the swing of things.

ImageI encourage all the new members I meet to plan their workouts for a specific time of their day, either before or after work/school, as if it was a meeting they desperately had to attend (e.g. a doctor's appt. or a class). When we organize our daily activities, we're more likely to be consistent.

During my senior year of college, that was the way I was able to workout and stay focused on school. As soon as my classes were over for the day, I drove straight to the gym. That way, I would get my workout in before all my other chores got in the way.  I made sure I packed my gym clothes every morning and took them with me.  If I forgot them, I always had a spare set of shorts and shoes in the car.

So stay encouraged.  It takes time to develop a routine, but once you get in the groove, you'll see the results.  And as an old friend of mine always said:

Success is easy to find.  It's down the street from Discipline and around the corner from Consistency.

See you soon!

 
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