10 Weeks to the NABBA UNIVERSE

So its 2 weeks down and the positive changes are already happening!

Everything going to plan and still feeling good, no energy loss, no major food cravings, no bad moods (that a lot of people use as an excuse when dieting) and once again I am enjoying the process of creating changes to my body at the ripe old age of 51. The only bit of bad news is that I appear to have aggravated my shoulder injury again so it will be a little lighter than intended upper-body training in the week ahead.

Today I will be relying on the magic hands of Peter Causon our deep tissue massage therapist here at Tops Fitness & Rehabilitation to start the mending process again. He is on a high at the moment as one of his clients (Katy Marchant) won an unexpected bronze in the Rio Olympics in the sprint cycling.
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Apart from the return of my injury it was a good week of training all in all and dieting went to plan too. My training weights and range of exercises increased which has probably been my downfall with my shoulder.
As things are going so well (posted positive stats) a nice re-feed meal (Chinese) to celebrate my daughters sixteenth birthday managed to go ahead.
It’s the first time in a long time that, as a family, we all sat down together and had a meal, me, my gorgeous wife and rock Lesley, step-daughter Sian & Abbie (birthday girl).
This meal had been planned for a long time so I worked it into my diet and at 10 weeks out and the position I am in at present allowed me to do this.
My take on re-feed meals is that they can help but only if you are in a positive position with your diet. If you are 10%+ body-fat with a few weeks to go I would say a re-feed meal is the last thing you should be doing. So please use common sense when implementing re-feed (cheat) meals.
Mentally I use these as a reward in the early weeks of my diet as it gives me a chance to spend quality time with my better half and keep me sane. Remember our partners go through our journey too and also make sacrifices without reaping the rewards on stage so always bare them in mind. At present my diet is going better than expected and I have already achieved positive changes as far as skinfold measurements go so I think a re-feed was definitely in order and highly beneficial to my prep.
My prep is wholly designed around losing fat only whilst maintaining as much healthy muscle tissue as possible. Everyone’s prep should be designed that way and not just focused on the scales!
Another thing I don’t do is follow what other people are doing. I am only concerned in creating the best version of me come show time. Everyone else is out of my control. Some people panic when they see their opponents doing lots of cardio (posting to facebook) and they are doing very little. Remember they are different than you so concentrate on what’s best for you.
I still haven’t done any cardio in the first 2 weeks of my prep so I still have that joker to play when I need it. I do have a good metabolism and know how to listen to what my body tells me so can act on instinct most of the time. My clients are all different body types to me (we are all unique) so the regime’s they follow are personal to them and different than what I do.

Although I normally never take my stats again until 4 weeks into a diet I did take them yesterday so I could have something to report to people following this blog.
This is how my skinfolds have changed in just 2 weeks of dieting and no cardio (just restrictive training).
Chest has gone from 4.2mm to 3.9mm
Waist has gone from 7.5mm to 5.9mm
Thigh has gone from 5.2mm to 4.4mm
This results in an estimated body-fat change from 7.17% to 6.29% (calipers don’t create an exact reading but give you something to compare to).
As you can imagine I am quite happy to see such big change in a short period of time and the stats tell me the 2lb in bodyweight I have lost is 100% body-fat. I will settle for that!
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This obviously rubber stamps that my diet is perfect for me right now, so I won’t be implementing any changes this week. You don’t fix what isn’t broke!
This Universe is very important to me and there will not be a stone un-turned on this prep. As long as I come off stage with no excuses each time I have done my job and whether I win or lose I will be content.

My training regime is as follows and I always work muscles differently each time I train. I like to use muscle shock tactics as you would be surprised how quickly a muscle adapts to exercises.
Mon – day of rest
Tue – shoulders
Wed – chest & triceps
Thu – hamstrings & calfs
Fri – back & biceps
Sat – weak area’s catch up session
Sun – quads (thighs) – hardest session of the week

This is exactly how the sessions went this week – I aimed for no longer than 45 seconds rest between sets (except for quad session) to keep intensity.

Tuesday – shoulders
Dumbbell side lateral raises 3 x 10 reps
Shoulder press on smiths 3 x 10 reps
Alternate front raises 3 x 10 reps
Rear delts on variable pulley 3 x 10 reps
Wide grip upright row 3 x 10 reps
Having not done any pressing for 4 weeks it was a welcome return to being able to do that exercise again.

Wednesday – chest & triceps
Pec deck 3 x 10 reps
Bench press on machine 3 x 8 reps
Incline flyes 3 x 8 reps
Dumbbell pullovers 2 x 8 reps
Wide grip pushdowns 3 x 8 reps
Rope/reverse/V-bar pushdowns superset 3 x 15/15/15 reps
Did feel a twinge in the shoulder again today so hoping not aggravated my easing shoulder injury

Thursday – hamstrings & calfs (a welcomed rest for my shoulder)
Seated leg curls – different foot positionings 6 x 25 reps
Stiff leg deadlifts – dumbells – toes elevated 3 x 15 reps
Single leg curl 2 x 10 reps
Calf raises on standing machine – different foot positioning – toes in & toes out 6 x 20 reps
Calf raises on seated leg press – toes in & toes out 4 x 20 reps
Calf raises – free standing triple set – toes in & toes out 2 x 20/20/20 reps

Friday – back & biceps
Due to niggling shoulder injury I tried to protect my shoulder by doing mid-range reps (I am normally an advocate of full range movements especially in back workouts). Training smart you could say 😉
Wide grip pulldowns 4 x 10 reps
Seated lever row 3 x 10 reps
Wide grip pulldowns – handles 3 x 10 reps
Bent over dumbbell row 3 x 10 reps
Standing straight arm pulldowns 1 x 10 reps
EZ curls on low pulley 3 x 8 reps
Dumbell hammer curls 3 x 8 reps
Concentration curls 2 x 8 reps

Saturday – triceps only (weak area)
Single arm reverse pushdowns 4 x 8 reps
Tricep kickbacks 4 x 8 reps
Single arm lying tricep extension 2 x 8 reps

Sunday – quads (thighs) – my favourite session of the week
Leg extensions – toes in & toes out 6 x 20 reps
Seated leg press 3 x 25 reps
Deep squats on smiths – altering stance on each set 4 x 10 reps
Leg press under smiths – altering “feet apart” distance each set 4 x 20 reps
Elevated lunges on smiths 2 x 10 reps

So there in a nutshell is this last week’s training to a tee. I haven’t wrote the weights down as everyone is different and we all feel different each day we train. Sometimes we are strong and feel great and sometimes we don’t. My main target is achieving mind to muscle connection and as long as I am feeling it in the right area and it feels hard enough then that’s what decides how heavy I go. It works for me. My weights may go down when I am not feeling it but I will always soldier on and do what I can to achieve consistency and not take a backwards step.
You must remember I am not a power lifter but a bodybuilder so anyone who wants to know what I bench press I’m afraid I couldn’t even tell you what I am capable of these days. My solitary aim in training is not to be the strongest in the gym but to create a masterpiece by chiselling my body into the right balance and aesthetics.
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I will hopefully be posting a video this coming week with my thoughts on what’s happening at present and how what my current attitude is towards my ultimate goal.
Once again thanks for following 

Again remember if anyone wants me to cover any issues feel free to message me through private message on facebook (I always answer these first) or e-mail me at steve@stevejohnsoncoaching.com
Generally there is a delay in me getting to e-mail messages as most are business related and are dealt with in order of priority.
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PS. Big thanks to my sponsors muscletricks.com and Muscle King Nutrition for their constant support
Follow me on Instagram and twitter @stetops and FaceBook Steve Johnson Coaching

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