3 WEEK PREP CHECK IN FOR NABBA UNIVERSE plus SPONSORSHIP ADVICE
So I am now 3 weeks in to my diet and the clean regime has well and truly become habit.
It doesn’t feel like a chore when I am prepping my foods nor does it seem a sacrifice eating the narrowed taste selection of foods that I have to eat to drop body fat. This is the thing with dieting. A lot of people with general weight/fat loss goals tend to jump away from a diet in the very early stages as it feels like too much hard work. Give it a few weeks until it becomes more normal and the cravings will subside and become easier to deal with. It’s all about having the right mindset and determination to succeed. If you want it bad enough you will manage to stick to the plan if you don’t you will find an excuse. It’s a mental process more than a physical one.
The fact I am heading for the stage and will be putting myself under the critical eye of bodybuilding judges along with the general public gives me strong reasons to stick with the plan. I have been lucky enough to have had a fair amount of success in this sport but that is no reason to take my foot off the pedal. I still have goals I want to achieve so my determination has never been stronger even after breaking through the 50 mark in years!
If you have been following my blogs you will know of my niggling shoulder injury which has been letting a few negative thoughts creep into my head. I address these by sitting back and focusing on the positive aspect of my injury (if you look hard enough there is a positive in every situation). The positive I have pulled from this is: my current condition and size is very much going to plan, I am still managing to recruit every muscle in my upper body training, although restriction and training techniques have been limited, I can still train legs hard (and I mean hard) which means I can take my frustrations out in the gym twice a week without having to hold back, and finally I am still 9 weeks away from show day so plenty of time to mend before I hit that stage. After taking this backwards step my overall thoughts on competing are far more optimistic than if I had let the negativity creep into my mindset. Negativity is poisonous to progress so never let it take over your mind!
I am also lucky enough to have a Fitness and Rehabilitation Centre here on hand at Tops so I have upped my treatment I am having with my sports massage therapist and I am defo getting some shoulder relief and improvement from seeing him (Big Peter Causon).
Training has been different this week with my usual training partner Big Owen going on a family break (how dare he lol). This has given me an opportunity to train with my fellow PT at tops Olly South. Although he doesn’t have the experience I have one thing he does match me with is his passion for training and getting the best out of people. I made it clear about not putting my shoulder at risk of further injury so we did an adaptive week of time under tension training. You would think these were second best to my normal routines but I have found the effect highly beneficial as I have been able to focus deeply into each muscle group. So I am pleased to report it has been another fantastic week of training and another step closer to my goal. Thanks Olly for pushing me through and sharing tips with me. Follow Olly by liking his own page on FaceBook “Oliver South Fitness”.
I have not taken any stats this week but will for sure next week as that is my 4 week progress check in that I always do. After this check in I will assess calorie intake along with the possibility of introducing cardio. All this will be done dependant on the results I post.
No cheat needed this week as I don’t want to upset my taste buds and palate whilst they are coping so well at present. Like I said last week a cheat (re-feed) meal isn’t always a necessity but more a case whether you need it or not. I don’t feel I do this week.
As I am coming up to just 8 weeks to go the time has come to find some music for my posing routine. I always try to find something obscure that inspires me and I like a decent beat in the music to give more impact to my poses. I try to avoid picking something in the charts as sometimes you can get a few people at the same show using the same music. Sail by Awolnation is a fantastic track but at the many shows I attended last year I heard it more than I would care to mention. The idea is to be entertaining and to engage the people watching. Too many people these days pick a piece of music and then just blag their way through a routine hitting all the compulsories that the judges have already seen. This is very dull and boring to watch and is the part which is generally the most entertaining for the attending public so at least give it some effort. This is your chance to promote your personality and be remembered. It is part of our sport so please embrace it! I choreograph my own routines with the help of my wife, Lesley, who lucky for me has an artistic eye and knows what I am trying to create. Over the years I have had to adapt parts of my routines as I used to do a lot of floor work but with my creaking knees these days I find the smooth return to standing much harder to achieve and this doesn’t help the flow I want in my routine.
In my opinion the most important part of the routine is the transitions and putting as much flair and creativity into this part I feel catches the eye more than the poses themselves. In my time I have been lucky enough to be awarded the “Best Presentation” trophy at quite a few shows culminating in getting the Best Presentation award at the 2012 Mr Universe. My presentation has been widely recognised on the bodybuilding circuit and I have a lot of demand for my one on one presentation classes (something I love doing).
Here is another subject I said I would cover in these blogs before they become more intense on the training and dieting side. I get asked a lot (twice this week already) by people about how to get sponsorship as if it’s the Holy Grail to have a sponsor these days. Let me tell you I have never approached a company or asked for sponsorship. I have however created a positive personality and decent social media following along with gaining a fair amount of success in bodybuilding. This has put myself in the shop window to potential sponsors. Sponsorships though are and should be a 2 way street. It’s not about how many freebies you can get for nothing in return, you also have to offer something to the sponsor and be a personality that they want to be attached to. When I sat down with my supplement sponsors 4 years ago we had a discussion about how we could work together for mutual benefit. The company itself was a no brainer to me as I knew the people behind the brand and not only that had already been using their products for the previous 10 years. I knew the products inside out and knew how they helped me so it was something I could promote without damaging my integrity and reputation. I have since gained sponsors in pro-grips and lately Muscletricks.com which again are companies and products that are no brainers for me as I already adorned both before being offered sponsorship.
How to make yourself more marketable!
Avoid negativity and strong opinions on social media as sponsors will judge your personality from this.
If you are using a company’s products review them on social media and tag them in it especially if it is positive and constructive. That way you might just get noticed!
Don’t be a bad loser. This tends to promote you as someone who is full of their own self importance or or influence people into thinking you are a bad person even if you are not.
Social media is your best way of getting noticed so stay active and always spread positivity.
If you are constantly posting things like:
Another night and no sleep
Worst migraine ever
Out on the lash followed by worst hangover the next day
Sharing strong political standings or animal cruelty videos
Posting inappropriate revealing pictures of yourself
Posting about your relationship issues
Being negative to fellow athletes etc etc the list goes on and on.
Well obviously these things are not going to make you an attractive proposition to any sponsor so be aware of your social presence is my advice – make yourself attractive to a sponsor.
Also remember in your desperation to get a sponsor not to sell yourself out. Make sure it’s a product you believe in and can promote. I have been lucky enough to have been approached many times for sponsorship and I have turned many down as I didn’t know enough about them to attach my name to it. I am also very loyal so if something is working well why change?!
I can easily say I will be sponsored by Muscle King as long as they will have me. Their generosity to me has been more than I could have ever expected.
Also Muscletricks Clothing is virtually all I wear these days unless I am wearing my own centre’s branding so that also will not change. Even before my sponsorship as with Muscle King I have got to know the man behind the brand and not only do I like their clothing I believe in the owner and consider him a good friend. He also goes above and beyond anything I would expect from a sponsor.
Pro-Grips UK have also been very supportive and although the brand is going through a change of ownership whether I am sponsored or not I will still be using pro-grips as quite simply I believe in them and they work for me!
Hope this helps anyone interested in sponsorship with the reality of the game.
Most sponsors offer you products at trade prices – in my opinion this is not sponsorship this is taking advantage of someone desperate to be attached to a company.
Again my sponsors look after me and because they find me marketable I get my products free so I try to give back by posting pics and mentioning them in most posts/blogs I create. I still feel I don’t do enough as they are such great people.
Back to my prep and to summarise I will be sticking to the same diet this week and still adapting my training to avoid shoulder aggravation. Big Owen is back and will be encouraging me so its back to normality for me.
I know next week I will be posting progression photos so the pressure is on and I hope I post stats as good as last week next.
Lets see what happens.
Thanks again for following and keep mentioning if there is any subjects you need covering.
You can contact me via private message on facebook (I always answer these first) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 29th IS NABBA MR UNIVERSE TIME, KEEP WATCHING!!!