NABBA UNIVERSE – 4 WEEK CHECK IN AND PROGRESS PICS
My first milestone on my diet has arrived and after 4 weeks I always take my stats and progress pictures so here we are.
Remember my diet hasn’t changed at all in this first 4 weeks so now its time to assess what changes need to be made.
My new stats are as follows:
Weight: 16st 07lbs
Chest skinfold: 3.8mm
Waist skinfold: 6.1mm
Thigh skinfold: 4.3mm
I normally only take my stats after 4 weeks but for the sake of these blogs I did take my stats 2 weeks ago and I have posted the exact same body-fat % as I did then.
Although I am using this prep to glide into condition very slowly I feel I now have to look at changing my regime to move forward again.
Do I change my diet next week?
Well my first port of call is to keep the diet exactly how it is as I don’t want to risk losing muscle tissue and introduce a little cardio instead. As I am not doing cardio at present I will only add it in 3 days this week to and will gauge any change again this coming weekend.
I generally opt for evening cardio to start with as it boosts the metabolism when it is normally slowing down ready for rest. However I do find morning cardio highly beneficial in waking me up for the day ahead. I feel more alert to deal with my working day so will incorporate 3 x 30min power walks as soon as I wake in a morning. My morning cardio regime is to firstly take a L-Glutamine, Branch Chain Amino Acid cocktail with a shot of high strength coffee and out I go. Hood up and i-pod playing some music with a good high tempo walking beat. I generally opt for either The Prodigy or AC/DC as these inspire me to push harder. It always awkward at the start of my walk to hit fast pace so I increase tempo over my first couple of minutes of walking.
When I say power walk I mean walking at a pace that is close to a slow jog.
I come in from my walk and I am in need of a shower as I work up a decent sweat. If I am not achieving this I am going too slow. Cardio also gives me thinking time where I can get in the mind-set and focus I need to be in to get the whole job done. I will be visualising my time on stage and all the little things I will have to do in the run up.
Once I get my music chosen for my routine I will listen to it over and over again on my cardio sessions and again visualise my interpretation of movement to that track. Of course I have a few trademark moves that no doubt will be in my routine but how and when I put them in is all dependent on the track I choose. I also try and introduce some new moves to keep things interesting. A lot of my previous routines are available to see on youtube so have a look and tell me what moves and music you think suits me best.
So my photo updates:
As always I get quick snaps taken in all my compulsories and then assess using my critical eye to see what is happening with my body and where I need to make adaptions.
Here are some photos showing my current state with the first set of photo’s (blue boxer shorts) showing the condition I started my diet in 4 weeks ago.
I keep these photos real and don’t tense harder as I go further into prep or breath in more. This would not give me an accurate picture of what is happening so always stay true to yourself in your progress pics!
A little update on my shoulder injury. Things are definitely moving forward in this area but I am still training upper body with extreme caution. Getting carried away right now could quite possibly flare things up to its worst again and this I am sure will have major impact on my Universe physique. The plan is to be back full training upper body from 6 weeks out. If this happens I am sure I will be going to stage with my best ever look. Yes I am that confident in this current prep as I feel way ahead of time right now. I also know it is going to take me at my very best to push for that well revered Universe title!
Training although adaptive is still going really well and though I’m having to adopt very strict styling and miss out a lot of power moves my progress is still good so it’s all systems go.
I had a really effective quad workout yesterday including triple drops which has left me walking rather funny today as the DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness) has most certainly got me. I love the pain that follows after a workout as it re-assures me that I have done enough to create muscle breakdown and therefore if my nutrition is on point I will improve!
This is the workout me and Big Owen did along with the weights used so you can give it a try yourself. Its not always about how much you lift but the style you adopt and intensity applied.
Even though I walked in the gym with a small headache this is how our leg session went after warm ups of course:
To get my head in the game there is nothing better than leg extension triple drops!
Leg Extensions – 20 reps at 45kg straight into 20 reps at 30kg and finally straight into 20 reps at 15kg
This was followed by Owens set which gave me my rest period
Leg Extensions – exactly same as first set – same weights & same reps but with toes pointing in focusing on outer thigh.
3rd triple drop on leg extensions was same as the other 2 but with toes pointing out to focus on inner thigh.
We followed this by triple drops on our Inclined Leg Press. We adopted a wide stance so we could take our reps as deep as possible without our knees pushing onto our rib cage. We did 3 sets again and each set was 20 reps at 150kg straight into 20 reps at 100kg and finally 20 reps at 50kg. This was a lot tougher than I thought and I could feel heavy glute recruitment due to our depth of movement.
Then came the toughest part of our routine in my opinion. A superset with Walking Lunges using 12.5kg dumbells going straight into deep Goblet Squats using a 46.5kg dumbbell. This really emptied the lungs and a long recovery was needed between sets to get breathing settled down so we could perform each set to the best of our ability.
All that was left after 3 sets of this was to finish off with some strict abduction movements and adduction movement ( 2 x 15 reps on each) to help the body slow down and cool down.
Walking home after the session was fun with my knees wanting to lock out on each step. Very satisfying feeling I must say. Remember you have to do what other wont to achieve what others don’t.
After such a good session it was imperative I got my high quality proteins in. Firstly I always down a quick absorbing all-in-one protein drink (Muscle King’s Evolution X) straight after my session whilst blood flow is still rushing to my legs.
This makes sure that the majority of the nutrients in my drink is hitting the area I need it most (in this case quads). As soon as I got home my good lady wife and strongest part of my support network had me a juicy rib eye steak waiting for me (I always make sure I have red meat on a leg day – it’s a mental thing and a reward for my hard work.
What is my mental state at the moment with regards to prep?
I am still enjoying the journey as it is my choice and I have a clear goal of what I want to achieve. When you have fire in your belly you don’t have to search for sympathy as some people on prep do. Yes we suffer at times but its our choice so embrace it and enjoy the journey and appreciate the commitment others around you are making to allow you to follow your dream. They are the passengers on your journey and also go through your suffering without receiving the accoloades and respect onstage that us competitors do. Its simple really, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have in this sport without the support of firstly my wife and then my training partners, friends and fellow workmates. They see my dream and how much it means to me and their overwhelming support is second to none. See here is a chance to say thanks.
My Rock and biggest supporter is my wife. I guess you could call her my coach, nutritionist, artistic advisor, physio, biggest supporter etc etc. When I win we win together, just the same when I lose, so a big thanks to you Mrs J, luv yaz 🙂 x
I also have to keep mentioning my sponsors (Muscle King Nutrition and Muscletricks.com) as they give me the support with products and exposure to be a success in this game. Once again it allows me to say “TEAMWORK”.
My first appearance on stage on my current contest prep will be at the IBFA York competition on Saturday 8th October where I have been asked to do the Guest Spot. I was originally going to do a couples routine but that has changed due to unforeseen circumstances so I will be thinking of another way to entertain. It is an absolute honour to do this and I am sure at 3 weeks out from that NABBA UNIVERSE stage I will be in good nick so if you want to come and support me get in touch for tickets.
If you see me there, or anywhere come to that, please say hello as I genuinely do appreciate all the support I have accumulated over the 25 years of being in this sport and its always a buzz to meet facebook friends etc.
Again no cheat/re-feed meal has been devoured this week as I am still holding weight and my progress has slowed down.
I still haven’t found a posing track I am happy with so by all means if you have any suggestions that would suit my style please message me. If not the hunt will go on as I need music that inspires me!
So in summary of this coming week:
I will be adding 3 x 30 minute cardio sessions.
I will be sticking with my starting diet and gauge what effect the cardio has on my skinfolds next week.
I will be maintaining my positive outlook and I will be pushing my clients to achieve their goals.
And finally I will be surrounding myself with positive people!
I have finished this blog this morning and its cardio time so in the words of Steve Johnson “Carpe Diem” seize the day.
Have a great week everyone!
What you do this week decides how much you improve next week so have a healthy week that your body next week will thank you for. Its up to you!
Thanks again for following and keep getting in touch if there is any subjects you need covering.
You can contact me via private message on facebook (Steve Johnson Coaching) or e-mail me at email@example.com
8 WEEKS TO NABBA MR UNIVERSE TIME, KEEP WATCHING!!!