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So as described in my last blog the only difference I was going to add into my regime this week was 3 morning cardio sessions consisting of just early morning power walks. Each of these sessions were on average just 20 minutes to allow me a progress check in this week. It’s amazing but just those 3 power walks have moved me forward yet again.

I love early power walks because anyone close to me knows I am not a morning person but I can roll out of bed early and a quick downing of a L-Glutamine, BCAA, Strong Coffee and a Multi-Vitamin and I am ready to go. The morning session wakes me up and allows me to handle the day far better.
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With the start-up of these short cardio sessions my skinfolds have improved and gone from:

Chest – 3.8mm and I have posted the same 3.8mm this week.

Waist – (always the last to drop in for me) has gone from 6.1mm to 5.9mm average

Thigh – has gone from 4.3mm last week to 3.8mm this week

Bodyweight has only dropped 1lb from last week so I am now 16st 06lbs

Which makes my body-fat now – 6.06% as opposed to 6.29% last week.

Little changes but positive changes none the less and most importantly without sacrificing muscle tissue. With 7 weeks to go and lots of tricks left in my back pocket I couldn’t be sat in a better position.

After posting about still searching for posing music last week I was over the moon to receive so many suggestions from people especially the messages from Dubai so big thanks my friend you know who you are.
On top of that I am still brainstorming for a routine for my Guest Spot at the IBFA York on the 8th October. I hope to enlist the help of some dancers from Samantha’s School of Dance in Kettlethorpe to help me with my routine. The emphasis will be on fun!!! I try not to take myself too seriously in this sport as after all is said and done I am not a professional bodybuilder, I compete for the love and for the challenge. Bodybuilding prep can be a tedious and self-esteem battering place to be in so why not create a bit of light hearted fun along the way.
Too many athletes post negativity all over social media whilst (in my opinion) reaching out for sympathy because of the commitments they have chosen to make. Just remember this… we do this out of choice and can simply stop if we wanted to. If you want the sport of bodybuilding to grow stop being too critical of one another and support each other with positivity. You know what?……… our sport may just become more popular because of it. Nobody gets inspired by “woe is me I’ve only had a few carbs today so stay clear because I will be in a bad mood” comments. Those are probably the status’s that gripe me and bring me down the most which is why you won’t see anything like that posted on my wall! I simply choose to unfollow such people so they don’t appear in my newsfeed. Easy done and very liberating!
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Surrounding yourself with positivity is the key to a happy and focused journey to success. People encouraging you and genuinely wanting you to succeed will take you that extra mile when it is most needed. Like I have said before my support network is second to none!!
Just look at the team I work with here at Tops Fitness & Rehabilitation, inspiration everywhere! We all carry a passion for what we do whether it is Rehab or our Fitness side we want to make a difference! “We care about the future you want!”
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One thing this positivity has given me this week and very welcome at that, is my mind-set towards creativity. When your head is in the right place and you still have lots of energy, then this is the right time to sort your presentation out. Leaving this to the last couple of weeks when your energy levels are at their lowest will make your routine a chore. You will generally rush something together that isn’t very appealing for others to watch. At the moment I am working heavily on my compulsories to bring a better version of me to the stage and already my head is creating variations of transitions I could use in my next routine. The distraction of a Guest Spot is welcomed as it gives me stage time to iron out any nerves or bad habits I may have. My training partner (Owen Crampton) will be there on hand assessing my every move and his feedback will be invaluable.

Talking of Owen, we were joined this Sunday by fellow athlete Rob Halpin for a long overdue leg session. Rob himself is on prep and I am sure he will own up to the fact that he could train and diet harder at times so it was great for him to join us. Now I could have easily gone on an ego trip and upped out training level to make him suffer but in reality that wouldn’t do either of us any good. To create muscle damage is not going to be beneficial to moving forwards. We are after the type of muscle breakdown that will allow us to move forward and re-train the same body-part hard the following week too! Consistency is the key remember!
Our session went like this:

Leg extension – triple drops – toes pointing out to hit inner thigh (1×20+20+20 reps)
Leg extension – triple drop – toes pointing in to target outer thigh (1 x 20+20+20)
Deep squats on smiths – feet together (3×10 reps)
Inclined leg press – wider stance (3x10full+10partial+10full reps)
Alternate lunges on smiths machine (2×10 reps)

This is an effective steady routine where style and range is most important to gain anything from the session. I was very happy with Rob’s commitment which did result in him laid on the floor with a visit to the toilet thrown in.
What I am trying to say is don’t pussyfoot in the gym. If you are training to compete, do it 100%, no excuses! And the result might just end up being something you have dreamed of.

I can be critical of Rob as I see big potential in him and feel he could show so much more on-stage if he believed in himself and pushed harder. Credit to him, he accepts what I say and puts effort into improving himself for the next check-in. He achieved a 3rd place finish in the Masters 40 class at last year’s IBFA Mr York where I believe that if he had nailed his condition would have been pushing for top spot. At the end of the day my passion for this sport means I like to see people putting their best version of themselves onstage. If you do that you leave the stage with no excuses.
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This is honest constructive criticism. Anyone who knows me knows that what I give is my genuine opinion each time, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear. If you get praise I am not doing it to make you feel good I am doing it because it’s what I honestly believe. It’s no good telling someone they are better than what they are as they will get found out on stage and it can be very embarrassing. I have had people stop talking to me in the past because I told them something different than what they wanted to hear but it was done (as always) in a constructive way. If you listen to what I say and act on it maybe you just might be a better version of you next time round.
Every competition is a learning experience so try and get feedback from the people that matter (i.e. the judges) as they will be honest with you. Turning to your friends will most of the time give you a biased opinion and in their opinion (most times) they will say you should have won. Remember it’s the judge’s opinion that counts and they have the experience of judging many physiques in their time so listen to them closely! Ask a few judges as each judge’s take on criteria can be different then you have to balance it out to work for you!

Boring shoulder injury update:
I had my first pain free and unrestricted upper body training routine on Friday (Back & Biceps). I was still very careful with my movements but training did go up a level. Over the moon to say I had no flare up afterwards so with a bit of luck this problem will soon be behind me and there will be nothing standing in my way on my mission to be the best that I have ever been come Saturday 29th October

Goals for this coming week:
Increase upper body training techniques paying close attention to not flaring up shoulder problem.
Up my cardio to 6 morning power walks a week to help with my focus and allow me to keep calories high and still keeping plenty of carbs in.
Post improved skinfold measurements with minimum weight loss
Stick to my starting diet with only changes potentially coming from appetite changes which I will report on next week.
Practice routines for my Guest Spot with emphasis on fun!
Nail down my posing music for the Universe and work on a basic routine (flair to be added later).
Maintain my positive outlook and push and guide my clients to achieve their goals.
And finally I will be surrounding myself with positive people!

Have a great week everyone!
takes 12 weeks

Anyone following my blogs and interested in creating their own body transformation (it doesn’t have to be for the stage) get in touch! I have already had increased interest in my work through these informative blogs and no matter what level you are at YOU can make a difference!
As the saying goes “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be GREAT!!! Love that tag line and its so true.

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 steve@stevejohnsoncoaching.com

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