I began my foray into the odd world of bodybuilding years ago. The reasons for stepping on stage were numerous. For a while, people had asked me if I had ever thought about competing. Some suggested I should. They said, things like, you have great symmetry, great balance. At the time, I didn’t really know what they were talking about. So a friend finally talked me into prepping for a show. He was a judge/competitor/coach. What piqued my interest in this endeavor was the idea that this would be a great exercise in discipline: could I follow a diet and regimen and change my body from fairly fit, to super shredded? Also, it was great character building in that I have tremendous stage fright, and what could cure that but stepping on stage in a speedo, all tanned and oiled up in front of 2000 people? That, and I was actually kind of curious how I would stack up. And so, my journey into the world of competitive bodybuilding began.
My workouts didn’t really change as I began my prep, and my “coach” kinda told me to eat more of this and less of that, but nothing overly specific. He helped me with my posing, which was a HUGE help. So over the prep period I began to see my body change gradually, until the week of the show. I guess looked pretty good, but looking back I didn’t look as good as I could have. I suppose it’s irrelevant where I placed (3rd, LOL), but I was hooked! And wanted to compete again!
In the months following, my “coach” told me I had to put on more weight and so I should just start eating more. See, I came in at the BOTTOM of the class, weight-wise, which was a 20 pound difference from most of the other athletes in my class. And so, I ATE. I was eating 2 breakfast meals, huge lunches, etc. Eventually I topped out at a weight I have never touched since or was ever at before that! But I was FAT! 27 pounds over my competition weight. Soon after that I became acquainted with a pro bodybuilder and she said she would take me under her wing. She was awesome. I was weighing my food, measuring this, prepping that, and this time I journaled everything. Whatever went into my mouth got written down. My workouts, cardio - written down. My weight - daily. Obsessive? Yes. But what it showed me were all the micro changes as they happened, even though I tell my clients NOT to do this,. I saw my weight fluctuate daily, but I also saw a downward trend. This is where I picked up the mantra, “Trust the process”, which I’m sure Jay preaches as well.
So, I was prepping for the same show, a year later. And guess what? I came in 1 pound LIGHTER than the year prior, but completely shredded. Even though I ballooned to my heaviest weight EVER. Needless to say, I won my class. Why am I bragging? I’m not (not really). The point to this is in the title of this blog. There is a big difference between eating healthfully for life, and prepping for a competition. The Devil is in the details. In my first show, we were basically just “wingin’ it” with my diet and even cardio. But as soon as things got more detailed, the difference in my body was drastic. If you are going to step on stage more than half naked, then every detail counts. Even if you have to GAIN muscle, it’s important to pay attention to the details (27 pounds of fat???). You need to be aware of everything you are eating, including when you are eating. You may not realize it, but your coach may have a plan in place and if you veer off course, even just a bit, it could completely change what’s going on inside your body. AND, if you veer off and they don't know, it will throw off the plan. A coach knows what should be happening, but if it’s not happening, they won’t know why. And then everything gets screwed up. Trust the process. Guys like Jay, and maybe myself, know what they are doing, and there’s a reason they are telling you to do something. If you want to be successful, sweat the details. They matter.