A lot of people are still more concerned about their weight than their actual shape/form/look. The most common thing people say when you ask them about their goals is that they want to lose weight. I can only agree with this if your weight is actually causing you some sort of bodily harm, for example, pains, strains and lack of mobility which hinders you from doing certain activities. I want to touch on something that most people don't realise when it comes to gaining and losing weight and that's water retention. If you're on a reasonably high carb diet you will store more water in your muscle. When the body stores glycogen, it stores 1 gram of carbohydrate to about 3 grams of water (2.7 to be more precise). When people go on so called LCHF (low carb, high fat) diets they lose weight instantly thinking that it's actually fat they are getting rid of but in most cases it's mostly or just the water that slowly leaves your body. The same goes for the other way around. If you're on a low car diet and change to a high carb diet, you will gain weight automatically. My record gain when going from a low to high car diet is almost 10kg from morning to evening. Most people don't believe me when I say this, even after I've explained the extreme conditions before the carb load.
The picture above (sorry for the poor quality) is taken on the same day, the day of my first competition. In the first picture I weigh 88.4kg (dehydrated) and in the second one I weigh right above 98kg. That's after a good carb load plus loads of water followed by a Brazilian all you can eat BBQ plus desserts and candy/chocolate till I had to lay down. My reward for all the hard work I had put in....
Another big reason for storing more water is your salt intake. Ever felt extra thirsty after having loads of salty food? There's a reason for that and it's called balance. Everyone should have a balanced salt intake, so if you cook your food from scratch, make sure you add salt. It also makes the food taste better. I can go on forever about this subject, but my main point is that your main goals shouldn't have to do with weight, but for example increased strength, performance, how you feel and how you want to look. I must say that during a longer cut it can be good to keep track of your weight to make sure you're not going down to quick or that you're actually slowly gaining weight.
Remember that your most accurate weight is first thing in the morning after visiting the toilet and it also has to be the day after a normal day of food, (not the day after some sort of binge/refeed/high carb day)
On the 8th of August in 2013 I entered my first UKBFF Men's Physique competition in a little town in southern England called Dorchester. I was so excited to finally get to show all my hard work and dedication on a stage together with people sharing my passion for fitness. I must say that I was really nervous as well, since I would have six professional judges sitting in front of the first row scoring my performance. Men's Physique had already become quite popular and my competition was no exception. I got to share the small stage with 13 people, all with great physiques. Unfortunately I didn't place in my first competition, but I learned a lot and got loads of great constructive feedback. It was back to the drawing board to make sure I looked even better for my next show.
I see squats as one of the most important exercises to both build muscle and to shred fat. What’s even more important is that you got the right form. Sometimes old injuries and tightness/flexibility hinders you from doing a full squat and that’s acceptable. A lot of people tend to add too much weight though and do so called half squats or not even that. In the end you’re only cheating yourself so make sure you practice good form in front of loading too much weight and not doing the exercise they way you’re supposed to. When pushing to failure or trying out a new one rep max your form might not be 100%, but that’s acceptable as long as you know you won’t injure yourself. Always make sure you got a great spotter when maxing out. I recently came across a great video talking about how to squat and how to improve your form (see below). I’ve had my limitations when it comes to squats due to both old injuries and tightness/lack of flexibility. My motto has always been that you should do ATG (ass to grass) squats, but I believe form is more important so I’ve started my journey to perfect my squat and so should you! This is how deep I can go right now without rounding my back at the bottom.
Check out this video and let me know if you agree with the guy demonstrating how to perform and improve your squat.
Can’t wait for my flat bench session tomorrow! Bench press has always been my favorite exercise, maybe that’s why I’m quite strong. When I was younger I always thought that a wide grip was ideal since your range of motion would be slightly shorter. I changed my technique back in 2010 to a narrower grip tucking my elbows in to protect my shoulders. At first I couldn’t lift as heavy, but I soon got even stronger than before and my one rep max is now 175kg, but with a big arch. With my back flat on the bench it’s only 160kg, but I still consider that as strong.
After a great leg session it was time to break the fast and have Martin's special low fat, sweet potato fajitas. I first made these a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious! Altered it slightly
this time and documented each ingredient. I recently found low fat tortillas which follow my belief that you should mix fat and carbs. I prepared a sweet potato cinnamon infused mash for the
first layer, and then added Laughing Cow extra light soft cheese. On top of that I added my fajita mix (chicken, peppers and onions) then I finish it off with a layer of hot salsa to spice things
up a little.