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Thread: Mailman Muscle: Story of The Bodybuilding Powerlifter

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default A Double Edged Sword

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    Weight this morning: 177.2 lbs. The app says my recent average is 178.2 lbs, and Iím down 5.0 lbs overall in the past 24 days.

    Tuesday 4/2/24: 14,512 steps, 6.6 miles, 9 floors climbed

    Wednesday 4/3/24: 21,079 steps, 8.3 miles, 14 floors climbed

    Yesterday was a planned off day from the gym. Today was not. I have worked 23 hours in the past 2 days, including today in which I completed my route (office filing and street delivery), plus delivering 2/3 of another route. I would estimate that 20K of todayís steps were done in the rain, and while wearing boots. I didnít get home until 9:35 pm, and the logistics made a trip to the gym less practical than I would have liked. Iím used to training late and eating late, but I couldnít do it today. Believe it or not, when I arrived back at the post office, they tried to send me out to help someone else until 10 pm. I respectfully declined. They can be mad tomorrow.

    Overtime is the double edged sword of postal life, and Iím sure plenty of other professions. Sure, you can earn a lot more money from the extra hours at a bonus rate, but the time you sacrifice to make it means there are other things you wonít be able to do. The game plan is to get to the gym tomorrow no matter what, and abbreviate the workout if necessary. Itís an upper body session, and without looking in my logbook, I think itís centered around chins and dips. Thatís not going to take long anyway. Work only on Friday, then Iím taking off on Saturday for my final posing clinic before the show. I might take some of this overtime money and schedule a one on one session with the posing coach, a week or two before the show. Iím not sure yet. My oldest daughter has a prom to go to, and a graduation stage to walk. Weíll see. Besides, I might be doing better with posing now than I think I am. Iíll know on Saturday how well Iíve been practicing.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 5 Weeks Out: ďYouíre On TrackĒ

    Hereís a 3-day recap:

    Thursday 4/4/24: 13,843 steps, 5.2 miles, 14 flights climbed

    Upper #1, Planet Fitness

    I alternated sets of the first 2 exercises from the first warmup to the last work set.

    -100 lbs assistance/10 reps (wide overhand)
    -40 lbs/12 (6 medium neutral + 6 underhand)
    drop set: bodyweight/11 + assisted/4 - wide overhand
    drop set: bodyweight/10 + assisted/5 - neutral
    drop set: bodyweight/10 + assisted/5 - underhand

    Assistance on the work sets = -55 lbs

    -100 lbs assistance/12 reps
    -40 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: bodyweight/15 + assisted/5
    drop set: bodyweight/17 + assisted/3
    drop set: bodyweight/14 + assisted/6

    Assistance on the work sets = -55 lbs

    Dumbbell Lateral Raise - weights listed are per hand
    11 lbs/13 reps - standing
    drop set: 22.5/10 + 17.5/7 + 12/9 - several partial reps in there

    Hammer Abs Machine - sit upright, crunch from top and bottom
    rest-pause set: 50 lbs/15 reps + 10 reps

    My strength is starting to wane. Iím not shook. Iím glad it stayed with me so deep into this process.

    Friday 4/5/24: 17,723 steps, 6.8 miles, 10 flights climbed

    Saturday 4/6/24: 7,013 steps, 2.9 miles, 7 flights climbed

    Wake up weight: 176.0 lbs

    ďYouíre on track.Ē

    That was the message I got from my unofficial posing coach today at the final clinic I will attend before the show, which is 5 weeks from today. Needless to say, that was highly encouraging. Another guy in there who is competing in classic physique said I look stage ready now. Maybe itís because I was in my posing trunks. I donít know. I donít think Iím quite there yet, but to [mention]MarkKO[/mention]ís point from a few days ago, I donít want to get stringy looking either. I do need more definition in my legs, but all I can do is drop weight and hope fat comes off from there. But I donít want to diet so hard that I lose all my upper body size for the sake of leg definition. I donít even know if I can. My target is to lose another 5 lbs or so. I have to hope thatís fat from my lower half. If not, then hopefully my upper half is so shredded that they donít notice the lower too much.

    On the way back to Baltimore from the clinic, we stopped and trained at the Goldís I went to after my union training. It was supposed to be a lower body day for me. After the posing clinic, I was already feeling drained. Since they have a bunch of equipment Iíve never used (or seen in some cases), I decided to play around so to speak. I did what was essentially a full body workout. This wasnít planned in advance, so I just picked things to do as we explored the place. Iíll go back to my upper/lower rotation on Monday with the planned lower session.

    Full Body Freestyle, Goldís Gym

    Isolateral Seated Row Machine - Nautilus brand; this version is amazing
    90 lbs/12 reps
    270/14 - used Versa Gripps

    Isolateral Incline Chest Press - Hammer Strength
    empty/10 reps
    90 lbs/12
    180/1 + 140/6 - I overshot the weight, and recognized it after one rep.

    Seated Lateral Raise Machine - seated with back against a pad, elbow/upper arms pressed into pads
    25 lbs/15 reps
    45/22 - rep 22 may have been a partial rep

    Lying Leg Curl - I used this machine on my first visit. It has a very aggressive slope, so hamstrings get stretched better.
    70 lbs/15 reps
    100/17 - 15 + 2 partials

    Leg Extension - Hammer Strength
    100 lbs/13 reps
    130/24 - last rep was a partial

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Great news, Kaisheem! I'm looking forward to all of your hard work paying off.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 33 Days To Finish The Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    Great news, Kaisheem! I'm looking forward to all of your hard work paying off.
    Thank you Bill! Weíre in the home stretch. 🙂

    WrestleMania 40 was this past weekend. It was fantastic! In the main event we saw a changing of the guard in World Wrestling Entertainment. Cody Rhodes, youngest son of Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, ended the 1,316 day title reign of Roman Reigns by defeating him and almost his entire family (including The Rock) to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. For the last 2 years, Cody has been spinning a narrative that winning the title was what he needed to do in order to ďfinish the storyĒ - his story.

    Several months ago, as I was mentally committing to stop making excuses and finally go down this road of bodybuilding competition, I was watching wrestling and that phrase struck a chord. It occurred to me that Iím trying to finish a story of my own that I should have completed a long time ago. And it seemed as though time wasnít - and still isnít - on my side, which is why I have an unshakeable sense of urgency to finally get this done now. Anyway, Iím saying this to say that I was pulling for the guy on Sunday, and hoping WWE would make the right call by putting the title on him. I must have been pulling for him more than I know, because when I went to post a clip from todayís workout on Instagram (shared below), his theme song was the first music recommendation it gave me.

    On to the latest stats and box scoresÖ

    Sundayís wake up weight: 175.0
    Mondayís wake up weight: 176.2

    My waist is down to 31Ē, and hips are down to 38Ē. My neck is holding at 15.5Ē. I hadnít measured my arms (flexed 💪&#127998 this whole time, but I did yesterday just for kicks and they were 16Ē. None of these numbers matter. Itís all about how it looks on stage. Iím just using them as proxies for progress and points of relativity.

    Sunday 4/7/24: 4,105 steps, 1.7 miles, 6 floors climbed

    Monday 4/8/24: 3,517 steps, 1.4 miles, 9 floors climbed

    Lower #1, Goldís Gym

    Standing Calf Raise
    100 lbs/10 reps
    160/12 ďpump repsĒ
    - 2nd set eccentrics were still controlled, but done at a much faster pace than normal

    Lying Leg Curl
    50 lbs/15 reps
    120/20 - This was ďlighterĒ than I expected, so I went up a bit on the 2nd work set.
    130/17 - 15 full ROM + 2 partials

    Leg Extension
    75 lbs/20 total reps on Flex brand machine; kept getting stuck; switched to old school Nautilus machine
    170/18 - 16 full ROM + 2 partials

    Leg Press (wide platform)
    180 lbs + sled/7 reps

    As you can hear in the clip below, my wife was adamant that I stop the set here. Thereís a good chance I would have gone for another rep, or done something to make it more intense. But as we mapped out this final chapter, we agreed that injury and illness prevention are my top priority. If I donít actually make it to the stage, then what was all of this for? But sometimes itís hard for me to reign myself in. She knows this. Iím glad she spoke up, and Iím glad that I listened to her.

    Double-Move Hyperextension - hinge at the hips, followed by a flex at the knee in the top position
    BW/10 reps

    ĒSuper AbsĒ Machine
    125 lbs/20 reps, right side
    125/10 + 10 left
    125/10 + 10 middle

    The left side and middle sets had to be split in half so I could to catch about 15-20 second breather.

    10 minutes of posing practice in the posing room at the end. I might share some of that on Instsagram tomorrow. I feel a lot more comfortable and confident doing these poses, even though I still have plenty of things to fix. Iím at a point where I think posing practice is more important than training. Iím not going to gain any muscle right now. Training over the next month is to minimize the loss of muscle. But if I canít show whatever is there, then it was all a waste of time.

    Link to Instagram post:
    33 days to go until I finish my story (or at least, this chapter) by stepping onto my first bodybuilding stage at @ocbtheconquer . I’m ... | Instagram

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    That's right - "listen to your coach"!

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 32 Days Out: Specificity In Bodybuilding Training

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    That's right - "listen to your coach"!
    Definitely good advice. 🙂

    Tuesday 4/9/24: 16,504 steps, 6.4 miles, 11 floors climbed

    Posing Practice, Home: 17 minutes

    Thereís a concept in sports that I learned of from powerlifting, known as specificity. Essentially, practice like you intend to play in order to improve performance in competition. The unique thing about bodybuilding is that none of the training or dieting is a part of the competition. The competition is a posing competition, in which you present the product of your training, dieting, etc. But even as Iíve been practicing posing in posing rooms, in front of mirrors at home, or even in the clinics with the coach - it occurred to me that I havenít done exactly what Iíll be doing in competition.

    So tonight, I started what is going to be a major part of my posing practice for the next month. Iíll be doing ďpose-alongsĒ to actual previous OCB competitions on YouTube. Iíll also be doing them without looking in a mirror. She wasnít available tonight, but when she is, Iíll have my wife watch and point out what I need to keep and what I need to fix. In tonightís session, I went with 3 rounds, all from the last 2 years of the competition Iíll be doing. I followed the 2023 debut class, the 2022 masters 40+, and the 2023 open, totaling about 17 minutes. Next week, Iíll add one more class, and possibly switch it up to some other competitions from the same organization.

    The main takeaway tonight is that Iím not quick getting into some of the poses. I donít need to rush, but I need to pick up the pace just a tad. I was fairly impressed with my conditioning. I didnít take a break between the rounds, and I didnít run all the way out of gas. Iím sure that adrenaline will be a factor at the show that I canít replicate at home (sort of like a 3rd attempt deadlift). But I want to be ready in case the judging this year is tighter or more stringent.

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