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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

    • starting strength seminar jume 2024
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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

    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.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default The Home Stretch: 4 Weeks To Go

    Iíve been so tired at nights lately, that I didnít even realized that Iíd missed log entries. So here Iím going to catch up my last 2 workouts as succinctly as possible. I think itís safe to say that with 4 weeks to go, I have entered the home stretch of this contest prep. I have entered 2 categories in the competition (open and masters 40+ bodybuilding), and will be entering 1-2 more (novice and/or debut). I have my trunks. My tan is scheduled for 11:45 am the day before the show. Itís all coming together.

    I woke up this morning at 174.8 lbs. My waist was just under 31Ē, almost 30.75Ē. My hips were right at 38Ē, or just a hint under. One bodyfat calculator Iíve been using (Navy method) has me at 11% bodyfat. The other (Covert-Bailey) has me at 7.9%. I find it hard to imagine that Iím not in single digits yet. 9% or less seems about right.

    Wednesday 4/8/24: 15,925 steps, 5.9 miles, 13 floors climbed

    Upper #2 + Calves, Goldís Gym

    Standing Calf Raise
    80 lbs/12 reps

    Arnold Press - weights listed are per hand
    15 lbs/13 reps

    Last time I did these, they were the 3rd upper exercise I did, and I got 8, 7 reps with 60ís. Pleasantly surprised here.

    Pulldown - using anchor style (MAG) handles
    70 lbs/10 reps neutral wide + 6 reps neutral medium grip
    130/10 wide
    175/12 wide
    175/9 close, underhand

    Pec Deck
    85 lbs/5 reps
    150/12 - 10 full ROM w/2 partials
    120/9 - 8 full ROM w/1 partial

    Dumbbell Shrug - weight is per hand
    100 lbs/12 reps

    Pullover Machine
    125 lbs/12 reps

    Thursday 4/11/24: 15,429 steps, 6.6 miles, 11 floors climbed

    Friday 4/12/24: 15,816 steps, 7.1 miles, 24 floors climbed (!?!)

    Lower #2 + Delts, Goldís Gym

    Standing Calf Raise
    100 lbs/15 reps

    Abduction Machine
    65 lbs/15 reps

    Adduction Machine
    65 lbs/15 reps

    Abductor/Adductors were done as alternating sets on the same machine. I never got up until all 5 sets were done.

    Good Morning - done on reverse hack squat machine
    90 lbs/10 reps
    230/12 - This is 2 more reps than the last time I did these with the same weight. More than pleasantly surprised.

    Leg Extension - old school Nautilus
    100 lbs/15 reps
    210/1 (too heavy!) + 200/15 - maybe partials for reps 14 & 15

    Lying Leg Curl
    100 lbs/15 reps
    150/11 - 9 full ROM w/2 partials

    Extensions/Curls were done as alternating sets. The machines are right next to each other.

    Leg Press -wide platform, feet low and fairly narrow (maybe shoulder width)
    360 lbs/11 reps - Not quite a superset, but I did these right after the work set of leg extension.

    Standing Lateral Raise Machine
    add-set: 40 lbs/7 reps + 60/6 + 70/5

    Saturday 4/13/24: 12,591 steps, 5.3 miles, 11 floors climbed

    The plan for today is to get some steps in, come home to eat and watch a movie with my youngest daughter, then train upper body and pose a little later.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default T-Minus 20 Days And Counting

    The last week has been a blur. Work hasnít been too bad, but a little overtime on top of our childrenís activities have me feeling like I am all over the place. Thatís not a complaint though. Our firstborn is in full prom and graduation mode now, right after she choreographed and coached her class to their second consecutive victory in her schoolís annual Field Day. Itís a competition that combines dance and athletic performance, and I canít explain it succinctly beyond that. Our youngest daughter was front and center on stage in her spring dance recital on Friday. Our son was the Opening Day starting pitcher for his recreational baseball team on Saturday.

    SIDEBAR: In 2 innings, he struck out 8 batters, and recorded the only out in the field on an infield pop up. You might be reading this and thinking ďHow? There are only 6 outs in 2 innings of baseball.Ē Thatís absolutely right. But when a catcher drops a 3rd strike, the batter can take off for first base and the catcher has to throw him out. Their defense is so bad that 7 of the 8 strikeouts he threw reached first because the ďcatchersĒ and/or first baseman couldnít catch. Then other batters reached because they couldnít handle infield ground balls or outfield pop ups. He walked one guy and gave up 2 legitimate base hits. I can only imagine what the stat line looks like. The rule in their league is a 3 inning limit for pitchers, and I told the coach he wasnít going back out for the 3rd inning because he produced what should have been 9 outs already. Iím not letting them wreck his arm, especially not in the first game, all because their defense canít get off the field.

    Believe it or not, this is the third time I have sat down to update this log over the past week. Iím hoping that I will successfully finish this time. 🤞🏾

    Rather than try to write the details of my last 4 workouts since my last log entry, Iíll share the main takeaways:

    * If Iím lethargic, I can still train hard if I get a cup of coffee and about 30-40 grams of carbs at least a half hour before training.

    * Strength is holding up better than I expected on almost every machine lift. Upper body free weight/Smith machine lifts are down slightly (Arnolds, bench at any angle, rows). I think it has more to do with my slimmer body having less favorable leverages for them, rather than muscle loss. But I donít know how I would confirm that either way.

    * My average daily step counts over the last 7 days were 11,483 steps, 4.9 miles, and 11 floors climbed.

    So, after all of that, hereís what I see on the horizon:

    I woke up at 172.6 pounds today, the lowest point of this prep. According to the diet app, my ďrecent averageĒ weight (I think itís the last 7 weigh-ins?) is 175 lbs. Iím balancing on that line [mention]MarkKO[/mention] mentioned a few weeks ago: the difference between shredded and stringy. I think Iím still on the right side of that line, and I think Iím just about where I want to be for the show. If I lose any more weight on purpose, it shouldnít be more than 2 pounds.

    After looking over the scheduled order of events the promoter sent out, I have decided to cut my entries to 3 divisions: debut, masters 40+, and open. Iím going to skip novice, mostly because it is scheduled to happen directly after debut, and directly before masters 40+. I expect there to be some crossover competition with debut and novice anyway. Masters is the category I care about the most, and I would rather give myself a breather before going back out to take on my fellow oldheads. There are a few categories scheduled between 40+ and open (50+, 60+, teen, armed forces), but Iím not sure how many of them will actually happen. As long as one of them happens, then Iíll get another breather before the open class, which might be split into two. It seems like there are a lot more bodybuilding entries this year. I bet I know who some of them are too (not personally, but seen on YouTube). Theyíll be tough.

    Iím experimenting with carbs at night and in the morning to see how it affects muscle fullness. This is so I can plan what I eat and when on the night before, and the morning of the show. The schedule says that the menís session will be first, starting at 8:30 am. It also says that bodybuilding will be up first out of the three menís categories, which means I wonít have a big window to eat that morning. I almost never eat that early anyway. But regardless, I donít want to wake up on May 11 guessing about what I should eat.

    I sent my posing coach some photos from today. She said Iím going to ďcrush the stageĒ. I guess thatís good. I hope I can schedule a virtual session with her next Monday (4/29) to tighten things up over the final 11 days.

    Hereís a link to my latest Instagram post. It should give you an idea of how Iím looking, without showing too much.

    3 weeks out. 21 days to go.
    Fear #1: not looking good onstage at @ocbtheconquer on May 11.
    Fear #2: paper cuts 😂
    Kimberly (@strokeofw... | Instagram

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Great progress, Kaisheem!

    Keep at it!

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 19 Days To Go

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    Great progress, Kaisheem!

    Keep at it!
    Thank you Bill! Iím starting to feel like I might be able to glide this plane in for the landing, rather than crash it and hope to survive. 😁

    Let me see if I can get back to regular updates here. I truly enjoy the interaction on this forum.

    Monday 4/22/24: 7,783 steps, 3.1 miles, 6 floors climbed

    My game plan for the next two weeks is to reduce workload to one max effort working set per exercise. If I do any partials, itís because I think I can get a rep, and find out Iím wrong. I think itís highly unlikely that Iíll grow any new muscle (or regrow any lost muscle) between now and the show. But Iím sure this is enough to maintain what I have. Itís also laying the base for a training experiment I want to run coming out of the show. Iím still putting it together, so more on that later.

    Upper #2, Planet Fitness

    Seated Cable Row- done with what I call the ďinverted handlebarsĒ - neutral grip barely outside of torso, cambered handle
    70 lbs/15 reps
    add-set warmup: 70/4 + 100/4 + 140/4 + 180/2
    180/14 - used Versa Gripps for this; ROM may have been short on last rep or two

    An ďadd-setĒ is what I call something I saw in a John Meadows video, which is basically the opposite of a drop-set, and none of the rounds in the set are done to failure.

    Cable Pullover - rope handle
    add-set warmup: 25 lbs/6 reps + 35/6 + 50/3

    I didnít plan on doing pullovers, but my wife was doing them on the other side of the station where I was doing the rows. I hadnít tried these with a rope, so I figured Iíd give it a shot. Turns out she was onto something. These are a keeper.

    Pec Deck
    add-set warmup: 60 lbs/5 reps + 85/5 + 115/5 + 145/2

    I intended to do Arnold presses at this point, but in a first, there were no adjustable benches available near the dumbbells. I decided to keep moving and revisit an overhead press option later.

    Rear Delt Machine - facing opposite way on pec deck
    85 lbs/15 reps

    Hammer Crunch Machine - move from top and bottom simultaneously
    drop set: 6 reps each at 60, 50, 40, 30, and 20 lbs - none of these were to failure

    Arnold Press - finally got an empty bench; weights listed are per hand
    40 lbs/6 reps

    Iím exceedingly happy about this. This exercise is one I started doing during this prep. I usually do Arnolds first in a workout, and I donít think Iíve done them later then third. Last time I did them, I got 10 reps on the first of 2 sets with the 60ís doing them second. So to get 9 reps with the same weight this late in the workout, and almost 2 weeks deeper into the prep is encouraging.

    Smith Machine Shrug - I was ready to skip these. But I saw an empty smith machine on my way to the locker room.
    90 lbs + bar/12 reps
    230+/19 - used Versa Gripps

    I had to reset myself on the bar twice: once after rep 1, and again after rep 10. I felt imbalanced, like my right side was doing all the work.

    It might seem like a lot, but I got all of that done in less than an hour. Nothing hurts. Overall, I feel pretty good. Surprisingly, I have felt a lot less stressed about this show over the weekend. Iím not sure why, but Iím not complaining.

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