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Thread: Mailman Muscle: Story of The Bodybuilding Powerlifter

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default Chapter 1 Ends; Chapter 2 Begins

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    OUTSTANDING Kaisheem!!!!!!!

    What a fantastic result after these many months of extremely hard work.

    You'll need to do a follow-up post of everything you eat this week.

    I'm looking forward to where you take this.

    Keep at it!
    Thank you my friend! Since I did better than I expected, this story isnít over yet. 🙂

    As for food, youíll see some if you scroll down a bit. Other than that, I went way overboard with a lunch buffet at an Indian restaurant on Monday. Delicious, but ill advised - as in I had been advised not to go to a buffet, and I became ill. 😁

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    Very well done! Maybe NOW Planet Fitness will come through with that endorsement.
    Thank you! And they really need to!

    Iíll probably be celebrating this thing for a while, as I have a few steps to take with OCB after this show (more on that in a moment). Also, Iím glad that some of you enjoy what Iím sharing in this log. I intend to continue posting here regularly. I thought the story would only be about my journey from powerlifter to bodybuilder. As it turns out, this show was the end of a chapter, and a new chapter in the story is just beginningÖ


    Immediately after I went backstage following the announcement of my pro card win, I was met by a man - Mr. Austin - I had met the day prior. It was the guy who was administering the polygraph tests. He told me not to go anywhere, because as a pro card winner, I had to submit a urine sample for testing. I knew that was the policy of this organization (OCB), but had forgotten all about it in the whirlwind that was the show. Since they hadnít announced the open class results yet, he said he would wait to see if I won my class and had to compete for the overall. Once I walked back through the curtain after being announced as 2nd in my open class, Mr. Austin escorted me through the backstage area to a table in a hallway outside of a bathroom. At this point, the backstage area was full of womenís physique and figure competitors who were getting ready for their session after the conclusion of the menís. He pulled out a box full of cups and forms. We filled out the drug testing form for the lab, and he sent me into the bathroom so I could provide the sample. Iím glad he didnít feel compelled to go in with me and watch. Since I was wearing nothing but posing trunks, I suppose he concluded that I had no means of cheating my way to filling the sample cup.

    Once I came out and we sealed everything, he told me that I should be getting an email from the OCB in 3-4 weeks with my test results, lab report, and instructions on how to get my actual pro card. So once I get it, Iím sure it will be another round of celebration. I might laminate it or make some jewelry out of it. I donít know yet. I do know that Iíll be stoked, and Iíll probably get some OCB PRO merch once I get it.


    The Avengers went out for shawarma when they finished the first phase of their MCU story. I went out for pizza after finishing mine.

    I don’t know if @homeslycepizzabar sponsors any local athletes or not, but I will gladly volunteer my services. 😁 (but seriously) Th... | Instagram


    As I said earlier in this entry, a new chapter in my story has just begun. If you all havenít noticed by now, there are lots of references to and themes from the world of pro wrestling in this story. At the end of WrestleMania 12, after defeating Bret Hart and winning the WWE Championship for the first time, Vince McMahon famously said on commentary that ďthe boyhood dream has come true for Shawn Michaels!Ē Looking at the OCB pro calendar, I canít help but wonder if fate is presenting me with an opportunity to have my own boyhood dream come true. Every little boy who grows up as a wrestling fan dreams of winning the title, and holding the belt in the middle of the ring.

    Iíll never win a pro wrestling title. But on October 12, in Baltimore, there is another OCB Pro/Am competition. The pro side of this show are for masters 40+ only, and there are 4 pro divisions being contested: womenís figure & bikini, and menís physique and bodybuilding. And in addition to a small cash prize, the promoter announced something else for the champion of each divisionÖ

    OCB Chesapeake Classic | 🔥🔥🔥CHESAPEAKE PRO CHAMPIONSHIP🔥🔥🔥

    Last year we introduced championship belts for our overall pro winners and this year... | Instagram

    ďI see the line in the sand

    Time to find out who I am
    Looking back to see where I stand -

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default Back To The Lab

    On Wednesday and Thursday, I made it to the gym for my first two training sessions since the show. I tried to stop my work sets one rep before I expected to fail (1 RIR). Iím thinking that I should come out of the show in reverse of the way I went in, with lower intensity than I normally take my work sets to. I plan to ramp it up to my typical intensity level over the next 2 weeks or so. Thursday was also my first day back at work. I donít even want to look at my step tracker from Friday through Wednesday. I know that those numbers are super low, and for good reason.

    Itís also worth noting that I set my diet app to maintenance mode until the end of the month. Starting in June, Iíll set it up for a slow mass gain diet. The maintenance macros, even at my new current weight, feel like a big boost in daily food allowance. I was blessed and fortunate that I was able to continue dropping fat without dropping calories over the last few weeks of the contest prep. But now, my daily fat macros are up 25-35 grams from contest prep, and daily carbs are up by 50-80 grams. Protein is down 15 grams per day to match my new weight, but frankly, I donít see a difference in outcome if I overshoot my protein number.

    Wednesday 5/15/24


    I wasnít sure what this session was going to be when I got to the gym. I had something of a full body workout in mind. But it was 8pm, crowded, and equipment wasnít easy to come by. So I went with the flow of what was useful and available, and it became a lower body session.

    Leg Press
    sled/12 reps
    90 lbs + sled/10 reps
    270+/10 reps

    Smith Machine Deadlift - I didnít stand on plates for these, so the bar started about 4 inches higher than it would pulling from the floor.
    180 lbs + bar/6 reps
    270+/6 - started using Versa Gripps here
    - used a belt for the second set

    That 320+ was heavier than I expected. I thought Iíd be able to do up to 360+ beltless. Once I felt how tough 320+ felt, I decided that instead of risking the heavier weight, I should repeat that weight but do it with a belt.

    Lying Leg Cur
    75 lbs/12 reps

    Calf Press - on seated upright leg press
    100 lbs/15 reps - done medium tempo
    150/15 - slow tempo, slight bend in knees
    150/15 - slow tempo, legs straight

    Abdominal Crunch Machine - feel planted on the floor, sitting upright, crunch downward from top against armpads
    50 lbs/5

    Thursday 5/16/24
    : 16,319 steps, 7.5 miles, 13 floors climbed


    This session wasnít planned. I thought about it a few stops ahead of delivering to the PF on my route. I just wanted to get back in the gym, and figured this was something I mostly hadnít touched on Wednesday, and would be recovered in time for my planned upper session on Saturday.

    Cable Pressdown - rope attachment
    30 lbs/10 reps

    I normally use a short bar, either straight or the ďEZĒ bar . I wanted to experiment. Iíll probably stick with the rope for a few weeks.

    Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl - bench was set to 1 notch below a vertical back pad; weights listed are per hand
    20 lbs/12 reps - rotating arms; neutral grip at bottom, supinated grip at top
    25ís/10 - normal, supinated grip throughout whole movement
    25ís/8 - neutral grip throughout (hammer curls)

    Hammer Strength Ab Crunch Machine - sitting up right, knees rise as upper body crunches down
    30 lbs/10 x 3 sets

    It felt good to be back in the gym after a more than a week away.

    I got feedback from judges at the show. Iíll share that in my next post, as I was waiting for it before deciding how I should plan my training for the next 5 months.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default The Judges Have Spoken

    Bodybuilding is a subjective sport. The criteria for each category is established by each sanctioning organization. In OCB, those categories are for men are bodybuilding, classic physique, and physique. For women, they are physique, figure, bikini and wellness. The judges are tasked with comparing each competitor to the standards for their category, and then ranking them based on how well they meet those standards.

    According to the OCB website, this is the criteria for menís bodybuilding (my category):


    Bodybuilding judging takes four elements into account: muscularity (size), definition (leanness), symmetry, and presentation (ability to display development during posing in the group comparisons).Ē

    It is common for competitors to seek the feedback from the judges at their show to find out what they should improve on moving forward. Based on the way the show was scheduled, I knew that I wouldnít be able to do that at the show, but was told to email the promoter afterwards. When I did, he promptly responded with the email addresses of the two judges assigned to give the notes and feedback for menís bodybuilding.

    I reached out to them - one of whom I knew because she owns the studio where my posing coach conducted the group clinics I attended. Both ladies responded in a timely manner. Hereís what I sent them, and the feedback I received:

    Me: When you have a chance, can you please share whatever you can with me? Iíd especially like to know what, if anything, I can do to be competitive among the masters pros in OCB.

    Judge #1: Congratulations on competing at the OCB Catonsville Conquer! I hope you enjoyed your first time on stage!

    You had a really good stage presentation, displaying your development during the group presentation; good overall conditioning/definition and muscularity (size). Additionally your overall symmetry was good as well.

    Keep up the great work and I think you will enjoy your time on the masters pro stage!

    I look forward to seeing you on stage again!

    Me: Just to make sure Iím clear: does that mean I didnít have any major/glaring weaknesses to fix or improve? And does that mean I should plan ahead with an approach of getting bigger overall and/or leaner overall with even better posing next time?

    Judge #1: I didn't note any major or glaring weaknesses. I think your planned approach is solid.

    Judge #2: First I would like to say congratulations on competing and winning your Masters Pro Card. Going through the prep process to make it to the stage is something you should be very proud of. As far as your physique is concerned, these are my observations: You brought an amazing package to the stage. Your hard work and dedication to your prep definitely showed in your physique. Your conditioning was on point. My recommendation is to come in a little bigger given your category is bodybuilder however in adding size, maintain symmetry and ensure your conditioning stays on point. You have a very competitive physique. Adding some size to it while maintaining your symmetry and conditioning will make you even more competitive in the Pro League. Although not judged, your stage presence, posing and choice of suit bottom was great.

    My wife told me to switch from black to purple posing trunks, so she popped big when I read that to her. 😁

    I look at this feedback as a double edged sword. I truly expected them to tell me that something specific needs to be fixed. I think my triceps and traps are too small, and that I could probably use more size in my chest. I was hoping they would point me in a direction like that. Instead, I got very good news: I donít have any major problems. But the challenge facing me might be a more difficult course to chart and execute. I woke up on the morning of the show weighing 168 pounds, and was probably at least as lean as 8% bodyfat, and maybe a bit lower but not 7%. So to me, that seems I have two outcomes that would both be improvements:

    Outcome 1: Show up at the October show weighing 168 pounds, but at a lower bodyfat percentage (maybe 5-6%).
    Outcome 2: Show up at the October show weighing 170-172 pounds, but at the same ~8% bodyfat I was at The Conquer.

    I donít know which of those is more likely or attainable in 21 weeks. But hereís my working plan for now, which may evolve over the next couple of weeks.

    Diet: Maintenance calories for another 2 weeks, followed by a slow/lean gaining phase for 10-12 weeks starting on June 1. Once I get to that 10th week, Iíll see if itís time to cut the surplus back to maintenance, or even start a deficit. If possible, I would like to be able torun the surplus through our Florida trip which is the next to last week of August (the 12th week). Regardless, if I hold out to August 31, I would only have 6 weeks left to get ready for the show. That means I canít get too far away from whatever my stage shape is going to be. I wouldnít want to cut more than 10 lbs in that short of a window.

    Training: Since I supposedly donít have major weaknesses to address, Iím going to stick with what got me to the dance. Iím basically going to stick with the rotating upper/lower template that I ran into the show, with a few tweaks. For example, Iím going to start incorporating dumbbell bench presses and a few other machines - particularly at Goldís - that Iíve experimented with over the last few months. Iím also going to get back to some of my powerlifting roots with more regular squats and deadlifts. If I need to get bigger, then Iím going to go with the lifts that I believe have added more overall size to my frame than anything else over the years. In terms of volume, I think that in general, Iím going to go with 2 work sets on compound lifts and 1 work set on isolations. In terms of intensity, I might do two straight sets or a heavier set followed by a backoff on compounds, with the 2nd set in either scenario including rest pause. Maybe. For the isolations, they will almost definitely involve rest-pause, drop sets, partials - something to crank it up.

    Thatís pretty much it. I plan to get back in the gym for an upper body session after work tomorrow. I only have 21 weeks to make a visible improvement. I donít have time to waste.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    starting strength coach development program
    No rest for the driven!

    This is a fascinating journey, Kaisheem, especially for those of us who will never compete in that realm. You're giving us great insights to that world.

    Keep at it!!

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