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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


    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!!

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    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!!
    Will do! Iím learning a lot as I go along. It guess you never really know about something until you do it yourself. As many bodybuilding shows as Iíve been to, pros that Iíve met and talked to at the Arnold Classic, magazines and articles Iíve read, videos Iíve watched - there are still things I never would have known if I hadnít taken this path. Itís a lot of fun so far. Iím glad I can give people a lens into this side of the strength sports arena.

    My weight has been all over the place in the week since the show. Thatís because my diet has been all over the place, and I didnít go back to work until Thursday. If you had asked me last Saturday how much I expected to weigh a week later, then the answer would have been around where I was today. But I would not have guessed that I would take the path I took to get here. To illustrate what I mean, here are my wake-up weights every day since the show.

    Sat 5/11: 167.6
    Sun 5/12: 169.2
    Mon 5/13: 171.8
    Tue 5/14: 175.8 (My wife and I went to lunch at an Indian buffet on Monday &#128556
    Wed 5/15: 176.4
    Thu 5/16: 177.8
    Fri 5/17: 176.4
    Sat 5/18: 173.8
    Sun 5/19: 170.4

    Iím pretty sure all of that was me holding water and glycogen because of a crazy spike in carbs, combined with me sitting around a lot for several days. Starting Thursday, I was back to an average 14,000 steps on work days. Iím a little over my maintenance carbs today, and a little under maintenance fats. Iím tracking but not caring about whether or not I go over on protein. My goal is to stay 170-172 until the end of this month, before starting the slow 10-12 week bulk I described in the last post. Meanwhile, I was able to get back to Goldís last night for some upper body training.

    Saturday 5/18/24, Goldís Gym, Upper #1 - I think these movements will stick around as the template for the first of my upper days in the rotation.

    Low Incline Dumbbell Incline Press - bench set on #2 (vertical is 7); weights listed are per hand
    25ís/13 - did first half of the set with neutral grip, second half pronated
    40ís/11 - same with feeling out the different grips
    60ís/7 - same deal
    work set 1: 70ís/8 - all neutral grip
    work set 2: 70ís/7 - all pronated

    T-Bar Row
    empty bar/10 wide/overhand grip + 7 narrrow/neutral grip
    45+/6 overhand + 6 neutral
    90+/5 overhand + 5 neutral
    work set 1: 150+/11 - overhand; used belt and Versa Gripps for both work sets
    work set 2: 150+/11 - neutral; looking at video, I cheated and rounded more than I should have allowed 😕

    Standing Lateral Raise Machine
    add-set warmup: 30/5 + 40/5 + 50/5
    rest-drop work set: 70/9 + 70/5 + 50/5 - rests were 25Ė30 seconds

    Seated Upright Pullover Machine - Cybex version of the old school Nautilus classic (theyíre actually right next to each other)
    rest-pause work set: 140/11 + 5

    work set: bodyweight/18

    Preacher Cable Curl Machine - short, straight bar
    work set: 50/12

    ďSuper AbsĒ Machine - my bread and butter abs exercise; crunching from top/bottom simultaneously, can turn in different directions
    marathon work set: 125/10 middle + 125/10 left + 125/10 right + 165/10 middle + 125/10 left + 125/10 right

    I only rested long enough at each + to turn the seat in the direction I wanted.

    This Instagram post shows my first set of DB bench and first set of T-Bar row. The plan for tomorrow is to hit the gym earlier than normal - as in late morning - for lower body, then visit the chiropractor.

    Yesterday, I got back to @goldsgymglenburnie for the first time since the show, and I was wearing some of the awesome swag I got for comp... | Instagram

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default The Low Bar Strikes Back

    Monday 5/20/24

    Wake-up weight: 172.0
    Daily Activity: 4,505 steps, 1.8 miles, 10 floors climbed

    Lower #2, Planet Fitness

    Seated Leg Curl
    40 lbs/15
    add-set warm up: 4 reps each at 55, 70, 85, 100 & 115 lbs
    rest-pause work set: 130/15 + 7

    Smith Machine Squat
    180+bar/2, 5 - An old friend who I hadnít seen in a long time happened to pop up after my first 2 reps. Talked for 2-3 minutes.
    possible work set: 230+bar/6 This felt kind of tough, so maybe I should count it. Iím not sure. First set with belt.
    definite work set: 270+bar/6
    work set 2 (or 3?): 220+bar/8

    These were much more of my low bar, powerlifting style squat, or at least how I remember it. It has been a while. But as I said in my last log entry, I intend to go back to my powerlifting roots a bit in an effort to regain some of the lean mass that I built by training for squat/bench/deadlift. I feel much weaker than Iím used to being, but I keep reminding myself that Iím much lighter and leaner than I used to be too.

    Smith Machine Good Morning - set the safeties at the bottom of the negative to standardize the ROM for each rep
    work set 1: 140+bar/7 - added belt; That first rep was really a half rep that I aborted, after which I reset my feet, and then did 6 more reps.
    work set 2: 110+bar/10

    Calf Press: on plate loaded leg press
    work set: 200+sled/25

    Leg Extension
    rest-pause work set: 160/13 + 8

    This is the second consecutive Monday that Iíve gone way over my allocated macros. My wake up weight will be higher tomorrow. But I also start my work week tomorrow, and have my proper meals packed already. It should level out by Friday or Saturday.

    Also, if you swipe twice in this IG post, youíll be able to see the two and a possible third work set of squats from today.

    Photos: I’ve been following @bodybuildingprof on Instagram for about 8 months or so. When looking at posts from/about the 2023 @ocbthec... | Instagram

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default Consolidated Routine

    starting strength coach development program
    The professional stage photos from the show have been posted online. Iíll be sharing some of them on my Instagram and Facebook pages soon. Also, the show has been posted to the OCB YouTube channelÖ that is the show, minus the first hour and a half, which is the part of the show that had menís bodybuilding. The promoter says it was uploaded, but YouTube took it down. Theyíre allegedly looking into other options. I translated that to mean that other than the video on my wifeís phone, Iím never going to see good video of my segment of this show. Thatís a real bummer. 😕

    Meanwhile, I guess all the Mike Mentzer focused content that Iíve consumed on YouTube over the past several months has influenced me (that algorithm has him popping up everywhere). Iím not doing his Consolidated Routine, but I have consolidated the 6 workout rotation I had into the show back down to 4 separate workouts. Itís basically 2 upper and 2 lower workouts, cycled through as lower #1, upper #1, lower #2, upper #2. I completed my first run through the cycle tonight, and this might be able to work for at least a few months. I think itís worth giving it a run.

    Tuesday 5/21/24

    Wake-up weight: 176.6 lbs
    Daily Activity: 13,539 steps, 6.1 miles, 13 floors climbed

    Wednesday 5/22/24

    Wake-up weight: 175.2 lbs
    Daily Activity: 14,741 steps, 6.6 miles, 12 floors climbed

    Upper #2, Planet Fitness

    Arnold Press - back of the bench was one notch below vertical; weights listed are per hand
    20ís/12 reps
    work set 1: 65ís/8
    work set 2: 65ís/7

    Peck Deck
    40 lbs/8 reps
    add-set warm up: 5 reps each w/55, 70, 85, 100 lbs
    rest-pause work set: 120/11 + 6 + 3

    Rear Delt - same machine as pec deck, facing opposite way
    add-set warm up: 40 lbs/8 reps + 70/5 + 100/5
    rest-pause work set: 115/14 + 8

    -70 lbs assistance/7 reps wide overhand + 5 reps medium underhand
    work set 1: bodyweight/12 - wide overhand
    drop work set 2: bodyweight/7 + 70 lbs assistance/5 reps - medium underhand; didnít plan a drop set here - habit

    Smith Machine Shrug - vertical track (not slanted), wore Versa Gripps
    180 lbs + bar/10 reps
    drop work set: 230+/11 + 180+/12

    Cable Pressdown - long, straight bar; used this so I could keep my hands outside of my hips at the bottom
    50 lbs/5 + 5 + 9 - each of those breaks was me changing attachments to get the feeling I wanted
    rest-pause work set: 75/11 + 6

    Hammer ďSuper AbsĒ Machine - similar to the one at Goldís, but middle only - doesnít pivot left or right
    marathon work set: 50 lbs/10 reps + 70/7 + 70/3 + 40/5 + 40/5

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