8 Weeks Out

I feel the last two weeks have been a period of stagnation. To riff on King Claudius from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “when troubles come, they come not as single spies, but as battalions” and although there’s been nothing of major consequence, I’ve been riding a 14 day long wave of stress that’s affected training, nutrition and most of all, my sleep and recovery.

When my stress levels soar, I find solace in food, and in the last few weeks I’ve had my share of higher carb days and a few misplaced binges that shouldn’t have happened. Being on holiday, surrounded by abundant, exotic, cheap food in locations famous for its carefree decadence and worship to hedonism makes it hard to maintain the spartan rigidity of a contest diet.

14 days ago I switched  to a carb-rotation schedule incorporating one planned cheat-high meal a week. Given the circumstances, it’s been more like 2-3 cheat meals a week. When I say cheat meal, I’m talking, 2 bread baskets with butter, 3 large croissants, banana milkshake, small pizza, 12 oz steak with mashed potato, 2 cups of rice, 1 plate of seafood risotto, cheese platter, chocolate cheesecake, and blueberry ice-cream.

Go hard or go home, right?

There’s no surprise that my weight is up 4kg (9lbs) in two weeks after these kinds of calorie shit-storms and the associated stress-related water retention.

Strangely enough, when I binge for 2-3 days straight, I inevitably look fuller and more vascular; that’s a given. But I also get more comments about how much better I look compared to when I’m grinding away on low carbs and low calories.

I’m still not anywhere near the level of conditioning I need to be at, so I’m going to tighten up the diet and introduce some regular daily cardio for the next few weeks and see how things go.

I can definitely see why all or nothing diets can be so appealing and easy to follow. When you take a moderate approach, using carb cycling, incorporating some tasty foods etc, you can really skirt the boundaries of temptation. Keep it bland, keep it harsh, keep it painful but the results come that much quicker and more dependably.

With time running out, I’m going to start posting my weekly training and diet logs to preserve what I’m doing – I have a habit of ruining my workout journals over time by tipping copious amounts of protein shakes and water on them. Plus, it’s also a way of being accountable. I always seem to work better and maintain discipline when someone is looking over my shoulder, and this is the best way I can do this.

Anyway, here’s pics with 8 weeks to go.

IMG_2368 Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.21.36 pm IMG_2413 IMG_2409 IMG_2398 IMG_2397 IMG_2389 IMG_2388 IMG_2380 IMG_2366 IMG_2365 IMG_2360 IMG_2357 IMG_2352IMG_2335




  7 comments for “8 Weeks Out

  1. January 18, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Still plenty of time and you’re looking sharp! Body cravings at this point are a bitch. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 20, 2016 at 4:43 am

      Thanks Conor. I watched that documentary “I Want To Look Like That Guy” again last night and it refocused and motivated me back on track. Cheesy as fuck, but whatever helps. 🙂


      • January 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm

        Absolutely, watched it myself a dozen times. If nothing else its a reminder we all go through horrible patches before comps!


  2. Schimi
    January 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Eeey buddy,

    Sorry for not being around lately as I’ve been busy with work and clients but this post defo made me laugh as I too had a slip up on my diet yesterday lol. All day spot on with macros and cals and at 10.30pm I was offered superb home made carrot cake type cupcakes and blitzed through them like SS storm trupper through enemy lines 😀 but I’m still in my off season as I prefer my diets short and strict so it ain’t that bad 😉 hopefully I’ll finish my off season around 108kg with PRs in all my main lifts and rep ranges so far the best off season ever.

    My advice to you bro is…CALM DOWN!!!;-) we all go through this feeling of being behind and looking like shit but honestly I think you went probably too ahead and now it’s still long way to go that’s why massive cravings kicking in and will is weakened. Your body is generally doing well on really high cals,right? Like 6000 if I remember well and now you are like 8 weeks out and hovering around 2000 that’s waaay to crazy shift for your body. 2200 for me when I was like 4 weeks out and I’m heavy endo type lol. You defo look fuller in those pics so it’s your answer mate. Your body needs more cals and solid hard core training with some 20-30 mins cardio thrown in. Just tighten up your diet,more cals and train like possessed bro. Stay the course and think of positive outcome,not placing BUT YOUR BEST EVER!;-) It’s the journey we love,we ain’t doing it for money or fame,we’re trying to best ourselves and that’s what matters;-) i think you’re trying too many strategies at once and with contest prep simplicity is the best guide you can follow.

    I’m keeping things brutally simple as I don’t want any headfucks and second guessing. I just train hard and try beat my PR’S by 4 to 3 weeks out while sticking to 12 different foods and I’m golden. Like that I know I’m growing to the show and manipulating my carbs and protein.


    • January 20, 2016 at 4:41 am

      Much appreciated words of advice again Schimi. Yeah, I really lose perspective when I get stressed and because I’m flying solo without anyone to bounce ideas off or get feedback from in real time, it definitely fucks with my mind. I absolutely agree with keeping things simple from here on out. The thing that messes with me most of all is that if I keep the cals “high-ish”, the scale doesn’t move or I don’t notice any changes conditioning wise. When I bump the calories high, I explode with fullness, vascularity goes crazy, people start to comment, etc.

      108kg?? You must be a beast. Still thinking of hitting that classic division? Do you adhere to a particular style of training, or do you keep it instinctive?


      • Schimi
        January 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

        Hi Shawn,

        I hear ya buddy as I’ve been there myself in the past and I really can relate to that solo riding straight to the show without guidance and help. I always found the physical side of it great but the mental aspect of this game can crush one without help of someone genuine so therefore after couple of my first shows I started to keep things really simple. I train in about 3 gyms and two of them are proper bodybuilding/powerlifting gyms so when I prep I get to get a look at me from true veterans of this sport or close mates but otherwise it’s all me. Funny enough I do guide people to the shows here and there and tend to have a much better judgement than with myself lol

        As for my training it’s a mixture of powerlifting and bodybuilding with emphasis on each during special blocks. It’s basically DUP style I’ve tailored to my needs and play mainly with frequency but there are times when I do HIT type of training like DC. As I said last time I have a list of lifts and I try to improve on them in all rep ranges so particular split don’t matter too much as far as I keep on adding size and stay injury free;-)

        Regarding my classic bbng division really don’t know now as this off season surpassed my expectations but you know how fat loss is unpredictable and end goal weight can become shifting target so will see where I land but defo not stressing about making a weight. I want my body to be the best it can be so I let it choose the bodyweight; -) maybe something your body is telling you as well,maybe it wants to be bigger and even more shredded but hates the idea getting too low. You’ve been training for a long time and frequency and volume is pretty high so your body is saying fuck that shit I ain’t going there. Your metabolism is revving now but keep pushing and that metabolic rate engine will cease to work…it’s hard for me to guide you but in them last pics you looked defo fuller with equally same conditioning.


  3. January 20, 2016 at 11:26 am



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