I’m a mere two weeks out from my first powerlifting meet! That’s just a handful of training days remaining, and time to start focusing on lifting commands. I’ll be hitting a couple of lifting sessions with the coaches at Deadweight Strength in order to get a few pointers, practice with the equipment, and practice the lifting commands. I’m not trying to get to the meet and screw it all up because I don’t know how to follow directions, and get red-lighted on a technicality. Nope. If I get red lights, it’s going to be because I fucked up a lift by not being strong enough. I liken learning to lift to the commands to the powerlifting equivalent of learning proper posing for figure. I can be as strong as I want, but if I screw up the execution and don’t show it properly, it doesn’t really count, because I’m not going to win like that.
My singlet has arrived, my knee sleeves have been tested in a squatting situation- and performed fabulously, and I’m still trying to find knee high socks that don’t go up over my knees- this is something I did not anticipate being a problem, of all the things. Annoying. The singlet, as anticipated, is not particularly flattering, BUT it fits! I ended up ordering an Asics ladies singlet, in boring old black. Not exciting, but the most important part is that it doesn’t climb up my lady parts at all! I can squat and walk around and move and do stuff, and everything seems just lovely. It’s quite tight, particularly in the quad area (big surprise) but, not uncomfortably so, except for the part where my brain is screaming people are going to see you and that you have a little bit of fat around your waist and you’re going to be wearing this! But, like, shut up little voice, you’re dumb. People are going to be astounded by my incredible deadlifting skills and not really focused on the presence or absence of all 6 abdominals, right?
Now, as promised, allow me to model for you.
I will admit that this week has been not so good in terms of diet. I could come up with a thousand excuses- I was stressed because the week before a break my students are squirrelly and I needed to wrap up and assess my units in both Econ and US History; I was stressed because week three on Candito is so fucking hard, and I had a bad squat and deadlift day at the beginning of the week that put me in a bit of a mood, I was pissed because my upstairs neighbor is an inconsiderate dipshit who doesn’t understand that parking in front of my garage means I can’t park my goddamn car in there. AGAIN. But the truth of the matter is I dropped the ball and ate all the things, and this does actually seem to coincide with my programming. Week 3 of Candito is the “overreaching” week, and it is insanely taxing on my body, it seems, particularly the lower body days. Even though I’m doing no accessory work, it seems my body is screaming for fuel during this week, as I am moving big weights every single session. Looking back through my logs, this has been a pattern, through each wave of the template. Week 3 finds my diet adherence being terrible, and my mood a bit… bitchy.
Midway through the week this time, though, I stopped beating myself up about it and accepted this, deciding to allow a larger macro increase than originally intended. As always, listening to your body, as opposed to fighting it along the way, often yields the best results, so long as your body isn’t an asshole that just tells you to eat all of the Oreos every time. And sometimes it does. But you move on. I’m up just about a pound/pound and a half in the past month on average (daily fluctuations have me between 117 and 121, but this nifty app I use to track my weight called Happy Scale gives me an average that accounts for these fluctuations!), which is nothing to be mad about, considering I am officially at bulking status, and it’s hard to be mad about the progress my lifts are making. I’ve put on a little fat, but mostly I feel ok with it. Most days.
Just to give a little perspective, I did an impromptu off season check in in my other competition outfit today, after modeling my singlet. I threw on the old stripper heels and bedazzled bikini for a quick run through my posing, which is rusty at best. I wanted to share what my off season is shaping up to look like right now. While I maintain a fairly lean physique year-round, I don’t want to come off as portraying that I am walking around with shredded abs all the time.
Officially, I am about six pounds up from my stage weight last March, and probably about 16% body fat. I think my back has gained some width, and my delts may have put on a little bit as well. Either way, Im’ feeling pretty good, though I will be shopping this week for some new work pants. Even just 6 pounds up, my work pants and jeans are a bit snug. No worries, the Ann Taylor and O’Neill outlets down next door to Mexico will hook me up. I won’t even glance at the Nike outlet while I’m there…
But who can be mad about going up a pant size when your lifts are feeling badass, you have seemingly never-ending energy (seriously, I feel like I’m 22!), and you have wide enough macros to participate in a cinnamon roll bake-off challenge featuring five of the best bakers in San Diego? Yeah, that happened this weekend. Five rolls, paired each with a special local roaster’s coffee, and there were words like “toasted coconut,” “duck fat buttercream,” “caramelized bacon,” “pumpkin run raisin,” “toasted pecans and Canadian whiskey,” “caramel butterscotch icing,” “vanilla bean macadamia nut,” and I-couldn’t-even-make-this-up fois gras. YES in-my-mother-flipping-cinnamon-roll. To be fair, even drunk on one of my all-time favorite beers- Modern Times Black House Stout, I was stuffed after this hedonistic event, and had to force myself to eat a chicken salad for dinner in order to get a little protein and veggies in my belly for the day. But holy cats was that fun!
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I pretty much require a goal at all times in order to not go completely go out of my mind, so with just two weeks to go until this goal is met, I started searching for the next thing. Of course, I have a music festival coming up, but it’s a freaking snow pants rave in Tahoe, so, I don’t need to be in any kind of condition for that. In fact, I’m glad that I’ve committed to a bulk through the end of the year, because I will be needing a bit of extra insulation for Snowglobe. I promised myself when I left Wisconsin on Christmas of 2011 that I’d never see snow again, and here I find myself willingly and purposefully seeking this out… but damn, I cannot deny the incredible lineup. Alison Wonderland, Galantis, What So Not, Chet Faker, Jack U, Vanic, Ghostland Observatory, Jai Wolf, Hippie Sabotage, Cashmere Cat I. Can’t. Even. Gonna icicle dance my ass off in that 14 degree weather and it’s going to be totally worth it. So that’s not a goal, but I am looking forward to it. Seeing out this bulk is definitely a goal I’ll be holding myself to, but, it’s not enough.
So I’ve decided to switch up my programming. I’ve had amazing success on Candito, and I’ve been singing his praises all over the internet- and I know many people have given his programming a try at my recommendation, and are also finding great success using it! But after this meet, I will be wanting to build up a bit more mass, focusing on adding some more hypertrophy to my strength training- not cutting back on my strength training, don’t get that wrong- so that when I choose a show date for the spring and begin cutting down, I’ve got some nice shiny new larger muscles to show off. I’ve decided that since I meet the minimum criteria (350 Wilks, he recommends- mine is just over 360) to run Layne Norton’s recently released programming based on daily undulating periodization (DUP), I’m going to give that a run through and see what happens- and I’m crazy excited about it. As my switch in programming nears, I’ll talk about what I’m hoping and expecting, and what I’m really, really jazzed about with the programming. In addition, I’ve been toying with the idea of not competing in the NPC this year, and instead switching over to one of the natural bodybuilding federations. Until very recently, they haven’t had much of a presence in Southern California, but upon checking the show schedule for 2016, I was surprised to find several within a reasonable driving distance, so, that’s on my goal list, too: competition circuit decision.
Bonus: I can’t help myself sometimes. These photos literally embody my blog tagline, though, right? “Striking a balance between stage and strength!”
Dual athlete status: almost achieved!
Silly AF status: overshot. No ragrets.