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Training For Physique & Fat Loss pt. 1 - Getting Ready For My 2nd Physique Show

I started a new training phase today. My first workout was a few hours ago and I can already feel the soreness kicking in. Advanced German Body Composition (GBC) has never been my favorite. It's never been my favorite because when you do it right you feel like your heart is going to beat right out of your chest. Just when your heart rate starts to come down a bit you tackle the next set and send it soaring again. The basic tenants of GBC are "big-bang" exercises that have a high metabolic cost paired with short rest intervals. This produces one heck of a lot of lactate (lactic acid). This will lower the pH in the blood subsequently demanding your body make more growth hormone. The more growth hormone you make the faster fat loss can happen .The advanced version just uses a bit more advanced exercises with reps approaching six rather than eight, ten or twelve.

So let's put one thing on the table from the start - I'm not a physique pro nor am I an aspiring one. I moved to Austin a year ago tomorrow and met a guy who started a non-profit that helps returning US military veterans fight PTSD by paying for their gym membership for 90 days. They've found that training helps combat this disorder even better than prescription drugs. The guy who started this non-profit, called Make A Vet Sweat (MAVS) loves training himself. So this guy, Justin, thought to himself he would work in collaboration with a bodybuilding federation called the Naturally Fit Federation and put on a body building show where the proceeds would benefit his non-profit. I found all this out last June when my wife introduced me to Justin. Ironically, they went to high school together in Washington state.

MAVS belt

So here I am, this guy trying to help people have optimal well-being and live an optimal life and what's more optimal than having a healthy brain and being mentally strong? "I've never done a fitness show of any kind", I say to myself. "And I only have 6 1/2 weeks!". But after only a few hours, because I couldn't spare any more precious time (!!), I decided I would do the show. I wanted to support Justin, MAVS, and our veterans. And I also wanted to be able to say that I competed and know what it's like going through that process. I had done it one time before. I also trained a few gals to get ready for shows. But going at it myself would be a different experience.

So last year I got on stage with a physique that I thought was definitely worthy of presenting. At the show there were only five of us guys total. So they put us all in the open men's physique division. After seeing all the guys and going through my first ever walk on stage I thought to myself I would place 2nd. And that's just where I landed.

It was a great experience.

Having gone through that process has significantly increased my ability to help others do the same. It greatly increased my own self-confidence. And I practice what I preach. I live pretty lean - I tend to hover around 212lbs at or around 10% body fat.

So this year my goal is to improve on the physique that I showed last year. This year I'm starting my prep about two weeks earlier which is a good thing. The added time will give me more time to cut down and hopefully get even leaner than last year.

I'm also doing something much different with my eating. I've struggled with gut issues my whole life. Recently, a fellow practitioner turned me on to a book called The Plant Paradox and it's author, Dr. Steven Gundry. In that book, as well as many podcasts and online articles, Dr. Gundry explains why lectins are the main cause of inflammation and leaky gut in the body. Lectins are a class of proteins - gluten is a lectin actually - and lectins destroy the tight junctions of the stomach lining creating intestinal permeability - more commonly known as leaky gut. In the photos above, at the leanest I've ever been, I still showed signs of inflammation. And my suprailliac pinch (love handle site) never dropped to the level that I expected it to with the fat staying pretty firm - a sign of possible inflammation.

Also, my bowel movements were never consistently firm - a clear indicator of abdominal distress. For more info on lectins, what they do and why check out this podcast.