Category: bodybuilding

Real Gym Registry

If you are both a gym and road warrior, you know the disappointing feeling of checking into a hotel and checking out what their on-site fitness center looks like.  99% of the time, it is a small, sad room with little equipment.  Finding a serious training facility is not always easy since hardcore or old-school gyms are niche businesses typically independently owned that do not have large on-line visibility in on-line directories.  Working out in a “fitness center” is tiring when having to avoiding the Snapchat crowd live-feeding their quarter rep squats and the oxygen deprivation-wearing “Bane” wannabes.

So, You Are Thinking About Doing Your First Show

Whatever the choice of activity to get fit is, whether running, biking, lifting, swimming, etc., a small population will be taken enough with their chosen sport enough to want to take the challenge on of competing.  For runners, some will get the bug to prepare for and run a marathon.  For the gym rats who love lifting heavy, some will get the bug to enter a powerlifting meet.  Other gym rats will gravitate to physique competitions.  Since I get asked about the latter pretty regularly, let me share some lessons learned.

Building Your Own Diet

I get asked quite a bit by friends and co-workers about the amount of calories to consume to achieve their various goals. Although this posting looks long, it is actually easy to calculate your needs; I just like adding a lot of rationale behind the steps.

Step 1: BMR

To understand how many calories you need, you first need to figure out how many calories you need to just maintain your current weight at rest. There are several equations that can be used to calculate your energy needs at rest, the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

You Might Want To Borrow A Walker For Getting Around The Next Day

This week, my frequent leg day training partner TJ and I mixed it up from the more typical leg workout.  We did something right as the soreness has been around for two days.  Rather than use a more traditional routine (3 or 4 sets of various exercises, 8-15 rep range), this workout used lighter weight and a lot of volume: five exercises, each with five sets of increasing reps (10 reps for the first set, 20 for the second, 30 for the third, 40 for the fourth, and 50 for the last set).  Here is the log from that workout:

  • Barbell Squat — 225 lbs x 10 reps, 225×20, 185×30, 185×40, 135×50
  • Seated Leg Curl — 100×10, 100×20, 100×30, 100×40, 100×50
  • Seated Leg Extension — 120×10, 120×20, 120×30, 120×40, 120×50
  • Leg Press — 440×10, 440×20, 440×30, 440×40, 440×50
  • Vertical Leg Press — 180×10, 180×20, 270×30, 270×40, 360×50


Of course, adjust the weights to your strength level.  Squats in the 20-50 rep range will give your lungs a workout as well.  Do those in a rack with a spotter since they become really tough to do. If looking to mix up your routine, give this a try.


Lessons From An Unlikely, Introverted Competitor

Over the weekend, I competed at the 2014 NPC Texas State show in the open middleweight bodybuilding division. If that sounds something out of the norm for an introverted, life-long skinny guy, well, that was part of the motivation.   Like most sporting events that require pushing the body to the extreme, it was a very difficult task. As with most difficult goals, there is a lot to be learned…

It is good to get out of your comfort zone. As someone who is fairly introverted, getting up on a stage in front of more than 1000 people spray-tanned like an Oompa Loompa and wearing nothing more than a speedo is something well outside my comfort zone. But that was the point – to do things outside my comfort zone. As I have aged well into my 40s now, I notice many people in my age demographic seem to settle into a risk-adverse life and accept a fair amount of perceived safety and complacency for fear of change. Often, this manifests in staying in jobs they no longer have a passion for, but the job is comfortable and changing jobs may require effort (picking up new skills) and risk (the grass may not be greener…but, then again, it might be). As well, other life goals that are hard fall by the wayside. Maybe I have hit a mid-life crisis, but I just do not want to be one of these people who never take a chance on doing something outside my comfort zone.  Taking risks means there will be failures and success, but we all learn from failures and that makes us better in the long run. It also means not reaching some point late in life and having regret about not trying something daring or on a bucket list.