When I agreed to participate in this project three months back, I honestly thought that I would gain (maybe) 10 pounds or so and eventually come reasonably close to a competitive condition_ Now, a mere 90 days later, I'm almost 30 pounds heavier, my waist has dropped from a size 38 to a 32, and I've surpassed my all-time best shape!
The big plus in all of this was the Mega Mass 4000, which allowed me to take in the calories I needed to build mass while causing none of the discomfort and energy-draining effects that would likely accompany such an attempt to obtain that many calories from food alone.
My diet is now structured to allow me to consume 5,800 calories a day, which consist of a 1,000-calorie Mega Mass 4000 drink before my first workout and a second one after my aerobics session in the evening. Having this drink so late at night hastens my recovery process and allows me to get all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and protein into my system in an easily assimilated form immediately after a taxing workout. In addition to my Mega Mass 4000 drinks, I took in 3,800 calories from conventional food sources [see last month's MUSCLE 4lr rtrivrzs for a complete meal-by-meal breakdown]
What has amazed me most about this whole project is that I'm presently taking in many more calories than I ever have in the past when preparing for a contest and yet I'm still maintaining my mass and decreasing my bodyfat levels! This was unheard of for me. Plus, with such a high-caloric intake, I have an abundance of energy, which means that I can still train heavy (which I love to do!) and keep increasing my mass right up to the day of the contest.
The area of complete recovery between workouts is an important issue in training and, now that I've experienced this heightened sense of recovery after my intense workouts, I actually look forward to getting back into the gym for my next training session — it can't come quickly enough!
The only change I've made in my training during the third month is incorporating the Weider Quality Training Principle into my workouts. This has allowed me to Increase the intensity of my training, which in turn allows me to sharpen up my muscularity and build more striations simultaneously.
As the Weider Quality Principle states: "You gradually reduce your between-sets rest time while still trying to do the same or higher [number of] repetitions than before. Quality or precontest training is great for increasing your muscle definition and vascularity." (Joe Weider's Bodybuilding System, page 100.) Accordingly, I don't rest too much (just 30 seconds) between each set. This allows me to keep my metabolism stoked, which in turn allows me to burn more bodyfat —even when I'm out of the gym!
IN AND OUT
Each workout now lasts only 45 minutes because I'm moving at such a quick pace. I work out at 9 a.m. and then come back to the gym at 5:30 p_m. for my aerobic and ab work, which also lasts 45 minutes. I'm in and out before I'm even aware I've had my workout! After this last workout, take my second Mega Mass 4000 drink of the day to help ensure that my body gets the nutrients it needs to restore itself and grow as quickly as possible.
ENTER THE 130-TENSION
Joe also had me doing a lot of ISO-Tension between sets, the principle of which states: "ISO-Tension has to do with muscle control. You can also uti
lize this principle by flexing a muscle when you are not exercising — just flexing it, holding the peak tension for 3-6 seconds, repeating this procedure about three times. Champions use this method by tensing all their muscles three times weekly, because this start flexing enables you to neurologically control your muscles better and allows you to bring out muscle separation and peak when you pose in competition" (page 98).
With ISO-Tension, the cuts were being burned into my muscles on a per-workout basis! I'll be using this technique for every contest I enter henceforth!
Another wonderful discovery I've made on this program is that I'm sleeping better and am much more relaxed.
Typically before a contest, I was always tense and couldn't sleep very well. This state of high anxiety is not uncommon in bodybuilders with a contest on the horizon. This time around, however, I've been able to get a solid eight hours of restful sleep every night and, when I wake up, I'm wide awake and ready
In the past, when I've tried to eat 5,800 calories a day, I'd be bloated and full of gas and, consequently, in a state of great distress for days leading up to a contest Or if I tried to alleviate this condition by consuming the quantity of calories I needed from some typical "weight-gain" drinks, I'd end up with an awful lot of the calories coming from fat! Therefore, when I consumed them I only got fatter and the quality calories that I needed were still lacking from my diet!
Believe me, it's a much easier process — on both mind and body when I can get those extra 2,000 calories of maximum high-grade protein, quality carbs, minerals and vitamins, without the fat, from a properly formulated and easily digested drink than by having to eat all of that additional food.
Getting into contest shape and cutting down on fat intake is an interesting phenomenon because your stomach will invariably begin to shrink. Further, when you drink your calories, the liquid helps to keep your waist smaller because there's no food to distend the stomach (as food typically does somewhat before being broken down and converted to energy).
However, I've found that
when you're taking in additional calories in the form of a protein-rich drink, your waist stays small! This was a wonderful discovery for me, as being "thick-waisted" was a knock I've had to endure for years. But this time around, my midsection is small and compact and, because Mega Mass 4000 tastes so good, I look forward to ingesting it daily.
I'm so happy with the condition I've obtained (particularly given the incredibly brief time span!) and have learned several valuable lessons from my three-month experiment with Joe Weider:
1). I prefer to take in my supplemental calories through a liquid medium rather than by trying to obtain the same number of calories from food.
2) Consuming the necessary calories from conventional food sources would be very difficult for my stomach to digest.
3) I'm calmer mentally since, in the past, I always had to psych myself up for forced feedings. With the Mega Mass 4000, I can now concentrate my full attention on putting a lot of intensity into my training — not my eating — and the nutrition practically looks after itself.
I was better able to concentrate on each rep I performed because I didn't feel so drained from dieting this time around.