On Saturday, 12 long weeks of strict dieting came to an end for Davis - he was about to compete in his first natural bodybuilding show. This entailed a very long day. We got there around 8 am and stayed until 9 pm, since it was a very big and competitive show. Davis looked full and muscular in the morning and his condition improved during the day. He ended up taking 5th in a very tough class.
Way to go!
Next post will be why kettlebells are stupid, so stay tuned.


Final push!


How is everybody? Sadly, summer is coming to an end but that means two things: Tour de Reduction is about to climax and Davis will give his debut in competitive bodybuilding come September 18th.
First, lets take a look at the ladies at the Tour de Reduction. Both worked very hard, stayed away from July 4th BBQ, shunned the key lime pies of the Hamptons and as a result, dropped a significant amount of weight. So far, Team Italia is maintaining a small lead but Team 'Burg put in a very strong August so we shall see how it turns out.
As for the Dominican Abdominator, this is very unchartered territory. East coast bodybuilding is very competitive, so one can only focus on himself and bring the best physique possible to the stage. So far, it looks good!

This is a question that most people never really ask themselves while they motion through their workouts. But it is certainly worth to take a minute and reflect. Is it a sport? Hard to say, since you are just presenting a physique onstage, without any athletic elements.
Is it an art form? Closer, with the piece of art being you.
But most of all its a way of life. Once you have been sucked into the vortex of trainig, eating, and recovering, you realize that is indeed a life style. Here is one of my favorite lines is from Fort Minor "Remember the name":
"This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill,
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will,
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain,
and a hundred percent reason to remember the name"
I believe this sums it up rather well; please note the fifty percent pain part. Bodybuilding is certainly not an easy endeavor, but rewarding in the end. Or as my training partner used to say: "I bodybuild, because you cannot do it!"
Stick with it


Let it begin!


So it is decided, Davis will try his hand at competing on Spetember 18th in NYC. The Dominican Abdominator will enter the Mr.Fitness contest as well as the Novice Bodybuilding show for the middleweights. He has been training very hard and diligently for 10 months, during that time he put on about 20 lbs of muscle. Now the time has come to cut back and enjoy cardboard chicken with lettuce.
Stay tuned for more updates!

Today is August 1st, for those of you that didn't pay attention in European History 101 it marks the creation of the country of Switzerland after the three states Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden shook off the rule of the evil Austrians and declared themselves independent by swearing an oath on the Ruethli lawn. Legend has it that legendary Swiss hero Wilhelm Tell killed the Austrian bailiff Gessler with his crossbow after being forced to shoot an apple, which was placed on his sons head
This gives me two great topics for today's post: apples and independence. With all the hype about magic foods and super foods, it is easy to lose sight of the miracles right in front of you. One of them being apples, especially local ones. They contain about 1200 (!!) phytochemicals which are responsible for multiple processes in the body such as fighting cancer, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and prevent heart disease. In addition, apples are an appetite suppressant and a good source of fiber.
Since 1291, Switzerland has remained more or less neutral ( let's not open a discussion about World War II , as this would lead to far). As a bodybuilder, your independence is one of your most valuable assets. Your surroundings will always try to influence you one way or the other, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Stay true to your training and diet and eventually you will outlast the doubters
How do you like them apples?

A while back, we went to see Bill Cosby perform live in NYC. While the first half hour was so-so, he did deliver some pearls of wisdom.

One that I liked in particular was about some guy named Phil in Pennsylvania, who apparently makes the best Thanksgiving stuffing on the face of the Earth. Bill finally sits him down and asks for the recipe, so Phil says: "I take Stove Top stuffing." Bill: "And?" Phil: "Nothing. I do what the box says. People always add things to the stuffing that simply do not belong there. Just do what the box says."

Stick to the basics! The same applies to weight training and getting shape. Do not do any crazy diets, take 2-hour cardio classes, or use insane amounts of drugs.

Do what the box says, stick to the basics, keep it reasonable.

1. Have a plan. Why do you workout? Where do you want to be in 3 months?

2. Do your compound exercises such as the squat, dead lift, military press, pull up and rows. Strive to improve every week.

3. Eat your protein, 1.5 grams per lbs of body weight for men, women a little less (I know that the RDA by the FDA is lower but they also want you to eat starches 5 x a day).

4. Get your rest. Eight hours of sleep is a minimum.

5. Cut the junk food to once a week. You are a bodybuilder, not a competitive eater.

6. BE PROUD. Bodybuilding is one of the most rewarding things you can do, do not deny it to yourself. Enjoy the journey, be helpful to others in the gym and outside.

Forward, always forward

Bodybuilding can be a rather grueling enterprise. You slave away for weeks and months and nothing happens, no muscle gain, no fat loss nothing.  All this despite eating chicken and rice, meanwhile your buddies are eating chicken wings,burgers and beer and are having the time of their lives (or so it seems).
What to do? Quit? Sure that is an option, but as Alec Baldwin said in "Glengary Glenross" : " And one day, you will be sitting in a bar, saying I used to be a salesman; it's a tough racket."
Do you want to be the guy who says: I used to workout?
Hell no!!!
First rule: if you do not make progress, something is off. Training, diet, sleep. One of these three is not working. Go back to the drawing board and find out what it is. Maybe you need to eat more carbs or less fat, sleep an extra hour. Whatever it is, find it.
Rule number two: its the journey that matters. Building a great physique takes years, despite what the supplement companies tell you. So you will not see daily changes in the mirror. But you should feel accomplished after workouts, embrace the foods you are eating and be proud to part of the brother (and sister-)hood of iron. The peolpe you meet, the personal bests you set and the fact that you are capable of having the discipline of sticking with it is what separates bodybuilders from the rest.
See you in the gym!