GO! Tomorrow is Christmas and the holiday/food season is about to draw to a close. Thank goodness for that! I’m not ordinarily a weak man, but this season has tested me beyond limits I ever thought were possible. It is with a heavy heart that I admit to succumbing to the temptations of candied treats, baked goods, fried delicacies, and alcohol. I am guilty of overindulgence, gluttony, if you will; eating beyond satiety for the sake of eating. December 26 will mark my official entering of contest prep for the 2013 season. I have had a fantastic growth cycle, but it is time to say goodbye to the beanbag couch I hide under my shirt.
To be honest, I have never experienced this sort of growth in such a short time frame. To this point I have avoided divulging too much information regarding my actual weight gain, for fear of a backlash from critics, gurus, and other fitness minded individuals. My “methods,” or lack thereof, may be considered sloppy, irresponsible and even misguided. With every competitive season comes change. I have competed six times and not a single prep has followed the same protocol as the one before it.
You will undoubtedly agree that I have experienced growth. We may have differing opinions on the exact value of this growth, but there has been growth nonetheless. In addition to the extra mass I now carry, I am experiencing phenomenal gains in the weight room. Personal records continue to be shattered as strength has gone through the roof. Besides the padding that has formed around my abdomen and my buttocks (yes), I maintain a relatively lean physique with great definition in my arms and chest. Vascularity is still impressive as are tell-tale signs of muscular development in my forearms and triceps (noticeable separation and the classic triceps horseshoe).
I will share with you the number you are probably dying to know. Whilst I put little stock into a scale reading in general, I religiously weigh myself as a matter of reference to track changes with my body. So prepare yourself, because the number may be surprising. On November 10, 2012 I hit the stage at 144 pounds. Upon waking on the day of this writing, December 23, 2012, I recorded an all-time high of 180.6 pounds. There are MANY factors that come into play with such a drastic increase in weight. It is foolish to say it is all muscle, but in the same light it is just as foolish to assume it is all fat.
I am taking advantage of this increase in mass. While strength, motivation, and energy are at their highest, I will continue to lift as heavy and as hard as I can. I have one final test of strength to perform as I head into the prep season. On January 1, 2012 I established a personal record on the deadlift of 405 pounds. At the time I weighed 167 pounds. During my last cut cycle I deadlifted 415 pounds at a body weight of 145. I made an attempt at 425 a few weeks ago, but unfortunately it was an incomplete lift. You will see in the picture that I was about an inch away from locking it back. On January 1, 2013 I will again attempt 425 pounds. Having come so close to completion on my last attempt I am confident I will succeed. A deadlift increase of 20 pounds in a year is a fantastic achievement in my eyes.
I am estimating that I will hit the stage at approximately 150 pounds this season. I will not be setting weight goals for my cut – I will come in where my body decides to come in at. As is my trademark, I can assure you I will be lean, full, and hard. I took third place at the 2012 HOA Natural Classic but I firmly believe it is possible to take first place this year. That is a rather bold statement to make, and to be honest, it is a declaration of war against Jason Kaiman. Jason took first place last time. I also expect a good fight to be brought by Ben “Crazy Legs” Goins. Ben took fourth place professional at the 2012 HOA Natural, but he stole the show on the amateur level in 2011. Ben is a member of Team Norton.
You can expect to see frequent updates on my prep between now and May, either here or on Twitter. Until that time, eat plenty, rest well, and train hard.
This article was researched and written by Follow @JAstorina
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