I spoke previously about my 2023 goals around fitness, it is unlikely now that I will go for another bodybuilding show. I was too slow to start the fat process to be ready in time. This was mostly caused by me not being that motivated to do another show (it would be my 6th). However, I am super pumped to enter the Hyrox fitness challenge in November. Doing fitness again as been amazing fun so far!
With this on the horizon, I have started dropping body fat as being lighter will help greatly with my time. While putting the data in my spread sheet I noticed I have crossed the 70kg fat loss barrier. For long term subscribers of this email you may remember when I achieved 50kg’s lost in 2019.
For almost all my adult life my weight never varied much, ranging from 70 to 74kg while I competed in athletics (400m). This changed when I decided to focus on bodybuilding. I was coaching myself for the first few shows and never did any great bulks, going up to 77kg in two preparation cycles and losing 13 kg in total for those three shows.
After this, I teamed up with a ex Nabba world champion bodybuilding coach Mark Krah. He was big on bulking, saying as a smaller person, it is probably the only way to build muscle. I went up to 90kg using these methods and lost 22kg over a couple of cuts, albeit I never actually competed after these as I was still not big enough to win a show.
For me, these bulks were too big and too long. I was so slow jogging with clients and none of my clothes would fit. The food to gain so much weight on my high movement levels was unhealthy and made you feel awful. Since then, I have done two more shows but haven’t quite let myself get so big in the off-season. You can see a sum up of my weight changes in the photo below.
What Did I Learn Through This Process?
As you can see I have now lost over 70kg competing in bodybuilding, this has helped me learn so much about the practical implementation of fat loss.
While I cannot attest to the living the experience of someone who has been overweight for life or for many years I can certainly understand the process, difficulties and struggles around fat loss. It does not matter what weight you are, losing fat is pretty much the same. Your mind and body wants you to eat more than you should and your lack of time, energy or motivation wants you to move less. The only difference between bodybuilding fat loss and anyone else is that you start the process at a much leaner state to begin with and that you need to factor in muscle gain.
It is through this personal journey that I learnt the importance of neural connections upon your behaviours, the subtle art of self-negotiation, how motivation is needed yet can also become a hindrance. The process made me much less interested in formal plans to get results as so much of success came back to self-negotiation. I found rigid plans were counter to many of these more important techniques, especially around long term maintenance.
It was amazing to experience the power of the body’s drive to eat after periods of big fat loss, especially when down to crazily lean levels. This catches so many physique athletes out and is a big part of why eating disorders are so common in the bodybuilding community. This gave me a lot more understanding of how to balance fat loss to avoid these issues.
The ups and downs of actual shows allowed me to experience many issues around body image that I had never met previously. Being judged by other people (literally) who say how good your body is, the pressure of having all your photos look nothing like your current body (while bulking) so you don’t want to take your top off. The hyper focus on what is wrong with your body, from angles of muscles to size and symmetry. This means you never feel overly good about yourself. Alongside this, you have the problem of feeling fat as you gain weight from crazy lean at show time to still super lean, and then onto your bulk.
These experiences have been priceless, better than any course I have ever done. I have always been sympathetic to anyone trying to get in shape with almost endless patience for someone who is trying in some form, however bad it may be going. So my own experience did not change my attitude to helping people, however, it was certainly better at allowing me to feel what clients had been telling me for years.
What Does This Mean For You?
I think it is important when you see someone in good shape to not dismiss it as almost another species of human, that they cannot understand what you are going through. More often than not they have been through much of the same problems as you have.
If you have dreams of getting your body to a very high level, akin to that of bodybuilding or someone very lean and athletic then you should definitely pay attention to the lessons learnt from my experiences. I have seen so many people really get in mental trouble from pushing too hard to change their body. While they may get a few nice photos at the time, these results are very short lived and bring with it longer term consequences. I talk a lot more about this and similar subjects in my my book.
Photo – Show photos over the years from 2014 to 2021. See here>>
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