What's up everyone! It's been several months since I've had the inspiration to actually write, and now that I'm feeling 100 percent healthy again, my brain feels like it's functioning properly to actually have ideas - but I'll get to all that in a little bit. First off, I want to say thanks for all the continued support and positive feedback I get from my social media. 2013 was a hell of a year for me but also a huge learning experience. My year started off with me being down on myself and in this depression because I wasn't sure if things were going to work out. I was actually close to deleting all of my social media and taking a different route in life because I'd been pursuing my dreams since 2007, and I came to a point where I thought I was just wasting my time. It wasn't until I got an email from Champion Performance supplement company that my entire attitude changed and things started progressing in the direction I've always wanted them to. I can't believe it's already a new year because it felt like 2013 flew by, but now that we are in the start of 2014 I hope you guys are determined to accomplish your health and fitness goals you have set out because I definitely am! Two of my main resolutions for this year is to practice balance and patience - and so far I'm off to a great start!
OK, so some of you might have read a recent post I made about a week ago stating that I was proud to say I was no longer a "cardio queen" anymore. What I mean by that is how I was doing an over abundance of cardio everyday in pursuit to getting as lean as possible. It's a popular topic amongst the fitness industry right now, and I was brainwashed into thinking that doing hours of cardio was the only way to get into peak condition. For the majority of 2013 I felt like complete shit from following these cardio methods. I really didn't realize how bad I had gotten and how consumed I was until I was able to take a step back after my most recent shoot for FitnessRX magazine. I worked with 3 different "trainer/coaches/nutritionist" in 2013. The first guy basically was starving me out. I worked with him for 6 weeks prior to the Champion Performance photo shoot that was in Ft. Lauderdale in May. I was unhappy and unhealthy. I remember almost every time I would stand up after sitting down for a while that I would get lightheaded and one time almost blacked out while coming off an exit ramp on the interstate. The strangest thing happened when I came to that stoplight. Everything started getting black around me for a few seconds, and it scared the shit out me almost causing a panic attack. It wasn't until my friend Brook talked some sense into me and made me realize I was not eating nearly enough and that I needed to abandon those methods. A couple months passed of me doing my own thing, and then I decided to hire someone else. This guy put me on a ketogenic diet (zero carbs) right out the gate and 60min of empty stomach cardio first thing in the morning. If you have ever done a keto-style diet you will know that you feel like a zombie for the most part. The lightheaded issues came about again, so that only lasted for 4 weeks. Lol. And I moved on. At that point I had hired someone that I worked with in 2012. He started me out at 45min of HIIT every morning followed by 15min of HIIT directly after weight training because I told him I wanted to get in really good shape for the Olympia Expo since I was working a booth for Champion Performance. I got into decent shape but looking back at it now I feel I could have been in better condition for the allotted time period we had. He also had me doing a carb deplete and carb load the week of the expo, which is dumb as hell in my opinion, but oh well you live you learn. I believed in his methods and followed everything to a T and continued to work with him for my FitnessRX shoot. At this point, I was just feeling really burnt out, so when I got back from the Olympia my cardio got brought down to 4 days a week of 20 min of HIIT. So now this brings me to my FitnessRX prep experience.
First and foremost I want to state that you can't dwell in the past. The past is the past, and you can't change it. With that said I wanted to share my thoughts and experience preparing for the biggest shoot of my life for FitnessRX, so you won't make a similar mistake.
You might be thinking why the hell would this guy be frustrated when he just shot for one of the top fitness magazines. Well my frustration is about how I looked. Yes I know I'm my worst critic, but I know how I should look and I'm real with myself. With the amount of hard work I was putting in and how depleted and unhealthy I felt I should have looked a hell of a lot better. I'll break it down for you. October 22nd I got a phone call letting me know to be ready to shoot right before Thanksgiving. Granted, at the time I wasn't in tip top shape, but about 4 weeks to get ready should be enough time if done correctly with how my body has responded in the past. So the "trainer/nutritionist" I was working with gave me the game plan to do, and I followed it to a T. Just to give you an idea of the amount of work I was doing: 45min of HIIT on an empty stomach and 20min of HIIT in the afternoon 7 days a week. On top of that I was weight training for 60min 5 days a week. About 2 weeks later I got another phone call giving me the exact date of November 22. As soon as I got that info cardio got bumped up to 60min of HIIT on an empty stomach in the morning followed by the same 20 min of HIIT in the afternoon 7 days a week. I handled all of my own weight training programs, so that stayed the same at 5 days a week for 60-70min (some days when I was feeling like total shit it would be 40min of weights). So day after day doing all this work my body was not changing like it should. I told this trainer that I was very concerned that I wouldn't be ready, and he told me not to worry, that I actually was changing and that I need not stress. More days past and I still just wasn't getting tight like I should. This just stressed me out even more. Which is the last thing you want to do when trying to achieve peak condition. Fast forward to the week of the original shoot date of November 22, he gave me a plan of water loading and carb depletion for 4 days (Saturday to Tuesday before shoot) then carb load for 2 days. I had started the carb load and halfway through the day I got an email letting me know that my shoot had been rescheduled for December 7th. At that point, in all honesty I was relieved of stress because I looked at this as a blessing in disguise, and that it gave me about 2 extra weeks to look the way I was hoping to look. So it was back to the 7 days a week of 2-a-days. At that point he dropped my cardio to 45min of HIIT on an empty stomach and 15min of HIIT in the afternoon. Another week went past, and I'm finally starting to think I will look great, but then from Nov. 30th - Dec. 4th, my cardio was bumped back up to 60min of HIIT and 20min of HIIT afternoon everyday. This time carb depletion started on.Dec. 1st and water loading began Dec. 2. That Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I was happy with how I was looking. I ended up weighing 220lb at the end of the depletion. Once the carb depletion phase ended, and the carb loading and water depleting began on Thursday, my body did not respond well. I was told to still continue to load all day Friday, though. By Friday night at my hotel I became completely stressed out because I looked like a watery mess. YOU SHOULD NOT BE STRESSED OUT AND WORRIED ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK THE NIGHT BEFORE A SHOOT! Water was also cut out at 6pm Friday night before the shoot, and I was told not to drink anything until after the shoot was over. What did this do? Made me feel like total shit not having any energy and my body was incomplete shock. I quit pissing normally and actually retained more water. I looked better when I was drinking 3 gallons a day and pissing like crazy. So that's my story in a nutshell. I feel that I was over trained and honestly just felt very unhealthy. As you know, I'm a very positive person, and I tried to remain positive the entire time, but when shit is not working it's hard to remain that way. I had gotten to the point where I didn't have the energy to do much of anything besides my workouts while being loaded up on caffeine just to make it through and then lay around in bed if I wasn't training clients. It felt like a damn struggle just to get up and make my food, run an errand etc. Not a way to live life for sure, but when you want something so bad you are willing to put your body through hell and back if you believe that is the best method to follow. Everything happens for a reason, and this process was a learning lesson of being misguided. I know I will never do the whole depletion and loading guru bullshit before a shoot again. Needless to say I will be handling my own nutrition and cardio protocol from now on. This is the last piece of the puzzle that is missing for me. It's something I've always struggled with, and for the past couple of years I've relied on others to make decisions for me. Through this process a fire has been lit under my ass, and I've never been more motivated to figure this shit out on my own and experiment!
In the next few days I'll be making another post explaining what I did right after my shoot up until this point of what I'm doing now in order to feel 100 percent healthy mentally and physically!