Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adelfo Cerame Road to Wheelchair Championships: Enough of This Bulking, It's About Time to Peal the Skin!

Image 1: One thing Adelfo shares with many other trainees of his caliber is his desire to be in contest shape 365, 24/7 - but let's face it, if he looked like on this picture (4-days out before Florida), now,  he would be in serious trouble.
One of the most difficult decisions, when it comes to dieting is to determine the timepoint, when one cycle ends and another begins. It is simply not possible to build the superhuman physique, so many of us are striving for, without cycling your energy intake in one way or another. And what is true for the average physical culturist like you or me is all the more the case for such unique specimen like our common friend Adelfo Cerame, whose conditioning oscillates between "pretty impressive", "freaking awesome" and "simply jaw-dropping" - with the latter two being more appropriately than the former, as of late.

And thus he is probably right to stick to his plan to gradually cut back on his food intake from now on to be in absolute peak condition at the Wheelchair Championships eight weeks from now - and that despite the fact that, as you will probably agree once you see his latest progress picture (see image 3)- his "mini-bulk" has (at worst) lead to a minor amount of water retention, the intra-muscular part of which does  yet make Adelfo look bigger and stronger than ever. But you may want to read his take on that before you make up your mind. So, here you go...

Operation Mini Bulk: Mission Accomplished! – Time to taper down

Regardless of how I look, what my abs are telling me or my brain is saying, the calender tells me that it is about time to really start dialing it in for June 23’s USA wheelchair championships. For the past couple of weeks, I was on a mini bulk, trying to take advantage of the small window I had in between shows to try and put on a little bit more size; but as my next show comes closer; it’s getting high time to start tightening things up, and to buckle down.
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It is, to be precise, less than 8 weeks out,  now. And as you can imagine, I won't contend myself with just bringing the same conditioning as last show - I am determined to outdo myself and hoping that this mini bulk that I played around with in between shows will not have taken away precious time that I may need to really bring in the conditioning that I want. But as scary as it may sound, a major part of any contest prep is simply trial and error - I believe it even has to be, because if as you progress - and that is what bodybuilding is all about, right ? - your body changes, so that it would be a happy, and I should say, were unlikely coincidence if what worked optimally for you in your last prep, will work the similarly well in the next one.

There is always some trial and error involved, the goal is thus to minimize the "error"

In order not to be totally at fortune's mercy, it is all the more important to constantly evaluate your physique and to compare your look and conditioning to similar stages in previous contest preps. So, I dug up a couple of pictures from the weeks before the Florida show and compared those to how I look now, 8 weeks before the New Orleans show:
Image 2 [comment Dr. Andro]: I am scrutinizing, but all I can see here is a bigger and more impressive look, and certainly nothing to be afraid of "not being able to dial it down to contest day" - what do you say, folks? Give Adelfo your honest opinion in the comments section of this blog - does a "mistake" or an "experiment go wrong" produce these results?
I guess, objectively speaking, I didn’t veer too far off from my conditioning. It’s still not to my satisfaction, or as where I should be at this point, but I believe that’s the give and take, when you try to play around with stuff. And from looking at the pictures, you can also say that I was able to accomplish my goal in trying to put on a little bit more size. I am still hesitant to say that it's all real muscle mass, and not just an increase in muscle glycogen and water, but once I start peeling off the skin, we will see much of this "size" I will be able to retain.

Planning ahea: The next 5 weeks

The goal for the next 5 weeks is to really push the envelope with my nutrition and training regimen – Start to gradually add HIIT cardio back into my regimen and take up the caloric zigzagging again. I want to be ready at least 4-3 weeks out, so I can just cruise from there, and maybe start to gradually increase my food, of which I hope that it will do me some good, as far as a slightly fuller more muscular, yet similarly ripped look on the day of the contest is concerned.