Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adelfo Cerame - After the Wheelchair Nationals (+Video!): Another Lesson Learned, Thousands Yet to Come!

Video 1 (click to play): Adelfo Cerame Jr, at the Wheelchair Championships 2012; posedown for the overall
I guess most of you will have heard it already. Adelfo won the title at the Wheelchair Nationals (I had expected nothing else), but came off second best - at least in the eyes of the judging panel - in the posedown for the Overall (see video 1). Allegedly, this was not the best Adelfo we have seen. And as he is going to point out in today's SuppVersity post, 4-days before, he looked so much better that I am pretty sure that he would have taken that pro-card home, if... well, I will let him tell you the story, but before I do so, let me say this: I am proud of you Adelfo! Even more now (after reading this post), than before. You have everything it takes to be a pro, don't care about that sheet of paper you will pick it up somewhere along your way!

Learning From my mistakes and moving on & forward

As much as I was disappointed in losing the overalls, I was more disappointed in myself, because I knew that I f#cked it up! After evaluating pictures from this past weekend, I realized that I looked much better 4 days out, than I did the day of the show… Then it hit me… I realized that I did the one thing that I thought I would never, ever make the mistake of doing; and that’s making drastic changes during the final days of my peak week.
Though it may have not seemed as drastic at the moment; using a water pill in between those 4 days to try and flush out the last bit of water, may have hindered my physique leading up to Saturday – To be honest I really didn’t need to take the water pill, I would have been fine just pounding gallons of water all the way till Saturday morning, but stupid me… always wanting to do more decided to take it anyway.
Image 1:  4 days out from Saturday (left) vs. Saturday morning (right) - Something definitely went wrong in between those 4 days, and I suspect I fell victim to my own urge to do more than 100%
As you can see from the images above, I was a lot sharper 4 days out than I was the day of the show. I didn’t look as full and hard as I did 4 days out. I don’t know whether it was the plane ride or the water pills that I took, or a combination of both, but all I know is that something I did went out of whack in between those 4 days.
So what's the take home message here? Stick to what got you to the dance! If you looked good 4 days out before a show, then you’ll look good the day of show, so no need to change anything. Unfortunately, I did not listen to my own advice and I played for it!

Moving Forward and into the "Off Season"

My sponsor, Myotropics Physique Nutrition, has just released Thermicarb the WM-HDP based dual-action carbohydrate source from Physique 2.0 as a standalone. This is a 100% non-insulinogenic nutritionally engineered resistant starch and could be of interest to all of you who are reconsidering their peri- or intra-workout carbohadrate supplementation after reading Adel's SuppVersity post on high GI intra-workout cabs, yesterday.
You live and you learn – All I can do is learn from my mistakes, and make the necessary adjustments so I do not repeat that same mistake. To leave this show behind, will allow me to move forward, improve, get better and expect great things for the future.

As far as the near future is concerned, this means going into the "off season" - not a particularly long one, since I will have to start prepping again around October for the Florida show in March, but a couple of months to try and put on some descent size before October. Even though I’m going to miss the dieting down and prepping, to be honest, it’s kind of a relief getting a couple months off. I can focus more on school and trying to finish my degree much earlier than expected (hopefully graduate in October), since I have the time now, and I can also try and look for another gig, so I can earn some more extra income to support my bodybuilding habit! *lol*

Learn and grow - personally, professionally and physically!

There’s only 2 goals I have in mind at the moment, and that’s to learn and grow! You can never stop learning. I don’t claim to know everything, and I never will claim to know everything, there is a lot of learning that needs to be done in this game of fitness and nutrition and I intend on learning as much as I can. In order for me to gradually improve my training and nutrition, I must keep learning – whether it is my late night “pick Dr. Andro’s brain” conversations with Adel, or if it’s just finding interesting topics that I can do some research on… which usually provides me with new stuff to discuss on yet another of those late night sessions; it's a constant struggle or, as a matter of fact, it's more of a constant pleasure to expand your knowledge and gather new insights on a daily basis.

The idea of learner, by the way, segues nicely into another decision I've made, which is to work with a seasoned prep coach for my next show. I am not really sure what to expect, but I feel that it may help me to take it to the next level - and if it doesn't the help from someone who has more experience and more knowledge about peaking right on time, than I do will certainly broaden my horizon and help me to avoid stupid decisions, which I, had I been my own coach, probably advised against.
Let me briefly make something clear: This is by no means a knock on Adel. He knows how much I value his opinion and he has helped me tremendously with reaching my goals (and will continue to help me), but I understand that he is a busy man and can’t always respond to my frantic e-mails, bombardments of questions, and always asking him to evaluate my physique (especially in the final weeks of my prep when I get really anxious and it will sooth my guilty conscious to know that I am paying for those emails to be answered!) In the end I owe it to him that I've had such a wide-open forum to share my story and experiences with fitness and nutrition (thanks for listening, or I should say, "reading", by the way :-) It was also him, who has hooked me up with my sponsor, Myotropics Physique Nutrition, and his constant support was and still is one of the main reasons I am getting so much public exposure. So, by no means, do I mean to be disrespectful! It is in fact the exact opposite: I am trying to take some load off his shoulders, so that he doesn’t have to worry about me all the time! And you know what? This leaves more time for you, as well ;-)
My choice fell on the guys at 3DMuscle Journey, who will be helping me with my prep for next years 2013 Wheelchair Nationals in March. These guys are experienced natural bodybuilders with years of experience under their belt, which makes me believe that I can learn one or two - probably rather three *lol* - things from them that will not just help me excel at the next competition, but also to expand my own knowledge as a trainee and coach.  

I need to be bigger, stronger, and... well, not necessarily faster, though ;-)

But now on the physical growth – Obviously I need to get bigger! Every time I ask judges for an evaluation on what I need to improve… they always tell me  “You need to get bigger” Lol. And every single person that has beaten me has always been... guess what? Yeah! Bigger than me – I get it!

Image 2: Right before the pre-judging; at least on the picture on the right its pretty obvious that the water pill did me no good; well, unless that was a "water pill" meant to increase water ;-/
So the focus for the next couple months is to get bigger – well obviously right!? Lol (that’s what the off-season is for) but I still really want to focus and put an emphasis on my back – I feel that I’ve made some big improvements on it this season and would like to continue to keep improving on it; especially my lower back – if ever figure out a way to stimulate my lower trunk and really get that Christmas tree to come in, I think my back can be my strongest body part

I’d also like to bring up my chest, I’m thinking that it may be one of my weak points, or at least lagging body part now, but overall and most importantly, I want to put on some size with an emphasis on my back and chest. And last but not least, my strength could use another bump as well - that's it from your's truly today I am off into the off season... and don't forget to check back for further details on my training, nutrition and supplementation regimen in he weeks to come :-)