Friday, March 22, 2013

Adelfo Cerame - Finally a PRO: How I Won My IFBB Pro Card. Plus: SHR Audio Interview & All the Details About Adelfo's Nutrition & Training Regimen Before the Show

Adelfo at the NPC Sunshine Classic/Wheelchair Nationals '13
In case you missed the live show yesterday, you should by now have had the chance to listen to the podcast of yesterday's SuppVersity Science Round-Up Special in honor of Adelfo Cerame Jr.

If you did, you may have noticed that we talked a lot about the prep, about dieting and training in general, but did not really get to the contest itself... but hey, this is what the Science Round-Up "Seconds" are for and therefore I am now going to copy and paste the content of the latest blogpost Adelfo just shot me.

Before I do that, I do yet want to remind you of the SuppVersity Facebook Wall which holds, among other things news on
  • the effects of grass and sand on your sprinting ability on different surfaces (read more), 
  • the infection risk that comes with high glucose levels even in non-diabetic women (read more),
  • Silvestrol, a natural anti-leukemia agent (read more),
  • how low vitamin D levels could be a sign excessively high insulin levels (read more)
and much more... but for now, that's enough of abstract science. Let's get back to the real world and hear, or rather read how the last 4 days before the show went for your's truly Adelfo Cerame Jr.!

My last hours as an amateur and how I finally won the pro card

This is how the biggest winners look like, when they celebrate ;-)
I didn’t officially start my peak week until Wednesday, so prior to (Monday, Tuesday) everything pretty much stayed the same with regards to training and nutrition.

I felt pretty good going into my peak week. My food was high and energy levels were high as well. I was not dragging ass, hungry, or feeling miserable like some people do coming into the final week – I attribute this to starting my prep early and giving myself enough time to diet down (about 24 weeks). I did most of my intense digs with my diet early in my prep and was prepared or at least lean enough to the point where I was able to start slowly bringing food back up and recover metabolically almost 7-6 weeks out.

All I did from there was made tweaks and minor adjustments and improve, which I have summarized in the column on the right hand side of the following paragraphs.

My numbers heading into peak week
  • Energy: 2210kcal
  • Fats: 50g
  • Carbohydrates: 240g
  • Protein: 200g
Wed: Start of Peak
  • Energy: 3130kcal
  • Fats: 70g
  • Carbohydrates: 400g
  • Protein: 225g
Wed: Training
  • 2x horiz. row ex.
    4x6-8/8-10 @ 9 RPE
  • 2x vert. row ex.
    4x10-12 @ 9 RPE
  • Biceps curl ex.
    4x12-15 @ 9 RPE

Thu: Nutrition
  • Kcal: 2480
  • Fats: 40g
  • Carbohydrates: 350g
  • Protein: 180g

Thu: Training
  • 2 flat press ex.
    4x6-8/ 8-10 @ 9 RPE
  • 2 vertical press ex.
    4x10-12 @ 9 RPE
  • Biceps curl ex.
    4x12-15 @ 9 RPE

Fri: Nutrition
  • Kcal: 2370
  • Fats: 50g
  • Carbohydrates: 250g
  • Protein: 180g

Fri: Training
  • Horizontal row of choice 2x12-15 @ 9 RPE
  • Flat press of choice
    2x12-15 @ 9 RPE
  • Overhead press of choice 
    2x12-15 @ 9 RPE
  • Biceps curls
    2x12-15 @ 9 RPE
  • Lateral raise
    2x10-12 @ 9 RPE

Sat: Nutrition
  • Kcal: 3190
  • Fats: 70g
  • Carbohydrates: 460g
  • Protein: 180g
Sat: Show Day - Fluids
  • 20 oz water upon waking
  • 16 oz. of water with / between meal
Sat: Show Day - Toolbox
  • Morton’s lite salt
  • Bagels
  • Muffins
  • Detour bars
  • Rice cakes
  • Goober PB&J
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Tuna pouches
  • Beef jerky
Florida, I am on my way! I took the red eye flight (Thursday- midnight), so I basically slept during the flight since it was my habitual bedtime and touched down in Florida around 7 AM.  It was a direct flight that took about 4 ½ hours so it didn’t really affect me with regards to jet lag. Since I like keep things simple and as efficient as possible, I had packed a light bag with the bear necessities and decided that I would just do all the groceries, when I arrived at my destination.

Believe it or not, not one chicken breast was eaten during my travels ;-)

As for my protein sources, I stuck to whey protein sample packets, Quest bars, beef jerky, tuna packets and Greek yogurt, solely. While the carbs came from rice cakes, potatoes, bagels, fat free Pringles, cereal, apples and bananas. All that was topped off with some Goobers peanut butter & jelly, as well as coconut oil for the fats..

I arrived on Thursday, at 7 AM. What followed was the usual itinerary of checking in at the hotel, training, sending the latest photo updates to coach Alberto, shopping at at Walmart (I find it much easier to buy most of my foods when I arrive at my destination rather than packing everything all at once), practicing my poses and, not to forget, rest... what? Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Rest and EAT!

So from Wednesday through Friday I kept everything pretty much the same, the only difference was that my food was a lot higher and coach Alberto just made the adjustments with my food on the fly depending on how I looked with update pictures that I sent him throughout the day (again, you find the exact macros in the column on the right).

As you will see, the training volume was a lot higher, but the overall duration of the workouts was still short and the intensity was under tightly controlled via the RPE scale (if you want to learn more about the RPE scale, listen to yesterday's interview on the Science Round-Up Special).

My fluid and sodium intake was habitual – I probably drank a little bit more though than I did in the past Friday nights before the show (around 60-70 ounces more than I was use to)

Saturday, the big day has come

As the overview on the right is telling your my overall energy intake on the day of the show was pretty high. It was therefore all the more critical to time the meals appropriately.
  • Pre-Judging AM 
    • 6-7 hours out = 2 bananas, 2.6 oz. tuna, 2 tbsp. Goobers PB&J
    • 4-5 hours out = detour protein bar + 5 oz. apple
    • 60-90 minutes out = blueberry bagel, pumpkin pie pop-tart, 1 oz. beef jerky, and 1 tbsp. goobers PB&J
    • 15-10 minutes out = 3g sodium + 1 peanut butter cup + big gulp of water
  • Night show PM
    • 6-7 hours out = 2 bananas, 2.6 oz. tuna, 2 tbsp. Goobers PB&J
    • 4-5 hours out = detour protein bar + 5 oz. apple
    • 60-90 minutes out = slice of pizza
    • 15-10 minutes out = 3g sodium + big gulp of water
On show day I weighed in at 141 lb., so I came in 5 pounds heavier this year compared to last, which was something that really surprised me since I’m usually hovering around at 132-135lbs come show day but I’m not complaining ;-)

5lbs heavier, but still a lightweight compared to the mass monsters

When sizing up the competition, I had an idea of who the 2 main guys that I would probably face in the overalls, they both were in higher weight divisions and both were mass monsters, but I was very confident in my conditioning and overall package that I brought this year to be able to compete.

When I finally won the dang thing, it felt like more of a relief than anything and being able to finally get that monkey off my back!   

Lol. It was a surreal moment and it took a while to soak in but when it finally did; it felt great to know that I’m now considered a professional at what I love to do!

How I celebrated this victory? To be honest I really wasn’t craving much or felt the need to binge and stuff my face. I snacked on some of my rice cakes and beef jerky, then went out to the town and had two tall glasses of Guinness, and three slices of pizza and called it a night.

Don't be worried, folks. We will find a good excuse to keep Adelfo "aboard" the SuppVersity! So this is certainly not the last post of Adelfo Cerame Jr, it may be the last of the "Amateur" Adelfo Cerame, but at the same time it's also the first or many posts of the IFBB Pro Adelfo Cerame ;-)
So what will the future bring? I jumped right back to my diet once I arrived back home on Monday evening. My appetite was pretty much under control and I attribute a lot of it to not depriving myself of anything during my whole contest prep, and I also had the advantage to be ready early or lean enough to where I was able to slowly start bringing my food back and recover metabolically.

As of now I plan on taking the whole year off for a long off-season in order for me to make the improvements I need to make in order to compete on the next level with the big boys! So, 2014 would probably be my pro debut.

Before I sign off; I would just like to thank all the SuppVersity readers for all the love and support you all have shown me throughout this journey, and I’m glad I was able to share it with you all.

Your's truly, Adelfo