Vegas 2010 Fitness America Recap

By November 23, 2010 17 Comments

A look from our restaurant at the Bellagio

I want to first thank everyone for your support and well wishes, as I got ready and competed at the Fitness America Championships in Vegas. These competitions are very challenging and having the support of everyone is very helpful.

I want to warn you that the pictures and videos are quite revealing and if you don’t feel comfortable with excess skin this is a post that you probably should just skip over.

I thought I would give you a little recap of everything that went on since so many were asking.

This first video is of the moms who are 45 years old and older.  I hear way too often age used as an excuse.  Sure there is some truth to aging, but I hope this video inspires you to see your potential.

This contest brought almost 600 competitors from all continents of the world together… Some of the leanest, fittest, and aesthetically appealing people around. There were 17 year olds all of the way up to a woman who was 61 still rocking the stage.

Here is a quick video recap of my competition

I wrote a post a little bit ago explaining why I do these shows.  Click here to read the story. I know there will be many who probably watch this and think it is egotistical, shallow patheticness, and I respect your opinion.  But for me it is really amazing and inspiring to be surrounded by people who have incredible amounts of dedication and drive in the area of healthy eating and exercise.  The lessons you learn about yourself during one of these journies is priceless and each and everyone of these people on stage worked INSANELY hard to get to where they are.  Sure some have great genetics, but great genetics only takes you so far.

Some of my fellow competitors

In a sport where being compared to one another is the name of the game, it can be overwhelming and depressing looking around and seeing everyone.  Just like in life, you can find those who are better than you and those who are worse than you in any specific area.  As I sat in the corner before going out for the swimsuit round watching over 70 guys extremely muscular and lean pumping up, it was pretty obvious that I was DEAD LAST when it came to the amount of muscle I had.  Yes you heard me, I was by far the scrawniest in the room.  At that moment I could have had negative self defeating thoughts, but I DECIDED to be grateful for the body I DO have, that allows me to try to run a marathon on 600 calories the whole day and not die, that can lift weights consistently, that allows me to go travel around the world, that gives me the energy and drive to do what I want when I want.  I decided to hold my head and be proud, because we are all different and built differently, and at the end of the day I have to be proud of the fact that I worked very hard, and was disciplined.

So here were some of my results.

Went from 202 lbs to 179.5 lb in 7 weeks. (About 7 of those lbs are water weight loss right before the show and is gained back within 24 hours)

Went from 11% body fat to 6% body fat.

Lost about 10% strength (pretty hard not to lose some muscle.)

Placed 41 out of 73 in the male model categorie.

Was one of only a couple guys to wear the longer board shorts instead of the Speedos.  I had a few people thank me for this one.

A question I have been getting asked a lot is what was my first meal I ate afterwards.  Before telling you this, let me explain the 4 days leading up to the event and how it works.  I wasn’t going to share this, because it is so short term, and not the best for the body, but if you did any google search for pre contest dieting, all this information would be there.

4 Days before the show: Go pretty much no carbs and workout at high intensity to burn as much sugar off as possible.  Sodium intake is neither high nor low.  Drinking 2 gallons of water to hyper-hydrate.

Davey Kelly and I

3 Day before show: Still little or no carbs, which includes no fruit or dairy.  Still drinking close to 2 gallons of water.  Eating mostly protein and healthy fats.  Chicken, fish, avocadoes, asparagus and other green vegetables, and coconut/olive oil become my staples.

2 Days before show: Start to eat very high carbs.  Lots of sweet potatoes, brown rice, rice cakes, oatmeal, etc.  Less protein, a couple bites of chicken with each meal, still a little bit of fat, very low sodium, 1 gallon of water.  Still eating veggies.

1 Day before show: Still high carbs, and less protein.  Still very low sodium, but now the water goes down to about 1 quart.  An over the counter diuretic is also used.

Day of show: Still high sugar, many now get excited and start to eat candy bars and chocolate.  I ate quite a bit chocolate and lots of rice cakes.  Keep the sodium pretty low.  Only drink enough water to wet your lips.  Continue taking the diuretic.

Day 2 of show: This is the most difficult thing about this competition, is that it spans two days, so basically I just try to keep the same plan as the first day of the show.  I might drink more water though if I am not feeling good.

Club Wear Round

Scientific Rational:

The goal of the competitor is to come on stage as lean and as “dried out” as possible.  We want the muscles to be full and the skin to be thin.

You must understand that our body wants to stay in balance and if things get out of balance our body will overcompensate in order to get us back to the middle.  So we start by going no carb and high intensity workout.  This burns nearly all of the muscle and liver glycogen out of the body.  The muscles look very flat because not only is there no sugar in the muscles, more importantly there is less water in the muscles (this is why they look flat) because for every 1 gram of carb, 3 grams of water have to follow.

More of the guys

So after the two days of getting rid of the carbs and drinking a lot of water, the body has increased the hormones to pee more and get rid of the excess water. We have been eating an average amount of sodium.  Once the sodium decreases again, the body will get rid of more water.  When we begin to introduce carbs back in, they go directly to the muscles and liver first and fill them up.  Whatever water is in the body at that point will need to being to make its way into the muscles to fulfill the obligation of 3 parts water to 1 part carb.  So the water gets taken out of the skin cells and other extracellular cells and into the intracellular cells of the muscle.

One of the biggest and leanest guys ate 3 bags of sour apple candies (probably 2000 calories of pure sugar), and within 10 minutes became much more veiny and vascular.  (again this isn’t the healthy part).

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed to science behind it.  Again for the average person this isn’t something that is necessary.

This is what I would say at least 90 of fitness competitors and bodybuilders do.  Again I am not recommending this, but I try to be as open and transparent as possible about what I do and how I do.  The good and the bad you might say.  I don’t consider this very extreme and do listen to my body.  There is no working out during the 3 days leading up and during the competition.

Kelly, Me, Abby... My shorts would hardly stay up!

Getting back to what I ate…

Before the final swimsuit round, the guys were backstage and all of a sudden we noticed an electrical fire right by our feet.  Many wires had melted together.  They had to stop the show for 90 minutes.  I decided to get and eat a pizza, so between abby and I we ate a good size thin crust pizza.  But I didn’t drink any water with it, since that would have really showed.

Once the show was over, I drank lots of water and ate lasagna.  For the next 24 hours, your body goes through an adjustment period of getting rehydrated and balanced back out, but after those 24 hours I felt great.  I enjoy the simple things again, like a crisp apple, or a smoothie. 🙂  Food tastes so much sweeter after not eating sweets and sugar for so long, your body feels cleaner.  Going through the process really helps you appreciate that food is really meant for fuel and not for pure pleasure.

There were 6 of us who competed from Madison.  My girlfriend Abby did her second show, first national, and my long time client/friend Kelly competed for her first time.  She enjoyed it so much she is doing another one in April.  Here is a little recap of their bikini competition.

Do you have any questions or comments for Abby, Kelly, or myself about the experience?  Please share in the comment box below.