Two weeks prior to winning my 8th consecutive INBA masters title last year I decided that once that prep was done and dusted I’d throw the book out and experiment with a totally new approach to eating.
After 8 consecutive years of competition I was so spent both mentally and physically to even contemplate doing it for a ninth year, I needed change in order to rejuvenate and prolong my winning streak.
I don’t know what possessed me to change the winning formula I’d followed successfully for 30 years but it seemed like a good idea at the time plus deep down I knew that I couldn't put myself through another torturous pre-contest prep.
So I did my research and applied myself to eating fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.
I must admit the thought of befriending fats sent more than one shiver down my spine because all my life I’d been conditioned to view fats as the mortal ENEMY, so just getting my head around the thought that what I once considered a foe was now a friend was as foreign to me as having Coco Pops for breakfast or eating McDonald or KFC for lunch.
The journey that lead to the INBA Australian National Titles in Canberra was akin to walking down a familiar track in the dark and expecting to stumble at any moment
Being the cautious type I decided to give myself 3 months of this new eating regime and then I’d re-evaluate but within the first month I knew this was the way to go, simply because of the way I responded to it.
Not only did this eating plan give me a greater variety of foods but I felt more energised and more importantly my skin folds and my body weight did not balloon.
Furthermore I didn’t feel lethargic after each meal or have the need for at least one power nap during the day.
I was alert and full energy and just as strong at a much lighter weight plus my cravings for flour and sugar products had just about diminished.
I could walk past the bread shop or the confectionary counter at the supermarket without hallucinating or having a nervous breakdown.
My only concern was that no matter how much I ate my body weight refused to go above 92 kg’s when it would normally hover around the 95-98kg mark but the mirror was telling me otherwise I looked bigger at 92kg’s and like I said I felt stronger.
Then came the crunch when I started dieting 16 weeks (112 days) from the Australian Titles.
Again I tried doing some research on the internet but again I hit a brick wall as there was absolutely no information other than "do what feels right".
It seemed no bodybuilder had prepped with this type of diet.
So I took the most logical approach and that was to reduce my fats to the bare minimum after lunchtime and add fasted cardio to my mornings.
The chicken thighs I was consuming were replaced by Kangaroo patties, changing from chickin to Kangaroo proved to be I believe the most significant change in my prep.
Not only was I getting a higher quality, leaner, organic, non farmed protein that was feeding in natural pastures consuming non chemically enhanced food sources unlike the farmed feathered variety I was used to eating.
The red meat also gave me the benefits of much more iron than in chicken breast. This I believe kept me healthy during the flu infested winter months when my body is usually at it’s weakest.
The 3rd and final obstacle was to figure out what I’d do the week before the comp when I would normally put myself through the unenviable rigours of carbohydrate depletion which would leave me in a Zombie state barely functioning as a human followed by carbohydrate loading which was designed to fill my cells with energy.
Again my research on the internet left me high and dry, so after experimenting with sweet potato on my reward day which left me bloated and wanting to sleep I dumped the idea.
I decided I would treat the contest as another work out and prep likewise, I changed absolutely nothing and loath and behold I succeeded.
The physique I produced and the Victorian titles was close to my best ever and I knew I still had 2 weeks to improve before the Nationals in Canberra where I believe (as well as many close neutral observers and friends) I was in the best condition of my career, not bad considering I was well into my 58th year.
In Canberra I was the leanest and lightest weight at 79kg’s since my first contest in 1984 but my physique looked bigger with full bulging muscle bellies and the most balanced it had ever been.
The work I'd done on my shoulders, outer sweep of my thighs and abdominals stood out
So not only did I win again but it was the easiest pre-contest prep ever where I managed to function in a normal manner staying productive and strong to the very end.
So now it’s back to the drawing board to plan on how the hell I’ll make it 10/10