My first bodybuilding show took place on 26th of June 2017. It’s been a dream of mine to step up on the stage and compete ever since I can remember. The preparation phase for the show took 16 weeks. This consisted of strict diet, working out twice a day, learning how to pose and presenting myself on the stage in the best possible way.
Dieting was the most difficult thing during this prep. As easy as it sounds, not being able to eat whenever I felt the hunger or add any sauces to meals was a tough challenge. Not just because I could not discipline myself but over the years everybody develops their own eating habits and you do not even realise how bad they are until you start weighing everything you eat and drink and only choosing the foods high in nutritional values.
I was eating 5 meals a day, every 2-3hours. I would weigh myself every other day and take measurements to make sure I could control my diet and make changes if needed. I was allowed 1 cheat meal a week for the first 10 weeks of my prep. Last 6 weeks, as it was getting closer to my show I was allowed no sweeties, fast foods, or even sugar in my tea.
24 hours before the show I stopped taking any fluids. I was not allowed to drink to make sure that water got out of my skin to make it look tight and bring my muscles out even more.
Training was my favourite part. I would do 40 minutes of fasted cardio 5 days a week. Then, later on that day I would come back and do my resistance training with weights. This would last about 60-90 minutes. As it was getting closer to the show, due to reduced calories intake, less energy the trainings sessions felt harder every day, and it felt like every machine and every dumbbell in the gym was working against me. At that time I thought I was pushing it to the maximum and gave it all I’ve got, however time has shown that I was wrong.
I would pose 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes and increasing to 7 days a week in my last 2 weeks before the show. At that point I felt like I was my own shadow, I was loaded with university exams, doing my personal training sessions with clients, working for GYM64 and training twice a day. I felt like giving up due to lack of energy, hunger, the pressure and stress as it was my first show and I did not know what I should be expecting from it.
During this prep I have learned a lot about myself. I know I have made a lot of mistakes during this prep diet, training and most important attitude wise. Now I can look back on my prep, point out what can be improved, seek help from people that are experts in that field. This sport is all in. You are either 100% in or you don’t make it. I am not put down by my failure and I will come back better than before. I’LL BE BACK.
By Matt Skazalski