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Competition Prep Notes T-11 weeks (Or "the psychology of shredding")

Updated: Sep 17

Copy of email 2 June - the challenges of comp prep and the plan to hit target

(Acknowledgement - again, my thanks to Benny for his great efforts and in also allowing me to share part of his journey with you so openly!)

There are loads of theories out there for competition prep and coming in shredded. Whether your diet is high carb low fat or low carb high fat, whether you water-load, sodium deplete . . . or whether you do loads of cardio or not . . . or . . . whatever . . .

. . . there is one common element that you cannot escape and is a big challenge for everyone.

The discipline, focus, and commitment to get into great shape messes with everyone psychologically

So now matter which path you decide to take the FOUNDATION that you MUST set up properly from the start and maintain throughout is your mindset.

Everything flows from that. Without it, you will break your diet, have a blow-out "treat", or skip the cardio, or drop training intensity, or one of a myriad of ways to blow your chances.

The following is a couple of emails that addressed this aspect of competition prep (and in fact, is important for success in any area of life) - developing the vision and the passion to be able to do whatever it takes.

This is (or should be) the first step in your journey after setting the goal.

If you found yourself falling short at any point, this is where you need to come back to first (after also making sure that your goal was realistic)

This is where is all starts - you can have the best plan, the best coach, a team of scientists helping you . . . it means nothing if your foundations are not rock solid.

Hi mate,

I've plotted the progress so you can get a good picture of where you're at.

The top chart is all three stats - body-weight, Fat% and Lean body weight.

I've shown the trend lines on the Fat%

See below for more future details.

This one shows the review at 21 May - with the Fat% levelling out from early April

This one shows the status at 1 June - and also has the forward projections so you can see where the fat% needs to head to reach the target for comp.

I've shown the trend line for target in red and your current path in green.

You can see where you were ahead early April but have just now crossed over the line.

LATEST Plan - May to Sept

This is the latest plan I created for you - The first phase was January to May (shown above - but I extended it to July so you could see the whole picture)

Below is the second phase - a whole new plan for May - Sept.

I have added last night as an "unofficial" mini-review.

This gives you more detail of the projections and the targets.

Goals and focus.

With what we were talking about yesterday - I know it can be hard - especially when the goal seems a little way off.

But it is not that far - considering that there is a limit to the rate that you can lose fat sensibly and retain muscle.

You'll be able to relate it to football - a team has a great first half and gets 6 goals up - and then backs off.

By third quarter the opposition is up 1 goal.

Now it's a battle and could go either way.

At 10 minutes into the fourth quarter the opposition is up 5 goals - now it's difficult because there is a certain rate that you can score goals - it's rare to score 6 goals in 6 minutes.

I know this because with 35 comps under my belt, I've had a couple where I thought I had time to make up ground.

For my first comp I was really keyed up and in "panic" mode wanting to be in great shape - and I was as ripped as f**k.

I probably lost a little muscle though with over-dieting.

My diet principles back there were also wrong, so I had to work harder to counter the effects of some bad macro ratios.

This is what I am aiming to help you avoid - losing muscle - we're aiming for a full and hard look as well as ripped.

But first we have to get the fat off.

Some things that might help you with the focus

Different things work for different people - and what works can even change over time.

  • We either get motivated for pleasure or to avoid pain.

  • We either move away from something or toward something

You can build a "package" around what works for you.

Here are some things to try:

The "what I don't want" approach

  • The graphs above might help with realising that there's a risk of missing the goal - fear of not hitting target can be a big motivator

  • The other risk is having to do it really tough the last few weeks, in panic mode, and losing some muscle, as well as being a bit soft at the comp.

  • Better to get shredded two weeks out and then slowly fill and build the hardness and fullness

  • If this is a good motivator for you, other thoughts you can add to the mix are:

  • back stage, pumping up and realising you're a bit soft

  • looking at the other competitors who are ripped

  • knowing you could have 1-2kg less fat and thinking " . . if only I had been better on the diet . . . "

  • trying to pump and get the veins up but they look a bit soft - everyone else is really vascular

  • If the above was to happen, what would you be saying to yourself backstage, or after the comp?

Some positive images

Positive is generally better I find - the mood is better - you want to feel that you're going to smash this, and feel strong and confident.

It depends what works for you.

See if these give you some good images - or help you create something that you really relate to.

My simple image for many years was simply imaging people saying "F**k, Look at the SIZE of him . . . "

  • You want to see yourself how you want to be - ripped and hard.

  • Imagine how you'll be feeling as you pump and the muscles look like marble and the veins like roadmaps.

  • You're focussed and pumping up steadily.

  • You're not even looking at the other competitors - it doesn't matter how they look - you're ready - and you don't care what they look like - you're focussed on pumping

  • The pump is insane - the muscles are tight and almost hurting

  • The veins are going to explode

  • You're in the zone and almost look angry = focussed

  • You can hear some of the other competitors:-

  • "who the f**k is this guy"?

  • "where did this guy come from"?

  • "Is this guy shredded or what"?

  • "how the f**k does he look so hard"?

  • "Is this guy natural"?

Or maybe images after the comp work for you?

  • People coming up and saying "Mate, how'd you get so shredded? - what supps" - "No mate, just good food and hard work - I was shredded two weeks out"

  • "geeze mate, how do you train - how many sets do you do - what do you eat - what supps are you on"?

The other thing is to imagine how you want to look. (See images below) - more photos at bottom of email

Hi Paul,

Thanks so much for all your efforts to date! I really appreciate how you have gone above and beyond for me. Im definitely impressed with your dedication. The charts are helping me identify my strengths/weaknesses.

Im definitely not freaked out but can see now how important it is to stay focused. My issues have never been with the training. The diet is definitely the hard thing!

Not that theres anything wrong with the diet. In fact im rarely hungry. It seems.

My trouble stems from sugar addiction. Im getting better, and your advice is helping me mate. Ive decided to take the same approach to my "blow outs" as to when I quit smoking. The "Ill just have one" mentality has to be overcome. I need to remind myself the challenge ahead requires discipline. Im confident I can achieve this and fight the urges I come across. Im not making excuses but I used food and alcohol an insulator to take the edge off when I quit smoking. So now I need to reprogram this part of me.

Im really pleased with how things are going to date, and realise to keep refocusing my goals to achieve my long term goal.

Thanks again mate for your awesome help!

Cheers

Hi mate,

Thanks for the email.

Don't worry - the diet is the hardest thing for most people.

The key, as you've mentioned in the last para is the vision and the focus - like most things, a strong vision will drive you through any challenge.

The top people in anything are the elite and are far above the "average" crowd - and they all got there with going the extra mile - and that only came about because they had a huge vision.

I think we can easily visualise the training with the muscle gains - but we need to do the same with the diet also.

The diet will produce the kind of "look" that will drop people's jaw.

You are not alone with the sugar cravings - I've been there many times over the years.

I was always really glad though when I got to the comp in ripped condition - the dieting didn't matter at that point and I was glad I'd stuck to it!! It was definitely worth it!

You've got great focus with the training - and a super-determination.

Now it is just a matter of tying the diet in with it - the realisation that the DIET is what will SHOW THE WORLD your efforts in the gym.

It's the TOTAL PACKAGE - not just the fun part in the gym - but that TOTAL PACKAGE will set you apart from the rest!

The VISION is what will drive it - the vision and knowledge of course that the diet is critical and will help achieve the vision.

Along the way though, I'd like you to ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Look on it as a great experience.

Overcoming the cravings is like DIGGING IN FOR THOSE LAST FEW REPS when the muscles are screaming.

You laugh when you get to that point - because you enjoy the pain - you relate it to the GAINS.

You need to also LAUGH at the diet!

It's that "evil" laugh that you're pushing to limits that others can only dream of.

It's the evil laugh that you know people will look at you at comp time and say "WTF"!!!???

You can do it - good genetics and great attitude and determination.

Cheers

I've given you some indication of what people think of extreme condition - see below.

I mentioned a while ago about the responses to Phil and that I'd send some info - here it is below.

This was a post - someone put him in a group "Yeah, he lifts" and he got good responses.

Note you can probably expand it to read the comments?

More comments below also, pasted from the post

You can see in the comments below (yellow section) that not many believed it was natural - and everyone automatically thinks supps!!!

Truth is, he was on NO supps except creatine!

See below yellow section for more

It's interesting how many people think that this type of condition is not possible naturally - but it is - you just need a scientific approach to the diet and training, and of course, a LOT of discipline!

Hugh Burnett That's gotta be 0% body fat

January 27 at 3:01am via mobile · Like

Zack Simpson Winstrol? Lol

January 27 at 3:03am via mobile · Like · 1

Michael Burnett Tom Burnett ur arms famous

January 27 at 3:13am via mobile · Like · 1

Warren Spalding don't care how much muscles are in that arm - that doesn't look healthy.

January 27 at 3:13am · Like · 1

James Badr Tyb thats odee goku

January 27 at 3:15am · Like

Robbie Lee Dobson some quality conditioning ryt derrr

January 27 at 3:18am · Like

Jonas Svensson Eat clen tren hard!

January 27 at 3:22am · Like · 2

Cody Duke Steroids are not always anabolic. This is probably clen.

January 27 at 3:41am via mobile · Like

Quoc Nguyen too lean for my liking.. but hat off to you fella!

January 27 at 3:45am · Like

Kristijan Čulig He animal pumping

January 27 at 3:46am via mobile · Like

Emmanuel Ikealumba I like it.

January 27 at 3:48am via mobile · Like

Danny Shaw Dem veins. Make a smack head jealous them would

January 27 at 4:01am via mobile · Like · 8

Deko Suárez foly phuck

January 27 at 4:03am · Like

Aaron Keck Vascular

January 27 at 4:09am via mobile · Like

Anders Sørensen Clen helps on fat burning, but dont make your skin more thin, or pull the water out of your skin and into the muscles, or increase the seize of the veins like done in this picture.

January 27 at 4:19am · Like

Mack Waller I can see my house

January 27 at 4:22am via mobile · Like · 1

Chris Buckley a crack head would fap to this

January 27 at 4:30am · Like

Kareem Shams Julia Barabas look at these beautiful beautiful veins

January 27 at 4:40am · Like

Julia Barabas thats so disgusting i cant even

January 27 at 4:41am · Like · 1

Bita Saleki respect

January 27 at 4:52am · Like

Jeff Lamb No homo, but I wanna know wanna that arm feels like

January 27 at 5:35am · Like

Pat Mustard has he got allergies or what?

January 27 at 6:01am via mobile · Like

Andrius Kasparavichus Does he even eat?

January 27 at 6:03am via mobile · Like

Mike Bihary inb4 someone Photoshop's a knob where his hand is

January 27 at 6:06am · Like · 2

Beau Glazner I know this arm and gym not the biggest natural getting around but the dude can get in shape!

January 27 at 6:25am via mobile · Like

Afshin Maria Robert Rogal

January 27 at 6:58am · Like

Matthew Hanks Scaffolding!

January 27 at 7:44am via mobile · Like · 1

Ryan Dobson That's at my gym.

January 27 at 8:13am · Like · 2

Tony Jifkins If he painted his arm red it would look like he had no skin lol veiny as hell. Sure hes natural tho? thats some killer vascularness hes got there. Ive got nothing against abit of liquid assistance but If thats the case the dude needs to eat more and put on some size before he has a heart attack.

January 27 at 9:01am · Like

Luke John thats big phil ward

January 27 at 11:06am · Like · 1

Safi Abdul-hak 2%body fat

January 27 at 1:21pm via mobile · Like

Rhys Quantrall Jack Lunn

January 27 at 7:59pm · Like · 1

Kevin Gerke Trink mal was

February 2 at 6:11pm via mobile · Like

Kendrick Sinatra Hardy Jiasheng Loh

February 12 at 12:02am · Like

Spike Morton Guy Joseph Zachary Newmark Thomas Austin

March 16 at 4:20am · Like · 1

Zachary Newmark Julian M Chan

March 16 at 4:21am · Like · 1

Tyler Trent David Vojta

April 18 at 2:22pm · Like · 1

Ryan Gangaram Damn, look at that tree trunk! Good job

June 7 at 2:30am via mobile · Like

Ganen Nara Is that Goku hand?

June 7 at 7:14pm · Like · 1

Trevor Wolfe Aine O'Regan and i thought i was veiny

June 11 at 6:44am · Like · 1

Aine O'Regan That's not normal!!! Trevor Wolfe

June 11 at 8:04am via mobile · Like

Shannon Leatch Grace Tohl Isn't this Phil's arm?

June 18 at 11:08am · Like · 2

Grace Tohl Yep it is Shannon

June 18 at 11:13am via mobile · Like · 3

Grace Tohl Phillip you're famous

June 18 at 11:14am via mobile · Like · 3

Phillip Ward Steroids

June 18 at 3:37pm via mobile · Like · 5

Joel Bate Definitely steroids!!!!

June 18 at 3:43pm · Like · 3

Matthew Ragless Fcking gear head. There is no way you can grow muscle and be that lean without test, tren and clen. Eat clen, tren hard, test yourself.

June 18 at 4:08pm via mobile · Like · 1

Matt Watkins Skinny arm, but too vascular to be natural, must be on the gas

June 18 at 4:19pm via mobile · Like · 2

Brenton Forsyth is there any skin on that arm!!! lol

June 18 at 9:01pm · Like

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Paul Anderton

AMP Master Coach

Lifetime natural - using a scientific approach to training and nutrition

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