Just enjoying the last week before prep starts.
As I stated last week in my log, I am not pulling back like I normally do and taking it easy this week.  I will have an extra couple of days of "rest" because I won't be training for about 4 days later this week and over the weekend due to having to go back to Colorado to pack up what is left in the house and get the truck loaded.  I am also planning on using the weekend to get some carbs in me that I won't have the luxury of having other than strict Skiploads in my prep.

I am approaching this prep with a different mindset.  Well, different than I have had in a long time.  Of course, I have never done a prep where I didn't have the goal to be absolutely peeled (who does?) so the goal is the same but my frame of mind is different this time.

I am going back to my approach that I used back in 02, 03 and 04 when I had taken a 10-year hiatus from competing.  Back then I felt that I needed to prove something to myself and I needed to "pull out all of the stops," so-to-speak.  It isn't that I have not approached preps since then with the same attitude but I admit that after competing for so long, I started to assume the condition I would be in and the prep was approached more from, "if I just do what I need to do I will be in the condition I need to be in."

This time, I am basically "erasing" my memory the best I can and going in pretending that I don't know how I will look each week.  This might seem silly but after prepping so long, I admit that I would get the attitude that, "I have plenty of time" especially when I am almost always on track and ahead of the game during a prep anyway.  I am wanting to play this prep more from the perspective that I don't really know what each week will bring so that I can recommit to really hunkering down and going back to a style that is more "anxious" and treat it like I am behind all the time and that I need to push like hell every week.

If this sounds odd to any of you, understand that after competing for so many years you start to get to the point where you know how hard you need to push, what you can get away with, when you can pull back, etc..  This might seem "smart" (and it can be) but this can also lock you into only prepping for what you have always known your condition can be.  I want to come into this prep with an attitude more in line with thinking, "I wonder how freaky I can get for this show" and pushing in week 18 as hard as I would at 4 weeks out.  Obviously, if I just get to the point where I am ahead and will sacrifice my physique if I continue to push, I will pull back some but it won't be much.  I have come into the last couple of preps knowing what my condition will be and this time I want to go after a level of conditioning that I have yet to achieve.  Doing this on TRT is obviously quite a reach but that is exactly why I feel that I need this outlook and mindset.

I am excited about a prep for the first time in a very long time.  Usually, I just approach the start of a prep as this being just another prep phase.  This time, I feel an excitement that I have the chance to achieve something that I have yet to achieve - not a placing, per se, but a look and a level of conditioning that I have not reached as of yet. 

I am unsure why my mindset is different this time.  Is it because I have unfinished business from last year and want to prove to myself that I can surpass my previous best condition?  Is it because I have recently relocated to a new area where I feel the need to be noticed?  Is it because I have a newfound motivation that I haven't had in 10 years?  I think it is likely a combination of all of the above.

Of course, I am going to learn as much as I can so I am going to do some things a little bit differently while keeping some things the same.  EG:  I am going into this prep phase with a "blast and cruise" type of mentality where I will be incredibly aggressive with my diet in 4-week rotations with 1 to 2 weeks of being less aggressive.  The diet will always be aggressive in the sense that I will be improving from week to week but cardio load, caloric load and training will cycle in these 4 week periods to not have to push at 100% intensity the entire 20 weeks.  Basically, I will push hard as hell for 4 weeks to cut back to pushing a little less than hard as hell for 1 to 2 weeks.  The diet will still be as strict on the off rotation week or weeks but just higher calorie.  The Skiploads will be the same foods and same structure but more calories and carbs during those 4-week blast phases.  Cardio will be pretty high for the blast phases, as well, and then lower during the 1-2 week "cruise" phases.  Still, everything will be 100% structured, of course.

This is just one of a handful of things I will do differently.  I will detail everything I am doing on a week by week basis in this coach log.

I can't give it all away right now.  🙂