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These two words described my physical and mental well being as the 2015 competitive season came to an end. As I returned to the gym the following weeks, my performance was not improving, I was still experiencing chronic fatigue, and lacked any motivation to train.

My coach, John Meadows, believed it was a good idea to run a number of blood tests since I was still feeling rough in the weeks following Team Universe. After months of dieting, intense training, and excessively low body fat levels, it is not uncommon to feel this way. This is why many professionals in the field recommend performing blood work regularly to ensure optimal health.

Turns out, there was a clear reason I was not bouncing back right away: my body was shut down. Free and total testosterone levels were extremely low. In addition, I had increased blood creatine kinase or urea levels, indicating chronic muscle damage and catabolism. Liver enzymes were elevated, low RBC, a number of deficiencies, and a compromised thyroid. I was experiencing the aftermath of extreme overtraining coupled with 15 months of dieting.

team universe photo via jeff binns

Photo via Jeff Binns


Unfortunately I was unable to train for the month of July. Every time I would try to exercise to any extent, I would experience flu like symptoms. My body was sending a clear sign that what it needed was rest, and lots of it. After this amount of rest, my muscles and CNS feel improved, but most days are hit and miss. I still need more time to fully recover. Intensity and volume are slowly increasing as my body permits.

Moving forward, I will be hiring fellow elitefts columnist David Allen for my programming. I learned through this recent prep that programming for myself was not optimal. I have the tendency to push a little too much for far too long, and as a result I am experiencing the negative shutdown symptoms that true overtraining entails. I made the choice to hire David Allen after reading his recent article of CTP training. I realized we both believed in many of the same principles for hypertrophy. After talking with him extensively, I knew our philosophies and personalities would match up well. I am looking forward to the unique periodization he implements with his training.

MORE How I Use CTP Training to Force Frequency and Intensity

CTP Training Principles:

  • The goal is to get the maximal amount of growth out of the smallest necessary amount of stimulus, without exceeding this threshold and taxing the body’s ability to recover.
  • The more frequently a body part can be trained and recovered over a given period, the greater the amount of muscle growth will occur.
  • The body responds best to concentrated stimuli.
  • Increasing training frequency and pushing intensity is the secret to CTP training. In order to train a body part more frequently, you must train multiple muscle groups in each training session.
  • The training split utilized in CTP is nearly identical to the training split I have been following the last year.
  • Chest, shoulders (front and side delts), triceps, quads, calves
  • Back, biceps, rear delts, hamstrings
  • The abdominals are trained throughout the week but not on any particular day.

This allows you to hit each muscle group over just two training sessions and stimulate each muscle group three times throughout the week.


Unfortunately, another side effect of overtraining is GI distress, which I was experiencing after the show. The ability to digest a decent quantity of protein had become very difficult. I was experiencing extreme bloating and stomach distention. Since I was not training, I made the logical conclusion to reduce protein intake and increase the caloric difference with additional carbohydrates and fats. A more balanced approach towards my macronutrients and diet seemed to be the best direction towards improving my overall health.

Dietary fats are important for optimal body composition through the production of testosterone. My testosterone levels plummeted after the long hard diet so it was critical to increase this macronutrient as high as possible without adding too much additional body fat.

Carbohydrates are the most metabolic macronutrient we consume. Thus, it was important to not reduce carbohydrates like many people do while not training. This helped my metabolism recover from the months of being in a caloric deficit.

With my return to training I will be getting back on a structured diet plan again via John Meadows. I am excited to get back on track.

The last month has been hard. I have identified myself as a bodybuilder for eight years. Training has been a near daily ritual, and without it I felt lost. As I neared the competition date, I sensed that my body was rebelling against me. I told myself that it was part of the process and I had to endure. I refused to listen to the clear signs my body was giving me. As a result, I now have to endure the slow process of re-establishing good health. Setbacks are part of the game. Two steps forward, one step back.

I currently have a waking weight of 215 pounds, up roughly eight pounds from stage weight.