“I didn’t expect your results to be this good.”

A statement I didn’t anticipate receiving from my hormone therapist in response to my recent blood tests. In my previous column I discussed proper timing of carbohydrate intake to control blood cortisol levels, and created a theory that my cortisol levels would decrease and as a direct result, creating an increase in currently suppressed hormones (testosterone, dhea, T3, ect). The results of my most recent blood work gave validation to my theory. Cortisol is back within a healthy range, DHEA has doubled, and T3 has improved dramatically; however, the most prevalent and noteworthy value was the increase of my total testosterone from 97 to an astounding 933.

In addition to aforementioned timing of carbohydrate intake in the previous article, I believe it is crucial to mention that I drastically increased my overall carbohydrate intake throughout the 10-week period of implementing this strategy. I believe this played a critical role in the amazing rebound I am currently experiencing. Over the 10-week period I added more than a thousand additional calories coming solely from carbohydrates.

I am ecstatic to say I have rediscovered my passion. Although it might not be clear to my eyes, according to the absolute opinion of my coach, I am at my all time best. Seeing as this methodology has tested true and effective on myself as an athlete coming off of an incredibly lengthy prep, it is time for me to test the effectiveness of it in bringing an IFBB coach out of a lengthy retirement.

I have found that many of my biggest improvements, not only as an athlete, but also as a coach, have stemmed from surrounding myself with passionate and intellectual individuals in this industry. Turns out there are many ways to find success — who would have thought! It is easy to lose your edge and relentless desire to improve when the only viewpoint you have is your own. I am forced to look at every aspect of prepping a national caliber athlete through a microscopic lens, constantly bouncing ideas off other coaches who bring elements to light that I might normally overlook. This coach has already been working hard, from prepping me as well as dozens of other athletes. Now it is time for us to work smart, together, in order to bring in his best package to date. This is a lesson he has really re-taught me during these last few months. Smarter, not harder; train for mobility and aesthetics will follow.

RECENT: Carbohydrate and Cortisol Control

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A common misnomer, I’ve come to find almost humorous, is people being confused as to why it’s hard to get my own lift in at the end of a day of training clients. You work in a gym, you’re already here! That makes it easier, doesn’t it? This coach in particular works with competitors of all stages day in, day out, but still found himself losing his own motivation and drive to put himself through something so mentally and physically challenging; something that at one time in his life made him very happy. How does this happen?

This individual has stepped on stage multiple times in different federations, each time bringing a package with enough improvements to almost mock the last. Fueling each of these preps was inner turmoil, rage, and hatred; tapping into that raw emotion every morning in order to do whatever it took him to be his best. As this individual put the heart of his focus on his career, doing everything within his knowledge and power to assist others success and achieve their goals, he found that the store of rage was dwindling and it was becoming more and more difficult to tap into that same hatred he had once relied on so heavily. Originally thinking this was a grave discovery, he soon realized that living constantly filled with vengeance and spite is not at all how he wanted to go through life anymore. He learned that he had come to enjoy and find fulfillment in his new way of giving and receiving emotion with those closest to him.

With the desire to compete still present, several preps have been started over the last couple years, all of which fell short of the stage. The amount of pressure and expectation that has been building up, constantly weighing on this individual like a ton of bricks, made him not want to step on stage again, ever, unless he brought with him a presence similar to that of Phil Heath. Stay with me here; the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

In recent years, this individual has since found his soulmate, someone who enjoys and strives for the same passion. In combination with the collective positive and motivational energy received from his own clientele, he has realized what I think most competitors should: one must compete for themselves, not out of spite. Competing for anyone besides yourself is foolish and will result in the same fate every time: failure.

The new mindset and outlook on life has this individual ready to commit to prep with the help of my guidance. This is the beginning of a new column series that will be covering an in depth outlook from a coaching perspective and allowing you to step inside the mind of the athlete.

Stay Tuned.