By the time you read this article, summer in sunny Cyprus will be drawing to an end and I will be in my final preparation for the Natural Olympia Championship in Greece on the 23rd of November. Now I am taking it a little easy after my win of the fifth BNBF British Masters Championship, where I gained my 4th British BNBF championship title. Had a great time and I was very happy that I met up with Vicky McCann and everyone else in Edinburgh.
It was only 55 days remaining when I received an e-mail from Chris Anastasiou, LA Muscle, Cyprus representative, asking whether I wanted to do a photo-shoot. Naturally, I responded with a “yes”, as this was an ideal opportunity for me to get my dream photograph that I always wanted, and longed to hang on a wall in my home. Being very proud of my age, 50 years, I feel that I look exceptionally well compared with many others of the same or even younger age, so this was my opportunity to fulfil one of my dreams..!! Anyway, my dream pose would be standing on a rock with the rich blue silky Cyprus sea and sky set as the backdrop, imitating one of those famous poses we have all seen from the likes of Frank Zane.
Chris and I, duly scheduled the photo-shoot for Sat 18th August, leaving me with 43 days left for the competition. I felt that I was in good enough condition to get a suitable picture, so with Chris’s help, we set about the photo-shoot.
I had been preparing for the BNBF championship since the end of last year, and I was very pleased with my training and diet the way it had turned out, but it was a very hard journey. At the end of last year, I had reviewed and worked out my new training plan for this event and I was looking to improve on my weaknesses, boy, there was a lot..!!
My typical 6 days a week training routine would commence with getting up in the early hours of the morning, to which I really hate, but we all have to make some sacrifices. I love my sleep and some say that I need it badly, thanks son....!! My training starts by 06:30hrs, finishing no later than 08:00hrs so that I can open up our gym, Lifezone Fitness Centre, where I am part owner with Hass Canturk. The day to day training varies from heavy to light, with low and high repetition workouts, depending on my time frame and which body parts that I am working on. I often incorporate cardio in my weight training programme, thus doing many more repetition sets.
Once I have finished, and before I open the gym to the public. I will have my “gold liquid”, LA Muscle LA Whey Protein Powder, mixed with a banana, yummy and that is the most rewarding part of the day..!! Then the usual business day begins, slotting in my planned meals and supplements, like LA Muscle Sculpt, and more LA Muscle LA Whey Protein Powder throughout the day.
As the competition date nears, I would add into my timetable my posing practices for the afternoon, which is a must, it also helps me to assess my progress with my preparation for the event.
Competing in a bodybuilding event isn’t just about pushing weights, there’s the diet to consider, the presentation and posing that has to be worked on, plus the support of family and friends, which is vital..!! Ask any competitor, and they will tell you about the mental stress that they endure doing the preparation period, which can be enormous as the competition date loams nearer and nearer. It’s unbelievable how much and how negative you can be about yourself when you see yourself in the mirror. You start criticising yourself on each of your body parts, at the same time looking for moral support that you are doing fine and looking good..!! Don’t forget, you are trying to be at your best just for that one day and moment in time for the judges..!!
Living in Cyprus and waking up everyday to sunshine and the heat, boy it can get hot, very hot..!! Its everybody’s idea of heaven. But, there is a downside, not being able to attend or see the regional’s competition to evaluate, watch or compete. Also, the constant aroma of food being cooked on a bar-b-que everyday, the wonderful mezes on offer, and the thought of having a cool refreshing cold beer or two, plays havoc on your mind and senses..!! However, I have grown used to avoiding the temptation, like all competitors you accept this as part of your daily life, but once the competition is over, I certainly make up for lost time..!!!
That’s sums up my journey to the BNBF British Finals and back, which was as long in the days as it is in the miles from Cyprus to Edinburgh. Before I sign off, I would like to say a BIG THANK-YOU to my wife, Karen, and son, Mitchell, Cynthia ( friend and my holistic massage therapist), and all the supporting gym members who have been very supportive over the last 3 years.!! And off course to CHRIS from LA Muscle's Cyprus Headquarters, for giving up his free time to do the photo-shoot..
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