The Art of Body Building
This week’s shared experience comes courtesy of Shane Pottie. He lives in Nova Scotia, where he is currently a personal trainer, transformation coach, and avid bodybuilder. We met Shane on Twitter and have had a great relationship with him for some time now. For the past three years, he has been either training for or competing in the Nova Scotia Amateur Body Building Association (NSABBA). In his own words, Shane tells us how he got started and what it takes to compete in this sport.
It all started three years ago when I met this guy at a friends party. He was a year older than I was and two weeks away from a bodybuilding show. I always went to the gym to train for hockey and to get into better shape. So when I saw this guy he was easily the leanest person I have ever seen. He was “RIPPED” and must have had 30 or 40 pounds over my small 145 pound frame. I wanted to look like that! After discussing body building with him I left the party motivated to get back in the gym. I started by taking both my training and diet more seriously and I set a goal to compete one year later. I was fortunate to have a lot of help from locals that have competed in the past to guide me with my training, diet, etc.
When I trained before I began to body build, I never worked on my legs. My excuse was that we did enough leg work playing hockey. That was a big mistake. Learning to squat and deadlift correctly were the most challenging because I never practiced those exercises until later in my training. I love doing them now and I highly recommend taking the time to learn compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and presses (especially the overhead press) before anything else because you will put on some serious size incorporating these into your routines. Currently I am trying to find time to learn the Olympic lifts (snatch, clean and jerk). I plan on trying a routine that tailors to this training style after my next bodybuilding competition.
Currently, I am two and a half weeks away from competing and I train six days a week with a ninety minute cardio session a day. This close to a show my diet is very strict with no cheat meals. I also have to drink seven litres of water a day. This will really dry up the body and give it that vascular conditioned look that the judges are looking for on stage. Posing practice is very important as well preparing for a show because it can make or break your placing. I practice for about an hour or two a day.
My diet changes three or four times throughout my preparation for a competition. As I lose more weight, I need to drop calories and take out certain foods, especially closer to the show to prevent my body from holding water. Without changing the diet, just like training, your body becomes used to it and you will stop seeing results. The supplements I am currently taking are; BCAA’s, Whey Protein Isolate, Caffeine, Omega 3’s, L-Carnitine and R-ala.
I am working with a new coach this year but usually there is a lot that goes on in the last 48 hours. Last year was my first contest and I had to drink as much as ten litres of water and put sea salt on everything. Within the last three days we drop these, then bring them back into the diet the night before the contest. I wake up the day of the show as dry as a bone. It looks like the water has been sucked out of my skin. I recommend hiring a coach if you plan to enter a contest, even for the last week because it can be difficult figuring out the process during that time. After a competition I might take one or two days off but I am usually back in the gym that Monday. I enjoy training and eating clean 24/7.
In a bodybuilding competition there are male and female categories. Men’s/Women’s Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Fitness. As far as the category of bodybuilding goes there is a pre-judging round in the morning where most of the judging and comparisons are done. Then you have the night show which usually starts at 6pm where the competitors do their individual posing routines and then they are called back on stage for comparisons one last time before the placings are announced. In two and a half weeks I’ll be on stage for the second time. I love this sport because it helps me to remain disciplined and motivated. I like setting the long term goal every year to compete because without setting personal goals we would have nothing to motivate us every day we wake. Competing is what motivates me to stay in shape and live a healthy and fit lifestyle.