Today marks 11 weeks out, and I finally feel like I'm making steady, significant progress. I actually feel as though I'll not only be ready in time, but will actually be able to bring a better package to the stage this year.
For the select few of you who've been reading my blog since January, you may recall that I had attempted a contest prep this past winter and had posted comparison pictures of myself at 11 weeks then as well.
Below are three sets of pictures (I can't add captions without screwing up the format, so this'll have to do). All three were taken at 11 weeks out; the first was taken today (08/15/11, 124lbs), the second was this winter (03/01/11, 125lbs), and the third was last year (08/16/10, 119lbs).
It's so interesting to see the changes in my body through each contest prep. For example, I am roughly the same weight today as I was in March, yet my composition is so obviously different. I was technically leaner by this point last year (or at least, weighed less), but my conditioning is better this time around, and I've clearly put on a few good pounds of muscle. There are a few things I think this can be attributed to:
1) After the show in October I made a big effort to gain some muscle mass. I lifted heavy and ate a lot (ok, maybe ate a bit too much. Who knew gaining the weight back would be so easy?!). And while yes, I did put on too much fat, I know I made some good muscular gains as well, especially in my quads.
2) The workouts Jay has me doing are much more intense than the ones I was doing last year and winter; I'm lifting heavier and incorporating more shock techniques (supersets, drop sets, rest-pause, negatives, etc.). I'm doing more than double the cardio this time around, and of course the concern is always that doing too much will result in muscle loss. But that doesn't seem to be a problem.
3) All of the supplements! I didn't take things like Creatine or BCAA's last year and I'm beginning to believe that those money suckers really do work.....
So all-in-all, I'm not sure if it's because I've put on more muscle, or because I'm holding on to muscle better, but I'm feeling much more solid this time. The other day I was doing something and randomly ran my hand along my tricep - it wasn't even flexed and it felt super hard! I was so excited I made Tanya touch it too haha. I can already tell that my legs are going to look better, which just makes me smile :D
On another note, I'm going to Hawaii and BC for almost two weeks starting this Saturday with my mom and sisters :) I know it's going to be challenging to get all of my workouts in (particularly the cardio), so I'm going to really kick things into high gear this week in anticipation of that. Plus, an extra pound of fat loss would be nice for the beach ;)