IRON CAST is the flagship 12 week Transformation Program here on DynamicIdentity, and the results it gets are truly amazing. But IRON CAST didn’t just come out of nowhere, it was born on the field of battle, honed in the sweat, tears and blood of pre-competition training and conditioning and here in this article you are going to get a little look at what training for competition is like.
Hitting the Stage for the fist time is the extreme version of getting in shape and it is never easy. And if you want to do it naturally (which is what this website is all about) then it is going to be even harder. It all starts with the training and the diet. And the first big questions are always:
This is a fundamental question you must ask yourself before embarking on a journey to the stage. And let’s face it, you are probably not the best person to answer that question. So you need to get the advice of someone whom can tell you. A good coach can probably have a good guess at your current body-fat levels just by looking at you but will also take a set of caliper readings to get a more accurate number. There are plenty of very expensive computer and water displacement methods that can also be used to determine your body-fat levels but i would advise against them. None of them are truly accurate and neither do they have to be. What you need is a number, a number which you can measure your progress against and your coach can provide one that is as accurate as you will ever need.
Another aspect you need to consider in the “what conditioning are you in right now?” category is, how much muscle have you got and on what kind of frame. Are you a heavily built short guy, a thin tall guy, a slim, wisp of of a girl or a strong muscular girl. This is crucial for determining what category you are planing to enter. For the lads it can just be a weight class but for the women, particularly the natural ones, the choice will have an impact on how lean they need to get. The figure category for the girls is not as lean as the physique and so the diet can be a little less brutal.
The next step in your en devour is to figure out how lean you are going to have to be to walk on that stage. Again this is where your coach comes in. Depending on whether you are planing to enter a natural or enhanced competition will have a part to play in this target but either way it’s gonna be pretty damn lean and and it is going to be quite the journey getting there. It is just not possible to tell when someone is just starting out how quickly their bodies will respond to training and cutting diet programs so it is best first time around to give yourself at least 6 months. That way things can be adjusted as you progress to either speed the process up or to slow it down a bit, (there is no benefit to being competition lean 6 week before a competition). As for the guy,s you are looking at getting well under 10% and closer to 3-5% to be sure. The girls have a lower target to hit with the figure categories coming in somewhere around the 12% mark and the physique girls coming in under 10% But it can be harder for the girls to get lean so that has to be taken into account as well.
The Program phases that i used to get Anna ready for the 2014 I.N.B.F nationals are the very ones that i adapted for the 12 week IRON CAST online coaching program that we run here on the Dynamic Identity Site.
How experienced you are in the gym can play a big part in your timing. Stronger more experienced lifters will burn calories quicker and are more likely to have a better muscular physique buried under the surface fat. Also it takes time to learn to lift beyond just the adding of weight and the grinding out of reps. Strong muscle used to heavy lifting is denser than weaker, softer, less trained muscle and will stand out better after the cutting phase of your training. So time in the gym and a few years experience can really show through when you are on the stage. This is not to discourage neewbies; everybody has to start somewhere and everyone hast to have their first comp, but it is worth knowing that if you spend a few years competing then you will (or should) look better every time you step onto that stage.
Experience and time spent in the gym may also help you answer this particularly important question? How well you body responds to conditioning training can determine your final competition condition (assuming you have the diet right, but more on that later). It is important at this stage of your training that you do not abandon your strength and Hypertrophy training, a common mistake, particularly for women, and people who are doing it alone. Heavy lifting encourages the body try and hold onto as much muscle as possible when the diet is telling it to get rid of the calorie hungry bulges you have spent all year building.
Your Coach should be putting together a program that address’ this issues while attending to your conditioning at the same time.
For first timers this can be the hardest part of the journey. The training can get exhausting and by now the Diet is starting to bite also . And just so you know, from this point to the competition things are just going to get harder and harder
Of all the aspects of competition training, the diet, is by far the hardest to endure. The training, no matter how hard it is lasts at most a few hours a day, even if it includes a lot of boring cardio, but the diet is with you all day every day, 7 days a week. And when hunger starts to bite a bit it can take a huge amount of self discipline to keep going. Again this is where your coach should come in with constant positive reinforcement to help you stay focused and on track. It is important during this period to try and keep your mind busy, so it doesn’t have to much time each day to dwell on your stomach. But it is equally important not to be taking on any extra training commitments, like joining football teams or signing up for running or cycling groups or the like. Your diet will be carefully balanced with your training and it can be very easy to slip into over training or making the body atrophy . It is equally important not to arrange any big family occasions or holidays during this period if possible. Temptation is every where so big eating bashes, like Weddings (Anna Callaghan) and parties should be avoided.
Good friends and a good coach can be very important at this stage. Encouragement and support is what are needed so try and avoid people who get you down or keep asking why your doing this to yourself, their negativity will only make you question yourself and get you down and can even cause you to stumble and fall.
The whole process of getting in shape for a competition can be a very daunting prospect but it can also be a hugely satisfying en devour. Very few people ever set out on the road in the first place and fewer ever make the final destination but the pride and feelings of accomplishment that go with making it, even if it is only ever once, will stay with you for the rest of you life and will teach you more about yourself than you could ever imagine.
In the months coming up to the competition we did several different phases of training with Anna; here is one of them. it is a nice mix of training protocols, from strength through Hypertrophy and including conditioning training.
If you would like to try this program for yourself the exercise library on the Dynamic Identity home page will show you how to do each of the exercise listed.
A1 Triceps Push-down 4 x 8
A2 Bicep Curl DB 4 x 8
B1 Snatch 5 x 10
B2 Hill run 5 x 30 sec
B3 Plank 5 x 60 sec
A1 Bench Press 4 x 8
A2 Row 4 x 300m sprint
B1 Lat pull-down 4 x 8
B2 Row 4 x 300m sprint
C1 Leg ext DTP 50-10
C2 Leg Curl 50-10
A1 Shoulder press carry 4 x 40 meters
A2 Sprint 4 x 30 sec
A3 Windmill 4 x 10
B1 Prowler 4 x 60 sec
B2 Pull-down 4 x 10
B3 Ball slam 4 x 12
A1 Dead-lift 4 x 5
A2 KB Swing 4 x 20
A3 Seated Row 4 x 12
B1 Jerk 4 x 10
B2 Farmers walk 4 x 40 meters
B3 Row 4 x 300m sprint
Day 5 Kettlebell Day
x 100 x 12 kg or 14 kg
Section 2, do 3 times for a total of 150 reps
x 20 x 12 kg
x 15 x 14 kg
x 10 x 16 kg
x 5 x 24 kg
Section 3, do 2 times for a total of 100 reps
x 20 x 12 kg
x 16 x 14 kg
x 14 x 16 kg
Section 3 do 1 time for 50 reps
One hand swing
x 18 x 12 kg
x 14 x 14 kg
x 12 x 16 kg
x 6 x 24 kg