My road to become an IFBB Pro

I thought I’d share my story with you guys, how I got here where I am now.

My prep actually started end of February. I was 79kg, and I was getting ready for the Nabba Worlds in June in Italy. I was very keen, had the passion burning inside me. I wanted to win! Last year I finished 2nd at the Nabba Worlds in Russia and I really wanted to prove myself this year. Athletes would know that a contest prep is not easy, but you can always step it up when you’re keen, so I went all in.

So June came, and I went to Italy to compete. Finished 2nd again – not gonna lie, I was pissed off. We planned another competition a couple of weeks after that, Portugal or Spain, but I said no. I knew what improvements I had to make and I needed a bit more time to make them happen.

So after my first comp mid June I went straight into prepping for the second one in November. First I wanted to go to Poland but then we learnt that the @ironrebelshow was gonna be organised again in November – and we went there with @abe.superman In May when he competed, so I changed my mind and I registered for Denmark.

I had to bring up my shoulders, especially my rear delts, so I started training them 3x a week. My glutes and hammies needed more shape, so that meant glutes and hammies 2x a week, and quads/full legs with glutes 1x a week. Are you keeping score? That meant Ꭵ hᎪᎠ ᏆᎾ ᏆᏒᎪᎥᏁ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎠᎪᎽ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎳᎬᎬᏦ… and this is exactly what I did for 6 months to get into the shape I needed for the @ironrebelshow in Denmark last weekend.

The first pic was taken 2 weeks into my prep in March. The second pic was 1 week before the second comp last weekend. I’m proud of this package, I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made and the condition I’ve got myself into. I know there’s more to come, but so far that was my best ever shape.

About MCT oils

“MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs.

MCTs are missing from our modern diets because the public has been led to believe that saturated fats are bad. However, recent research has shown a lot of evidence about the real benefits of saturated fats.

We now know that ideally MCT oils should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.

MCTs are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect. That’s why MCTs have been claimed to be burnt by the body for energy, instead of being stored as fat.

Medium-chain fatty acids are capable of helping you:

• Maintain a healthy weight — since they make you feel full

• Specifically reduce stored body fat — since they also raise your metabolic function

• Have more energy

• Think more clearly

• Experience better digestion

• Balance hormone levels

• Improve your mood

• Fight bacterial infection and viruses

• Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods

EHPLabs Oxywhey contains 300Mg of MCT oils, as well as essential and non-essential amino acids andBCAAs, and a blend of whey protein, isolate and micellar casein which makes it an ideal supplement, especially during Ramadan, to provide you with fast and slow absorbing proteins that will see you through the fasting hours.

About caffeine

Caffeine can increase alertness, sharpen focus, improve mood, boost pain tolerance, help burn fat, and help athletes do more work for longer periods in the gym and in sport.

Caffeine was previously banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pre-competition but since January 2004, any restriction on caffeine’s use pre-event has been lifted.

Caffeine works on the central nervous system.

In bodybuilding and sports, many people also use caffeine pills to enhance performance, these are typically 50-200mg each, and doses may be as much as 300-400mg.

Caffeine is rapidly absorbed from the digestive system reaching peak concentration in blood 60-90 minutes after ingestion. Caffeine is then metabolised in the liver. Complete clearance of caffeine from plasma and urine is not until 24-48 hours after ingestion of the last dose.

Caffeine has been shown to increase both short term intense exercise performance, ‘stop-start’ activities (football, rugby, etc), long distance running and help our performance in the gym, so we can train more effectively and ultimately increase size and strength.

About water balance in your body

The competition season is upon us, and a lot of athletes struggle to get dry on stage. Here are the basics of how your body works when it comes to water balance:

The majority of fluid output occurs from urination. Some fluid is lost through perspiration (part of the body’s temperature control mechanism) and as water vapor in expired air.

The body’s homeostatic control mechanisms ensure that a balance between fluid gain and fluid loss is maintained. The hormones ADH (antidiuretic hormone, also known as vasopressin ) and aldosterone are responsible for this.

What does this mean: your body is smart, it will always try and restore the water balance.

If you drink too little water, it will retain fluid by the kidneys and reduces the urine output.

When you drink too much water, your body will try and push it out by increasing your urine output. Drinking too much water also increases the amount of water in your blood and your sodium and electrolyte levels drop. Sodium helps balance fluids between the inside and outside of cells.

When sodium levels drop due to excess water consumption, fluids shift from the outside to the inside of the cells, causing them to swell. When brain cells swell, pressure inside the skull increases. This pressure causes the first symptoms of water intoxication: headache, nausea, vomiting.

Aldosterone  increases water reabsorption through sodium cotransport.

ADH increases water reabsorption by increasing the nephron’s permeability to water, while aldosterone works by increasing the reabsorption of both sodium and water.

Over hydration happens when you drink more water than your kidneys can get rid of via urine.

But the amount of water is not the only factor. How long you take to drink the water also counts.Your kidneys can only get rid of about 0.8 – 1 liter of water per hour. Therefore to avoid water intoxication you should not drink more than 1 l of water per hour on average.

Extra care should be taken when you ‘load’ the water before a competition, and also when you rehydrate following a dehydration after a competition – don’t drink too much water at once.

About Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in simplest terms, it’s the “glue” that helps hold the body together.

As we age, collagen production declines. You’ll notice it physically: looser skin, more wrinkles and less elasticity. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally.

Collagen also reduces cellulite and stretchmarks.

When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more. With its gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, collagen allows us to glide and move without pain.

A boost in collagen may help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and helping with the conversion of essential nutrients. One of glycine’s most important roles is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells.

Collagen protein is the building block of your fingernails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen into your diet regimen can help keep your nails strong and possibly reverse signs of hair loss.

If you’d like to detox your body of harmful substances, improve blood flow and keep your heart young, collagen is extremely helpful. That’s because glycine helps minimize damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that shouldn’t be passing through it.

About glucosamine

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a compound naturally found within the cartilage of our joints, made from chains of sugars and proteins bound together. It acts as one of the body’s natural shock-absorbents and joint lubricants. Glucosamine possesses natural anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. One of the most popular supplements taken by people with bone and joint pain glucosamine aids in treating common symptoms of age-related disorders like arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Using glucosamine supplements or obtaining it from natural sources increases the amount of cartilage and fluid that surrounds our joints. This helps prevent joint breakdown and reduces pain.

Glucosamine slows down deterioration of joints when used long-term, plus it offers other benefits that prescription painkillers cannot (such as lowering chronic inflammation and improving digestive health).

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is a natural substance found in the human body and a major component of cartilage, which helps build connective tissue throughout the body. Because it works by retaining water, it helps add lubrication and flexibility to tissue and joints.

Chondroitin used with glucosamine helps lower symptoms associated with loss of collagen and cartilage, which are found in tendons, joints, ligaments, skin and the digestive tract. These conditions can include tendonitis, bursitis and so on. In healthy people, when cartilage becomes damaged due to overuse, injury or inflammation, new cartilage is normally produced to take its place. Unfortunately, as we get older our ability to regenerate lost cartilage and repair damaged connective tissue becomes less efficient.

In both humans and animals, glucosamine and chondroitin stimulate the production of new cartilage and can also help reduce inflammation in the process.

Source: https://draxe.com/chondroitin/

About L-glutamine

L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream.

L-glutamine benefits the body in the following ways:

1. Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair

2. Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage

3. Is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and helps with memory, focus and concentration (

4. Improves IBS and diarrhoea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements

5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting

6. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise

7. Improves metabolism and cellular detoxification

8. Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol

9. Fights cancer

10. Improves diabetes and blood sugar

Doing approximately one hour of exercise can cause a 40 percent reduction of glutamine in the body. It can also cause suppressed immune function. This has a negative impact on your resistance training and may lead to overtraining syndrome.

Supplementing with L-glutamine allows your muscles to fight and push a bit further, which boosts your strength and helps repair your skeletal muscles.

L-glutamine supplementation makes it possible to recover quicker from intense weight training sessions because it improves muscle hydration. This aids the muscle recovery process and reduces recovery time for wounds and burns.

L-glutamine also burns fat and builds lean muscle mass by helping suppress insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose. This enables the body to use up less muscle mass to maintain blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in the cells. For this reason, L-glutamine benefits diabetics and those with sugar and carb cravings as well.

About beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. It is not used by the body to synthesize proteins. Instead, together with histidine, it produces carnosine.

Carnosine reduces lactic acid accumulation in your muscles during exercise, which leads to improved athletic performance.

In muscles, histidine levels are normally high and beta alanine levels are normally low, which limits the carnosine production.

Since beta alanine supplements increase carnosine levels in muscles, they help the muscles reduce their acid levels during exercise. This leads to reduced fatigue.

Beta-alanine improves athletic performance. It can reduce fatigue, increase endurance and boost performance in high-intensity exercises.

In general, muscle acidosis limits the duration of high-intensity exercise.

For this reason, beta-alanine specifically helps performance during high-intensity and short-duration exercise lasting one to several minutes.

It’s possible that beta-alanine improves body composition by increasing training volume and promoting muscle growth

L-carnosine’s health benefits are generally due to its antioxidant properties, which support many age-related conditions. The specific uses of L-carnosine include support for the skin, joints, digestive system and memory. Carnosine also prevents changes in the structure and function of proteins in the body. This may give it some anti-aging properties.

Moreover, carnosine seems to elevate nitric oxide production. This may help against the aging process and improve immune function.

Lastly, carnosine increases the quality and function of muscles in the elderly.

It is generally recommended to consume 2-5 grams of beta-alanine daily. Taking it with a meal may be even more effective.

The most common side effect of beta-alanine is paraesthesia.

This is an unusual sensation typically described as “tingling of the skin.” It’s usually experienced in the face, neck and back of the hands.

The intensity of this tingling increases with dosage size. It usually starts with doses of 800 mg or higher, and disappears 60–90 minutes after consumption. But there is no evidence that paraesthesia is harmful in any way.

Wawan WBCAA recovery contains 1.8gr of Beta-Alanine, 10gr of BCAAs and 2.5gr of L-Glutamine, with 12gr of carbs – it makes it a perfect intra workout drink.

About the different types of proteins

There are 4 common types of protein:

  • When protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Hydrolysed whey protein
  • Casein protein

All whey proteins are easily digestible, therefore they break down in your body quickly, hence they can be a very essential part of your breakfast (after the fasting hours of your night sleep), and after your workout.

Whey protein concentrate is one of the most basic forms of protein.  This is probably the most common protein for anyone who works out. This is a great starting point for beginners, it’s slightly cheaper than the other types and it does the job. It has around 75-80% of protein in it (which means in a 100gr of powder you get 75-80 gr of protein), and it’s reasonably low in fat and carbs. However some people might have some gastric discomfort from this protein especially if they have any digestive issues already. For those people I recommend they try the other types of protein below.

The next level is the whey protein isolate. This protein has been filtered further than the concentrate, and therefore it’s lower in carbs and fats, lactose has been removed as well, therefore it usually doesn’t give any digestive issues. Its protein content is a bit higher, too, you can expect about 85-90% of protein in 100 gr of powder.

Hydrolysed whey protein is the clearest form of protein. It has no fat or carb content, therefore it’s almost 100% protein (around 90-95%). It’s very quick to absorb in the body.

Casein protein is different from whey protein. It breaks down slower in your body, over the course of 5-7 hours therefore it makes it a great ‘snack’ before you go to sleep. It also has high glutamine content, which is great for recovery.

WAWAN ISO Tamrya is made from EU sourced grass fed Cross-Flow Microfiltered Whey Protein Isolate, which makes it a great choice for breakfast or after workout.

About ephedrine

The main ingredient in fat burners or thermogenics is ephedrine, a synthetic version of a chinese herb ephedra, or also known as ma huang.

Ephedrine is a drug, rather than a nutrition supplement. It is also used in low concentrations in flu and cold remedies (pseudoephedrine).

Ephedrine is chemically similar to amphetamines, which act on the brain and the central nervous system.

There is some evidence that ephedrine helps fat loss: partly due to an increase in thermogenesis, partly because it suppresses your appetite and partly because it makes you more active.

When taken as an ECA stack (ephedrine – caffeine – aspirin) ephedrine has a greater effect in terms of weight loss and thermogenesis. However the fat burning effect of ephedrine seems to decrease over time.

Ephedrine is judged to be safe in doses between 18-25 mg, that’s the amount that’s used in cold remedies. Doses more than 32 mg a day may triple your risk of bleeding in the brain. Prolonged use and higher doses combined with heavy exercise increase your risk of side effects, like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Ephedrine is addictive, and people can develop a tolerance to it, which means you will need to take more and more to get the same effects. 

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