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 HIIT cardio

The competition season is upon us, many of you guys do endless cardio to lose body fat. Sometimes we go through phases when the weight loss stops and it seems almost impossible to get it going again. The body is trying to hold on to that little bit of fat – it’s a normal survival mechanism.

When weight loss stops, it’s a sign that your body has adapted to your current training and diet, and you just need to change something to kick it off again.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to switch up your cardio from steady state to HIIT. Many bodybuilders are scared that HIIT training will make them lose muscle. If you use it wisely, that can be avoided.

First of all you don’t need to do it all the time. If you do cardio 1x or 2x a day, you shouldn’t do HIIT both times. Actually, doing HIIT increases your metabolic rate for the next 24 hours, so you could even do it only every other day and on the other sessions stick to steady state cardio. And don’t forget: your body adapts to HIIT cardio, too, so after some time (could be about 3-4 weeks) you can change back to normal cardio again.

Now let’s see how we do HIIT cardio:

The essential framework of high-intensity interval training is always the same: Brief, all-out work periods, separated by rest periods. The work-to-rest ratio can vary from 1:1 (for example, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) to 1:4 or more, and the rounds can be just a few or 15 or more. Always try and gradually progress: either by reducing the rest periods, extending the work periods, adding one more round at the end or all these 3.

Don’t forget to supplement with BCAA before and after your cardio to minimise catabolism.

@wawannutrition WBCAA or Ronnie Coleman series Aminotone are a good choices for your BCAA supplementation

@wawanbahrain

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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 diabetes – part 1

There are 3 main types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: results from the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin
  • Type 2 Diabetes: a condition of defective insulin signalling
  • Gestational Diabetes: a condition where women without previously diagnose diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.

When insulin isn’t produced or acts ineffectively, glucose remains circulating in the blood, leading to a condition known as hyperglycemia. Long term hyperglycemia can result in the dysfunction and failure of various organs and systems, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.

The key players in diabetes are the pancreas and the liver.

The pancreas is both an endocrine and exocrine gland.

Exocrine means that it’s a gland that release its contents through a tube from inside to outside the body. It helps with digestion by producing important enzymes that break down food, which allows the body to absorb the nutrients.

The endocrine function primarily involves the secretion of the 2 primary hormones relevant to diabetes management: insulin and glucagon.

Insulin increases the storage of glucose, fatty acids and amino acids in cells and tissues and is considered an anabolic hormone. Insulin is a key player in the storage and use of fuels within the body.

Disorders in insulin production and signalling have widespread and devastating effects on the body’s organs and tissues. Glucagon is a peptide hormone produced by alpha cells in the pancreas. The pancreas releases glucagon when blood sugar levels fall too low. It opposes the action of insulin by raising the concentration of glucose in the blood.

Dietary carbs are not essential, however, the body needs glucose. The brain typically needs about 130 gr of glucose every day. Not all glucose has to come from the diet because the liver has the ability to synthesise it.

The liver serves as a warehouse for glucose storage and production. It can also produce fatty acids under certain conditions.

As blood glucose and insulin levels increase, the liver increases its absorption of glucose. Glucose is stored as glycogen. The amount of glycogen stored depends on circulating insulin and glucose levels. When blood glucose levels drop, insulin production falls. The shortage of insulin signals the liver to release its assets by sending glucose back into the blood to keep the body nourished.

When carb intake is restricted, it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. As insulin levels fall and energy is needed, fatty acids leave their respected fat cells and enter the bloodstream. From here they’re taken up by specific cells and metabolised. Ketone bodies are molecules created in the liver, that are pushed into the blood stream where they’re utilised by skeletal and heart muscles cells as fuel. Also, the brain begins to use ketones as an alternate fuel source when blood levels are high enough to cross the blood-brain barrier. When this happens a person is said to be in nutritional ketosis.

Ketogenic diets are very popular because they suppress insulin and that seems to be very effective in the treatment and management of obesity and T2D. However the severe restriction of carbs (often below 30 gr) may increase the potential for hypoglycaemia of people with T1D.

Lipogenesis is creating fat within the body from glucose or other substrates. It takes place mostly in the liver. Lipogenesis occurs in the liver during times of calorific excess and overfeeding. The liver converts excess glucose to fatty acids. These fatty acids can be stored in the liver or transported via lipoproteins (carriers) to muscle and fat tissue for future fuel use or storage. The ratio that is stored or used is highly dependent on energy intake vs. energy expenditure.

In a healthy liver, insulin halts the production of glucose and instead promotes glycogen storage or generates fatty acids during times of energy excess.

The liver of a person with T1D has no internal break system. Insulin deficiency allows glucose production in the liver to go uncontrolled leading to hyperglycaemia and ketoacidosis if unmanaged. When there’s not enough insulin available, glucose cannot enter the cells for use as energy. Therefore the liver produces even more glucose in an attempt to provide energy for the starved cells, but because insulin is not available, none of this glucose can enter the cells. It builds up and starves the cells even further. Consequently, administration of insulin medication is needed to facilitate the entry of glucose into cells.

Insulin increases glucose uptake in the liver by facilitating the creation of glycogen and decreases glucose output.

Prolonged elevations in insulin that result from an energy surplus increase the body’s ability to produce fat via the process of lipogenesis.

Source:

Phil Graham: Diabetic Muscle

About L-Carnitine

Taking L-Carnitine is known to:

  • Improve high-intensity work capacity
  • Increase athletic performance
  • Speed your recovery from intense exercise
  • Make your brain work better

Carnitine is an amino acid composite that is made of lysine and methionine. It is responsible for the transport of fat into the cells to be used for energy, therefore your body becomes more efficient in processing fuel and it will increase your energy levels.

Elevating carnitine will improve physical performance by burning more fat, sparing glycogen, clearing muscle lactate, and optimizing hormone levels.

For Carnitine to be effective, you need to make sure you have enough Omega-3 in your body. Omega-3s increase metabolic rate by increasing cell activity and fat burning. Carnitine is the delivery system for long chain fatty acids therefore the less carnitine you have in your body, the fewer fatty acids get into the cells, and you don’t burn them for energy. Instead they’re stored as fat. By elevating carnitine fat burning increases, you will have more energy and feel more motivated.

Carnitine fights visceral belly fat, that is known to be the toughest fat to loose. Raising your carnitine levels will fight this visceral belly fat gain because it increases fat burning.

Higher muscle carnitine levels help decrease pain, muscle damage and markers of metabolic stress from high intensity exercise by reducing lactic acid production, therefore you can have a greater work production because it will not feel as physically difficult.

Taking carnitine will also support an anabolic response to exercise by up-regulating the androgen receptors, which will speed up your recovery.

Carnitine can help prevent type 2 diabetes because of how it improves fat metabolism. It can counter the diseases of metabolic syndrome by supporting cardiovascular health while inducing fat loss.