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1/8/2010 9:10:11 AM - Will
Hey Matt, before starting your bodybuilding prep, what made you decide to go do a show? Also, what show are you doing and where did you find such a show to do in the middle of January?

Hey Will,

Well, I was more interested in bodybuilding earlier in my lifting career. A few years ago, I helped out a friend of mine when getting ready for a competition and he's now got his Natural Pro card.

I respected the discipline that it took, but two things really turned me off from it. One, was the aspect of food preparation and cardio that it took to get down to competition shape. And the second was the emphasis on all the details of proportion that I frankly wasn't that interested in dedicating my time towards.

Since I was working with Shelby for close to a year at that point anyway, I had become used to the food prep. I was preparing pretty much all of my own meals in the same way that a bodybuilder would. I'd also had a few hours of cardio sessions per week at various points. So when I realized that it wouldn't take a complete life overhaul to do it, I figured that I wanted to try and get down to competition leanness and see what it was like. Yes, it's basically consumed my life, especially towards the end, but it would have been even more-so if I went from eating most of my meals out and without cooking/weighing them, to bodybuilding-mode in one shot. I feel bad for the people that make that transition.

Also, I knew that I'd be able to gain some perspective on things in a way that I didn't have before. Discipline is something that I'm always looking to build in myself.

Not to mention, it makes good sense from a business perspective. Most of my clients train to look better naked...plain and simple. Now that I look the way most of them want to look, I'm able to sell my product (training) a lot easier. It doesn't matter how much you explain to them that you're a powerlifter, people will almost always react more to the visual than any kind of explanation of how strong you are. That's the reason that I know a lot of dumb-shit trainers with great physiques who will always manage to have clients, no matter what. Once I have the photos from the competition and the day after, I'll be able to use these as marketing leverage on my website, as acting promo, and perhaps other projects that I have down the line.

Jumping back to the other point about how training would have to change. Well, it'd didn't really. I kept focusing on the powerlifts, although they certainly went down. Although, relative strength stayed the same or went up a little bit even (which is always a good sign that you're not overdoing it). I added a tiny bit of extra volume for delts, bis, and tris, and that was about it. I didn't worry about the calves because, frankly, I don't give a shit. :-)

And it turns out that training with paying a small mind to proportion for all these years left me pretty decently well-rounded at the end of it all. I could use more size overall to be more competitive in bodybuilding, but that's not really my main goal. The conditioning (leanness) was what I was after.

As for your last question, I did some Googling for natural bodybuilding shows in early January. When the idea popped into my mind, I asked Shelby how long to give it and he suggested 16 weeks. I happened to find this one fit the date perfectly. And as I said above, a big part of this was for the mental challenge, which is another reason I chose right after the holidays. I figured that if I can pull through with this through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, that any other time of year would be much easier. I wouldn't do another show again at this time of year, but I'd definitely consider doing one per year or two.

Thanks for the question, Will.

2 days left,
Matt McGorry

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