In this podcast, I share one of the worst days in my contest prep journey (and how I turned it around.)
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Hi, everybody, and you’re listening to the Brad Newton Show episode 19 where I talked about my contest prep journey and I give strategies and stuff around health, fitness, weight loss, that kind of stuff. Super excited, now, being episode 19 and almost being eight o’clock in the morning and I’m 24 days away from stepping on the stage. I’m super bumped about that piece. However, I want to talk about yesterday which wasn’t so pleasant. It was terrible. It was absolutely horrible day and it’s just probably one of the worst days of my competition preparation journey for a number of reasons. We’ll get into that very shortly.
Right now, I’m actually feeling pretty amazing. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and went off to the gym, did my weight training session for an hour, so did chest and back and I took some footage of that and I used Instagram stories to tell the story. If you’re not already on Instagram, go check it out @seekfitlife, all one word, @seekfitlife. You get to see all the stories, all the behind the scenes of how I train and that kind of things. You get video footage and the like. You go on and check that out, but I had a really good session. I really did.
Yesterday wasn’t so good and it’s a combination of things. It wasn’t just one thing. Interestingly enough, there were two other competitors that are competing the same day that I’m competing, so we’re all 24 days out. We’re competing on the 7th of May 2017. One of them made a public Facebook post and Instagram post and then I was like, “Man, I feel exactly the same way,” and then another girl, she said, “I feel exactly the same way.” There was another girl actually DM’ed me and she said that she was feeling terrible for different reasons.
Yesterday was just a black cloud of a day. It seemed like at least four of us and it could just be serendipity but, look, honestly, yesterday was terrible for me. I got to bed at midnight the night before, and I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and I woke up before my alarm. Getting four and a half hours sleep was not a good way to start the day, and for me, I usually like five to six hours sleep. Anything less than five hours, I’m tired and it drags through the day. Usually, if I have to catch an early flight or something like that, very rarely do I get anything less than five hours. But yesterday was really the beginning of a shit day, waking up at 4:30 in the morning and on four and a half hours sleep.
From there on, I did fasted cardio from 5:30 in the morning for one hour and I did skip rope. I did high intensity interval training on the skip rope, not for an hour, maybe for 20, 30 minutes then I did some low intensity work with cardio. Then, I got home at 6:30 in the morning and then I rested until 7:00 because I had to do a weight training session with my coach, Penny Lomas, from 7:30 in the morning until 8:30 in the morning. I was like, “Gosh,” like I got home. I was like I got home at 6:30 and I was like completely fucked. I’m lying on the couch and I’m thinking to myself, “I don’t want to go anywhere. I really don’t. I just want to lay here. I’m tired,” and then I’m like, “I got a weight training session at 7:30. I have to leave at 7:00.” I have half an hour to rest on the couch and didn’t want to leave.
I showed up to my session and I had my camera with me because I usually film everything and I didn’t even have the energy to turn the camera on. I didn’t capture any footage of how fucked I was. It was a leg session. It was dead lifting, box squats and barbell squats, and you know what, we didn’t even finish the programme. I was so tired. My deadlift, it was like 40, 50, 60 kilos and I couldn’t even finish the set, like that’s how tired. That’s how fucked I was. I was like really tired.
I was just chatting to my coach and we’re chatting about stuff like books which were talking about people that have had tough upbringings and things. That was good, but like the training was terrible and it was not even salvageable. Look, a 60 kilo deadlift and I could not do no more than five to six reps for a guy is fucking dismal, like it’s terrible, but given the circumstances, I was very tired. Interestingly enough, I had a pre-workout which did absolutely nothing. It did nothing for me because I’m quite, quite frankly, I’ve adapted to pre-workout.
I had to meal prep on top of that and then I was … You know what? I said to myself, “Fuck this. Why am I doing this? This is really fucking ridiculous.” Everybody needs to hear this. I really feel like this is like a double-edged sword of getting this out to the world, getting it off my chest but also, it’s a bit of self-awareness for everybody listening to this, to know that if you look at my Instagram profile and you see all these pretty photos of me and the abs and this and that, nice at the front cover dude of a magazine, the reality is that it’s not glamorous all the time behind the scenes. It gets rough. It gets dirty. It gets really tough.
That’s what this podcast is all about. It’s about giving everybody the behind the scenes that … Like I love to get behind the mic and tell you about sunshine and rainbows everybody but I’d just be bullshitting everybody and I wouldn’t be honest to myself and I wouldn’t be honest to the audience. If you’re curious to know about contest prep journeys, like if you’re interested to know what a fitness model competitor goes through, then you’re in the right place. This is exactly what I went through. The other guys, I’m not sure exactly what they went through but we’ll get to them in a second.
After that weight training session, I was like, “Fuck this.” I don’t want to meal prep. I don’t want to bring out the scales. I don’t want to weigh and measure because I am weighing and measuring my food every single fucking day at least for the last two months, every fucking day. I bring the scales out and I measure my protein intake.
That, over time, is tiring. Look, mostly manageable, 95% of the time, I do it without complaint, without whinging, I do it. But when you put all the pieces together of four and a half hours sleep and training five to six days a week for two to three hours a day doing one hour of fasted cardio, one hour of weight training with about 30 minutes of posing practise, five to six days a week and even on the seventh day, it’s posing practise, it gets very overwhelming. I was like, “Fuck this. I’m not measuring protein today. Fuck this.” I went to my fridge, I got the chicken out and just had what I felt like I needed to have without weighing it. I had my veggies, I had my chicken and my veggies and I’ll be talking four or five meals of this kind of food.
Anyway, I went out to the supermarket and I bought some Quest Bars and if you’ve never had a Quest Bar, go and check them out. I’m sure most here listening to this now have had Quest Bars. Anyway, so I bought two or three of them, and without shame, without guilt, without resistance, I completely smashed them and it was really good. It tasted really good. It felt really good to eat something that wasn’t on a meal plan. It was fucking amazing to say the least.
Interestingly, I did a video log on this yesterday which is going up on my YouTube channel in the next week or two, and so you get to see what I look like on the worst day of my life. You’ll see for yourself, but literally, that’s what happened. I’m going to reference my Instagram here because I actually wrote a very long post about this. Anyway, I wrote a very long post on this yesterday and maybe go and check it out on Instagram. I posted it yesterday, 12th of April 2017. I said, “Today was the most challenging effing day, one of the most challenging effing days of my contest prep journey. A combination of things being up 4:30 a.m. yada, yada, yada,” and I talked about my training.
The other piece that really set me off was that for the past two weeks, I’ve been using my callipers, so I use the Accu-Measure 3000 pinch-an-inch test, the fat calliper. I used that fairly consistently. I’ve been using it for years, and so nothing is drastically changed with my diet in the past two weeks. However, the calliper has been reading about 1-1/2 millimetres more than what I’m used to. It’s been reading 8, 8-1/2 and I was like … Or 7 or something like that, 7, 8, 8-1/2, and I was like, “This is … What’s going on here?” It was really confusing me. Then, I jumped on the bathroom scales and remember, I never use the bathroom scales on their own. I use things like how I look in the mirror then I look at the calliper, then I look at the bathroom scales. I even looked in the mirror and I was like, “I’m actually retaining quite a bit of water.” I’m retaining water.
My weight was 91.1 or 91.2 kilogrammes whereas it should, in my mind, be around 88, 88.5. It was really fucking with my head and then the calliper reading, it should be about 6. It’s been like 7-1/2, 8 and I was like, “I haven’t been doing anything drastically different,” like, “Okay, I had two or three Quest Bars but that’s not going to explain why I look like I’m holding too much water,” and I can feel it and I can see it. This has been going on for two weeks too, by the way. For the last two weeks, I’ve been thinking about it. Anyway, yesterday, I came to the realisation that I’ve been on a new pre-workout and that pre-workout which I purchased from the Arnold classics actually contains creatine which is fine. Creatine is great. However, I was having two scoops of this pre-workout which drove my creatine intake up to about 10 to 12 grammes.
If you’re listening to this, you’re not sure what creatine is, it’s a workout supplement and it’s actually … There’s a lot of science behind it. It’s actually really effective and can help you improve your strength and performance in the gym. If you’re doing strength training, you’ll get really good benefit from it because you’re operating in the low rep range where creatine is most beneficial. If you’re on a journey to [runner 00:12:10] or if you’re working in the high rep range, then you won’t get the same benefit from it but it gives you the capacity to lift an extra one or two reps in low rep range. In doing that, it will allow you to break down just a little bit more muscle and over time, could potentially mean greater muscle growth and strength growth.
Creatine is a great supplement. There’s no denying that. However, you should only be taking 5 grammes of it a day, and all the science out there has said that 5 grammes is pretty much the maximum amount of protein to completely rejuvenate faster creatine stores in the body. If you’re not familiar with the terms, don’t worry about it. Creatine is effective and it’s used very often throughout the training, strength training community and the fitness community in general.
It was in my pre-workout and I knew that. I knew that already. However, this is why you have coaches. You have a coach for this thing and a coach for that thing and a coach for this thing. My coach didn’t know that I was taking pre-workout. I didn’t want to tell them because I know they wouldn’t want me taking a pre-workout. I wanted to take a pre-workout because it helps me get through my workouts specially with all the training and that kind of thing, I fucking need a pre-workout.
Anyway, looked at it, two scoops of this pre-workout is 10 to 12 grammes of creatine. What happens if you take too much creatine? Your body will retain more water. That’s what will happen. It’s argued where that water is taking into but usually, taking into the cell, so intracellularly. However, it seemed like I was holding a lot of water extracellularly like subcutaneously rather, I mean subcutaneously, so under the skin. Yesterday, I changed pre-workouts and so now, in a different brand that doesn’t have any creatine in it. Now, I’m going to wait to see what happens over the next few days if there’s any changes in my calliper readings or my weight on the scale or how I feel and how I look.
Look, that’s another piece of this puzzle and that was really screwing with my head and I was getting honestly worried about it. Then, I was thinking about my family, it’s interestingly, like when you’re tired just how much shit it brings up from the past. Just real quick, I’m going to say for another audio, the full story but my parents don’t know that I’m competing. My parents don’t know that I competed for the first time on the 5th of March 2017. They don’t know I came first. They don’t know anything about it. That upset me and I thought to myself yesterday laying on the mattress thinking to myself, “I wish I had parents that really give a shit about what I was doing.” The reason why, real quick, I haven’t told them about anything to do with what I’m doing and that I’m competing and so forth, is because they don’t care, like in general, they just don’t care, like what I do.
To give you context, I also had this business, SeekFitLife, they don’t even know I have that. I’ve grown it literally in the last eight months. We’re talking almost, gosh, almost 16,000 people, 156 countries through online courses, videos in YouTube and podcasting and all these other pieces, they don’t know any of that. I know because like as I haven’t told them because I know exactly what their reaction would be. It would be, “Oh, that’s good.” Seriously, because when I went to uni and graduated, they didn’t even show up for that. When I went to flight school, did my flight training and paid for all of it myself, they were like, “That’s good.” That was the reaction, “Oh, that’s good.” Yeah, it’s pretty fucking good actually.
That’s why I haven’t told them about this competition thing. That and being tired yesterday and being like completely pulverised in the soul, it brought up that. I was like, “I wish I had parents that gave a shit about what I was doing.” That crossed my mind. I’ll talk more about that in another audio because I’m sure some of you listening out there can relate to that and for me, it’s one of the biggest fucking drivers because I know, like what I do in my life is not contingent in any way with regard to how my parents feel of me or how my dad feels of me or my mother, like I do what makes me fucking happy, and that’s all that matters. That’s all that matters. I don’t care what other people think. I just fucking do it.
That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. It’d be nice to have parents that actually care. They crossed my mind as well and then, I was reaching out to few other people that go through the same thing. They’re tired. One guy was like, “I feel fucking depressed.” Another girl was like, “I feel exactly the same way.” We’re talking publicly about this. These people look great in photos. They really do like you look at their Instagrams and they’re completely shredded and their six packs and everything like some people look at my photos on Instagram and go, “Gosh, crazy, like you look really good.”
People asking me like how did you become a fitness model? Interestingly, right, I get DM’s about this every now and again on Instagram and I tell people the honest truth. I said you want to know the honest truth about what’s it like to become a fitness model competitor or is like to be one? Like when you see people on Instagram and they got their pretty photos up with their 17 filters and their 36 fucking hashtags about pic of the day, like for like, follow photo, it’s just all sunshine and rainbows. Every single photo looks like it could be thrown up in the wall. There’s a lot more behind the scenes than what you see on Instagram.
This is what I love about Instagram stories is because I can tell every single person that follows my journey on Instagram exactly what goes on behind those photos like Instagram is a front, though I love Instagram, don’t get me wrong. But, it doesn’t tell the complete story. It tells a fucking one-sided projected story of how people want to be perceived. I play that as part of branding, but as part of branding, I’m all about authenticity and I’m all about being real and I’m all about being genuine. If you want all of that shit, you go to Instagram stories because you get the wake-up face at 5:30 in the morning which is not always pumped and glamorous. There’s no fucking 17 filters. There’s no adjusting of the brightening and of the contract and the hue. There’s none of that. It’s just raw. It’s just how it is every day. I do it, Snapchat, Instagram stories.
You get to see how those photos are created. You get the full picture and I looked at people’s Instagrams of fitness models and things like great photos and I know how much work goes into that like work of art, like your body is a work of art, whatever. I know how much work goes into it but people that do not train do not know. When I was in training, I didn’t know either. My mission is to share what goes on behind the scenes. I’ve gone off track a little bit. I’ve gone a bit of a ramble so I apologise.
apologise all that, I was laying on my mattress last night and I was a bit upset. I was in tears thinking about my family and how I wish that they cared about what I did. Then, I thought about it some more and then, some more, and then I thought to myself, what they think doesn’t fucking matter, like this is the situation of I have absolutely no control over their care factor. Like I want to control their care factor, I really do but I can’t. I just can’t. That’s them. That’s not me. I need to care about me. I need to care about what I do. I need to get out of this state of being lying on a fucking mattress in the dark thinking about how my day was terrible and this is what happened.
This is what the group [Breakthrough 00:21:32] actually came shortly after. I put on my [ear plugs 00:21:36] and I grabbed my camera and my tripod and I was like, “I’m going to go to the fucking gym and I’m going to really hit this hard. I’m going to really hit this hard.” This came from listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, this entrepreneur dude who I listened to one his … Watched one of his videos and I was like, “Man, why am I wasting time laying on my mattress wallowing about my family? This is bullshit. I got to get up and do something.”
I got up. I went to the gym. It was like nine or ten o’clock at night. I was there for an hour and a half and I was shooting videos and I went through a cardio routine and I was so pumped. I was so on fire. I’ve never been and I had no pre-workout. I went straight to the gym and I absolutely nailed a high intensity interval training session on the skip rope. I filmed it. I put it on Instagram stories. I told everybody about how my whole day went and they all saw it. They saw me at my worst. They saw me at my best.
I said, this is how I’m going to fucking deal with a shit day. This is exactly how I’m going to deal with it. I’m not going to sleep until I can close up this chapter of my day knowing that I’ve done the best I could to salvage it,” and I fucking did and I nailed it and I practised my posing. Then, I thought to myself, you know what? I only deadlifted 60 fucking kilos for my legs or my back today, but you know what, I deadlifted 300 kilogrammes for my head, for my mindset because the amount of growth that I experienced in my mind today by going through this is beyond what I could ever do on the deadlift today, 60 kilos in the legs, 300 kilos in the mind.
I’m going to finish this off by saying this, this journey of contest prep, it’s not about training biceps and triceps and legs and shoulders and back and fucking chest. It’s about training another part of your body which no one ever told someone, talks about which is your mind. This shitty day that I initially thought was a fucking horrible day and I wished I could completely write it off was actually one of the best days of life, because I trained a muscle group called my mind that never usually gets trained and you only train your mind like this. You only develop mental fortitude like this when you go through mental suffering, only. That’s the only time.
If you’re having a good day, mental fortitude is not built. It’s not created. It can’t. It’s like your muscles on your body like your biceps, they only grow when you put them under pressure, when you overload them. That’s when they grow. Your mind, your mental agility, your mental fortitude only develops when you put it under pressure and that hurts. It hurt. Yesterday was painful. I was in tears. I really was. I was upset. In my bedroom with the light off, I was upset, but it was in that moment that I was developing mental fortitude and when I got up out of that mattress and I went to the gym, I broke a mental plateau.
Right now, as I film this or record this, I am glad I had that day because that horrible day was actually one of the best days of my contest prep journey. That’s how you’re going to see it. I’m not going to tell you to think positively because it wasn’t like that. It was like I had to force myself to break through that. I really did. It was hard but I wish if you saw my Instagram story, you’re probably amazed at how I turned it around. I couldn’t believe it myself, just how I was able to just have energy come out of nowhere. I was fucking tired the whole day and then all of a sudden, at eight, nine, ten o’clock, people in the gym that I usually train around were looking at me going, “What is this guy on? Like is this guy on something crazy?” No, I was on this mission to fucking dominate. That’s what I was doing. I was in a mission to turn my situation around. I’ve dragged on a little bit.
If you have any questions about what I talked about, reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. Contest prep journey is tough, no doubt, no doubt. Look, if you’re listening to this in your own kind of a weight loss programme or training programme like you’re going to have shit days. They’re going to be bad. They’re going to be terrible. They’re going to be days where you’re going to be sore. It’s going to be hard. You’re not going to want to get out of bed. You’re not going to want to use the scales or the bedroom scale or the kitchen scales. You just want to roll back over and sleep for another three hours. I fucking get it.
Try and use those moments to break through as tough as what it is, as tough as what it was for me, they were the pivotal moments for breaking through the mental plateaus. Like now, I have a little bit better mental fortitude today moving forward than what I did prior to yesterday because of yesterday. I can’t teach you how to develop mental fortitude. You just got to go through it. You’ve got to go through these tough days like you have to.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, you fucking have to go through a horrible day every now and again because that’s part of the journey. Fitness model competitors go through it all the time whether they tell you otherwise or not with their pretty photos on Instagram. Days where they throw up, they’re sick. They’re tired and they’re fucking busting their chops through a photo shoot. They don’t want to tell you that. They just want you to see the glamorous photo of how it is on the outside and there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes.
Again, thank you so much for listening to my story of hope. This maybe has inspired a few people out there in my imperfect journey to the world titles in June and my next competition literally in 24, 25 days from now. Thank you so much. If you have any questions, please reach out to me. Go to my website, seekfitlife.tv. I also teach people how to lose weight, how to train, not contest prep, that’s just a whole different level.
If you like what I have to say, maybe subscribe to this podcast and I’ll make an effort definitely to tell stories about my contest prep journey and also not my weight loss journey, my contest prep journey and also share weight loss stories and weight loss tips and strategies should that actually works, like stuff that you can really apply, not just go to a website and read some bullshit about it but actually take it from somebody that’s been doing it for years. Thank you again for listening. Have an awesome day and I’ll speak to everybody really soon.