Chadd's First Bodybuilding Competition Log

2018 is just around the corner, and on January 1 I begin shredding for my first bodybuilding competition in June. I’ll be competing in the Masters (I’ll be 41 at the time of the show) and Open Bodybuilding classes at the Naturally Fit Super Show here in Austin. I’m going to start tracking and sharing my journey here. Hopefully it will help me with accountability, lol!

First, a little back story…
It has been quite a journey so far. Until this year, I made up my own workouts (no trainers, no forums, just winging it), not really making much progress. Then in January 2017, I started training with Alex (yeah, that guy you sometimes see in the PricePlow videos) at FTA Gym simple goal of packing on muscle. Trainers at the gym would joke with me, saying it’s a waste that I don’t compete with my physique :laughing:. So, finally in July, I broke down, and said…“okay…maybe”. So we continued packing on muscle through 2017, with the intent of shredding in the new year.

Over the course of this year, I packed on 20 lb while maintaining 20% body fat. Here’s the stats:

January 2017: Began training regimen, 5-6 days/week

  • Weight: 187 lb
  • Body Fat: ???
  • Caloric intake: ~3200 (not really tracked)

July 2017: Midyear check

  • Weight: 199 lb
  • Body Fat: 20% (caliper)
  • Caloric intake: 3200 cal (tracked)

December 2017: End bulking phase

  • Weight: 207 lb
  • Body Fat: 20%
  • Caloric intake: 3400 cal (tracked)
    I weighed myself daily, but did not start recording the numbers until July

Photos at end of bulking phase (December 2017)

My blood pressure has always been high (~140/90), and my blood work has been marginal (Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, glucose, etc…). I want to see if prepping for the competition will improve them.
I track my blood pressure daily, and publish the numbers here.

Here’s my blood work from May 2017. I selected what I think are the most important numbers, along with all numbers that are not “normal”. I’ll run it again as I get closer to the competition…
May 2017 bloodwork

So, let’s get this started! On January 1, my caloric intake will be reduced to 3000 (185 g Protein, 285 g Carbs, 125 g Fat), and cardio will be added to my routine.

I’ll post updates as I go on this journey, and I hope y’all enjoy following along!



I wish you the best. I was planning on doing a show in 2018 as well but my right shoulder has other plans…:frowning: I will be following. When is the show ?

1 Like

Thanks! The show is June 23, and fortunately it’s close to home. Sucks about your shoulder :frowning:

Yeah, looks it will have to go under the knife this year. The show I was planning was in June as well. The NPC GNC Classic. This is a good amount of time to start cutting. As we get older, it seems to take a little longer to get lean.

Get after it Chad!

1 Like

My piece of contest advice… Don’t do drastic changes and try to cut a lot of water and do crazy things during peak week before the show. This has caused a lot of problems for many people.


I have heard that. Fortunately I’m working with a trainer who is experienced in what is an is not myth with peak weeks/water/macros. No water deprivation and no eating dry oats the morning of the show, haha!

Thanks, Robert!

Dry oats? I’ve never even heard of doing that before. Sounds awful. And I agree with no water deprivation. So many people seem to forget that the more you drink, the more you pee. Anyway, best of luck! I’ve been thinking about doing a contest for years. I’m sure I’ll get to it soon. But kudos to you for actually going through with it!

1 Like

Good luck!!! Looking forward to monitoring here!

Would be curious what happens as you enter a low-carb phase of your prep. While salt is often blamed (and does indeed raise BP for some), sugar screws up BP for many more.

CJ (and I think Alex) have always been very against water-cutting insanity.

1 Like

I might make a separate thread about BP at some point :smile: , but I am skeptical that this will have much impact to my BP…

  • I tend to eat very low carb (not a conscious choice, I just don’t crave carbs).
  • I do eat high salt (but I would argue it’s no different than a “normal” 'merican diet :wink:). I read somewhere that potassium should help negate the effects of sodium in the blood. I have supplemented with as much as 7500 mg potassium citrate/day (~3 g potassium) with zero impact to BP.
  • I’ve had high BP as long as I can remember (at least since college), and I’m the only one in my family with it.
  • Two doctor’s have told me (at least since high school) that my heart is very strong to the point where it sounds like a heart murmur from the force of the blood hitting the walls of the chambers. (Both doctors concluded it was not a murmur). So, I guess my heart naturally pumps very hard? Is that related? shrug
  • Okay, I admit it. I do drink like a fish, But again, I have had high BP for much longer than I drank any considerable amount. It goes without saying that my drinking will be dramatically reduced and eventually eliminated during my shredding phase…so we’ll see.

I track my BP 2x daily, and will be publishing them here about once per week. I’ll highlight in here if I start to see improvement.

Now for the blood work, I hear that bulking phases can screw with blood numbers; so I’m very confident that all my numbers will improve. I’m debating if I want to shell out extra cash to get additional blood tests as I go (my insurance covers 1/year).

1 Like

Best of luck, Chad! Definitely following.

1 Like

Good luck I would love to do a powerlifting show this year but my shoulder hates life right now.


Are you on gear or any other type of hormone related product?
I know(or hope) you’ve likely hear this before but that cholesterol score is not good, I would heavily advise trying to improve it. What types of foods are you eating?

This is true in most people, restricting salt also increases blood pressure, but if you have certain medical conditions, IE salt sensitive hyper tension(caused by the body having difficulty eliminating salt) salt will increase it regardless, which in short is why I have the philosophy of “You don’t need to restrict salt unless your doctor tells you to”

That’s common in high blood pressure, more noticeable when there is a large difference in the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, which can be caused by arterial blockages.
Systolic is the pressure your heart pumps blood at, high numbers hear likely mean blood flow problems or stiffened arteries.
Diastolic is the pressure it is at rest, elevated numbers here usually are due to elevated blood/fluid levels.

I wish you luck on the contest prep, hope the advise isn’t out of place.


Mostly home cooked. My wife is practically a home chef. I guess it would be best classified as high protein/fat, low carb/sugar. I expect/hope to see dramatic improvement in this number, along with LDL/HDL with my shredding.

This month, I upped my fish oil intake from 1 g/day to 3 g/day (2 g fish oil, 1 g krill oil) to see if it will improve my numbers, too.

Weird. I haven’t heard that before, only that it decreases. Also worth noting that my fasting sodium serum was in normal range (also verified it was normal in 2014), but I’m not sure if that’s what doctors look at to determine if one should change salt in diet.
Sodium: 143 mmol/L; normal range: 134-144

Hmm…if that’s the case, I probably had elevated BP as early as high school. However, I did ask my parents, and they don’t recall that being discussed by my doctors. (or maybe they just don’t care much about BP when you’re a kid)

The good news is that I have data that show my BP tracked around 150/100 back in 2005. And I haven’t recorded a value that high in years.

I’m currently taking a cocktail of almost every supplement you could imagine that supposedly lowers blood pressure.

Thanks, guys!


Could you be more specific? Are we talking meats, nuts and seeds, some other fatty or high protein food I can’t think of? What’s the source of fats?

Fish oil is a good idea, though I am not sure it will improve the LDL too much, I’m not entirely sure that much is necessary either.

I was making a general statement(not specifically directed at you), high levels can be used to diagnose salt sensitive hypertension/poor liver function. The body will hold on to fluids if it doesn’t have enough electrolytes which can increase blood pressure by allot. Survival mechanism, without sodium everything breaks down which has a tendency to lower survival.

Such as? I would focus on cholesterol over blood pressure, blood pressure is more of an indicator that something is wrong rather then a direct number to focus on(to an extent).

For cholesterol I would try to eliminate dietary cholesterol as much as possible, lower long chain saturated fats, and try to get more fiber, chia seeds are great for this if you can find them for cheap(under 3$ a pound).
Try winco if you have it.

In the event you are taking any hormonal products, you don’t need to tell me, watch cholesterol carefully, some stuff rightly fucks your levels.

I would consider getting said levels tested again to be worth it to see if the diet/changes are helping, assuming its not too much of an investment.

1 Like

I can’t really be more specific. It’s not like we try to be on a specific regimen (keto, paleo, veg, or whatever). However the vast majority of protein, and possibly fats come from meat in my diet.

D’oh, I meant to delete that part of my response before submitting. I was going to elaborate on that, but chose to leave that out and save it for another thread, :laughing:. But, mostly vasodialators, like you find in many pre-workouts. More recently, I started messing with anti-anxiety nootropics as I’m a very high stress/anxiety person; and my wife and I suspect that this may be the sole-source of my elevated BP and cholesterol numbers.

I never taken any hormones or prohormones or whatever. But yea, I’ve heard such products can have disastrous impacts to BP.

1 Like

Ya most meat doesn’t give great fats and getting protein from meat generally comes with allot of cholesterol. Beans, nuts, whey isolate, lentils and grains are all good sources of cholesterol free protein, and usually have good fats and/or lots of fiber.

Vasodilators for the most part aren’t going to have much of a long term effect, but try garlic, lowers BP and improves cholesterol, plus its delicious.
Stress can have effects there but I would be surprised if it was the sole cause. Still is good to get that under control, tell me if anything ends up working, love to hear about it.

Wasn’t sure since you didn’t answer originally, so I gave the advice just in case.
Ya really, Its a large part of why I am not a fan of over the counter hormone products.

1 Like

I appreciate the info. I have now decided to do blood panels over the next 6 months, and post them here. I’m going to do the usual Lipid and CMP, which will cover all my numbers above, example here, which is only $45. Do you recommend I test anything else? Thanks again!

1 Like