In case you missed it, in a previous post (Part 1) I talked about some of the background, my diet, what I ate and how I manipulated my calories as well as the overall strategy that I used to get photo shoot/competition ready on a vegan diet. In this post I will briefly cover the training and cardio and the final week leading up to the shoot as well as a bit of information on carb-cycling that I did.
I won’t give much of the background again like I did in part one, so if you would like to read about that and my basic approach to leaning down and getting ready for a bodybuilding show please check out:
- How To Lose Fat And Get Lean On a Vegan Diet | Part 1
- The Road To Your First Bodybuilding Competition And Getting Lean, How I Did It
In terms of my training, I included a lot more weight training and isolated muscle training as well as a bit of posing into it. This was on top of the calisthenics training I was previously doing. The training was nothing fancy, just the usual weights workouts, keeping the reps between 6 and 12 and keeping the weights relatively heavy. Most days 2 muscle groups were worked with legs having their own day. The calisthenics training was also included in the workouts, usually alternating between calisthenics exercises and weights.
For cardio, I only did 3 HIIT sessions per week on the stationary bike for a maximum of 12 minutes. All sessions were done after weight training as this seems to work best for me. I started with just one session per week for about two weeks, then added in a second session and finally after 4 weeks added in the third HIIT session. It’s all about building the cardio up and not just starting with hours and hours of cardio. Start small and as your progress slows then add more in bit by bit.
In the final week I dropped two of the cardio sessions and just did one HIIT session.
I used a very simplified version of carb cycling near the end of the preparation. All I really did was reduce the amount of direct carbs (rice, oats, sweet potatoes) for two days, then for one day go back to normal. I did this for about 2 weeks. After the third cycle (of 2 days low, one day normal X 3) I increased the carbs a bit more than normal in each meal.
The extra carbs helped to fill out and fill the muscles just a bit, but nothing too drastic. The carb cycling was followed right till the day of the shoots. The day before the shoots, I increased the carbs quite a bit above normal in order to fill out for the shoot. I think I probably didn’t eat enough as I did feel a bit flat on one of the days.
This part is always a mind game, because you know that you need to eat quite a decent amount to really fill out, but in your mind you are afraid to eat too much thinking it will affect your condition and mess everything up. Sometimes you just have to silence that voice and do what you know you need to do. How many times does it happen that after your shoot or competition, you go and eat whatever you want and realize your condition then, was way better than before :/ So try not to worry too much about it and just stick to your plan.
So that was basically it, if you are following/want to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and are not sure how it will fit in with your training or how to go about it just drop me an email and I would be happy to help out where I can, or even if you have any questions about my experiences. The next time I do this I will be better prepared and at least I will know what to expect and how to go about it, I hope :p
Some photos from some of the shoots can be seen on our Flickr account below.
I have also been giving Intermittent Fasting a try for about 2 months now, and I will do a write up about my experiences with it soon.