Now That The North Americans Are In The Past

Follow my informative blog! Body Building on a Budget. Check out my latest post in regards to timing at http://lukekovalfitness.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/timing-is-everything/

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Sorry for the Delay!

Good Afternoon Everyone!

Sorry it has taken me so long to post since the show. I did not place nearly as high as I would have liked, coming in with the group at 16 out of 45 competitors in my class. It was a tough class, everyone looked on point and I must congratulate all of the athletes on their hard work and great conditioning.

It was nice to have a competitor approach me that I assisted with his diet at the Pittsburgh Championships in May to tell me how much of a difference he was able to see by implementing the changes I recommended as well as the final week preparation I instructed him through. The plan works, you just have to follow it.

I was please with the improvements I made in presenting myself on stage, although there is obviously still room for improvement. One thing that apparently did dock me points was the fact that my tan did not set in properly and I looked extremely light which did not help show my definition.

All in all it was a great show. Below are links to the photos from the show from the different sites/magazines that were on hand. Let me know what you think.

This week I went back hard in the gym, just moving heavy weight for reps of 6-8. This upcoming week I will be starting my own program “The SwitchUp” from ground zero. The program runs for 12weeks and I am back to Carb Back Loading now that my competition season is complete. Right now, I plan to be in off season mode, making the necessary improvements needed for about 9 months. I plan to compete again next May/June regionally as well as the National level again in July at the NPC Team Universe.

 

http://contests.npcnewsonline.com/contests/2012/ifbb_north_americans/luke_koval/

http://gallery.rxmuscle.com/index.php?contest=62&year=616&bodybuilder=9121

http://www.flexonline.com/galleries/men?field_athletes_nid=8405

 

Starting next week I will be back to blogging for Bodybuilding on a Budget. If there are any topics you would like me to touch on, leave me a message or shoot me an email.

 

As always,

 

Stay Fit. Stay Grinding. Let No One Derail Your Dreams.

 

Luke

@LuKKov

http://www.LukeKovalFitness.com

Day Before.

Hey guys, sorry it’s been a while. My latest post never loaded from the airport in Montana. This past week was hectic. I flew out early Monday AM, had a delay, missed the connecting flight… Travel as usual. Good thing I was prepared as I had enough meals packed for 3 days in my cooler.  Always be prepared for when times like that arise. Even when I am just leaving the house for the day, I like to my meals for the day with me so I know I am not going to either miss a meal, or be forced to eat process junk!

Anyway, Montana is a beautiful state. I was glad I got to see it. I was able to check out some ancient grounds and do some hiking when I was not with clients. I stuck to my diet perfectly for the final week by ensuring I had a hotel with a microwave and fridge. Montana has many health food stores as well as your typical grocery stores which I made sure to visit as soon as I arrived.

Thursday, I arrived back in Philadelphia at 4PM, stopped for a haircut and shave to look fresh for the stage and headed to my apartment where I had the majority of what I needed packed so that I was able to lay down before driving here, Pittsburgh. Although I was unable to sleep much, due to excitement for the competition, and probably a little from the time difference, I was wide awake at 2:00AM and hopped on the PA Turnpike… to Pittsburgh. It was a soothing drive, got to think a lot, and there was a full moon.

I arrived in Pittsburgh around 7Am, had a meal, and checked in for the show. It is finally here. Being a Hilton Honors member has its benefits after becoming a Gold member (Perks of traveling a lot for work) I had a free room to use for tonight in downtown Pittsburgh and usually check in time is 4PM, I called when I arrived and they informed me my room would be ready by 8AM. Perfect! I was able to get a nap and then go pay a visit to some former co-workers of mine at the YMCA.

Attached below are my pictures from today, sorry for the quality. Using my blackberry(not designed for photography)

Stay Fit. Keep Grinding. Stay tuned for how the show goes this weekend then following the show I will be back to blogging for Bodybuilding on a Budget.

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Just progress photos

Dragging today guys. Got my AM training in, but didn’t work in the cardio. I think im just about there though, so missing a day of cardio isn’t going to kill me as long as my diet stays on. I wont miss any workouts while I carb-deplete (Saturday-Wednesday afternoon) which is when it is going to count most for me. Lets get this. Stay Fit. Stay Grinding.

It’s Almost “Peak Week” and It Is Described Below (9 Days)

9 Days. That’s all that is left. Progress photos and Peak Week described in detail below.

Down to it. It’s the final stretch. I am down to 6 more workouts, the last being on Wednesday when I start to reintroduce Carbohydrates to my diet and being the load end of the diet. Carbohydrates will be eliminated as of this Saturday, exactly 1 week from stage. Today’s post is going to describe how I carb-load as there are many different methods competitors use. I have talked to some competitors that go up until the day of the show without reintroducing carbs and keeping a low water intake. They appear flat and not as muscular as they potentially could.
14 days from stage
This is when I begin to increase my sodium intake. I eat higher sodium foods that I normally may avoid and add salt to my food, which I never do except for this week.
By increasing your sodium intake, your body will hold more water than normal initially and adapt to holding your normal amount of water after a couple days. I also aim for about 2 gallons of water from now until five days out when I start to cut back

I have already been limiting carbohydrates from my diet the past 2 weeks, only taking in 40-50g in my post workout shake and then 40-50g in my 1st meal post workout. The rest, totaling approximately 50 come from vegetables throughout the remainder of my meals. At this 14 day point, my post workout shake includes only 30g of carbohydrates (coming from dextrose or maltodextrin) and my following meal with also only contain about 30-40g of carbohydrates, usually from rice, grits, or sweet potatoes. Still throughout the day I will get minimal carbohydrates from the vegetables I consume.

By dropping carbohydrates in this manner, I am allowing my body to use the excess fat stores for fuel to get me through the day and my training regimen. This is also the beginning of depletion of my glycogen (how glucose is stored in muscle tissue) stores. The reasoning behind carbohydrate and glycogen depletion is that each gram of glycogen stored in the muscle also stores 2.5-2.8g of water along with it. By fully depleting these stores you will initially look flat and smaller than you are used to but also preparing yourself to be in a situation to store even more glycogen (therefore water) in your muscles than before once you start to load in the days prior to the stage. You may think, “but I don’t want to hold water?” The answer to that is simple; you do want to hold water IN your muscle tissue, not under the skin. By using this method, your body will shuttle in the available water (2.5g per 1g glycogen) directly into the muscle causing you to look more muscular than before.

7 Days from the Stage (Saturday)
Exactly 1 week from stepping on stage, I cut carbohydrates out completely, except for 25g post workout from dextrose/maltodextrin and smaller servings of vegetables to accompany my lean protein in my meals. I also use olive or coconut oil to get healthy fats in my diet. Still consuming 2 gallons of water. Start to cut the sodium by not adding it to your meals.
Six Days Out (Sunday) – Four Days Out (Tuesday)
I remove the carbohydrate source from my post workout shake; it is now just protein, creatine, glutamine, and BCAA’s. I will continue to eat small servings of vegetables with my lean protein sources and added fats from olive oil or coconut oil to keep my calories from becoming too low. I continue to train with resistance and cardio to fully deplete the glycogen stores in my muscles. Still consuming 2 gallons of water. Continue dropping sodium by eating normal meals.

Three days out (Wednesday)
Today will be my final training day until after the show. The reason being is that I begin the carbohydrate loading portion of the diet after my evening training session and just as you train to deplete the stores, you do not want to train while loading. If you train, you will be using the glycogen that you are in fact trying to increase in the muscle, therefore being counterproductive. Depending on the time I finish the training session, I usually aim for about 50g of carbohydrates every 2 hours (that I am awake) from now until Saturday. The initial sources of carbs are coming from fast digesting, like the ones added to my shakes or candies made with dextrose and maltodextrin, avoid those containing high fructose corn syrup as your body does not process it well and will likely be store in your liver for later use (we want as much in the muscle as possible.) I also avoid high fiber foods/vegetables throughout the loading process. I cut back to 1 gallon of water.

Two days out (Thursday)
Continuing the carb load, shooting for 3-4g per pound of bodyweight throughout the day. Cut back to 64 oz of water, taken in with meals. No training, practice your posing and relax. Cut sodium out as much as possible.

One day out (Friday)
Continuing the carb load, shooting for 3-4g per pound of bodyweight throughout the day. Cut back to 32 oz of water taken in with meals and stopping at 6 P.M. No training, practice your posing and relax. Continue to avoid sodium in foods.

SHOW DAY
It’s here. Eat a light breakfast so you do not appear bloated; maintain the carb intake as you pump up before going on stage. It is time to enjoy yourself and the moment that you have put all of this time and effort in to. Thank everyone that has stuck by your side and supported you, it probably wasn’t the easiest time for them either.

Stay Fit. Keep Grinding.
Twitter: @LuKKoV
http://www.LukeKovalFitness.com

Charging Through the Tough Days

Wow. I cannot believe we are just under 11 days away from the stage for the NPC North American Championships and 10 days until the official check in. In 9 days I will be flying back into Philadelphia International Airport from a business trip, catching some sleep and hitting the PA Turnpike en route to Pittsburgh. Poor planning on my part, I know, but when I scheduled the trip I had not planned on doing this last show to finish off the summer.

I am feeling kind of drained today, it could be from my calories being slightly lower, more intense workouts, or other things going on around me that have affected my mood and mindset. With this little bit of time left before the last show of the season for me, I have to just charge forward and hopefully let everything work itself out. One days like today, you can give up and dive into that big burrito from Chipotle (or whatever you may crave) or rejuvenate yourself in a healthy way. An awesome person and IFBB Pro, Jaime Baird, recently made a post that was perfect timing for me. I recommend checking it out, http://www.fitnessrxmag.com/win-the-day/1630-20-minute-vacations.html. It is all about 20 minute vacations and how to get through these times of feeling exhausted or down.

I completed an arm workout this AM and will follow it up with Cardio in the evening. The diet is right around 2000 calories, 45% Protein, 35% Carbohydrates (mostly coming within the hour after I train), and 20% Fat. I don’t usually drop carbs too low so that the carb-load week works properly when I deplete.
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Stay Fit. Keep Grinding.
Follow me on Twitter @LuKKoV
http://www.LukeKovalFitness.com

The Weekend Wrap Up

Another weekend has come and gone taking us just that much closer to the NPC North American Championships. As of Saturday at 9a.m., I was 14 days from getting back on stage. And at 9a.m., I was at the gym, PowerHouse Philly, blasting through my high rep shoulder and tri day. Since I hit both twice per week, I prefer to mix up the rep ranges. Today was leg day. I went with varying reps as you’ll see in the workout posted below. Most movements started with 20 reps and worked down to 8-10. I still kept the weight as heavy as possible.
Even though I am less than two weeks out I stay as heavy as I can with the weight. Remember, we built this with heavy ass weight, why go light now? I just never thought that made sense when people completely changed up their training style because they were close to a show, your low cals and increased cardio will shed the excess fat, don’t turn your resistance training into a cardio workout.

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As you can see(I hope) that is a pretty rough leg workout, especially when you  take into consideration that I was doing the heaviest weight possible.

I am now pretty sure that BADDASS Nutrition’s Pre/Post stack is the real deal. I feel good after taking it, not overly jittery or sick as some pre workouts can make you feel. I have been on less that 2200 cals this past week and will drop to 2000 this coming week so being able to not only get through the above workout but finish with 325 for 10 reps on squats isn’t bad. As well as loading the vertical leg press to 6 plates each side for the final set, and I could’ve kept going.
I am also still using MyoTropics Physique 2.0 post workout for recovery. They bring a great blend and taste to the table. Once the show is over I will be using MyoTropics ThermaCarb as well.

Be smart with your time. When you are cooking on the weekend, make your lunches, even some dinners, for the week so you are prepared and don’t have to worry about what you will eat come Tuesday. I also prepare my pre and post workout powders in Ziploc bags for each workout of the week so that is one less thing to think about (or forget) during a busy week. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” John Wooden

This weekend also brought to my attention that I have not given myself a mental break throughout this summer as 1 show rolled into the next. Following this show I will still obviously be eating healthy/training hard just more relaxed and not worrying so much about every little detail. Then we will begin to make the necessary improvements for next year, as the earliest I will be competing will be May, possibly June.

Until next time.
Stay Fit. Keep Grinding.
Follow me on Twitter @LuKKoV
Www.lukekovalfitness.com

Hash Tag WIDE Back.

First day of my training week starts on Fridays. I have the most time available Friday through Sunday, so it makes sense that I should use these days to train the muscle groups that will take longer to complete. See below for a photo of what todays workout looked like. I had enough time to hit biceps as well which I like to train twice per week as it is a smaller muscle group and can recover faster.

Todays training session was the second powered by BADDASS Nutrition Pre and Post Workout Stack (pictured next to the workout above.) You can follow them on twitter @BADDASSBrand or visit their website, http://www.BADDASS.com. So far I feel great on it. I want to give it the full 2 weeks that I was planning on for the trial before I give it the final grade. I do like that they provide the PRE and Post Workout formula so that you don’t have to put together your own stack. I am still using my MyoTropics Physique 2.0 Protein for my post workout. Great taste, product and blend coming from this company. You can also follow them on twitter @MyoTropics or visit them at http://www.myotropics.com.

Daily progress pictures are attached. Slightly blurry, the Galaxy S III camera hasn’t proven to be better than the iPhone yet. I am weighing in at about 168 in the AM, although that number really doesn’t matter as I am just concerned with overall conditioning and leanness.

I will have a refeed day tomorrow, most likely the usual Sushi day, and then adjust the diet once more before “peak week.” I will just shed some grams off of each macro nutrient to get to approximately 2000 calories and get in 5 days of cardio this upcoming week. During “Peak Week” is when I will carb deplete Saturday-Tuesday and begin to load on Wednesday following a full body workout (to deplete glycogen stores) up until the time of the show Saturday. This will all be explained in detail prior to it starting.

Get Fit. Stay Fit. Keep Grinding.
http://www.LukeKovalFitness.com
Follow me on Twitter @LuKKoV

Made it Through the Whole Day

Yep. I usually end up training on my off day, but I’m getting my PM snack together, doing some reading, watching the Phil’s and NOT putting on my training shoes. Your body needs restate recover and grow, sometimes it is hard to take that time away from the gym, but use it in another healthy way and take time to yourself. Instead of training I did some productive things such as making meals and snacks, doing some research, and prepping future workouts.

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Pictured above are almond butter cookies (like peanut butter) that I created from homemade almond butter a scoop of protein(your favorite flavor) and egg whites. Came out good and I prefer to know what is in what I am eating which is why I always make my own almond and peanut butter. It’s really simple and you probably won’t buy regular peanut butter again. I also make flavors with different types of Proteins. There are many recipes online, I just measure out my servings and grind them up in my Ninja. You can add honey, coconut oil, or any spice you wish, or just stick with plain or protein. All your preference.

That’s all for tonight.
Stay fit. Keep grinding.
http://www.lukekovalfitness.com

We Are 17 Days Away

That means 2 more weeks of training as I don’t work out during my carb load (3 days leading into the show) I will talk more on how I load as there are different methods and it takes experimenting with your body to determine how YOU respond to the macronutrients, espspecially Carbohydrates. This AM I headed to the Sweat Fitness in King of Prussia to train with my cousin. Delt day, my favorite. We hit all heads of the delt to work on that full rounded shoulder.
Started to my 2 week trial with BADDASS Nutrition Pre/Post workout stack. Will keep you update on how I like that.
Lateral Raise – 12, 3×8-10
Front raise/Steering Wheels – 3×12
Dumbbell Press – 12, 8,8,6,6
Upright Row (wide grip) 12, 3×8-10
Single arm Rear Delt Raise – 3×12
Cable Rear Delt Pull – FST-7
Finished off with my MyoTropics Physique 2.0 Protein.
Below are my progress pics.

Get Fit. Stay Fit. Keep Grinding.

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