Today was an interesting training day. It marked the beginning of my "last day to train body part X before the show". It also marked the first day I trained using the Beast Mode preworkout powder. Join me in the mindset of a soon-to-be competitor. We'll ignore the fact that it's my first competition, which brings its own apprehensions and uncertainties - those are unique to this one time (I'm hoping...really hoping!). Before you decide to do a show, you've spent probably a good amount of time bulking, building size, getting bigger, getting stronger, etc. Then you decide to do a show, and start the cutting phase. It's pretty cool to see cuts start appearing, veins start showing up again, definition starts showing, all that neat stuff. In the background, though, you're dieting, which usually means a severe cutback on things like carbs. There are the lucky people out there that can have carbs going into a competition, but there's also the rest of us who have to cut back. You get tired, and irritable. You start to think kinda fuzzy. It's a rather odd experience, and can strain relationships with those around you that don't understand the lifestyle. However, while you're going through all this, you have to dig deep because your training can't start lacking just because your energy reserves are going down. In fact, with the cardio and other things you have to start integrating into your routine during this period, you're doing a whole lot more with less energy available to you. It can be trying at times, but that's where you have to focus on what you want, and what you have to do to get it. You want to be on that stage, and you want to look like you belong on that stage. It's amazing how that can fuel your workouts. I mentioned this was the first time I'd used the Beast Mode preworkout powder. I have to say, I wasn't jittery, none of the unpleasant effects I've had from other pre-workout drinks that just try to hop you up like an energy drink in overdrive. It was an awesome workout. I'm 1 week out from the competition, completely carb depleted, tired beyond everything, and I still had the energy to make it through the workout, get an awesome pump, and actually feel like I gave everything during the workout. A+, my friends. I expect good things in the coming week. And I really can't wait to see what happens when use this in the offseason and start going heavy on the weights! And now, for what everyone's been waiting for: the workout itself. Since I'm a week out and in the last stages of contest prep, I've been doing mostly volume training. This is a complete departure from my normal offseason training where I stick to heavy weight at a 6-8 rep range. Instead I've been using lighter weight at an 18-20 rep range. The thing I hadn't expected is that I've been getting stronger the past few weeks. Things that I might have had an 8-12 rep range on my offseason, I'm now doing for 18-20 reps. It's making me really excited to see where my strength will be when I get into the offseason proper! Started off with some Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises 30 lbs 1 x 20 35 lbs 2 x 20 Moved on to a Smith Machine variation of a Shoulder Press 180 lbs 1 x 20 200 lbs 2 x 20 Next is a move I picked up from another bodybuilder - I'm not sure it has a name, I've never seen anyone else do it before. Basically you take a rope on the cable machine, set it about neck level, and pull back to work your rear delts. If anyone knows if this has a proper name, I'd love to know it. 100 lbs 1 x 20 120 lbs 1 x 20 140 lbs 1 x 20 Cable side laterals (one side at a time) 35 lbs 1 x 20 40 lbs 2 x 20 I finished shoulders with some Front Lateral Raises using a 25lb plate, and did 3 sets to failure. For bi's I did a Superset of Cable Rope Hammer Curls and Cable Reverse Grip Straight Bar Curls 110 lbs 1 x 10 for each 130 lbs 1 x 10 for each 140 lbs 1 x 10 for each Then finished the day with the Hammer Strength Curl machine 75 lbs 3 x 20 As I do periodically through the week, I warmed up the entire workout with 3 sets of crunches at 100 lbs. Had energy throughout the workout, and was even able to do a bit of posing practice afterwards! Can't wait to see how chest day goes tomorrow! Lift heavy and stay stay strong! Wayne is a former "IT" guy who decided to take his love for fitness and turn it into a new career. Now a personal trainer by trade, Wayne spends his spare time hitting the weights and learning all he can about bodybuilding and nutrition. He stays true to his IT roots by staying active on Twitter and several online games.