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If you’ve read parts one and two of this interview, you’ll know that forum member Unholy (Paul in real life) has transformed himself from an overweight, out-of-shape 295 lbs to a fit and lean 190 lbs (actually, now that’s 177 lbs). Not only that, but he is on track to compete in his first bodybuilding competition!
This third interview will shed some light on how Paul is preparing to come in for his first show, which is now just 17 days away.
Before we get going, I would like to urge all of our readers to pop over to Paul’s Training Journal (My Road to the INBF and OCB NY State Bodybuilding Championships) and give him some words of support and encouragement. It’s awesome to see one of our own make such an incredible transformation and to take it as far as the bodybuilding stage, so let’s really get behind him for the next couple of weeks!
Ok, so let’s get rolling.
Wannabebig: Welcome back to the spotlight, buddy…are you nervous?
Unholy: Nah, well…I guess I am a bit…but not in a bad way. I’m just naturally excited and a little anxious about hitting the big stage. I think you’d be non-human if you didn’t have a bit of nerves and anxiousness at this stage. And with the changes to exactly what I will be competing in, I guess it’s a touch unsettling. But now that we have things nailed down, everything is clear.
Wannabebig: So there’s been a change as to when and what you will compete in, right?
Unholy: Yep. I was originally going to compete in two shows, the OCB and INBF NYS Natural Championships. Now my focus is 100% on the INBF/WNBF World Championships in NYC on November 14th.
There are a few reasons for this. First, my trainer recommended doing one show and making sure I peak for it 100%. I was also not aware that there is an INBF portion of the World Championships in NYC on Nov 14th. I am eligible, it gives me an extra week to dial in, and it means I don’t have to drive 350 miles to compete. Oh, and it’s an extremely well run show with tons of sponsors and web/magazine coverage. It’s a win-win all around.
Wannabebig: Gotcha…that makes sense. So where are you at right now then?
Unholy: I’m sitting at 177 lbs and hovering between 4.5-5% bodyfat. And naturally, I’m a little hungry…lol! As per usual, here are a couple of pics of me at 177 lbs:
Unholy – 177 lbs and between 4.5-5% bodyfat
Wannabebig: Awesome…things are really coming together for you and your side abdominals are completely sick. Good job! Although again, I’m not sold on the boxer shorts…lol.
Where do you want to be for the big day and how far are you out?
Unholy: I need to be 175 lbs and 4% bodyfat – carbed up and filled out after a proper peak week. I am now officially 2 1/2 weeks out (Oct. 27th).
Wannabebig: How have things been since we last spoke?
Unholy: Very good. I’ve kept my training heavy and intense. I’m now up to 35 minutes of low intensity cardio seven days a week, as well as one HIIT session a week.
The key change is that my diet has been tightened up and, in particular, my food choices are starting to matter more and more due to satiety issues.
I’m also finding that different variables are producing daily changes to my physique and it’s very interesting to watch and learn. This is going to be incredibly useful for me when I compete again in the future as I’ll be able to know beforehand how my body is likely to react to certain things, and that’ll help me better plan my pre-contest strategy.
Going back to the diet, an absolutely fundamental change I made was bringing in Alberto Nunez to work with me for the last eight weeks of prep.
Wannabebig: Yeah, I noticed that…what gives?
Unholy: It was probably the smartest thing I have done this entire period. Berto is not only a WNBF Natural Pro and a smart guy with the know-how to get a natural competitor really dialled in and ready for a show, but he is an all around good guy to have in your corner. I turned to him after becoming dissatisfied with Phil Hernon and the change was like night and day. I received individual attention, with daily communications between us, and he got me on a straight path for the last eight weeks of prep.
He also gave me an individualized diet to follow and we have been making tweaks and changes on a weekly basis based on progress pictures and how my weight and physique have responded to refeeds. I have learned a ton working with him these past six weeks.
The most recent change he made was swapping +30 g carbs for -30 g protein, putting me at 35f/165c/200p. I’ve responded well to these changes and Berto definitely knows what he is doing.
As you can see below, Alberto has gotten his own conditioning into some sick shape before, so I am in good hands:
Wannabebig: How has your training been since we last spoke?
Unholy: Fantastic! My strength is holding up despite the fact that I’m eating less than my 93-lb girlfriend. I’ve stuck to the higher frequency/low volume routine I outlined in the first interview…no need to change something that is working and working well to boot. We recently added ten minutes onto all LISS (Low Intensity Solid State) cardio sessions as well as my HIIT cool down.
The weight training aspect is probably the easiest part of this whole thing. I am quite pleased with the lack of strength drops.
You can check out full details of my workouts in my Training Log, by the way.
Wannabebig: And what supplements have really helped you in the lead up to the big day and how?
Unholy: Anyone following my journal lately will know that I have been cooking up a storm using Nitrean Protein over the past few weeks. With only 35 g of fats in my daily diet, creativity in the kitchen has been clutch. Chocolate Nitrean Protein tastes absolutely amazing, not only in shakes, but in all of my brownie/cake/oatmeal recipes.
As far as energy goes, I’ve been taking the Fat Burner Nitor twice a day for a morning pick-me-up and before a heavy training session. Occasionally, I’ll forget to take it and I can notice the difference. I’ve put ETS in charge of sleep. Hands down, it’s an amazing supplement for anyone looking to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and get some shut-eye. Those vivid dreams are backfiring though… the other night I woke up in a cold sweat after dreaming about pounding an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I was ok after I realized it was only a dream!
Wannabebig: How has your weight changed in the last eight weeks? Has it been easy to pull it down to where you wanted?
Unholy: Lol…nothing has come easy these last eight weeks.
Wannabebig: Hah, ok. Let me rephrase that: how challenging has it been to get your weight down to where you wanted!?!
Unholy: Well, Every ½ lb at this point is a struggle. Unfortunately, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole tale. My weight loves to fluctuate, but the trend is downwards and that’s what’s important. Two days ago, I did dip down to my lowest weight yet, 175.0 lbs, so it’s certainly heading in the right direction.
Wannabebig: And what has been the toughest challenge in the last eight weeks?
Unholy: It’s definitely been staying away from my pantry late at night when the cravings are the worst. Even thinking about it now is killing me!
Wannabebig: Yeah, that sounds tempting! Have there been any hiccups or has it been plain sailing?
Unholy: A few minor bumps in the road but nothing major. A few weeks ago I killed an entire jar of pickles, not realizing at the time what 33,000 mg of sodium would do to my physique in its fragile state!
Wannabebig: I don’t think some readers will actually understand the level of dedication required to get into this type of shape – can you give them an idea of a normal day for you?
Unholy: Assuming I don’t have class/work on given day. I wake up around 8 AM and have my pre-LISS cardio meal, which consists of 10 g BCAAs and 10-15 g carbs. I drive my girlfriend to school and I either do LISS outside or go to the gym and get about 35-40 minutes of cardio in. I usually go home and chug some Nitrean in water, then shower, and prep a few meals in advance.
Food prep also involves sitting on www.fitday.com planning everything out and making sure it fits my 35/160/200 macro split. I have a nice solid breakfast, which is laughable because my meals are around 300 calories each.
I hit the gym in the early afternoon or late evening for training. The remainder of my calories is split between pre/post workout where I eat bulk of my carbs and a few low carb higher fat meals to keep me “full”. I have to do this stuff every single day on top of school, work, and life outside of bodybuilding. It is pretty time consuming but I fell in love with the lifestyle.
I also try to get a solid 20-30 minutes a day in practicing my mandatory poses and perfecting my individual routine for the night portion of the show.
Wannabebig: Damn…never again will I moan about fitting in an hour of exercise in a day. Nailing that day in/day out is a fantastic achievement and shows how badly you want it…great job!
Unholy: Thanks, but as I said, I love the lifestyle and I’d have it no other way.
Wannabebig: Ok, let’s handle the most important question of the interview. Do you think you should buy some new boxer shorts? You’ve got a…err….unique collection there. Lol, I mean, check out what we’ve seen already:
A range of Unholy’s bright boxer shorts!
Unholy: Ha ha…definitely not! My bright colourful boxers put a big goofy smile on my face 😉
Wannabebig: And ours!
On a more serious note, even though you have clearly taken your fat loss mission to a slightly different level than most of the folks here at Wannabebig, I wanted to ask you what would you say are the three biggest things that have helped you in respect to your conditioning.
Unholy: Nutrition is key and the calorie is king! If you are serious about your goals, the first place you need to focus the most work on is in the kitchen, no matter what the goal!
Creativity in the kitchen would be next. Cutting on such low calories means that drinking calories and eating calorie-dense foods are not an option if you want to prevent hunger pangs from taking over your life. I learned to use “boring” clean foods and whip up tasty filling meals.
Last, but certainly not least, it helps to have a prep log to hold myself accountable and to look back on when motivation seems to take a hit. It’s very helpful and the input/critique I have received along the way has been extremely valuable.
Wannabebig: Hey, you can’t go around telling us you are Mr. Creative in the kitchen without sharing a couple of recipes! Hoooooooooooook us up!
Unholy: Sure thing 🙂 I’ll share my top two with you – No Bake Brownies and Egg White Crepes
No Bake Brownies
- 3 scoops chocolate Nitrean Protein
- 1 package (4 serving) sf/ff Chocolate pudding mix
- 10g unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 5 packets splenda
- 50-100g rolled oats (optional but makes chewier brownies)
- Semi sweet chocolate baking morsels (optional but makes brownies Nom
Nom Nom good)
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl wit the exception of chocolate chips
- Add boiling water a little at a time while mixing until you reach a
thick brownie batter consistency
- Coat some microwave safe soup/cereal bowls with cooking spray
- Distribute batter into 3-4 bowls evenly
- Top with chocolate chips, press them into the mix somewhat
- Nuke each for ~3 minutes
- Allow to cool completely
They will come out looking kind of spongy and moist but once they cool they are heavenly. I love to top mine with Peanut Butter, SF Jam and Cool Whip Free. You can get creative as you like.
Egg White Crepes
Note: The below should make 3-4 pan sized crepes.
- 1/2c Egg Whites/ Egg Beaters
- 1/2 Scoop of Nitrean Protein (Van or Choc)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Splash of Milk
- Splenda to Taste
- Either Cocoa powder or Van extract/cinnamon depending on flavor of whey.
- Use a hand mixer or wisk to mix ingredients in a bowl.
- Heat a pan, spray with cooking spray.
- Pour some batter in the center and swird around to get a fairly thin coat
- When they start bubbling around the edges after 45-60 seconds flip.
- Cook another 30 seconds.
You can fill these with just about anything that fits your macros. Depending on what I need for the day some favorites include Peanut Butter, SF Jam+Pam fried banana slices or FF Cream cheese mixed with splenda and half thawed frozen blueberries mashed together.
So, there you go. My top two recipes – tasty AND healthy.
Wannabebig: Superb, our readers will love them! How’s the posing coming along?
Unholy: Pretty good. I’ve met up with Gerry Triano for some in-person consults, which have helped. I also am lucky enough to have a top notch competitor running my gym and he has helped me through my mandatories. Posing is an art; it’s certainly not something you master overnight.
Wannabebig: Ok, the big question….Honestly, how do you think you will fare on the big day?
Unholy: Well, considering that I am competing at what is probably the biggest show the INBF has to offer, I know the competition will be stiff. I’ll be working diligently over the next three weeks to make sure I look my best that day. Who else may show up? No one knows. I’m ready to pose my butt off and show off the hard work that I put into this prep. All I know is that I’ll be prepared, and that’s all I can control.
Wannabebig: Well, it goes without saying that we’ll be rooting for you and wishing you the very best of luck on the big day. You’ve been and will continue to be an inspiration to many WBB members, and we’ll be back towards the end of November with the last in our series of interviews to find out how you got on at the competition with some pics from the big day!
Unholy: I look forward to it!
Discuss, comment or ask a question
If you have a comment, question or would like to discuss anything raised in this article, please do so in the following discussion thread on the Wannabebig Forums – An Inspiring Interview with Forum Member, Unholy – Part 3 discussion thread.