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March 25, 2011

A Little Break and Back to It!

It’s been a couple weeks now since the Arnolds and I have had some food, some fun and it’s about time now to get back to the real world. I dieted for about 18 weeks altogether from the start of my FLEX Pro prep to the end of the Arnold and it was really nice to get back to normal life for a bit.

Most people think it’s the food we all miss and yes that’s part of it, I mean who doesn’t like a good Blizzard or nice slice of pizza but that wasn’t all of it. The things I missed the most was just hanging out with my girlfriend, my friends and my family. It was nice after the ASC to just go out for dinner with my girl and not worry about ordering properly or it was cool to just go hang out with my boys, BBQ and see my friend’s new baby (that I hadn’t seen in a month or so).

My girl’s B-day just passed and luckily I wasn’t dieting so I took her to Buffalo where we did some shopping and hit the Cheesecake Factory! I breakdown the day for you: Shopping, shopping, shopping, Mile High Chocolate Cake….and that’s about it...lol. It was a fun day for sure and those are the things you miss most when you’re dieting for a show.

Okay, so let’s get into some of the meat and potatoes. 2011 isn’t over, it’s just begun and the first part of the contest season is in the bag. It was bitter sweet for me since I did exactly what I wanted to do at the FLEX but then my body just couldn’t pull it together for the bigger more important ASC. I’ve dealt with it and now its time to put it all behind me and move on to the next goal.

People have been asking me what my competition plans are and to be honest I’m really unsure; it may depend slightly on sponsorship. I currently am looking for a supplement contract and that could mean competing in a couple more small shows, competing only at the ‘O’ or even taking another year off to get over that hump from the 2nd tier to the 1st tier. Since waiting to figure it all out is not an option, I am training right now as if the ‘O’ is the show I am getting ready for. You know what that means…MORE SIZE!

I have it targeted, not just more size anywhere. Hany and I have decided a little more in the legs, but mainly arms and shoulders to match my chest and back. I think another inch on my arms and legs would really make me even more complete and help me break into the upper echelon of the IFBB.

So how are we doing it you ask? Well I’ve devised some new plans for this off-season. First I’ve decided cardio will be part of my regimen all year, something I have never done before. Secondly, I have decided that seven meals a day really made my body look different so I will be doing seven instead of six meals all year. I guess that ties into the first part since without the cardio I don’t think I would have the appetite. Lastly I have changed my split to emphasize my weak points (arms, hams) even more than in the past to really bring out that change. Along with this I have added a new training technique that so far has felt pretty good, resistance bands.

Powerlifters use chains and power bands to get stronger in their lifts employing constant and increased tension to their lifts. I think that the strength will actually be secondary benefit while the constant tension is more of what I am looking for. It’s not something you can use on all exercises but so far I have used it on the leg press and military press and really felt a difference through the range of motion. Keep an eye on FLEXONLINE.COM - I will be posting some videos of some of the exercise I do with the bands.

Lots in the works for 2011 and I’m excited to see how it all pans out in the next few months. I’m excited at the idea that by the end of this year my physique could be at the next level and I could be a top ten Olympian…who knows maybe even top six if things go according to plan…

Sacrifice Without Regret,
Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad

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March 11, 2011

What Happened At The Arnold Classic?

Well the ASC is over and I have been getting tons of emails and people asking me what happened and why I didn’t bring it the way I did at the FLEX. It’s a pretty simple answer: My body just wouldn’t respond. After the FLEX I had a couple days of shoots and then flew home to get back to work. On the Tuesday I decided not to train legs because I had been flying the day before and felt I was still a little dehydrated from the shoots and show, I trained arms Tuesday and saved legs for Wednesday.

When Wednesday came around I was feeling pretty good so I thought time to smash legs! We got in there and I had nagging pain in my hip from a week before the FLEX that was still kind of there but not too serious. I ignored it and kept blasting through sets, we did four sets of Lying Leg Curls, Leg Extensions, Leg Press and then Squats. I was feeling great and the pump in my legs was incredible. The pain in my hip was minimal and I was feeding off the motivation from the FLEX show while squatting. On the last set of squats, on the last rep I got down in the hole and on the way up I felt something pop in my left TFL (small muscle just above your outer sweep). My spotter grabbed me and we pushed to the top together but on the way up it popped again. I knew it was bad but I also knew I had the ASC in a week and a half. I couldn’t do anymore quad but I burnt through about eight more sets for hamstrings and then got home. After icing and seeing Alvin Brown (my therapist) the diagnosis was a strained TFL. It was a little bruised and discolored but not bad.

My main concern was cardio; I only do the stepmill so I wasn’t sure how that was going to feel. The next day came and I did my cardio, kind of limping through it but I got 50min in and felt good. I couldn’t train legs again before the ASC but I did do all my cardio. Anything heavy was too much of a strain on it but I was hoping the volume would be there come show time….it wasn’t fully but I think it held up ok. Not really what I was hoping for at the biggest show of my life.

Anyway, when I got to Columbus things kind of snowballed from there. I couldn’t really get myself filled out at all. Hany and I worked on many different things from Wednesday to Saturday trying to get my body to fill out but nothing would work. I would eat a meal and my weight would go up a couple pounds, I would look kind of full and then an hour or two later the weight would just drop again. I ate upwards of 700-800g of carbs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and my body just wouldn’t absorb any of the carbs. I just chalked it up to my body being tired from the long diet and double shows even though I have done them before.

To top it all off I did my food shopping in Columbus on Thursday morning after running out of the food I brought from home. This was always the plan, bring some food and then when you run out buy the rest and eat it fresh leading into the show. I bought my Tenderloin at a farmers market near by, it was very fresh and tasted great. The chicken I bought from a Kroger grocery store with some other things I needed. When I got back to the hotel I cooked a bunch of food and packed it up. I headed out to the athletes meeting and fan meet and greet with my chicken and potato. I ate the chicken and sweet potato and it tasted a little funny (not bad just different). The next morning I had the chicken again with regular potato and then I realized what the different taste was. The chicken was salty! It was pumped full of shit and sodium and I had no clue. I thought fresh chicken was fresh chicken but apparently that’s not the case! Some of the ‘fresh’ chicken at Kroger is pumped full of sodium and preservatives and when your on a carb load where every last bit of sodium, sugar, water, anything is measured, this can really throw a wrench into things!

About midday on Friday Hany took a look at me and I was watered over; I all of a sudden looked smooth. The sodium from the chicken really messed things up and the look I had was gone and never really came back. Before the chicken I ate I had a grainy look to my skin and even though we were having problems filling out at least I was grainy and shredded. Now after basically sodium loading with that chicken we were now flat and smooth because of the water retention.

It really was just one thing after another throughout the entire time from the FLEX to the ASC and it was no ones fault. Hany did everything he could do and I didn’t mess with anything or cheat on my diet, it was just a few hiccups that couldn’t be remedied in time. From the injury to the chicken it was a roller coaster ride.

I don’t like to make excuses for anything that’s why I didn’t say anything before the show. Now that the show is over and I have had a whole bunch of people ask me what went wrong I felt it was a good time and good place to get it all out so people knew that I wasn’t at my best and its not because I’m lazy. I have attached a shot for you all to see what I looked like before we started carb loading. I was flat but things were where they needed to be. Just goes to show how perfect things have to be for it to all come together.

Sorry to all my fans for the let down, I know we were riding high after the FLEX and it was a far drop from there but I promise you all we will get there again! Its all part of the journey and the next Fouad you all see on stage will be bigger and badder than the one you saw at the FLEX - you can bank on that!

Sacrifice Without Regret,

Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad
www.fouadhossabiad.com
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March 02, 2011

Reflecting and Getting Re-focused

I’m six days out from the Arnold Classic and I have been trying to put in perspective what just happened at the FLEX Pro, while still focusing on my daily activities to get ready for the biggest show of my life.

My plain landed at 2am on Monday night (or Tuesday morning to be technical) in Detroit. My girlfriend and I hopped in my Jeep and headed home to Windsor, I think that 30min drive is where the past weekends events really set in. I said to myself, “I just beat a top five Olympian,” I was saying it to myself like I wasn’t sure if it was all a dream or not.

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I really busted ass this year trying to make adjustments and in that drive home I was able to replay all the gut wrenching leg workouts and the back workouts that left me crippled. I remembered days doing back and hamstrings together and thinking I am absolutely nuts this has to be overtraining but I kept going anyway. I would be in the gym for and hour and half and I hate to admit it sometimes two hours! I know that’s a big no-no, but I have two training partners and sometimes I don’t know when to stop, so time just passes. I remembered times when I didn’t feel like eating, but found a way to make the food taste good enough to get it down. I remembered all the money and five hour drives I made going to see my physiotherapist. Don’t get me wrong, there was good memories like sushi buffets that lasted two hours and made me sick…I don’t know is that a good memory?..lol

The point is, all of these things came rushing back to me in just that half an hour drive from the airport to home. I couldn’t help but feel an overall sense of accomplishment and feeling like I could do more.

My mind is focused on the Arnold now; I am focused on bringing in a little tighter package and maybe a little more full than at the FLEX. I started training right away on Tuesday this past week: Cardio and everything as if I never even stopped. Doing two shows in a row isn’t easy, but I’ve become used to it so I know how to get myself back in the zone and ready to go again.

As I type this, my rebound from the FLEX is gone and I am sitting at 248lbs which is exactly where I need to be before carb loading, so I am a little early which is good. I have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to sharpen it up a little more. Then its time to pack up the Jeep and head to Columbus, its about a three and a half hour drive and I’d rather go road trip than plane any day!

I am getting really excited about the show, but I’m trying to keep myself calm. I have been going to this show since I started bodybuilding ten years ago and to finally step on that stage is going to be surreal. Who knew a little 190lb beach body kid from Windsor, Ontario would eventually go on to turn pro and step on the Arnold Classic stage? I remember saying to a friend of mine one year at the show, “One day I’m going to compete on that stage.” He looked at me like I was crazy, but sometimes it takes a little crazy to achieve a dream.

Sacrifice Without Regret,

Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad
www.fouadhossabiad.com