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