It is mid-July and Chris weighs 203 lbs. When contest prep started, back in mid-May, he weighed about 220 lbs. He competes in October. He feels good about his progress.
When I tell people these numbers (and people want to know these numbers), the logical question they ask is how much more weight he has to lose. The answer isn’t simple.
Two years ago when Chris last competed, he weighed 196 lbs a week before the competition. His starting weight, 6 months before that competition, was 227 lbs and by three months into contest prep, very roughly corresponding to where he is now, his weight was 202 lbs.
So how much more does he have to lose?
Well, hopefully, he has gained muscle over the last two years and will appear both more muscular and less fat (“leaner,” we say) when he competes this time. More muscle increases weight and less fat decreases weight. So we really can’t predict what body weight he’ll compete at. A good estimate is “something around what he competed at last time give or take many pounds.” Helpful huh? He works with Layne Norton and puts full faith in Layne to help him reach the weight where he’ll look his best.
To find Chris’s previous body weights just now, I consulted the case study we published on Chris’s physiology during his last contest prep. In this case study, we found that, around this time during the last contest prep, Chris’s fasting blood glucose was low enough for us to classify him as hypoglycemic. The next time, one week before Chris’s competition, that we measured his fasting blood glucose, it was back in the normal range. What’s interesting here is that, in the weeks before Chris left for Florida, he had a few periods of mild hypoglycemic symptoms which tended to occur under reproducible circumstances (a meal containing significant carbohydrate followed by an intense morning workout). In the last few weeks, since he’s been in Florida, he hasn’t been experiencing the hypoglycemic symptoms. We speculate that what happened last time may have happened again: his body struggles to maintain his glucose levels initially during the contest prep but eventually adjusts.
Back when Chris was having the occasional hypoglycemic symptoms, we visited the Yankee candle outlet in Oklahoma City. Chris loves the Yankee candle outlet. Big-bodybuilder-man loves smelling candles. Like a hyperactive middle-school girl, he has to de-lid every single scent of candle to sniff it and evaluate. That day, though, he held himself back from full candle exuberance as he finished sniffing a cinnamon scented candle, leaned back, and told me, “Whoa, I think these candles are making me secrete insulin.” That’s probably a common bodybuilder problem: candle-smelling-induced excess insulin secretion triggering acute hypoglycemia. Oh Chris.