“Peak Week” starts today! This basically means that Chris is doing his final push to look his best for the show. His diet and exercise are switched up a bit.
So far, the only difference I can make out is that he’s even more utterly exhausted and just now couldn’t make it through a whole “Google Books” talk that we were watching because he absolutely had to stop and make food. (The talk was by ultrarunner Dean Karnazes who discusses eating pizza and cheesecake mid-run; perhaps listening to the gloriously calorific life of an ultrarunner was too much for the food-yearning bodybuilder.)
As the contest date approaches, we’ve been working on Chris’s posing routine. A few weeks ago, Chris played me a bunch of possible posing routine songs that he’d found online and let me tell him which ones I liked. The yelling-angry songs (I believe they are called “heavy metal” by those approving of the genre) were all immediately nixed. That eliminated 80% of his selections. I really liked the first song he’d played for me, which turned out to be his first choice too, so, that is now his posing routine song.
Selecting a bodybuilding posing routine song is interesting: it has to be a song that you enjoy and also something you can sort of dance to. I say “sort of dance to” because posing routines aren’t dance routines but they do involve moving around the stage and flexing at different times in different positions and making it work with the music. There are some songs that work and some songs that just don’t work. At bodybuilding shows, there’s usually a mix of (ugh) mystical-this-bodybuilder-just-rose-out-of-the-earth songs and (super ugh) heavy metal. I think the song Chris chose fits neither of those categories and thus, will be very cool. Yes, I’m deliberately not writing what song it is; I’m supposed to keep it a secret.
Along with working on Chris’s posing routine, we’re also still working on Chris’s posing for prejudging. Bodybuilders do “prejudging” first at a show. In “prejudging” they hit certain “mandatory” poses and then, later in the show, they do their “posing routine” which they have made up themselves.
I say “we” are working on Chris’s posing because I am the posing critic. He asks me to be the posing critic. I sit on the couch and call out poses to Chris and he hits the poses and sweats and I stare at him and tell him what looks good and what could maybe be flexed more / differently.
As a fan of flexed abdominals, I choose to call out the “hands over head abdominals” pose a lot. Apparently it is one of the more exhausting poses but, eh, he is the one who wanted to practice posing. Sometimes it’s fun to call out “hands over head abdominals” and then “front double biceps” (another tiring one) and then “hands over head abdominals” and then “front double biceps” and see how long he can keep hitting them until he reaches true exhaustion. I have to keep things interesting for myself.
In between poses, he is supposed to get into “relaxed” positions. There is a “relaxed” position facing the front, the sides, and the back. To envision what the “relaxed” positions look like, imagine standing upright with your arms at your sides and then tensing every muscle in your body. That is “relaxed.”
In between “relaxed” positions, we also do “quarter turns to your right.” This is so the judges (and me, the posing critic) can see all sides of Chris. When I first went to a bodybuilding show, this confused me a great deal; would quarter turns to the right be followed by three-fifths turns to the left and six-eighths turns on the z-axis? Unfortunately for those wishing for a math/bodybuilding combo competition, no. It’s just quarter turns to the right. (I have seen “half turns” once, but only once.) One day when I run bodybuilding…
I will end with a fun story.
A few days ago, Chris went to the grocery store and bought several monster bags of frozen broccoli (pictured below), many Greek yogurts tubs, bags of fajita steak, and coffee.
The cashier asked him, “Is this all you eat?” to which Chris fibbed, “Oh no, ha ha, I just like buying things in bulk,” to which the cashier said, “Oh good, because it’d be really weird if this was all you ate,” to which Chris laughingly replied, “Ha, yep, sure would be weird!” and then Chris chuckled to himself all the way home because that really is all that he eats, and yes, it’s weird.