Tag Archives: hiking as a bodybuilder

Reintegrating Into Society

Chris “reintegrated into society” this week.  He is doing very well.

While last Saturday he was doing this,


this Saturday he did this:


We hiked up this mountain, Mt. Monadnock, one time before while Chris was contest prepping.  Today Chris commented on how it is much easier to hike up a mountain when you are well fed and your legs are not exhausted.  Who knew?!

Along the theme of “who knew?!” Chris brought four protein bars, an apple, and a banana on today’s hike.  He told me that this was likely more food than he needed, but he’d brought extra bars in case he got hungry.  He told me excitedly, “If I get hungry, I can eat!”  And eating makes him not hungry!  Do other people know about this?!

His workouts have also been exciting.  He feels marvelously strong and energized in the gym. He has stopped doing HIIT so it’s hard to know how much of his feeling great lifting is due to his caloric freedom and how much is due to his not exhausting his legs with sprints.

Today he weighed 192.8 which he tells me is exactly 5 lbs. more than his lowest weight during contest prep.  A five pound gain for someone of his size who was so depleted is pretty reasonable.

From my perspective, I can tell he’s so much more relaxed than he’s been the last few weeks. His life is no longer organized around when he can eat and what he will eat and will his weight drop and should he practice posing and all of that fun.  He’s still sleeping only six or so hours a night and automatically wakes up around 5 am, but he’s been working on staying up later and sleeping more.  Today he took a nice nap against a rock on the top of Mt. Monadnock:

IMG_2660 IMG_2661


Although Chris is still using a few too many life-organizing spreadsheets for my personal taste, overall, the reintegration into society is going well.

And now, for the “guess this body part” section!



What is this body part?  Last posts’s answer was “the biceps and deltoid muscle”.  Best. Game. Ever.

How I Accidentally Made Chris Hike on Steep Terrain for 40 Minutes on the “Most Energy-Depleted Day” of his Prep

One week until the show!  Chris referred to today as his “most energy-depleted day of the entire contest prep.”  He gets the least food and has exhausted his legs.

Due to his energy depletion, Chris rejected my idea of going on an 11 mile group hike today but decided to try to bolster the fiance points by planning a fun, low-energy, Saturday activity: fall foliage viewing!  The plan was to drive around central MA on a recommended “scenic byway” where we would run into some towns to walk around and possibly go on a couple of very short, easy walks that were listed in the travel brochures.

As soon as we got off the main road onto the “scenic byway,” we saw signs for a “Garlic and Arts” festival; we decided to check it out.


When we got to the parking lot, we saw there was a huge line (seen in the back left of the photo above) to get on the shuttle buses that would take us to the fair.  We did not feel like waiting and figured the fair was probably just a short walk up the road.  A fair official told us we could either walk 2.6 miles on the road itself to get to the fair or hike 1.3 miles through the woods to get there.  As 1.3 is shorter than 2.6, we chose the hike.


Chris near the sign at the start of the hiking trail


The same sign, enlarged.  Note the “600 feet of elevation gain/loss” and “Do not attempt this hike if you are unsure of your ability to complete it.”

We figured, how hard can 1.3 miles be?


Ominously, the exact same sign was placed along the trail again, 5 minutes into the hike.

As you probably guessed, 1.3 miles was not what it sounded.


It was beautiful and silent in the woods; I loved it.  …And it took us 40 minutes to get from our car to the fair.

Chris did not talk to me much as we walked.  He silently puttered along behind me.  I kept wondering if I should not have let Chris “attempt the hike” as I was “unsure of his ability to complete it.”

Humorously, twice along the trail, others, who were resting, commented on our appearance of strength and fitness on the steep hills; oh little did they know…

Chris survived but was utterly spent by the time we reached the fair and, as I wandered curiously from garlic-themed booth to garlic-themed booth, Chris bumbled along behind me chowing down protein bars in a daze.

As we left the fair, we noticed a parking lot, right next to the front entrance. So apparently, only suckers who don’t know any better hike steeply through the woods for 40 minutes to get to the Garlic and Arts festival.

When we left, I agreed with Chris that we should take the shuttle back to the car.


That’s a happy man who does not have to hike 1.3 steep miles back to the car.  (Note that he is wearing the same shirt he wore last Saturday.  Big red “Boomer Sooner” shirts are completely inconspicuous in New England…)

After the shuttle whisked us back to our car, we finished our driving foliage tour and, although we did stop to take pictures, we never wandered more than 20 feet from the car again.


Now that’s foliage!

More foliage

What foliage!

And, to conclude, tomorrow, Chris is going to shave his entire body.  Because you have to shave your entire body before a bodybuilding show.

Seven days!

From Hypoglycemia to Posing Trunks

Topics to be covered in today’s post:  

1)  Chris’s hypoglycemia, self-diagnosis, and how he fixed it

2)  Where Chris thought it was a good idea to do hill sprints

3)  How the bodybuilder dealt with climbing a mountain

4)  How Chris looks now

Topic 1

I wrote before about Chris’s occasional hypoglycemia during contest prep.  Recently, Chris switched from afternoon to morning workouts.  This switch made the hypoglycemic episodes more frequent.

Last week, Chris was in Florida again when the most intense of these hypoglycemic episodes yet occurred.

I need to pause here to mention why Chris has spent so much time over the last few months at his parents’ in Florida:  his dad underwent open-heart surgery back in June and is still hospitalized as he recovers.  Chris, naturally, has wanted to spend time with his dad and mom during this process.

So one day last week, Chris went to the Florida gym early in the morning, trying to get in a heavy leg workout before driving to the hospital to see his dad.  He ate a high carbohydrate meal 2 hours before lifting and he was mentally pumped up about leg day.  After just a few squat warm-ups, Chris got so shaky and cold-sweaty that he was afraid he’d pass out.  He bought a Gatorade for $2 from the front desk at the gym to raise his blood sugar and then felt fine and completed the workout.

When he got home, he analyzed what was happening:  it appeared that the hypoglycemia only occurred in the morning when a high carbohydrate meal was eaten ~2 hours before lifting.

Based on these conditions, in an email, he explained to me his self-diagnosis:

I think I have a medical condition called “postprandially reactive hypoglycemia” which probably described what I am experiencing. I founds a few pubmed articles on it but can’t get the full texts. This link has the best description and probably describes the situation closest to what I am going through:


It is caused by very high insulin sensitivity in very lean people!

So Chris, who is a “very lean people”  is too insulin sensitive; this basically means his body overreacts when he secretes insulin (in response to carbohydrate ingestion primarily) and causes his body to lower his blood sugar too much.

The good news is, since he has identified the factors causing his hypoglycemic episodes, he has solved the problem.  He is still working out in the morning -it just fits his current schedule better- but he has changed the carbohydrate component of his pre-workout meal from a cup of oatmeal (~60 grams of starch) to an apple (~25 grams of fructose).  This change seems to have fixed things.

I do not like Chris having hypoglycemic episodes but I am very glad that he’s not an idiot and would consume an unplanned Gatorade at the gym rather than pass-out.  Honestly, I’m not sure all bodybuilders would make the same decision.  It’s good to know that my bodybuilder is a smart one.

Topic 2

The gym Chris worked out at in Florida wasn’t open on Sundays so Chris had to do cardio outside.  Someone at the gym recommended he run on the shoulder of the road over a bridge.  Logically, this is what he did.


It is a big shoulder, at least


And it had a good view

Anything to get in the scheduled workout.

Topic 3

Speaking of scheduled workouts, yesterday, miraculously, Chris did something “off-schedule.”  We climbed Mt. Monadnock.  What with the hypoglycemia and Chris’s extreme leanness and mild fatigue recently, I was nervous about his hiking it, and asked him several times if I should bring candy bars to force feed him should his blood glucose fall.  He assured me that he’d be fine and I did feel better when I saw that he was bringing 6 protein bars and an apple and also not eating a high carbohydrate breakfast.  He was fine on the hike and we made it to the top of Mt. Monadnock just in time to see this majestic view:


On the summit of Mt. Monadnock

What a view!  It was kind of neat to be surrounded by fog.  We do plan to go back there, however, when we are not surrounded by fog.

Prior to the hike, Chris had told me he was going to do his scheduled “cardio,” which to him means high-intensity intervals only, after the hike.  I thought about explaining that 5 hours of slippery mountain hiking is also called “cardio” but eh, he’s got his scheduled ways.  I was relieved (and rather astounded) that, after the hike, he said he felt like he’d had a good enough workout and was not going to do the scheduled “cardio”.  He felt guilty about this decision, but, his pedometer said we had gone 17,000 steps, he’d fallen flat on his butt twice on the slippery rocks, and somehow, that seemed like enough for his body for one day.  I believe his exact decision making process went something like, “Well, I’d be fine doing extra high-intensity intervals today, but I just think I might be too sore then to do well during the rest of the week’s workouts.”  Ya think?!

Topic 4

Chris is lean enough now that he felt comfortable putting on his teeny-tiny posing trunks for his Saturday flexing pictures.  He told me these were his practice trunks.  I said, “Why do you have practice trunks?”  He muttered things I didn’t understand about needing two pairs of identical posing trunks.  I think the “show” trunks have tanner on them still from the last show and that’s why he has two pairs? Not sure.  Also, why do those little things get to be called “trunks”?  They are clearly much too small for the “trunk” designation.  Well, anyway, here’s how the man and his trunks are looking:


Chris pointed out to me that his nipples no longer look asymmetrical! Hooray!


This is called the “front abdominal” pose.


We like his back, but are still waiting for those glutes to fully come in.  Oh the waiting!  When will they come in?!  Gluuutes!

Only six more weeks until COMPETITION DAY.