Tag Archives: posing practice

Peak Week and Posing Practice

“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.)

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Making dinner

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.

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Our freezer currently (And he wonders why he gets bloated…)

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.

October 12th is 35 Days Away

Chris brought 10 bananas home the other day.  He had decided to experiment with bananas as a carb source.  Within 3 days, the 7 remaining bananas were mushy and speckled and had attracted small black flying bugs.  Chris, thankfully, did not eat these bananas.  This impressed me as these bananas already held designated places in the week’s diet plan. Chris concluded, from this experience, that bananas are much too fickle to include in a scheduled diet plan; diet plans require sturdy, reliable food; with a banana, you never know when one might rot away.  Thus, no more bananas will be bought.  And that was the deal with the bananas.

In other news, we’ve started practicing Chris’s posing several times a week.  Chris puts on his posing trunks, stands in front of the TV in the living room, and, from the couch, I call out poses to him such as “rear lat spread!” and “side chest!” and “crab most muscular!”  We do this for 10 minutes.  I am supposed to make sure he holds each pose for at least 30 seconds. He sweats and his muscles quiver while he holds the poses and, as someone who loves him, I feel like a jerk sitting there, staring at him as he quivers, and waiting 30 seconds before calling the next pose, but, that is what he asked me to do.  Following the practice, we analyze what muscles were flexed enough and what muscles could have been flexed more.  It’s a magical relationship time.  October 12th (the date of the show) can’t come soon enough.

And with that being said, I’m sick of bodybuilding.  I’m sick of every activity requiring food planning; I’m sick of analyzing the shrinking fat on his butt; and mostly I’m sick of Chris being “out-of-it” because he needs food.  As I was feeling sick of bodybuilding the other day, Chris said to me, unprompted, “You know what?  I’m sick of bodybuilding.”  I think it’s just that time in the contest prep.  Did I mention that October 12th can’t come soon enough?

As Chris is aware that his mental and physical capacities are dwindling, he intentionally makes it a priority to still do my Lindy things with me.  It would be much easier for him to stay home near his food scale and the refrigerator and count down the hours until it’s time to eat next.  Some bodybuilders do this.  Having no social life and no outside interests and ideally, no job, would be the simplest way to diet.  Chris makes deliberate efforts not to do this.  He tells me constantly that he still wants to enjoy life and go places with me.  Thus, although I’m sick of bodybuilding right now, I do appreciate that he is doing the best he can while pursuing a goal that is important to him.  Soooo how many days until October 12th did you say?

On the note of doing my Lindy things with me, today Chris and I hiked Mt. Wachusett.  It was a beautiful day and we hiked for about 2 hours.  Although Chris had lifted right before we went, he did fine.  He even helped hold up this boulder that someone had misplaced:

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This was the “balance rock” trail.  Ha!

And the view from the summit was much nicer than the fog we saw from last weekend’s Mt. Monadnock summit.

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When we were done hiking, Chris shocked me by spontaneously suggesting we go to a Johnny Appleseed festival at a near-by town.  Was he hypoglycemic and muttering babble?  No!  He really did want to attend the Johnny Appleseed festival!  (I should point out that, when we moved to MA, we unknowingly moved to the heart of “Johnny Appleseed Country.”  Johnny Appleseed is big here.  We already have plans next weekend to attend the local Johnny Appleseed festival and there are more Johnny Appleseed related events throughout fall. Red apple pictures are on street signs.  Unfortunately, I once watched a Michael Pollan PBS special that told me Johnny Appleseed’s apples were only popular because people liked to make hard cider out of them…so all I can think of at these quaint local festivals is how we are really celebrating drunken pioneers.  Take your children!)

In the Apple General Store at the Johnny Appleseed festival, Chris shocked me for the second time today by eating a free sample.  Was he losing his marbles?  Free-samples were not on the diet plan for today!

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Chris and the free samples (on trays on the table)

Chris told me that hiking for 2 hours allowed him to eat the free sample of a carrot stick and apple-themed dressing.  Of course I agree with this logic for a normal human, but I was surprised Chris applied normal-human logic to his bodybuilder-human eating.

So Chris still makes it into the “very good fiance” category for now.  He’ll maintain this position by continuing to hike and attend Johnny Appleseed festivals with me.  He could lose this position by implementing extended analysis sessions of his butt fat and/or bringing back the bug-ridden bananas.  Also, October 12 is only 35 days away.  Not that anyone is counting…