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  • Chris Goodman

How many times did you start a project only to have it fall apart halfway through? Or maybe the fear of failing stopped you from even starting? I can't even count how many times I've started towards a goal and failed. But honestly, it was the fear of failure that froze me most of the time.


You see, I didn't grow up in the most loving and supportive way. Divorce, poverty and just surviving was a daily part of my life. I just wanted to blend in, to be left alone. I didn't want to stand out....so I hid in mediocrity. So, you LEARN to be mediocre out of fear and really...you can't fall far when you do fail. But here's the flip side YOU NEVER LEARN TO LIVE!


Honestly, I'm still learning. I don't have the answers but let me tell you what I do know so far. Mediocrity is comfortable, safe and what people have come to expect from you. I'd fear what people thought of me, so I'd go out of my way to make people happy.

my fear of conflict took over as well. I'd "dance" around touchy subjects and worry over a comment or remark made about me. I'd fear my ideas weren't worthy of discussion or serious consideration.. That I wasn't smart enough or had the "proper" education. So, I stayed in line... BUT mediocrity is also boring as Hell. You don't grow, life just passes by and you don't discover what the Hell you are actually capable of doing!



So how did I go from hiding in mediocrity to stepping on the PRO stage for all to judge?? Trust me when I say it wasn't easy. There comes a time when you get tired of being who you are. You reach the point where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change... When you reach that point, EMBRACE IT! That white-hot fire will hurt like hell, but THAT'S when you start to feel ALIVE! That's what struck me... I started lifting to boost my confidence and eventually stepping onto the stage to compete as a pro. When I wanted to learn more, I educated myself in non-traditional ways and I'm using that to help others and now, I'm learning to embrace life after the stage.


How can you change? How can you recognize the strength in you to press on when fear has one heluva good grip on you? First and foremost, let go of fear... Fear wants you to stay where you are. It is not your friend. Work on getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Those close to you will fight this change. Not because they are angry with you, but they fear change as well. Let them know you understand, but don't let that stop you. If it's a career change, anticipate what could go wrong and work out a worst case scenario. You may be able to plan ahead and reduce any problems or even discover there's no basis for your fear. And even if it's still there..do it anyway! Surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Let them know of your goals and you may be surprised by the help you'll receive. Take one small step EVERY DAY towards your goal, no matter how small. After some time, you'll be able to look back and see how far you've come. Time will pass anyway, why not choose to live?


I've worked hard over the years to overcome my lack of self esteem, fear of failure and being comfortable in mediocrity. I'm still a work in progress. There's times where I can shrug off a calloused statement and times where I look back and wonder what I did wrong. I'll continue to learn, grow and live more each day. But one thing is for sure...I refuse to be mediocre. Oh and failure? It's gonna happen... That's life. But what we do with that failure is up to us. Just keep in mind that failure is just another step to success.

  • Chris Goodman

You've been lifting, eating well and feel like you're on a roll. Then life throws a curve ball and you get hurt... You tweak your back, or pull a calf, or have your 100# German Shepherd pup, who wants to meet a new friend, screw up your shoulder. Nothing is more depressing than being injured and thinking of all the strength your gonna lose. So what do you do? You cry into your beer, say screw it and eat your depression away all while sitting on your duff at home... But wait!!! It doesn't have to be that way!


Yes, we can lose strength after around 2-3 week but it takes a longer time to lose actual muscle tissue. Also, that strength loss is temporary. The beautiful thing about muscle is once the groundwork is laid, you CAN regain lost muscle and strength in a reasonable amount of time.


Again, after around 2-3 weeks, we do lose strength. It's when we push to 6-12 weeks that significant muscle mass is lost. But think about this.... If you've been lifting for a significant amount of time...say 10 years and you have to lay off for 10 week, then you've got a solid base of muscle and the amount of muscle loss would be less. Now compared to someone who has only lifted for 10 months, 10 weeks bites into their muscle maturity a bit more, so there's more muscle loss.


So what do we do to reduce the amount of regression from an injury? First, get over the fact that you have an injury. It's ok to have a pity party but don't camp there. The only thing that will come out of that is regret. So, embrace what you can control and let go of the what ifs and the negative thoughts that will derail you.


Eat well! Your body needs those nutrients to help heal itself. Now that doesn't mean eat a lot, but eat with healing in mind. If you had a high caloric intake, you may want to reduce it to around 10-20% above your BMR. BMR, or basal metabolic rate is what our energy intake needs are for basic function. From there we can determine an estimated energy intake for our different activity levels. For example, if I took my BMR and multiplied it by an activity factor of 1.7 to get how much I needed to eat while lifting hard, I may want to re figure that for around 1.2. What we don't want to do is drop into an excessive calorie deficit. This can be out of fear of gaining fat while not training as hard. But don't sweat it, you're still going to train what you can and let the body repair itself.


Make sure you're getting in enough protein to help with building up muscle tissue. For some, that may mean a boost in their original protein intake. Before my injury, I was shooting for around 140g's protein. Now, I'm pushing it to 155 to help with recovery. This is subjective since we should gauge our intake to how much resistance training we do, our LMM, gender and age. But a safe rule of thumb is 1g protein per lb of body weight for a healthy individual, not overweight. If that's the case, you'll need to find out what your LMM is.


Also, don't shy away from adequate amounts of healthy fats. Eating fish, chicken and lean meats or adding in (if you are not taking them already..GASP!!) quality fish oil can help w/ some fats. Otherwise, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, chia seeds and such can help contribute to healthy fat intake. I like to push people to intake up to 30% of their total caloric intake from fat. This helps w/ nutrient shuttling, hormone balance and satiety.


Now about training... Be smart! Don't risk training the effected area and be cautious of unilateral work. Sometimes, we can apply torque to the body while lifting and it can hamper recovery. For example, with my shoulder injury, I'm only doing legs and some very light single arm exercises. I want to be careful not to cause a muscle imbalance anyway, but learning what I have from working as a PT aid, torque happens and I want to heal. I'll get back to upper body work in time.


So be smart in your training, eat well and think of food as your medicine, and don't camp out at the pity party. You may not have chosen to get hurt, but you DO have a choice in how you respond and recover. Trust me, I've been there....again!

  • Chris Goodman

So it's been a while since I've posted here and I hope I haven't lost you all yet... I am working on my Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification! I am very excited to add this certification to my "toolbox". It is confirming what I already know while building upon my current knowledge and I am looking forward to using those "tools" to help my clients even more!


And now, for the thought at hand.... Years ago when I first started competing, I never heard of a reverse diet. I got done competing and I ate....a lot! At least I tried to slowly increased my calories but it wasn't fully controlled or planned and I became very paranoid about food. That was in '07... Fast forward to '12 and when I hired a wonderful coach who really shed some light on macros and reverse dieting. I started reading and researching after that and had my best post season yet. Reverse diet is about adding calories back in slowly with the goal of reducing fat gains and help a competitor not "blow up", making it tough to get leaner for the next comp. The toughest part is managing the addition of food...you are STARVING and the tendency to "fall off the wagon" is huge, making you feel like a failure.


Now let's fast forward to 2017 and the recovery diet method. Recovery takes more of what I like to call "healing" approach to post competition. Instead of painstakingly adding in food slowly, there is roughly a good 10-20% caloric increase THEN slowing down to a slower addition of food. If the urges to binge are still there, then the competitor can opt to add in more food until the urge to binge is controlled. The premise is getting the competitor to feel better, get hormones to a healthier level sooner and helping to reduce ghrelin/leptin drive to eat. Ghrelin is mainly secreted from our bellies and it tells our brain when we are hungry. That is why some competitors like 3 larger meals as their calories get lower. They get that full feeling. Leptin is secreted mainly from our fat cells. You can imagine, with lower body fat, there's less leptin being produced. This is another reason why when a competitor is deep into prep, they feel like chewing their arm off!! Now, I first heard of Recovery diet from 3DMJ: 3D Muscle Journey. If you don't know who they are, you need to look them up.http://3dmusclejourney.com/recovery-diet-reverse-diet/


Reverse vs Recovery....which one to I prefer? I leave that up to the competitor. Personally, the longer they are in prep, the more I like the Recovery approach. Especially if the competitor is going into an off season and wants to feel better as soon as possible. If they plan on doing a show in the near future, they would do better with a reverse, especially if the next competition is in a few weeks. The ideal approach would be to be ready early and reverse them into their show. Again, that is ideal....how often does it happen?? In my opinion, only after a coach and client have established some time together. Everyone loses weight differently and even on different competition years. Establish a relationship with a good coach and they will honestly look out for your best interest.


I will say the female competitor looks longingly at the reverse and wants to start off on that approach because they fear the scale and gaining too much body fat. I'm flexible and I do allow the client to choose their approach, after going over the pros and cons of each approach. But honestly, after doing the reverse for a week or two, they've switched to the recovery style and were much happier. This again comes back to ghrelin/leptin... These hormones regulate our hunger and are usually SCREAMING by this time. I stress before a client even gets close to their competition to be ready for the post season...it makes dieting down for a show like a Sunday walk in the park.


So before you get close to the stage, take a careful look at your post season and come up with a plan. Will it be reverse or recovery? What is your personality like? Take into account if you plan on competing in a few weeks or a few months, or is an off season in your future? If you start on your reverse and decide to change gears, make a structured plan to transition beforehand. Don't let ghrelin/leptin take you by surprise. The more you are prepared to handle your off season, the more likely you are to succeed. Also......if you "fall off the wagon" and just binge, WELCOME TO THE CLUB. No sane competitor will think less of you. But do try to adjust and learn from it. Maybe even adding in more food to reduce those binge episodes. Just remember to forgive and do not dwell on the binge. Move forward, learn from it and by gosh...go lift! Go use that food for probably one of the most epic days at the gym you've had in ages!


I wanted to share my experience and how I look at post season... It may differ from another coach's approach and that's ok. Also, by sharing great information by 3DMJ, I hope to introduce you to a wealth if information to help make you a more successful competitor.


Again, I hope you enjoy and I'll try to stay in touch.


Chris~



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