I’m currently in the middle of my ‘off season’ so my training and diet are all focused on growth. I’ve had some great highs in my training with new Personal Bests (PB’s) and I’m really enjoying the extra food…..so is my body.

There has also been a few low’s with injuries. Pushing too hard to lift more weight on my lifts has led me to injure my back…again. I partially slipped a disk in my back about seven years ago and it took me years to come right. Seriously, one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt and I’ve had some painful injuries in my life.

Now I’ve hurt it again in the same way but not as severe so I’m hoping with some rehab and not putting my back under any load it’ll come right fairly soon. But it’s been a month now and I still can’t squat, deadlift etc. and I have a lot of pain after I’ve been lying down for too long. So not good when I go to sleep.

However, this hasn’t stopped me, I’ve just had to adapt my training and be smarter about the pressure I put on my back. So while I may not be able to do my compound exercises I can still train hard and make progress.  I’ve been focusing on gaining more size on my shoulders and legs as I seen those areas that need the most improvement.

Bodybuilding is a funny sport

For me to gain the muscle I need to be competitive with the pro’s I need to eat more and train harder than I ever have. Which also means I’ve had to put on weight. This is something I’m not used to and ever since I was in the hospital and my weight ballooned out of control (see my previous blog) I’ve always made sure I’ve rocked the 6-pack and only put on a small amount of weight in the off season’s.

Bodybuilding is not only challenging physically but also mentally. The whole point is to look shredded, big and muscular on stage, so while you can lean bulk and keep good muscle definition, I’ve aimed for serious gains that only comes from eating more calories. This makes it tough mentally as I’ve had to put my vanity aside and focus on the end goal. It’s hard looking in the mirror and not being comfortable with how you look, knowing you can change it, but choosing not to as the goal is bigger than what is staring back at me. It’s not easy but nothing worth fighting for often is.

So I’m focused on my goal and have committed myself to achieving it even though it’s meant I’ve had to put on unwanted weight and had to buy a whole new wardrobe as my clothes don’t fit and I’ve had my pants split at work…..In front of my boss haha.

The extra calories have done wonders for my training and as I mentioned before I’ve set new PB’s for myself. I know I’ve put on a lot of muscle under all this extra weight and I’m excited to see what I can bring to my next show.

I’ve been using The Protein Bread Co mixes in my diet to help keep it interesting and curb the cravings that come up. Things like Domino’s or Cakes/Muffins isn’t really in the diet plan but because I can use The Protein Bread mixes I can still have these things and not worry.

My why is to earn my Pro Card.

My why is quite personal to me and honestly something I thought I would never be able to achieve until only recently. Now I believe I can definitely get there it’s just a matter of time.

My why is to earn my Pro Card. Ohhh that feels scary to write down so that everyone can see but there it is on paper now, so to speak. Because this is my goal I’ve chosen to compete in the Pro Am for WFF in August giving me lots of time to improve my physic. I don’t expect to earn my Pro card for this show, I’m using it more as an assessment to see where I’m at and what I need to do. But at the same time I’ll still be pushing to be the best and making sure I do everything I can to present the best physic I can for the day.

How I perform in this show will determine what shows I compete in for the following year. There may be an international event in there as well.

Gaining strength

I’m happy with my progress so far especially considering the injury setbacks. I’ve gone from weighing 75kgs to 95kgs hence the reason why I feel like beer barrel with limbs. Obviously, that’s not all muscle with a lot of that weight being made up of water and fat. But there will be some muscle gains mixed in there as well.

My strength has gone up a lot with the way I’m training thanks to advice and diet my coach Reynolds Nutrition has designed for me. Gaining strength isn’t just about getting stronger, if I can lift more weight this will in turn help me gain more muscle. To get big, train big.

Final thought

Bodybuilding isn’t for everyone. It really is all consuming and you never really stop dieting/training. If you’re not trying to lose weight you’re trying to gain weight on healthy food which means you need to eat a lot. I’m often asked if I’ve started training or dieting for my next show. It’s funny as you never stop, you just relax a little more in the off season and allow more treats in. So if you’re thinking about stepping on stage, flick me a message I’ll be happy to give you any advice I can.

The first picture is from the start of the year and the second is taken in mid-March. Same top, same gym, same time of day.

– Christopher Brine

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