James’ Blog – Road to heart of England, 12 weeks out

So, to follow on from my previous blog back in February, I thought it was about time I do an update on what I’m doing…


This year I decided to do an 18-week prep, compared to 12 weeks last year. I’ve already been dieting 6 weeks, cruising through and seeing what works for me. At the end of my off-season I was weighing in at 82kg, compared to last year when I started prep at 73kg. Right now, I’m down to 74kg – this could mean that I’ve gained around 1-2kg of muscle since competing last year (which is good – remember I compete naturally).


I’m currently on a low carb, high protein and moderate fats diet. This is a whole new approach for me as last year I stuck to 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fats macros split throughout my entire prep. At the moment, I have the same macros and meals every day because this is convenient for me. It makes it so much easier to prep food and keeps me consistent so I know what’s working and what’s not.


Progress over the last 6 weeks has been slow and I feel like I’m behind schedule, so I’ve just added in cardio post-workout doing steady-state on the Stairmaster (and thank god for the Netflix app to pass time quickly). I seem to be holding a lot of water around my abs and lower back, so hopefully the extra cardio will help to tighten things up. Last year I didn’t do any cardio, but with the extra weight to lose this year, I’m trialling this approach.


I did say in my last blog but in case you didn’t get a read, I’m looking to compete in the juniors and I’m also on track to do the under 70kg men’s category as I’m most likely to lose another 6kg over the next 12 weeks (bearing in mind I’m holding a lot of water, so this won’t just be 6kg of fat). You never really know what you’re up against until you get backstage, so I’ve got to bring the best package I can and hope for the best.


Although I was planning on it, I decided against getting a coach as I felt I would like to trial different methods myself and not be dependent on what someone else says. It’s important to me to see what I can achieve on my own, with some help from Ian Scammell and Jeff Nutt.