Training hard

/ Posted 05.20.2008

After nearly a month I’m finally recovering from the Texas Shredder Classic.  It is the most stressful thing I ever do and the number of hours of work that I put into it in the weeks leading up, along with the sleep deprivation takes a huge toll.

Now I’m really able to concentrate on my dieting and training.  My workouts have been going very well even though I’ve been doing most of them solo for the last few weeks.  Yesterday I was completely trashed after my leg workout.  Speaking of legs, I measured last night and my injured left leg has caught up to my right leg!  I’m not sure if I mentioned on any of my blogs before I got caught up in the Shredder Classic prep, but I started using some occlusion training on my left leg.  I was able to put an inch on it in 4 weeks using the occlusion training that Layne Norton wrote about in Ironman.

Again, my workouts are going extremely well and I’m very sore all the time now.  Here is yesterday’s leg workout:

I started the workout with half-squats in the power rack.  I set the pins so that I could only go about halfway down.  I wanted to get used to the feel of heavier weights on my back.

Half-squats 7 sets 6-10 reps  I did 405 for 10 on my final set

Full squats (below parallel)  7 sets 5-15 reps  my heaviest was 315 for a set of 5 and a set of 6.  Finished with 225 for a set of 15, then a set of 10.

Leg press 8 sets 17-20 reps  Last 3 sets:  810X20, 810X20, 720X17

Hack squats (just started doing these again) 2 sets 12-15 reps

Leg Ext 4 sets 10-15 reps

Lying Leg Curls 5 sets 8-12 reps  (these still hurt my hamstring tendon badly)

Today I woke up still tired from my leg workout.  I felt kinda weak, but after I got going I had a pretty good training session.  Amalia Litras recently put up a “Hyde Park Gym Raw Records” board.  Since I’m weighing just under 181 now I thought I would be the first to put a bench mark on the board for men’s 181 lb class.  I haven’t lifted heavy in a long long time, and I certainly didn’t want to go to an absolute max.  I worked my way up to 270 lbs., which I lifted easily and left it at that.  I think I have 300 in me, but I need to take my time working up to that (342 is my best competition lift in a bench press shirt).

Bench Press 12 sets 1-15 reps.  That included 4 singles, with the heaviest at 270 lbs.  Then 2 sets of 8 at 225 and a set of 15 at 185.

Incline press 6 set 6-15 reps

Pec Fly Machine 3 sets 9-12 reps

Hammer Curls 4 sets 8-12 reps

Pushups 1 set to failure….45 reps (surprised I could do that many at the end of the workout)

 I’ve now lost about 7 lbs over the last 7 weeks and I just measured my bodyfat at 5.0% with the skindex calipers.


Texas Shredder Classic

/ Posted 05.07.2008

I’m finally back! My contest, the NPC Texas Shredder Classic, always sucks my life in like a black hole in the weeks leading up to the show.

If you’ve never promoted an event like this you have no idea how much time and energy it takes! There is so much to do, so many details to attend to, and always problems popping up that require my time to solve.

Some years are easier than others. This year I seemed to be faced with one roadblock after another in the final weeks, but we got through them all and the contest, particularly the night show, went off without a hitch. I was about to have an aneurism before the prejuding got started, though. There was a 10k race running down the street (which the entrance to our venue is on) at the same time our prejudging was scheduled to start, so our prejudging got started about 35 minutes late. For alot of shows that’s typical, but I pride myself on starting on time. The 35 minutes seemed like 3 hours to me! Anyway, once it got started the prejudging went very smoothly, we finished the night show in record time and we were able to keep almost all of the very vocal audience there.

I couldn’t have pulled it off this year without my daughter, Blythe, who took on a great deal of the work for me. My contest staff is always outstanding and is the key to a well run show!

Following is a brief article by my good friend Ken O’Neill.

The Texas Shredder Classic



Saturday, April 26, 2008 was a spectacular Austin, Texas spring day with balmy weather and crystal clear skies for the 11th annual The Texas Shredder Classic Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness Championships. Only after midnight — long after the event — did a Central Texas thunder and lightening storm punctuate the evening’s memorable events.


The show opened with guest poser, my spirited friend and Austin’s own Austin Barbisch presenting his unique mixture of posing and comedic skins, stirring the audience with equal measures of applause and laughter. Austin set the mood for what was to follow by starting the show off with his own personal brand of a resounding bang!

Wildman Austin Barbisch


Competitors well demonstrated how months and years of hard training bear exceptional fruit with their well crafted physiques in the classes of Men’s and Women’s Open, Novice, and Figure championships. Our esteemed panel of NPC judges were faced with many difficult choices between the exceptional contestants gathered for the night’s events.

The audience gave an excited reception to guest poser Kiyoshi Moody from San Diego. Kiyoshi’s matured, excellently developed physique was masterfully displayed with his well-rehearsed, inspiring posing exhibition. The crowd wanted more!Kiyoshi


Due to spatial limits in this blog, reporting is limited to the Overall Winners of the six classes. It is noteworthy that of this year’s contestants, close to 20% filled the Master’s ranks with significant numbers in their 50s and even 60s. Bodybuilding publications better take notice: past-40 now holds as early midlife competition as the ranks of 50s and 60s year olds begin to fill and swell.


Novice Figure overall title was won by stunning Adrien Johnson.

Novice Women’s bodybuilding overall title went to pulchritudinous (you’re gonna have to ask Ken about that word. I’m clueless) Desiree Auguirre.


Novice Men’s overall winner Craig Ritchie may well prove to be one of those mystery men whose first contest is a stunning victory, and then seemingly pass off in the sunset never to be heard from again.

Coming in as an unknown, his combination of densely developed muscle, incredible overall balance, and cut appearance gained immediate attention. His win, while closely battled with Amechi Chinweze, met with wild audience approval.

In the wake of his victory, hearing him say this would be not only his first but also last contest came as astonishing. Apparently he wanted to give it a try by putting everything into it and the rest is history. No doubt valiant efforts will be made to convince him to move forward in the future. The man has a gift.


Open Figure overall winner Kandace Shelby was met with a tidal wave of applause as her win was announced, including an echoing woman’s voice proudly declaring “that’s my daughter.” How could the audience not share in the joy of family and friends in that moment of hard won victory?


Open Women was taken by the amazing Mary Moran-Parker. It was announced that she was the 1988 NPC Texas heavy weight champion, and then took off for only twenty years to have and raise a family. Let it be known that Mary’s back, sweeping several class titles on her way to the overall Open Women’s win. There’s no history to be found on the web showing how she looked 20 years ago, so comparisons aren’t possible. Nevertheless, she confirms the words of Orson Wells in those commercials when he declared “no wine before it’s time.” Mary’s matured physique reigned over competitors half her age, giving notice of moving forward from where she left off in her bodybuilding career.


Open Men’s overall winner Chris Hietman exemplified that covering all bases well is what it takes to win. In outstanding condition, his development and trained down condition were masterfully displayed with a well honed posing routine. We look forward to witnessing more victories by this fellow.

All three Open Overall champions were awarded NPC Championships rings along with commemorative sword sets, as well as becoming qualified for all NPC national competitions. All open division class winners qualified for the NPC Team Universe (unofficially the NPC Natural Nationals).


Photographs courtesy of copyright holder, Georges Schemagin,

Filed Under: Contest, Photos