All around me are guys in a similar state of over-tanned near-nakedness. Nigel Bartlett is a freelance writer and editor who has worked for many of the best-known publications in Australia. Biceps exercise 1: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps; Triceps exercise 1: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps; Biceps exercise 2: 3 sets of 8-10 reps; Triceps exercise 2: 3 sets of 8-10 reps; Biceps exercise 3: 3 sets of 15-20 reps; Triceps exercise 3: 3 sets of 15-20 reps; Forearm exercise: 5 sets of 20 reps; Workout PDF. Depending on the federation, if you win overall champion at the contest you will earn an IFBB Pro card. Not yet, I decide. He sets up a series of 5.30am posing sessions in which – watching me via Skype – he tweaks the angle of an arm or the tilt of my hips. Bench press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps. I send off an application to join their program. But I don’t want to kill myself in the process. You’re a journalist. And when I hear them referring to their clients as “athletes”, I’m sold. The Following Appointments Will Be Scheduled for the Night Before or the Morning of Your Show: Your email address will not be published. Finally, the big day arrives. A few weeks later he slashes it to 8120kJ, while leaving my protein intake at 200g. On the other side of 50, this writer went in pursuit of the ‘impossible’ body – then had it judged under the burning spotlight of competition. Jeff drops my training days to four. I’m sporting my bright blue posing trunks and I’m pumping up backstage at a huge entertainment venue in Bankstown in southwest Sydney. This will earn them an invite into a national championship. At home my partner leaves all the cooking to me, fed up with me barking, “How much oil are you using?” or obsessively weighing each potato. Maybe he’s trying to put me at ease. These are the striations I’ve heard about but have never seen in the mirror. I start listening to a podcast by the US-based 3D Muscle Journey team. I’m constantly hungry, which is cruelling my sleep. Finally, I hear it. 10 reasons you can be a bodybuilder. I posted on Facebook only occasionally, but even so, someone I’d known for years reacted with a vomit emoji, another told me I looked grotesque and another commented, “I feel very conflicted about this.” My advice: set up a separate Instagram account so only those who want to follow your progress see your pics. Everything has a starting point in life, and for lifting and bodybuilding, it’s the ground floor—there’s just no way you can start in the middle or at the top. Tag: how to become a bodybuilder in 1 year. “Practise patience when you’re about to lose it over something insignificant,” advises muscle coach Jeff Alberts. WORKOUT ONE. I’m not a drinker these days, which is just as well – I’d have to say no to nights out at the pub. But there’ll be no cardio in my program. I’ve read all about the effects steroids can have on your mental and physical health, and a user I knew died from a heart attack in his 40s. “Jesus! I figure I’ll have no problems paring back my consumption. #12: What Makes A Successful Bodybuilder. The key points: leave 1-3 reps in the tank on every set; rest as needed between sets; use perfect form. The key points: leave 1-3 reps in the tank on every set; rest as needed between sets; use perfect form, Overhead shoulder press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps, Overhead cable triceps extension: 3 x 8-10. It’s a massive ego boost to watch those abs and muscles pop in your super-lean state, but Alberts says it’s vital to up the kilojoules and get back to a normal weight pretty quickly after competing. In that case, I realise, there’s one inescapable conclusion: the only person I’m letting down is myself. I become a muscleman. At 48, Jeff Alberts has been competing in bodybuilding for 26 years. Slowly but surely, the body fat melts away. But more importantly, I’m proud of what I’ve done to get here and where I’ve ended up. Sixty-eight! Now it’s me who becomes the drill sergeant, setting myself a highly regimented food plan: I have the same breakfast each day, the same number of coffees or teas, the same protein-based snacks. “Let’s see how we go,” Jeff says. I need a new challenge. Or before I went bald?” I’ve been a gym-goer for years, but even so, everything’s slowly heading south.