There are now less than 48 hours to go until the Pure Elite Fitness Model contest in Margate. I’ll be there on stage, and I’m both looking forward to it and apprehensive in equal measure!
This is the first time I’ve competed in Pure Elite, although I have been on a stage elsewhere in similar contests organised by Miami Pro four times in the past – two categories each time, so in fact I’ve been on the stage for eight separate contests.
So why I am apprehensive? It sounds like I’m an ‘old hand’ at this game! Well, there are a couple of aspects about the Pure Elite that make it all a little bit more of a challenge.
Firstly, there are the age categories. For Miami Pro, I have always entered the over 50’s age group in both the Fitness Model and Muscle Model categories; I’ll be doing the same two category names this Sunday too, but Pure Elite has a different age structure, and I’m in the over 45’s, not over 50’s. This means I’ll be competing against guys who are almost 13 years younger than me – and age is certainly a factor in being able to reach peak physical condition. In my other contests, I was usually the oldest on stage by about 5 years; in this one, I’ll be a week away from my 58th birthday, I suspect I’ll be the oldest again, but will have a much greater age gap to the youngest.
Secondly, I’ve also had another fitness-related focus on my mind. I’ve been raising money for a good cause – a young girl called Esme with an incurable disease. The high point of my fund -raising for her was running a marathon in Dublin on Monday this week (the marathon and cash-raising story is on www.bitly.com/chris4esme). I’m not used to much long-distance running, and I was pretty exhausted at the end of the 26 miles. An article on marathon running I read previously suggested runners need 26 days without training to recover post-run, based on a day’s recovery for every mile ran. I certainly couldn’t afford that time off with the Pure Elite being 6 days after the marathon, so I decided to make that 26 hours off-training rather than 26 days! I hope the marathon hasn’t taken too much out of me for the Pure Elite, and that I haven’t taken my training too far off course as a result.
Apart from the marathon, I think I’ve prepared well for Pure Elite. I have been training alongside Dan Wynes, a young guy to whom I have been acting as fitness mentor for the past six months. Even though I’m the mentor, I know that I have learned as much from Dan as he has from me over these past months, and we have both been determined at pushing each other on. Dan has formally challenged me to be the best of my generation present at Pure Elite, and I issued the same challenge to him.
The most intensive period for us was a week’s dedicated training taken as a trip to Gold’s in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, ending the day before travelling to Dublin. That week in Gold’s was the toughest week’s gym training of my life, and my thanks go to Dan for encouraging me on so much – and also to Rob Riches of True Performance Nutrition (the USA-based company for which I am an ambassador) who joined in the training there and further helped both Dan and me reach new reserves of strength and dedication to achieving the best body we each can.
Coming forward to today, I checked the mirror and scales this morning, and feel happy with what I saw. I’m at the lowest bodyfat for five years, just beating my final number on the Gold’s trip – the bodyfat actually went up significantly in Dublin due to the mega-high carbs fuelling my run on Monday.
Have I done enough to repair the fitness diversion caused by Dublin, and to be a worthy opponent to those competing alongside me on stage? I hope so.
My wife Jenny and Dan’s girlfriend Liz are in the front row of spectators on Sunday, and will be screaming madly for both of us during our separate times on stage. I hope they get to see their chaps have met to the challenges we gave each other with success. We want our ladies to see us achieve results to make them proud of the two of us.
More next week, when Pure Elite will be over – for this year, at least!