This off-season has been one riddled with adversity for me. Not all bad adversity, some highs like getting engaged and some lows like having to sit out for 6-8 weeks rehabbing my elbows and knees. That being said, all the distractions are done, my show went off without a hitch and I have nothing else planned except for growing and making even more improvements for 2012.

At my show when I guest posed I was weighing in at 265lbs and not really liking the way I looked. I felt like my muscles were empty and nothing was ‘popping’ except for my gut! It was an embarrassing guest posing to say the least. Taking that into consideration I decided that it was time to make some changes and really go back to basics with my physique.

Staying lean for most of the last two to three years paid off when it came time to dieting but looking back I feel like some of my injuries, aches and pains were caused by just not eating enough. The reason I say this is, in the last three weeks I have added 28lbs to my frame and although I look a little like a fat ass, I am killing it in the gym!

No, I’m still not the strongest bodybuilder in the world, but the feeling I have when training is insane. I almost feel like trying to stay lean all the time was causing me to overtrain slightly. I like to do a lot of sets and really keep the pace high when training, that type of training without a large surplus of food could cause overtraining. This could also lead to the aches, pains and minor injury.

In the last three weeks I have flipped my training upside down and in fact it’s just what the doctor ordered. I have dropped all my sets sometimes doing one all out set to failure for some exercises; on top of that I have doubled my calories and rest. So this is the equation:

Tons of food + Tons of rest + Low volume lifting = Stronger, Bigger, Feeling Better

So, currently I am sitting at 293lbs and not caring about body fat just size and strength. I know its not the current fad in bodybuilding, its seems to be a lost art. Put on tons of size and then get shredded is an old way of thinking, but I did it for eight successful years earning a pro card and getting my feet wet in the IFBB. Now its time to go back to it and see if it can pay the dividends it did early on in my career.

The FLEX Pro is only a few short months away now and I am feeling better about it then ever. I am not trying to beat anyone coming to the show, my goal this year is to make sure I make improvements to the 2011 version of me, and if I can do that I think the chips will fall in the right place as they have in the past.

Sacrifice Without Regret,

Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad