18 days. It seems so far but in actuality its right around the corner and nervous energy has set in. Unlike other years, it’s not a stressed out feeling it’s more of a, “get me to that stage aleady,” kind of feeling. A little more craziness has set in as well. Every year before each show as it gets closer and my cravings get worse I usually make a list of foods or restaurants to eat at after the show.

The goal is to finish the list within one month of the shows and somehow it never gets done. I told my girl yesterday though I promise this year I am going to eat all the food on the list; I feel like it’s something I have to accomplish because I never have before..lol. Anyway enough of that, I could talk about food all day at this point so I don't wanna ramble.  

Things with the prep are going good: Hany has just decided we're going to go up another level from where I am. I'm pretty sure I've never been here before while holding this much muscle. Some of you that have seen my pics in the past have seen me shredded and in good condition but I was much smaller, the goal this year is going to be to bring in a higher level of conditioning while keeping all the hard earned muscle I put on over the long time I had off.

Strength is up and down; some days I'm benching 405lbs and some days its 315lbs but I don't let that get to me at all because I know things like that happen as you get more depleted. The one thing I do try and do is always push as hard as I can. I always try and make sure I'm lifting as heavy as I can because I know my body and as soon as I start doing too many supersets or lifting too light my body gets stringy. Yesterday I trained legs and things felt really good, strong, endurance was good and separation is really coming in.

Legs have always been a point for me to really improve on and I did have some quad injuries this year so the fact that I am squatting and staying full and round in the lower body means things are all positive going into the FLEX. All in all this prep has been very good for me, the people in my life have noticed a change in me and I think it comes from experience. I think after years of training and competing I am finally starting to feel like a real professional in every sense of the word, not just in the physical sense.

It’s important to me to go the extra mile and take care of fans needs and always give back. It’s important to be appreciative for the people in your life that are always there for you. Every last little detail of this prep has been thought of and nothing has been left to chance. Tanning, icing, physio, mental visualization, eating, sleeping, training, food prep, posing and all the extras like ab work, stretching are all being done for the first time in my career.

I think I got by on whatever genetics I had and they got me to where I am today and I always thought I was working hard until I realized there is SO MUCH MORE that can be done. It’s not just doing but doing with 100% focus and intensity. In 18 days we're going to find out if putting all these pieces to the puzzle together will create the picture in my mind I have had for the last 14 months. Sacrifice Without Regret, Fouad 'Hoss' Abiad