Crunch week for a professional body builder

By David Tepera, March 20, 2019

For those of you who are new to my column, Tina and I are the oldest professional physique champions in Galveston County. During the past 3 years, I’ve competed in a total of seven competitions.

Just know, in the body building world, that’s considered a lot of shows because the extreme training and diet can take its toll on the body. Besides my son Dylan, Tina and I have decided to take this year off to focus on our growing business, but as always, will continue to lift weights and eat healthy.

People are usually fascinated when I explain the last week of dieting heading into a show. So, here’s a peek inside our world.

Most body building competitions are scheduled on Saturdays. Your body type and competitive category will determine how many weeks out extreme dieting is needed. For us, we stay relatively lean all year, so we don’t have to panic as we strip fat heading into a show.

On days 7 and 6, we drink up to two gallons of water, along with sodium and carb loading — each day after, dropping a half-gallon, with continual reduction of sodium and carbs.

On Friday, the day before the show, we are down to only half-gallon of water and two days without carbs. Believe me, by Friday night, we look horrible. Our muscle bellies are flat, body fat hovers around 5-7 percent, to which our skin shrink wraps around the body. You can see every muscle fiber and veins poking through our skin.

But here’s the kicker, the night before the show, we eat a large steak, baked potato, green veggies and a glass of red wine. Our bodies will absorb every nutrient, so by Saturday morning, our muscles are fully loaded, along with a small waist line.

We look absolutely amazing, and it’s a beautiful, freaky sight to look at. Check out our website for competition pictures.

Now, Saturday is game day, so we can only sip water infrequently throughout the day. There are two shows — one in the morning, and the winners in the evening. We have been fortunate to always be in the winners’ bracket.

The only time we eat on Saturday is 15 minutes before we walk on stage. We eat a small potato, rice cake or a spoon full of rice. Then, chase it with raw honey, and start pumping up with dumbbells or stretch bands. This will give your muscles a strong pump to dial-in their fullest.

Believe me, by Saturday night, our energy is completely depleted, and it takes every ounce of determination to squeeze out an exhausting posing routine.

So, as you can see, it’s not easy to be a professional physique champion. The discipline is off the charts. Next time you decide to start dieting, get in the zone and design your own crunch week.

You won’t fall when you have momentum

By David Tepera, March 16, 2019

Seventeen years ago, when I was 40, I trained and ran the Houston marathon. Since that time, plus due to age, I stopped running because pounding on the pavement can be damaging to your joints. My choice of outside exercise is riding my bicycle.

One of the many lessons while riding is to keep momentum. If you don’t continue peddling, you’d eventually fall down.

Each time I go for an adventure on my bike, I remind myself that the experience is similar to life. No matter what road block I encounter, I must find a way to keep moving.

Even today, I still have many dreams with hopes of our business to continue striving. To take a passage I once read “if you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs”.

There comes a time in life you must not regret the mistakes and failures. Only use these as lessons to help strengthen your character to become a better person.

We’ve all fallen off our bikes, but we learn that once there’s momentum, it gets much easier. The best part is to maintain speed because now you can coast without much effort.

What dreams are you building? Have you started peddling? What’s the speed of your momentum? Sometimes you must dig deep because the hill of life has become steeper. Maybe, you’re fighting against a strong wind, and it takes all your energy to fight through it. But, with determination and pride, you can win the battle.

No matter the circumstances, find a way to keep moving. One of my clients is 71 years old. It’s been impressive over the past few months to watch her body develop into an athlete. Yes, her muscles are bigger, she’s much stronger, along with diminishing aches and pains.

Unlike most older people, this client chose not to throw in the towel, but to keep moving with life. This is the strongest she’s been in her adult life. I get to observe this phenomenal with all my clients.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t give up. Choose to be different than people your age. Let them hang-out in rocking chairs to talk about the weather. Tell them you just finished 3 sets of bicep curls for 20 reps – as you flex your guns.

Now, continue peddling your bicycle of dreams, keep the momentum and you’ll never fall off again.

What drives you to success?

By David Tepera, March 5, 2019

Several weeks back, we were in a business meeting with other self-made companies. Our goal was to share experiences with hopes to gain a variety of ideas. There were many stories told, but my No. 1 question was “what drives you to success?”

Of course, most of the companies were financially driven, but for us, it’s the feeling of freedom from the corporate world to control our own destiny. We know success will continue because our mission is about caring for people to help change their lives.

There’s no secret, this world can be a tough ride to grind out each day. Throughout the years, we’ve all been beaten down by failures, people and society, but we must not let those knock-downs keep us from getting back up.

It’s time to shake off the dust, clear our heads, and shift gears to get out there and conquer our goals. Remember, most other people don’t want you to succeed because you make them feel lazy and undriven. This is your life, so don’t waste any more time listening to their negative thoughts.

Let’s think about it, I’m sure you have multiple goals. This could be weight loss, exercise, academics, sports, marriage, religion, business and so much more. But, the real question is “what drives you to success?”

Do you want to be your own boss, tired of being overweight, make the team, quit the habit, be a role model for your children and so on?

It’s time to create a new life to reach these goals of success. I’m fortunate to have many clients who share their personal stories with me. My style of training is therapeutic to help keep them motivated through life’s challenges. One lady is overcoming complications of PTSD, and uses training to control her stress as a single mother of three children.

Another client finally realized he wasn’t getting any younger, was way out-of-shape, and wanted to enjoy life to the fullest through a consistent weight-lifting kinesiology program.

So, come on now, it’s never too late, don’t just fade away and let Father Time sweep you away. Each day gives you another opportunity to chase those goals.

Now is the time to buckle up, get your game face on, and begin your journey to success.