Down to the 66’s I go & more…

Mike Ferguson’s blog on his progress to get to 66kg in weight.

Short-Term Goals

Still dreaming…what an experience the IPF Worlds was! I will look back on it with fond memories for times to come, even if I wasn’t at my desired level because of the hip injury. Take me out of this desk and back to South Africa now!

Since the smoke has settled on my first World Champs, I have looked towards the short term and long term future and what I would like to achieve. It is essential to do this after every competition – regroup, evaluate and get the wheels moving again. However, because of my lingering injury, exact long term plans, currently, are a bit hazy. Nevertheless, I know the key short term details. I have set my sights on something that I haven’t yet done in my past 3 and a half years competing. My current agenda is thus:

  • Cut to the weight class below (66kg bodyweight) and do a competition with lifting numbers set high (November ‘14)
  • Compete in a Natural Bodybuilding show if possible while in the 66kg class (November ‘14)

This is a serious deal for me as once I reach 66kg it will mark a weight that I have not been since leaving secondary school and beginning training in the summer of 2009. I am small in height anyway – sitting at 5” 6 and I’ve always found it hard to put on muscle relative to strength. Telling these new plans to people who know me makes for most of them having a good laugh on my part! It even makes me have a quiet chuckle to myself. Most know, I have never trained for aesthetics and this has been well illustrated in my body composition while powerlifting.

My mentality was always to train to maximise my strength for competitive powerlifting. I would take performance over aesthetics any day. The way I would do that is eat what I like when I like which gave me the confidence and mental strength week to week to lift increasingly heavier poundages. Before British Champs in October 2013, this even included an 8 week ‘KFC Cycle’ with three to four KFC’s a week which – without lying – I attribute to helping me reach my strongest levels at the time ha ha! I don’t recommend this or anything similar! Truth be told, being permanently swollen is no fun.. But it is all about confidence in performance, as long as you stay within the confines of your weight class.

My current plans may have been different if I hadn’t picked up this injury. Regardless, this is a welcoming challenge for me. Parting ways with my comfort zone, yes, but that is often the most rewarding choice to make.

The Process

The 1st Phase of the cut was from 75kg – 72.5kg for Worlds in June. Small, easy and convenient alterations for a small amount of bodyweight were used. I simply cut out the weekly fast food and started intermittent fasting (IF) eight weeks out. Even though this was also only a 12 hour fast from 12am-12pm, I loved not having to worry about what I was having for breakfast each day and simply used the Deluxe Amino Acid Powder to keep cravings away. Additionally, I could concentrate a lot better in work in the mornings and I felt a lot more satisfied when lunch came around.

Phase 2 was post worlds to this current week with the weight moving from 72.5kg on the 13th June to 69.3kg on the 8th July (see Figure 1 below). For this Phase (and into Phase 3), my good friend Sam Bingham made the alterations to my diet that would permit further weight loss to 69.0kg and then from 69kg-66kg (Phase 3). Again, it was nothing complex as I am not in any rush. The changes made were:

  • Increase the fast up to 16 hours (8pm-12pm).
  • Track Calories (My Fitness Pal app is your best friend here) – calories roughly at 1,900 per day for now.
  • Carb Cycle – high (hardest training days) /medium (secondary training days) / low (off days) with specific macronutrients.
  • Supplement focus – Using Deluxe Casein, Deluxe 100% Protein, Deluxe Caffeine and BCAA’s was hugely significant for allowing me to get my daily protein intake in, for energy and satiety. I highly recommend using a supplement focus while cutting weight and Deluxe’s product range is perfect for this.
“My '8 week KFC Cycle' included 3 or 4 KFC's a week!”
Michael Ferguson
DN prog2 copy
Current Outlook at 69kg. Lots of powerlifter weaknesses (lol) and long way to go till I achieve the conditioning needed to do okay in a bodybuilding competition.

Upon hitting 69.0, Phase 3 will see more changes and a significant intensification of the weight loss process. From November, I plan on re-evaluating, most likely moving back up to the 74’s and then in 4-5 years’ time moving gradually up to the 83kg class. My reasoning here is my experience from Worlds – if I want to be an elite world class lifter for my height (5”6) then I should probably consider moving up to the 83’s in time. Most 83’s that I met and watched were smaller or similar in height to me and 90% of the 74’s I met were smaller than me.

Here’s to new endeavours! Best of luck to everyone in their goals for the remainder of 2014. If not now..when?

In Strength,

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