101 Days Left: An update on my journey to competing in bodybuilding.

When I first started this journey and stated that I was going to enter a body building competition in November 2013 I was overwhelmed by the support and response from the community.  Even now I am  thankful for the support that continues to pour in.  As an athlete there are times where we feel isolated from the rest of the world.  This isn’t a normal lifestyle, we’re constantly focused on workouts, food, sleep, work, not to mention juggling friends and family and sometimes it all comes crashing down on us, on me.  The over 12 hours of time I spend pounding iron a week and the disciplined cooking and eating schedule I maintain, simply to carve out new muscle is gruelling.  I remember the first few months where every part of my body hurt, even the muscles in my jaws from chewing so much!  I’ll fully admit that there were times that I have wanted to quit.  My mind was questioning the worth of this experience and why I was doing it.  And then I’d get a pat on the back from one of you or a comment or question and the passionate fire was rekindled. While I appreciate the support, at the end of the day this journey has very much been a personal undertaking,  I was taught at a very young age that excellence is something that is earned through owning your actions and reactions to things that happen in life.  It’s through the disciplined pursuit of excellence, not motivation, that we succeed.  So in my mind there is no such thing as motivation, it’s quite simply the repeated practise of discipline, trusting your instincts, and a heck of a lot of effort that gets you to where you want to be.

I’ve repeated those last two sentences in the back of my mind over and over again both in the pursuit of my fitness goals, in my professional development, and basically all aspects of life.  I do things with purpose and with an extremely voracious apetite not with the intent to be better than anyone else, but to be a better version of me than I was yesterday.  So I look at something like my nutrition every day, I focus on getting all my calories in and following a strict diet, and if it works that day then great, I look at the next day and make it a goal to repeat it again.  If it’s a bad nutrition day, maybe I don’t get enough calories, or I slip up a little, my goal the next day is to be better than I was yesterday.  If there is one piece of advice I’d give to anyone about achieving a vision or a goal it is to:

“Aim to be better today than you were yesterday.”

It’s all about the small wins in life that count.  Whether that’s simply getting out of bed one day, or challenging yourself to improve in a squat, I consider these wins of equal value depending on the person’s life circumstance.  I’ve heard that it takes over 10,000 hours to become an expert at something and I’d put my money on the idea that most of those hours are spent doing the same thing over and over again with slight modifications and improvements. Sometimes it’s about scrapping an idea we’ve had and going back to the drawing board.   It could be investing these hours on just becoming better at accepting yourself for who you are and being willing to change things in your life that need to be altered.  It could be pursuing a goal like a triathlon, or a career.  It’s all about inching forward.

All of the inching forward in the past few months with workouts and nutrition are paying off for me.  After a little coaxing from my coach we’ve actually decided to move my competition date ahead from November 2013 to May 11, 2013, a full 7 months in advance!  So I say this with a little trepidation, I officially have 101 days to go.  I’m planning on competing in the INBF Calgary Cup and along with some amazing natural bodybuilders.  We pushed for an earlier start for a few reasons but primarily because my body seems to be responding a lot better to the changes in nutrition that my coach has done with me and the workouts that I’ve been designing.  For the past few months my ability to gain more muscle has been like clockwork gaining about a half a pound every week.  There’s a lot of changes that go one with my body every week and sometimes it’s tough to get used to.  I’m content with the progress but I always know I can push more and challenge myself to do better.  The team and community here at Blitz is amazing and I truly believe that I’m not a product of my own doing.  I think our lives are defined by the choices that we make and the people surround ourselves with.  What I bring as a final product is the sum of all of the efforts, of my training partners, the people I interact with in the community, and my loved ones.  I’m humbled and inspired to do better because this community at Blitz supports each other.  I see it every day when people connect with others at Blitz and are able to carry these relationships outside of the walls.  I’m hoping to make you all proud of what we’ve worked on together when I stand on that stage.

I’ll make efforts to keep you all up to date as we get closer to the show.  I’ve heard that the process for preparing for the show is quite mentally taxing and I’ll keep it as honest as I possibly can when I’m writing!

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.


  1. Chris!! You are doing amazing!! Love your blog! I can not wait to see your continued transformation…the lifestyle isn’t for everyone but you are motivating and inspiring for so many so keep it up!!

  2. Dylan Graham says:

    Sick bro, every bead of sweat is one more drop in the bucket to success. After all .. Anything that doesn’t make you sweat for it .. Probably isn’t worth it

    That’s my ideology

  3. Great job! I love reading about your progress – your dedication is inspiring! I’ll be watching in Calgary as I’ve got another friend competing!

  4. Yvon Loiselle says:

    I woke up this morning with my usual “catch up” on news and to check the weather. I don’t always gravitate to reading all Blitz blogs, but I hadn’t heard from you on your training, so…

    Half way through your post, I had a Eureka moment from what you said, something you had never bothered to say directly to me (or maybe you were yelling it as loudly as you could):

    “It’s through the disciplined pursuit of excellence, not motivation, that we succeed. So in my mind there is no such thing as motivation, it’s quite simply the repeated practise of discipline, trusting your instincts, and a heck of a lot of effort that gets you to where you want to be.”

    You know my struggles with motivation and for the first time in many, many months, I realized that dispilne might be my crutch, my excuse, my reason for continually complaining about what’s not right in my life.

    Today, I chose discipline in many things I did. What a great feeling to know that some people don’t consider motivation in the equation of success in goals.

    You made a big difference in my life, today.

    Hats off to you, Mr. Tse.

    • Thanks Yvon! Success in everything always seems to be a multiplier of hard work and discipline. It’s great that you’re choosing this path and I look forward to hearing more updates from you!

  5. Christopher M says:

    I try and read most of these, but sometimes one slips by me. I am glad this one did not. Let me start off by saying Congrats to You! It is quite a task to take on this endeavor,and taking it on, in a sense on your own. You are someone that truly Inspire’s not only myself but many others to obtain the goals they have set out for themselves. Being Immersed in the BB world for the last 5yrs thru previous trainers and friends and show’s etc..I understand your struggles and triumph’s.. and it is also for me,personally refreshing to hear that even someone like yourslef who is so dedicated in all that you do,has struggles, good days and bad,, just like any of us.. It’s great when someone like you expresses those up’s and down’s,so when we are ourselves might be thinking or it seems that you must be superhuman :)we can learn that this is not the case, that you too struggle which makes not only you that much more Inspiring but the all the trainers at Blitz along with the amazing support and community that you and brett have created…You on your journey to this new self and being able to read about it and relate to things makes myself and others seek out “The Disciplined Pursuit of Excellence” Keep Striving for your Excellence Mister Tse. 🙂

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