Let The Games Begin: Contest Prep for the IFBB North Americans

I’m now three weeks into my contest prep for the IFBB North Americans in Cleveland, Ohio on September 3rd and 4th. As I have mentioned previously, this year I decided to go back to good friend of mine, Ronnie, who I worked with from 2001-2005. After a few years of doing my own diet prep, it was time to get back to what’s worked best for me.

He truly knows my body, and has a great eye for the sport of bodybuilding. I feel using a nutritionist/diet coach helps to keep me accountable and leaves the guess work out of the equation. I am so extremely busy with my career and my family that I really don’t have the time to meticulously count every nutrient going into my body and design my own diet.

Case in point, last year I thought I could include daily meals of burrito bowls from Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant here in the St Louis area. The bowls had rice, chicken or steak and salsa and it saved me a ton of time in food prep. I often had two or three of these bowls a day and since I was getting leaner, I felt I could include these in my prep and get away with it.

I managed to find success in winning the overall bodybuilding title at a regional show, the Muscle Mayhem championships, in Kansas City MO. I continued my burrito bowl meal plan and three weeks later I got an eye opener at the Junior Nationals where I finished a dismal 14th place, a show I had finished 2nd in 2003.

The Plan

After returning home from a much needed vacation in Puerto Vallarta, I was 15 weeks out from the North Americans. My weight in the morning was in the high 230’s. I met up with Ronnie and began phase one of my diet. I glanced the diet over and my first thought was “wholly shit that’s a lot of food!”

The meal plan consisted of seven meals with calories around 5000, 130 grams of fat, protein around 600 grams and carbohydrates around 400 grams each day. Protein sources consisted of “eggbeaters” liquid egg substitute, top round steak, chicken breast, Level-1 and Phormula-1. Carbohydrate sources are oatmeal, white rice, red potatoes, and wheat bread. Fat sources included olive oil, almonds, and reduced fat peanut butter.

I told Ronnie that I may have to quit my job to get all this clean food in each day! He told me that I have to get my body used to eating high volumes of food and that it wouldn’t be easy, but that by week three that it would get easier. Let me tell you I’m in week three as we speak and it still sucks, but it is gradually getting easier.

As far as my training is concerned, I am training 6 days a week on the following split:

Monday- Hamstrings, calves, and light quads
Tuesday- Shoulders
Wednesday- Back and Biceps
Thursday- Chest and calves
Friday- Quads and light hamstrings
Saturday-Arms and calves

At this stage in the game, I am performing 20 minutes of cardio three times a week, using either the treadmill on an incline or the step mill. In the past, I have used my off-season time to catch up on sleep and taking a much needed break from training.

In the past year, I have been very productive in my off-season since being a dad doesn’t allow much time for laziness! Brady and I hit the gym almost every morning all year round where he plays in the nursery while I train. This consistent training has kept me lean in my offseason which means I don’t have to be a slave to cardio!

As far as supplements are concerned, here is the regimen that I am currently using:

  • 1st Phorm Thyro Drive, 2 caps in the morning
  • Multivitamin, once daily
  • Glutamine (powder), 5 grams three times daily
  • Creatine Monohydrate, 10g before and after training
  • L-Carnitine complex, three times daily
  • Digestive enzymes before each meal
  • Probiotics before each meal
  • ZMA before bed
  • Fish Oil caps, three times daily
  • BCAA’s (powder), 5 grams four times daily
  • 1st Phorm Level-1
  • 1st Phorm Phormula-1, before and after training
  • 1st Phorm Ignition, before and after training
  • 1st Phorm 1-Db° before cardio (I will be utilizing this as my primary thermogenic closer to the show, so at this phase I only use it before cardio for energy)

Here are some progress pics take June 14th, 12 weeks out from the show. My weight is 234 in these photos:

Be sure to tune into my blog next time where I will lay out my training regimen for boulder shoulders! Until next time, be consistent and stay balanced!