Contest Prep: BigStew's 20 Weeks To The 2009 BLNPA New England Natural (Part 2).

I will discuss training, nutrition, posing, and much more as I go through my contest prep for the 2009 BLNPA New England Natural. This article will deal with slight changes in diet & training as I continue my prep.

The first 4 weeks are in the books and things are going great. Training is perfect and the diet is going very well also. I want to say that my diet has changed a bit from what I listed in my first article. The reason for this is simple: life has gotten in the way and I have done things to adapt to it.

Last year I spent the entire twenty weeks on the diet that was planned out and got great results, but I thought by the end, I was very burnt out and the lack of diversity made me stagnate from time to time.

In the first week of my training I visited my girlfriend in California to help her get ready for a show. On the plane ride over I read an article in Ironman magazine from Dave Goodin; "The Texas Shredder". He is a natural bodybuilder that gets in amazing shape with a very simple approach. Eat healthy year round and stick to the basics on your diet.

Alex Stewart
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The First 4 Weeks Are In The Books.

As you get closer to the show take carbs lower. He advocates to never being the person that is obsessed about dieting and carrying food everywhere. Sometimes that is fine but bringing food to dinner with your girl or with a client is obsessive.

I have decided to take Dave's approach this year. Going out to dinner with my gal is a great time and that doesn't mean I can't eat healthy. Here are the choices I pick when going out to eat.

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Dining Out
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I order a field green salad with oil and vinegar on the side. I always have a big piece of meat, my favorites are Chicken, Filet, or Swordfish. I make sure that they never cover it with cheese or a sauce and I have some kind of green veggie.

I never have any carbs when I am eating out because I believe I am already having extra calories from how they prepare the food. Desert is always no for me.

This doesn't mean that I go out every night, but when I want to go out with my gal or bring a client out I don't worry about it.

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Contest Diet
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The diet I listed in the first article was great for the first few weeks then I lowered my calories by dropping some of the almonds out of the meals.

Here is what the diet looks like now.

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dot Off Day: dot

Alex Stewart
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Alex Stewart 16 Weeks Out.

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Supplements
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Training
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dot Chest & Triceps: dot

    I like to hit my chest with heavy weights in a relative medium to low rep range. Though my chest is a weak point it has improved with a decent amount of heavy weight volume. My triceps on the other hand grow very well with cable work. I get my triceps workout done very quickly just need to get them a great pump.

    I have tried heavy weight with the free weight exercises like close-grip bench and skull crushers but all they did was hurt my elbows. So I am going to use what works for me. I wouldn't advise this for everyone but it works for me.

dot Legs: dot

    I like to use the close stance to hit my outer quad sweep and use the wide stance to hit the inner part of the leg. I like to use heavy weight with the squat which I believe helps thicken up the entire leg and create more size.

    While doing the leg press I lighten the load and perform the reps a lot slower looking to burn all the fibers in the legs. My hamstrings are very strong so even when I am performing supersets I have found that they work well with heavy weights.

RELATED VIDEO: WHAT IS A SUPERSET?


Superset Video Guide:

This is a good way to train if time is limited. Supersetting involves doing two exercises with no rest in between.

Superset.
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WMV (7.9 MB) MPEG (6.2 MB) Video iPod (.8 MB)

    I add 5 pounds to each side of the leg press each time I do calves and just 5 pounds to the seated calf raise each time. The pump I get from these sets are amazing.

dot Shoulders & Triceps: dot

    Since my shoulder surgery my shoulders have been weak and small. They are still weak strength wise and for my taste they are still small. The shoulder workout above is one I got from my girlfriend. She loves high volume for her body parts.

    Everything I preached and read about said that the shoulders are a small muscle group and the shoulder should be treated as such and the length of workout should be around 45 minutes to an hour and that was pushing it. Well we spent over an hour and a half just on shoulders and man were my shoulders fried.

    After performing this workout I just fell in love with the workout. The holds and drop sets lit my shoulders on fire. I just finished another shoulder workout today. Since I have been doing these workouts I feel my shoulders are becoming more capped. This is all while dieting. Give this workout a try.

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    T-bar 45s means that you are using 45 pound plates. The difference between the 45s and 25s is obviously weight but also the length of rep. Because the 45 plate it wider it hits your body before the 25 plate does. When performing the rep the 25 t-bars will have a greater contraction. That is why I like to superset the two.

    First you lead off with the heavy 45s and then you really get to squeeze everything out of the back with the 25s. When performing the pull down movements I like to use minimal body swing. Also I have gone back to using perfect form on the one-arm dumbbell rows and man those are a super exercise when done right.

Alex Stewart
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Alex Stewart 16 Weeks Out.

    In the past I have fallen into the trap of jerking the bell into place for each of the reps and the results were nothing. I would use a lot of weight but never really get a burn from the exercise. It was basically a show-off exercise.

    Now I have lowered the weight and pull with my elbow and instantly I can feel my back working. The deadlift is used with considerable weight. I pull from just above the knee. Very short range of motion, but it gets the job done.

dot Biceps: dot

    This is another workout that I took from the girlfriend. Girls have great biceps and I thought I would give it a try. My biceps are not weak, but I would like to improve them. Again this is a lot more volume than I normally do, but I thought it would be a great shock workout to use.

    Because my shoulders are a little imbalanced still from the shoulder surgery I really need to make sure that I am not using any shoulders as I lift the weight. I really have to focus on the biceps when I am lifting the weight.

Alex Stewart
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Alex Stewart 16 Weeks Out.

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Conclusion
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Well there you have it. My diet is going great and my training is off the hook. I will be doing a lot of traveling in the coming months as after the New Year is a crazy time in the supplement business. But don't worry I will bring along my George Foreman Grill and my weight belt where I go. Talk to you guys soon.