Contest Prep: BigStew's 20 Weeks To The 2009 BLNPA New England Natural (Part 7).

Another week down, 3 weeks to go until all the hard work is displayed on stage. The last 4 weeks before a show are where many people stumble. Calories are down to what seems like nothing. Cardio durations are up. Check it out!

Another week down, 3 weeks to go until all the hard work is displayed on stage. The last 4 weeks before a show is where many people stumble. Calories are down to what seems like nothing. Cardio durations are up to what seems like forever and energy levels are not there at all. Cheating on either dieting, training or cardio kills the average person.

I would be lying if I told you my body enjoys the early morning cardio or the plain egg whites after a killer weight and cardio workout. It doesn't! Cheating is not an option. I keep reminding myself, no one is making me do this but me. It helps to have a supportive girlfriend and family but they are not the ones waking up and doing the cardio or downing the eggs, I am. It is all worth it when my arms are raised to the sky in victory. One must put in the work to get the results.

The most drastic diet change happened this week. I dropped my number of meals from 6 to 5 and got rid of the whole eggs from my breakfast and pre-workout meal. Ditching the fat will help me tighten up even more. I also have gotten rid of white fish for the most part.

Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.
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Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.

I don't really like how it made me feel and the results were not coming along as I hoped. I respond better to egg whites and chicken. When I need to fill out a little I will substitute in some wild salmon or buffalo. Buffalo is so good. It's very lean and tastes better than steak. The only problem is, the stuff costs so much. I only have it once or twice a week.

Weight training didn't change at all. I am really just focusing on the weight and getting deep muscle burning contractions and things feel great. Now cardio on the other hand has bumped up and it is continuing to melt away the fat.

I am doing 55 minutes on the recumbent bike in the morning and 45 minutes on the stepmill in the evening after weights. I get on the machine open up my book and read away until my cardio is done. I'm definitely spent after the evening cardio and ready to eat my last meal and get to bed.

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Contest Diet
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On my off day, in which I don't lift weights, I will not eat meal 4. I will usually just substitute it with my chicken and cucumber meal. Every 2-3 days will I substitute 6 oz of buffalo or 6 oz of wild salmon for meal 3. This is done to help keep me full.

Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.
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Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.

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Supplements
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The added ZMA and TestoJack 100 are there to support normal hormone levels. I take the DIM to maintain normal estrogen levels.

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Training Split
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READING THIS WORKOUT LOG
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics.

Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Drop Sets - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.

The only difference in my weight training is the addition of one more drop set with the dumbbell side laterals on both shoulder days. The weights that I use are as follows 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 17.5.

Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.
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Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.

This is the most insane drop set you will ever do. My shoulders have come up so much with this drop-set. I can't wait to try this when I am in the offseason and have more calories in the tank.

VIDEO GUIDE: DROP SETS


What Are Drop Sets?

Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
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WMV (600 KB) MPEG (4.9 MB) Video iPod (600 KB)

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Conclusion
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Another week in the books and I can't tell you how happy I am with how things are coming along. I am starting to get antsy about getting on stage. It's not fear I am experiencing, it is the desire to get up there and do my thing.

I want to leave you with one thing to think about: at about 3-4 weeks out you look amazing thanks to sticking with your diet, cardio, and training. Take a look at the pictures you took at the beginning of your prep and realize all the hard work that has gone into getting where you are today. Use this as motivation to get through the next couple weeks as these weeks will be by far the hardest of all.

Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.
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Alex Stewart 3 Weeks Out.

Say to yourself when you feel weakness creeping up, "If I cheat, I am cheating on myself." Just as no one can make you wake up and do the cardio or eat your egg whites, no one can make you slack off on workouts and cardio or cheat on your diet. Stay strong and fight through the pain. Victory is near.