My Road To The 2004 USA Bodybuilding Championship!

Last year was my first time at the national level. I should have done the Jr nationals, but I chose not to...

Last year was my first time at the national level. I should have done the Jr nationals, but I chose not to. I wanted to do a summer contest because I am a teacher and have the summers to do as I please. I don't think it's fair to get mad at little "Billy" because I am cranky from dieting. So, I learned my lesson, should have done the Jr's. Well, now I'm past that and looking forward to this summer.

I weighed in last year at 223 at 5'11". The other guys in my class looked much thicker than me due to height. So this year I'm trying to come in between 230-240 with some of the taller guys. Let's pray that I can do it.

I feel like I have made some real gains this year. I really focused on my arms. Though they are not where I want them to be, they have improved. I increased my calories a bit and did not do any cardio in the off-season.

I stayed fairly lean the past few months. I just hope I don't have to start far out and diet very long. Last year I started 15 weeks out and I feel I lost some muscle tissue in the last weeks. Plus I made the mistake of doing a contest two weeks before the USA's. I looked better at the first show. This year I am also doing a show the week before, but I'm not doing any carb loading, sodium depletion, etc…

I'm going to show up with low water and that's it. I want to save myself for the trip to Vegas. I feel this year's diet will be much easier due to the fact that my wife is doing the first contest with me. So there will be no junk in the house, ever. I plan to start the diet in the middle of April. This year my plan of attack is as follows:

Start off and stay at the same caloric intake throughout the diet. Changes will be made if necessary. Last year I slowly took my calories down to low levels while including cardio when needed.

Cardio - I plan on doing cardio 3-4 times a week with 30 minutes a.m. and 30 minutes p.m. I usually see the best results with changes to diet so I try not to over do the cardio. I will be on my treadmill at 130 - 145 BPM while watching my collection of South Park.

I eat 6 meals a day in the off-season so I may add a meal. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that yet. Last year I ate 7 times a day, but the amount per sitting was so little that I was always hungry.

Training - I will keep the same split of 2 on and 1 off. I train pretty much the same all the way through. Near the end of the diet I tend to do more one set to failure exercises due to lower energy.


April 12th, 2004
(Start date of this year's diet)

I started by cutting down to what was the most successful calorie count last year. Last year when I reached the zone of 3500 - 3700 calories I was constantly losing body fat while gaining strength. So, I dropped straight to that area.

Last year it took me a few weeks to get that low. I am a bit hungry, but nothing I can't deal with. The water intake has increased to keep my belly full as well.

Nutrient Breakdown

    Calories approx. 3600
    Fat is 60g or less
    Carbs are 400g or less
    Protein is around 425g

Cardio

    Monday - 6am 30 minutes on treadmill (3.0mph - 10% incline)
    Same thing after my pm training session (30 min)

    Wednesday - Same as Monday.

    Friday - Same as Monday

After my pm cardio session I immediately drank 1 scoop whey mixed with a Nana. This is so that my training session before doesn't suffer.

Current Training Split


June 8th, 2004

Well, I have really been keeping to bodyweight carbs (250g) and about 500g protein a day. The totals are about 3500 calories. This has pretty much been the norm for the past month. No real cheat days or meals. Oatmeal seems to be running through my veins.

My current weight is at 250lbs with a body fat of 6%.

I feel that I am where I was on stage last year. Now just to get those glute striations!

Cardio - I really have stepped this up.

    Sunday - 45 min
    Monday - 30 am/ 30 after training
    Tuesday - 30 am/ 30 after training
    Wednesday - 30 am
    Thursday - 30 pm
    Friday - 30 am/ 30 after training
    Sat - Cut grass (45 min-1hr)/ 30 after training

My after training sessions are much easier due to the fact that my gym has a cardio theater. It's pretty sweet to watch movies in the dark on a projection screen. Makes the time pass really quick.

Training Split - My split changed due to the effort I was putting forth with the lack of calories. I am now on a seven day split.

    Sun - Off
    Mon - Delts/Abs
    Tues - Arms
    Wed - Legs
    Thur - Off
    Fri - Chest/ calves
    Sat - Back/rear delts


June 22nd, 2004

I just recently had a photo shoot with muscle and fitness and had a chance to see myself in the digitals. I am lean and close to last years contest shape, but that isn't good enough this year. I have always had trouble with the fat under my ass.

I am almost at the point were it is non-existent. So I have changed a few more things in my training schedule. The increase in cardio earlier in the month was a good thing, but I feel I need to work with the numbers now.

Current BF% - 5.2

Current weight - 245

4 weeks to the USA's

Cardio - This has been changed to 5 days a week.

    45 minutes in the am before breakfast and 30 min after training.

If there is a day that I am really feeling flat I skip.

Training Split - There have been a few slight changes due to scheduling conflicts. As the contests get closer I have to adjust the timing so that my leg day is at least 6 or 7 days out from the show.

Diet - As the diet goes, I was at 3500 calories the last time. I have been slowly dropping the calories over the past few weeks. At this point I am at 3000 calories. And I am trying something to combat fatigue and flatness. I slightly increased my carbs while slightly decreasing my protein intake.

And all while keeping the total calories at 3000. We will see how this goes. You know what's funny; after all this dieting I pulled the most weight ever on deadlifts. A cool 700lbs. Sweet!


July 4th

Well I'm now one week out from the Bodyrock in Virginia and two weeks out from the USA's. I have to say Im pleased with the progress I made this year. I have never been able to bring my glutes out before and hold this much mass at the same time. I keep floating between 240 and 245lbs.

I'm really hoping to come in between 235 and 240lbs. that would be a considerable jump from last years 223lbs. I did come across one small problem this week. On Sunday, the 4th, I was training legs and I pulled my right hammy.

Not too bad, but enough to worry. It should not effect the contests at all it just put a damper on my last leg day. Oh well, gotta roll with the punches. So here is the breakdown for the week of the Bodyrock:

Sunday

    Legs 30 min cardio
    carbs - 250
    Na - normal
    H2O - 3-4 gallons

Monday

    Delts/abs 30 min cardio
    carbs - 240
    Na - normal
    H2O - 3-4 gallons

Tuesday

    Back 30 min cardio
    carbs - 240
    Na - cut by 1/4
    H2O - 3-4 gallons

Wednesday

    Arms 30 min cardio
    Carbs - 225
    Na - cut in 1/2
    H2O - 3-4 gallons

Thursday

    A.M. - 30-45 min of posing on empty stomach
    Carbs - 300-350
    Na - cut 3/4
    H2O - 1 gallon

Friday

    rest
    Carbs - 350-400
    Na - only from foods
    H20 - 1 liter

Contest Day

    Have fun!
    Carbs - 350-400
    Na - 0
    H20 - sips if needed


July 11th

Weighed in at 238lbs and took 2nd place in the super heavy weights. My weight went up 15lbs in the past year! I am very pleased with that. I don't agree with the ranking, but what can you do? So now I'm re-focused on the USA's.

Less than a week to go, well almost. I still have to hold the diet an extra 5 days for the Muscle and Fitness photo shoot. Here is my plan for this week:

Sunday

    45 min A.M. cardio
    Legs - high rep depletion session
    30 min cardio after training
    Carbs - 200-225
    H2O - lots

Monday

    45 min cardio A.M.
    Chest, Tri, Delts - high rep depletion session
    25 min cardio after
    Carbs - 200
    H2O - lots

Tuesday

    45 min A.M. cardio
    Back, Bi, and Abs - high rep depletion session
    20 min cardio after
    Carbs - 200
    H2O - lots

Wednesday

    45 min am cardio
    20-30 min posing
    Carbs - 0 in A.M. then start carbing up after 3PM
    H20- 2 gallons
    Na - ½ normal intake

Thursday

    Rest - Flight
    Carbs - 450-500
    H20- 1 Gallon
    Na - ¼ normal intake

Friday

    Rest
    Carbs - 400-500
    H20 - ½ gallon before 12pm
    Na - none

Now is time to pray that the judges like what they see enough to invite me back for the finals on Saturday. If I make the finals then I just hold the diet an extra day and cut back slightly on the carbs. Well, that's it for this year. Check out my website to see how I did. I will post pics as soon as possible.