Keith Gmirkin's 12-Week Bodybuilding Contest Prep - 4 Weeks Out!

I am going to share with you my 12 week contest prep for the NPC Gold's Gym Treasure Valley Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships! Read on for the details.

4 Weeks Out

I started at 7.1% body fat, and weighed around 235 lbs in the morning. After five weeks I have dropped to 216 lbs in the 4% range. Fully hydrated later in the day, I weigh about 223-224 lbs. Dr. Joe feels that I'll walk on stage at around 220 lbs, ripped!

My calories stayed at 3,000 kcals with a constant level of 350 grams of protein every day. My carbohydrates are at 250 grams, 5 days a week with an extra 50 grams on Wednesday and 100 extra grams on Saturday.

It's strange that I feel so good this close to competition. I've talked to friends that have won championships and they all used a similar approach.

The steak is a great way to keep the hunger down since it has a higher fat content. My strength feels much better than it has when dieting in the past.

My wife is eating primarily salads with me in the evening and she's even dropped her body fat levels. It's interesting how much snacking goes on in the evening in the off-season. Just keeping your carbohydrate levels lower in the afternoon and evenings makes a big difference in your caloric total for the day. I've been eating all my carbs before 4:00 PM and then only a limited amount of vegetables with my protein sources.

Keith Keith Keith
Click Image To Enlarge.
Keith, 4 Weeks Out.

Cynthia James agreed to custom make a suit for me in time for the show on April 8th, 2006. She makes suits for almost all the top pros including Dexter Jackson and Lee Priest, just to name a few. You can contact her at and her phone number is 1+ (954) 786-9977.

I registered for the Heavy 40-49 Master's category at the Emerald Cup up in Seattle on April 22, 2006. One of my clients, Rebecca Slatt ( will be competing in the figure division, so there will be quite a group going up to watch.

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Not only could you get enough free supplement samples to last for months, the number of famous faces and competitors at the Emerald Cup alone, made it worthwhile to attend or compete in this huge Northwest competition.
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The show is awesome and Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and Gunter Schlierkamp will be the guest posers. It has the feel of a Mini-Olympia.

It's always fun to compete in front of competitors of this caliber. It inspires you to bring your "A" game. There's only a couple of restaurants in the immediate area so you end up having lunch with guys like Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, Dexter Jackson, and Bob Cicherillo. It's a really great show put on by Brad and Elaine Craig.


This week, I'm going to employ some different strategies with my cardio. I will get up at 5:00 AM and go and do an hour of cardio with just BCAAs from Higher Power and 3 Redline tablets, before I get to eat breakfast. Doing your cardio this way has a couple of benefits, the first is that your blood sugar levels are at the lowest they will be for the day and your body has to get almost all it's energy from the fat stores.

I did this last year and saw a big difference to just doing cardio later in the day. Secondly, it gets your metabolism firing faster much earlier in the day and also will help in burning more overall calories. I will keep the cardio as intense as I can depending on my energy levels, which up until now have been really good.


My food will consist of 3,000 kcals broken in to 7 meals utilizing 250 grams of complex carbs (oats, yams and vegetables), 60 grams of fat coming from ground flax seeds, and 350 grams of protein coming from flank steak, egg whites, chicken, fish, turkey and whey protein. One day during the week I get an extra 50 grams of carbohydrates and one day during the weekend I get an extra 100 grams of carbohydrates.

peanut butter The proteins will stay at 350 grams each day. The highlight of last week is that Dr. Joe had me add red meat to my diet.

It sure helps in keeping me from getting hungry and it has more minerals and iron for support of the muscle tissue. On days when I eat chicken, fish, or turkey, I add a little peanut butter.


I will hit my 4 lifts this week as usual, hard and intense! I'll do 8 reps on my first three sets and finish with a set of X-reps. I'll use a 2-2-2 cadence and might even slow it down a little more on the first sets to really pre-exhaust the muscle tissue. I will also follow the X-reps with a couple of drop sets just to really fry them.

What Is A Drop Set?
A drop set is a set where you do as many reps as you can with a certain weight, then immediately lower the weight and do more reps. There should be as little rest as possible between sets.





Topic For The Week:

The topic I'd like to discuss this week is persistence; never settle for anything but the best you have to give. For the 12 weeks that I take to prepare for a competition, I do everything with the sole purpose of looking the best that I possibly can.

I don't want to look back and ask myself what else I could have done to look better. Could I have been better with my food, put a little more intensity into my cardio, lifted a little harder? These are the types of questions you will inevitably ask yourself from time to time.

Give it everything you've got and these will be simple to answer, then no matter how you place you've already won and you can hold your head with pride and know that you have accomplished something that few people on this planet will ever even attempt. Looking back at past shows, I can't think of many things I'm not very proud of, but have I ever come in first - not yet!!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I love this sport and am always willing to help people that share the same passion.


Keith Keith Keith Keith Keith