[ Q ] How long have you been bodybuilding?
[ A ] I've only been bodybuilding for 3 years. Before that I was a pro
football player. And before that I was
sprinter. At one time I held the record the 60 yard dash.
[ Q ] How was your 2007 season?
[ A ] I was pleased with my results. It was my first year competing as a super-heavyweight and I cracked the top 10 in a pro qualifier for the first time.
[ Q ] So what has been your strategy for 2008?
[ A ] I asked the judges what I needed to do to move and they told me I needed to get bigger - wider, fuller and bigger legs.
[ Q ] Looks like you've done that.
[ A ] Yes. I got up to 285 this year. I easily could have gone higher, but I didn't want to put on so much mass that it would be tough to get back down to competition weight. Your body holds on to the fat and your skin doesn't get tight when you're dieting down. So even at 285 I was pretty lean at 8% body fat.
[ Q ] So what did you do differently this year?
[ A ] This year I've been working with
Dave Palumbo and I couldn't be happier with the results I've gotten. He said let's completely change you body.
Dave does my diet and that's made a big difference. Dave believes in fat loading and not carb loading. I haven't had any carbs in 16 weeks. Just on Sundays with a cheat meal. It works. My body has changed with it too. I also started my diet 16 weeks out instead of 20 weeks.
Miriam is my assistant in my
personal training business, Team Definition Fitness, and she pushes me in the gym. She's a figure competitor and was a master trainer in the
military before that. But as far as my training goes, I haven't had to change that much. I just work
back twice a week now instead of once a week.
I also am training heavier and my technique has improved. I've slowed down the movements and hold the contraction longer. When you control the weight, you stress the muscle. You keep growing and improving if you can keep breaking down the muscle fibers.
I can really see a big difference. My back is huge now, my shoulders are capped off better, and my legs are a lot bigger. I'm also a lot harder and tighter than I have been at this point in the past.
I don't listen to just anybody. I listen to the people I trust around me. When Dave tells you that your lats are big, wide and freaky, you know that's for real. He's critical and won't tell you something just to make you feel good.
[ Q ] When is your next contest?
[ A ] I'm going the Jr. Nationals, and then the USA in Las Vegas. I'm at 243 now at 4% body fat.
[ Q ] Tell me about your pre-contest training?
[ A ] I train seven days a week, no days off.
- Mondays: Heavy shoulders triceps (AM), abs and light quads (PM)
- Tuesday: Heavy back (AM), light hamstrings (PM)
- Wednesday: Chest, bicep, and abs
- Thursday: Heavy quads
- Friday: Light shoulders for detail
- Saturday: Light back for detail
- Sundays: Heavy hamstrings
I only do cardio during pre-contest training. At 20 weeks out I started with 45 minutes and I've increased that week by week. Right now I'm doing 110 minutes of cardio and I split it between treadmill, bike and stair climber. So I don't burn muscle, I keep my heart rate under 130.
Tuesdays and Thursdays really kick my @ss - Heavy movements with heavy weight for legs and back.
Keith's Training Split
[ Q ] Describe what you mean by "heavy."
[ A ] Take
quads - I'll warm up for a while with 225, then move up to heavy sets, and then finish it off with a drop set. In my last workout I did deep
squats with 650 for six reps in strict form.
[ Q ] How much time are you putting in every day?
[ A ] I am training about 2.5 hours a day. On my split days, 3.5 hours. On top of that, I'm doing almost 2 hours of
cardio too. I train at Golds, LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness, depending on my schedule and the equipment they have. Today I trained at Golds to do
hack squats. I like LA Fitness for shoulders.
[ Q ] How do you keep up with your personal training business?
[ A ] We're still training between 15 and 25 clients a day. There's no break from that. I do my cardio at 3 or 4am. Then I start work between 6:30 and 7:00pm. I train a lot of girls that do figure and bodybuilding, so they understand my schedule. Sometimes, it's hard to get my cardio done - 85, 95, 100 minutes of cardio is a lot.
[ Q ] Then when do you find time to eat and sleep?
[ A ] I don't need much
sleep. I'm good if I get 4 hours. I eat 6 times a day and eat every 3 hours. I've never worked this hard before. Not when I was doing
football, or since I became a bodybuilder. The most time I've ever put into getting ready for a show.
Keith's Pre-Contest Diet:
- 4 whole boiled eggs
Meal 1 (after Cardio):