The judges kept us up there for quite a while. We were all a sweaty mess and cramping was starting to get the better of us. But you train hard, practice posing, and put all your time into this one goal, day in and day out. It's nice to be on stage for a while. That's what it's all about. You get to show everyone all the hard work you've put in, and all the sacrifices you and your family have made for this day.
I did achieve my personal goals: to come in looking better than I've ever looked before and to beat an old rival. I was pretty happy with the whole thing. I almost didn't do the show. There just wasn't a lot of time left, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I only had 7 weeks to lose 30 pounds and be ready for show night.
When I made up my mind to do all of this I went cold turkey on my diet. Since I didn't have that much time left, the diet was pretty easy. All those cravings I usually get from dieting for long periods of time didn't even have time to set in. I dumped all the bad food fast. Here's what I did.
My breakfast consisted of 1 cup of oatmeal with one spoon full of home made peanut butter (my very favorite thing when I'm dieting), some splenda, half a banana cut up, and some vanilla protein powder all mixed up. While my oats cooked in the microwave. I would cook up two eggs and remove most of the yolk. Now remember, I was doing this at 3:30 am without waking a sleeping 2 year old and my beautiful wife.
For my mid-morning snack I would have a protein shake mixed with water. If time permitted I would make up a half a cup of oatmeal with all the fixings in it. I could live on oatmeal.
Lunch would be one of my halibut or cod foil meals. These consisted of 4 ounces of fish surrounded by steamed veggies and a slice of lemon and a little dab of Keto butter.
For my mid-afternoon snack I would have some of my bodybuilder pancakes. (Which I show you how to make on BodyBuilding.Com.)
Dinner consisted of anther cup of oatmeal. This would just fire up my metabolism and make my body burn more calories and stored body fat.
Before I would eat anything each day, I would start cardio first thing in the morning. I would arrive at my studio at 4:00 am, turn on my direct TV dish, and jump on the treadmill. I'm your typical channel surfer. It takes my mind off the pain.
The First Weeks
The first two weeks I started with just 35 minutes of running. Then for the remainder of the weeks, I bumped my cardio to 60 minutes. I was doing this 4 days a week and posing 4 days a week. I would do my cardio in the morning then train one muscle group per day in the afternoon on one of my breaks, or after I was done training my last client of the day. Then I had to do my posing whenever I had time. I just had to make sure I was posing 4 days a week. Posing really helps bring out the detail and attain that sculpted look.
I just kept eating the same foods 5 to 6 times per day. You can change the menu up, but I don't mind eating the same foods over and over again. I did bump up my oatmeal intake. I needed the extra carbs to get me through my day so my clients wouldn't have put up with a grouchy trainer.
I did cycle my oatmeal up and down weekly. So one week I would cut my oatmeal way back then bring it up the next week. Adjusting my carbs this way, I was able to get my body fat low very fast. I was also holding on to my hard-earned muscle dieting this way. I never dropped my carbs before the show. I don't buy into that carb depleting crap anymore. Being a natural bodybuilder, my body just can't handle a carb load and carb deplete cycle of that magnitude.
I just waited until a day or two before the show to lower my carbs. Then I increased my carbs early Sat morning. As for my water, I just cut it back Fri night and sipped on it a little Sat before pre-judging. I don't like that flat stringy look you get when you cut it completely out, so I never drop it.
Next time I do a show I will definitely give myself more time to get ready. This was pretty hard on my body and my family. I was excited about being able to get ripped that fast. I'm 30 years old now. It's nice to still have a super-charged metabolic rate.
The competition was on Saturday June 15th, 2002 in Boise, Idaho. Here are the full results:
- Mark Tilden
- Lance Sganzini
- Terry Baldwin
- Todd Opheim
- Pete Pitrone