Prep Continues: Nine Days Out From The Mr. Louisiana!

This is what I have been doing for the final 9-day count down to the ultimate goal of my 2002 competitive season, which is capturing the Title of Mr. Louisiana (Open Bantam Weight Division). Diet, training, cardio, water and more!
Note: This is part two. Click here for part one.

As you know from the last article I have been super motivated to dig as deep as I could for the remaining preparation period leading into the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I have broken a few golden rules in order to come in with the "scaries or nasties" as my nutritionist Maris Lee would say, but it was that look which managed to get me a victory in Jackson and a 2nd in New Orleans. I am now shredded even more. This is what I have been doing for the final 9-day count down to the ultimate goal of my 2002 competitive season, which is capturing the Title of Mr. Louisiana (Open Bantam Weight Division).

Week 21: Thursday July 04, 2002

I keep asking more and more of myself as the show approaches. I have recently defeated a long time rival competitor at the New Orleans, and I want not only to win, but also to upset him again. He will be at the Mr. Louisiana seeking revenge and I will be there to giving him hell once again. I want to be his worse nightmare this year. I use him as a motivational tool constantly telling myself things like he is working harder than I am. I am asking nothing less than 100% from myself as I sprint to the finish line. This is what I have done for the past 09 days leading up to the Mr. Louisiana.

Great, extraordinary, and outstanding results do not happen by accident, they happen through designing and following through with a well thought out plan! It is time to dig deep and keep going at it no matter what. I kept asking myself, "Dino, what exactly are you capable of over these last 10 days"? "How depleted and sucked back can you get"? How strong are you mentally and are you really working your hardest?" I must exceed my own expectations and not live in the limits in which I already know!

TRAINING: Thursday - Hamstrings & Calves

Hamstrings:

I had a good workout. I decided to stay in town for the morning of the fourth and train before going home to family and friends. I utilized the butt blaster and the inclined treadmill to target the gluteus and hamstrings. I also used the lying leg curl to hit the hamstrings. I did not want to impose too much micro-trauma due to the fact that I have been eating a very low calorie diet and I want to start just depleting the muscle and not damaging it. I am not eating to repair muscle at this point, I am only eating enough to maintain life and allow the muscle some amino acids while letting the body eat off of its own stored fat. I feel really lethargic because of the low days (I am on my 5th low day) but in all it was a great training day. I always strive for excellence, you know this!

Exercises used: Butt Blaster, & leg curls

Calves:

Exercises used: Leg Press calve presses, & standing calve presses (bodyweight only)

I awoke ready to train and get my day started. My body seemed to keep pull on me all day long, nevertheless I pressed on and made it through the day.

CARDIO:

I have been using the approach that I said that I would in my last two articles. The backbone of it is "just keep busy" and hit cardio from all angles. I use different machines (elliptical, treadmill, stair master), leisurely walking in the park with my dog, and the pool for lap swimming. I have hard, slow, and intermediate type sessions. My focus at this point is great and I have to constantly achieve and maintain this mindset through the preparation for the show.

I feel as if I am battling with my mind at times. My mind and body ask for mercy but I do not let up. I am maintaining a strong and positive mindset and I continue to believe in myself. I must do all of this in order to win. I keep tackling the sessions (cardio and training) with confidence and intensity. I treat each cardio session (which when combined last most of the day) as an opportunity to better my current level of conditioning.

I remember feeling like this while preparing for the Southern Classic and the Mr. New Orleans when I was cardio-ing it out to the gills and going really low on the carbohydrates. I just continuously remind myself why I have to perform each of these cardio sessions (to be Mr. Louisiana). I also realize that each session brings me one step closer to having the title of Mr. Louisiana 2002. The battle goes on all day as I constantly keep busy and active.

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. Here are my plans for today at 9 days left to prepare for the show. I will consume about 190-250 grams of protein. I will eat only fibrous carbohydrates, which will come from spinach. On my 5th day down (Thursday the 4th of July) I thought that I would have to add in a few good fats, but I refrained form doing so. I had originally planned on it but I dug deep and decided not to. I will go down for another four and then carb up for the show on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessed and depends on what my body is doing at that point in time and I will eat what I need to at that time. Saturday will be the prejudging and the evening show and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

WATER:

At the least I will drink one gallon of water today!

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

Today was a great day as far as seeing how tough I really was. If you know me I like to work hard no questions asked about that, but today was pure hell on earth. This is primarily due to the lack of carbohydrates in the system. I know that if I can just make it to tomorrow I will feel like a new man when I begin to reintroduce carbohydrates into my diet. I rate today as a 4 out of a possible 4 star rating system. I managed to keep busy, train, and do cardio. All of this was done on a holiday, when others may have a tendency to slack. Remember I am breaking away from the limits in which I currently know. I am setting new standards for myself. "I Gotta keep being a Tank!" "I Gotta be a Tank!"

Friday July 05, 2002

I have maintained my "super motivated" state of mind and I continue to dig as deep as I can for the remaining preparation period leading into the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. This is what I have done today. As you know, I keep asking more and more of myself as the show approaches. I am asking nothing less than 100% from myself as I sprint to the finish line.

I kept asking myself, "Dino, what exactly are you capable of accomplishing today"? "How can you work harder than other competitors"? How strong are you mentally and are you really working your hardest?" I must exceed my own expectations and not live in the limits in which I already know!

TRAINING: Friday - Arms

Biceps:

I had a great workout. Once gain I did not want to impose too much micro-trauma to my muscles due to the fact that I have been eating a very low calorie diet and I want to start depleting the muscle and not damaging it do much. I am not eating to repair muscle at this point, I am only eating enough to maintain life and allow the muscle some amino acids while letting the body eat off of its own stored fat. I feel really weird, lethargic at times and raring to go at others it is a freaky experience. I have been at it for 21 weeks now and my body needs a break! Ohh, do not worry, I always strive for excellence, you know this!

Exercises used: Preacher curls W/ Barbell & Standing Barbell curls with cambered bar

Triceps:

Exercises used: Triceps Pushdowns, & Overhead rope extensions

Forearms:

Exercises used: Reverse and regular wrist curls

I awoke ready to train and get my day started mostly because it is an up day.

CARDIO:

Same as yesterday.

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I was up today and ate a total of 500 grams of carbohydrates through the day. I will go down for another four and then carb up for the show on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessed and depends on what my body is doing at that point in time and I will eat what I need to at that time. Saturday will be the prejudging and the evening show and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

WATER:

At the least I will drink one gallon of water today!

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

Today was a great day primarily due to the carbohydrate intake. I always feel like a new man when I reintroduce carbohydrates into my diet, particularly after a 5-day lay off. I rate today as a 4 out of a possible 4 star rating system. I ate my carbohydrates smartly and still depleted and trained through the use of training, depletion training, and cardio. "I Gotta be a Tank!"

Saturday July 06, 2002

I continue to keep asking more and more of myself as the show approaches. I am asking nothing less than 100% from myself as I sprint to the finish line. This is what I have done for the past 07 days leading up to the Mr. Louisiana.

Great, extraordinary, and outstanding results do not happen by accident, they happen through designing and following through with a well thought out plan! It is time to dig deep and keep going at it no matter what. I kept asking myself, "Dino, how strong are you mentally, are you really working your hardest, are you really working to achieve your true & full genetic potential?"

I must exceed my own expectations and not live in the limits in which I already know! I must follow this code, I must!

TRAINING: Saturday - Depletion Training (Full Body)

I basically use lightweight and high reps to deplete the muscle of glycogen and avoid micro-trauma. I am priming the body to soak up the carbohydrates that I will be pumping into them on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (I can not wait). I like the depletion training because you basically just slightly pump up the whole body. I managed to conduct three depletion workouts today. I did one first thing in the morning at 8:00AM, one in the early afternoon 1:00PM, and one in the evening at 5:00PM.

CARDIO:

Same as yesterday. I felt great as the day began but in the middle of my second depletion training session the pull started to hit me. Thanks to my willpower instilled into my genetics I am able to gather everything that I have and carry on with my goal in mind. I kept asking myself "I wonder what the other competitors are doing right now?"

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I had 80 grams of carbohydrates this morning from grits, black strap molasses, honey, and corn. I will not eat any more carbohydrates till Wednesday morning after I do my last depletion training session. From now until then I will consume about 190-250 grams of protein each day. I will eat only fibrous carbohydrates, which will come from spinach. I will go down and then carb up for the show on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessed and depends on what my body is doing at that point in time and I will eat what I need to at that time. Saturday will be the prejudging and the evening show and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

I am liberally adding salt to all meals. I have begun sodium loading and will do so until Wednesday. At that time I will just keep the sodium relatively low until the show. I never cut sodium out completely.

WATER:

At the least I will drink two gallons of water today! This will help my body learn how to flush out a large amount of water and when I do cut down on my water it will still try to flush out the 2 gallons even when I am only giving it 1, 1/2, or 1/4th of a gallon. It is a diuretic metabolic trickery that I learned from the amazing Skip LaCour.

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

I felt great as the day began but in the middle of my second depletion training session the pull started to hit me. Thanks to my willpower instilled into my genetic code I am able to gather everything that I have and carry on with my goal in mind. I kept asking myself "I wonder what the other competitors are doing right now?" I have been usually knocking off of all of my activities at around 9:00PM. Afterward, I begin to relax. Today I completed what I thought to be my final cardio session at around 6:20 PM. I decided to remain active by working on some pending articles and my new book, which by the way, will be finished soon.

After working on the latter mentioned items I still managed to pull off 40 minutes of walking on my treadmill. I was able to kill some time by conversing with a dear friend, Mr. Tony Fontenot. I am glad that I had this opportunity because he mentioned the possibility of me taking home the Grand Prix Award for the 2002 competitive season. To do this I would have to enter the Greater Gulf States, another national qualifier. If I do this it would give me four shows, three that count toward the Grand Prix, and three national qualifiers. Wow, what a year! I am not 100% certain that I will enter the show, but I cannot pretend to say that it has not been in the back of my mind for sometime now. You never know! So, overall, I rate today once again 4 stars out of a possible 4 star rating system. I know that this may sound weird to you all and you may be saying that I always give myself a 4. This is not the case. The fact is plain and simple; I am just flat out working that hard! "I Gotta be a Tank!" I have to. No questions asked I have to do this to win! I will continue to do what I have to do to keep getting 4 stars every day leading to the state meet.

Week 22: Sunday July 07, 2002

Well, I entered the Greater Gulf States, another National Qualifier. I guess that that means that it is time to turn it up again. The heat is definitely on this week. The next 2 weeks are going to be all about perfecting my outstanding conditioning. I am willing to de everything that I must to bring me closer to achieving my goals. I am prepared to maintain that "whatever it takes" attitude.

"Great opportunities come to those who make the most of the small ones." - Dempsey Travis I must make the most of every opportunity big or small that is presented to me each and every day.

TRAINING: Sunday - Depletion Training (Full Body)

I basically use lightweight and high reps to deplete the muscle of glycogen and avoid micro-trauma. I am priming the body to soak up the carbohydrates that I will be pumping into them on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (I can not wait). I like the depletion training because you basically just slightly pump up the whole body. I managed to conduct three depletion workouts today. I did one first thing in the morning at 9:00AM, one in the early afternoon 12:00PM, and one in the evening at 6:00PM.

CARDIO:

Same as yesterday.

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I will not eat any carbohydrates till Wednesday morning after I do my last depletion training session. From now until then I will consume about 190-250 (lower if I can, I am trying to pull that last bit of fat off) grams of protein each day. I will eat only fibrous carbohydrates, which will come from spinach. I will go down and then carb up for the show on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessed and depends on what my body is doing at that point in time and I will eat what I need to at that time. Saturday will be the prejudging and the evening show and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

I am liberally adding salt to all meals. I have begun sodium loading and will do so until Wednesday. At that time I will just keep the sodium relatively low until the show. I never cut sodium out completely.

WATER:

At the least I will drink two gallons of water today! This will help my body learn how to flush out a large amount of water and when I do cut down on my water it will still try to flush out the 2 gallons even when I am only giving it 1, 1/2, or 1/4th of a gallon. It is a diuretic metabolic trickery that I learned from the amazing Skip LaCour.

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

I felt great as the day began as usual, but I really hit a wall today. Thanks to my willpower instilled into my genetic code was able to gather everything that I have and carry on with only one thing in mind, my goal. I kept asking myself "I wonder what the other competitors are doing right now?" & "How hard are they working?" I have been usually knocking off of all of my activities at around 9:00PM. Afterward, I begin to relax. Overall, I rate today once again 4 stars out of a possible 4 star rating system. I busted butt today no if and or butts about it! I was a real trooper, and I can say from first hand experience that bodybuilding is a tough sport. I am just flat out working hard all day long! "I Gotta be a Tank!" I have to, to win! I will continue to do what I have to do to keep getting 4 stars every day leading to the state meet and following through to the Greater Gulf States.

Monday July 08, 2002

Being Thankful For The Opportunities in which You Have. I feel great at the end of each day when I am preparing for a competition. I have completed yet another action packed, positive day of competition training. I have also managed to make it through a rigid nutrition regimen and I feel proud of my efforts. I am astonished of my ability to maintain focus and stay on track day in and day out. Sometimes, particularly when times get rough, I catch myself forgetting how lucky I actually am to be on this great journey. I mean I am able to train, represent a great company (Bodybuilding.com), bodybuild (My dream), and maintain an active lifestyle everyday. Some unfortunate people do not have these options. Being pulled down on from my diet for days opens my eyes making me realize exactly how fortunate I am.

I ask you to look at each day as a beautiful opportunity to work hard towards your goals. Be thankful for all that you have and all of the opportunities in your path on a daily basis.

TRAINING: Monday - Depletion Training (Full Body)

I basically use lightweight and high reps to deplete the muscle of glycogen and avoid micro-trauma. I am priming the body to soak up the carbohydrates that I will be pumping into them on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (I can not wait). I like the depletion training because you basically just slightly pump up the whole body. I managed to conduct three depletion workouts today. I did one first thing in the morning at 9:00AM, one in the early afternoon 1:00PM, and one in the evening at 8:00PM.

CARDIO:

I am confident and believe in my hard work from doing all of the cardio sessions will pay off! I must attack them willingly with a great attitude. I have been using the approach that I said that I would in my past articles. The backbone of it is "just keep busy" and hit cardio from all angles. I use different machines (elliptical, treadmill, stair master), leisurely walking in the park with my dog, and the pool for lap swimming. I have hard, slow, and intermediate type sessions. My focus at this point is great and I have to constantly achieve and maintain this mindset through the preparation for the show. I am battling with my mind at all times now. My mind and body cry for mercy but I do not let up. I am maintaining a strong and positive mindset and I continue to believe in myself. I must do all of this in order to win. I treat each cardio session (which when combined lasts most of the day) as an opportunity to better my current level of conditioning.

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I will not eat any carbohydrates till Wednesday morning after I do my last depletion training session. From now until then I will consume about 190-250 (lower if I can, I am trying to pull that last bit of fat off) grams of protein each day. I will eat only fibrous carbohydrates, which will come from spinach. I will go down and then carb up for the show on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessed and depends on what my body is doing at that point in time and I will eat what I need to at that time. Saturday will be the prejudging and the evening show and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

I am liberally adding salt to all meals. I have begun sodium loading and will do so until Wednesday. At that time I will just keep the sodium relatively low until the show. I never cut sodium out completely.

WATER:

At the least I will drink two gallons of water today! This will help my body learn how to flush out a large amount of water and when I do cut down on my water it will still try to flush out the 2 gallons even when I am only giving it 1, 1/2, or 1/4th of a gallon. It is a diuretic metabolic trickery that I learned from the amazing Skip LaCour.

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

I pulled on all day long today. The results of hard-core depletion? No doubt! Thanks to my willpower instilled into my genetic code was able to gather everything that I have and carry on with only one thing in mind, my goal. I kept asking myself "I wonder what the other competitors are doing right now?" & "How hard are they working?" I knock off of all activities at 9:00PM. Afterward, I begin to relax. Overall, I rate today once again 4 stars out of a possible 4 star rating system. "I Gotta be a Tank!" I have to, to win! I will continue to do what I have to do to keep getting 4 stars every day leading to the state meet and following through to the Greater Gulf States.

Tuesday July 09, 2002

It is time to "walk through fire." I must push hard all today! Almost at the finish. I am in the position to make it come together perfect. It is all up to me now. I have one more day of "digging deep." I must have perfect execution today in order to stay on my ultimate plan for victory. Theoretically today should be easier than the previous three days of which I have been depleting. In reality it will not. I am dragging bottom today, big time. I completed my first cardio/depletion session this morning and I feel spent. I do not have any glycogen left in my system. This is the result of hard core depleting over the past three days. All that I have to do today is stay busy and make it through the day. The diet is going to do all of the work today. Do not go one second thinking that I am wimp-ing out today folks. It is time to start getting healthy, I am competing in four days. This is what I must do and it is the plan, I am not veering off of our march to victory. I have worked too hard to slack up now. State of Mind

The physical work (training & cardio) required in order for me to be successful in my bodybuilding endeavors is the easer part of the lifestyle, that is, for me anyways. The most difficult element is managing my state of mind.

"The most difficult element is managing my state of mind."

This has a great impact on everything else in your day or life for that matter. Several situations arise day to day, some are good and some are not so good. Unless you are living in a perfect world, this is probably the case for everyone. Just because I am preparing for a show, the entire world does not stop turning. This is not a positive thinking seminar, but I think that it is really important for you to realize that your state of mind affects all that you do. It works both ways, making things easier or less enjoyable. Life's challenges are within your control, I think it is important to develop and strive to maintain a positive mental attitude. This will help you with your bodybuilding endeavors and will impact your life as well.

"Promise to yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your piece of mind. To be too wise for worry, too tolerant for anger, and too courageous for fear. To be happy." -Author Unknown -

This quote was taken from a book titled "Timeless Wisdom". If we could live by this quote we would be better off.

TRAINING: Tuesday - Depletion Training (Full Body)

I basically use lightweight and high reps to deplete the muscle of glycogen and avoid micro-trauma. I am priming the body to soak up the carbohydrates that I will be pumping into them on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (I can not wait). I like the depletion training because you basically just slightly pump up the whole body. I will conduct one depletion workout today. I did it first thing in the morning at 7:00AM.

CARDIO:

I am confident and believe in my hard work from doing all of the cardio sessions will pay off! I have attacked them willingly with a great attitude. The goal of today is simple "just keep busy" and diet hard. My focus at this point is great, do not get me wrong times gat tough, but when they do I get going. I have to constantly achieve and maintain a powerful mindset throughout the entire day.

I am battling with my mind at all times now. I am fighting to maintain a strong and positive mindset. I continue to believe in myself. All of the hard work that I have done over the past 22 weeks has to be worth something.

DIET:

I continue to plug away at my diet strategy for the 2002 Mr. Louisiana. I will not eat any carbohydrates till Wednesday morning after I do my last cardio/depletion training session. From now until then I will consume roughly my bodyweight in (I am trying to pull that last bit of fat off) grams of protein each day. I will eat only fibrous carbohydrates, which will come from spinach. I will remain down today and then commence the festivities AKA "carb up" on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be assessment day. I will have Maris at my disposal because he is competing in the Mr. Louisiana as well. It all depends on what my body is doing and how I feel and look at that point in time. I will eat what I need to and nothing more on Friday. Saturday will be the contest and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

I am going to continue to liberally add salt to all meals today. I am sodium loading until Wednesday at around 12:00 PM. At that time I will just keep the sodium relatively low until the show. I never cut sodium out completely.

WATER:

At the least I will drink two gallons of water today! This will help my body learn how to flush out a large amount of water and when I do cut down on my water it will still try to flush out the 2 gallons even when I am only giving it 1, 1/2, or 1/4th of a gallon. It is a diuretic metabolic trickery that I learned from the amazing Skip LaCour.

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

None for today.

Wednesday July 10, 2002

The carb up commences, it is time to peak out!

TRAINING: Wednesday - None!

Time to rest and just eat carbs and pose! The hard work is over. Now it is time to peak it out and just wait for Saturday morning to arrive. I hit the stage first!

CARDIO:

None!

DIET:

I will eat 800-900 grams of carbohydrates today!

The festivities AKA "carb up" began this morning at 6AM. I will carb up till Friday morning, assessment day. I will have Maris at my disposal because he is competing in the Mr. Louisiana with me. It all depends on what my body is doing and how I feel and look at that point in time. I will eat what I need to and nothing more on Friday. Saturday will be the contest and hopefully all of the hard work will be rewarded and I will take home the state title.

I will just keep my sodium relatively low until the show. I never cut sodium out completely. I have began to utilize black strap molasses to manipulate the sodium potassium pump. I will also use Liquid K by Twinlab.

WATER:

At the least I will drink two gallons of water today! This will do two great things. It will help my body learn how to flush out a large amount of water and when I do cut down on my water it will still try to flush out the 2 gallons even when I am only giving it 1, 1/2, or 1/4th of a gallon. It is a diuretic metabolic trickery that I learned from the amazing Skip LaCour. The other think that it will do is bind to all of the carbohydrates that I am eating today. The water will get pulled into the muscles with the carbs. My muscles will be big, full, and tight.

Overall Daily Assessment & Rating:

I did not feel good this morning, at all. This is really odd because I am usually stoked about carbing up. Maris called me at 4:45AM to inform me that he was starting his carbo-load. I did not even move till 6AM and the only reason I moved then was because I had to. I had to begin carbing up before it was too late. The result of my feeling low was a combination of pulling on my diet super hard over the past four days, all of the cardio that I have been doing, and the depletion training. I actually had my lowest (worse) feeling ever this morning. I did not start to come alive till 12 noon. I felt bad but I was looking great and it will only get better from here. As the day passed I felt better and begin to get excited about the show. I kept saying to myself "you are competing in the Mr. Louisiana this weekend." I know that I will be at my best peak ever for the Mr. Louisiana and that is really important.

I spent the night at Maris's and we begin to lay down the Pro Tan. We want to get really dark for this one. We were up till 12:30 posing and painting. We discussed our trip and the important items that we needed to bring. We are rolling into the state meet right on time! Overall, I rate today once again 4 stars out of a possible 4 star rating system. I feel as if I have to be one of the hardest working competitors. I have never pulled like this before and we will see the results of my willpower on Saturday! "I Gotta be a Tank!" I have to, to win! I will continue to do what I have to do to keep getting 4 stars every day leading to the state meet and following through to the Greater Gulf States.

Thursday July 11, 2002

I will eat 400 grams of carbohydrates today. I will be packing and posing all day long. I leave for Lafayette at 6:00PM, ETA 9:30 PM.

Friday July 12, 2002

Assessment day & weigh in tonight at 5:00PM. I will not be eating too much today. I will pose, paint, and focus throughout the day.

Saturday July 13, 2002

Prejudging 9:00AM & evening show 7:00PM. The time has come!

Dino Paul Pierce, CFT (III)
B.S. Dietetics
Natural Bodybuilder