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Contest Prep: BigStew's 20 Weeks To The 2009 BLNPA New England Natural!

I will discuss training, nutrition, posing, and much more as I go through my contest prep for the 2009 BLNPA New England Natural. Learn more as I grade my off-season and lay out my diet for this prep.

It has been over six months since you guys have heard from me. Don't worry I have been putting the time in the gym and eating lots of healthy food to make those improvements necessary to win my natural pro card this year.

I am going to use this article to recap my progress during my off-season. I will start by using my "10 Most Common Mistakes During The Off-Season Or Mass-Building Stage" article to rate how I stuck to my program during this off-season.

  1. Not Eating Enough: I always find eating at a surplus for a long time to be very hard. I always tried to eat at a surplus but found myself eating some junk calories to get in the amount of calories needed at times. So overall I would give myself a B with this rule.
  2. Not Eating Enough Clean Foods: I did on occasion eat junk calories to get the necessary calories in but overall I ate clean foods all the time. I would give myself an A for this rule.
  3. Staying Away From Carbs: This rule is easy for me; I love carbs, especially oatmeal and sweet potatoes. When I am bulking I eat oatmeal and sweet potatoes a couple times a day. I would definitely give myself an A+ with this rule.

Alex Stewart
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I Have Been Putting In The Time In
The Gym And Eating Lots Of Healthy Food.

  1. No Carbs: I don't think there was a day I had NO CARBS so definitely an A+ with this rule.
  2. Too Much Cardio: Definitely didn't do too much cardio. I actually did less than I should have because in some cases I slept in, instead of doing the little cardio that I should have. Though the rule is about doing too much cardio which I did not I am going to give myself a C because I didn't do enough cardio during my off-season.
  3. Too Much Machine Use: I very rarely use machines in the off-season. I love the feeling of iron in my hands and with the extra energy and padding you have in the off-season I will only use machines on finishing exercises. I would give myself an A on this rule.
  4. No Enough Rest Or Recovery Time: My split during the off-season was 2 on 1 off which gave me plenty of recovery time from workouts. I would give myself an A+ with this rule.
  5. Scale: I never really worried about the scale, but stepped on it occasionally to see how my weight was progressing as I increased my calories. I would give myself an A+ on this rule.
  6. Lack Of Goal: My goal during the off-season was to increase my chest and shoulders while maintaining my other body parts and I definitely improved big time in those areas. I would say I got an A in following through on this rule.

What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

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  1. Missing Meals: My new job has me traveling a lot so eating perfect to plan is hard, but I cannot remember the last time that I missed a meal. I can't even remember the last time I have been awake and have gone more than 4 hours without a meal. I would definitely give myself an A+ with this rule.

Overall I would rate my off-season as an A-. I am happy with my progress that I have made in my off-season and can't wait to start my contest prep.

During my off-season I like to eat around 20 times my bodyweight for calories each day. Instead of 2 protein/carb meals I double that to 4 protein/carb meals and only do 2 protein/fat meals. I also add a couple shakes in the mix if need to get in the necessary calories for the day.

My Favorite Workout

Below I am going to list my favorite workout during my off-season. I am not going to include weights because they are irrelevant.

Here is a killer leg workout that my boss Jimmy Mentis told me to do and man this workout was a killer. I call it 1 Hour of Squatting H#ll.

Alex Stewart
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This Workout Was A Killer.

Start with the bar and perform 15 reps, when finished rest for as much time as need (BE A MAN ABOUT IT) add five pounds on each side and repeat. Do this for 1 half hour.

Once you have reached 1 half hour perform 20 reps with the weight you have reached and then rest, take off 5 pounds on each side and repeat. Do this for 1 half hour again. Once you have finished you will need someone to drive you home your leg will be so sore.

Training Split

Wow, it seems like yesterday when I was on stage last April, but the off-season has come and gone. I will be competing in the BLNPA New England Natural Bodybuilding Championships on April 11, 2009. This is the same contest I did last year. This time I will be walking home with my pro card.

I am writing this article 20 weeks out; the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the day before I start my contest prep. I have charted out my diet and made out my workout split. I can't wait to begin my contest prep this year. I am pumped to get started.

First and foremost I want to say this contest prep will be my road to a pro card. Last year was great winning the novice and junior class (I will defend my title and win this class again), but coming second in the open light-heavyweights to the eventually winner of the show has been in the back of my head each and every day I step into the gym. I have been working out like a mad man to make sure there is no doubt when I step on stage that I am the best man out there.

Alex Stewart
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
This Contest Prep Will By My Road To A Pro Card.

As stated above I have made improvements to my chest and shoulder area and I will continue to improve them as the prep continues. I believe proper dieting, even while contest prep time, can lead to improvements in any body part if you don't starve yourself and give yourself enough time to shed the fat slowly.

The workout split will be as follows. I will not include the exact sets and reps yet because I will not know what I am doing until I get to the gym. I really feel that I am at the stage right now where I know what my body needs when it comes to the weight room.


The Alex Show:
Episode 1: Back Workout!

In his first episode, BLNPA natural bodybuilding competitor Alex Stewart introduces his new video series, and performs a heavy-duty, intense back workout during his off-season.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
Windows Media (59.6 MB) - Video iPod (65.4 MB)
[ The Alex Show Main Page ]

Off-Season Diet

When it comes to diet I like to keep it very simple. Protein/carb meals in the morning around my weight workouts so I have the energy needed to get a good workout and also to help replace of glycogen after the workout which helps muscle recovery.

I eat protein/fat meals in the evening because the fat slows the digestion of the protein and keeps me full and less hungry.

dot Workout Days: dot

dot Off Day: dot


Alex Stewart
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Alex Stewart 20 Weeks Out.


It is 10:45 PM; about time to get bed, the long road to the pro card starts tomorrow and I can't wait. I am off to bed. Stay tuned, I will update you guys in two weeks with all my workouts and eating. I might even find some time to get some videos of my workouts also.