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Maximizing Contest Preparation - 7 Weeks Out.

This week I am going to update you with the changes I made and progress achieved. But, before I do that?..I have to talk about this week and the speed bumps that I have to talk about this week and the speed bumps that I encountered.

Note: This is week two, click here for week one!

Having To Adapt To Unexpected Obstacles

Last week I introduced you to my pre-contest schedule (diet, training, nutrition, etc.). This week I am going to update you with the changes I made and progress achieved. But, before I do that... I have to talk about this week and the speed bumps that I encountered. Sometimes life throws you curve balls and it is imperative that you have the ability to adapt. This is especially true when you live such a structured life, such as those of you who are competitive bodybuilders. You must educate yourself on all facets of this game.

That is the only way you will be able to make educated changes when the times call for it. You never want to lose momentum for a second. Progression towards perfection is the name of our game. If you just follow a program because it is laid out, you are going to do yourself a grave injustice. Learn the "whys" and "how comes", not just the "whats."

First off, I have to talk about the blackout. Man, did I have to improvise. First off, since I workout at roughly 5 PM, I had no electricity to do so. The gym closed, but luckily I have a key. So, I worked out. Sounds good enough, but let me set the atmosphere for you - no lights (the gym only has two medium sized windows at the far end and the whole gym is 10,000 square feet in size) and no air conditioning (it was near 90 degrees and near 90% humidity that day). Not fun. It was so hot and humid, I thought I was going to get heat stroke. I opened a side fire door to let in a little fresh air and a little more light. And to say that I drank my fair share of water during my workout would be an understatement.

So, anyway, I got through my arm workout. It was okay... not great. Then I am encountered with my post-workout meal speed bumps. No electricity means no microwave or stove. What do I have for my high glycemic carb in my post workout meals. You may recall I normally have a half of a serving of cream of rice in post-workout meals 2 and 3. I contemplated having some fruit, but that would mean I would have to go to the store, and I don't think they would be open without power.

I then contemplated having extra servings of my glucose powder, but I really would like to chew some food since I have so much in the way of shakes and supplements in my day. Then, UREEKA, it hit me right in the face. I was at my partner's house after my workout, when I looked in her cupboard and saw Kellogg's Rice Krispies. I checked the side panel and saw the profile was very, very close to my cream of rice. So we are in business. I have to say, it was a tasty treat mixed with my VP2 and Nytropro shakes. A very nice change in my daily routine.

Okay, we get through the night okay. No harm done. In fact we are still on track and progressing with our diet. The next morning? Still no electricity at my apartment. I flip-flopped meal 2 so it landed after meal 4. That way, if need be, I can cook my egg whites when I get home on my break. The gym's power was back, so I packed my vegetables and oatmeal and went to work. I was able to consume meals 1, 3, and 4 as scheduled without any problems since I can cook these foods in the gym's microwave After work? Still no electricity at my apartment, so I went to my partner's house and cooked my egg whites and vegetable meal there. After that, it was business as usual.

Cardio Speed Bump

Now for some extra fun! My check engine light came on in my car last Sunday and the earliest they could fit me in was this past Friday. This put a damper in my normal cardio schedule since I would have to get my car in, get picked up and wait for them to call me. I normally would stay at the gym and hit the bike for a hard 16 minutes. What did I do? Well, my partner doesn't live too far from the school where I do my hill sprints. So I opted to go and do just that. Here is where it get's really fun.

I was to ride her bike there, do my sprints, drink my post-cardio shake, and ride the bike back... no problem. Well, her two kids wanted to come along. She has a five year old and a fourteen year old. What normally would have been a medium intensity bike ride became very intense. She has a bike that she can rig up half a bike to the back of it so her 5 year old can hang with her on bike rides. Well let me tell you, I might as well of been an ox pulling a plow. He didn't peddle one iota and it wasn't a cake walk peddling both our butts uphill. By the time I got to the school, I was half spent of energy.

I sprinted my hills, drank my shake, played a little soccer with the boys, and then we peddled back home. Back home was worse! I didn't realize how much down hill we went on the way there. Phew! Keep in mind that this is all around 12 noon, the hottest part of the day (and it was hot and humid, again). By the time I got home I was panting and my heart rate was at 190-200 beats per minute. I ran inside the air-conditioned house, fell on the floor and drank some water. I think it is safe to say I burned some calories on that day.

Changes In Diet

Everything training and supplement-wise stays the same from last week. The only changes I am making is I am dropping the glucose powder from my post-cardio shake and I am changing from steak to chicken in meal 5. This adds up to a 182 calorie drop for the week and brings my totals to 326 grams of protein, 253 grams of carbs, and 12.5 grams of fat. All of this adding up to 2348 calories a day.

Progress Is Being Made!

This past Saturday, I weighed in at 183lbs. This is a full 2 pound drop from the previous week. I am well on track to making the middle weight class which is very light for me to compete (I normally go light heavy, but I am looking to be super ripped this time around). In my pictures, you will notice that my setting is different. Last week, when I put my pictures online, I felt that the soft lights in my apartment were washing out some of my definition and I wouldn't be able to give you guys a clear picture of the progress I am making. So, my plan was to get outside and use the light from the sun to give you a more accurate look.

Well, we missed the sunshine this week. On Saturday, my partner couldn't get to my apartment until between 6 and 7 PM. So, we used what little light we had left. Hopefully next week we will get it right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every week, I get a boat load of questions on the ways I workout, supplement, and eat. A lot of them are repeat questions. So I figured I could utilize this forum to answer some to the most frequently asked ones. So each week, from now on, I will cover a question that I have received. This week is not so frequently asked, but I felt it was important enough to include. Here it is:


I saw your training journal on You look really good, congrats. I have two questions that I completely don't understand. How the HELL can you possible only eat one meal of protein each day during your diet. You are drinking those shakes. WHY!??!!? You aren't some skinny guy who doesn't have mass. I know you are not dumb enough to be eating only 300g protein (most of which comes from shakes).

Please tell me what is really going on. Thanks!


Why such skepticism? Because you wouldn't eat like this or it doesn't fit into your lifestyle? That is exactly my diet right now. And, there are two meals of protein - egg whites for one and steak for another. The reason I use so much in the way of supplements is three-fold:

  1. My work day is pretty much a 12 hour day with my personal training business. On top of that, I am working out a lot. Writing a book and putting up my own website. It is not feasible for me to stop and eat whole food meals in between appointments when I am booked solid for at least 7-8 straight hours.

  2. I believe in getting the best protein available, P.E.R.-wise and B.V.-wise. That is without a doubt in meal replacements and whey protein.

  3. The hours surrounding my workouts, from the hour before to the three hours after, the only protein I would think of ingesting is one that is fast absorbing to take full advantage of the anabolic timing of this period.

You seem to be jaded towards supplements. I don't blame you since the industry is plagued with scumbags. Unfortunately, these scumbags take down a whole industry with them instead of the blame hitting individual companies. I am not trying to plug or sell anyone on supplements. I don't have any contracts or reimbursements to do so, so what would be in that for me. All I am doing is simply writing about my contest approach. That is it. What each individual take from it and do with it is completely up to the.

As for my protein intake: Does 300-plus grams seem too little to you? Thank God for you. Because I am constantly trying to defend my reasoning for higher intake. My ratio is what is important to me. I strive for around 50% protein in my diet. As my calories come down, so does my protein intake. My ratios stay pretty constant. Off season, I take up near 400-450 grams of protein a day (yes, more in real food - actually, just bigger portion sizes).

In Conclusion

So far I am very happy with my progress and I am looking forward to the weeks ahead of this journey. I know as contest day draws closer, I have to work that much harder and stay that much more focused. I feel that if I follow the groundwork that is laid out 110%, I will be at an all-time best. I am not striving for just an all-time best by a little, though. I plan on smashing my previous contest conditions by a boatload. Till next time...wish me luck.

Week Two Pics:

Note: This is week two, click here for week one!

That's it for now... Until next week,