I am currently 16 weeks away from my first contest this year. However, I am debating on doing another contest a week earlier in Tampa called the Tampa Bay Classic, an NPC show. Depending on how I look 10 weeks from now, I may do that show as well. Now, let's continue onto my topic for this article.
Bodybuilding is not easy. Indeed, it's probably just as much or more mental focus and discipline than any other sport in existence. Competitive bodybuilding is even tougher. You now have a time frame to concern yourself with. Now if you cheat on your diet, you don't worry about not looking good on the beach, or it taking a few more days for you to get into the shape you want.
You worry about whether or not cheating on your diet will knock you down in placing. You no longer have the luxury of time. A setback is no longer an option. Now for someone in college or who hangs out with the younger crowd, it is even more difficult.
"Layne why aren't you drinking?" "Layne are you really eating a chicken breast now?" "Layne why can't you cheat on your diet, it won't hurt you that much to cheat just once?" I actually heard all three of these lines last night when I went out. I must admit, at times it is tempting to give in and just cheat a little bit.
After all I have 16 weeks left and I'm already pretty lean, what is one day off my diet going to hurt? What harm could a few beers do? How much harm could skipping cardio today cause? In the long run I probably could get away with this a few times without it harming my progress to an appreciable degree. However, in life you must set precedents to follow.
One cheat session is not going to stay one cheat session; it can easily degenerate into four, six, eight sessions of pigging out. In addition, there is one thing that I believe sets bodybuilders apart from other types of people, and that is unparalleled discipline. Will my competition cheat on their diet? Possibly, but I cannot count on this.
If I can't control myself right now, how am I supposed to defeat some of the best natural bodybuilders in the country in four months? Certainly if I am not willing to give everything I have to win, I do not deserve to.
This does not mean however that a young bodybuilder cannot lead a normal, active lifestyle. One just needs to be a careful planner. For instance, I have a small cooler that I keep ready. Whenever I go out I throw some chicken breasts, protein shakes, protein bars, or anything else I might need in it and keep it in my car.
Back when I did not have a car, I would carry a water bottle with a mixed protein shake inside. If you are someone who does not like other people asking a lot of questions you can carry a solid color bottle and people won't even know you're drinking a shake, this will cut down on one having to answer questions about what you are drinking and why you are drinking it.
In the past few weeks I have gone to bars, dance clubs, and concerts… all the while never straying from my diet. If by chance I can't take my cooler somewhere, then I wear cargo pants with big pockets and put chicken breasts in zip lock bags and keep them in those big pockets. I might get a few funny looks from people, but at least I am sticking to my diet and still having a good time. One does not need to be a hermit to be a competitive bodybuilder, nor should they be.
You must lift with attitude!
With that out of the way let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
Diet consists of:
- 300g protein
- 240g carbs
- 60g fat per day
On days that I work legs I consume the following amounts of macronutrients:
- 250g protein
- 450g carbs
- 60g fat
A sample of my diet for one day is as follows (it may vary as far as food selection goes, but the macronutrient breakdowns will likely remain the same).
Sample Day In Detail
Macronutrients are listed to the side as protein/carbs/fat.
- Meal 1: Turkey on whole wheat bread with lettuce and mustard 35/30/4
- Meal 2: Chicken breast with ½ tablespoon of peanut butter 40/3/10
- Meal 3: Lowfat popcorn, 3/4 cup oat bran cereal in skim milk and 10 egg whites 40/70/7.5
- Meal 4 (in workout shake):Whey protein and Dextrose with 5g of creatine 35/35/2.5
- Meal 5: Meal 1 + brown rice 35/76/6
- Meal 6: Tuna with fat free mayo and fat free cheese melted on whole wheat bread, 3 fish oil capsules 35/20/6
- Meal 7: 1 large chicken breast with 3 fish oil caps and ½ tablespoon peanut butter 40/3/13
- Meal 8: 1 can tuna, 2 fish oil caps, ½ tablespoon peanut butter 40/3/11
- 300g protein
- 240g carbs
- 60g fat
After Six Weeks.
Three site bodyfat measurement (took 5 at each site and the averages are as follows):
- Average chest skinfold - 8.8 mm (-1.6)
- Average abdominal skinfold - 12.6 mm (+0.8) * this increase is most likely due to the fact that I was measuring my abdominal bodyfat in the wrong place before so I am not concerned about this increase, it is due to improper reading on my part.
- Average quadriceps skinfold - 14.4 mm (-2.8)
- Average bodyfat measurement - 9.94% bodyfat (-0.66%)
- Weight - 208 (-3) lbs
- Calves - 16.3"
- Thighs (at largest part) - 26.4"
- Chest and Back - 46.5"
- Shoulders - 54"
- Arms - 17.75" (they were 18" but a bicep strain has prevented me from training them for 3 weeks)
- Waist - 33.3"
I will continue to update this log every two weeks. Please send any questions or concerns to me at email@example.com
I am very busy but will do my best to answer your questions in a timely fashion.