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Contest Prep: BigStew's 20 Weeks To The 2008 BLNPA New England Natural (Part 5)

I will discuss training, nutrition, posing, school, work, relationships and more as I go through my contest prep for the 2008 BLNPA New England Natural. This article outlines my 6-3 weeks out diet, supplementation, and training.

The Next 3 weeks are in the books (weeks 6-3 from my contest), man were they tough to get through. Last article I told you how I was increasing the intensity of my workouts and that seemed like a lot, well these 3 weeks saw another increase in training, less calories and to top it off I needed to study and take midterms! I took one day at a time, did my cardio, hit the weights, ate my meals, studied and was able to get through it.

Up until this point my diet has been 100% but at about 6 weeks out from my contest I was going to be attending the Arnold Classic helping Bodywell Nutrition run their booth. I did my best to stay as clean as possible and had no cheat foods but was not able to measure out food like I am able to at home. I didn't train while I was there, but that was a well needed break for my body.


The big change in my diet for these past 3 weeks was substituting one red meat meal for orange roughy. Orange roughy is extremely high in protein and has almost no fat. I continued with the same carb cycle as before with one high carb day each time through my training split and the rest no carb days. I did lower my overall calories by around 50-100 each week.
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Alex Stewart.

Below is a peak at a typical high and no carb day from weeks 6-3 on my contest prep:

dot No Carbohydrate dot

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dot High Carbohydrate dot


For these past 3 weeks my training style has changed up completely. For the first 14 weeks I performed mostly straight sets focusing on holding on to my strength and even in some lifts increasing my strength.

For the rest of the prep I have adopted the giant set scheme. If you are not familiar with this type of training I will explain it to you.

A giant set is a combination of several exercises performed back to back with minimal or no rest. The point of doing giant sets is to one, increase blood flow or pump to the muscle being worked and also it is a great way to keep your heart rate up which results in your body staying in a fat burning mode.
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Alex Stewart.

When performing giant sets you are not worried so much about the weight you are moving but more of the overall pump and fatigue that you bring to the muscle. For this reason I didn't include the amount of weight that I used, but you can bet it is a lot lighter than when I was doing my straight sets.

I have gotten extremely good results with this training split so I decided to stick with it till the end. I have increased cardio again, mostly fasted cardio. Below is a peak at workout split:

dot Training Split: dot

dot Chest/Triceps dot

dot Shoulders dot

dot Back dot

dot Biceps dot

dot Legs dot

dot Calves dot


I was not sure if I was going to like this style of training when I first started. I like lifting heavy weight and supersets and giant sets are usually not my thing. With all the heavy weight that I was lifting in the past 14 weeks, my joints were starting to take a beating, so this was the right time to switch things up.

Yes I was using lighter weight, but I believe my intensity increased when I gave my body a break from the heavy straight sets and moved to the lighter moderate weight giant sets.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Alex Stewart.

Overall I loved the way I felt during my workouts huffing and puffing with mind boggling pumps. It was a great feeling. Some of the times I got such a great pump that it was impossible for me to pose after my workout because that muscle was fully filled with blood. I will continue with this style of training until the last week of my prep. 3 weeks to go I am so excited and ready to bring down the house on stage.

    Check Out Alex Stewart's BodySpace Here.