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Ryan Swan - Pre-contest Preparation: Week 4!

Well here we are, at the half waypoint. My weight is at 191 lbs. Find out what changes I made that will affect my progress!

Week #4

NOTICE: This is article #4 of this series. Click HERE for the front page.

Well here we are, at the half waypoint. My weight is at 191 lbs. However, I am not where I want to be right now, so I am re-calculating my caloric needs for a person weighing 191, rather than keep with one for a person who weighs 208. Basically, I am cutting down my carbs. I have lost the fat pretty much everywhere except my stomach and a little on my lower back. My vascularity is coming out a lot in my arms and chest, but the viens in my legs aren't where they have been in previous competitions.

Therefore, I am doing two things to get the effects I need. I am cutting my carbs back some, and I am picking up my cardio a bit more, meaning, I am going a bit harder on cardio. This is something one should do, due to the fact that my body is adjusting to my increase in cardio activity, by improving my cardiovascular system. Therefore it is a bit easier now to do what was harder at the beginning of my diet. You will see these changes further in the article.

Week 3 went all right. I was home on spring break from university, which was nice. However, living with my parents for a week is not the best thing when you're dieting. Chips, Steaks, candy, and cookies everywhere. It was definitely a test. But I am very proud to say that I did not cheat. The only thing I did, was I missed my cardio one morning. I was just too exhausted, so I slept in. There, I admitted it. As for eating, I stuck to everything besides a few small handfuls of raisins. I am done with "Cheat meals".

This is crunch time. I don't mind. I am so into this it really doesn't bother me. People always ask me if I am tempted to cheat, even when no one would know but me. I tell them, that the temporary satisfaction of eating that cookie, or drinking that milk, doesn't outweigh how much I would beat myself up for cheating like that, so it is not worth it at all. Like I said before, this is not a game. You may say, one cookie, or some pizza, four weeks out isn't going to do anything. This is the way I look at it, it will make a difference, it will make the difference between 1st and 2nd place.


I trained with some old friends from home. At times I was frustrated, seeing these guys on roids looking amazing, and telling me that they had pizza last night, or went out and had a few drinks on the weekend. But I have to stay with my goals. One thing that got me excited, was my bench, I had gone down in strength obviously, but the bar at Diamond Fitness, the gym I train at while home, is thinner than the bar at university.

Strangely I put up 315 for 6. I was happy about this, and I can think is the bar helped. They are both 45 lbs, but one has a thicker grip, the other has a thinner.

If anyone else has noticed this, let me know, I'm interested in whether it really was the bar, or just a burst of energy from me.


I only went tanning twice this week. I like tanning because it is an immediate change in your physique. It definitely helps me mentally. Not to mention the darker color brings out the cuts.


I'm making it. That's all I can say. When people ask me how my diet is going, I say it's going. I can't say it's good, because it sucks, but I can't say it's bad, because it's working. I'm not looking forward to cutting back my carbs, but it has to be done.


    Cell Tech - To keep my strength up
    Vitamin C - As an antioxidant to prevent muscle atrophy (muscle breakdown)
    Glutamine - To speed recovery by rebuilding muscle (Essential Amino Acid)
    Dymetadrine Xtreme - To increase my metabolism and give me much needed energy
    EFA oil - with such a low fat diet, I must supplement with some Essential Fatty Acids
    Optimum Protein - To rebuild and repair muscle tissues.

    I added Vitamin E as well, again for it's antioxidant effects. (Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which are produced mainly from aerobic exercise)

Week 4 Diet - I am decreasing my Calories by 300, these will come from carbs which means 75 grams less per day. (noted with an *)

6:00 AM
Optimum Protein Shake (22 grams protein, 1.5 grams Carbs) and 1 Dymetadrine Xtreme

6:30 AM
35 minutes on the treadmill

7:30 AM - Meal 1
2 grams Creatine (cell tech)
10 egg whites (40 grams Protein)
2 Shredded Wheat Biscuits- (40 grams of Carbs)
1 Med sized banana- (27 Grams Carbs)
Multivitamin-best taken with a meal
A small spoonful of raisins (about 10-15 grams of carbohydrates)
Vitamin C (2000 mg), Vitamin E.(400 IU)

Meal 2: 9:30AM
1 Can of tuna (27 grams Protein)
1.5 cups Brown Rice (66 Grams Carbs) * -16 grams
1 Tblsp EFA oil - (15 Grams Polyunsaturated Fat)

Meal 3: 11:30 AM
1 Large boiled chicken breast with Mrs. Dash (27 grams Protein)
2 cups Brown rice (50 Grams Carbs) * - 38 grams
1 Dymetadrine Xtreme

Meal 4: 2:00 PM
Same as Meal 2 * -16 grams

Meal 5: 4:00PM (pre-workout meal)
1 Boiled Chicken Breast (27 grams protein)
2 Grams of Creatine
1 med sized sweet potato (38 Grams Carbs)
2 grams Glutamine
1 Dymetadrine Xtreme

Workout: 4:45PM

Meal 6: 7:00PM (post workout)
2 grams Creatine
Optimum Protein Shake (2 scoops-44Grams Protein, 3 Grams Carbs)
1.5 cups mixed vegetables (15 Grams Carbs) * - 5 Grams
1/2 cup brown rice (25 grams Carbs)

Meal 7: 9:00PM
1 Can of tuna with salsa (27 Grams Protein)
1 cup mixed veggies (10 Grams Carbs)

Meal 8: 10:30PM
1 can of tuna with salsa (27 Grams Protein)

Totals For Week One

Protein Carbs Fat Calories BMR Calories Burned from Exercise Calories Burned Per Week
268 Grams/Day = 1072 Kilocalories 220 Grams/Day = 880 kilocalories 15 Grams/Day= 135 Kilocalories 2087 Cal/ Day 2000 Cal/ Day (1 hour cardio, 1 hour strength training) = 1260 Aprox 8300.

Because there is 3500 Cal per lb of fat, I will be loosing approximately 2 lbs of fat per week, for a total of 18 lbs. However, time will tell, with cutting water, etc, how much I will loose exactly. I try not to use the scale as a judge of where I will be, rather, I use the mirror to judge where I am.

What I Have Changed This Year

I decided to cut back my carbs because I am not where I want to be right now. I want to be ready two weeks out, that way I can maintain, and then just worry about my water. That means I have two weeks to get everything perfect.

I've started doing cardio twice a day on Friday and Sunday rather than only morning cardio. Again, this is just to get that extra bit of fat off.

My Training

Monday - Chest and Shoulder

Tuesday - Legs

Wednesday - Back

Thursday - Arms

Friday - Only Morning cardio

Saturday - Abs, calves and Forearms

Sunday - Morning & Afternoon Cardio

Cardio: I do morning cardio every day. I do afternoon cardio on the days I strength train. My cardio will consist mostly of the stepper.

Reps: I don't bother to put numbers on how many reps I do because it will change from exercise to exercise. I aim for what is called Total Positive Failure (TPF) this is when I can no longer complete one more repetition with proper form.

After reaching TPF, I will use a spot to get 1-2 more reps out of each set. However, I use a weight in which I will reach TPF at around 10 reps. I never go below 5 though.

Posing: I started posing 2 times a week with two friends who are doing the competition as well. I find this helps more than anything. You need to get used to posing without the mirror, because you won't have that to rely on, when you're on stage. You need to rely on doing it by feel. As well, other people can pick out little things that need to be tuned up. A bit of critiquing always helps. As well, I am tweaking my routine a bit. Everything is looking really good, I am really excited about my routine this year.

Looking back, Week 3 went pretty good. It's the same old moodiness, hills and valleys. One minute I'm happy as ever, the next I want to strangle my roommate because he's asking too many questions about my diet. However, I'm looking forward to week five mostly because it's crunch time. I'm getting excited. Every once in a while I'll just be sitting there and something will come over me and I get goosebumps because I am so excited about getting this on! Remember, this is not a game! See you at the gym!

"This is Not a Game"

Week 4 Pics - Click To Enlarge.

Train hard, see you at the gym,