Ten years ago, 1986, I joined a gym to get bigger for high school football. Training at the gym with a few former "title holders," the bodybuilding by bit me. The only bodybuilding contest that we talked or cared about was the "C," or Mr. Cincinnati title, I was "hooked." My bodybuilding dream was to eventually win the Mr. Cincinnati title.
My early training was power oriented, first for football, but later as a powerlifter. I achieved a 520 lb. bench press and a few powerlifting titles, but still had my goal of winning the Mr. Cincinnati in the back of my mind. By late 1993, my training could best be categorized as "power bodybuilding." It was at this time I set my sights on the 1994 Mr. Cincinnati for my first.
My bodyweight was 250 at this time with 16.5% bodyfat with only 15 weeks left until the show. A friend of mine who had recently achieved his all-time best condition suggested I call Roger and Sandy at Beverly International. We got together and I started my first competition diet, cycling carbs from a low of 50 grams per day to a high carb day of 200, with calories in the 2000 - 2500 range. This brought my bodyfat down to about 6% at 203 lbs. I won the heavyweight class at the 1994 Mr. Cincinnati in my first contest!
Even though my initial contest experience was a huge success, I knew I would be better next time. I realized almost immediately I had made some mistakes by allowing my bodyfat level to get too high and that I really didn't have enough preparation time to really reach my best contest condition. So it was back to the drawing board with a new zest for training and a high quality, off season nutrition program.
Once again I began preparations for the achievement of my dream, the overall Mr. Cincinnati title. I began serious preparation in October, 1995, twenty-four weeks out from the show. My first step was to once again schedule weekly sessions with Roger and Sandy. The diet they prescribed this time around was a radical change form 1994.
With an additional eight weeks to prepare, we were able to start with a 4400 calorie diet plan consisting of 50% (500grams) protein, 20-25%(225 grams) carbs, and 25 - 25% fat. I believed in Roger and Sandy, I followed their recommendations throughout the entire twenty-four week period. Each week we would assess the previous week's progress and determine if nutritional modifications should be made for the following week.
I trained four time per week using the "heavy duty" style of training inspired by Dorian Yates, Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones. This program allowed me to train very heavy through my entire preparation period while allowing me to recuperate full on the "off" days.
My nutrition program complemented my training as the higher amounts of protein and fat allowed me to make continued strength gains, I’d never felt so good physically and mentally or been near as strong as I was at 7% bodyfat. I was still military pressing 285 lbs. for 6 reps, squatting 545 for 5 reps and deadlift 585 lbs. for 6 reps. I was big, full, and feeling great!
My diet went through stages from 4400 calories for the first two months to 4000, 3600, and 3200 as the contest drew nearer. Finally, at four weeks out, Roger reduced my calories to 2800 to get the last remnants of bodyfat off. This is when the diet started to get a little bit tough, but I knew I was on target to fulfill my dream.
My supplement program throughout was designed to burn fat while building lean tissue. As of this print of the newsletter we stepped it up doubling my branch chains (Muscularity), and added Density (free form essential amino acids) and Cut Back (l-carnitine, chromium and HCA).
We held off doing cardio until six weeks out, when I began fast walking 45 minutes per day. At four weeks I added an additional 29 minutes prior to bedtime.
One week before the I was down to 5% bodyfat at 200 pounds. The final week we manipulated water, sodium and potassium and closely monitored my conditioning as I regulated my carbohydrates.
When I went to bed on the night of March 23, my dream had come true, I was the Light Champion and Overall Mr. Cincinnati.