Competitive bodybuilding season for me
The 1997 competitive bodybuilding season is finally over for me. It was a hectic and fast paced barrage of contests. The contests started in May and ended in late June. During those months I competed in four contests: the Buckeye, the World's Classic, the Indianapolis and finally the Ohio State Championships. My initial goal was to peak for the Ohio, using the World's Classic in Columbus as a tune up. However, at the last minute, I had an urge to qualify for the Junior Nationals, that were to be held here in Cincinnati. As a result, this accelerated my contest plans.
I am normally notorious for being stubborn and doing things my own way regarding contest dieting. However, this year largely because of prodding from my girlfriend, Teresa, I decided to see Sandy & Roger Riedinger. I have known them casually for about 10 years and have always admired them for the quality contests they promote and the peak condition they help their clients attain.
Although I initially consulted with them after the 1996 Ohio State Championships, I only partially accepted and followed their high protein/low carbohydrate/structured fat recommendations. I soon went back to my old habits of undereating protein and overeating carbohydrates. This is partly due to laziness and paranoia about putting on body fat. I unfortunately learned the hard way that carbohydrates can convert to body fat at least as easily as dietary fat. And even the best strategic training methods can not grow muscle without enough protein. From a post contest body-fat percentage of 7.5 at 176 lbs in June, 1996, I had regressed to 13% body fat at 178 lbs. Not a very good off-season.
So here I was, three months out from the 1997 Ohio and six weeks out from the first remotely possible national qualifier and faced with the real likelihood of having to compete as light weight to be in true contest condition, Thankfully Sandy and Roger sensed my renewed sincerity and forgave my off-season stupidly. They have always complemented me on my body building potential and encouraged me that the best was still to come.
Doubled my protein
Immediately they doubled my protein from 150 to 300 plus grams and reduced my carbohydrate by 2/3, allowing me only one starch meal per day. This usually consisted of oatmeal mixed with my Muscle Provider in the morning. They also had me add flax oil to provide the essential fatty acids that had been deficient in my diet. What happened by the next week was incredible. My body weight climbed to 182 lbs. and my body fat descended to 11%. The increased protein had repaired my catabolic body and accelerated my metabolism. Also the decrease in carbohydrates had shed some water and returned my body to a fat burning state. The combination of increased protein, essential fats, and reduced carbohydrates had shifted me from a high insulin release (a hormone largely responsible for fat storage) to a high glucagon release state (a hormone that aids muscle repair and fat burning). Finally, my body was encouraged to gradually and steadily digest and absorb proteins and fats, without the water retention and fat conversions associated with my normal high-carbohydrate/low fat diet. In the past, I had used a low carbohydrate diet for a brief period to shed water and fill out muscle at contest time, often with mixed results. This was the first time I had used it for a prolonged period. I was amazed and excited by the results!
Roger & Sandy made me realize that although carbohydrates can spare protein from being used as fuel, the human body will not burn body fat for energy if your body is provided with too much carbohydrates or the wrong sources of carbohydrates. Additional protein and essential fats can be used as fuel and without the excessive insulin release of a high carbohydrate diet.
By my final contest
Less than three months from the day I started on my diet, I had lost over 7% in body fat and nearly stayed at the same body weight. Reflecting on a competitive career of over 60 contests since 1983, this has been one of the most productive and fulfilling contest patterns I've ever been on. Although my highest placing was only a string of 4th places, I feel that I have finally stumbled upon the methods and the support group that have given me a second chance at fulfilling my potential. I look forward to adjusting this diet and enjoying equally dramatic results during my off season pattern.
I am sincerely grateful to the people who have helped me this year. Thanks goes to my girlfriend, Teresa, who mercilessly held me to my diet and posing practice. To Sandy and Roger, who provided me with constant guidance and support despite their numerous other gifted clients and customers. For the ultimate combination of elite knowledge and personal attention – Sandy & Roger ARE THE BEST! Also, thanks to Jeff Schuerman and Bill Binder, both gave me valuable help when I needed them. Here’s to the next show and next level in peak condition!