My Preparation For

1998 Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding Championship

By: Rainer Hartmann
Magazine Spring 98

After winning my weight classes as a lightweight (154 lb.) at the ’95 Northern Kentucky and Battle of Champions plus the middleweight class (at 156 lb.) at the ‘95 Mr. Cincinnati, I decided that – to be more competitive – I had to come in around 170 lb. for my next competitions!

Due to a very busy schedule with work and school to become a licensed massage therapist, three years elapsed before I competed again. Back in ’95 Roger and Sandy started helping me with some important tips, so I decided that for this goal I would work closely with them, in the off season as well as the preparation for my shows.

During the lay–off I concentrated on areas that were lagging – i.e. arms, calves, hams – to reach the best symmetry possible. I stuck mostly to basic exercises with heavy (for me) weights. I concentrated on squats, heavy benching, partial dead lifts, and chins.

My diet changed quite a bit from about December 1996 on. I decided to follow Roger’s advice and change to a diet higher in fat and protein and to reduce my carbohydrate intake, especially complex carbs. My protein intake increased to about 2 grams per pound of body weight, coming from eggs, lean red meat (at least every other day), chicken, turkey breast and tuna. The greatest help for me – because of my schedule as a personal trainer – were the Beverly International protein supplements, namely Muscle Provider and 100% Instant Egg Protein, which I mixed together in my shakes – a lifesaver for me!! I added about 1.5 oz whipping cream to each shake for extra calories and fat for energy. Carbs came from vegetables and usually 2 pieces of fruit per day, with complex carbs on occasion – like rice, potatoes, yams and oatmeal. I wasn’t 100 % strict during this time – an occasional muffin or quarter pounder wouldn’t kill me – and it showed during my frequent body fat checks – I never went over 10 % during the off season while gaining weight!!

Supplements during this time included the mentioned protein powders, Super Pack, Ultra vitamin C, Flax oil and in cycles Beverly Creatine, which always helped for strength and weight increases! Roger and Sandy really only have you take the supplements necessary for a certain stage, which I especially liked!

From August ’97 on we decided it was time to hit it harder. Roger had me add Mass aminos and Liver tablets, 4 with each meal. . Almost immediately I could feel a difference again, weight and strength – wise.

In mid December we started with a strict diet – no more cheating now! My body weight at that time was at 185 lb., with body fat at 8%! This would make contest prep easier than ever. I started with some additional cardio work – twice a week for 20 minutes on the bike. Until then I did cardio only when I felt like it, which was not very often. Luckily my metabolism is pretty high, so I got away with that. We periodically added Ripped Fuel to the diet to help with the fat loss; I’ve always had great results with that product and it worked again. The main diet change was to have complex carbs twice a week for dinner, usually a potato or yam, oatmeal, banana and some salad. My strength didn’t suffer at all during the whole course of my diet, in some exercises I was even stronger than before!

Here is a typical day in terms of food intake:
Breakfast: 8 oz lean ground beef (96%),4 egg whites,
veggies, ½ grapefruit, coffee
Snack: Protein shake – 2 scoops Muscle Provider,
2 scoops 100% Egg, 1 .5 oz cream, 16 oz H20 Lunch: 2 cans tuna, 2 cups mixed salad, 1 cup frozen vegetables
Snack: Protein shake
Dinner: 10 oz turkey breast, 3 cups salad

By mid January Roger cut my cream in half to start dropping some calories. We also cut back on the protein powder (1 ½ scoops each per shake), but added 1 tsp. of flax oil per shake to add a different fat source. At lunch the tuna got cut to 1 ½ cans, dinner protein to 8 oz. My energy level was still high and my workouts were going great! By early February my weight was at 180 lb. with 5.2% body fat. What was amazing was that my lean mass was still the same as it was at the beginning of my diet in December – Wow!

Rainer Hartmann wins trophy

February 27 – another body fat check ... 178 lb., 4.5%. My upper body never looked better than this.

With 3 more weeks to go, thanks to Roger and Sandy I know I will be in the best shape of my life for the Northern Kentucky 1998!! (Rainer submitted his original article at the Arnold Classic on March 7. Following is the continuation of his 1998 contest season.)

Two Contests in Eight Days

At the last minute I decided to enter the Battle of Champions, held one week prior to the Northern. My plan was to compete at the Derby Classic as I had unfinished business to attend to there (a 3rd place finish in 1995). I called Roger that Monday and he confirmed that the Derby had been canceled for this year. I asked what he thought about entering the Battle. He said, "go ahead, you’re almost ready and we’ll be extra cautious with water manipulation so it won’t affect you next week." I entered the "Battle" at 172 and won the middleweight class, narrowly losing the overall to John Meadows, another of Roger and Sandy’s clients. Roger said to eat a good meal after the show and then tighten the diet by skipping my scheduled carb meal Monday. Thursday before the Northern I once again had my carb meal, back on the diet Friday minus the veggies, and ½ yam one hour prior to prejudging Saturday. I won both my class and the overall title at the Northern – 110 competitors and I was the overall champion!

On to the Mr. Cincinnati

From the Northern until the Cincinnati I went right back on my diet after eating at Applebees the night of the contest. Each week I continued to visit the Beverly International Nutrition Center for a brief consultation, posing session and to stock up on Muscle Provider, 100% Instant Egg White Protein, Ultra 40, Density and Muscularity. Each week my bodyfat decreased and we slowly added calories to the diet listed diet above.

My April 11 food record shows that I ate 3075 calories consisting of 428 grams protein (22 oz. lean ground beef, 9 egg whites, 10 oz. chicken, 3.5 scoops Muscle Provider, 6 Tbs. 100% Egg White Protein, 30 Ultra 40 tablets and 30 aminos – Density and Muscularity), 92 grams of carbs from salad, veggies and ½ a grapefruit, and 30 % of my total calories from fats (2 Tbs. Flax Oil, 2 oz. heavy whipping cream, an egg yolk and the small amount of fat in the lean meats). As my bodyfat continued to drop and my condition improved, I decided to go for the all–time lowest bodyfat at the center. I tied James Johnson’s (1997 Jr. National Bantamweight champion) record of 23.75 mm for the nine sites on April 4. By April 11, one week out from the Cincinnati, I had the record – 23 mm or 3.6% bodyfat at 170!

Mr. Cincinnati and more!

Finally, April 18 arrived. I was as ready as I could be. For the Cincinnati, Roger advised me to eat and drink no differently than I had during the previous three weeks. He said, If you look better today than you did yesterday, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. I did no carb up and absolutely no water manipulation. I ate the same thing the days leading up to the show and the show day itself as I had the previous week. I had one small yam one hour prior to stepping on stage.

It worked! I won my class, the overall title, best poser and the most symmetrical award. I’ve been bodybuilding competitively for more than ten years and with the help of Roger and Sandy I am in the best condition of my life.