Todd Buchanan has been competing successfully for several years. In 1997 he finally put it altogether with the aid of his wife, Debbie, Dr. Eric Serrano, a staunch advocate of Beverly International supplements, and Roger and Sandy Riedinger.
First of all I'm a licensed physical therapist and had already been bodybuilding competitively for more than six years. Up until the past year I really thought my experience, extensive reading and knowledge of how the body works was enough for me to come into my contests in good condition. I'd been doing well but always seemed to get 2nd or 3rd in the big shows instead of what I really wanted - first place! It was time for a change.
The first change I made was to hook up with Dr. Eric Serrano. I met Eric at last year's Mr. Olympia and he was impressed with my physique and offered to assist me in my quest for more muscle and better conditioning. Eric has instilled the scientific aspect of bodybuilding into me, which has helped transform my body to a higher level. He's done this by not only informing me about various supplements and food combinations, but he gives me tons of literature so that I also better understand things for myself.
The second change that I made in preparation for the 1997 Natural Ohio was to allow Roger and Sandy to guide my final contest preparation. I’d known Roger and Sandy for 3 - 4 years, primarily as judges at some of my shows and as contest promoters. But the ‘97 Natural Ohio was the first time I consulted with them for a contest. Muscle size has never been a problem for me, however conditioning had become like playing Russian roulette. I'd seen the superior success Roger and Sandy have had with so many body builders. With their clients conditioning is never a problem!! I needed help so I turned to the experts.
Working with Roger and Sandy, Eric did have me at times ready to toss in the towel – too much knowledge for me to assimilate on the low carbohydrate diet that they both advocate. I also had to toss in my own two cents worth into the mix based on my own past precontest experiences. Well, the end result of all this expert input happened to put me in the best condition of my entire life.
Nutrition and Supplementation
My nutrition and supplementation programs were the biggest changes that I made for the Natural Ohio. Basically my new precontest diet incorporated five meals consisting of high protein, very little carbs and low to moderate fat intake. My supplements included Ultra 4 (multi vitamin / mineral), Ultra C (anti oxidant), GL3, and Muscle Mass (BCAA's) year round. Leading up to the show I added Ultra 40 (liver tablets for extra protein and energy factors), Muscularity (another BCAA complex that I took with my meals in addition to the Muscle Mass, and Energy Reserve to aid in fat mobilization.
Here's the diet I used for the last six weeks leading up to the Natural Ohio:
Comments: Every Monday and Thursday I ate the following meal in place of meal #5: 1 cup rice, 1 -10 oz. sweet potato, 1 banana, 1 cup vegetables with 1 butter
Once I initiated this diet (shortly after competing at the Midwest States in September) I could see definite physical changes on an almost daily basis - skin thinning, more vascularity and increased definition. I felt great at times, but not so great at other times as my body fat got really low. I could tell when Monday and Thursday evening rolled around and I ate Sandy's patented carb up meal; it definitely affected my body for the better. I also noticed a tremendous difference in both my conditioning and recovery ability when I added 12 Muscularity before workouts, increased the Flax oil to 4 tablespoons versus 2, and used1 EPH 3x/day with 1gm. L-Tyrosine and 3 Energy Reserve.
Training, Cardio and Posing
My training consisted of a lot of volume for each body part with minimum rest. Drop sets, supersets, giant sets and occasionally 1 big giant giant set were usually the order of the day. Cardio took on an enhanced role as the Natural Ohio approached. I began each morning with 30 minutes on the stationary bike. In fact, my bike's right next to my bed so I turned off the alarm and practically rolled over on to the bike. In the evening I'd walk on the treadmill at various inclines for 30 minutes.
Roger kept stressing that posing was even more important than cardio to achieve top condition. I practiced each day - 15 minutes one day, 30 minutes the next. I did the quarter turns one day, the mandatories the next. Some days I'd combine them. I changed my posing just like you would a workout.
Natural Ohio – Overall Champion
The day of the show arrived and I was extremely happy with my condition. How could I not be! The end result was exactly what I wanted. I achieved my goal for the year - overall winner at the Natural Ohio! Next year my goal is to successfully compete and possibly win the Musclemania in California and earn my Natural professional card like my buddy Dalon Myricks.
Although I carried out the plan, it would not have been possible without support and guidance from others. Thanks to my wife, Debbie, Roger, Sandy, Eric, Arnold, Mike Francois, Tricky and my training partner, Craig.