Staying Lean in the off season Pays Off

By: Dave Payne
1998 Quincy Roberts’ Elite Muscle Classic Overall Junior Champion
Spring 1999

As the New Year rolled in, I set my sights on the 1998 Gold’s Classic Bodybuilding contest to be held in Wilmington, NC on May 2. I knew this would be a large show, but I was ready for the challenge. I had met Roger last year through e-mail while I lived in Missouri. I have moved back home to North Carolina since then. After working with Roger for most of my 1997 contest preparations and winning my class at two shows, I looked forward to even more outstanding guidance and results and planned on coming in even better condition for the Gold’s Classic than in my 1997 contests.

Dave Payne pre-contest condition

Stage 1

I started my diet at a bodyweight around 192-193 lbs., but I had really put on a lot more fat in the off season than I realized. My stage 1 diet at 17 weeks out was six meals and was broken down as follows:

3585 calories, 417g protein (47%), 105 grams carbs (11%), 166 grams fat (42%)

Protein sources included 1 pound of lean beef per day, chicken breasts, egg whites and muscle provider, while carbs and fats came from the beef, egg yolks, flax oil and fruit. I had two carb meals per week to replace my sixth meal. Supplements included 6 Ultra 40 and 4 Mass Aminos per meal and a Super Pack.

Stage 2

I stayed on the Stage 1 diet until 14 weeks out, and my bodyweight stayed pretty much the same. I was not losing bodyfat as quickly as we had hoped, so at 14 weeks out, we started the stage 2 diet. Roger cut out the carb meal and changed meal #6 to a six egg white omelet with veggies.

This brought the totals to the following:
3155 calories, 396g protein (50%), 107g carbs (13%), 128g fat (36%) After being on this new diet for 3 weeks, my weight dropped to 185 lbs., and my 6 site skinfolds dropped 10 points, so I knew I was making progress. At 11 weeks out, I began using ripped fuel and energy reserve. At 10 weeks out, Roger made more diet modifications. I was doing cardio 3 times per week, and began posing 20-30 minutes per day 3 times per week working to hold each pose for 20-30 seconds. At 9 weeks out I increased my cardio to 5 days per week at 20 minutes per session.

Stage 3

Roger kept the diet the same until 7 weeks out, where my weight was at 178.5 and my 6-site skinfold total had dropped 6.4 points. At 7 weeks out, Roger decided we needed to accelerate the pace on my fat loss, so he changed my diet to be more carb-based. This made for a big caloric drop:

1844 calories, 264g protein (57 percent), 164g carbs (36 percent), 13g fat (7 percent)
I was much hungrier on this diet, but I knew it was working as I could see my progress. I increased my posing to 5 days a week working to hold each pose for a full minute for two sets of mandatory poses. I believe that posing can really make a huge difference in your condition and hardness. It is an area that I put much effort into when preparing for a contest.

Stage 4

At 5 weeks out my bodyweight was 172.5 and my 6-site skinfold total had dropped another 6.5 points. Roger and I knew I needed to be much leaner if I wanted to come in better condition than last year, so he sent me a new diet and supplement program, which was a killer. It was a three-day cycle diet (5 meals per day) with just protein and almost no carbs on the first day. Here is the breakdown for the first day: 1240 calories, 223g protein (72%), 16g carbs (7%), 28g fat (21%) The second day of the diet included the addition of 1 cup of vegetables with 3 of the meals, and the third day included a carb meal with oatmeal, a yam, a banana and a cup of vegetables as the 5th meal.

Supplements

6 GH Factor in AM and 6 in PM
4 Mass, 4 Ultra 40 per meal and 4 Lean Out with meals #1, 3 and 5 12 Muscularity and 1 Ultra C 20 minutes prior and again immediately following workout Creatine – 1 tsp. per meal

This diet was tough! But I had confidence in Roger and knew that following the diet would pay off. After two weeks on this diet, my 6-site skinfold total dropped 4.8 points and my bodyweight was at 164.25 lbs. I was pretty frustrated that I had not made more progress on this diet, as was Roger, so at 3 weeks out I sent Roger some pictures that my Dad took. He replied that I was already in better condition than last year and looked bigger! He said I should have mailed pictures much sooner. So that really restored my confidence and I knew I was right on track. At three weeks out, Roger modified the diet slightly by removing the lettuce and grapefruit and making a few other minor changes like reducing my creatine intake to 3 teaspoons daily instead of 5. I also began using the EPH 833/L-tyrosine/Energy Reserve stack three times daily. My bodyfat continued to drop consistently.

At nine days out from the show, I weighed 158.5 lbs. and my 6-site skinfold total had dropped another 3.6 points. I was pretty tired and burnt out at this point, but I knew I had to make the final big push for the show and was ready to give it all I had left. I was posing an hour per day at this point, doing 2 sets of mandatories holding each pose for a minute, and then another 3-4 sets of mandatories holding each pose for 30 seconds and going through my 90 second posing routine 2-3 times. One trick I found with posing was to split it up into 2-3 sessions per day. I would pose first thing in the morning before going to the gym (I trained abs and glutes each morning), and then in the afternoon before weight training and sometimes when I got home from training. Roger told me to reduce my cardio at this point to 3 high intensity 20-minute interval sessions per week. All the extra posing really tightened me up and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Roger gave me a new diet and plan for the last week before the show. It consisted of moderate carbs and protein Sunday through Tuesday, higher carbs Wednesday and Thursday, and high protein and lower carbs Friday and Saturday. Roger explained that the higher carbs on Wednesday and Thursday would help fill out my muscles, while the high protein Friday and Saturday would make me very hard. All I can say is, he was exactly right and the plan worked wonderfully!

My best friend Bill Deane and I left for Wilmington Friday morning. Bill was competing also and had been working with Roger. We both knew we were in the best condition of our lives thanks to Roger’s great help and advice.

I ended up weighing 149.5 at the show and took second place in the men’s junior lightweight division. Although this is the lightest bodyweight at which I have ever competed, my condition was unparalleled from ever before. The competitor who beat me won the overall Mr. Wilmington title as well as the overall in the men’s junior division. I was very pleased with my placing.

Stay Lean in the Off-Season

On to the Fall Competitions...
If there is one thing I learned from all this it is to STAY LEAN IN THE OFFSEASON! You really have to stay disciplined all year and keep your focus. If you allow yourself to get fat, it is really hard to improve from one show to the next because you have to lose so much weight to get into contest shape. So after the May show, I decided that I was going to stay lean and be very strict on the diet. I would continue to get skinfolds taken every two weeks and let Roger tweak my diet.

Staying Lean Pays Off!
This plan worked great, and I made great gains over the next four months, increasing my lean bodyweight while staying lean. I discussed competing in 2 competitions in the fall with Roger and he told me to go for it! At 11 weeks out from the first show, I weighed 176.25, but my 6 site skinfold total was a full 13 points lower than at 10 weeks out from the May show. Although my bodyweight was lower from 185 lbs. at 10 weeks out from the May show, I had stayed lean and added mostly muscle, which made this precontest cycle so much easier.

Stage 1

For the first part of this precontest prep, Roger kept me on a high-protein diet moderate in carbs and low in fat. My carb sources came from yams, oatmeal and brown rice, while protein sources included chicken, egg whites and lean beef. I continued using Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos, which have become a mainstay in my supplement program. I also used Lean Out and Ultra-C. Roger gradually lowered calories but kept the carbs in the diet all the way until 7 weeks out.
At 9/1/98, my diet and supplement program looked like this:
SuperPak
Mass 4/meal
Ultra 40 4/meal
Lean Out (3 w/meal 1, 3 pre-training, 3 w/meal 6)
Ultra C 1/post training
Muscle Mass (10 post training)
Total Calories: 2845
Protein: 323 grams
Carbs: 240 grams
Fat: 66 grams
Ratio of Food Groups
Carbs = 34%
Protein = 45%
Fat = 21%
Meal #1
10 egg whites w/salsa
1 tbs Flax
½ cup oatmeal
Meal #2
6 oz chicken
¾ cup cooked brown rice
1 cup green beans
Meal #3
6 oz ground round
6 oz yam
1 cup green beans
Meal #4
6 oz chicken
6 oz yam
1 cup green beans
Meal #5
6 oz chicken
¾ cup cooked brown rice
1 cup green beans
Meal #6
10 egg whites w/salsa
½ cup oatmeal

Stage 2
At about 7 weeks out, we switched over to a low-carb diet. After being on a carb-based diet for several months, my body responded remarkably when we removed the carbs, and my 9 site skinfold total dropped 8.2 points in two weeks! At 5 weeks out, Roger switched me back to a carb-based diet for a couple of weeks to prepare for the final stage.

From 7 to 5 weeks out I followed this diet which really worked!
Ultra 40 4/meal
1 EPH, 1 Ultra C, 4 Lean Out - 30 minutes prior to meals #1, 2, 4 (or training) 3 Muscularity/meal
Total Calories: 2380 – non carb meal days
3235 – carb meal days
Protein: 341 grams
Carbs: 75 grams
Fat: 76 grams
Ratio of Food Groups
Carbs = 13%
Protein = 58%
Fat = 29%
Meal #1 5 oz lean beef
6 egg whites, 2 yolks w/salsa
½ grapfruit or 4 large strawberries
Meal #2 6 oz chicken
3 egg whites
½ cup green beans
1 tbs Flax
Meal #3 8 oz chicken
4 cups salad
1 tbs safflower oil, 2 tbs vinegar
Meal #4 6 oz chicken
3 egg whites, 1 whole egg
Meal #5
7 oz lean beef
2 cups green beans
Meal #6 (Monday/Thursday only) 1.5 cups oatmeal (precooked)
10 oz yam (postcooked)
4 oz banana 1 tbs butter
Stage 3
For the final 2 weeks, Roger put me back on a low-carb diet, and once again, my bodyfat dropped rapidly. At this point, we switched to fish, using tuna and cod rather than chicken for a couple of my meals. I continued on this diet until the last week before the first show, when Roger actually added calories to the diet! I got more skinfolds taken 2 days before the first show and my 9 site skinfold total was 2 points lower than 2 days before the May show, but my bodyweight was 5.5 lbs. heavier!
I was extremely pleased to have made this kind of progress in only a few months.
SuperPak
Mass 4/meal Ultra 40 4/meal
1 EPH, 1 Ultra C, 1 vivarin – 30 minutes prior to meals #1, 2, 4 (or training) 3 Muscularity/meal and 2 lean out/meal
Total Calories: 2309
Protein: 287 grams
Carbs: 244 grams
Fat: 19 grams
Ratio of Food Groups
Carbs = 42%
Protein = 50%
Fat = 8%
Meal #1
8 egg whites
2 servings grits
Meal #2
5 oz chicken
1 cup green beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
Meal #3 5 oz chicken
1 cup green beans
¾ cup cooked brown rice
Meal #4 5 oz chicken
1 cup green beans
4 oz yam
Meal #5 – following training
5 oz chicken
1 cup green beans
8 oz yam
Meal #6 8 egg whites
1 serving grits

Show Time!

The last two days before the show we cut out the carbs, Roger had me eating 8 oz. lean (92-93%) beef and half a grapefruit at each of my six meals. That sure tasted good and believe it or not it really filled me out. The first fall show was the Mountaineer and I placed second in the junior middleweight division, losing to the overall winner.

The second show, Quincy Robert’s Elite Muscle Classic, was the following week. Roger kept the diet the same, but we tried some different techniques with creatine and muscularity aminos, which really tightened me up even more.

Follow this diet Thursday, Friday, and Saturday On Thursday night, replace meal #6 w/ carb meal
Total Calories: 3709
Protein: 392 grams
Carbs: 56 grams
Fat: 206 grams
Meal #1 8 oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit
Meal #2
8 oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit
Meal #3
8oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit
Meal #4
8 oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit
Meal #5
8 oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit
Meal #6 8 oz 93% lean beef
½ grapefruit

For the week before my second show, we kept my diet the same, but added teaspoon of flax oil and 4 mass and Ultra 40 between meals Monday/Tuesday. Wednesday-Saturday, we added 8 Muscularity/1tsp Creatine Monohydrate 30 minutes prior to each meal. I couldn’t believe it when Roger told me to eat 4 slices of pizza Saturday morning meal before the contest!

I ended up winning my class in the junior division and also the overall title! I was really on cloud nine and could not believe it! It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. All the work had really paid off and the head judge gave me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received, telling me that I was the hardest in the whole show! It was truly a fantastic feeling.

I could not have done these shows without the support from my family, girlfriend Laura, and best friend Bill and most importantly without the guidance of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am also extremely thankful and grateful to Roger and Sandy for all their great help and advice. Even though I live far away from them, they still help me and have become two of my good friends. They are a true asset and gift to bodybuilding. I used a lot of Beverly International supplements for my contest preparations, but I believe they made a huge difference and know I could not have achieved my condition without them. They are truly the best supplements I have ever used.

In closing, many thanks again to Roger and Sandy. Bodybuilding is a great sport, one I plan to continue for the rest of my life! Good luck to you and I hope the information here will help you prepare for your next show!

A few tips

As I said previously, posing can really make a difference in your hardness and muscle separation. One thing I do is to use a stopwatch and time each pose, working to hold each for a full minute. The stopwatch keeps you from cheating. I rest 15 seconds between each pose, and then hit the next one. I would do two sets of one-minute poses in the morning. In the evenings, I would hold each pose for 30 seconds doing about 3 total sets.

High intensity cardio is another thing that can make a difference. I would do the bike and stepper and go hard for one minute and easy for the next. The thing I watch is my heart rate, and I work to get it up to 65-75% of my max. You will find that you do not have to spend as much time doing cardio if you increase your intensity in this manner.

A good way to really tighten up your glutes and hams is to use your time in the tanning bed if you tan. I would squeeze my glutes and hams for 10 seconds (1 rep) and then rest for a couple of seconds and then do another squeeze for 10 seconds, etc. I worked up to 40 reps of this technique during each tanning session.

One thing I started doing just this year is keeping my bodybuilding information in a spreadsheet on the computer. I put my diet, skinfolds, and training information in the spreadsheet. Each week, I look through my training journal and log the best set I did with a given weight on the exercises I did the past week, and log it into the spreadsheet. I can see at a glance if I’m getting stronger (or keeping my strength when preparing for a show). By also logging the diet and skinfolds, Roger and I can determine if the diet is working. I’ve found the spreadsheet to be an invaluable tool in monitoring my progress and forcing me to challenge myself with heavier weights.


 


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