No "Payne" No Gain

How to Shape-Up for a contest

By: David Payne
Magazine Summer 1997

I knew the next three and a half months of my life would be devoted to preparing for the 1997 Show Me Naturals and Caveman bodybuilding competitions. I also knew what to expect. I began competing in 1992, and had competed 4 times. I didn’t place in my first two shows, and got a third and a fifth in my third and fourth competitions. I was hoping to improve my placings for the 1997 season.

At 10 weeks out from the show, I started my pre-contest diet, which totaled 1910 calories, with 295 grams of protein, 105 grams of carbohydrates, and 27 grams of fat. My weight dropped rapidly the first couple of weeks from 186 to 178. Every third day, I ate a pasta meal with bread sticks which tasted good at the time, but which I later learned was not the right thing to do.

Dave posing after pre-judging
David Payne outside the "Show Me Naturals"

As a computer programmer, I have access to the World Wide Web through my job. It was there I ran across one of the most useful Web pages I have ever found. It was called Ron s Fitness Corner, and it was from this Web page I found all kinds of useful information about pre-contest dieting. In addition, I found out about Roger and Sandy Riedinger, who had helped numerous people on this page with their pre-contest diets.

I had been dieting for four weeks and although I had made progress, I knew I needed to get in much better shape, so I went out on a limb and sent Roger an e-mail describing my diet, and asked him for some suggestions on what I could do to improve it. That was one of the most important e-mails I have ever sent.

Roger got back with me in a few days, and I was really surprised at his suggestions. The major change he suggested was to alter two of my meals to consist of 8-10 oz of lean red meat. I had never included red meat in any of my previous precontest diets, but I added it to my diet. The other changes Roger suggested were to drop the spaghetti meal I had been eating every three days, and to add in Ultra 40 liver tablets and Mass Aminos with each meal, and a Super Pack and a tablespoon of Flax Oil per day. Finally, Roger recommended that I wean myself off of the Met-Rx that I was using. These changes bumped up the fat intake in my diet considerably while lowering my carbohydrates to around 60 grams a day. I had complete confidence in Roger and decided to do exactly what he said.

After a week on this diet, I dropped 5 pounds bringing my weight to 173. I was a little worried about losing too much weight, but Roger assured me that this was normal and I was definitely on the right track. At five weeks out, I really began to make some progress, and I could see how lowering my carbohydrates and bumping the fat intake up in my diet made a real difference. Roger was having me burn 1500 calories a week through cardio, which I did with 20 minute sessions on the treadmill 5 days a week.I was using Ripped Fuel by Twinlab and Energy Reserve which I took on an empty stomach three times a day. I made sure to get my heart rate up to 125-130 beats a minute on the treadmill, which I think made a real difference. At 5 weeks out, I got a set of skin folds done which I sent to Roger along which some pictures that my training partner Jim had taken of me.

At 4 weeks out

Roger sent me a new diet which totaled 2400 calories. It amazed me, I was eating more than when I started dieting at 10 weeks out, yet I was getting leaner by the day. One thing I found I d been doing wrong was to use peas, carrots, and corn as vegetable sources. Roger instructed me to use broccoli instead. The new diet allowed me two carbohydrate meals per week, consisting of a sweet potato, a cup of oatmeal, a half cup of brown rice, a banana, and a cup of broccoli. I ate the carbohydrate meal on Tuesdays and Saturdays as my last meal. I also continued to eat two servings of red meat per day except on my carbohydrate meal days, when I only ate one serving. Finally, Roger added in 4 Muscularity Aminos with each meal to help prevent muscle loss.

At 2 weeks out, I was in the best shape I had ever been in. I got another set of skin folds done, and my body fat had dropped 6.5% in just three weeks! I sent Roger and Sandy a new set of pictures and they couldn’t believe how much my condition had improved.

The final week before my first contest Roger had me up my water intake to a minimum of 2 gallons per day, Sunday through Wednesday. Wednesday I began taking potassium very other hour, and started loading creatine. Thursday and Friday, I cut my water intake to a gallon a day per Roger’s instructions, and began taking potassium every hour. Also starting Thursday, Roger had me cut the tuna and egg whites from my diet and substitute red meat and fresh chicken to eliminate sodium. Saturday morning before the contest, I ate 6 oz. of lean red meat when I got up, and later 3 pancakes with butter and syrup along with 2 whole eggs. I ended up winning the middleweight division at the Show Me Naturals contest along with best poser honors. It was my first contest win and I was ecstatic, as were Roger and Sandy when I told them.

Roger had me go off the diet Sunday after the show. My second show was three weeks away. Roger instructed me going off the diet would help my metabolism. The week after the Show Me contest I did 3000 calories worth of cardiovascular work consisting of morning treadmill or stepper sessions, and I also ran a mile each evening on the treadmill. But, I was was bloated for most of the week from my Sunday binge. Amazingly, by the weekend my condition was already better than the previous week at the Show Me Contest! Roger’s advice had worked to the tee. At 2 weeks out from the Caveman contest, I cut my cardiovascular work back to the normal 1500 calories. The final week before the Caveman, Roger had me cut out all cardiovascular work and to add in carbohydrates slowly throughout the week.

I had a final set of skin folds done the Friday before the show, and the sum of all six of my skin folds totaled 23, which was even better than I could have hoped. I ended up winning my novice class at the Caveman. I was very happy with my two first place wins in two shows, and was thankful to the Lord for giving me my drive and discipline which kept me focused on my goals, and also to Roger and Sandy, who helped me tremendously and who I give much of the credit for my wins.

I really take my hat off to Roger and Sandy. They were there for me every step of the way, whether it was shipping me supplements right away, or answering my endless questions. Believe it or not, we communicated primarily through email, which worked very well. I give them both the credit for getting me in the best condition I ’ve ever been in. If you have the drive, determination, and discipline, Roger and Sandy can help you reach your goals.

I plan to continue working with them and look forward to some fantastic off season gains with their guidance.

I was thankful to the Lord for giving me my drive and discipline, also to Roger and Sandy who helped me tremendously and who I give much of the credit for my wins..

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