Bodybuilding Contest Prep week 16

Contest Countdown Starting at 16 weeks out

By: Roger and Sandy Riedinger
Beverly Nutrition Center

Winter 1997

Contest Countdown

We’re writing this article to help you prepare for your first or next bodybuilding competition. Since the 1998 Northern Kentucky Championship is a contest designed for first time competitors or those peaking for a later show, let’s make this your first show of the year. If you count backwards from March 21, you’ll find that 16 weeks out is the weekend following Thanksgiving, so let’s start your diet December 1. In this article we are going to provide you with the actual diets that successful competitors followed as they prepared for the Northern Kentucky Championship.

Phase 1: 16 weeks out to 8 weeks out

Diet: Let’s begin by taking a few things for granted. First, you have been training properly and have already started regulating your diet by eliminating junk foods, sugar, bread, high carbohydrate drinks, regular soft drinks and are cutting down on high lactose milk products. Start reading labels and if there is more than 5 grams of sugar per serving drop it from your diet.

With sixteen weeks to go, it’s time to start seriously. The goal is to maintain bodyweight, unless you are way out of shape, but to slowly lose bodyfat while actually adding lean tissue from your training, improved diet and supplements. One of the mistakes we see most often is a competitor makes an instant calorie drop when he starts his diet. This causes the loss of a lot of muscle tissue right at the outset of the diet. Your goal is to add calories and nutrient density through your diet and supplements at the sixteen weeks out point.

Here are some of the actual diets we’ve used with various competitors during Phase One of their diet:

James Johnson, 1997 NPC Jr. National BW Champ followed this meal plan 16 weeks out from his first bodybuilding contest, the 1996 Northern Kentucky Championship where he won the overall title.
Supplements: Super Pack, Mass Amino Tablets: 6 / meal, Ultra 40 Liver 6 / meal, Flaxseed Oil 2 tablespoon / daily

Phase 1 Diet
Meal #1
6 egg whites + 2 whole eggs
2 servings oatmeal / cream of rice / or cream of wheat
1 orange or other fruit
Meal #2
6–8 ounces lean meat ( chicken / turkey / fish, lean ground beef)
1 medium sweet potato, 1 apple
Meal #3
6–8 ounces lean meat
1 cup of rice
1 cup vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
Meal #4
6–8 ounces lean meat
1 six oz. baked potato or yam or ½ cup rice
1 piece fruit
1 cup vegetables
Meal #5
6 egg whites + 2 whole eggs
1 serving oatmeal

*James sometimes substituted a protein drink for any meal where it was difficult to eat a prepared meal:3 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 ounce heavy cream, 1 whole egg, 9 strawberries, 12 ounces water

Bill Hooks has won his class in the Novice division at the Northern Kentucky the past two years. In 1997 he moved up to 2nd in the Open Division as well. Bill, at a starting weight of 210 lb., had to follow a different dietary approach than James since he was attending school and had to rely on Muscle Provider as a portable meal. His diet works well for those who are on the run and have little time to prepare or eat food meals. Jeff Storch, who is featured elsewhere in this issue follows a similar plan.

Bill’s 4000 calorie diet at 16 weeks out is based on these percentages of nutrients – Protein: 54%, Carbohydrates: 20%, Fat: 26%.

Supplements: Super Pak, Flaxseed Oil: 1 tablespoon daily, Mass: 4 per meal, Ultra 40: 4 per meal

Meal #1
2 whole eggs + 6 egg whites
4 oz. lean beef or chicken
1 ounces oatmeal
1 grapefruit
Meal #2
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 oz. (2 tablespoons) heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon Flax Oil)
1 egg
6 strawberries
12 oz. water
Meal #3
8 – 12 ounces steak
1 serving oatmeal or small sweet potato or ½ cup brown rice
1 cup green beans
Meal #4
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 oz. (2 tablespoons) heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon Flax Oil)
1 egg
6 strawberries
12 oz. water
Meal #5
8 –12 ounces turkey breast, chicken breast or lean beef
2 cups vegetables or 1 piece fruit
Meal #6
6 egg whites, 2 yolks
omelet vegetables

* oz. = ounce(s)

Tracy Beck ham at 12 weeks: We decided Tracy needed to improve her muscle density at this point and restructured her diet to include more protein and fat, less crabs, and a high Carb meal every third day.

Tracy 12 week plan
Supplements: Super Pak, Ultra 40 5 / meal, Flaxseed Oil 1 tablespoon daily.
Meal #1
4 egg whites – 1 yolk
3 Oz. chicken, turkey, or tuna
6 strawberries or 1 orange
Meal #2
Protein drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider
mixed with 1 whole egg, 12 Oz. ice water,
6 frozen strawberries and ½ frozen banana
Meal #3
1 ½ cups salad containing choice of salad
vegetables w/ 2 tablespoons oil +1 tablespoon vinegar,
6 – 8 ounces lean protein (lean beef,
chicken breast or turkey or fish)
Meal #4
4 ounces lean beef or 6 – 8 Oz. chicken breast or turkey or fish
2 egg whites
1 small sweet potato
Meal #5
6 – 8 Oz. chicken, turkey breast, or fish
1 cup vegetables

*Every 3rd day Tracy ate the following meal in addition to her regular meals: 1 cup rice, 1 small sweet potato, 1 small banana, 1 cup vegetables with 1 tablespoon oil, butter, or margarine.

Phase One Cardio

We encourage you to keep cardio at a minimum during your early contest preparation period. If you do too much cardio too soon, your body will adapt and you have no where to go but to increase your cardio even more. Soon there’s not enough time or energy in the day to do justice to your training. We do recommend 15 – 20 minutes of high intensity cardio three days per week during this phase. Remember your goal during the first four weeks of dieting is to improve your body composition while maintaining your weight. Research has shown that high intensity cardio has a greater positive effect on body composition than low intensity (less than 75% maximum heart rate) cardio. Each week attempt to burn more calories in the same amount of time. This is an easy gauge to make sure you are improving. The way you do this is walk faster on the treadmill at a higher angle or increase the level on the Lifecycle or stepper. If the cardio equipment you’re using gives you a calorie readout, it’s simple to try to break your record each week.

Phase One Training

At sixteen weeks you should begin to up the intensity of your training and start paying special attention to the quality of your physique. The lateral delts, serratus, hamstring and glutes are areas that can make the difference between a "winning" physique and an also ran.

We recommend a four on, one day off split at this point. This will allow you to recuperate from each session. There are many variations but training each bodypart only one day a week precontest may be too little and training on a three day on, one day off seems to cause one to overtrain too early in the precontest phase. As far as bodypart splits we’ve seen and done them all personally and with our clients. We suggest that you choose the split that seems right for you. Just make sure you train your weak parts early in the cycle.

Sets and reps are also a very individual matter, but about 10 really hard work sets per larger bodypart and six sets per smaller part should be about right. Remember you’re adding muscle during this phase so don’t start dropping the weight and trying to do more reps.You should begin to shorten your rest between sets. Start getting focused and do your next set as soon as you have recovered adequately from the previous one.

Phase One Posing

Begin a structured program to practice your poses. Find the best practice lighting, similar to stage lighting. At this time you should practice the facings and mandatories 15 – 20 minutes two or three days per week. Practice holding the poses for 10 seconds each. Remember to start each pose from the feet up – make sure you flex your legs. Contest Countdown Workshop

  • Hit your best poses
  • Resist moving from the best lighting, this may not be at the front of the stage
  • Try to highlight your strong points against your competition’s weakness
  • Catch the judges’ eye with your poise and control

For more contest prep articles, we suggest the following:

Men’s Physique diet 12 weeks out
Macronutrient breakdown was approximately 50-60% protein, 30-40% complex carbohydrates, and 10% or less fats

12-week program for aspiring figure competitor
Your Fit Figure: Here’s How to Guide! Training & Nutrition is key in acquiring the competitive look

4-Day per Week Workout
You can easily complete in 60 minutes or less per day

Female bodybuilder to Ms Kentucky debut in Physique
Women’s Physique and My Return to Competition

I keep consistent is hitting every body part once per week and then recapping upper body and lower body.