My 1997 NPC Bodybuilding Nationals

Contest Prep ripped lowest possible body fat level

By: Brent Jones
Bodybuilding World
Winter 1997

As with most seasoned competitors, I was confident in my ability to come into any contest in my very best condition. In 1996, I placed 5th at the Nationals and I had 2 national titles under my belt. From my past experience, I figured I knew everything there was to know about contest training and diet. Well, as I found out, I didn’t know everything. In fact, it took less than 30 minutes talking with Roger for me to realize I had a lot more to learn about contest preparation.

I’ve known Roger and Sandy casually for a number of years. I even guest posed at their KY Bodybuilding Championships, just a month after competing in the 1995 Jr. Nationals as a middleweight. But, it wasn’t until this past spring that I asked them for help. I wanted to compete in the lightweight class of both the ’97 NPC USA in July and the ’97 NPC Nationals in Dallas in late October.

What I expected was a refreshed approach to contest preparation, information integrity, and the advantage of Roger’s knowledge and expertise. I also knew my association with Roger and Sandy would produce accurate records of my progress.

I first visited the Beverly International Nutrition Center eight weeks out from the USA when I weighed 187 pounds at 13 percent body-fat. At this point it became obvious I wasn’t going to be in contest shape by July. Rather than risk losing too much muscle, I decided to skip the USA and focus all my efforts on making it to the Nationals in Dallas in the best condition of my life.

Previous contest prep

In previous years my contest preparation consisted of cutting calories, heavy cardio/aerobics, and a 4 day split workout. Instead of having my bodyfat composition tested, I relied on the mirror and an educated guess as to my condition.

For ‘97 the strategies changed. We decided I should make weight early and focus on being very conditioned. I knew making the 154 ½ lbs. weight class would be a challenge. I also knew I had to be ripped, at the lowest possible bodyfat level with the maximum muscle mass within my weight class.

Implementing these strategies took several stages. First Roger designed a diet for me which changed the composition of food I was eating, raising my calorie intake. At this time Roger didn’t recommend many supplements. I couldn’t load up on aminos because of my weight class limit, so I just used a Super Pak multi-vitamin/mineral and Ultra C.

I made regular visits to Roger and Sandy’s Beverly International Nutrition Center. During each visit my diet was tweaked. In July my training was modified to add exercises to improve weak body parts, and I started practice posing.

At 8 weeks out my diet was changed to a lower carb/higher protein ratio. This is when I really started to notice results. I added 20 minutes of cardio in the morning Monday through Friday. My supplements were Energy Reserve (L-Carnitine), Super Pak, Ultra C, and the ECA stack (Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin) with 4 a.m. GH Activator (L-Tyrosine) to enhance the effects of the ECA stack. My bodyfat dropped to 6.7 percent with lean muscle mass of 158 lbs.

Two weeks later, at 6 weeks out, my diet was changed to very low carbs to induce more fat loss while keeping muscle mass. I increased my cardio to 30 minutes per day Monday through Saturday. My supplements were Muscle Mass (BCAA’s), Flax Oil, Energy Reserve, Lean Out, Super Pak and Ultra C. My bodyfat dropped to 6.3% with 156 lbs. lean muscle mass at a weight of 166 lbs.

At 3 weeks out I knew there would be a push to make weight. Roger actually added carbs and lowered my protein intake. He made these changes to my diet to induce thyroid response and rapid fat loss. We also added 20 minutes of cardio in the evening. My bodyfat continued to drop to 5.9% at a bodyweight of 164.

A week before the Nationals my bodyfat was 5.3% with bodyweight at 160 lbs. Roger made further modifications to my diet and my water management started. I kept my water intake high until Thursday. On Tues-day through Friday I loaded potassium and cut sodium. On Thursday I limited my water intake up to the weigh-in.

Slightly concerned about making weight I stepped on the scales as soon as I reached my hotel room. Much to my surprise I made it at 154 lbs.

Roger gave me a new, step-by-step diet for the day of the show. It actually started with a 1 cup serving of oatmeal and a banana after weigh-in. I kept my water intake low, practiced my posing and rested to let glycogen load into my muscles. Showdown!

Brent Jones side chest pose

Brent uses cycle training as part of his training. At the contest pre-judging was tough, but I felt good both physically and mentally.
Although I didn’t win, I did obtain my all time best condition

Brent’s Pre-Contest Diet
One Week Out
Meal 1:
6 egg whites / 1 yolk
1 serving Cream of Rice
Meal 2:
5-ounce lean meat (beef, chicken, turkey, fish)
1 cup vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
half cup of rice
Meal 3:
5-ounce lean meat
1 cup Vegetables
3-ounce baked potato
Meal 4:
4-ounce lean meat (beef, chicken, turkey, fish)
1 cup vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
3-ounce baked potato
Meal 5:
4-ounce lean meat
half serving of Cream of Rice

Note: Wednesday and Thursday I changed the eggs to 3-ounce of chicken to cut a little more sodium.

Brent’s Diet
Day of Show (pre-judging)
Meal 1:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Sweet potato
5 Muscle Mass
Meal 2:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Sweet potato
5 Muscle Mass
Meal 3:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Baked potato or yam
5 Muscle Mass
Meal 4:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Bake. potato or yam
5 Muscle Mass
Meal 5:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Baked potato or yam
5 Muscle Mass
Meal 6:
3-ounce Steak
4-ounce Bake potato or yam
5 Muscle Mass

© Beverly InternationalTo top