The last time I stepped on the stage in a bodybuilding contest was in October ’03. I thought it was going to be my last contest. Of course, I wasn’t giving up bodybuilding, I just didn’t think I wanted to compete again. I’d continue to train and try to improve my physique. But working at Beverly International and constantly seeing new and veteran competitors make improvements from contest to contest, I started to get the itch again.
Fast forward to March of ’06. We had just finished a great weekend at the Arnold Classic and then followed it two weeks later with the hugely successful Northern Kentucky competition. Working at both these shows and seeing everyone was getting me anxious to get on stage again. The next big show in our area would be the NPC Indianapolis in June. I knew a lot of people who were planning to compete there, and decided I might as well jump on stage again too. By the time I made the commitment there were only eight weeks left to get ready. With no time to waste, I had to get serious. Dieting was going to be extra tough with such a short time to get ready.
I jumped in full bore on the diet and the carb-depletion quickly had an impact on my moods. Just ask anyone I worked with during the diet! Luckily, I had the luxury of living on my own this time around, so I kept the cupboard clear of anything that wasn’t supposed to be on my diet. In order to keep my mind off of food, I had to keep myself occupied. Usually that meant reading or practicing my guitar. Watching TV wasn’t a good idea, as there are too many commercials for fast food. While at work, it was pretty easy to keep myself occupied. Things can get pretty hectic at times here at BI. The phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to place orders, deliveries coming to our warehouse that need to be unloaded immediately, and processing and packing over 100 orders a day. But I have to admit this added stress on top of the fact that I was starving, but I have a job to do here.
I get paid to work, not sit around and talk about bodybuilding or supplements, unless it is with our clients.
I’d been keeping my body fat in check since my last show, so I was already in good shape to begin with. My diet needed to have some adjustments made since I typically tend to go toward a more “old school” off-season diet approach with a lot of dairy, whole eggs, and red meat. I do keep the carbs relatively low year round. This type of eating is great for growth, but I needed to be as shredded as possible for this show. The first thing to go was the dairy, more specifically, whole milk. I also took out a couple of the egg yolks from my breakfast. Now my diet was starting to resemble a traditional BI diet.
Here are my meals from eight to six weeks: You will notice that I really prioritized my supplement intake and only took what I thought was absolutely essential for each phase of my diet. This was because I now had a mortgage and all the other bills to go along with home ownership and preparing for a contest can be expensive. People may think that just because I work at BI I get my supplements for free. I pay for them just like everyone else (and this includes some big names). You’ll notice I added more supplements as I got closer to the show, as they became critical to holding on to my muscle.
Meals from eight weeks out
Meal 1: 8 oz. 90% lean beef; 2 whole eggs, 4 whites; ½ grapefruit or an orange
Meal 2: 3 scoops Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein
Meal 3: 10-12 oz. chicken; one piece of fruit
Meal 4: (same as 2)
Meal 5: 2 cans tuna; about a cup of peach slices
Meal 6: (same as 2 and 4)
Supplements:Super Pak at meal 1; 2 Lean Out with each meal; 6 Ultra 40 with each meal; 3 7-Keto twice a day; and 4 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs during training.
After two weeks on the above plan with virtually no carbs except for the small amount of fruit I ate, I added a little more food and increased my supplement intake. I felt like I could add in some carbs at this point, and they helped tremendously. I immediately noticed I was fuller and more vascular (and a little less moody!) I wouldn’t have them for long though, since my goal was to be shredded on contest day. Most people will call us and say they want to be as big as possible on stage, or weigh a certain amount or percentage on contest day. I will tell you this; the judges do not care what your weight or body fat percentage is. They will never ask you that while they are judging you. What matters at the show is your conditioning. A lot of competitors will sacrifice conditioning for size. This usually costs them a couple placings. Drop your ego when you diet, and get as shredded as possible for your show! You will look much better (and bigger) on stage if you are ripped.
Some competitors blow up in the off-season, 40 to 50 pounds above their competition weight, for the sake of looking big. This means you have to diet that much harder to get in shape. It’s a tremendous stress on your body, as well as mentally. I usually let my weight go up about 10% above my competition weight and keep my body fat at 7%. If my weight starts creeping above these levels I diet for a couple of weeks ’ off season or not. In the past, I had a problem with my legs holding most of my fat. This time my hams and glutes came in shredded. That had never happened before and I owe it to keeping myself in shape year round. This approach was extremely helpful in getting me in shape in such a short amount of time and I recommend it to any competitor.
Diet at Six Weeks Out
Meal 1: 8 oz. 92% lean beef; 2 whole eggs, 4 whites; ¾ cup oatmeal
Meal 2: 3 scoops UMP; 3 tbspn cream
Meal 3: 10-12 oz. chicken; 1 cup brown rice; 1 piece of fruit
Meal 4: (same as 2)
Meal 5: 2 cans tuna; one cup peach slices
Meal 6: (same as 2 and 4)
Note: The subtle supplement changes I made during this phase. Supplements: Super Pak; 3 Lean Out with each meal; 6 Muscularity with meals 1 and 3; 6 Ultra 40 with each meal; 3 7-Keto and 2 Energy Reserve twice a day; 25 Muscle Mass (BCAAs) during training.
Four weeks out I cut out the cream from the shakes. Three weeks out I switched to the Monday/Thursday carb-up meals. I also added 3 Mass to each meal and 4 Muscularity to each meal. This took me to 2 weeks out.
At 2 weeks, I added in 8 Muscle Synergy twice a day and 6 GH Factor in the morning and before bed. I was hoping this would add more vascularity, hardness and density to my muscles as well as get the last bits of fat from my lower body. I think it worked pretty well.
Deit 4 weeks out:
Meal 1: 6 egg whites; 8 oz. 96% beef; ½ grapefruit
The day of the show came and I stepped on stage, after an almost three year absence, in the best shape I could possibly be in. It felt great to be up there again. During pre-judging, I think I was initially overlooked by the judges. They started moving around the others in my class, but there I stood, still on the end. They called the first pose and everything changed. It was a front double biceps, and I could see the head judge pointing at me with a big grin on his face. He immediately moved me to the middle of the pack and went through the rest of the poses. They then went back and had us do three straight front double biceps poses. I’ve never heard of anything like that before at pre-judging.
After pre-judging, it was awesome to have total strangers come up to me and tell me I resembled Arnold up there.
The night show gave me some of the more memorable moments of the day. My posing music wasn’t played, and when the final placings were announced, the MC pronounced my name wrong (McGuire!?!) I didn’t let it bother me though, it was a great experience and I was happy to be on stage again, looking my absolute best. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I came in a close second in a very tough heavyweight class, and I had a great time getting back into competition again.
I switched my training for the show to almost all super sets for each bodypart. This helped me keep my intensity levels up as my energy levels decreased. I dropped the weight a little, increased the reps to 10-12, and made sure I was getting a full contraction with each rep. I think the supersets and peak contraction on every rep also helped to burn additional calories, keep me pumped during my workouts, and added more hardness to my muscles. Here is a sample weekly workout routine. I trained with a 2 on 1 off, 2 on 2 off cycle. It was usually Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Day 1: Shoulders and Calves Military Press super-setted with Rear Delt Raise (4 sets, 10-12 reps) I used about 90% of my 8 rep max for Military Press, usually about 185 lbs. Rear delts are hard to hit, so I would use a pretty light weight, 25 lbs., to really focus on them.
Side Lateral Raise super-setted with Upright Rows (4 sets, 10-12) I lightened the weights here too and just worked to get a really good pump in my shoulders.
Day 2: Chest and Triceps Incline Press super-setted with Dips (4 sets, 10-12 reps) I would use anywhere from 225 to 245 on Incline Bench Press and bodyweight for the Dips.
Bench Press super-setted with Incline or Flat DB Fly (4 sets, 10 -12) I used about 75% of my 8 rep max on Bench Press and did DB Flyes as heavy as I could manage. Any 2 Triceps exercises, super-setted (3 sets, 10-15 reps)
Day 3: Legs Squats (with heals raised on a 2x4) super-setted with Standing Calf Raise (4 sets, 10-12 reps) Squats were usually no heavier than 275 lbs. I used the 2 x 4 to really target the teardrop part of my quads. Be careful on this one and don’t go too heavy. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on your knees. The idea is to concentrate and focus the effort on your teardrops. You don’t need to lock out either.
Leg Extension super-setted with Leg Curl (4 sets, 10-15) Straight Leg Deadlifts (4 sets, 12) I’m looking for a stretch and don’t go heavier than 135 lbs.
Seated Calf Raise (4 sets, 12-15)
Day 4: Back and Biceps Lat Pulldowns super-setted with T-bar Rows (4 sets, 10-12) Barbell Rows super-setted with Pulley Rows (4 sets, 10-12) (I used separate handles for the pulley rows as this helped to get a really good contraction in my middle back) Hyperextensions (3 sets, 20) usually holding a 25-lb plate. Barbell Curl (4 sets, 10-12) I use a slightly less than shoulder-width grip. This really helps to get a good pump and keep my arms full. Any 2 other Biceps exercises (3 sets, 10-15) Forearms (I picked 2 exercises, 3 sets, 20 reps)
My main focus now will be to improve my shoulders and calves. I’ll use the "Double Whammy" program from BodyMuscle Journal vol #10, taking tips from both the shoulder and calf specialization programs listed in the article. The Double Whammy program is where you hit your weak bodypart with a primary workout, then again two days later with a "feeder" workout. (You can find it on our website at Double Whammy). I also intend to hit each muscle from a variety of angles by using a number of variations for each exercise. This is a technique I’ve rarely used in the past, so it should stimulate some new muscle growth as well.
My diet will go back to my traditional "old school" style of eating, with a four-week gaining phase, followed by a two-week hardening phase to keep my fat levels in check. This six-week cycle will fit perfectly with the six-week specialization training. Of course, for maximum growth, I will need the best nutrients I can get (but within my budget). I’ll take plenty of Ultra 40 (up to 50 a day), Ultra Size and Glutamine Select. Lean Out and 7-Keto Musclean will be essential for the two weeks I’m in the hardening phases, attacking fat from two different angles. Hopefully these changes to my training and diet will be enough to kick start some serious muscle growth, so maybe in another three years I can step on stage again with some more major improvements!
Name: Tim Mielke
Occupation: Client Fulfillment Dept., Beverly International
Education: Two years college
Family Status: Single
Current Residence: Wilder, KY
Gym: Dixie Fitness
Off Season Weight: 230-235
Contest Weight: 205-207
Favorite Cheat Food: Just about anything that doesn’t belong on a contest diet
Favorite Meal: Pizza or Sushi
Favorite Supplements (and why): Muscle Mass for the pump it gives me during training and the hardness it adds to my physique. Lean Out because it helps me to utilize stored fat for energy, and get in my best shape without any stimulants.
In my CD Player: Motley Crue, The Cure, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra
Other Interests: Drawing, painting, reading, practicing my guitar
Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Words to Live by: “If you wanna live life on your own terms. You gotta be willing to crash and burn.” –Motley Crue
Most Inspiring Words: “All things are possible with God” (Luke 1:37)