During Phase (I) I used a lot of power movements in my training. My workouts were designed to increase strength and muscle mass. My nutrition and supplements were designed with strength and size in mind. See NNN Volume 11, # 3 for details. You can also find it on bodybuildingworld.com/vol11_3/garage_gladiator.html.
I start Phase (II) at about 12 weeks out from my main show. Even during Phase (II) my training is designed to build muscle. I rely on diet and cardio to reduce my bodyfat levels. And unfortunately, Phase (II) dieting is pretty strict. Let’s get right into it.
As I mentioned in my previous article my nutrition program followed the Beverly Method booklet almost exactly. I started the Contest Countdown Program at 12 weeks out from my main show, instead of the recommended eight. The reason I did this is that I had scheduled a couple of warm-up shows prior to the Midwest States so I was giving myself 8 weeks before my first scheduled show. The only other change to the listed diet in the Beverly Method was that I increased the recommended supplement program. Look, I’ve been using Beverly supplements for more than a decade and I know how they work for me and what potencies I need for best results.
4 scoops Glutamine Select and 20 Muscle Mass – this is my favorite all-time training supplement secret. (If I trained twice within a day, I divided this in half taking 2 scoops Glutamine Select and 10 Muscle Mass for each workout.) 16 more Muscle Synergy before training. Yes, I know 32 Muscle Synergy per day seems like a lot. And you go through a bottle nearly every week. But, it has done more for me precontest – holding muscle during very strict dieting –1 than any supplement ever. I consider the cost as an investment in my competition success.
My Phase (II) nutrition program (direct from the Beverly Method, pg 17). I followed this diet for four weeks. In Phase (III) I’ll give you the exact program I followed during the final four weeks leading to my first show, and then for four additional weeks leading to my main show, the Midwest States Natural.
Meal 1: eight ounces 96% lean beef; one whole egg and three egg whites; one grapefruit.
Meal 2: Protein Drink: two scoops Ultra Size; one tablespoon flax oil or two tablespoons heavy cream; 16-ounces water.
Meal 3: eight ounces chicken or turkey breast; four cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, etc.), three tablespoons Newman’s Own’ dressing.
Meal 4: Protein Drink: two scoops Muscle Provider; one tablespoon flax oil, or two tablespoons of heavy cream; 16-ounces water
Meal 5: ten ounces chicken breast, turkey or very lean steak; two cups low carb vegetables or salad.
Meal 6: nine egg whites; 1 cup omelet vegetables.
Carb Load Meal: On Monday and Thursday I had the carb load meal in place of meal six. I ate it right before bed. Here’s what I ate: One and one-half cups oatmeal (measure your oatmeal before you cook it – once you cook it, it’ll be nearly three cups), a ten-ounce sweet potato, a large banana, and one cup of low carb vegetables. I’d also add one tablespoon of flax oil or regular butter to prolong the positive effects of the carb up meal and stabilize my blood sugar through the night.
Now that you know my diet, let’s talk training. I still focus on lifting heavy but do more exercises for each muscle group than I did in Phase (I). I still keep the reps fairly low but not as low as in Phase (I). Movements were performed explosively (but controlled) on the way up... I slowed the tempo on the downward portion of the movement.
Here is how I arranged my workouts for this phase.
Phase II Training
CYCLE #1 – 3 on, 1 off
Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Tri
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back/Bi/Rear Dealt
Day 4: Off
CYCLE #2 – 6 on, 1 off
Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Tri/Bi
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back/Bi/Rear Delt
Day 4: Chest/Shoulders/Tri
Day 5: Legs
Day 6: Back/Bi/Rear Delt
Day 7: Off
CYCLE #3 – 3 on, no days off; then I start right back with Cycle #1 again
Chest/Shoulders/Tri/Bi Legs Back/Bi/Rear Delt
NOTICE biceps are trained on back day and then again after every off day. As I told you in part one, I was on a mission to improve my biceps this time around.
On weekdays, I did my chest or back workout at noon (on my lunch hour) and then did the rest of the bodyparts scheduled for that day about 8:00 p.m. On weekends, regardless of the bodyparts worked, I did them all in one workout.
I trained calves every other day (various sets/reps, standing and seated) and abs every day/hard one day, light the next (combination of roman chair, cable crunches, and regular sit ups/crunches).
Rest was by feel, As soon as I felt recuperated, I was on to the next set. I certainly did not waste any time between sets yet I did not concern myself with jumping to the next set either.
As the time passed within this phase, I began to do more flexing and posing after each set...
Here’s my workout schedule for each bodypart if you are interested. I usually added weight on each set while attempting to reach the reps listed. On drop sets, I used the same starting poundage for each set.
Bench Press-DB or barbell 4 sets 10, 8, 6, 6
Press – DB or barbell 4 sets 10, 8, 6, 6
Pec dec 2x15
Cable crossovers 3 sets 15, 10, 10
(I don’t have a cable crossover machine in my garage gym, so I use the pulldown machine and do one side at a time.)
Skull crushers 3x10
DB extensions 2x10
I do this one lying on a bench and lower the dumbbell to my opposite shoulder (across my body). Pushdowns 3x10
Military press 3x10
Front raise with barbell 3x10
DB press 2 drop sets – 3 drop sets of 6 reps each (performed very slowly up and down)
Hack squat 2 drop sets – 3 drops each set of 6 reps each
Leg press 1x50 reps (fast, full reps)
Leg extension 2x15
Barbell lunge 2x15
Leg curl 3x8
One leg curl 3x8
Barbell Row 4x8
Seated row 3x10
Pulldowns 3 sets 20, 15, 10
Top Deadlifts 3x10
(Performed in the power rack with the pins set just below my knee) – really tried to flex the lats at the top of the movement.
EZ bar 3x10
Cable curl 3x10 (performed on the seated pulley row machine)
Reverse cable curl 3 sets 20, 15, 10 (performed on the seated pulley row machine)
REAR DELTS Lying DB raises 3 sets 20, 15, 10 (on my side on the bench)
Treadmill – first thing in the morning for about 15 – 20 minutes.
There you have it, my Phase (II) contest prep plan. Next issue, I’ll detail my Phase (III) program and tell you how I fit it all in to a typical day. Until then keep pumping!