Six Pounds Heavier and Harder

Here’s How I Did It

By: Brandon Bass
Magazine 13 #3

My baseline diet at 12 weeks out

Rather than give you a bunch of background on myself that you can read in the "About Me" below, let’s go right into an example of my typical day.

4:00am: 30-40 minutes of cardio on the stairmaster. I like the stairmaster best for burning body fat, but the most important thing about cardio is "just do it!!" It doesn’t matter what piece of equipment you prefer or what time you like to do it, just do it!

5:00: After cardio, it’s back home to cook breakfast and prepare for the day.

6:00-10:00: I am a personal trainer and I start my first client at 6am and keep my book filled until 10.

11-1:00: I attend school. Sometimes eating and fitting all of my meals in can be a little tricky, but I realize that eating high quality food and taking high quality supplements are the most important aspects of contest prep, so I NEVER miss a meal! By 1:00pm I will have already had 3-4 meals now it’s time for the fun part of my day; weight training!

2:00-5:00: My workout lasts about an hour, and then I finally have some downtime. I’ll study, hang out, or if I’m lucky, take a nap.

5:00-8:00: It’s back to work from 5pm until 8 or 9pm.

It sounds like a pretty hectic day but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bodybuilding is not a hobby or weekend activity for me; it is a lifestyle and my passion. I constantly remind myself of that whenever the "snooze" button is calling my name at 4am!

Most Muscular Bradon Bass
  Photo by Gene Carangal

12 Weeks Out-The Countdown Begins

After a disappointingly close 2nd place finish at the 2007 NPC Lone Star Classic, I made a vow to myself to come back the next year bigger, harder and better to capture the title. That same year I had also competed in the Musclemania Superbody in Miami and placed 2nd as well.

I vowed to work a little harder this time around, but I had a new trick that I was going to try this year to come in bigger and more shredded than ever – Beverly International!

Contest prep for me starts at 12 weeks out. I have tried shorter and longer diets, but 12 weeks seems to work best for me. Quality food and quality supplements are the most important aspect of contest prep for me. To be the best, you have eat the best foods and take the best supplements!

This was my baseline diet at 12 weeks out (as the show got closer, I reduced calories from fat and carbs).
Meal 1: 2 whole eggs, 6 egg whites, ½ cup of oatmeal
Meal 2: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein and 1 scoop Muscle Provider; 2 teaspoons of cream
Meal 3: 8oz grilled chicken; 5oz of sweet potatoes; mixed vegetables (normally just broccoli)
Meal 4: Same as meal #2
Meal 5: Same as meal #3
Meal 6: 7-8oz grilled chicken or about 12 egg whites with vegetables
*Immediately Post workout* 2 scoops of Muscle Provider and 2 scoops of waxy maize

Supplements

  • Glutamine Select – 1 scoop before and after cardio, 2 scoops during weight training Density- 5 first thing in the am, 5 before and after training, and 5 before bed
  • Super Pak (with breakfast)
  • EFA Gold- 6 a day (3 with breakfast and 3 with meal #3 or 4)
  • Mass Aminos- 4 with every meal
  • Ultra 40’s- 4 with every meal
  • Muscle Synergy- 8 in the morning and 8 before workout
  • Antioxidant Compound (underrated supplement!)– 2 after every workout

Train to gain

My philosophy pertaining to weight training during contest prep may be different than most. My training does NOT change one bit from so called ‘off season” to contest prep. I have one goal when I lift weights, and it is to build a maximum amount of muscle. Whenever you wrap your hands around the barbell or dumbbell, that should be your goal as well; let your diet and cardio burn the body fat. I follow the "Max-OT" training principles during my weight training sessions. In a nutshell, my workouts are short duration, high intensity and very heavy (all relative of course!).

Here is a normal split for me:
Monday- Chest, Abs
-Flat Bench Press 3 sets of 4-6 reps @ 275lbs.
-Incline DB Press 2 sets of 4-6 @ 125lb DB’s
-Weighted Dips 2 sets of 4-6 @ 90lb attached
-Weighted Decline Crunches 3 sets 15-20 reps with 45lb plate
-Leg Lifts 2 sets of 15-20 with 20lb DB
(Warm-up sets are not listed.)
Tuesday- Back, Calves
-Weighted Pull-ups 3 sets of 4-6 @ 65lbs attached
-Bent Barbell Rows 3 sets of 4-6 @ 260lbs
-Seated Cable Rows 2 sets of 4-6 (the weight varies) 250lbs
-Pulldowns 1 set of 4-6 @ about 250lbs
-Standing Calf Raise 3 sets of 10-15 whole stack
-Seated calf raise- 2 sets of 10-15 @ 4-45lb plates on top
Wednesday- Legs
-Squats 3 sets of 4-6 reps @ 395lbs
-Leg Press- 2 sets of 4-6 reps @ 9-45lb plates on each side
-Straight Leg Deadlifts 3 sets of 4-6 reps @ 275lbs
-Hamstring Curls 2 sets of 4-6 reps @ 250lbs
Thursday- Biceps, Triceps
-Barbell Curls 2 sets of 4-6 @ 160lbs
-Standing Alternate DB curls 2 sets of 4-6 @ 70lb DB’s
-Standing Cable Curls 1 set of 4-6 stacked out
-Cable Pushdowns 2 sets of 4-6 with 160lbs
-Skull Crushers (sometimes with straight bar) 2 sets of 4-6 @ 135lbs
-Kickbacks 1 set of 4-6 @ 65lb DB
Friday- Shoulders, Traps
-Seated Military Press 3 sets of 4-6 @ 245lbs
-Standing Side Lateral Raises 2 sets of 4-6 @ 60lb DB’s
-Seated Bent Lateral Raises 1 set of 4-6 @ 65lbs
-Shrugs 3 sets of 4-6 @ 415lbs
Saturday and Sunday- OFF

Posing

I practice posing once a week for one hour starting at 12 weeks out and it normally stays that way until the show. Also, I start tanning 2-3x a week at 12 weeks to get a good base tan before the show. Your color onstage will always look better if you have a good base tan already.

Attitude
A mistake that I’ve made in the past was always feeling like I had to tell people how miserable I was on my diet or how crappy it made me feel. When it comes down to it, people DO NOT care! I choose to diet, train and compete because I love the sport. No one is making me do it. So, avoid placing the burdens of contest preparations on your friends or family; it makes you more of a hardcore bodybuilder if you can go through an entire pre contest diet and have no one notice a difference in your attitude or behavior.

Pre Contest Carb Up

I used a novel approach to my precontest carb up starting on Friday and continuing all day throughout the competition on Saturday. Every 2-3 hours I’d have a microwaved Muscle Provider Brownie and a 4oz baked potato. To make the brownie I just mixed 2 scoops of chocolate Muscle Provider with enough water to make it a pudding consistency, then microwaved it for 15 seconds. You can make up a batch of the brownies and baked potatoes ahead of time and your food prep for those important final two days is already done. You can concentrate on the contest.

NPC Lone Star Classic

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!
The day of the show, I knew I was the best I had ever been, but wondered was I good enough to win my class? I would soon find out. I took ten Muscle Synergy about an hour before pre judging, then went into battle with a dozen other middleweights.

That night they called out the top 3 and I took the stage with confidence. This was my year, redemption is mine.. oh wait, I got 2nd place, AGAIN! I was very disappointed when I heard the placing, but I soon realized that the placing isn’t the only thing. Obviously, I wanted to win but the most important thing, which is something that I tend to forget sometimes, is not what placing you get, it’s knowing that you gave it your all and that you have no regrets in the end. I came in 6lbs heavier than the year before and my condition was noticeably better. It really was a great accomplishment for me! You can’t control how your competitors look on stage, but you can control how you look. So, don’t worry about who is going to show up, just worry about yourself, think positive and everything will flow!

Brandon Bass at a Glance
Age: 23
Occupation: Personal trainer/senior business major at U.T.D.
Family: Kathy(mom), Rick(dad), Justin-27(older brother), and sisters - Elena-15, Mya-15 and Maya-18 (yep, that’s right Elena, Mya, and Maya)
Residence: Plano, TX
Years Training: 5
Height: 5′10″
Off season weight: 195lbs
Contest weight: 175 pounds
Favorite cheat food: Anything! Specifically pizza
Favorite Supplement: I love them all, but if I had to pick one I would go with Muscle Synergy. I did not realize how valuable this particular supplement was until I took it all the way through my contest prep. I kept my muscle and still had pumps on a low carb/calorie diet. (And I came in six pounds heavier than before.)
 
Inspirational Bodybuilder: Stan McQuay
Hobby: I am a political junkie. I have to get some sort of news related to politics everyday or my day is incomplete! Whenever I watch television it is CNN, Fox News or Cspan.
Quote "It’s not how you start, its how you finish"