This past show, the 2010 NPC Diamond and Ruby Classic in Boca Raton, FL, was my 5th contest and my 3rd year of competing. I’m familiar with the journey now, and know what type of time and sacrifice is involved. If it's your first time competing, trust me, there will be times when you ask yourself "what the heck did I get myself into?" And I promise you'll ask yourself at least once "is this really worth it"? When you stick through it, and experience the show and everything around it, the answer to that question will be yes.
When I started my training for this show I had one goal on my mind, win that first place trophy. I had set my goal; I had my plan, and was ready to take every step necessary to win. I did just that, and left that night with 2 first place trophies. I had accomplished my goal; I had the first place trophies in my hand. At the end of that night before I went to sleep I sat in my hotel room and stared at them. It was then that I realized...
THE TROPHIES SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. Don't get me wrong, I'll always aim to take first place because that's the type of athlete I am. However, the reward wasn't in the trophy itself. The reward was the journey to get there. It was having the guts to set a very tough goal and achieve it. It was having the discipline to bring my own chicken into the Cheesecake factory while family and friends ate lots of yummy food, or into the movies having people look at me like I was crazy. It was having the dedication to get up and do cardio at an hour of the morning that no person should ever have to be out of bed. It was having people around me that supported me completely along the way no matter what. It was the support of TEAM BODY*TECH from every avenue, text messages, face book, team boards, meetings. It was knowing that I did every single thing that my coach asked of me, to the "T".
I want you to please remember this: At the end of the road don't judge your success by where the judging panel may have placed you on a given night, or if on a personal quest to achieve your best ever condition over a specific period of time; JUDGE YOURSELF AND YOUR SUCCESS BY HOW YOU WALKED THE ROAD TO GET THERE. If you did everything you were supposed to do, you can look in the mirror when the show is over, and know you're staring a champion right in the eyes. That is the true reward.
In the remainder of this article I'm going to provide an outline of what I did to achieve this reward. It doesn't matter if your goal is to improve over your personal best condition, or to compete in your first or fifth show; I wrote this article in hopes that you'll use it as the outline of a plan for you to achieve your own personal best.
It all starts with diet. Your diet should be specific, detailed, and followed to perfection in order to obtain your reward. I normally start my contest prep between 12-15 weeks out from a show. Below is an example of what my typical diet day looks like at the start of my contest prep. I encourage you set a goal and give it a try for the next 12 weeks. You'll be amazed by your results.
If you have a coach, like I do, he/she can help you adjust portions as the weeks go by depending on your condition. But don't worry if you don't. Start with good sized portions of the foods listed and reduce the amounts eaten very gradually (by about 150-200 calories every 2 weeks).
Food preparation is key. I suggest taking time on Sunday to prep food for at least half of the week. This keeps your diet discipline much stronger than if you had to cook every meal, every day. It's just too easy to stray when you are responsible for preparing 6-8 meals every day of the week.
I›m a lousy sales man; in fact, I'm down right terrible at sales, so rest assured this is no sales pitch! However, next to the diet itself, proper supplementation may be the next most important factor in achieving your goal. Choosing proper supplements to go with your diet can be very confusing. I know it was for me. I've been taking supplements since I first started working out. Probably like you, I'd read the ads and would try one supplement after the other. I couldn't tell if anything was working and just became more and more confused.
My coach, Tim Gardner introduced me to Beverly Products 3 years ago. Tim gave me a shopping list of Beverly Nutrition products to take, and at first consuming them felt like a part time job in itself. But finally, I got the timing of my supplements down; Multiple Enzyme Complex and Lean Out in the morning, Super Pak midday, Muscularity and Glutamine Select post workout, and enough Mass aminos and Ultra 40's throughout the day to choke a horse! Tim explained how each of these Beverly nutrition products was crucial in helping me to achieve my best body building physique. I have to admit I was amazed at the results. Now I'm going to recommend the same program to you.
Lean Out: Take at meals 1, 3, 5 (2 caps). Lean Out's ingredients are perfect and absolutely necessary for dropping body fat while maintaining lean muscle. Simply put, it helps to extract stored fat from the body making it available to use as a source of energy.
Multiple Enzymes: Taken at meals 1, 3, 5 (1 pill) to help aid in proper macronutrient breakdown and digestion.
Super Pak: 1 Pak at meal 3. Taken to help assure I'm getting all of the proper vitamins and minerals my body needs throughout a strict diet.
Ultra 40: 20 pills spread through out the day. I take these to help with adding lean mass and also to provide extra energy when dieting.
Quadracarn: (2 tablets) at meals 2, 4, 6. This product adds a TON of advantages to your supplement plan, but I mainly depend on it for decreasing body fat and its positive effect on my androgen receptors so that my natural hormones are more effective in building lean muscle tissue.
Glutamine Select: 5 grams post workout. This all-star aids in muscle recovery, stimulates protein synthesis, improves the immune system, as well as several other key factors to reaching your best physique. And it tastes great!
MASS Aminos: 20 pills spread though out the day. Taken to help increase lean mass.
Muscularity: 6 caps post workout. Taken to ensure I put enough BCAAs back into my body after a hard training session. It helps to promote lean muscle and drop body fat as well.
BEV ZMA: 4 caps before bed. Taken to help with muscle recovery, increase strength and increase performance.
Muscle Provider: 4 scoops a day (2 shakes with 2 scoops each). This is the best protein I have ever had. It tastes great, mixes perfectly, and has very clean ingredients. It is perfect for dieting for shows or just to stay in great shape.
When I begin a contest prep program, Tim will start me out with just a 30-minute morning cardio. I recommend you do the same. I always do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. For me it's usually between 3:30 and 4:30 am because I start with clients at 5 am. This cardio session is crucial because, doing it on an empty stomach assures that my body targets fat loss specifically. It's always hard to get up in the morning but my best advice is to not hit the snooze button. Just get up and go! I promise you'll wake up by the 15th minute and you'll feel like a million bucks when you finish. It is a great time to think, reflect, and pray.
I recommend that you train each body-part 1x per week so that each
part gets plenty of rest and recovery. This method makes me give 110% every
workout, because I am only getting one shot at that body-part per week! Always
begin each workout with 3-4 light sets of your first exercise to assure proper
Use strict form on all exercises. I find that 90 seconds rest between sets works well for me. Occasionally, you can switch up the order of exercises on a particular body-part to keep it guessing and mix things up.
My closing advice to you is always have goals. Without setting goals, you're likely to stay exactly where you are at. Setting short-term goals will lead to long-term success. Always have a plan. I hope that the plan I used and have set forth in this article will help you reach your goal - whether to compete in your first or fifth show, or simply achieve your all-time best condition.
I do want to thank my coach, Tim Gardner. He helped take the confusion and frustration out of my personal quest to be my best. In my opinion he's the best out there. And thank you to Sandy and Roger, for such a wonderful line of products that I couldn't have done without, and for this opportunity to share a little bit about myself.
Feel free to contact me with any further questions about my contest prep, training, diet, etc. at: Kevin@lifehealthier.net
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