My Contest Prep

for the NPC Texas State Naturals

and NPC Texas Shredder Classic

By: Mark Domme

Magazine 17 #4

It is not often an athlete in any sport has the opportunity to perform for a legend in their chosen activity. It is even rarer that the legend in question does more than lend their name to an event.

As bodybuilders, we are fortunate that one of the greatest natural bodybuilders of all time, Dave "The Texas Shredder" Goodin, gives back to the sport by promoting and hosting the NPC Texas State Natural and the NPC Texas Shredder Classic.

I will highlight the steps I took in achieving back to back overall titles and hope you can take something away from this to assist you in your own contest preparation plan.
Mark Domme side tricep pose

Both events ran flawlessly and saw more than 200 competitors cross the stage. I was honored to compete in both events. As good fortune would have it, I was selected the Open Middleweight, Masters 40+, and the Open Overall winner at both events.

I prepared for both events using basically the same nutrition and training plan. Beverly International supplements are an integral part of my prep and played a major role in my success at these two drug-tested events. As a long time user of Beverly International, I have come to rely on the quality of products and outstanding level of service the company provides. Although I have adjusted many variables of my nutrition over the years, my basic strategy is based on the original Beverly templates for contest prep, the information provided on the website and in each issue of No Nonsense magazine. The name of their magazine really sums up what the company is all about… No Nonsense!

NUTRITION

I am a firm believer that bodybuilding success begins in the kitchen. I like to keep things simple and rely on a very basic list of foods that I know work well for me. Planning and preparation are key to success and enhance the ability to follow and get the most from any precontest diet. I start the week on Sunday morning by cooking, measuring, and packaging all of my meals for the week. I start every week knowing exactly what and when I will eat each and every day.

I implement a carb cycling protocol throughout my prep with minor adjustments if needed. The high carb days are scheduled on my two hardest training days: Monday – Legs (Quads AM/Hams and Calves PM) and Thursday – Chest AM/Back PM.

The low carb days are scheduled on my off or cardio only days. The medium carb days are implemented on my other regular training days. On the low and medium carb days I bracket the days allotment of carbs in the meals immediately before and after training to fuel the training and assist in recovery.

  The basic structure of my diet is as follows:

Monday & Thursday

High Carb Days
Meal #1
½ c oatmeal w/ UMP
Train
Meal #2
½ cup oatmeal w/ Muscle Provider
Meal #3
6 egg whites, 1 oz. beef, ½ cup oats
Meal #4
6 oz. Tilapia, 2 c veggies
Meal #5
5 oz chicken, 2 cup veggies
Meal #6
½ c oatmeal w/ UMP
Train
Meal #7
½ cup oatmeal w/ Muscle Provider
Meal #8
4 oz. top round wrap, 6 c salad
Meal #9
1 cup granola (recipe below), UMP

 For more Carb Loading 101

Tuesday, Friday, & Saturday

Medium Carb Days
Meal #1
½ cup oatmeal w/ UMP
Train
Meal #2
½ cup oatmeal w/ Muscle Provider
Meal #3
6 egg whites, 1 oz. beef, ½ cup oats
Meal #4
6 oz. Tilapia, 2 cup veggies
Meal #5
5 oz. chicken, 2 cup veggies
Meal #6
2 scoops UMP or Quest Bar
Meal #7
4 oz. chicken w/ ½ avacado wrap, 6 cup salad
Meal #8
1/3 cup nuts, UMP

Wednesday & Sunday

Low Carb Days
Meal #1
½ cup oatmeal w/ UMP
Cardio (or Touch Up Training)
Meal #2
2 scoops Muscle Provider
Meal #3
6 egg whites, 1 oz. beef, 1 grapefruit or 1 cup blueberries
Meal #4
6 oz. Tilapia, 2 cup veggies
Meal #5
5 oz. chicken, 2 cup veggies
Meal #6
2 scoops UMP or Quest Bar
Meal #7
4 oz. chicken w/ ½ avacado wrap, 6 cup salad
Meal #8
½ cup nuts, UMP
Granola Recipe
6 cup rolled oats, 6 egg whites, 6 tbsp Splenda, 3 tbsp cinnamon, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tbsp vanilla. Preheat oven to 300 Degrees. Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Bake until golden brown and dry, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and store in sealed container.

*All meats are cooked weight

  **Oats are measured before cooking

SUPPLEMENTS

UMP Pre workout and as a meal to provide a lasting, slower digesting protein source.

  MUSCLE PROVIDER Post workout for a fast absorbing, easily assimilated protein.

  EFA Gold Additional quality fats added to all whole food meals.

  ZMA 3 caps before bed for hormone optimization and restful sleep.

  Multiple Enzymes 3 with first, fourth, and last meal to aid digestion and assimilation of food.

Cardio recovery

I do cardio year around so coming into a contest prep is only a matter of adjusting the amount of time and number of sessions per week. I start each day at 4:00AM with 20-30 minutes prior to my weight training. This allows me to warm up, mentally prepare, and visualize the upcoming weight workout. Following my training I do another 15-25 minutes to cool down and circulate some blood to aid in recovery. Later in the afternoon or early evening prior to a second training session or before training clients, I will put in another 15-40 minutes depending on my progress.

I rotate the type of cardio between the Stepmill (my favorite), Lifecycle, Precor elliptical, or incline treadmill. On the weekend, I often do my cardio outdoors by walking in our very hilly neighborhood sometimes throwing in a few hill sprints if it is a HIIT cardio day.

I do a mixture of HIIT, LISS, and moderate steady state cardio based on my needs and energy levels. I am a big proponent of HIIT cardio, but due to the intensity keep it to no more than 3 sessions per week.

Yoga

As unorthodox as it may seem, I am a firm believer in the power of yoga for a bodybuilder. I am a 200 RYT certified instructor myself and have practiced yoga for many years. I feel a level of muscle tone, muscle control, balance, and flexibility can be achieved through yoga that will enhance your appearance and performance on stage. The breath control required in yoga also carries over very well to your ability to breathe through and hold your bodybuilding poses during the lengthy prejudging process.

Training schedule

  Monday: AM Quads, PM Hams & Calves

  Tuesday: AM Biceps & Triceps, PM Yoga

  Wednesday: AM Traps & Calves

  Thursday: AM Chest, PM Back Width & Yoga

  Friday: AM Delts & Calves

  Saturday: AM Back Thickness & Yoga

  Sunday Off or Cardio Only

I feel my back is my weakest bodypart and for the past year have experimented with training it twice per week. Being such a large and complex muscle group, I did not feel I could hit it thoroughly in one workout. I split my back training into one day focusing on width with vertical pulling movements and another targeting thickness with horizontal pulling movements. It is still a work in progress. But I feel I have made significant progress with the following:

WIDTH

  1. Pull-ups 3 x 8-20 (various grips and weight added)
  2. Lat Pulldown 5 x 6-12 (various grips)
  3. Hammer High Row 3 x 8-12
  4. Straight arm Pulldowns 3 x 10-15
THICKNESS
  1. Deadlifts warm-up + 5 x 6-12
  2. BB or DB Row 3 x 8-12
  3. T Bar Row 3 x 8-12
  4. Seated Cable Row 3 x 8-12 (various grips)
  5. DB or Nautilus pullovers 3 x 12-20

Presentation

As has been said many times before, posing and presentation can make or break a bodybuilder. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to put as much effort into your presentation as you do your training and nutrition. I place a great deal of emphasis on perfecting the prejudging process including facings and mandatory poses, as well as 60 second routine where needed.

The evening show is fun for the audience, but the prejudging posing rounds are what really count. Starting about 6 weeks out, I have a nightly ritual of running through the mandatories for 20-30 minutes before bed. I play with angles, positions, and variations of poses until I find what highlights my physique the best. I also feel flexing hard and holding the poses for extended periods of time adds a degree of separation, hardness, and conditioning to the muscle.

Final words

As with every contest prep, I learned new information this time that will make me better next time. I have a basic formula that I know works well for me, but I am always looking for new ways to keep moving forward.

After the overall win at the NPC Texas State Naturals in November, I thought I was at my all-time best and could have easily coasted on that. But, never being satisfied, I came back 4 months later at the NPC Texas Shredder Classic five pounds heavier with even better conditioning and another Overall title The lesson I learned here is that no matter how well you place or how good you look...there is always room for improvement. NEVER BE SATISFIED!

Mark double bicep pose on stage
I am very fortunate to have the support of my wife, Gina, who also acts as my posing coach,
tanning service, physical therapist, psychologist, and occasional training partner.

*ADDENDUM*

A few weeks after the Shredder, I discussed it with my wife and decided to enter the NPC Team Universe in Teaneck, N.J., July 6-7th. I returned to the same plan outlined above and continued on with my prep. I competed in the Middle weight class and took 1st place, earning a spot on Team USA that will compete at the IFBB World Amateur Championship in Ecuador on November 6-11th, 2012. I also placed 2nd in the Masters 45+ Class, missing an IFBB pro card by one spot. Representing the NPC at the World Championship is truly an honor and I will now focus on making some improvements and bringing my all-time best to that competition.

Mark Domme at a Glance
Age: 47
Occupation: Security for Dept. of Energy Contractor
Family: Gina (wife) and children Evan 19, Zoe 12, Ian 10
Current Residence: Amarillo, Texas
Years of Training: 6 years in bodybuilding
Height: 5′7″
Weight: 185-190 (off-season); 172-176 (contest)
On your IPod:
Tool, Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, Circa Survive
Most Inspiring Book: The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
Favorite Hobby or Interest Outside of Bodybuilding:
I love music and have been a drummer since the age of 8. Also...reading and baking are my favorite ways to unwind.
Words to live by:"Never be satisfied...always strive to keep moving forward."

 Bev-Solutions
For the Man Who Wishes to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat

 Robert Simmons
When I turned 50. I set my sights on the 2012 INBF Iron Eagle in Savannah GA, and
3 weeks later, the NPC NC State over 50 Masters. Here’s how I did it.