No Nonsense Guide to Excellence
This article is the last in my series detailing my preparations for the 2000 NPC Nationals. No one believed it was possible to remake my physique from a decent state-level competitor to one that would go up a weight class to the heavyweights and make the first call-out at the Nationals.
Here’s my exact schedule, no sugar coating, no fudging to sell supplements. The final 15 weeks were actually the easiest. But it was an entire year of Beverly Supplements and hard work that allowed me to step on stage 20 lbs heavier, harder and leaner than my last show.
Fifteen weeks out from the 2000 NPC Nationals I weighed 222 at 4.4%. Because of my state-of-the-art Beverly International supplement plan and meticulous eating and training habits I was already in the best shape of my life.
But now it was time to add even more quality. Physical perfection was now my goal. I continued to follow the same
pre-season diet that I illustrated in my previous article (NNN V7, N1) with one major change in my supplement program.
I picked up the intensity of my training, training heavier and harder in perfect form. I believe in a mind to muscle connection and making sure if I was training Biceps I was only training Biceps and not doing my best gorilla imitation by throwing my whole body into it.
In just 4 short weeks with my intensified training and Muscle Mass BCAA’s I had gained nearly 8 lbs of muscle with a slight reduction in bodyfat. As a side note, even though I am a Beverly employee I do not push supplements just for the sake of upping our sales. I recommend them to people because they work, PERIOD! Why would I risk my reputation by recommending something that doesn’t work?
Many of my clients and other Beverly customers have followed my lead recently with the Muscle Mass during training and guess what? They all say the same thing! More endurance and energy during training!!! Less fatigue!!! Greater Strength!!! More Muscle and quality Muscle that is!!! Did I mention 90% of these people taking Muscle Mass are on restricted caloric diets? Enough said!
My daily caloric intake remained in the 4500 range. Instead of sticking to bland foods, my wife, Su and I became quite the chefs. Instead of regular beef and eggs for breakfast, Su turned a mundane breakfast into a gourmet omelet.Here’s one of my favorite breakfast recipes: [ Cook 8 oz. 92% lean beef and set aside. Mix 2 Whole Eggs and 4 Whites in a bowl. Shred the beef and combine half with the egg mixture. Pour into a skillet. Su then seasoned the mixture with chili powder and hot sauce while it cooked. The remainder of the beef was then sprinkled on top of the omelet.]
Talk about tasty! At night I’d prepare a sirloin steak on the Foreman Grill. First, I’d season both sides, cut 3 deep slits in the meat and put ½ clove of garlic in each slit. The garlic both flavored and tenderized the steak. Instead of suffering on a precontest diet these recipes, along with various Ultra Size recipes, made me feel like I was in heaven!
It didn’t even seem like a diet, I actually enjoyed eating all of my food. But once again I must say I was only able to eat this way before the biggest show in my life because of the hard work, supplementation and consistency of the previous year!
Training was a 4 on 1 off split, training the whole body over four days, taking a day off then repeating the cycle. I increased my total number of sets per workout from 25 to 35 (6 - 12 rep range). Reduced rest between sets so that I could complete the entire program in under an hour. Believe me I had to move quickly with no socializing to get this done, but I guarantee you they were the best workouts of my life.
Five weeks out my weight was still holding at 225 but my bodyfat had ducked under 4%. I had just 2 more pounds of fat to lose (my goal was to compete at less than 7 lbs. total bodyfat) and I’d yet I’d only made a few changes in my diet.
My gym bag began to look like a portable Beverly vending machine. But without the Beverly supplement program I knew there was no way I’d be in this kind of condition. Every single day I saw new lines and cuts. I lost bodyfat, increased lean muscle mass and strength with no change in the food portion of my diet. I kept getting better and better but no muscular size was being sacrificed.
One thing that was not present this time was stress. Every other contest I’d been stressed to the max. I was always unsure of the outcome or who was going to show up. Now, going into the biggest show of my life, I felt no pressure at all. I knew everyone competing would be great, and I just concentrated on being the best I could be. And it was already happening! With Beverly International behind me I had already far surpassed my personal best.
At this point I guest posed at Roger and Sandy’s NPC Kentucky State Championships. (This was the same show that I had finished 2nd in the Novice Division just two years before and now I was the guest poser!) Guest Posing really fired me up. I received tons of compliments on my condition – but knew there was still some work to be done. I had a cheat meal after the contest – then went right back on my diet the next morning.
Remember in the past year and a half I had cheated just 5 or 6 times. This time it did wonders, my metabolism stepped up a notch and I started burning fat all over again on the same diet I had followed for the past 3 months.
I almost feel like I’m cheating you out there by not giving you a lot of different regimens. But really, everything stayed totally the same for the entire 15–week period. Diet, supplements, training and posing all stayed the same for nearly 15 weeks. But like I’ve said throughout these articles, it was the entire year of training, diet and Beverly supplements that brought me to this point not just the precontest phase.
At 3 weeks out Roger and I discussed a slight change in diet. By cutting dietary fat I would be able to compete in razor sharp condition. I reduced my meat portions by a couple ounces and switched from beef to Cod and Turkey Breast. My vegetables were strictly Spinach and Asparagus and the cream was cut out of my diet and replaced with a little Flax Oil. I added six Muscularity (BCAAs) at each meal to retain my hard earned lean mass. Increased my posing practice time. And further decreased my rest periods between sets while incorporating more supersets.
These simple changes worked wonders. I got tighter and tighter. My excitement was beginning to build as my symmetry and shape improved daily.
At one week out I visited the Beverly crew for the final time before the show. I showed Roger the final week plan I had prepared and he approved with very little adjustments. I then went over my posing under the watchful eyes of Roger, Sandy, Steven, Rita and Brother Donnie (who is actually the shipping manager for the printing company that prints BodyMuscle.) All agreed that regardless of my placing, my conditioning was already a victory for Team Beverly.
The final week was not a whole lot different than before. Had my carb meal on Sunday after my last heavy training session instead of Monday. I weighed in at 215 on Wednesday. Ate a double portion carb meal both Wednesday night and Thursday morning – taking 25 Muscularity and a couple of teaspoons of Beverly Creatine with each. After the Thursday morning carb load I switched over to just beef and grapefruit all the way through Saturday. I did the usual final week sodium, water depletion and potassium loading that you read about in the newsletters. (No diuretics which might be considered at the National Level.)
Thursday morning our flight arrived in New York and as we drove in the Big Apple for the first time I was in awe. No time for sight seeing I had a job to do. That evening I went to the weigh ins and thought I’d stepped into a Flex Magazine. Every big name in the sport, professional and amateur was there.
I stepped on the scale and to my surprise 215lbs! Wow! My first shock! I had just put on 20 lbs to my previous competition weight in 18 months. Again let me emphasize, my results did not come from what I did the final 15 weeks alone, but it was the previous year of consistent training, nutrition and Beverly supplements that was responsible for this 20–lb. gain. But what I did manage to do the final week with the precision Beverly Plan – extra Muscularity and Beverly’s pure Creatine Monohydrate is lose all of my subcutaneous water yet maintain my weight.
Friday evening and prejudging arrived. Su and I met Roger, Sandy, Yohnnie Shambourger and Gary Passmore at the Beverly booth and patiently waited until it was time to go on–stage. Okay if any of you are wondering how good these guys are here’s a story for you. After sitting through Fitness divisions and the lighter weight classes it was finally time to go backstage. Panic struck! I saw my class lining up to go on–stage and I was still in my sweats. They were huge!!! I ran up to the expeditor and asked,
How long before these Heavyweights go on stage?
No, No she said. "These are the middleweights." Relief and a huge lump immediately appeared in my throat.
When it was the
real heavyweights′ turn, twenty–six of us lined up and filed on to the stage. We went through our quarter turns and mandatory poses in groups. Then waited to see who would make the Top 15 (the others would not even appear on stage the following night.). This was it! Would a whole year’s diet and training end right here? No! They called my number. I made it!
Next came our 60–second (no music) routine and once again we filed off to wait for the call outs. At this point the 15 of us filed back on stage and with it the shock of my life! I knew the first call out usually determined the top 5, and I was just expecting the 3rd call out. Then all of the sudden the first call out was announced and my number was called!
This did not just happen. In my first National show ever I made the first call out. I held my own with the 4 best bodybuilders in the United States – guys shooting for a pro–card. When the exhaustive (and thank goodness for all my posing practice) prejudging ended, I found myself backstage with all kinds of people taking photos of me. Finally Gary Passmore, eventual 1st Place winner and IFBB Pro who had cheered me on while sitting with Su, found me and said,
Come on, lets go. Your wife’s waiting.
I found Su and gave her the biggest most gratifying hug ever. Then hugs all around from everyone with Beverly – Sandy, Roger, Gary, Yohnnie no doubt the thrill of my bodybuilding life. Even if I ever win the Nationals I doubt that it will compare to what I felt that night. That evening at dinner I was one big grin from ear to ear.
The next evening, at the finals I ended up finishing 6th but had the pleasure of seeing Gary win his pro card. Even though I was out of the placings I was still on cloud nine.
To explain the feeling, just imagine something you’ve wanted your entire life. Yet you realize it’s only a dream. But then your dream comes true! From the time I turned twelve I’ve been looking at the muscle magazines wishing and dreaming – hoping that one day I could be like those guys – and now I’m one of them!
As a footnote I would like to thank a few people. I want to thank my wife Su, who continues to support me and be a part of the whole process. She really is a wonderful person who truly cares about me and shows it everyday. Roger, Sandy and every one who makes up our internal team. Not only have they become my co–workers but also close friends and a part of what I would consider family.
And I want to thank Beverly supplements!!! I am a Beverly user for life and these products have truly changed my life. How else was I able to transform from a struggling bodybuilder to one of the top in the country in just 3 years? I’ll put my reputation on the line and say, "Beverly supplements and everything else associated with this company is the real reason why I am where I am today." Also thank you to all those who have given me support through all of this, you know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- Here is my base pre contest diet and adjustments made at six weeks out:
- Meal #1
- 8 oz. 92% lean beef
- 4 egg whites, 2 Whole Eggs
- 1 grapefruit
- Meal #2
- Protein Drink: 3 scoops Ultra Size, 2 TBS Whipping Cream, 18 oz Water
- Meal #3
- 12 ounces chicken (weighed prior to cooking) 4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) with 2 TBS Newman’s Own Oil & Vinegar Dressing
- Meal #4
- Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 scoop 100% Egg, 1 scoop Ultra Size, 2 TBS Whipping Cream, 4 Frozen Strawberries, 20 oz water
- Meal #5
- 2 Cans Tuna or 12 oz sirloin steak
- 2 cups Vegetables
- Meal #6
- Protein Drink: 3 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 scoop 100% Egg Protein, 2 TBS Whipping Cream, 4 Frozen Strawberries, 20 oz water
- Every 3rd day as a 7th meal: 2 cups oatmeal (precooked)
- or cooked rice, 12 oz. sweet potato,
- 1 banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 TBS butter
6 Weeks Out: I switched my carb meal to Mondays and Thursdays instead of every 3rd day. Monday it was in place of Meal 6, Thursdays – a 7th meal.Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I cut out all cream from my drinks and added 1 TBS Flax Oil to meal #6. (These slight manipulations were all it took to keep my metabolism racing.)
- Training Split was 4 on – 1 off:
- Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, Calves, Abs
- Day 2 – Back / Abs
- Day 3 – Legs / Calves
- Day 4 – Biceps / Triceps / Abs
- Day 5 – Off
- Repeat Cycle
No Nonsense Guide to Excellence