Time to Compete
I’d been thinking about competing but it took a call from my girlfriend Heather to turn my "someday I'll" into action. She was interested in figure competition and we decided we'd enter Tricky Jackson's Bluegrass Classic. Bill helped me get ready; but like many first-timers I got nervous at the end and added a bunch of extra cardio, causing too much weight loss. I finished a disappointing fourth. After the show I spoke with Chris Myers, (see Chris’ story in BMJ Vol. 1). Chris judged the show and was very honest with me. He said I needed more size. In my disappointed carb-depleted mind I translated that to mean,
eat everything and anything you want this offseason. And so I did!
The 2002-2003 Off-SeasonI ate and trained and ate some more. My weight climbed to a carb and water-bloated 181 lbs. I knew I’d better back off the eating a bit and tame my chipmunk cheeks. In one week I fell to 175 lbs., eventually stabilizing at 172 lbs. I thought I had accomplished enough weight gain to compete as a lightweight. Let’s hold this thought for a minute.
The Preparation Begins
With twelve weeks before my next show, the Battle of Champions, I contacted Jeremiah to see if he could work with me for the show. He said he’d be glad to and set my first appointment two weeks later. The day of my appointment arrived and Jeremiah had scheduled Kevin Burger, a bodybuilding friend of mine, at the same time. The plan was Kevin would compete as a bantamweight and me as a lightweight.
Jeremiah checked our body fat and Kevin was 159 lbs. and under 10%. My results weren’t quite as impressive. I was 12.5% at 170 lbs. Yikes! I had 21 pounds of fat and just ten weeks to get in shape. Jeremiah said it would be tough, but it could be done. Okay, let’s do it!
Jeremiah placed us both on rotating fat burning and lean gain diets. I had to begin with two weeks of fat burning and Kevin began with the lean gain. I also had to immediately add four 20-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio sessions to my weekly training. Kevin, on the other hand, did no cardio. I was a bit jealous but told myself the extra weight I had finally acquired would allow me to compete as a lightweight.
For the next four weeks I trained intensely on a 3 on 1 off rotation. Cardio was the worst part, so I broke it into two sessions-twelve minutes HIIT immediately before I trained and twelve minutes immediately after I trained. Another big change in my contest preparation was I took every single supplement Jeremiah recommended rather than just taking a few like I did the previous year. My training was intense as I had a lot of fat to lose. I made sure I took twenty Muscle Mass during every training session.
After four weeks I returned to see Jeremiah and had lost 5.5 lbs. of fat and virtually no muscle. Three more weeks passed and I lost another four pounds of fat. Now it was time for the final three-week push. [ continued on next page ]