It’s been about 3 years since I’ve competed on stage. The last show was the NPC West Coast Classic in 2014. Again, I’ll be competing in the same show this year with hopefully a better outcome than last time.
The training has been better because of an improved shoulder which has enabled me to bench press again. I’ve taken a more serious approach to diet and have left experimentation behind. I’m 4 and half weeks into the diet and I have seen some good progress.
This time around I’ve kept it old school and stuck to basic low carb – high protein diet with lots of cardio in order to drop the body fat as early as possible. In 2000, I had a similar approach which entailed lots of cardio and dieting down very early in order to achieve low body fat. This proved to be successful as I placed 1st in the Musclemania.
Over the years, I have put on lean muscle mass and am currently just under 200 pounds at 5’5″. I’m already leaning out and with a waist at around 32 inches.
Even though I stay busy with a full time job and personal trainer on the side, I still train 5-6 times weekly, not including cardio.
This time around I have had to combine all my weight training days within a 4 day spread. I usually train for about an hour and a half each session. I try to do a heavy and light day for every body part at least twice a week or more.
This is a little different from years in the past where I would train 5-6 days a week for about 1 hour and come back for an hour of cardio. With this new way of training an hour and a half each time, I have had to pace myself during each session, treating them more like an off season workout.
This means longer rests in between sets and more intense weight training. This schedule allows for a 3 day resting period which I found is good for muscle recovery and rest while working long days.
For the next 3 weeks my plan will be to eliminate certain supplements in order to get leaner. This includes protein bars and 4 weeks out from the show – protein shakes as well. These tend to have extra products that can prevent me from attaining a harder, dry condition.
My cardio will also increase to at least 4-5 hours a week depending on how fast I drop in body fat.
Three weeks out from the show, my weight training will also be changing from intense heavy lifting to a more dynamic high repetition regimen. This approach will ensure less injury as well as aiding in the fat burning process.
Another advantage to high rep lighter weight training is less time needed per session.
So going into the final 6 weeks, the plan is to stay on course and see how fast my body responds to the slowly changing diet and increase in cardio all the way down to the show.