Your 12 Week Nutritional Road Map to Your Next Bodybuilding Competition

By: Ray Binkowski
No Nonsense Newsletter Volume 12 #1

Ray Binkowski

We have all heard the age-old saying, “You are what you eat.”   If you plan to get on stage this single statement will determine your success or failure.  Your nutrition accounts for at least 70% of your success or failure on stage.  Even the greatest training programs fall flat if your diet is not right.

What should you eat to pave your super highway to success on stage?  Keep reading and as I walk you through a 12-week nutritional road map.  The plan is written specifically for a male bodybuilder that is 175 lbs and 10-12% body fat. If you are larger or smaller, or have a higher body fat percentage the program will still work. You’ll simply need to adjust portion sizes.  The program basics work for women as well – again just adjust the portion sizes in proportion to your weigh. 

The 12 Week Road Map

The diet will start with high protein, moderate fat, and lower carbs. Over the course of 12 weeks we’ll gradually lower the calories and carbs. We keep the protein high because higher protein diets are thermogenic, so your body burns more calories just digesting the foods.  The moderate fat content of your diet will keep you full.  Both contribute to stable insulin levels and a reduction in food cravings which often lead to that “I am starving” feeling.

Notes that will apply throughout the 12-weeks:

  1. Eat every 2-4 hours or 5-6 meals per day.
  2. Drink a gallon of water per day.
  3. Only make changes when the diet quits working, if you are still making progress do not make changes just because the roadmap below changes, save them for later.
  4. Do not drop calories, carbs or fat too much too soon.
  5. Eat your vegetables, mom was right when you were a kid and she still is.  Eating plenty of vegetables will keep you full, reduce potential for vitamin or mineral deficiencies and keep you regular.
  6. Eating fat will not make you fat, in fact essential fats like Omega 3’s may increase metabolism and reduce recovery times.
  7. Do nothing drastic, drastic change often leads to drastic disaster.
  8. Many approaches to contest dieting work.  Trying to combine different approaches does not.  Pick one approach and follow it.
  9. Supplements are not necessary if you are genetically gifted, but they sure make life convenient.  If you have average genetics, quality supplements are a must. They aid fat loss and help you hold on to and even gain lean muscle while you are dieting strictly.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the trip to the stage!

12-weeks out

food supplements

Set a baseline.  For a week or two clean up your diet.  Cut out the pop, junk food, and fast food. 

Notes at 12-weeks out:

Eat every 2-4 hours.

Lean protein at every meal.

Eat plenty of vegetables.

Eat complex carbs at 2-4 of your 6 meals

Make sure to get some healthy fat

Drink a gallon or so of water per day

Diet and Supplements 12 Weeks Out

Supplements:

Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak with breakfast.

Each meal: 4 Ultra 40; 4 Mass Aminos.

Meal #1: 2 whole eggs, 4 additional egg whites, one-half cup oatmeal

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, handful of mixed berries

Meal #3:  chicken breast or can of tuna; 1 baked sweet potato; salad with vinegar and flax seed oil

Meal #4: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, handful of mixed berries

OR: 1 chicken breast and 1 hardboiled egg

Meal #5: 8-10 oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish; or 93% or leaner beef); one-half cup cooked brown rice; steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil

Meal #6: Repeat Meals 2 or 4

Or: 2 whole eggs, 8 egg whites; omelet vegetables

In summary a rough estimate of the above 12-week out diet is as follows…

 

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

2209

224

132

79

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

896

528

711

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

45%

23%

32%

8-weeks out

At 8-weeks out carbs and calories are reduced slightly by eliminating the rice at Meal 5. Now, you’ll be eating complex carbs at just two of your daily meals. Additional protein is added at the first meal.  The heavy cream in the protein shakes has been changed to Flax Oil or Almond Butter.  Both contain healthy fats that may promote a faster metabolism and increased recovery.  The changes to the meal plan are in red.

How this might look now…


Diet and Supplements 8 Weeks Out

Supplements:

Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak with breakfast.

Each meal: 4 Ultra 40; 4 Mass Aminos.

Add Lean Out: 3 capsules, three times daily

Optional Supplements if you absolutely need to retain as much lean mass as possible:

Muscle Synergy – 8 tablets twice daily, upon arising and before training

Glutamine Select -2 scoops with Muscle Synergy before training

Meal #1: 4 oz lean meat (*as carbs are reduced protein is bumped up a bit); 2 whole eggs, 4 additional egg whites, one-half cup oatmeal

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp almond butter or flax oil (*a switch is made to healthy fat sources), handful of mixed berries

Meal #3:  chicken breast or can of tuna; 1 baked sweet potato; salad with vinegar and flax seed oil

Meal #4: Repeat meal 2

OR: 1 chicken breast and 1 hardboiled egg

Meal #5: 8-10 oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish; or 93% or leaner beef); steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil (*no complex carb with this meal)

Meal #6: Repeat Meals 2 or 4 Or: 2 whole eggs, 8 egg whites; omelet vegetables

In summary a rough estimate of the above 8-week out diet is as follows…

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

2239

246

108

83

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

984

432

747

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

45%

20%

35%

6-weeks out

At 6-weeks out the fat should be coming off nicely.  You should start to really notice an increase in definition and may even find that you have gained some lean mass.  It is time for another carb and calorie reduction.  This time it will be done on a rotating basis.  For 3 days you will drop the carbs and calories, then for one day add them back. Switching back and forth until you are 4 weeks out.

How this might look for your three days of low carbs...

Supplements:

Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak with breakfast.

Each meal: 4 Ultra 40; 4 Mass Aminos.

Lean Out: 3 capsules, three times daily

7-Keto MuscLEAN: 3 capsules twice daily

Optional:

Muscle Synergy – 8 tablets twice daily, upon arising and before training

Glutamine Select -2 scoops with Muscle Synergy before training

Meal #1: 4 oz lean meat; 2 whole eggs, 4 additional egg whites, one-half grapefruit or handful of berries, or 1 peach

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, no almond butter or flax oil for these three days, handful of mixed berries

Meal #3:  chicken breast or can of tuna; salad with vinegar and flax seed oil; no sweet potato for these three days

Meal #4: Repeat meal 2 OR 1 chicken breast and 1 hardboiled egg

Meal #5: 8-10 oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish; or 93% or leaner beef); steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil

Meal #6: Repeat Meals 2 or 4

Or: 2 whole eggs, 6 egg whites; omelet vegetables

In summary a rough estimate of the 6-week out 3-day rotation is as follows...

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

1874

236

57

73

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

944

228

657

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

50%

12%

35%

6-Weeks Out, Carb up every 4th day

Meal #1: 2 whole eggs, 4 additional egg whites, 4 oz lean meat; one-half cup oatmeal

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp almond butter or flax oil added back in for one day, handful of mixed berries

Meal #3:  chicken breast or can of tuna; sweet potato added back in today; salad with vinegar and flax seed oil

Meal #4: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp almond butter or flax, handful of mixed berries

OR: 1 chicken breast and 1 hardboiled egg

Meal #5: 8-10 oz lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish; steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil

Meal #6: Repeat Meals 2 or 4 OR 2 whole eggs, 6 egg whites; omelet vegetables

In summary a rough estimate of the 6-week out 1-day rotation is as follows…

 

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

2239

246

108

83

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

984

432

747

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

45%

20%

35%

4-weeks out

At this point the diet really should be tailored toward the individual.  Some competitors may not need to drop the 6th meal.  Others might need to have a high carb meal every two days.  There may even be need to ADD some carbs and calories to their daily diet.  Believe it or not some folks will not continue to lean out if they do not up calories and carbs.  However, even with all those qualifications, the 4 weeks program listed below is based on what works for the largest number of people and will probably work for you too.

Supplements:

Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak with breakfast.

Each meal: 4 Ultra 40; 4 Mass Aminos.

Lean Out: 3 capsules, three times daily

7-Keto MuscLEAN: 3 capsules twice daily

Add: Energy Reserve: 3, twice daily

Muscle Synergy – 8 tablets twice daily, upon arising and before training

Glutamine Select -2 scoops with Muscle Synergy before training

Optional: Creatine Select (follow label directions), GH Factor - 12 before bed, ZMA – 3 before bed.

Meal #1: 2 whole eggs, 4 additional egg whites, 4 oz lean meat; *one-half cup oatmeal (if your are already lean add the oats back in to your daily diet)

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, *1 tbsp almond butter or flax oil added back in for one day (if you are leaning out keep the fat, if not drop it), handful of mixed berries

Meal #3:  chicken breast or can of tuna; sweet potato added back in today; salad with vinegar and flax seed oil

Meal #4: Repeat meal #2 OR 1 chicken breast and 1 hardboiled egg

Meal #5: 6-8oz lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish; steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil

Every 4th day add ALL of the following as a 6th meal: Sweet potato, 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 tbsp butter, 1 cup of vegetables

In summary a rough estimate of the 4-weeks out is as follows…

 

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

1654

202

28

77

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

808

112

693

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

50%

10%

40%

For the days with a Carb Up at day’s end

Total Calories

Grams Protein

Grams Carbs

Grams Fat

2479

202

174

87

 

Cal Protein

Cal Carbs

Cal Fat

 

808

696

783

 

% Protein

% Carbs

% Fat

 

40%

33%

27%

A quick word on the final week

There seems to be a belief that there is a black magic last week strategy that only the top bodybuilders know.  The secret is, THERE IS NO SECRET.  Leave the worrying about the last week to the conspiracy theorists and drama junkies. 

Last Week Sure Fire ways to ruin your 12 weeks of hard work:

  1. Cutting calories too low
  2. Cutting water a week out… the body adjusts to a change in water intake in 12 to 36 hours
  3. Using herbal diuretics to cut water, um…muscle is 70% water.  Think of a tire with a flat inner tube.  Now think of a muscle with no water.  Get the idea?
  4. Carb loading…most will carb overload and lose definition.
  5. Eliminating salt completely.  The body’s response is to lower potassium, the electrolyte that allows muscle to hold water.  This can lead to a flat appearance and cramping.

Last Week Sure Fire Way to maximize your 12 weeks of hard work:

  1. If you look great a week out, change nothing.  That is the black magic smoke and mirrors secret for the drug free competitor.
  2. Do not forget rule number 1.

Ray Binkowski is a competitor, trainer, gym owner, judge and promotes the OCB Midwest States competition. Visit his website at www.fitworkz.com or email etx1@earthlink.net.

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