We met with our pre contest workshop crew on January 27, exactly eight weeks out from the Northern Kentucky contest. Here is the workshop agenda for that session:
That’s a pretty ambitious workshop session to be covered in just 75 minutes.
To get each athlete thinking along the right lines we always include a pre test for them to complete as we perform body composition metrics individually.
At eight weeks out the pre test questions included:
Answering these questions help you analyze your situation rationally, and formulate a positive action plan to reach your goals.
We start the session emphasizing the need to get the contest details taken care of early. Get your NPC (or other organization) registration card. Complete your entry form neatly and legibly. Include all your contact details. Make it easy for the promoter to contact you if he needs to inform you of anything as the contest approaches.
Another topic we include is the weigh-in. Our advice is to plan on attending the early weigh-in. Get it out of the way so you don’t have to mess with it the day of the show. We also touch on courtesy at the weigh-in. If you are to weigh in your posing suit, don’t wait until you are at the scale to start removing your clothing. This holds up the line for others behind you who are in just as much hurry as you. At the Northern Kentucky this year there were 250 competitors. I kept reminding them that if each competitor took just one extra minute it would set the show back more than four hours. Be considerate. For an excellent competition primer visit http://www.lindsayproductions.com/ and click on competition guidelines.
At eight weeks out you should have lost half the fat you needed to lose when you started at 16 weeks out. Remember from last issue that your sum of six skin folds needs to be 30 or less by the contest. Our average starting sum of six from the workshop participants was 64 mm. That means the average client needed to lose 34 mm by the show date. At eight weeks out he should have lost at least half of that or 17 mm. If he’s lost 20 mm or more he’s ahead of schedule and does not need to increase cardio. He may even get by without a diet change for a couple of more weeks.
If he’s lost 15-20 mm, he’s on schedule but can’t relax. He needs to go to the next cardio level and start a Phase 2 diet and supplement program. A total loss to this point of less than half the amount needed will necessitate some major diet cuts and cardio increases. The numbers used in this example are for illustrative purposes, but regardless of where you started, that sum of six skin folds needs to be 30 or less by the show date (about 40 mm for women) to come in the show in peak condition.
As you can see from the illustration above, your cardio program is directly related to your progress. If you fall behind, you must up cardio. If you’re behind in your fat loss, jump up two weeks on the schedule that was included in last issue’s article. Another technique you should already be using is to increase your intensity (and calories burned). Make sure some of your cardio sessions are HIIT.
Your cardio program is also related to your supplement program. When you increase cardio, you must do something to preserve muscle and mobilize fat. Workshop attendees suggested Glutamine Select, Muscle Mass and Energy Reserve as must have items to preserve muscle while increasing cardio.
The athlete’s diet and supplement program is determined by his progress over the previous three weeks. If he averaged a one-pound loss of fat per week he’d be right on schedule. We’d probably have him stay on the same nutritional program but go up a level on his cardio to keep the losses coming. If, on the other hand, his bodyfat losses have slowed down or stalled, it’s time to go to the next diet/supplement level. (That is if he has truly been following the diet with no cheating. This is where it gets sticky for the athlete. We have to recommend a lower calorie level program to get them back on track, but they’ve been cheating on their current less stringent plan.)
In phase two we incorporate the Beverly Carb-Up meals on Monday and Thursday while reducing the complex carbs on the other days. As the nutrition plan becomes more strict, supplements that are designed to hold muscle and mobilize stored fat for energy become critical to your success.
Plan 2-A is the best Phase 2 diet plan for the greatest number of male competitors at eight to ten weeks out. This is the logical successor to Plan A from the Phase 1 diets. As a guide, you’ll need to be in the 7-10% bodyfat range and weigh at least 175 lbs to use this diet plan. This program is pretty multi functional and heavier athletes (up to 225) can benefit.
Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak with breakfast. 3 EFA Gold with breakfast and dinner.
Each meal: 4-6 Ultra 40; 3 Mass Aminos; 3 Muscularity; and 2 Lean Out.
Training: 2-4 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 10-20 Muscle Mass (5 Muscle Mass per scoop of Glutamine Select).
Optional for muscle acquisition: Muscle Synergy and Creatine Select plus Phosphates
Plan 2-G is for the female that needs to accelerate her fat loss at the 8-10 week out point. This is a pretty strict program and there is only one more diet cut that we could recommend. So only start this plan if you’re really running behind schedule.
Meal 1: three ounces chicken breast or turkey breast; three egg whites; one-half grapefruit.
Meal 2: Option (A) Protein Drink with one or two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Ultra Size, one teaspoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter).
Option (B): Three ounces chicken breast or tuna; three egg whites, one tomato.
Meal 3 (A): Five ounces chicken breast (weighed prior to cooking); two cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) or two cups low carb vegetables; one tablespoon Newman’s Own dressing ( or make your own with one tablespoon cider vinegar and one tablespoon olive oil).
Meal 4: same options as meal two (above) but no added fat to your shake. If this is the meal preceding or just after training, Muscle Provider is the optimal protein at this time.
Meal 5: five ounces chicken breast, turkey breast or 96% lean beef; two cups low carb vegetables or salad.
Meal #6 (A): four egg whites; one cup omelet vegetables (onions, celery, broccoli, peppers).
Option (B): Protein pudding mix one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein in a bowl with just enough water to make a pudding texture. Add one teaspoon almond butter.
Carb Load Meal: On Monday and Thursday evening you will have a carb load meal as your last meal of the day. You can eat this meal right before you go to bed if you like (it’ll help you sleep along with all the other benefits listed earlier). You will have this meal in place of your regularly scheduled sixth meal.
Here’s what you’ll eat at this meal: One cup oatmeal (measure your oatmeal before you cook it once you cook it, it’ll be nearly two cups), or you can substitute one cup cooked brown rice; with your oatmeal or rice you’ll also eat a five-ounce sweet potato, a small banana, and one-half cup of low carb vegetables. You’ll add one teaspoon of olive oil, flax oil, almond butter, or regular butter to prolong the positive effects of the carb up meal and stabilize your blood sugar through the night.
At this point your supplement program becomes more and more important. It should be designed to burn off every possible ounce of stored fat as you maximize lean muscle retention.
Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak. Breakfast and dinner: 3 EFA Gold.
Each meal: 3 Ultra 40; 3 Muscularity; 2 Lean Out; and 1 Energy Reserve.
Training: 2 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 10 Muscle Mass (5 Muscle Mass per scoop of Glutamine Select).
Optional: Upon arising and before retiring: take six GH Factor capsules immediately upon arising and six more before bed (or if you eat right before bed, take six GH Factor thirty minutes prior to your last meal.
At eight weeks out we recommend a training program designed to enhance fat loss while improving muscle density that includes a number of supersets. We recommend the same training program for both male and female bodybuilders. Supersets allow you to get more work done in less time. Remember, less rest between sets is one of the parameters of progress.
After you complete each superset rest 60-90 seconds and then start your next set.
Three on one off:
Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Shoulders and Arms
Day 4: Off; Repeat
Day #1 Chest, Back, Abs
A. Bench Press 4-5 sets of 5-9 reps or DB Bench Press 4-5 sets of 7-10 reps
B. Chin-Ups 4-5 sets max reps per set or Lat Pulldowns 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps
Superset # 2:
A. Incline Press (BB or DB) 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
B. Bent Over Rows (BB) 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
A. DB Flyes 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
B. T-Bar or Cable Rows 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Superset #4 (Optional)
A. Cable Crossover or Pec Deck 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps
B. Close Grip Pulldown 2-3 sets of 7-10 reps
Finishing Exercise: DB Pullovers 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Lower Back: Hyperextensions 3 sets of 15- 20 reps.
Abs: Three or four exercises, 3-4 sets each for 15-25 reps per exercise.
You should count total reps for abs per workout with a goal of 250-350 reps total.
Day #2 Legs, Calves
A. Leg Extensions 3 sets of 8-10 reps
B. Leg Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps
A. Squat or Hack Squat 4 sets of 6-12 reps
B. Straight Leg Deadlift 4 sets of 10 reps
A. Lunge 3 sets of 10-15 reps
B. Leg Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps
Standing Calf Raise 4 sets of 15-20 reps
Seated Calf Raise 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Donkey Calf or Calf Press 3 sets of 20-25 reps
Day #3 Shoulders, Arms, Abs
Straight sets for shoulders:
1. Shoulder Press (machine, dumbbell, military your choice) 4 sets of 6-10 reps
2. Side Lateral Raise 3 sets of 8-10 reps
3. Rear Laterals (DB, Cable, or Machine) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
4. Side Cable Raise 3 sets of 8-12 reps
A. Concentration Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps (squeeze)
B. Triceps Pushdown 3 sets of 10-12 reps
A. DB Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps
B. Lying Tricep Extension 3 sets of 8-10 reps
A. Barbell or Preacher Curl 3 sets of 6-8 reps
B. Close Grip Bench Press of Dips 3 sets of 10-12 reps
A. Reverse Curl 3 sets of 8-12 reps
B. Wrist Curl 3 sets of 12-20 reps
C. Overhead Pulley Tricep Extension (or Triceps Machine) 3 sets of 8-15 reps
Abs: Same as Day 1 (250-350 total reps)
A. Eight weeks posing practice schedule: Start at 2 sets of each pose for 10 - 15 seconds. For the next four weeks hold each pose for an additional 5 seconds each week.
Remember to start each pose from the feet up - make sure to keep flex your legs flexed, suck in your gut, lift your chest, and relax your facial muscles.
Quarter turn to the right
Quarter turn to the rear
Quarter turn to the right
The Seven Compulsory Poses
Front Double Biceps, Front Lat Spread
Back Double Biceps
Back Lat Spread
B. Spend most of your time practicing on your front facing pose. This is where the judging starts and first impressions are very important.
C. The Individual Routine: Six weeks out (or sooner) start working on your individual routines. Don't do any poses that do not enhance your physique just because you think they look cool. Show the judges only what you want them to see.
You can develop your routine by starting with the mandatory poses, then add a few flattering optional poses. For ideas stand front of a mirror and go through a magazine. Mimic each pose you see and determine which ones feel comfortable and flatter your strong points.
Your routine should be based solely on your strongest poses.
Select your music well in advance and make a professional quality cassette or CD. Record only the 60-90 seconds of music on which you will base your routine. Don't record the entire song. Make a posing practice cassette with your posing music recorded over and over with a 30 second delay between cuts. You can practice your routine over and over without rewinding the cassette.
D. Posing Drills
Begin with 4 15 minute early morning posing sessions per week, holding each mandatory pose for 10 seconds. Work your way around in a circle hitting every pose. After you complete all the mandatory poses, that’s one set, do 2 total sets.
Each week, add 5 seconds on each pose. Six weeks out, add an evening session. You’re now doing 2 sessions per day - one in the morning and another in the evening at least 4 days per week.
At 4 weeks out you’ll be holding each pose for 30 seconds. The entire session may last up to 25 minutes. At your evening session start with 2 sets of 30-second holds followed by a "10-minute prejudging drill.
10-minute prejudging drill: Make a 10-minute tape where you call out quarter turns and poses just like the head judge at prejudging. This drill is tremendous for practicing quarter turns. No rest between poses; stay tight the entire drill. For variation use an actual prejudging tape from a previous show. Put it in the DVD, press play, and go through it just like you’re on stage.
At six weeks out add your 60 or 90-second (according to the contest rules) posing routine to music 3 times back to back to end your evening session.
Do 2 posing sessions Monday through Friday, Saturday one long session, and Sundays off.
E. Points to remember
You will often be asked to hold the front facing pose on stage much longer than the others. You should continue to hold this stance anytime you are on stage throughout the show when you are not being directly judged or as others are "called out". Never completely relax and always keep your legs tensed.
Practice hitting the poses with your eyes closed and then opening them to see if you are hitting each pose correctly. Remember, on stage you have no mirror.
It is not necessary to complete all of your posing "sets" at one session, but be sure to complete all scheduled "sets" of each posing round - facings, mandatories, prejudging individual routine, and evening presentation with music - by the end of each day.
Posing sessions are one of the key factors in developing hardness and muscle separation - you can’t pose too much!
We usually have two more sessions, one at six weeks and another at four weeks out. The emphasis during Phase 3 is perfecting your tan and stage presence. If an athlete has followed the Phase 1 and Phase 2 nutrition, training, and posing programs with precision and self discipline, he rarely needs to make big changes during Phase 3.
We have constructed an 80-page Beverly Pre Contest Workshop Manual and Study Guide. This workbook contains all the info we share with workshop attendees during the sixteen weeks leading up to their contest. There’s more than a dozen diet plans, four workout plans, cardio schedules, presentation tips, final week peaking plans, and everything else you need to know to get ready for a contest (even how to enter a contest and pack your bag for it).
|Here are a few of the Beverly Bodybuilding Workshop participants as they competed at the 2007 Northern Kentucky.|
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