PDA

View Full Version : Contest Prep Log



joedemarco
05-27-2009, 04:33 PM
Thought I'd start a contest prep log in this section for anyone interested.

I've probably trained harder over the past two years then I have my entire life. Since my lightweight masters nationals win, I have maintained a strict nutrition program for building muscle while continuing to lift consistently and heavy (as always...lol). I have experimented with several nutrition plans over the past two years and have learned a lot (guess you're never to old to learn!). I also feel that I've built some good quality muscle and have been feeling really strong.

My goal for 2009 is to compete in September at Team Universe. Weigh ins for the event will be 16 weeks from tomorrow. Over the past couple months, I've made small changes to my nutrition program. About 3 weeks ago, I also began regularly scheduled cardio.

One major change that I've made over the past few months, was to add eggs, fish and whey in my nutrition program. I had been on a vegan diet for the past 3 years or so.

My current training split is as follows:
Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Chest/biceps
Wednesday: Off (cardio)
Thursday: Back/calves
Friday: Off (cardio)
Saturday: Shoulders/triceps
Sunday: OFF

I also perform cardio on T, TH & Sat. for shorter duration.

My current nutrition program looks like this:
Training Days:
Meal #1: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB
Meal #2: Scoop whey (post lifting)
Meal #3: Scoop whey/TBSP PB (after cardio)
Meal #4: 8 oz. Tilapia/mixed veggies
Meal #5: Scoop whey/TBSP PB
Meal #6: Scoop whey/TBSP PB
Meal #7: 8 oz. Tilapia/mixed veggies/TBSP PB
Meal #8: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites)

Non-training:
Meal #1: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB (after cardio)
Meal #3: 8 oz. Tilapia/mixed veggies
Meal #4: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 8 oz. Tilapia/mixed veggies/TBSP PB
Meal #6: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites)

Currently, at this point in training, I believe I have never looked this good 16 weeks out from a contest. I am at about 165 pounds. I am not one to step on the scale to frequently. I go more by how I look. However, when you have to make a weight class, you do have to occasionally step on.

I will be trying to keep this post updated as my training progresses.

HeavyDutyGuy
05-27-2009, 06:05 PM
Looks great! How much cardio do you work up to? Did you build mass on the Vegan diet? I've heard that's difficult to do.

joedemarco
05-28-2009, 10:30 AM
Looks great! How much cardio do you work up to? Did you build mass on the Vegan diet? I've heard that's difficult to do.

On training days (T, TH & Sat), I am up to 35 minutes per day. On non-training days (W & F), I am up to 45 minutes.

I perform incline treadmill at just enough speed/incline to bring my heart rate up to fat burn levels based on the karvonen formula. In my case, that's 135/bpm. Currently, that means 6.0 incline and 3.7 mph.

In regards to diet, I never had trouble increasing strength/muscle with my vegan diet. I had it down to a science and it worked pretty good for me. It was a tough decision to change it up recently, however I am comfortable with my decision and I feel great. I've never looked or felt better than I have the past several months.

GerryT
05-28-2009, 02:55 PM
Best of luck, Joe. Team U is a prestigious show, and you would do really well, I'm sure. Best of luck and expect to be there to cheer for you.

joedemarco
05-29-2009, 07:23 PM
Best of luck, Joe. Team U is a prestigious show, and you would do really well, I'm sure. Best of luck and expect to be there to cheer for you.

Thanks, Gerry! I appreciate the support!

esplendido
05-29-2009, 08:12 PM
Joe, do you have a Q&A thread here yet?

joedemarco
05-30-2009, 02:36 PM
Joe, do you have a Q&A thread here yet?

No, but would be more than happy to turn this into one or start a new one. Thanks.

ricker35910
05-30-2009, 04:17 PM
looks good keep us posted on your progress

joedemarco
05-30-2009, 08:37 PM
looks good keep us posted on your progress

Thanks, I will! Hopefully, I can get some progress pics taken in the next couple of days to post.

joedemarco
06-01-2009, 01:16 PM
Had an awesome leg workout this morning. I believe it was the result of watching Tom Platz videos on youtube.com last night. I was hoping it would help my leg workout this morning and it did! If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video of Tom Platz squatting 500 lbs. for 23 reps! (And he buries every since rep). It is unbelievable!

I am 16 weeks (technically 15.5) out from Team Universe. For whatever reason (probably because I’ve always done it this way for the past 20 years), I always make my contest prep changes on Monday. So, for this week, I have made the following slight changes to my workout/diet.

In regards to cardio, I am increasing each of my 5 cardio sessions by 5 minutes. This brings my workout day cardio up to 40 minutes and my non workout days up to 50 minutes. In regards to my nutrition plan, I’ve taken out my two servings per day of mixed veggies and replaced it with straight broccoli or small salads (salt, pepper and vinegar).

I’ve been feeling great with essentially no carbs in my diet. I continue to make strength gains and have never been so full and lean at 16 weeks out.

esplendido
06-01-2009, 01:29 PM
Be sure to check out Joe's Q&A thread here in the Masters Forum, too!

joedemarco
06-04-2009, 10:49 AM
Took a couple quick pics last night. Not the best lighting and the pics seem a little blury. Oh well! Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks I can get some better full body shots at my gym. Team U weigh ins are 15 weeks from today (if I'm doing my math correctly..lol).

Neal Grossman
06-04-2009, 11:35 AM
Joe,

As I told you, I am interested in seeing how your change in diet plays out over this contest prep. Your motivation to come in at your all time best should not be underestimated either. Keep the updates coming.

Neal

joedemarco
06-08-2009, 01:27 PM
Time flies when you're having fun...I'm about 14.5 weeks out from Team U and all is going well. I feel great and have been making great progress each week.

My philosophy is to continue pushing heavy weight all the way through my contest prep. My strength has been good so far. On my most recent back workout, I was able to work up to 295 for 3 sets of 6 on bent over barbell rows (reverse grip).

Today was leg day, and I had a strong workout. I usually have a set plan for my workouts, however, I do "go with the flow" sometimes. Today was one of those days. I started squatting and it felt really good. When all was said and done, I looked at my notebook and saw that I performed 12 sets...lol!

In regards to cardio, I will be kicking up all cardio sessions this week by 5 minutes. That means that non-training days will be up to 55 minutes and training days will be up to 45 minutes.

My current nutrition plan looks as follows:

Training Days:
Meal #1: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB
Meal #2: Scoop whey (post lifting)
Meal #3: Scoop whey/TBSP PB (after cardio)
Meal #4: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #5: Scoop whey/TBSP PB
Meal #6: Scoop whey/TBSP PB
Meal #7: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #8: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB

Non-training:
Meal #1: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB (after cardio)
Meal #3: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #4: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #6: 5 eggs (one whole, 4 whites), TBSP PB

Every 2-3 days, I switch out my tilapia/broccoli meal with a can of tuna, small salad, and a TBSP of olive oil.

I haven't stepped on the scale recently. I think I'm probably around the low 160's, but don't really care at this point. I like the progression I have made so far each week.

Hopefully, I'll get some more progress pics up soon.

joedemarco
06-15-2009, 10:42 AM
I'm at about 13.5 weeks out. I've been feeling good and can really see my progress from week to week. From where I am currently, I know that I will be coming in at my all time best. The hard work over the past couple of years, since my last contest, seems to have paid off.

Strength wise, I feel good. I haven't necessarily lost any strength, however I don't think I will be setting any personal records in the 1-3 rep range. As my body weight slowly comes down, I don't find that those types of lifts go up. However, my strength is improving in regards to sets in the 6-8 rep range. For example, this morning I did legs, and felt pretty good while performing stiff legged deads for 3 sets of 8 reps with 315 lbs.

In regards to cardio, I added a 30 minute session on Mondays (today) following my leg workout. All other cardio sessions this week will be increased by 5 minutes. That brings me to 50 minutes on training days and 60 minutes on non-training days.

Nutrition wise, I'm holding steady this week. I don't see any need in cutting anything. Progress was good last week and the increase in cardio this week should continue that progress.

At this point, I haven't had any cravings. I'm a little hungry during the day, but that doesn't bother me. After 20 years of doing this, I'm use to that. It goes with the territory.

joedemarco
06-17-2009, 01:47 PM
Got some progress pics last night. It's funny, but I hate taking progress pics. I am such a perfectionist, that it aggravates me to see pics of myself when I'm not completely contest ready, tanned, and under the proper lighting...lol. I am definitely my biggest critic. Anyways, with that being said, here are some shots. The double bicep shot is dark because the flash didn't go off (sorry!). I'm 13 weeks out at this point.

esplendido
06-17-2009, 02:09 PM
Got some progress pics last night. It's funny, but I hate taking progress pics. I am such a perfectionist, that it aggravates me to see pics of myself when I'm not completely contest ready, tanned, and under the proper lighting...lol. I am definitely my biggest critic. Anyways, with that being said, here are some shots. The double bicep shot is dark because the flash didn't go off (sorry!). I'm 13 weeks out at this point.

You've got 14 weeks left??? You are about 3 weeks out in present condition. I'd eat up a little or you might lose some of that hard earned muscle. You're looking fantastic!!!!

sassy69
06-17-2009, 04:40 PM
You've got 14 weeks left??? You are about 3 weeks out in present condition. I'd eat up a little or you might lose some of that hard earned muscle. You're looking fantastic!!!!


:bowdown:

Ditto that!

HeavyDutyGuy
06-17-2009, 08:39 PM
Looking great. Esp from the front! I think that's your strength- and I'd play on that bigtime. Everything seems tight, and together. Keep it up!

joedemarco
06-18-2009, 01:55 PM
You've got 14 weeks left??? You are about 3 weeks out in present condition. I'd eat up a little or you might lose some of that hard earned muscle. You're looking fantastic!!!!

Thanks! Yes, losing muscle is always a concern. I'll be making some adjustments over the next 13 weeks to try to keep that from happening.


:bowdown:

Ditto that!

lol.....Thanks, I appreciate it!


Looking great. Esp from the front! I think that's your strength- and I'd play on that bigtime. Everything seems tight, and together. Keep it up!

Thanks. I'll post some back shots next time I get some pics taken. Good luck with your training also!

joedemarco
06-22-2009, 11:32 AM
Well, here we go again. Can't believe another week has past. September will literally be here before I know it.

I'm 12.5 weeks out and all is well. I was a little under the weather (OK...I was pretty sick...lol) last Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I feel much better today. I know it's been discussed on different forums what to do when you're sick. Do you train? Do you take the day off? Well, here's my answer: I trained my ass off last week and didn't miss a beat. I guess I'm just an old school hard headed Italian (Sicilian). I just can't get myself to miss a scheduled workout. I know my competitors were training so I wasn't going to miss my training. Some might disagree with my decision, however that's the way my mind works.

As the result of all that, I did take in some extra calories Saturday night (weekly cheat meal/refeed). I felt that my body definitely needed a little extra.

Here's what's going on this week. I upped cardio after leg day (today) from 30 to 40 minutes. Cardio on non-training days is up from 60 to 70 minutes. I will hold cardio steady on training days at 50 minutes.

Nutrition looks as follows:

Training Days:
Meal #1: 6 eggs (two whole, 4 whites)
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB (after training)
Meal #3: Can Tuna/Salad Greens/TBSP Vega Oil(Omega 3,6 blend)
Meal #4: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #6: 6 eggs (two whole, 4 whites)

Non-training (Sundays):
Meal #1: 6 eggs (two whole, 4 whites)
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #3: Can Tuna/Salad Greens/TBSP Vega Oil
Meal #4: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 6 eggs (two whole, 4 whites)

I pretty much interchange my tuna meal with my tilapia meal. Depends whatever I'm in the mood for.

Workouts have been going great. As I mentioned last week, strength in the 1-3 rep range is down but overall strength is excellent. We'll see how this week goes and then make adjustments accordingly. I'll get some progress pics up later this week.

joedemarco
06-29-2009, 04:38 PM
Training has been going great. I'm really happy with my conditioning at this point (~11.5 weeks out). However, I know I still have a long road ahead of me to reach the level of conditioning that I set as my goal.

I made a small change in my nutrition plan this week. My first and last meals of the day have been altered slightly. Instead of 2 whole eggs and 4 whites, I switched it to 1 whole egg and 5 whites.

My nutrition plan now looks as follows:

Training Days:
Meal #1: 6 eggs (one whole, 5 whites)
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB (after training)
Meal #3: Can Tuna/Salad Greens/TBSP Vega Oil(Omega 3,6 blend)
Meal #4: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #6: 6 eggs (one whole, 5 whites)

Non-training (Sundays):
Meal #1: 6 eggs (one whole, 5 whites)
Meal #2: 2 Scoops whey/TBSP PB
Meal #3: Can Tuna/Salad Greens/TBSP Vega Oil
Meal #4: 8 oz. Tilapia/serving broccoli/TBSP PB
Meal #5: 6 eggs (one whole, 5 whites)

I interchange my tuna meal with my tilapia meal. Depends whatever I'm in the mood for.

In regards to cardio, I upped my post leg workout cardio session (today) to 50 minutes. Cardio sessions on other training days have been increased to 60 minutes. Non training cardio days will be increased to 75 minutes.

Hopefully, within the next couple of days I'll post some updated progress pics.

Curt James
06-30-2009, 12:15 AM
Thought I'd start a contest prep log in this section for anyone interested.

I've probably trained harder over the past two years then I have my entire life. Since my lightweight masters nationals win, I have maintained a strict nutrition program for building muscle while continuing to lift consistently and heavy (as always...lol). I have experimented with several nutrition plans over the past two years and have learned a lot (guess you're never to old to learn!). I also feel that I've built some good quality muscle and have been feeling really strong.

My goal for 2009 is to compete in September at Team Universe.

Good luck at Team Universe. Thanks for sharing your contest prep info with everyone!

joedemarco
06-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Good luck at Team Universe. Thanks for sharing your contest prep info with everyone!

You're welcome! I hope it helps some of you with your own training and contest preparation. If I can answer any questions, just let me know.

HeavyDutyGuy
07-01-2009, 12:50 AM
You're gonna be shredded for the TU! Keep up the good work!

joedemarco
07-02-2009, 05:05 PM
You're gonna be shredded for the TU! Keep up the good work!

Thanks. I can already tell, at 11 weeks out, that I will be bringing a new level of conditioning for myself to the stage come September. It's been a long two years of training and experimenting with different nutrition plans until I found what worked best for me.

joedemarco
07-08-2009, 05:51 PM
Been busy training and haven't had a chance to update recently. Everything is going as planned. I switched cardio over to double sessions this week. It doesn't get anymore fun then that.

With my weekly cardio increases, I have been holding my diet pretty steady each week and continue to make excellent progress.

I have some good separation and cross striations happening all over. I grabbed a quick pic (it's a little blury) that shows the cross striations coming in at my triceps.

Luv2Hurt
07-21-2009, 12:24 AM
Looking shreaded man! Good luck at the show.

joedemarco
08-12-2009, 03:01 PM
Couple quick pics of the legs last night at about 5.5 weeks out. I'm hold a lot of water at this time because of the amount of sodium I'm taking in. I'm about 10 pounds over my weight class at this point. I should have no problem getting my skin to look like saran wrap when the water comes out and I drop the 10 pounds.