Today I’m 5 weeks out from my competition date, so I thought I’d share a little bit about what my training is like at this stage.
Every Sunday a.m. I send progress pics to my coach. I don’t look at these pics; Jimmy takes them and sends them for me. (There’s a good reason for this, but that’s the subject of another post.) I take pics before eating or working out, and I take them in the same place and roughly the same time every week, so they provide a benchmark. My coach uses the pics to make adjustments to my diet, cardio, workouts, etc.
After my pictures, I have a cup of coffee and head out for my first cardio session, which is a run. I go for an easy steady-state run for 40 minutes, which usually gets me about 3.5 miles (more or less, depending on where I am in my carb cycle).
I eat meal 1 at 7:30, and right now it consists of 1/3 c white rice (double that if I’m on a high-carb day) and 1 cup of scrambled egg whites. I drink more coffee, water with BCAAs, and take the supplements that follow my first meal.
Meal 2 is at 10:00, and consists of 4 oz chicken breast, 1/3 cup white rice (double that on high-carb days), and 1.5 cups veggies. More supplements.
Meal 3, at 1 pm, is a protein shake. If I’m home for this, I like to blend 1/2 scoop Dymatize Elite whey in Cafe Mocha with 1/2 scoop Dymatize Elite whey in Rich Chocolate, 1 cup of cold black coffee, gelatinized maca, 1 packet of stevia, and crushed ice – midday milkshake! If I’m out and have to schlep my meal, I combine whey protein with water in a shaker. My current fave is Cellucor’s delicious Peanut Butter Marshmallow whey. This is my favorite meal of the day. 🙂
Meal 4, at 3:30, is the same as meal 2, but I use different veggies so I don’t die of boredom. And more supplements.
I typically do my strength workout after meal 4. I work out with my coach twice a week at this stage; the rest of the workouts I do on my own. I’m on a hypertrophy program, so I shoot for 12 to 15 reps at the heaviest weight I can manage. I superset or giant set every exercise. Workouts typically take an hour to an hour and a half. My split: chest, arms, legs 1, back, shoulders, legs 2. I have one day of no strength training, usually Sunday.
Meal 5, at 6:30, is my least favorite, and consists of 6 oz white fish and plain salad or sliced cucumbers. This is the meal I have shed actual tears over. (Again, another post.) Supplements, of course.
I’m no longer doing second cardio every day–now it’s just three days a week. I walk on the treadmill at 15% incline, ride the stationary bike, or head outside for a walk at pace. Second cardio isn’t super-high intensity.
Half an hour before meal 6, I take my last supplement of the day, ZMA, which is best on an empty stomach.
Meal 6 is at 9 pm, and it’s a protein supplement. I try to use casein instead of whey, because it’s slow-digesting and helps keep me full through the night. Waking up starving at 2 a.m. is a terrible drag, so casein is a good thing. I don’t like it in shake form though because it thickens up, so I make it into a pudding mixed with a little water or pasteurized raw egg whites, if I have a protein deficit to make up. (I try really hard to avoid the latter, because RAW EGG WHITES. There’s no worry about salmonella, they’re just icky.)
And that’s the basic framework of my contest prep at this point, 14 weeks in, 5 weeks out.