The first of March is the day I begin my very serious and concentrated training and diet for the Mr. America contest at the end of June in example, I've been working calves very hard every day. If toe raises are on the agenda, I pump away until I can feel individual muscle fibers almost screaming for relief. Following Boyer Coe's recommendations, I've been doing all toes toe raises with a very exaggerated range of motion, particularly in the bottom position. He also advised me to do this stretching at odd hours of the day and using no weights, so I've nailed together some wood blocks so I can periodically stretch at work and at home while I’m on the phone.
"By the time you read this article, March 1st will be long past, and I will have done hundreds of sets for each body part. What I'd like to do is outline my diet and training methods for the roughly four month period between now and Philadelphia.
"The key words in all of my preparations will be discipline and effort. You'll never get very far in life, let alone in the bodybuilding game, if you aren't able to exercise self discipline and if you find it difficult to make the types of sacrifices necessary to reach the top.
My wife, Vicki, also endures my discipline and sacrifice, because the training takes me away from her and our son, Patrick, more than I'd really like. in addition, she is very careful to prepare for me the type of meals that I need to get cut up. All of this is a sacrifice, but one that will hopefully not be made too much longer.
I am very grateful to Vicki and if I win the Mr. America this year, it will have been impossible without her constant support. If I win, I'll take her to London with me for the Universe, even if I have to mortgage the house to do it! Even that's a small reward for the sacrifices she's made for me.
"Beginning March 1st, my workouts jump to a six day per week split routine, three days for each body part except calves and abs, which will be bombed daily. Again there will be no major changes in my program, just more concentration and a slightly faster tempo. I'll alternate sets with my training partners, so rests even on heavier exercises will be a minute or less. Each movements will be so intense that my muscles will have a slight tendency to cramp after the workout, and they will stay pumped up for several hours after each exercise session.
"The hard training will be combined with a very strict diet. Naturally this will cause a weight loss of four or five pounds before I've shed all my fat, but still I will step up on the posing platform this June about five pounds heavier than last year - and all of it in the right places.
"My diet since the Mr. America contest has been wholesome, well-balanced, and high in proteins, but I haven't denied myself an occasional bowl of ice cream. I've as much of a sweet tooth as anyone, so it's nice to indulge it once in a while. But after a "Last Supper" the evening of February 29th, it'll be the discipline and sacrifice trip I talked about earlier.
"The only legitimate diet for contest cuts and size is high protein and very low carbohydrates. This means mostly meat, so I don't think you'll ever see a vegetarian Mr. America winner. If you average it out, I'll probably be eating five pounds of lean meat per day and several times throughout the day.
Throw in a salad, some occasional eggs, and unsweetened Kool-Aid or iced tea, and you have a pretty spartan regimen.
I may also eat some cottage cheese once in a while, but all milk products are totally out for the last two or three weeks prior to the contest. They tend to thicken the skin too much.
"Several food supplements will help me to cut up. I'll be taking all the usually vitamins, as well as plenty of desiccated liver for extra energy, and calcium to ward of nervousness from the heavy meat diet.
Really deep cuts can be helped along by taking inositol, choline and lecithin supplements. I also plan to drink some vinegar with each meal as this practice has become popular with many champion bodybuilders.
"Both the diet and training will be subtly geared to peak me out the actual day of the contest. Last year I peaked out about a week before the Mr. A and was down a little by the next week. This year I know better what to look for and I'm confident that I can peak on the exact day."