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Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread


You better be telling us more about this when you’re able!

  1. Married
  2. Pro Bodybuilder
  3. Buying a second house
  4. Big time composer

Who’s living the dream? Robostein is!


Rob just racking up / showing off more accomplishments -lol



@robstein - Congrats on getting the GIG.

Now, like @IronAndMetal said, you gotta spill the beans when you can.

I’ve been following your log.

I am just getting back into lifting (been out for 5 years really) and your dedication is inspiring man!


Nice work Rob, have you changed your carb cycling method? Is it just carbs pre post and before bed? on most days.


Typing an update as I enjoy some Finibars before I head to the gym. Great trip so far, had a 2.5 hour flight to St. Louis, then a 2 hr layover before heading to Omaha. Just got to the hotel, got a free rental car upgrade to a Dodge Journey (never heard of it but awesome crossover SUV), staying at the Staybridge Suites so the room has a full kitchen, AND, while I had a gym worked out in advance, when I checked in I was informed I have free access to the Lifetime Fitness across the street, which pretty much looks like Globogym. It’s huge!

Grocery store across the street, stopped on the way to the hotel, stocked and ready to go.

-All my Biotest goodness, including Indigo-3G, Micro-PA, Carbolin-19, Flameout, Curcumin, Rez-V, and ZMA.
-Chocolate and Vanilla Metabolic Drive
-BCAA for training (purple and green containers)
-Almonds and cashews (black and blue stacks)
-Zevia and Halo Top for the room

Got the rest of the day to myself, gonna hit the gym and get some grub somewhere. There’s a “Muscle Maker Grill” down the street which is an awesome chain near me, awesome to see they’re out here! Clean tasty meals, plenty to choose from. While on this trip I’ll be keeping it clean but won’t be concentrating on the dieting aspect. Still gonna train every day and especially looking forward to checking out this sick looking gym across the street without having to pay for a day pass.


@IronAndMetal - thanks so much bro, you are too kind! Not gonna lie, it feels pretty damn good to be at this point in my life. During my ten years of public school teaching I burnt many candles at both ends to try to get my business off the ground and fulfill my dream of becoming a “marching band rockstar.” It’s really all starting to click, and I am extremely grateful and am soaking in every minute of it.

@cdmac24 - Thank you SO MUCH man, I really appreciate that! Very glad to have you on board!

Alright, quick summary about the big gig I just got. To recap, I write marching band music for very competitive marching bands all over the country. I compose and arrange music for bands for each year, or they can go on my website and listen to my library of shows that they can buy that are “off the shelf”, meaning they’re already complete with everything they need. They listen to it, like it, get it, I send them the parts and they start practicing right away.

Then there’s an activity called “drum corps” which is essentially the professional sport of marching band. Not school related, audition only, and the best of the best. What these groups are doing on the field is nothing short of absolutely mind blowing. To write music for these groups, generally you need to be super famous in the activity because they only want big names as an assurance that they should be getting a quality product. It’s very hard to break into this scene. But, once you’re in, if you do well, it’s a game changer. Kind of like if you’re a prep coach of some solid competitors, then all of a sudden you get a call from an Olympia top 10 finalist wanting you to coach them. Another analogy would be a well respected coach in the minor leagues who gets a call from a major league franchise.

So, I’ve written for some drum corps before, but just got the confirmation from my first major league franchise that I’ll be writing their music for 2018. There are only about 25 of these organizations the world total at that level. For my business, this means a lot more notoriety as a composer/arranger, which will lead to other gigs, and hopefully I can keep climbing the latter. Game changer for sure!

If you google my name you’ll find my website, please feel free to check it out.

@ostij good to hear from you man! Some days I’ll have ~30g carbs with breakfast in either Ezekiel toast/english muffins, or Van’s Lite Waffles and syrup if I want it. But, most days during the week I’m keeping carbs pre workout and pre bed, because I enjoy my P+F meals, and it’s an easy way to keep the diet going without having to do more cardio or dig in more; a nice passive way to keep the momentum going. Still doing a weekly refeed, which again is just an awesome post workout meal, usually Greek food with plenty of rice pilaf and pita bread, or a double burrito bowl from Chipotle or something like that, and a couple pints of Halo Top.


Hey Rob, I hope your trip is going great! Quick question: you have mentioned carbs before bed. What exactly are you eating before bed? I’m experimenting with different carb sources pre-bed, and curious what you like. Thanks!


Back from Nebraska, a short and productive trip. Great for business and had a blast with a good amount of free time as well. Went to the Omaha Zoo in some free time, pretty impressive!

I had free access to Lifetime Fitness. DAMN, what an incredible gym! Absolutely the best I’ve ever been in overall. The amount of equipment, variety, amenities, were pretty staggering. Also just found out they’re opening a new one near where my wife and I will be moving next year, so I know where I’ll be training for sure.

I trained longer than usual each time because there was just so much stuff, I had lots of time with nothing else to do. Loved it. Trained everything over the course of my 4 workouts, including one day when I trained twice. Did a little cardio, wasn’t planning on it but wanted to try some new machines I’ve never seen.

Diet wise I ate clean but wasn’t restricting cals at all. There was a Muscle Maker Grill down the street and I got most of my meals there, chicken/steak, turkey meatballs, veggies and rice, baked potatoes, “Oatmega” bars which are awesome in taste, macros and ingredients, and Halo Top. A couple beers with colleagues as well.

Feeling great and looking full for the first time in a while now that I’ve filled out my glycogen stores more. This week I’m home and am back on my plan, next week I’m leaving for CA for two weeks and will follow the same protocol I did in Nebraska. Travel is busy and stressful so I’m not gonna worry about a caloric deficit at all. I wanted to be lean for my travels and work, mission accomplished, so I’m going to train hard every day and eat lots of clean food.

New Goal

So, I’ve accomplished my goal to get down to 153-155 for my trips, before I left I was 153.8, lost 11lbs in 8 weeks. When I get back from CA in early November, I’m going to continue on my current plan through New Years in hopes to get to 147-148 by January. 148 was my contest weight going into peek week in 2016 for my very first show, so it’s crazy to think I can casually diet down to there. But, seeing as I got to 154 on this very manageable plan, I’m thinking if I continue with it, I should be able to squeeze another 5-6 pounds out of it in 8 weeks time, not being in a time crunch. Below 150 I really start looking very tight, and that would also put me about 10lbs from stage weight, which would make a prep a comparable walk in the park from previous years.

I’m still not sure if I’m going to compete with how well my writing business is going, selling the house, etc. But, as I’ve said already, if I do hop on stage, I want to give myself the best chance of success I can, so having 10lbs to lose would set me up for success. Worst case scenario is I don’t compete and just maintain really lean conditioning, which I’d certainly be happy with. I do definitely want to compete again, give it one last go and see my improvements. I love it. But, I will not prioritize getting on stage over real life priorities to the point of it being detrimental to my life and business, so for now, going to keep plugging away and we’ll see what happens.


@FatKidfromFL - Hope all is well brother! Yep, carbs before bed every night. Sleep has always been rough for me since I started training, but I was also following the broscience of “no carbs before bed.” Since eating carbs before bed, I’ve been sleeping very well every single night, and have had no problem continuing to cut fat.

I have two “go to” meals/carb sources pre bed that are slow digesting, clean and have a good amount of fiber.

One of them is Ezekiel Cereal, the meal is:
-3oz fat free cottage cheese
-1oz Ezekiel Cereal (20g carbs)
-1 scoop Metabolic Drive protein
-Splash of unsweetened almond milk

Put it all in a mug and mix it up, then pop it in the freezer for about an hour to hour and a half, comes out with ice creamy consistency and the cereal thickens up nicely. Pretty filling and very tasty.


“Blueberry Ice Cream” as I call it.
-4oz fat free cottage cheese
-1 cup (140g) frozen blueberries (18g carbs)
-1 scoop Metabolic Drive protein
-splash of unsweetened almond milk (just a little bit)
-1TSP xanathan gum (extra fiber and thickens it up significantly, I’ve found it’s best to blend everything first, THEN add xanathan gum and blend again)

Put it all in the Vitamix, start it on a low setting to chop up the blueberries, then slowly increase speed until everything is pureed together. Add xanathan gum and turn the blender back on for about 15 seconds. Scoop everything out into a pint glass, put in the freezer for 1-2 hours, I prefer closer to 2. Comes out very thick and ice-creamy, delicious and takes a while to eat.

Both meals are about 300 cals.


HUGE congratulations! That’s awesome man, you deserve it!


Thanks for those recipes! I will have to give them a shot. My prebed carbs have been mostly limited to raw rolled oats. My new favorite is 2 oz of cashew butter, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 15g soy lecithin, 40g rolled oats, and a pinch of salt. Mix it up in a bowl and good to go. “Ghetto-granola” I’m usually well beyond my daily protein needs by bedtime, but for when I am not, I do 1.5 to 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder with 40g oats, 20g potato starch, 1g xantham gum, 6g cinnamon, pinch of salt, 275g ice, and 150g water; all in the blendtec until it’s a thick shake.

In my more ridiculous days, I used to do 4 scoops of protein, a whole can of coconut cream, xantham gum, and ice, to yield 2 “fat shakes”, which I would consume over the course of the night (waking up to pee and drink the second shake). I sweat like crazy those nights!


What are your destinations in NorCal? Them’s my stomping grounds.


That sounds awesome! During my prep rolled oats were a pre-bed carb favorite, cold soaked with protein and almond butter.

DAMN I bet those tasted great!

That’s awesome man, we gotta hook up if possible! I’ll be in Morgan Hill, between San Jose and Gilroy. Is that relatively close? Hope you’re doing alright with all the fires in the area.


I’m no longer in NorCal, but lived there for quite a while. I spend my Summers in Santa Cruz, near Morgan Hill.

You will, of course, want to partake in all things Garlic while there - Gilroy is the garlic capital of the world. They even have garlic ice cream.

You will also have legit Mexican food there, if you’re into that. We don’t get legit Mexican in the Northeast and it’s good food.

The weather should be phenomenal - temperate, no humidity, clear blue skies.

I’d try to take a trip down to Santa Cruz or Capitola and maybe do some LISS on the beach. That stretch of the Pacific is epic. If you want to try surfing, Cowell’s is a great place to learn, and if you already surf, Steamers is epic and Pleasure Point doesn’t suck. Monterey is also close by and they have a pretty snazzy aquarium, not to mention a happnin’ blues and jazz scene.

Anyhoo, suspect you will be busy AF while there, so enjoy what you can.

Congrats on the drum corps gig!


quick one for you, Rob:

When you’re dieting, by how much do you reduce the volume of your weight-training workouts, if at all?

Ta muchly


@The_Myth thanks for all the info man! I love getting legit Mexican food in Cali. It’s my home away from home, I’ve spent a lot of my summers there for the past 12 years and have coworkers that live in Gilroy, you can smell the garlic for miles! Haven’t tried the garlic ice cream though, might be on the list this year. I love the lack of humidity and consistent weather in NorCal, can’t wait. Right now in LA my clients tell me it’s like 100 degrees, gonna have to bring a lot of layers as it’ll be 100 in LA and ~50 in the mornings and evenings in San Jose.

Thanks so much man!

@Yogi1 - Thanks for checking in brother! I don’t really adjust training volume while dieting specifically. Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly beat up I’ll dial back, or if I’m feeling great I may add a set or two, but between dieting or maintenance or whatever it’s pretty consistent. The only time I’ve purposely dialed back volume is 2-3 weeks out of a contest when I’m half alive, the goal is just to stimulate the muscle and keep it there, not gonna have any growth occur during that last stretch, gotta play it safe and avoid injury.


Been a good week at home, had a lot of catching up to do and things to get done before leaving for Cali on Tuesday. Also wanted to squeeze in as much time with my wife and pups as possible before hitting the road for two weeks.

So, this week I wound up going to the gym one time, otherwise it’s been an off week and has felt great. The traveling last week combined with crazy awesome and much longer-than-usual workouts on the road, I really needed some time off, I’m feeling good and ready to tackle my next trip. I think it all worked out well, I cut for 8 weeks, lost ~10lbs, I’ve been back at maintenance for a week and a half and will continue that over my travels the next two weeks, totaling 4 weeks at maintenance. When I get back, the goal will be to get under 150lbs by New Years. Last year was 154 when I started prepping on Jan 1, so if I can get to 150lbs, I can ride that out for a bit and see what happens. That’ll give me 8 weeks to lose 6-7 lbs, which should be totally manageable.

Since my shows ended in May, I’ve had 3 times when I’ve taken 7-10 days off the gym, and it’s really been great. I used to think doing that wouldn’t be a good move, but after years of consistent training and nutrition, it’s absolutely awesome. I’ve had similar comments from clients when I tell them to take a few days off or something, and even just at the thought of a few days they say, “but won’t that halt my progress?” No, no it won’t. “Progress” doesn’t always mean more/heavier weight, progress is doing whatever is best for your body, schedule, health, and long term goals. A week off can be just the thing to let the body relax, recover, reset, and give you the mental strength ready to tackle another 6-8 weeks.

An analogy I used for one of my female clients recently who has dug herself into the ground too far and needed some recovery - imagine a painter coming to paint a wall, going to put on two coats of paint. Obviously the first coat needs time to dry before applying the second one. Would an experienced painter say, “well, I just put this first coat on and it’s still wet. But, if I’m letting it dry and not actively painting, I’m not making progress! I don’t care if it’s still wet, I’m putting on that second coat! YOLO!” Of course not.

So, tomorrow I’ll get back in, leaving Tuesday when I know I’ll be in the gym every day on the road for sure. Already got my gyms worked out. In SoCal I’ll be at a Fitness 19, NorCal will be Anytime Fitness. Both are totally functional for what I need, $20 for the week. My hotel rooms are both going to have full fridges and kitchens, always fun to keep it clean on the road. And of course, saving some wiggle room for meals out with clients, and knowing California has some EPIC food experiences around, I want to take advantage of whatever I can while I’m there.


thanks, Rob! I’ve been reducing volume a bit while cutting but maybe I’m being too conservative.

Always enjoy reading your thread, mate! Keep it up!


Crazy busy couple weeks on the road, haven’t had any time for an update, but as I’m waiting for coffee I HAD to post this. Walking out of the elevator in my hotel, and bump into THIS GUY!! FLEX FREAKING WHEELER!


Hope your trip is going great, look forward to more updates. Keep crushing it!