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Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread


you’ve got really super fat, haven’t you, Rob?

Just admit it


LOL! At first it felt weird to be practically naked, now the opposite.


HA! A wonderful thought. I do have a couple of occasions this summer to cut, one of my best buddies is getting married in San Diego on the beach, so we’ll be there for a few days. Also going to Hawaii before that on vacation since we’ll be close, and British Columbia a couple weeks after. So, I’ll start getting ready for that in April and have 13 or so weeks to go slow and steady.

Yeah, I’ve been bulking and it got out of hand after I found this stuff. It’s addicting.


That is some serious down-home food right there…

Then I saw the bob Evans in the background!


SUMMER CUT - DAY 1 - 13 weeks out - 159.8lbs

No show this year for me on stage, but, my wife and I have a trip to Hawaii, a wedding on the beach in San Diego, and an investor retreat in British Columbia coming up, so the summer cut is on!

As usual, I’m extremely fortunate that my wife and I both are so passionate about eating clean and training. For those tuning in more recently, I coached my wife through her first bodybuilding show last year, she did an outstanding job during her prep and won both her classes at the show. We competed at that show together, and prepped together, and it was a truly awesome experience on so many levels to do that together. As we’re both going on all these trips this summer and want to look our best, we’ll be “prepping” together. While we’re not stepping on stage, we are both approaching this as a contest style prep with the same consistency and discipline. I made some modifications to our meal plans that we prepped on last year, as well as training and cardio. We’re both roughly 20lbs from our stage weights right now, and as we’re not trying to get stage lean, just beach lean, feel confident we’ll get there in 13 weeks.

Beach lean is about 8% body fat. 10% will look good no doubt, but not where I want to be. 8% is going to be the money zone of a great physique, without digging too deep. 8% is about consistency, and minor sacrifice (at least it only feels minor to me). I was able to get to 8% last year without doing morning cardio and on 180g of carbs per day. That was as far as I could get without feeling like I was killing myself. After that, adding daily morning cardio and cutting carbs, was the point of no return.

As I say “minor sacrifice”, I guess that’s a subjective term. I have no problem eating the same meals every day. During the off season that’s pretty much what I do, because it’s easy, delicious, and meets all my nutritional requirements and goals. I won’t be hesitant in the least to go off the “plan,” but I just like the routine. I enjoy training and and passionate about never being fat again, so I enjoy getting to the 5-6 days a week. On a hard cut, there’s no wiggle room to do it right. Eat right, train hard, don’t stop, no matter what. Some folks might view those as large sacrifices, but once you implement the right actions and get caught up in the life style, you’ll get addicted to the results and will not want to stop. What used to be legitimate reasons to skip the gym will now seem like worthless excuses.

My goal is to get to 148lbs. My stage weight is 139-140, but I’m confident I’ve put on a good few pounds of LBM since last year, so I’m guessing that weight range will be the zone, won’t know until I get there. After my shows last year, I slowly crept up to 165lbs over the course of 6 months. Then, I cut down to 155 and hovered around there about 3 months. Over the past two weeks I’ve been on a great vacation with my wife and have been enjoying myself quite a bit with the food. My weight this morning was 159.8lbs, which is lower than I thought it’d be. Quite happy with that!

Here’s a pic from my prep last year at 150lbs

So, I’ve got 13-15lbs to lose in 13 weeks. No problem. Here’s the plan:

(med) MON - Back & LISS (20min)
(med) TUE - Chest, abs, LISS (20min)
(med) WED - Arms, calves, LISS (20min)
(low) THU - HIIT - 8 intervals, then 15min LISS (I hate HIIT, but it’s a necessary evil)
(high) FRI - Legs, glutes, calves
(med) SAT - Delts, abs, LISS (20min)
(low) SUN - LISS (45min)

Same as my prep last year with cardio. I do 20-30min LISS after weights, which is not enough to worry about “muscle breakdown.” Keep the heart rate at 125-140, burn some fat nice and easy while listening to music or watching something on my phone. One weekly HIIT session, and the other “off day” is a 45min LISS session. I’ve learned that HIIT wrecks me quite a bit, and while the fat burning benefits are great, 2 weekly HIIT workouts inhibits my ability to recover too much. So, I do one long LISS session on Sunday, just to have an easy way to get a 500cal deficit and burn some more fat. For me, this method works very well.

Nutrition - here are screen shots of my three days:

I’ll be updating and logging my “summer prep” regularly on here, and will start taking weekly pics this weekend. I’m pretty hairy right now, and will remain that way until shortly before we leave for our trips. It’s impossible to see any semblance of abs with all the hair, so it makes for a great “unveiling” when it comes off.


Awesome good to have you back Rob, enjoy your posts.


@ostij thank you very much, great to hear from you!


Just want to say that I sometimes find myself lurking the log section in search of someone to take inspiration from for my own training.

Most of the times I end up on logs of people that aren’t training with goals similar to mine or just train too differently than what I like to do.

While there are certainly many other valuable logs on here, yours has recently caught my attention big time.

Your training, nutrition, and supplementation are something I want to take note of for my own journey as you have achieved a physique that is much like the one I want to have eventually. Thank you and congratulations for your achievement!


Great to see you back Rob.


Yay, Rob is back! Also, I like how you have planned for 1/2 pint of Halo Top once a week. I’m sure that is a nice mental treat come Friday after a low HIIT day.


He needs to write his own entrance music so we know he’s back -lol



@samul - thank you so much man, I really appreciate that and it means a lot. I can say without a doubt that without T-Nation, the forums, logs, folks I’ve met on here, I wouldn’t have stepped foot in a gym, much less on stage. It’s wonderful that we can keep learning from each other, motivate each other, and help each other achieve our goals. Glad to have you along bro!

@kd13 - Thanks man, you are looking insane!!

@littlesleeper - hey dude! Yessir, a “cheat meal” dinner and some desert help the mind, and body equally.

LOL! ::Insert Mas Macros theme song::


First week almost done, down 2.5lbs weighing in at 157.4 this morning. Yesterday’s HIIT workout was brutal, I was surprised at how hard it was. I don’t do cardio in the off season, so getting back to LISS post weights and HIIT this week has been a good shock to the body. Meal plan has been enjoyable.

Last year on my prep, on my high day I had a bagel with breakfast and a lot more carbs throughout the day. This time around, I’m taking a slightly different approach, in learning that I respond better to slower carbs. I’m keeping my high day the same as my medium day, with the exception of dinner and desert. This will allow to me have more freedom and carbs/cals with my post workout meal.

Have a great weekend all, more updates coming soon as well as pics.


Guy I’m coaching for his first show, physique, coming up soon. He’s lost over 40lbs and is almost ready.


@robstein How many people do you coach/work with on avg?


Where is the stretched out and sagging skin - youth, hate it!


@maverick88 - I like to work with 5-6 at a time, currently I have 5, and most of them aren’t competitors. I like to keep a small list as I have 2 businesses already, and it takes a lot of time out of the day to be a good coach. Coaching someone for the stage takes a lot more time than someone who is on a diet for the summer. Not just in the diet and training schedule, but meeting frequently for posing practice, helping with tanning details, show logistics, etc. The guy above is my 3rd competitor, and also the first male I’ve coached for the stage. He’s done a great job and has had the right mind set and discipline. He was 193 when we started his prep, his weight today was 150.2 and lowest is 149.6. I remember telling him he’d probably get below 150lbs by stage time and he thought there was no way. Just goes to show how much there really is to lose to get stage ready!

LOL, it’s coming for us all…


@robstein That is awesome. Is it all through word of mouth/physical inquiry or online/social media?


All word of mouth and physical inquiry from folks at the gym. Over the years people at the gym have seen me get into contest shape, tanned, etc., so they know I compete. It’s not something I bring up, but usually as you get closer to contest shape people just start gravitating and asking questions, etc. It’s also a common occurrence for someone to ask about coaching after working with someone else and not getting the results they expect, and knowing it’s something I do, they’ll ask me about it.

I tried Instagram for like a week and deactivated my account. It takes far too much time and effort on there with little to no rewards, having to post daily selfies and hype and all that stuff, the online world doesn’t need another guy talking about macros and such. IMO 99.9% of the people on there just want to see ripped bodies and I’m not trying to post a picture just to see how many likes I can get. One of my clients is REALLY into the social media, and is on there all day posting pics and such. He looks great for sure, but IMO at the end of the day he’s chasing “likes”, and isn’t making any money from it. I know there are many folks who can make a decent income living on social media and doing training plans and such, just not for me.

I prefer word of mouth and letting my body and consistency be my business card, keeps my roster small and with people I know. I’ve also coached a few folks I’ve met on these forums, which is exactly how I met my coach, @The_Mighty_Stu!


Every time I say I’m gonna try and do the daily IG post, I fall off after a few days. It’s just too much work, and there’s only so much you can say! I think a year or two ago, I started making my own bodybuilding memes, and figured I do one a week… well, that lasted about 3 weeks! -lol

It’s funny to see how this generation regards social media vs guys who were competing just 5-10 years ago. Back then, (damn, I already sound like an old man!) you actually had to accomplish something for people to listen to you. Like you mentioned Rob, people just seeing you actually get results is the best type of advertising possible. I never did any PR myself, just kept improving while everyone else in the gym made excuses or couldn’t figure out how to put it all together. For guys like us, the whole social media angle, pimping yourself to some degree just feels silly IMO.



I am with you 100% man!

Did you see Generation Iron 2? I am not a fan. Concentrated so much on the social media aspect of the sport these days, and a lot of the “stars” of the movie haven’t accomplished much other than a huge fan base. There is certainly something to be said about that, no doubt. The path to get there is too superficial and not my style.