T Nation

Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread


Haha, I wasn’t expecting such an interesting post! Really, I was just fucking with you a little. In my opinion a therapeutic dose of any kind of hormonal medication doesn’t revoke one’s natty status.


^This. I’ve echoed these thoughts to many people who have asked my thoughts on the topic of how something that is unquestionably a medical matter affects something as silly as competitive bodybuilding.



@robstein what would you estimate your bf at? Have you considered you may be to lean? I was no where near contest lean but, when I was about 7-8 lbs leaner I was not feeling great.

My diet, recovery/sleep, and training had to be on point or I would pay the price.


LOL! I assumed as much. I know not everyone has the same opinion on the topic, but I agree with you there!

A good question! Yes that has certainly crossed my mind, as I know when that point comes around of being leaner than my body likes to be, those symptoms kick in. Not just a result of body fat levels, but also the cumulative effect of training, diet, poor sleep, etc.

I don’t think body fat is the issue. I would estimate 9-11%, it’s hard to tell because I’m still pretty hairy, though my fur coat will be coming off for the summer in a couple weeks. I have solid shoulder cuts, vascularity and a visible 6 pack, abs have a full look but not dry. With my weight hovering around 155-156, that’s my best guesstimation, I’ll post a pic soon as I haven’t in a while. Since I’ve gone back to maintenance calories and only do cardio a couple times a week now for 20 min on the bike, I do think I look bigger and leaner, assumably as a combination of more glycogen, and possibly metabolism speeding up a bit as I was cutting pretty hard before that.

I have felt better since upping my cals and cutting back on cardio, but certainly not optimal. With the TSH and testosterone levels coming back where they are, they might not be 100% responsible for what I’m feeling, but are contributing in some way. Aside from the symptoms, having an under-active thyroid and testosterone lower than it should be could bring other risks as I continue to get older, and definitely want to explore all my options and make sure I’m on top of all that.

Recovery and sleep are good, I always take 2-3 full days off a week, and have been sleeping 7-9 hours a night consistently. Naturally any time I don’t feel right, my first thoughts are what I can do with diet, training, recovery, supplements, etc., to fix it. Once those possibilities were exhausted, I decided to get some blood work done, leading me to where I am now.

I really appreciate you bringing that up @lucasmon, hope all is well man!


Yeah, just saying, I think body fat may be an issue,

But, you got this bro,


@The_Myth thanks for your input man I really appreciate it! I can only say this from knowing my own body so well, and having been at the point numerous times where I’ve been too lean to feel good before, and know around what weight that happens and what I look like when that happens, I’m confident body fat isn’t the issue. Usually that’s at 145-146lbs, hard training and cardio every day, morning cardio and 1700-1800 cals a day. Currently I’m doing easy cardio once or twice a week, training 4-5 days a week and eating way more than I would in a prep situation. I’ve dialed back volume of my workouts as well, short and sweet. I’m good for a day at the beach, but I don’t think lean enough for body fat to be the issue.


What would you estimate was the highest your BF got and how long did you hold it before cutting again?

I ask because I have talked to a few competitors and have listened to Alberto Nunez talk about how after a contest and upping his calories he would immediately feel better however, every time he thought “I am back to feeling normal” in a couple weeks he would feel even better and think I guess what I thought was good a few weeks ago was not. He mentioned he knew a few athletes that would take 6-8 months to get back to normal.


I can certainly relate to that. It would always take at least 2-3 weeks before the first hint of “I feel better,” but it would continue over the course of time.

While I never used calipers, I’d guess 14-15%. Weight was 165, so 25lbs above stage weight, minimal arm and ab definition. It took me about three months to get back to that weight, and I stayed in that range for 6 months or so before I started cutting again. During that time I definitely felt better than in the depths of pre-contest, but still had lethargy, extreme fatigue at times during the day, and sporadic episodes of cold sensitivity and those deep chills which prompted me to go to the doctor.


Back from vacation! My wife and I took our annual summer trip to CO Springs, our fifth trip out there, followed by a week in San Diego for a friend’s wedding. While on vacation we usually train every morning, and this was no exception. We hit the usual “Flex” gym in CO Springs, an incredible old school bodybuilding gym with all the pics of the greats on the walls, tons of equipment and competitors, etc. In San Diego we were able to find a great gym called “Boulevard Fitness” and hit that in the mornings. Lots of great food, fun, adventures, and relaxing after an intense school year for her and writing season for me. The above pic was taken during a zip lining tour.

Training and nutrition has been going well. Shortly before we left for vacation I saw another doc, the third specialist I’ve seen and finally found one who I like and feel good about. His conclusion is my numbers are lower than optimal, and are not “normal” numbers for me. He looked at the trial dose of synthroid the original endo put me on and said the dose was so small, there’s no way I’d notice any benefit from it and it likely wouldn’t change anything, so we bumped the synthroid to 50mcg every other day to see if it’ll actually make a difference by my next blood work. Regarding my test numbers, we went over options, and agreed we should avoid supplemental testosterone for now as we’re trying to start a family soon and that’s a more permanent solution. He suggested trying clomid for a couple months and see how that goes, as it will stimulate my own natural test production. So, he put me on a 50mg every other day regimen, been on that for about two weeks now. While it’s too soon to tell any significant benefits from either, I do notice I’ve been sleeping better and haven’t felt as lethargic as I was. We’ll test my thyroid and test in a month to gauge progress.

Home for a few more days then off for another trip to Whisler, British Columbia, and Washington D.C.


I hope everyone is having a great summer and rocking your beach bods! Finally returned from a month of traveling throughout July, back to business and will be making more regular updates on the forums.

So far I’ve been on Synthroid and Clomid for about 6 weeks, and I am starting to notice some significant benefits. The lethargy I was experiencing is gone, libido has increased, and I am surprised at the amount of food I’ve been able to eat and still stay tight. While on my first two weeks of vacation we trained every day. The last two weeks were far too busy and wound up taking 12 days off, today was the first day back and felt great. Even over the past 12 days, cals and carbs were higher than normal, still tight with visible abs. Interested to see what my weight will be tomorrow. I’m assuming (hoping really) that my metabolism is slowly speeding up to what it should be, and that I won’t have to eat like a bird anymore to maintain a solid physique.

Nutrition wise, my wife and I have made a commitment to go gluten free, not because of celiac allergies, just because we feel better on it. I haven’t had any wheat products for the past two weeks, and haven’t had any of the usual bloating or water retention I usually do. I wasn’t eating much wheat anyway, only Ezekiel bread with breakfast. Now, I make homemade breakfast potatoes and some fruit. I’ve significantly upped my fruit intake this summer and have really enjoyed it. Carbs throughout the day are potatoes, fruit, rice, Finibars, and the occasional oatmeal.

More bloodwork coming at the end of this month to see how my numbers are responding to the medication, but I’ve certainly noticed a difference in how I feel.


I initially read this as “I’ve been on SynTHOL and Clomid…,” and was quite startled.

Your gluten-free diet is likely also significantly lower in FODMAPs, which may be the reason for your improved GI status.


Yes, rob and I discussed this at length and the plan is for him to be a heavyweight Npc competitor in 2019




I had never heard of FODMAPs but just did some Googling after reading your post, thanks so much for the info! Makes sense!

LOL, yeah, this is going to be a hell of an off season, only 80 pounds of stage weight to gain.


Couple pics from after chest and cardio this morning. Weighed in today at 155.8, which is less than I weighed before I left for the last 2 weeks of traveling. I ate very clean while traveling, but ate a lot of clean foods and about 250-300g carbs a day. The breakfast buffet at the hotel in DC was outstanding and I took full advantage!

Happy with my current level of conditioning, it is easily sustainable and enjoyable. I’m going to keep up with my current nutrition and training plan, and see where that gets me in a month.


Excellent chops sir… Very Martin van Buren, with a touch of wolverine.


How does it feel to lose your natty status? :wink:

See you in the Pharma forum, juice monkey.


Lol! Feels no different. I was slightly bummed when I realized I can’t compete in any more WNBF events, then remembered the likelyhood of stepping back on stage any time soon is slim to none. Music business is going well, hopefully having our first kid soon, and the real estate side hustle is growing in an unexpected but amazing way. Enjoying feeling better, and living the bodybuilding lifestyle without the rigidity of a prep!


Thank you sir! Recently took a clean shaved look on the face, missing the beard!


Get your schizzel on, then go full juice bro. You’re still young. Pop a few mini’s out, then hit the juice hard.

But, I’d be surprised if you couldn’t compete WNBF on TRT. It should be Replacement Therapy, and not supraphysiological. I mean, if they tested you, you should be in normal ranges - I know I am. Typically, I test at 650 four days post injection (I inject every four days, so that is my trough). That’s normal, not juiced.


Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!

Recently got back from doing quite a bit of traveling again, this time to Tampa and North Carolina. Some big things in the works, but for now, back at home and planning for the future.

Training and nutrition - Going well, back on a slight cut in preparation for a presentation my wife and I are giving on stage at The Bellagio in Las Vegas in 5 weeks about our real estate investments. Currently sitting at 157 after eating what I thought was a surplus, but it seems my level of maintenance has risen now that my hormone levels are more where they should be. Which leads me to…

Recent blood work done, and wow, what a difference in the couple months I’ve been on these meds. Biggest changes were in TSH and Total Test.

TSH - 1.76 (Was at 3.5, then 3.2)

Total Test - 924 ng/dL (range 250-1100). 2.5 months ago it was a low of 335, and a high of 543.
Free Test - 100.4 pg.mL (range 46-224)
Bioavailable Test - 223.9 ng/dL (range 110-575)

LH - 3.1 (was 3.8)
FSH - 3.6 (was 3.3)

T4 - 1.5 (range 0.8-1.8)

I haven’t noticed any significant changes in terms of how I look, but I do feel better, have been sleeping better, and can eat more cals while maintaining current weight (around 2100-2200) vs the 1700-1800 I had to eat to maintain prior.