T Nation

Rob's Road to Hercules: Contest Prep


Down to 154.6, down a pound from last week with this new method and couldn’t be happier with how it’s working out. Things are humming along and currently 11lbs away from our stage weight goal, and the prep hasn’t technically started yet, although in my mind it is.

I’ve been on my nutrition/cardio plan and sticking to it for a while now, the only difference is giving myself some leeway on Thanksgiving or when the opportunity presents itself. Yesterday my wife and I visited a co-worker of hers who is on the mend after a knee replacement surgery. He loves wings so we brought him some from BWW, and I enjoyed two of them (pulled the skin off of course and adjusted calories for the rest of the day.) Not something that I’d normally do on an official prep, but right now I feel like I’m prepping and ahead of schedule. You may be thinking, “dude it’s two wings who gives a shit?” But when the goal is stage level leanness, these are the things we obsess about lol.


Yeah no doubt. Also on the high day, don’t be afraid to break away from traditional carbs like rice and go for something fun and more satisfying, as long as fats are lower. Bagels, graham crackers, gold fish, chocolate, are all fair game as long as you make it work with the macros. I find after a nice high day with lots of carbs and enjoyable foods, I am more rejuvenated mentally and physically than last year when I stuck with the more traditional stuff.

That’s a good idea! If you do the keto style low carb day, as long as you’re not doing intense cardio on those days you’re good. A keto style day is fine for an off day, if you’re doing HIIT or something you should definitely have some carbs before. A keto style low day though maybe with some LISS in there is a good way to lose fat, deplete yourself a bit, then your body will be even more ready to properly utilize the carbs on the high day.


Rob Stein accidentally gets into contest shape…

“Personal Trainers hate him” -lol



Ran into many other clients like this Stu?

Reading Rob’s posts has me thinking, “who does this?”

I was reading your post expecting to read that you devoured 3lbs of wings, but then, you ate two wings, with no skin, and adjusted the rest of your daily calories accordingly…LAME, but impressive.


Lol, I was just chatting with Rob earlier and I mentioned how Dr Klemszewski used to refer to building metabolic momentum. With Rob, aside from brief splurges here and there, we’ve been on top of everything since he walked off the stage last June. Sure plenty of people do a show, then just go back to whatever they want, and HOPE that they’re better next time out. Rob was so fired up after his placing at the Hercules that we both knew how important it was to do everything right if we wanted 2017 to be a successful season for him.

And while not many, I have had a number of clients who actually speed up when we add cals and carbs. It’s really an amazing place to be, trying to out pace your revved up metabolism, and getting tighter and tighter in the process.



Fascinating how the body works! Happy to see things going so well, can’t wait to see the “new and improved” package that Rob brings this year.


lol thanks man. Originally back in October I just wanted to pull back and lose a few pounds to start my prep around 160, so I did and then saw I could maintain it pretty easily, so why not start in an even better spot and keep going. Ultimately and most importantly, I want to leave no doubt, no room for error, that I will reach the level of conditioning needed to bring my best. Knowing how much I stressed my body last year in the last 8 weeks of prep and how I still had to lose a few more pounds, that means this year tapering cardio out before the show, letting my legs relax and not be so inflamed, and arriving at my conditioning early as possible. Last year was a stressful prep, I felt like My Cousin Vinny, spinning my wheels in the mud. So, before the prep starts now I really wanted to be sure I knew how to lose a pound a week without stressing too much, and figured it out with the method I’m using now. I’m super motivated to have found a method that works well consistently for me and that I feel good executing.

Sure, I could say “well it’s the holidays I’m gonna enjoy, I have plenty of time,” etc., but knowing how hard dieting is, why risk adding any fat I know I’m gonna have to diet off later? Now that I’m ahead of schedule, I’ll allow myself a little wiggle room next week at all the family dinners (Christmas with the wife and Chanukah with my family, bring on the matzoh balls!) but it’ll be within reason.


Thanks for the detailed reply, Rob! I’ve bumped back up to maintenance for all training days for the next two weeks (going to try Lenny and Larry’s before my next back workout!), then I’ll drop back into deficit around New Years again. It’s been awesome following your progress so far and it means a lot that you’re willing to share so much insight on this forum! Can’t wait to see you kill it this contest season


Hell yeah! I’m sure bumping back to maintenance you’ll feel more energized throughout the day and during training, and will hopefully notice when you go back to a deficit, things are moving along nicely. Enjoy the Lenny and Larry, I get mine on Friday :slight_smile: Personally I like them in the microwave for 30 seconds with a small cold glass of chocolate Metabolic Drive protein milk. I’m coaching my wife in preparation for her first contest, as well as a couple of other folks, and have turned them on to the Lenny and Larry on a high day pre-workout, with the pint of Halo Top in the evening, reviews are great all around lol.

Thank you very much for the kind words and following along! Be sure to post back and let us know how the return to maintenance went and how you feel after going back into a deficit (and what Lenny and Larry flavor you chose! lol)


I’d say this is pretty accurate! Woke up at tight 152.8 today, which is almost 2lbs down from the 154.6 a few days ago. Still following the same formula, gym performance is solid and strength is up, I feel good, so this all confirms that we’re on the right path.

We are now 10lbs away from stage weight goal, only 5lbs away from my leanest weight last year of 148 (before dropping water weight peek weak.) It’s crazy to think how much I had to kill myself last year to get this lean, compared to this year where I can’t believe how good I feel and how much easier it is. It’s good to know our off season work has paid off, staying lean and starting ahead of the game.

Today is a low day HIIT day, depleting myself further so I can have a well earned high day tomorrow. I’m going to continue the prep schedule rest of the week, next week I’ll keep the same nutrition but am thinking about not doing any cardio so I can have some recovery leading into the “official” start of the prep. I will definitely give myself some leeway with the holidays, but within reason. Big workouts before big meals, and enjoying a small and reasonable amount of whatever I want to eat.


I just wanna chime in for anyone reading along that just hitting a certain scale weight doesn’t guarantee that you will look the way you want to. Rob knows this. We’ve spoken about how the plan is to weigh LESS than last year, but have MORE muscle, and hence much better conditioning. THe end result of this combo will be a visually much LARGER looking physique.



I love when Stu comes in like sensei to drop some knowledge and clarity. It’s funny how losing fat makes you look bigger. Gotta love the human body.


Most definitely! Having had so much trouble losing scale weight last prep, the current progress is exciting, but what matters most will be, as Stu said, being leaner with more muscle. Last year between shows my weight maintained at 148 but a great deal of recomping took place. Our 143 is a number to shoot for with the scale, but who knows what it’ll actually be. Once we arrive there, I’d imagine we still won’t be “stage ready” for a while until the details come in.

Yeah, being a Harry Potter fan, I call him Dumbledore because he is truly a wizard. Stu always has a plan no matter what’s going on, and he always has my back. I was reminiscing about prep memories with my wife yesterday as she’s 8 in weeks and 12 weeks out of her show, about how the last weeks of prep Stu would talk to me every morning, literally every morning while he was on the way to school and I’d be plugging away at morning cardio, ready to jump off the ledge and he’d keep me focused. I’m hoping he’ll teach me how to apparate next time I see him.


wait, what? Your crazy-hot wife is doing a show? How’d I miss that?


Lol, yeah she got bit by the competition bug after my season and is diving in! She’s going to do bodybuilding. I mentioned it briefly earlier in the log but haven’t talked much about it, she’s keeping it low key. We both used to be big and lost a lot of weight, she wants to get to the ultimate next level and is killing her prep. We’ve been training together for years and train together at the gym now as often as our schedules allow, it’s a blast because she’s truly my best friend, and also a complete badass in the gym. We started tracking her macros and cals two months before the prep began so we could find her best maintenance breakdown, so when we started cutting she could hit the ground running. She’s been losing a consistent 1lb a week, and after some recent adjustments it’s picking up even more.

Prepping together at the same time, and coaching her and helping her reach her ultimate goal is an amazing experience to share together. She’s 12 weeks out and I can’t wait to see her kill it!


An awesome day of training, posing and eating with @The_Mighty_Stu and @BrickHead! Met at the gym, did some posing practice, trained shoulders and triceps, wrapped up with a great meal at Minado, an amazing all you can eat high end Japanese buffet. Sushi, sashimi, meats, veggies, all the good stuff. Saved a bunch of cals for this meal and enjoyed every bite! Weighed in at 153.6 this morning.

Prep officially starts Monday, I’ll start a new thread for 2017.

Thank you very much to everyone that has followed along here, it’s been an incredible year and it’s hard to believe it’s already come full circle and we’re about to start up again. If you want something, go after it; anything, not just training or physique related. It may take longer than you want to get it, you may need to do more than you throught would be needed, but there is very little that can’t be accomplished with relentless concistency and hard work.

Have a great new year!


Jelly, but had a good day skiing.


Happy New Year all! Enjoyed myself yesterday, this week I’ve backed off of cardio and have been eating closer to maintenance to give my body a chance to relax before heading into the prep. Last night enjoyed some serious grub, woke up holding some nice water weight and going to do a little Mag-10 damage control for the first half of the day, some LISS later. We officially hit the ground running tomorrow.

I recently started coaching a new client preparing for her first show, which we’ll be doing either physique, bodybuilding or both, we’ll wait and see as we get closer. She’s extremely motivated with a great work ethic, and I’m excited to help someone who is ready to dig in. I’m now coaching 4 people, 2 who are competing (both female), and while I’m still getting my feet wet with the coaching aspect, all of my clients are doing well and it feels good to know we’re doing it right, and in the safest way possible, thanks to the knowledge I’ve acquired from @The_Mighty_Stu as my coach. I’m a lucky guy, and am looking forward to getting started again.

Will start the new log within the next couple days, best of luck to everyone in 2017!


2017 Prep Thread is up! Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread


I remember this day! The rest is history!!