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Will's No-Frills Contest Prep Thread

The time has come for me to start a contest prep thread.

I’m currently 13 weeks out of the NPC Upstate Classic. I’ll be doing classic physique. Last year I did my first show in September…got 3rd place but I probably could have stood to lose another 3-5lbs going into the show. This year I’ve gained about 8 pounds and managed to stay relatively lean as well.

Currently 5’10.5 - 217.5 pounds - 16% BF according to multi-frequency bioeletrical impedance (the machines you stand on.)

Have to get down to 200 lbs for my height, but will likely be a few pounds lighter than that.

Current training schedule:
Monday - Calves & Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Calves & Arms

I will occasionally take a rest day during the week and train on a weekend, or hit one of the other muscle groups twice.
Last year I started out hitting shoulders 2x/week during prep and it really helped improve them during the process.

At this point, if I were to hit anything 2x/week it would be hamstrings.

Cardio at this point is 20 mins 3x/wk post workout. Incline walk at 2.5-3 or on the stairmaster.

Diet is 3000 calories with a 3500 cal high day.
286g Pro
278g Carb
68g Fat

My meals are pretty boring - but I will post more about them in the future if people are interested.

Fish Oil 1G
Vitamin D 2000iu
Magnesium Citrate 500mg twice a day
Glucosamine & Chondrotin 1x/day
Optimum Nutrition Whey (for now)
Mr. Hyde Cutz
Karbolyn (intra workout)
Amino-Linx BCAA
Lecthin Granules
Creatine Monohydrate

My Coach (and friend) is Ron Gallagher - a local Master’s Men’s Physique IFBB pro

See pics below for current progress and pics from my previous show in September. Thanks for checking me out!


Sweet, definitely in. Tad depressed your leaner, shorter and the same weight though.

awesome, definitely along for the ride!


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Me too!

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Will be following for sure! Congrats on your previous success and doing it again, you’re at a great starting point.


I’ll be following too!

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Lol but I can’t change height :slight_smile: You can handle the rest.

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Thank you man! Looking forward to seeing how you do as well! PEAK WEEK!

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Weight Down to 216 this morning. So 1.5# down after one full week. Off to a good start, much better than last year for certain.

Yesterday I was doing cardio before my wife and I went to the movies. Of course, anytime you go to the movies you’re probably gonna spend like 2 Hours there. I came home from cardio, took a quick shower, got dressed, stuffed some almonds and a blender bottle with 2 scoops of protein powder into my coat pockets and hit the road.

Prep really affects all aspects of life! I would want anything but protein powder and almonds in the movie theater :tired_face:

Now for a small confession: I love movie theater popcorn, no matter how horrible for you it is

In addition to drinking my protein shake and munching on 20 roasted almonds in the front of the movie theater (it was surprisingly packed)…I had some popcorn. Have you seen the nutrition facts on movie theater popcorn? They’re bad…real bad.

Then I “punished” myself and only ate 8g carbs for the rest of the night. Solely protein and fat meals in addition to my usual 1C cottage cheese and 1 tsp of natural, no sugar-added jelly before bed.

It seems to have worked :wink:


The past couple of days have been busy. Let’s recap a bit:

Monday was my high cal day which is generally subsidized via more carbs and a burger & fries pre-workout. The pump is always amazing and red meat seems to do wonders for my fullness compared to eating chicken all day.

Workout went as follows:

Cable Incline fly
15 x 15
20x 15
25 x15
30 x 12 x 2
35 x 10
Incline DB press
70x12 failure

Incline Smith machine press
185x12 x2
185x9 failure

Pec Deck

Calve raises
Progressed from 1 plate on both sides up to 3 for 12 for 15 mins

I usually like to do Calves first. @The_Mighty_Stu mentioned doing 15-20 mins of calves prior to your workout a while back and seems to work really well for me. There’s also lots of research that shows whatever muscle you hit first in a workout usually grows the most. When I got to the gym I saw the cables weren’t taken (My Gold’s is relatively small) so I pulled an Incline bench in to hit those Flys. They’re usually always taken so I had to seize the opportunity.

Post workout - the usual shake and a pop-tart. The little bit of sugar you get during prep is always fulfilling. Even drinking BCAA’s during my workout can be relieving.

I woke up weighing 215.5 - down 2# total. A tad bit worried I may be losing too fast for being 1.25 weeks in but that can always be adjusted. There were new cuts in my legs I tried to get a pic of but my mirror was pretty dirty so I just scrapped it lol will take pics this weekend.

Even on 3000 calories I kinda feel hungry all the time. For example:

I do 7 egg whites and 1 whole egg with kale in the morning + 1C cooked oatmeal with an orange in it.
I don’t eat super fast cause I usually eat while on my way to work/when I first get to the hospital.

Then I’ll be hungry like 20-30 mins after finishing and have to do my P+F meal of 2 scoops protein powder + 20 almonds. I’m ok after that for a couple hours but it’s just crazy to me I could be this hungry on 3000 cals since I have a long way and much less food to go.

Workout yesterday:
Palms up Bent over row

I really love these “Yates” rows. Palms up makes a huge difference in how I feel it in my lats. I let the bar ride up from slightly above my knee into my hip crease versus keeping it hanging away from my body. Seems to create a lot of tension for me.

Narrow grip Lat PD

Straight arm push down with LAT PD bar - wide as possible.

Seated Row Wide

20 min incline walk on treadmill @ 2.5

I tend to mix it up from week to week with wide grip vs narrow grip. Width is something I had to work on a ton in the off-season, and I’m still unsure whether a wide grip leads to a wide back. I think I honestly feel the contraction best when my hands are in the slightly wider than shoulder width to slightly within shoulder width range. But I still occasionally go super wide to mix it up. What have you guys experienced?


Orange in oatmeal?? That’s a first.

Yeah. I eat it plain otherwise so it gives it a little sweetness. It also has a little fiber.

Didn’t get to train Wednesday. Meetings all Wednesday evening, so I pushed back legs to yesterday.

Thursday workout as follows:

Smith machine single leg lunge

A nice pre-exhaust prior to squats :slight_smile:

Barbell Back Squat

I was originally planning on a 3rd set of 20 but I was about ready to puke after the 2nd one and decided throwing up wouldn’t be worth it during prep. Lol.

Barbell deficit RDL

I normally do dumbbell but I was feeling frisky and stacked a couple step up platforms to do RDL’s from a deficit. I love doing these and getting a good stretch with a slow cadence.

Quad extension machine
184 x 8 - failure

Super-set with

Hamtractor machine
214 x15x2
213X13x2 - failure

Once again - a slow cadence with a strong contraction.

20 min incline walk @ 2.5

Pretty sore from this workout today, which means it will probably be God awful tomorrow lol. I could probably get more volume in my leg workouts but I have a tendency to probably not rest enough between sets. If I had to guess I’m usually in the 45-60 second range. For those squats I was even taking extra time but I still felt bad.

Nutrition-Wise I finally cooked some steak so I’m not just doing chicken meals x3 a day. It’s very convenient to eat the same thing at each meal but damn its boring. Some sriracha sauce occasionally helps with this some.

I also mixed some sweet potatoes and red potatoes in versus my normal Jasmine rice.

Starting to feel a little more tired, but nothing too severe yet. Almost 2 weeks down!

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A little update:


Close grip
225x10 - failure

Curls straight bar
65 - failure

Cable curl super-set with triceps push downs
40x12x2. 50x12x5

Arms held in air for 30 secs rest- blood starving sets

I actually learned this technique from Jeremy Buendia when he came to my coach’s gym. So you do your sets and then hold your arms in the air for 30 seconds as rest to prevent blood from flowing back to them. You immediately go back to doing your sets, repeat. It gives you a pretty insane pump. I’ve also done it on the vertical leg press. I wouldn’t do it too often, but from time to time to shake things up.

Incline dumbbell curl

Cable Overhead Triceps Press

Saturday - shoulders

DB Overhead Press
90x6 - failure

Smith Machine Upright Row

Lat Raises Cable -
15x18 failure

DB Skis

Rear Delt Fly - neutral grip on Pec Deck

In between sets - lat raises from shoulder level to slightly above head with 5# db - 20-25 reps

My buddy and I started doing this about a month ago. We do our set, then do the lat raises between each set. I have some trouble with the fullness of my lateral head of my shoulder and have definitely seen improvements already.

I’ve also noticed I feel rear delt flies much more by using the handles traditionally reserved for Pec flies on the Pec Deck. It’s like night and day vs the handles where you hands are pronated (palms down).

Standing Calve Raises
225-315x12-10 - 20 mins

Incline press machine
180 x 12
230 x 10x3

Half rep full rep bench warm-up

BB Flat Bench
225x10 - failure

Fly machine
50x32 - burnout

20 min incline walk @ 2.5

This was a lower volume workout for chest but going heavier had me feeling pretty burnt. Wanted to see if I had lost any strength. Still doing OK there.
Weight has still been no lower than 215.5, if it doesn’t move calories will be dropped along with more cardio next week. Let’s hope it moves!


Hey guys. Gonna recap the week thus far. I’ve been working on revamping my website and getting my online business rolling like I want…which led to a little spat with wordpress :neutral_face: but no big deal. So I’ve really been focused on fixing all that up…haven’t spent much time posting here. Anywho here we go:

Weight hasn’t moved any…it has actually be up a few pounds. I thought I was holding water so I drank a little more than 2 gallons of water for the past two days…weight still wasn’t down to the 215.5 it was last week. I’m a little stumped how I got down there unless it was purely glycogen depletion related. I suppose it’s possible.

Physically, my body is definitely changing, but the scale isn’t moving. This is when it becomes challenging and you must trust the process. I know from last prep I really started losing when we cut carbs to about 185g. Basically higher protein, moderate fat, moderate carbs worked really well. I don’t know if we are going there next but Coach said he will tweak my diet this weekend.

Of course this becomes the game of prep, you can’t go straight to what you believe works best, then your body will adapt and you’re screwed. So patience is key. Trust the process and trust your coach, otherwise, why hire them?

I did throw an extra day of cardio in this week to make 4 - 20 min sessions but all together that’s really only an 800 calorie deficit in addition to my diet where we may be slightly below my BMR calorie wide so I guess I can’t expect drastic weight change yet.

Work-outs have been as follows:

Tuesday - Back

Pull ups
3x8x2 with 25 lbs

T bar row machine

Chest supported DB rows

Lat PD single arm with other arm contracted, then both arms.

Thursday - Shoulders

DB Overhead Press
60 x15

DB Arnold press

Seated DB lat raises
30x11 failure
30x10 failure

Pec Deck rear delt
70 x15

Did my typical 5 lb shoulder to slightly above head lateral raises for about 20 reps in-between each set starting with the Seated lat raises.

Friday - Arms
Close grip Bench

Ez Curl Bar Standing
75x20 burnout

Triceps DB Overhead press

Hammer Curls

Reverse grip trip press downs

These have all been pretty high intensity workouts with minimal rest times. Really trying to go for heavy sets for decent volume vs lower rep ranges. Seems to get the most “bang for my buck.”

I’m typically doing lecthin granules (for the phosphatidic acid) and a poptart pre workout followed by BCAA’s and creatine intra workout but I’m finding myself becoming hungry during workouts already. At one point I was doing Karbolyn intraworkout which is a maltodextrin-based carb drink but it can be hard on my stomach for some odd reason. I did dextrose for a long time with no issues which is “supposed” to cause more issues but everything is relative. Still, I haven’t seen a drop in performance by switching away from intra-workout carbs.

Next up for this week:
Legs on Sunday

Got a packed day tomorrow. Helping with all day interviews for the dietetics program at the University I did my grad work at followed by a business meeting in Raleigh (about an hour and half east of here). Fun saturday. I kind of just want to sleep in but hell, you’re only alive but so long right?

Hey guys.
Woke up this morning back at my most recent low of 215.5. Coach dropped my macros yesterday also:
264 Pro
216 Carb
52 Fat

2376 calories

This is not counting the additional macros from foods…so for example you get a couple grams of pro from rice, or some fat from chicken, that is not counted, so my calories aren’t as terribly low as it seems. No refeeds at this point in time. Started some fasted cardio this morning too. I’ve always loved the feeling after the cardio, all the blood flowing to your brain. Feels great, but then in the afternoon you start to feel dead tired. Seems like I crash sooner. I dunno.

Posing tomorrow. Still felt pretty strong in the gym on this calorie shift, but I did feel pretty darn tired throughout my workout. Should pickup as my body adjusts. Got 11 or so weeks. :slight_smile:

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Man. Sleep has gotten a lot worse with this calorie drop. Gotta love your body telling you “YOU NEED FOOD YOU’RE STARVING!”

Clothes are definitely fitting differently. God bless my belt, my pants would be hanging off me otherwise.

Great back workout and posing last night. Love going through the classic poses; trying to channel my inner Sergio Nubret. 25 mins cardio post posing.

Probably take some new pics next week!
It’s getting harder to roll out of bed in the morning. Need to make my business my fulltime job soon lol.


The lack of sleep during contest prep is the worst, totally messes with my head becasue i know i need it to loose fat faster but as soon as i lay down im wide awake

Keep up the good work man

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Many this was me for the past two nights.
Thank you bro. You do the same!

Best of luck man you’re doing great. Looking forward to seeing some new and improved pics!

I’ve had luck with a little better sleep saving most of my fat macros for my pre-bed meal, if that’s something you might be able to try out!