My ‘Branch Warren Classic’ Contest Prep Diet

Eric July 28, 2011
My ‘Branch Warren Classic’ Contest Prep Diet




Recently, I did my first bodybuilding/physique show.  It was a great experience for me.  I learned more about posing, which will definitely help me in front of the camera; was able to focus more on my symmetry; and  I learned more about how my body oxidizes food and how the timing of my meals.  (You can see in the two different pictures the difference.  The first image is from pre-judging, and the second  is from the evening show.  You can see a definite difference in my physique).  I seriously recommend doing a show like this to everyone.  It forces you to address all the areas of your diet that suck, and fix them!

It was also nice to see other competitors and learn from them too.  Most of the people in this sport have no reservations when it comes to talking about themselves and their diet, so if you approach people the right way you can learn a lot from them.  Keep in mind that a plan from a GOOD nutritionist generally starts at about $200-400/month.  So if you approach a fitness professional expecting them to tell you what you should eat and when you should eat it, you’re kidding yourself.

My roommate was the first one to point out how interesting he thought it was that all of the competitors had a cooler full of food with them.  I don’t think the average person understands just how hard of work it is to look contest ready or photo ready.  They think it’s genetics, that you can eat whatever you want, or any other excuse they can come up with.  The truth is, it’s hard work and dedication.  And anyone can develop that, and get to where they want to be.  I will be the first to point out that a contest prep diet is not how I eat the majority of the time, but in order to spend that 5 minutes on stage, it’s absolutely worth the pain and heartache.  So that you guys can see my diet, I’m going to post it following the break.  Keep in mind, I was on this diet for the better part of 6 weeks.

This is roughly the same diet that I did in preparation for the two photoshoots that I did in Miami in the end of June.  I tweaked a couple of things each week, but mainly did the same diet for the majority of my prep.  It’s important to change your diet if it’s not working, or if your body is getting too used to it.  I will admit, this diet wasn’t perfect- but with it being my first show I was messing around with a couple of different things to see how they would affect my body.  I got down to about 4.5% bodyfat, and stepped on the stage at 196 pounds.

First, a couple of things to note:  I was doing cardio twice a day, 90 minutes total.  Nutrition is 70% of getting you there, but you also need to burn the fat that you have!  I wasn’t eating ANY sodium aside from what naturally occurs in foods that I was eating.  That means that I wasn’t eating ANYTHING that was processed, frozen, or made to have a longer shelf life.  This was critical to get all the water out of my system to make my skin tighter to show the muscle.  I was eating more fats than I normally would, but found that I stay a little fuller when I do.  So I wanted to try it out.  And last, the personal training/fitness modeling is what I do for a living, and it’s what I enjoy so doing this show was a fun way for me to express that.  If you want to do a competition, remember that:  If you’re not doing it for fun, why are you doing it?  It’s expensive to get ready for a show, and if you’re constantly stressing over it your cortisol levels will elevate which will cause you to retain water and you’ll do horribly anyway.

I will give further info in future posts about how I was preparing the food, what supplements I was taking, and my workouts.  This is just for the sake of letting you guys know what I was eating.

Meal 1- 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 2 scoops of protein powder, and 1 tsp almond butter
Meal 2– 8 egg whites
Meal 3- Canned albacore tuna, drained and rinsed with 1/2 cup of brown rice and a cucumber
Meal 4- 6 egg whites
Meal 5- Post workout protein shake with banana to elevate insulin levels and absorb more protein
Meal 6- 8 ounces Steamed chicken and broccoli
Meal 7-– 8 ounces steamed beef and broccoli followed by a heaping teaspoon of almond butter
Optional Meal 8- Protein shake with almond or peanut butter

There are reasons why was eating each of the things I was eating, because of different things they do to your body.  Have you tried a nutrition plan and tested what it did to your body?  Leave a comment and let everyone learn from your mistakes.


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