Thursday, June 27, 2013

Complete Contest Preparation, Part Two - Bob Gallucci

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(3 months before peak)

In the first section of this article we discussed planning and preparation for natural physique men, both novice and advanced, for up to three months before a contest peak. I think it is important to establish foundations for the non-steroid bodybuilder, particularly in the areas of nutrition and supplementation. It is the goal of this article to educate bodybuilders in all aspects of preparation and use this information as a yearly outline when preparing for a peak.

It is now three months before the big day. You have begun preparation three months previous and it is now time for:

Stage 1 - Reevaluation

Too often bodybuilders look at photos of their favorites and decide that this is what they want to look like. In 1977-78 almost everyone wanted to look like Frank Zane. This is impossible for the large-boned, wide-waisted and short-legged individual. Every physique man must decide truthfully what his strong and weak points are. During preparation for a peak he must be constantly reevaluating his physique as to size, proportion, shape, muscularity and separation.

The next step is to decide what exercises would improve overall shape (i.e., deltoids overdeveloped in front and side areas; rear lateral raises and similar movements), muscularity (nutrition and cardio), separation (PHA training), size and proportion (emphasis on weaker bodyparts). This is why the mirror viewed with an objective eye is important. Ten friends may give you ten different evaluations of your physique, but a mirror or photo viewed objectively will give you only one - a true and honest evaluation. It is then up to you to plan your training and work very hard to concentrate on those weaker areas.

Stage 2 - Tanning and Dehydration

During the last three months leading to a peak, a deeper tan becomes more necessary as each day passes. A true suntan will always look better than products applied to the skin at the last minute. The sun acts as another aid during the last week. It helps to shed water via our skin pores, creating a decrease of water in the body. This helps in dehydration, a condition which is an aid to muscle separation.

Three weeks before a contest, evaluation of my present muscularity is needed. Usually I begin taking an herbal diuretic (one with each meal) and I do notice greater amounts of water passing through my body daily. I also begin taking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar along with each meal. A third factor is the addition of a kelp-vinegar-B6 tablet with each meal. The combination of these three and using less water daily results in a "drying out" effect which we call dehydration (loss of water from the body). The last two days before a peak all I do is drink about two pints of water daily. The last day I drink only enough water to keep my mouth moist - that's all!

Remember, dehydration is gradual. You cannot suddenly, totally eliminate all the water from the body with 5-6 days to go before a peak. That would be dangerous and quite foolish to disturb delicate body fluid balances to such a degree as to injure health.

Stage 3 - Nutrition

The philosophy of nutrition and supplementation has changed radically within the last 15 years (article written in 1979). Today nutrition for bodybuilders is a science where carbohydrates are avoided by most like the plague.

Within the last three months prior to peaking, all bodybuilders should be conscious of both the carbohydrate and calorie intake. The idea is to decrease fatty tissue (which the body has) by limiting carbohydrates (used for long lasting energy needs). This cause the body to break down adipose (fatty tissues) as an energy source resulting in a more defined appearance. It also results in a powerless, fatigued, zombie like condition for natural bodybuilders who stay on a near zero carbohydrate diet for two weeks or longer. I have a solution to the energy problem.

Three months prior to the event, a new shock to the system is needed. I suggest taking five complete days of training off! Let the body relax and rest. Do not take any supplements at all! Stay with the present diet you were following as described in the Phase I article. The final three days are the most difficult of all: Fasting takes place.

A bodybuilder who fasts will shrink his stomach and future desirability for more food. He is allowed to eat two pieces of fruit daily, take four wheat bran tablets daily, salad, and water. He can survive on this nutrition for three days, especially at his low caloric output because of his layoff from training.

After the five day training break, the bodybuilder must get back into hard training and nutrition for the following three months. His gains should be rapid because he has placed two new stimuli on his body: fasting and layoff.

A new shock to the dietary system is introduced: 5 small meals per day. Never does the bodybuilder eat a large meal or until he is bloated. He eats these small meals because they are easier to digest and because he should have less desire for food.

These meals should be primarily composed of lean meats (ground beef, steak, liver, lamb, lean ham, lean pork cuts, turkey, kidney and organ meats), chicken, eggs, fish, tuna, salad, and fruits. Although all these foods are low in carbohydrates (except fruit), some are high in fat. This is why lecithin is often taken in larger doses at this time.

For the next three months the above is basically what one should eat. Twice per week you can have a small treat of vegetables (peas, corn, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peppers, spinach, tomatoes). Water is the main liquid with a diuretic tea taken as a treat. I usually have one sandwich on bread during the three month period but I eliminate this about four weeks before the peak.

I rely heavily on fruit for an energy source (apples, apricots, figs, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums,and raisins). I feel that the enzymes in fruit will aid in digestion. I never have a set intake of fruit, but I generally gear this to the energy needs of that particular day. If I need more energy, more fruit; less energy, less fruit.

It should be mentioned at this time that a papaya enzyme drink once or twice daily (small amounts) can be taken as an aid to digestion. During the last month these small meals become very important. One can sometimes find himself consuming huge quantities of eggs and meat. This is where the calories become important.

If one follows the above named diet up to the day of the contest, he won't have to count carbohydrates. But he should be conscious of calories. A good rule of thumb is 15 calories per pound of bodyweight. Therefore, a 200 pound man should not ingest more than 3,000 calories per day. One bodybuilder I know smoothed out during his last month simply because believed the old adage, "just watch your carbs and eat all the meat you want." Carbs are important, but counting calories is just as important in the last month. Pick up a carbohydrate/calorie counter at any bookstore to see food values.

One last point concerning nutrition which is of special note to the natural bodybuilder. Since you want maximum muscle size without the use of steroids, use the maximum, heaviest weights possible to maintain size and rely on nutrition and supplementation to greatly enhance your muscularity.

Stage 4 - Supplementation

Natural bodybuilders should train with the heaviest weights possible and let previously mentioned factors influence their muscularity. Let's analyze exactly what supplements are needed for maximum muscularity. Let's analyze exactly what supplements are needed for maximum muscularity.

Certainly, during the last three months protein intake is important. After my layoff, I switch to a liquid predigested protein (again, a new stimulus). I usually alternate the liquid protein with a milk/egg protein and water for my five protein meals taken throughout the day. 

During the last month I totally eliminate all liquid protein and use the milk/egg drink with water exclusively. For a treat, I'll often chew on protein tablets during the day. I usually receive about 150-175 grams of protein from these drinks daily.

Through the day, energy is a problem and 10-12 dessicated liver tablets are taken four times daily. A multivitamin is taken daily with breakfast. The following supplements are also consumed in these dosages four times daily:
Energol liquid - 2 Tbs. (energy)
Ginseng - 1 capsule. (energy)
Kelp - 8 tablets (increase metabolism)
Lecithin - 4 capsules (fat emulsifier)
Vitamin E - 400 units (energy)
Super B Complex - one tablet (growth)
Pituitary adrenal gland - one tablet (anabolism)
B-15 - 50 mg. (oxygen-carbondioxide exchange)
Vitamin C - 500 mg. (recuperation)

I try to consume these supplements along with one of my small meals or protein drinks which I find to be easier on the digestive system.

I would like to particularly emphasize the importance of pituitary adrenal and B-15 for the natural bodybuilder. The P-A gland is a natural anabolic-growth stimulator to the endocrine glands which increase muscle anabolism (size) without any know side effects. B-15 (pangamic acid) increases 02-c02 efficiency in the blood producing improved endurance. It promotes protein metabolism and lipid metabolism. I feel that these two substance are of the utmost importance to the natural bodybuilder who does not rely on steroids, amphetamines, or other forms of ergogenics for increased muscle size.

Stage 5 - Training

As stressed in Stage 1, we must constantly evaluate our physique's weaker and stronger points and develop a training routine which will satisfy our needs. A strong point of mine is ribcage development while a weaker area is abdominal development. My routine will stress abdominal work and include little ribcage work.

Three months before a contest it is a good idea to do an intermediate routine. This consists of six days per week training while completing an entire body cycle with three days (all large muscle groups are worked at least twice per week). The routine is geared to maintain if not increase size (one mass-building exercise) and to increase both shape and definition (a superset of two shape building exercises). I will now outline the intermediate routine I followed prior to the 1978 Natural Mr. World contest


Bench press, 6 sets of 3-6 reps.
Incline dumbbell press, 5x8 supersetted with
Incline dumbbell flies, 5.8.

Wide grip chin, 5x8 supersetted with
Upright rowing, 5x8.
Back buster, 5x10 supersetted with
Wide grip pulldown, 5x12.

Dumbbell side laterals, 5x6-8 supersetted with
Rear cable laterals, 5x8.
Seated press behind neck, 5x10 supersetted with
Upright cable row, 5x10.

Thigh Specialization
Magic Circle squat, 4x20.
** See note below on injuries.


Standing preacher EZ curl, 6x4-6.
Incline dumbbell curl, 5x10 supersetted with
Standing barbell curl, 5x12.

Pressdown, 6x4-6
Lying cable extension, 5x10 supersetted with
One arm dumbbell extension, 5x10.

Tri-set -
Palms down wrist curl, 4x10
Palms up wrist curl, 4x10
Wrist roller, 4x1.

Standing raise, 5x15-20.
One leg standing raise, 5x12-15.

Giant set - 
Roman chair, 4x30-35
Cable crunch, 4x20
Lying crunch, 4x25
Intercostal tense, 4x10.


Magic circle squat, 6x6.
Hack squat, 5x10, supersetted with
Leg extension, 5x10-12.
Wide grip barbell pullover, 5x10.

Thigh biceps/Lower back
Good morning, 6x8-10, supersetted with
Hyperextension, 6x10-12.

Leg press toe raise, 6x20, supersetted with
Seated calf raise, 6x20.

Giant set -
Incline situp with 20 pounds, 4x20
Incline situp with 10 pounds, 4x15,
Incline situp with no extra weight, 4x12
Roman chair situp, 4x20.

Notice the low number of reps in the mass exercise and the higher reps in the two shaping exercises. Since I have a problem with upper back and shoulder muscularity, I specialized on my back and shoulder training to include supersets alone.

** Note: Injuries can be a determining factor in your selection of exercises. In December of 1977 I severely injured my acromio-clavicular joint in the shoulder and was unable to squat with a bar properly. Luckily I was able to use the Magic Circle for squatting, which places no stress at all on the shoulder joint and which allowed me greater confidence and thigh development in my training. If an injury prevents you from performing an exercise, don't lay off from working the bodypart completely. Try other exercises which will stimulate muscle growth without aggravating the injury.

I would suggest following this intermediate routine up to three weeks before a peak. At this time, a PHA (peripheral heart action) routine should be followed for 20 straight days. The entire body should be worked in a two-day cycle and the reps will increase to about 12. The basis of PHA training is to perform 4-5 exercises in a cycle with no rest between exercises. After each cycle is completed a rest period is allowed of 30-45 seconds and then right back to the next cycle until all 4-5 sets of the cycle are completed. Then, the second cycle is completed for 4-5 sets, etc.

PHA training increases heart rate, breathing rate, muscle pumping, perspiration, muscle tonus and greater 02-C02 exchange on a cellular level. It allows you to use heavy weights (maintain size) while completing a large number of sets in a short period of time (enhancing muscularity). PHA is a new stimulus to your body's growth and is quite useful to the bodybuilder during his final weeks of preparation.


Day1 -

Cycle 1

1) Bench press, 10-12 reps
2) Seated cable row, 10 reps
3) Pec deck, 10 reps
4) Press behind neck, 10 reps.

Cycle 2

1) Upright row, 10 reps
2) Side lateral, 10 reps
3) Wide grip chin, 10 reps
4) Rear lateral, 10 reps.

Cycle 3

1) Wide grip pulldown, 10 reps
2) Cable fly, 10-12 reps
3) Back buster, 12 reps
4) Standing stiff arm pulldown, 10 reps.

Cycle 4

1) Repetition squat, 15 reps
2) Hack squat, 10 reps
3) Incline situp, 40 reps
4) Side bend, 15 reps
5) Seated calf raise, 15 reps.

Day 2 -

Cycle 1

1) Cadillac EZ curl, 12 reps
2) Incline DB extension, 10 reps
3) Standing DB Curl, 10 reps
4) V-bar lat machine extension, 12 reps.

Cycle 2

1) One arm concentration curl, 10 reps
2) Seated EZ bar extension, 10 reps
3) Seated barbell curl, 12 reps
4) DB kickback, 12 reps.

Cycle 3

1) EZ bar reverse curl, 12 reps
2) Peak curl on lat machine, 10 reps
3) Wrist roller, 1 rep
4) Leg curl, 10 reps
5) Good morning, 10 reps.

Cycle 4

1) Standing calf raise, 15 reps
2) Seated calf raise, 15 reps.

Cycle 5
1) Roman chair low, 25 reps
2) Roman chair high, 12 reps
3) Ab roller wheel, 15 reps
4) Intercostal tense, 12 reps.

Good Luck!

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