Men’s Physique Diet, Supplements, and Training
NPC Natural Eastern USA Overall Champion
By: Joe Lewandowski
At a Glance: Joe Lewandowski
Occupation or Education: Student at Kent State University, majoring in Exercise Science.
Family: Sandi (mother), Joe (father), Mike (brother)
Current Residence: Hudson, OH
Years training (total): 8 years
Weight: 215 pounds (off-season); 195 pounds (contest)
Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans
In your music player: Drake, Bone Thugs-NHarmony and J. Cole
Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Spending time with family and friends, golfing, swimming and anything outdoors.
Words to live by:
You don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for
Ever since I can remember, I have been involved with athletics or some sort of competition. I have played just about every sport there is at one time or another. I even received a college scholarship for baseball. I started weight lifting in my early teenage years to become stronger for sports. During that time, I didn’t pay any attention at all to nutrition. As my baseball career came to an end, I really got interested in bodybuilding. I started to concentrate on my training and nutrition. I even changed my major to Exercise Science.
I became addicted to seeing improvements in my physique and the more I improved the harder I would push for further gains. My self-esteem improved and I was now much more confident in myself in every aspect of my life. But, it wasn’t until this past year that I finally got the courage to step out of my comfort zone and commit to stepping on stage.
After comparing my physique to that of the winning bodybuilders, I came to the conclusion that Men’s Physique would be a better fit for me. I knew I neededhelp if I wanted to compete. I asked some successful local competitors who they considered the best trainerin the area. They recommended Dave Liberman. I got in touch with Dave and started working with him. Hebroke down every phase for me including training, supplementation, nutrition, posing and everything else thatwent into being a successful competitor. Dave was also the person who introduced me to the remarkable productsof Beverly International. These supplements helped me obtain a physique I would have never imagined possiblefor myself. Everything came together for me and I was able to take first place in my class and first overallin the NPC Natural Eastern USA Championships, and first place in my class at the NPC Natural Ohio. Here’s an outline of my entire program – diet, supplements, training, cardio, and presentation.
Contest diet 12 weeks out
Diet I started my serious contest diet 12 weeks out. I ate a total of 6 meals throughout the day, taking in about 2,400 calories each day. The majority of my carbs were eaten earlier in the day to ensure I would have the energy to fuel my workouts. My macronutrient breakdown was approximately 50-60% protein, 30-40% complex carbohydrates, and 10% or less fats.
- Here is an overview of my diet plan:
- Meal 1: 6 egg whites; 1 cup oatmeal
- Total Calories ~320
- Meal 2: 8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast; 6 ounces yam; salad
- Total Calories ~470
- Meal 3 8 oz. cod; 1 cup brown rice
- Total Calories ~450
- Meal 4: 8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast; 4 oz. yam; onions, green beans
- Total Calories ~580
- Post Workout 2 scoops Muscle Provider in water
- Total Calories ~220
- Meal 5: 8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast; (stir fry with broccoli), salad
- Total Calories ~300
- Meal 6 6-egg-whites
- Total Calories ~120
- 2,460 Total Daily Caloric Intake
- Lean Out: 2 capsules before each meal & preworkout for fat reducing benefits
- 7-Keto Musclean: 2 capsules taken before breakfast & dinner to improve metabolic rate
- Mass Amino Acids: 4 tablets taken after each meal to help support & preserve lean muscle mass
- Muscle Provider (chocolate): Taken immediately after my workout to provide my body with a fast acting protein source
- Glutamine Select: Taken during training and two other times during the day to help with endurance and muscle recovery
Training 5 days a week
During the 12 weeks of my contest preparation I weight trained 5 days a week. I rotated my workouts each week to keep my body guessing and making sure I hit that muscle group from all different angles. I kept my rep range at 12-15 and my rest periods at 60-90 seconds.
- Along with this, I did an ab workout every other day in the gym. Here is an example of my training routine:
- Day One: Arms (Triceps & Biceps)
- Triceps Workout:
- Lying Triceps Extensions: 5 sets of 12-15 reps
- Triceps Cable Pushdowns: 5 x 12-15
- Triceps Dip Machine: 5 x 12-15 (last set do a drop set)
- Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks: 4 x 12
- Biceps Workout:
- Preacher Bench Curls with EZ Curl Bar: 5 x 12-15
- Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 5 x 12-15
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls: 4 x 12
- Day Two – Legs (Quads)
- Ride Stationary Bike: 10-minute warm-up at a moderate pace
- Leg Extension: 2 sets of 15–20 reps (warm-up with very light weight)
- Hack Squats (heels together, toes pointed out): 5 x 12-15 (every third workout do a drop set on the last set)
- Leg Press (wide stance, toes pointed out): 5 x 12-15
- Dumbbell Lunges: 5 x 12-15 supersetted with
- Leg Extension: 5 x 12-15 (last set do a drop set)
- Day Three – Shoulders & Hamstrings
- Shoulders Workout:
- Smith Machine Military Press (behind the neck): 5 sets of 12–15 reps supersetted with
- Standing Dumbbell Side Laterals: 5 x 12-15
- One-arm Dumbbell Laterals (leaning to one side while holding onto a stationary pole or machine): 4 x 12
- Shoulder Press Machine: 5 x 12-15 (last set do a drop set)
- Hamstrings Workout:
- Lying Leg Curls: 5 sets of 12 – 15 reps (last set do a drop set) supersetted with
- Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Dead Lifts: 5 x 12-15
- Standing Leg Curl: 4 x 12 (non-stop)
- Day Four – Back
- Seated Cable Rows: 5 sets of 12 – 15 reps (drop set on last set)
- Front Lat Pulldowns: 5 x 12-15
- Dumbell Rows: 4 x 12-15 (non-stop)
- Hammer Strength Back Rows: 5 x 12-15
- Lat Pulldowns (to the back of neck): 5 x 12-15
- Day Five – Chest & Calves
- Chest Workout:
- Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 12 – 15 reps supersetted with
- Incline Dumbell Flys: 5 x 12-15
- Chest Press Machine: 5 x 12-15
- Peck Deck Machine: 5 x 12-15 (last set do a drop set)
- Calf Workout:
- Seated Calf Raises: 5 sets of 20 – 25 reps supersetted with
- Leg Press Calf Raises: 5 x 20-25
- Standing Calf Raises: 5 x 20-25
- Abs: Every other day
- Incline Sit Ups: 1 set of as many as you can do
- Leg Kicks: 2 sets of as many as you can do
- Flat Sit Ups: 1 set of as many as you can do
I kept my cardio very simple throughout my 12-week contest prep. I did cardio 4 days a week and rotated the stair-stepper, the elliptical trainer and walking at an incline on the treadmill. I did each at a steady pace for 30 minutes.During each session I made sure my intensity was allowing me to hit 65-80% of my max heart rate, which is an optimal zone for fat burning. Lastly, I did all cardio on an empty stomach either first thing in the morning or after weight training.
The best presentation tip that I can give is to always smile and act confident while you’re on stage.The judges are always watching you, even if youthink they are only paying attention to the competitor at center stage. After all the training and dieting you’ve done, being on stage should be themost rewarding and enjoyable part of your journey.
Lastly, make sure to practice every aspect of your routine. It helped me tremendously not only with my performance on stage, but also improved my confidence knowing that I was prepared.
My overall first contest experience is something that I will be able to take with me wherever I go in life. For me, this experience was much more than learning about how to prepare for a competition or learning about proper nutrition. This experience helped me learn more about myself and about what it takes to be successful. Preparing for a competition has been the hardest thing I have ever done. But, at the same time, it has also been the most gratifying experience. It has taught me great self-discipline and shown me that I can do anything that I put my mind to. One piece of advice that I can give others is to take chances and set your goals high. If I had never stepped out of my comfort zone I would have never undergone this life changing experience.
I have come to realize after competing in my first two shows that these competitions were not a destination for me. Instead, they are just part of the journey. I think it is important for every person to look at life that way, and to never settle or be satisfied with what you have accomplished. I believe you need to embrace new challenges and continue to set goals for yourself.
from Joe’s Trainer, Dave Liberman
Also, trainer for Nicole Phinney 1st place Open Figure Class A, NPC Natural Eastern.
I’ve been training clients since 1988. I started co-promoting NPC natural, drug tested events with co-promoter, Todd Pember in 1999.
Our 2014 NPC events will be:
Along with personal training I am a contest prep-coach for Bodybuilders, Physique, Figure & Bikini competitors and have had a good deal of success with my clients.Working with Joe is a prime example of what can be accomplished when working with a client that listens to me, follows the pre-contest diet, takes the high quality
Beverly International supplements I recommend, and has respectable genetics! It’s been a privilege working with him and I am eager to see him move up to the NPC national level in the very near future! Along with personal training I am a contest prep-coach for Bodybuilders, Physique, Figure & Bikini competitors and have had a good deal of success with my clients. Working with Joe is a prime example of what can be accomplished when working with a client that listens to me, follows the pre-contest diet, takes the high quality “Beverly International” supplements I recommend, and has respectable genetics! It’s been a privilege working with him and I am eager to see him move up to the NPC national level in the very near future!
Weight training program
I train almost all my clients on a five day a week weight training program along with some cardio. In the off season I do not want to have them do too much cardio.
I like to save the bulk of their cardio for precontest. If they do too much, too early, there is no room to
up it when necessary. For clients who have battled bodyfat most of their lives, I’ll still have them do off-season cardio, but for the leaner types, I might recommend NO “off-season” cardio, especially if they desire to get bigger (more muscular). In Joe’s case, my advice was to do cardio twice a week in the
off-season and step it up to five times a week during contest prep.
In Joe’s case, I had his pre-contest prep diet taking in about 2,400 calories. I never had him go below 2,000. For “off-season” my advice would be to take in 3,500+ calories of GOOD food with OPEN days on the weekends (“Open days” is a nice word for “cheat meals”!).
Again, this is based on his ability to not put on much body fat therefore the extra weekend goodies (while he continues to take in his daily protein quota) will do him good!
For pre-contest I have most of my clients use Beverly Lean Out, 7-Keto, Glutamine Select, Mass Aminos, & Ultra 40 Liver tabs.
*I save shakes for the Off-Season.* I feel sticking with solid foods is best three months before a contest. If the client must have a shake due to tight scheduling, their job... etc, I have them use Muscle Provider.
I have clients continue using Mass Aminos & Ultra 40 Liver tabs (Aminos & Liver tabs amounts are cut in half of what they take while preparing for their contest). I also add in Muscle Synergy and UMP or Muscle Provider.
Choosing the correct division to compete in is extremely individualized! As a promoterof NPC natural contests, I have seen plenty of drug free competitors that could compete in both Men’s Bodybuilding AND Men’s Physique. I also have seen Figure competitors who could also compete in Women’s Physique. Typically, a Bikini competitor has a specific look that is often obvious. If the contest allows crossovers, then I’d advise to try both divisions and see which works better for you. In Joe’s case, it was very clear he was strictly a physique athlete. Given his height, he would need to pack on 20+ pounds of muscle to compete successfully in bodybuilding and if he did do that, he would be too big for men’s physique.