Classic Physique Nutrition Plan – Competing in Men’s Physique

Have you been itching to compete but don’t feel you are quite big enough for Bodybuilding and also aren’t crazy about competing in Men’s Physique? A new division called “Classic Physique” could be just the thing for you. It’s planted firmly between the extremes of the massive, ripped muscle prioritized in Bodybuilding and the smaller, cover model look of Physique divisions. Many of you will naturally fall into this category based on your structure and genetics. Plus, if you’re goal is to look more like Frank Zane, or even closer to Arnold, than Kai Greene, you now have a competitive outlet.

Asregular readers of No Nonsense already know, BI users and followers of our diet methods have been achieving this type of look for years. A physique where shape, symmetry and a pleasing athletic, muscular look is rewarded. It’s the type of overall physique that the majority of men will see and say, “That’s what I would like to look like”. And most women will prefer looking at!

Best of all it’s a look that’s realistically achievable for most aspiring natural competitors with hard work, dieting and proper supplementation. Going to “extremes” is not necessary and it can be balanced with your real life that includes jobs and families.

Thisis a brand new division and we’re going to get you way ahead of the curve by presenting a complete program to achieve the “Classic Physique”. Whether your goal is to compete, or to just do it for yourself, in the remainder of this article we’ll provide a 3-Phase Nutrition Program, a specialized 2-Phase Workout including “Feeder Workouts” to help you develop your “Classic Physique”, and if you wish to compete, we’ll also include a Presentation Section to help you better show off your “Classic Physique”. In closing we’ll include a Table of Classic Physique measurements to give you specific body part goals to shoot for.

Classic Physique Nutrition

Your Classic Physique nutrition plan is designed help you gain and retain muscle while you lean out. You should start your diet for the contest as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute. The earlier you start, the more time you will be able to spend in Phase 1 (the Muscle-building phase). There are 3 diet phases in all. Each one emphasizes excellent food choices which will allow you to keep gaining muscle where you need it while you whittle away fat from your waist and other problem areas.

Phase 1 Classic Physique Nutrition Plan


Start the Phase 1 nutrition plan at least 16-20 weeks out from your contest date. The first phase is designed to help you gain as much muscle as you can while increasing your muscularity. But even this early in your preparation, you should still focus on achieving that classic small waist, so losing fat is also a priority. Train as heavy and hard as possible, but use textbook form and concentrate mentally and physically on improving any weak points in your physique. (See Phase 1 Training) The recommended high protein foods and quality supplements will allow you to continue to make improvements to your physique so make every training session count.

Note: In the meal plan below if you weigh less than 165 pounds reduce meat and carb portions listed by 2 ounces.
(All meats are weighed prior to cooking.)
Meal #1
2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites; 6 oz. lean meat; ½ cup oatmeal –
(measured before mixing with water and cooking)
Meal #2
(Choose one option)
Option A: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1-2 tablespoons healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy whipping cream.
Option B: 8 oz. lean beef or chicken or 10-12 oz. tuna, one small apple or orange
Meal #3
8 oz. lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source);
6 oz. sweet potato or two-thirds cup cooked brown rice; 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.)
or green salad with 4 tablespoons vinegar and oil dressing
Meal #4
(same options as meal #2)
Meal #5
10 oz. very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef – sirloin, filet, etc.);
2 cups vegetables;
salad with 2 tablespoons vinegar and oil dressing
Meal #6
Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 2 Scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire
Option B:
8 egg whites + 2 whole eggs or 6 oz. beef;
1-2 cup vegetables

Essential Supplement Program:


1 Super Pak with meal #1

4 Ultra 40 tablets and 4 Mass Aminos with each meal listed above

The Best Optional Supplements for Phase 1 (in priority order)

Glutamine Select – take 2-4 scoops during training to preserve muscle during precontest dieting.

Muscle Synergy – if you want to continue to add muscle, get a great pump every workout, and can afford it – then Muscle Synergy is for you. You have to take enough though, eight tablets or 1 scoop twice a day if you weigh less than 185; if you’re a light heavy or heavyweight you’ll benefit most from 24 tablets or 3 scoops per day. Muscle Synergy holds lean muscle tissue while dieting better than anything. We just don’t always recommend it to everyone because of the expense.

Creatine Select will help you keep your strength up and train harder while dieting so that’s another product you should consider. Take 5 scoops per day with meals for the first 5 days, then 2 scoops daily on training days, and 1 scoop on non-training days.

An economical way to use Muscle Synergy and Creatine Select during phase 1:

Weeks 1 & 2: Use Creatine Select as directed above.

Weeks 3&4: Take Muscle Synergy and Creatine Select together for the next two weeks.

Weeks 5 & 6: Creatine Select, no Muscle Synergy.

Weeks 7 & 8: Creatine Select and Muscle Synergy.

Phase 2 Classic Physique Nutrition Plan


This is the first “precontest diet” that you’ll follow. In general you will switch from Phase 1 to Phase 2 at 8-10 weeks out. If you think that you are not leaning out fast enough go to Phase 2 at 10 weeks out; if you’re on track wait until the 8-week mark.

Note: As before, if you weigh 165 or less, reduce the meat portions by 1 or 2 ounces in each of the listed meals.
(All meats are weighed prior to cooking.)
Meal #1
8 oz. lean beef or turkey
3 egg whites, 1 yolk
1 grapefruit
Meal #2
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, 1 tbsp healthy fat (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter, etc.) or 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Meal #3
8 oz. chicken or turkey breast (weighed prior to cooking)
2 cups vegetables
Meal #4
Option A: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, 1 tbsp healthy fat (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Option B: 6 oz. can tuna or 5 oz. chicken, 3 egg whites,
1 whole egg; 1 tomato
Meal #5
10 oz. lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, 93% or leaner beef, etc.)
4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.)
2 tbsp cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil for a dressing
Meal #6
5 oz. chicken or turkey breast; 6 egg whites;
1 cup omelet vegetables
Monday and Thursday:
In place of meal 6 (or as an added 7th meal if you weigh over 185 and your condition warrants it):
1.5 cups oatmeal (precooked) or cooked rice,
10 oz. sweet potato, 1 medium banana,
1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil
The Best Supplements for Phase 2
Meal 1:

1 Super Pak, 3 EFA Gold
Each meal:
4 Ultra 40; 3 Density (and/or Mass Aminos); 3 Muscularity; and 2 Lean Out.
Training:
2-4 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 10-20 Muscle Mass (5 Muscle Mass per scoop of Glutamine Select).
Take 3 Quadracarn 3 times daily: 1st thing in the morning, before training, and before bed.
Optional:
Up-Lift – 2 scoops before training; Creatine Select w/ beta alanine – 2 scoops daily
or Muscle Synergy – 2-3 scoops (or 16-24 tablets) daily
Phase 3 “Classic Physique” Contest Peaking Nutrition Plan
Phase 3 is a no-frills, no nonsense, basic precontest diet program that works for nearly everyone. However, you should stay with your Phase 2 Plan as long as you are getting results in terms of improved conditioning. Don’t change just for the sake of change.

Kick in the Phase 3 plan at 4 to 6 weeks out and only if your progress has stalled.
Meal #1

5 oz. lean beef or turkey
6 egg whites + 1 whole egg
½ grapefruit
Meal #2
Option A: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, 1 tablespoon healthy fat or heavy whipping cream (optional), 4 strawberries (optional), 16 oz. water
Option B: 6 oz. tuna or chicken, 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg, 1 tomato
Meal #3
8 oz. chicken (weighed prior to cooking)
4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.)
2 tbsp cider Vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil for a dressing
Meal #4
Option A: 6 oz. tuna or chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, and 1 tomato or a cup of vegetables
Option B: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 12 oz. water (if post training); or 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein
Meal #5
8 oz. lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish or 93% lean beef, etc.)
2 cups vegetables
Monday and Thursday
– Add a 6th meal at the end of the day: 1.5 cups oatmeal (precooked)
or cooked rice, 10 oz. sweet potato, 4 oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil

Supplements


Meal #1: 1 Super Pak and 3 EFA Gold

Each meal: 4 Ultra 40; 3 Density; 3 Muscularity; 2 Lean Out.

Training: 2-4 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 10-20 Muscle Mass (5 Muscle Mass per scoop of Glutamine Select). Optional take 5 Density just before training.

Take 3 Quadracarn 3 times daily: 1st thing in the morning, before training, and before bed.

Take 3 7-Keto MuscLean capsules twice daily, in the morning and afternoon.

Classic Physique Training


Your training programs should be designed to develop proportion and symmetry, as well as muscularity. You should not be looking to simply add as much size as possible or to overdevelop any particular bodypart. Overall proportion and aesthetic muscularity is the goal. We’ve developed the following training programs with those parameters in mind. They are based on decades of training experience to give you the ultimate solution to a well-balanced “Classic Physique”.

There are three parameters of progress that you should be concerned with during both Phase 1 and Phase 2 training:

Increase reps with same weight
Increase weight for the same rep range

Decrease rest intervals between sets – if your strength seems to have plateaued as you get closer to your contest, performing the same number of sets in less time becomes a very valuable form of progress.

It is very important to work each muscle through its fullest range of motion using complete extension and contraction on each exercise.

Use a workout journal to keep your progress on track. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training session. Use the “star method” to track your progress. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal. A 10 Star workout means you did an extra rep or used more weight on at least ten sets during your workout. Finish a bodypart in record time and you get another star.

Phase 1 Classic Physique Training Program


Train 2 days on, 1 day off until 12 weeks out.

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Chest / Triceps
Day 3: off
Day 4: Shoulders / Biceps / Legs (feeder workout)
Day 5: Back
Day 6: off
From 12 weeks out until 8 weeks out, train 4 days consecutively, then take the 5th day off.

You’ll be using two progression schemes and an advanced technique that we call “Feeder Workouts”.

1. Pyramid Training: Add weight lower the reps each set.
Set 1: 12 reps with a very easy warm-up weight – not all you can do for 12 reps
Set 2: 10 reps still pretty easy
Set 3: 8 reps – use a weight you could get for 9 – 12 here but stop at 8
Set 4: 6 reps – use a weight you could get 6 – 8 reps with but stop at 6
Set 5: 4 – 6 reps – a max set. Here’s where you can earn stars in your training journal. Once you reach 6 reps add weight to the final 3 sets (which will earn a star on each of these sets next time) and start back at 4 reps on set #5. Exercises using the Pyramid system are marked with *.

2. Double Progressive System: Use the same weight for all sets. Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each week until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme. Exercises below where you should use the Double Progressive System are marked**.

3. Feeder Workouts: A feeder workout is performed two days after your primary workout for a specific bodypart. We have included feeder workouts for the shoulders, lats, and calves – full development of these bodyparts are essential in developing a classic physique. The feeder workout is a single all out rest-pause set where you complete a set of 6-10 reps taken to failure, followed by a short break (just long enough for you to take three to four slow, deep breaths), and immediately continue on to failure a second time (you should get somewhere between three and six additional reps, depending on the level of muscular endurance and the muscle fiber composition of the particular bodypart). At this point, take another short pause before going for one to four more (as many as you can get) reps. This will not only provide a nutrient-rich flush of fresh blood but will provide maximal muscle cell activation in minimum time.

Day #1 – Legs / Calves
Squat* – Pyramid 5 sets x 12/10/8/6/4-6 reps
Leg Press** or Hack Squat** 4x10–16 reps (the Hack Squat is preferred if you have the equipment available)
Leg Extension** 3x12–15 reps

Super Set
Leg Curls** 3x10–12 reps and Lunge
or Straight Leg Dead Lift** 3x10–12

Superset
Seated Calf Raise** 5x10–12 and Free
Standing (no weight) Calf Raises** 5x25–50 (OUCH!)
Note: The original standard for a classic physique was that your calves and arms should measure the same. If any single muscle rates as the least developed of all muscles among bodybuilders – it’s the calf. They are stubborn and difficult to develop and require special attention. So don’t neglect your calf work.

Shoulder Feeder Workout:
Machine, cable, or dumbbell side laterals: One Extended Work set – 6-10 reps (close to maximum), rest for 3-6 deep breaths then 3-6 more reps, 3-4 more breaths then 3-4 reps to failure. Shoulder width is key to developing a classic physique, that’s why it is our first “feeder” workout.

That ends Day #1.
There are lots of opportunities to ear “stars” in your training journal. Don’t be in a big rush to use as much weight as possible in each exercise. Try to leave each workout knowing you can improve in at least one exercise the next.

Day #2 Chest, Triceps, Calves
1. DB or BB Bench Press (pyramid)* 5x12/10/8/6/4-6 – Dumbbells are preferred if you can give up the barbell bench press in developing squared off “gladiator pecs” preferred in the classic physique
2. Incline DB Press (double progressive) ** 3x6–8 reps constant weight. First session do 6 – 6 – 6 and gradually add reps and earn stars until you get to 8 – 8 – 8 then add weight and start back at 6. If you get bored adding reps, reduce rest time between sets to earn additional “stars.”
3. DB Flyes** 3x8–12;
4. DB Pullovers** 3x8–12 (These work the serratus muscles. “The serratus magnus muscles are the ‘jewel-like” muscles of your chest … they add width to the chest, shape, muscular definition – as well as classic beauty.” ˜ Vince Gironda)
5. Close Grip Bench Press* (pyramid) 4 x 12/10/8/5 – 7
6.& 7. Super Set – Triceps Pushdown** and Dips** 3x6–12 reps each – constant weight no rest between exercises, rest only after both exercises have been performed.
8. Heavy Calf Raises** 4x8–12
9. Light Calf Raises** or Donkeys** 4x15–20

Back Feeder Workout:
Shoulder-width Parallel-grip Pulldown (for width) or Under-grip Cable Seated Rows (for back density): One Extended Work set – same procedure as above: 6-10 reps (close to maximum), rest for 3-6 deep breaths then 3-6 more reps, 3-4 more breaths then 3-4 reps to failure.
Don’t forget to record your workout and any stars that you earned in your journal.

Day #3 Off

Day #4 – Shoulders / Biceps
1. DB Press* – Pyramid 4x12/10/8/6–8
2. DB or Machine Laterals** 3x8–12
3. DB or Cable Bent Laterals** 3x8–12 reps
4. Barbell Curl* – Pyramid 4x12/10/8/6–8
5. Incline DB Curl** 3x8–10
6. Machine Curl or Preacher Curl** 2x8–12

Calves Feeder Workout:
Standing Calf Raise: warm-up x 10-15 reps, 4x25, 1x100 (no weight on the 100-rep set unless you can get the full 100 reps without resting.) Remember what we said earlier about calves. You must bomb them into growth.

Day #5 – Back
1. Wide grip Chins** 4 sets of as many reps as possible per set or Wide Pulldowns* 5x12/10/8/6/4-5
2. Dead Lifts – 3 sets 10 reps (add weight each set but stay at ten reps per set) Concentrate on perfect form and add weight very gradually in 5-lb. increments each week.
3. Bent Rows* or T-Bar Row* – 4 sets pyramid 12/10/8/6-8
4. Reverse Grip Front Pulldowns** or 1 Arm DB Row** 3x8–12
5. Straight Arm Pullovers** 3x10–12 (lie on a bench length wise – keep arms straight)
6. 10 minutes of abs

Choose one Feeder Workout, not both:
same procedure as back and shoulder feeder workouts.
a. Chest:
Incline Flyes
b. Quads: Smith Machine Squats

Phase 2 Classic Physique Training Program


Start your Phase 2 training program eight weeks out from your contest. During Phase 2 training you’ll be doing a lot of supersets. Supersets allow you to get more work done in less time. Remember, less rest between sets is one of the parameters of progress. Your Phase 2 training will be more focused on improving your proportions and increasing your chest to waist ratio. Note: Steve Reeves, one of the all-time best examples of the “classic physique”, is reported to have attained a 23 inch differential between his chest and waist measurement. A good goal for you is 15 inches or more. If your expanded chest measures 45 inches, your waist would measure 30 inches or less. As your diet becomes stricter during phase 2, it will become harder and harder to increase reps or poundage, so reducing the time between sets becomes more and more important. You’ll be supersetting antagonistic muscle groups to improve balance and proportion as well as to add a fat burning aspect to your training.

It’s not necessary to “run” from one exercise to the next when supersetting. After you complete a superset rest 60-90 seconds and then start your next set. Since you will be working each bodypart twice every eight days, we will no longer be performing feeder workouts.

Train three days on – one day off:
Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Shoulders and Arms
Day 4: Off; Repeat

Day #1 – Chest, Back, Abs

Superset #1:
A. DB Bench Press 4-5 sets of 7-10 reps
B. Chin-Ups 4-5 sets max reps per set or Lat Pulldowns 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps

Superset # 2:
A. Incline DB Press 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
B. 1-Arm DB Rows 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps

Superset #3:
A. DB Flyes 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
B. Cable Rows 3-4 sets of 8-12 repsFinishing Exercise: DB Pullovers 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Lower Back: Hyperextensions 3 sets of 15- 20 reps.

Abs:
Three or four exercises, 3-4 sets each for 15-25 reps per exercise.
You should count total reps for abs per workout with a goal of 250-350 reps total.
Day #2 – Legs, Calves

Superset #1:
A. Leg Extensions 3 sets of 8-10 reps
B. Smith Machine Squat or Leg Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Superset #2:
A. Hack Squat 4 sets of 6-12 reps
B. Straight Leg Deadlift 4 sets of 10 reps

Superset #3:
A. Lunge 3 sets of 10-15 reps
B. Leg Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Calves:
Standing Calf Raise 4 sets of 15-20 reps
Seated Calf Raise 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Donkey Calf or Calf Press 3 sets of 20-25 reps

Day #3 – Shoulders, Arms, Abs
Straight sets for shoulders:
1. Shoulder Press (machine, dumbbell, military – your choice) 4 sets of 6-10 reps
2. Side Lateral Raise 3 sets of 8-10 reps
3. Rear Laterals (DB, Cable, or Machine) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
4. Side Cable Raise 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Superset #1
A. Concentration Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps (squeeze)
B. Triceps Pushdown 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Superset #2
A. DB Curl 3 sets of 6-10 reps
B. Lying Tricep Extension 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Superset #3
A. Barbell or Preacher Curl 3 sets of 6-8 reps
B. Close Grip Bench Press and Dips 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Triset #1
A. Reverse Curl 3 sets of 8-12 reps
B. Wrist Curl 3 sets of 12-20 reps
C. Overhead Pulley Tricep Extension (or Triceps Machine) 3 sets of 8-15 reps

Abs:
Same as Day 1 (250-350 total reps)

The Classic Physique Compulsory Poses


Front Double Biceps
Side Chest
Back Double Biceps
Abdominal and Thigh pose
Favorite Classic pose (most muscular is not permitted)

In the finals you’ll perform your posing routine (up to a maximum of 60 seconds) and if you win your class you’ll compete in a posedown for the overall title.

Here are some tips to get started on a structured posing practice regimen:


PHASE 1 POSING PRACTICE

Remember! “Classic Physique” competition is posing! No one will ask what you can bench press or squat
How you present yourself and look on stage is all that counts
Start posing practice two days per week at 12 weeks out
Start with 2 sets of each pose (quarter turns and mandatories) for 10 – 15 seconds. For the next four weeks hold each pose for an additional 5 seconds each week
Spend most of your time practicing on your front facing pose and finding which variations of your compulsory poses best highlight your physique
Start each pose from your feet up to make certain your legs are flexed
Work your way around in a circle hitting every pose
After completing all of the quarter turns and compulsory poses, that’s one set. Do 2 total sets

PHASE 2 POSING PRACTICE


Eight weeks posing practice schedule: Start at 2 sets of each pose for 20-30 seconds. For the next four weeks hold each pose for an additional 5 seconds each week.

Remember to start each pose from the feet up – make sure to keep your legs flexed, suck in your gut, lift your chest, and relax your facial muscles.

Front stance
Quarter turn to the right
Quarter turn to the rear
Quarter turn to the front
Front Double Biceps
Side Chest
Back Double Biceps
Abdominal and Thigh pose
Favorite Classic pose – this should be your best pose. Experiment until you find the exact variation of a pose that best highlights your symmetry, proportion, and muscularity. Then practice it to perfection.

10-minute pre-judging drill:

Make a 10-minute recording where you call out quarter turns and poses just like the head judge at prejudging. This drill is tremendous for practicing quarter turns. No rest between poses; stay tight the entire drill.

For variation get a video of an actual prejudging off of You Tube and go through it just like you’re on stage.

The Individual Routine:

Six weeks out (or sooner) start working on your individual routine. Your posing routine should complement your strong points (e.g. symmetry, shape, conditioning, etc.) while at the same time expressing personality.

You can develop your routine by starting with the mandatory poses, then add a few flattering optional poses. You’ll be able to find many classic physique photos on the web. Mimic each pose you see and determine which ones feel comfortable and flatter your strong points.
Your routine should be based solely on your strongest poses. This is your opportunity to show the judges only what you want them to see.
Select your music well in advance and make a professional quality CD. Often it is nearly impossible to create a posing routine based on your favorite song. It is usually better to choose your music to fit your routine, not vice versa. Record only the 60 seconds of music on which you will base your routine. Don't record the entire song. Make a “posing practice CD” with your 60-second selection recorded over and over with a 30 second delay between cuts. You can practice your routine over and over without restarting the CD.

Points to remember

You will often be asked to hold the front facing pose on stage much longer than the others. You should continue to hold this stance anytime you are on stage throughout the show when you are not being directly judged or as others are "called out". Never completely relax and always keep your legs tensed.
Practice hitting the poses with your eyes closed and then opening them to see if you are hitting each pose correctly. Remember, on stage you have no mirror.
It is not necessary to complete all of your posing "sets" at one session, but be sure to complete all scheduled "sets" of each posing round – facings, mandatories, and individual routine with music – by the end of each day.
Posing sessions are one of the key factors in developing hardness and muscle separation – you can overdo training or cardio but you can’t pose too much!

Closing Thoughts


In closing, we’d like to give you some guidelines as listed in Building the Classic Physique The Natural Way by Steve Reeves with John Little and Bob Wolff.

These are the maximum symmetrical proportions for each individual male based on height and bone size:

Classic Physique Proportions


Arm Size = 252% of wrist size

Calf Size = 192% of ankle size

Neck Size = 79% of head size

Chest Size = 148% of pelvis size

Waist Size = 86% of pelvis size

Thigh Size = 175% of knee size

Remember, these are maximum symmetrical measurements, and it is your proportions that count. In other words they are the maximum measurements for a body part without getting out of proportion. A good goal is to aspire to reach 90% of the maximum. For example, if your wrist measures 7″, the maximum symmetrical arm measurement would be 18”. 90% of 18″ is 16.2″ which would be very commendable.

If you’d like a website to do the math for you go to:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/ideal-measurements

Steve Reeves also devised a chart that determines the maximum ideal weight for a person’s height en route to building a classic physique. A 6″ male’s ideal weight is 200 lbs. At 5′11″ it goes to 190 lbs and at 6′1″ to 210 lbs. After that every inch below 5′11″ results in a reduction 5 pounds per inch. Every inch above 6″ results in an addition of 10 lbs. At 5′8″ the ideal weight is 175 lbs and at 6′3″, it is 230 pounds. Again, the 90% of maximum criteria is a worthy goal for classic physique competition.

The NPC has developed their own chart of acceptable heights and weights (which you can find on their website at

http://npcnewsonline.com/classic-physique/index.html

They are a little more lenient and go above Reeves’ maximum weights. For example, a competitor 5’11”– 6’ may weigh up to 207 lbs. One who is 5′7 up to 5″ may weigh 177 lbs. In classic physique there is no advantage to weighing in at the top of your class, symmetry and proportion are what counts, not size.

In this article we have laid out a comprehensive program to help you achieve a “Classic Physique”. If you are training for a specific contest we’ve given you a step-by-step guide to follow. If you follow it to the letter – nutrition, supplements, training, and posing practice – whether you compete or not, you’ll be in the best shape of your life.

Increase Your Bench Press

Section One: An Overview

This report contains details on a specific method of training that is drastically different from many of the current trends. This routine does NOT involve working each body-part one day per week.

If you are not already making the kind of strength and size gains you want, reading this special report will be of enormous benefit to you, as this routine is among the very best for increasing your bench press and packing on overall muscular size.

The routine was formulated for me by the late Anthony Ditillo back in 1971. Anthony is known for being one of the best writers in the field of strength and developing muscular bulk. With it, I increased my bench press from 295 to 335 over the six-week period.

Section Two: What’s a realistic goal for your bench?

You’ll hear all kinds of stuff about how much you should be able to bench. The table below is excerpted from ExRx.net.

The standards presented in the linked tables below represent a 1RM performance (in pounds) that can be reasonably expected of an adult athlete at various levels of training advancement using standard full range-of-motion barbell exercises with no supportive wraps or suits.

The most important thing is not the ultimate number, but that you are making progress.

Untrained – Expected level of strength in a healthy individual who has not trained on the exercise before but can perform it correctly. This represents the minimum level of strength required to maintain a reasonable quality of life in a sedentary individual.

Novice – A person training regularly for a period of 3-9 months. This strength level supports the demands of vigorous recreational activities.

Intermediate – A person who has engaged in regular training for up to two years. The intermediate level indicates some degree of specialization in the exercises and a high level of performance at the recreational level.

Advanced –An individual with multi-year training experience with definite goals in the higher levels of competitive athletics.

Elite – Refers specifically to athletes competing in strength sports. Less than 1% of the weight training population will attain this level.

Body WeightUn-trainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
148109140172234291
165119152187225319
181128164201275343
198135173213289362
220142183225306381
242149190232316395
Body WeightUn-trainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
114577885109113
123607790116142
132648295122150
1487090105135165
1657697113146183
18181104122158192

Ed. Note: If you are 50 years of age or older you could deduct 10% from the standard, and at age 60 another 10%.

Section Three: Instruction

During this six-week program you’re going to bench three days a week. Yes, you read that right... three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the full six weeks. After all, the best bench pressers (and the most muscular guys) in the days before super bench shirts and super steroid doses usually trained on the bench press three days per week.

That’s a total of eighteen workouts. You should see an increase in your bench press max of very close to thirty pounds or better. Still think three bench workouts per week is too much? The first man to bench press 700 pounds, Jim Williams trained his bench six days a week!*

DAY ONE:

Monday is the heavy day. Warm-up by slowly increasing the weight of the bar; then use 90% of your one rep max for five singles. (We’ll base things on a one-rep max of 250 lbs. An example would be as follows: 250lbs x 90% = 225 lbs.)
Do five singles with 225 on the bar. Rest exactly three minutes between these singles.
Then drop 10% or thirty pounds whichever is less and do three sets of doubles or triples.
Drop another 10% or thirty pounds and do three sets of five to seven repetitions.
Then choose one assistance movement for each of the other upper body parts, for example: Shoulder Press, Bent-Over Row, Lying Triceps Press, and Barbell Curl. Do 3-5 sets of 5-7 reps for each.
→ Here is a list of the best assistance exercises:

Shoulders: Military Press, Press Behind Neck and Partial Presses within the power rack are the best; Standing Side Laterals and Forward Laterals have also been used by some with great success.

Triceps: Standing Triceps Extensions, Lying Triceps Extensions, Parallel Bar Dips and Pushdowns

Back(which is really the launching pad for the bench press): Barbell Rows, Dumbbell Rows, Seated Cable Rows, Chins, Pulldowns, and Shoulder Shrugs.

Biceps: heavy Barbell and Dumbbell Curls.

DAY TWO: Wednesday is a light day. You’ll use just 60%-65% of your your maximum for 4 sets of 5-7 reps. On your assistance movements pick a different exercise for each body-part and perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps. That’s all don’t do more.

DAY THREE: Friday is your medium day. Work up to around 80% of your one rep max for 5-7 sets of 3-5 repetitions. After the benches perform 4 sets of 5-7 reps on one assistance exercise for each body-part.

Here you have a basic, proven routine for increasing bench-pressing strength and development. You can take Tuesday or Saturday to train your legs so that they don’t lag behind.

It is important that you determine your one rep max before starting the program. You can do this by slowly working up to your best one rep lift in perfect form. (Be sure the spotter does not touch the bar at all or it does not count. He’s there to save you not feed your ego.) Another method is to use a calculated one-rep max. Here you work up to your best set of 5 reps, again with perfect form and no spotter touches. Take this five-rep maximum and with a calculator divide by .875.

Example: you can get a maximum of five reps with 220; divide 225 by .875 on a calculator and you’ll get a result of 251. Round to 250 for your max. The workout below is based on a maximum one-rep bench press of 250 pounds. So you’d add about five pounds to each weight in the example below.
Now let’s go through the workout step by step. Remember the illustration below is based on a one-rep maximum of 250 pounds, if your max is less or greater just adjust the weight accordingly.

Monday (Heavy) Bench Press: Warm-up: 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 205 x 1

Five sets of one rep: 225 (90% of 250) Lift explosively! Three minutes rest per set. If successful increase by 10 pounds the next week you’ll use 235 pounds for five sets of one rep and so on each week. After week three increase just five pounds per week. (Note: I know you can do more than 225 pounds the first week. That’s not the idea! The idea is to follow the program, then max out after six weeks. You’ll be amazed to see that you are now in the 275-280 range.)

Three sets of two to three reps. Now drop the bar 10% to 200 pounds and do three sets of three reps.

Three sets of five to seven reps. Now drop the bar 10% more to 180 pounds and do three more sets of five to seven reps.

Assistance Exercises:
Shoulder Press – 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Bent Row – 4sets of 5-7 reps
Lying Triceps Extension – 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Barbell Curl – 4sets of 5-7 reps
Tuesday (or Saturday) Legs

Wednesday (Light)

Bench Press Warm-up, then 4 sets of 5-7 reps with just 65% of your one rep maximum or 165 (65% of 250). Yes, it’s light. It’s supposed to be. Take two minutes rest per set and really focus on form and explosiveness.

Assistance Exercises:
Incline DB Press (Optional) 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Front Dumbbell or Plate Raise 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Triceps Pushdown 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Preacher Bench Curls or Curl Machine 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Don’t be tempted to add more sets or exercises to this workout. It is light and relatively easy on purpose.
Thursday Off

Friday (Medium)

Bench Press Warm-up, then do 5-7 sets of 3-5 reps with 80% of your one rep max. (For our purposes 80% of 250 or 200 pounds.)
Assistance Exercises:
Dumbbell Press or Press Behind Neck 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Lat Pulldowns 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Parallel Bar Dips 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Alternate DB Curls 4 sets of 5-7 reps
Here is a chart showing how you should progress on each bench press day:

 Week12345 
Monday5 x 1225235245250255260
3 x 3200210220225230235
3 x 5-7180185190195200205
Wednesday4 x 5-7165170175180185190
Friday5-7 x 3-5200205210215220225

Important Note: When ever you are able to perform the heavy day workout successfully it is then time to increase the entire weight progression scheme by five or ten pounds on the heavy day (Monday) and five pounds on the light (Wednesday) and medium (Friday) days.

You will discover that at first it is almost impossible to fully recuperate from workout to workout and the used muscles and joints will be constantly inflamed and sore. But if you will persevere past this initial period of physical discomfort you will reach a point where you will most assuredly recuperate from this daily grueling work, and it is at this point that you will really begin to gain! The secret to this type of training is adaptation. What you are really doing is getting your body used to a certain amount of work, performed daily and after a certain length of time, we begin to adapt to this amount of stress and our body begins to respond to this constant stimulation. The reason why we can expect to get stronger when using this grueling type of training is because at no time do we use a weight we cannot handle correctly and confidently.

*Jim Williams trained his bench press five, and often six days per week on the following program: 315 x 8, 405 x 5, 475 x 3, 605 x 1, 675 x 1, 600 x 2. That’s it. No assistance exercises.

Section Three: Nutrition (Recommended Diet Program)

Your goal is to increase your bench press by 30 pounds during the next six weeks.

In order to assure progress here’s a sample nutritional plan to add muscle and strength:

Meal #1:
4 egg omelet with 2 oz. cheese,
½ grapefruit or ½ cantaloupe, 1 cup oatmeal

Drink Option: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein + 2 scoops cottage cheese
2 scoops oatmeal (use the Ultimate Muscle Protein scoop) mixed with 2 tablespoon heavy cream and 12 oz. water

Meal #2:
2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein + 3 scoops Mass Maker (mix in 16 oz. water or milk)

Meal #3:
8-12 oz. roast beef,
chicken or tuna made into 2 sandwiches with 4 slices whole grain or rye bread, 1 piece fruit

Meal #4:
2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein + 3 scoops Mass Maker

Meal #5:
10-12 oz. sirloin steak (lean) or other meat
8 oz. sweet potato or baked potato
2 cups vegetables / salad / or fruit

Meal #6:
2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 4 tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
OR: 9 oz. sirloin strip steak (lean) or 10 oz. chicken + 2 cups vegetables – no potatoes or other starchy vegetables.

Master Supplement Program for Maximum Strength and Size

Essential: Ultimate Muscle Protein, Mass Maker, Creatine Select – load Creatine Select by taking 1 scoop 5 times daily for five days; after that take 2 scoops daily before training

Next Steps: Quadracarn 3 tablets upon arising, before training, and before bed

Stack: Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 (3 with each meal or shake above)

Additives: Muscle Synergy (powder), Up-Lift

Lessons from an IFBB Pro Figure Athlete

Photo Credit: Gustavo

At a Glance: Dawn Reichley

Age: 46

Occupation: Neuroscience Account Manager, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Current Residence: Dayton, OH

Family: Married 20 years to husband, Ryan, and 2 boys, Jake-17 and Parker-10

Years Training: 20 years training, competing 7 years

Height: 5′ 0″

Weight: (Off-Season) 118 lbs, (Contest) 108 lbs

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP protein pancakes.

Favorite Supplements: UMP Protein (all flavors), Fit Tabs, Ultra-C, Glutamine Select, Muscle Synergy, Fast-Up, Quadracarn, and GH Factor. These are my favorite products that I use not only in contest prep but also year round for off-season training!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I’ve sampled various protein powder supplements and Beverly UMP has been the best. The flavors taste great and UMP blends very well with fruit and oats.

Music: TRY THEM……. you won't be disappointed! UMP is the best tasting protein powder on the market and all the other products are high quality grade with the athlete and performance in mind.

Music: Pandora Prince radio, Pink, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, really anything upbeat; I even throw in some Charlie Daniels band, “Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

Most Inspiring Book: Power of Positive Thinking - by Norman Vincent Peale

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Spending time with my family (mostly on the soccer field) but also enjoy shopping and quality time with friends.

Words to live by: “Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” - Unknown author

 

I started weight training after graduating from college. I had been a collegiate cheerleader
(placing 2nd nationally) and was invited back for the alumni game. I didn’t want to be the alumni cheerleader that everyone whispers about, “look how fat she got”. Although I kept in good shape, it was very difficult for me to add even a little muscle. In college I’d been a tiny 90-lb flier so I definitely didn’t have much muscle to work with starting out. And on top of that I had almost no knowledge as to what to do in the gym or how important proper nutrition was in building muscle.

I started reading and researching to learn what to do. My staples were Oxygen magazine and Muscle and Fitness. These magazines helped some with my training but I was still clueless about how critical nutrition and proper supplementation are to growth and improvement. I finally hired a trainer in 2006 and he introduced me to Beverly International supplements and started building a diet for me to follow.

After training for several years I had made good progress, but became bored and complacent with my workouts. My physique had also hit a plateau. I decided to hire a trainer and sign up for a show, just to say I did it. I was hooked! From 2011 to 2014 I competed in 3-5 shows a year. I loved the stage and rarely took much time off between shows. During that time I placed top 5 in figure class A in every NPC show I did. Although I loved my achievements I wanted more.

I decided to set my goals higher and go for my ultimate goal of becoming an IFBB Pro. I competed on the national level for the first time at the NPC Jr USA. I placed 3rd in my class, just missing out on my pro card. At my third national show in 2014, the North American Championships, I won my class and finally earned the title of IFBB Pro!

What I didn’t know was how different things would be at the pro level. First, I learned I needed to take some needed time away from the stage to continue to build my physique and bring up my weak areas. That said, I needed to know what the pro judges thought were my weak areas. I’d have to take a leap, jump in with both feet, and do a show so I could gain their insight and feedback. I did my first pro show in March 2015 where I was in a lineup with 29 amazing ladies and took 3rd callouts! I also learned that at the pro level there are no height classes, boy was that a wakeup call for this little 5’0 tall nugget. You learn that everyone at the pro level looks amazing, strong, conditioned, and posing becomes even more critical. It has been a humbling experience to say the least. Going from a perennial top 5 NPC competitor to an IFBB Pro that hasn’t been able to crack the top 10.

But, that is what I love about this sport. It keeps me driven, hungry to improve, and strong in both mind and body. I have changed my mindset along the way from “I gotta place top 5” or “I’m training to win”, to a mindset that it is truly “me” vs “me”. Now I set a goal to do everything in my power to step on stage better than the last time. If I beat the ME from the previous show then in my mind I’ve WON! I achieved my goal. At the end of the day if I put 100% into my contest prep and left no stone unturned, then the rest is out of my hands. At that point it’s time to step on stage, have fun, and enjoy the process that got me there.

Nutrition & Supplements

I was still behind the learning curve regarding nutrition even at the start of my competitive career. Even though I knew the types of foods to eat I didn’t know the correct portions that would maximize my gains. I severely under ate for my goals to build muscle. I relied on protein powders and bars for my main source of protein vs utilizing whole foods like chicken, turkey, eggs, fish and red meat. I literally did not eat any whole food proteins at that point. I also had this forbidden fear of carbs so I always under ate carbs as long as I felt like my energy was OK.
The first step to getting my nutrition on track was adding chicken, fish and eggs into my diet. In 2013, I incorporated red meat into my diet as I started my quest for a pro card. Lately I’ve also learned that my body now responds very well to carbs.

Dawn Reichley

Meal Prep & Supplement Schedule

I meal prep 2 times per week, once on Sunday and again on Wednesday. Each night before bed I weigh out my meals and put them into containers to take to work with me the following day. I also load my supplement container so it is ready to go as well. It’s all about planning ahead and being prepared. I am very strict with my meal plan when I’m in contest prep and never stray from the plan. In the off season I allow a little more flexibility for substitutions. For example if I’m craving something sweet I might substitute Beverly UMP pudding or make a protein pancake in place of one of my planned off season meals.

Meal 1: 3/4 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2: 3oz turkey, 1 cup sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli, 1.5oz avocado

Post Workout: 1 scoop UMP mixed into a pudding, 1/2 banana

Meal 3: 4oz flank steak, 10 asparagus spears, 3/4 cup white rice

Meal 4: 3oz chicken breast, 1 cup green beans, 3/4 cup white rice

Meal 5: 4oz flank steak, 1 cup green beans, 1/2 cup sweet potato

Meal 6: 4 whole eggs, 1/2 cup chopped red and green peppers

Meal 1: 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 2: 1 Multiple Enzyme Complex (MEC) Meal 3: 1 MEC, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 4: 1 MEC, 1 Ultra-C, vitamin K

Meal 5: 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn

Preworkout: I take Fast-Up, Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, & beta alanine

Training

You’ll notice in my workouts that I exhaust each body part with one exercise for 1 set of 30-45 reps before moving into my main exercises for that body part.

 

 

 

Exercise                                  

Monday: Quads & Shoulders

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Shoulder Press130-45
DB Shoulder Press410-12
Underhand Front Raise412-15
Machine Lateral Raise315-20
Leg Press130-45
Front Squat510-15
Leg Press (superset)412-15
Walking Lunge (superset)410-15

 

Tuesday: Back & Hamstrings

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Row130-45
DB Bent-Over Row410-12
1-Arm DB Row412-15
Cable Row415-20
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown312-15
Seated Leg Curl130-45
Sumo Deadlift48-12
Reverse Hack Squat412-15
Seated Leg Curl315-20

 

Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

ExerciseSets Reps
Machine Chest Press
130-45
Smith Machine Incline Press
410-12
Machine Lateral Raise
130-45
DB Lateral Raise
3-412-15
Military Press
48-10
Cable Upright Row
415-20
Crazy 100’s*
3100
Dips3-4failure

*(Pick 5 Cable Triceps exercises and perform 20 reps each as a giant set)

 

Thursday: Off Day

 

Friday: Quads, Hams, Glutes

ExerciseSetsReps
Leg Extension
130-45
Hip Thrust
130-45
Leg Curl
130-45
Deep Barbell Squat
48-12
Smith Reverse Lunge
412-15
Leg Press412-15
Split Squat315
Leg Extension310-15
Lying Leg Curl
315-20
Stationary Lunge

310-15

 

Saturday: Shoulders, Back, Biceps

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Press
130-45
Seated DB Shoulder Press
410-12
Underhand DB Front Raise
412-15
Machine Lateral Raise
415-20
Machine Row
130-45
Wide Grip Bentover Row
410-12
Narrow Grip Cable Pulldown
412-15
Rack Deadlift
415-20
BB Curls
515-20
Preacher Curl

515-20

 

Sunday: Off Day

Note: Abs are incorporated at the end of my workout 2-3 times per week utilizing body weight movements only 3-4 sets at 25 reps.

 


Cardio

Off season: typically 4 twenty minute cardio sessions post weight training.

Contest prep: slowly increase as the show gets closer, but at around 3 weeks out I’m doing 6-7 days per week for 30 minutes steady state before my workout and 15 minutes HIIT after my workout.

My preferred cardio is the step mill, or spin bike. If I’m doing a short HIIT session, I tend to lean towards treadmill sprints.

 

Presentation Tips

Stage presence is huge. Presentation includes suit selection, hair, makeup, tanning and most important posing. I have worked with several suit designers to help select a color that best works with my skin tone, hair and eye color. I also think it’s important to choose something bright that will stand out against the bold stage lights but it should be a color that you feel confident in as well. I have always had a professional apply my makeup because I’m pretty clueless when it comes to any makeup and especially stage makeup that is needed to show up under the bright lights. I have had my hair done professionally and also have done it myself. The overall package should complement your physique not distract from it. Finally, the part I feel is most important, posing. My best advice is practice, practice, practice until you can’t get it wrong. I have worked with several posing coaches over the years to help showcase my physique in the best light. Finally bring your confidence and a smile! You have worked hard to get to that stage, smile and enjoy it!!!

 

Closing Thoughts

My experience of becoming a competitive athlete has been one of the most challenging, yet also most rewarding experiences, I have taken on. I wish I had started younger but I’ve realized that fitness is the fountain of youth and you should never limit or define yourself by age. If you have a dream or a goal, chase it with your whole heart. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle commitment and you will get out what you put in. A fitness lifestyle requires drive, desire, commitment, motivation, and discipline. It has helped shape who I am in all aspects of life. I have learned that I can achieve what I put my mind to. I have learned that it’s better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. I hope that I can motivate and inspire others to get up, get moving, implement goals and challenge yourself to new heights. We are given one life and one body and I chose to live it to the fullest, chase my dreams, learn from my mistakes, and grow into a better, more well-rounded person every day because I have left nothing to chance!