Road to the Stage: Week 1

Road to the Stage: Week 1

Well here we are. My first official update where I will get down the nuts and bolts of where I am starting at. A lot of people have been asking me what show I am doing. The answer is, I don’t know. I don’t plan on picking a show until I am pretty much ready.

As I do with many of my clients. I usually have a tentative time of year in which I plan to be ready but I will only pick a show once I am sure I am ready. Contest prep is a process that, when aiming for the absolute best results, cannot be rushed. Sure you can hurry up the speed of fat loss and cut calories to drop weight faster, but without a doubt your results come show day will not be as good. Once you rush it, there isn’t any going back. For this reason I will prep at a pace that is conducive to producing maximum results and I will just let changes happen more organically rather than forcing the issue. I aim to work with my body, not use brute force.

Body Weight and Current Condition

Right now I am starting out week 1 holding a body weight of 196.1 lbs. This is a great starting spot for me compared to last preps. At the start of my last contest prep I was 210 lbs. so I am starting a full 14 lbs. The best part is that my food intake now at 196 is actually higher than it was 3 years ago at 210 lbs. That has me excited about where I am going to go from here.

My body weight at my best in 2013 was 167 lbs. This means I am about 29 lbs. over show weight. I anticipate I will wind up around this mark again. I will aim to keep this slow and chip away at it. I suspect I will be show ready I roughly 32-35 weeks. 
I have included a few current progress pictures taken at the gym the other day so you can see what I look like currently.

cliff wilson week1 2

Nutrition + Cardio

For those that are unfamiliar with my dieting practices, I do follow a flexible dieting approach with an emphasis on nutritious foods. However I don’t have any foods that are off limits. Here are my current macros:

  • Protein - 285g
  • Carbs - 405g
  • Fat - 70g

I also have a high calorie day once every 7th day with these macros:

  • Protein - 250g
  • Carbs - 675g
  • Fat - 85g

For my food choices, I tend to stick with a lot of the same foods until I get sick of them and then I switch. Lately here are the foods that I have been eating.

  • 94% Lean Ground Beef
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Fruit (mostly apples, bananas, and berries)
  • Red Potatoes
  • Fairlife Chocolate Milk (This stuff is AMAZING)
  • Core Nutritionals Peanut Butter Pro (Mixed with the chocolate milk)
  • Core Nutritionals ISO
  • Core Nutritionals MRP
  • Vegetables (all from Green Giant Sautees)
  • Breyers Slow Churn Ice Cream
  • Cinnamon and Honey Nut Chex

You’ll notice that I list the Core Nutritionals protein powders with my foods and not my supplements. While these are still technically supplements they are used just as any other food would be used to hit my protein numbers for the day. 

With my diet I will sometimes adjust the timing of my meals to suit the needs of the day. But generally here is the layout of my meal timing.

  • Meal 1 (upon waking) - P- 55   C-45   F- 14
  • Meal 2 (pre-training meal) - P- 55   C- 100   F- 15
  • Meal 3 (post training shake) - P- 55   C- 45   F- 1
  • Meal 4 (post training meal) - P- 55   C- 100   F- 20
  • Meal 5 (before bed)- P- 65   C- 115   F- 20


As of right now my cardio is pretty simple! I am not doing any cardio at all. With my own body type and others like myself, I have really found great results from delaying cardio as long as possible and just using dietary changes to make progress. I will eventually need to add cardio but I will put this off as long as possible.


My training for much of my offseason has been a Power Block Periodization (PBP) program that I have tailored for my own needs. For those unfamiliar with PBP, it is a style of training that I devised that combines powerlifting with traditional block periodization. This also allows me to spend 80% of my time focusing on traditional bodybuilding style training but still reap the benefits that come from heavy powerlifting. 

I have adjusted this to meet my needs in several ways.

  • I train 5 days per week.
  • On my power day I only do 4 sets of squats as opposed 6 sets since legs are my strength.
  • More volume is given to my chest, shoulders, and arms, and less volume is given to my quads and hamstrings.
  • I periodize intensity and volume within each given rep range block. In each rep range block I will perform three training sessions for each body part. For example, for my first chest and triceps session in the 5-7 rep range my volume will be lower, I will take few to no sets to failure (depending on how I feel that day). The next chest and triceps session in the 5-7 rep range the volume will be increased, I push more sets to failure, and overall intensity is increased. In the final chest and triceps session of the 5-7 rep range I go ALL OUT! I still stick to the 5-7 rep range but I add a lot of volume, I superset, I dropset, and I go to failure often. This day is about giving it everything that I have!

As I update each week I will list some of my training sessions and show exactly what I do for specific training sessions.

Additional Updates and Thoughts

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Kansas City for the IFPA Pro International. I have several clients competing in that show as well as a few others around the country. I think it will be a great show and I have gotten good at keeping on track with my macros while traveling so this won’t be a set back at all. I just need to remain diligent. When I get back I will recap my week, my changes, and the weekend. 
Until next time!

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