I want to review two products I purchased recently from the site of Jeff Willet, natural IFBB pro. Jeff has an undoubtedly amazing physique packing over 200 pounds on his 5’7 frame. Being of the same height, I therefore look to bodybuilders like Jeff who have successfully walked the path of the natural competitor. If you haven’t seen Jeff in the great documentary ‘‘I Want To Look Like That Guy”, he is a humble, articulate and methodical trainer who has had a lot of experience coaching others to achieve competitive success on the stage. The first product I’ll review in this post is:
Jeff Willet’s Lost Logs – This is a collection of Willet’s 18 week diet, supplement and cardio logs for his preparation for the Team Universe and NPC USA compeitions in 2003.
The logs are very neatly set-out with each meal, calories and macros clearly listed along with what time he took each supplement. Jeff lays it all out here, and a similar template could easily be created based on one’s own personal situation.
The diet logs are useful in that they detail how Willet shaves off calories week to week in order to ellicit small but constant changes without rocking the boat with risky manouvers and sudden large caloric drops. (A mistake I made early on in my own prep) The approach outlined in this logbook is definitely used by someone who has walked the contest prep journey before and is confident that their body will respond to the slight adjustments made. It is also for those who prep well in advance and take the patient, methodical route. On the other hand an approach like Lyle McDonald’s UD2.0 is for those without the patience for such an approach and want to see results register on the scales and mirror quick and fast. I think that comparing the two diets, Jeff’s would result in less muscle loss over time and would be easier psychologically (assuming whole foods were used and not protein shakes), while UD 2.0 is for those that need to get things moving pronto (or play last minute catch-up).
What I don’t like about this approach is that Jeff’s meals/calories are derived mostly from protein shakes and various powders primarily from the company that Willet is/was affiliated with, which is AST Nutrition. Although this guarantees a no-brainer approach to achieving caloric consistency, and structured predictability (key factors in a diet’s success), I personally would never find eating this way satiating, particularly in those final weeks where calories are in short supply. I’ve even found myself cutting back on my Peptopro shakes here and there just so I can ‘eat’ a few more calories as opposed to drinking them. Jeff is also big on regular, timed feedings which is O.K for those with a routine that enables them to stop and eat every few hours, but for those on the go, I think a Leangains/I.F setup is superior. The two approaches can definitely be combined given some common sense tweaking however.
Jeff also lays out his approach to contest cardio showing week by week exactly what exercise he used, for how long and at what intensity. Although I’m not personally a fan of cardio, I have to credit Jeff for the amazing detail he has included in his logs for the layperson wishing to structure a similar schedule to Jeff’s because the guess work is really taken out by following and adapting these logs.
Also included is his ‘color schedule’ detailing his tanning application approach in order to get the best colour for contest day. Very handy for the competitor looking to achieve a great colour on the day. You would be surprised at how many people backstage just slap their tan on willy-nilly, or don’t even get a base coat. Jeff sets it all out here, day by day, and again in great detail.
So overall, although I didn’t replicate Jeff’s approach in my own contest prep situation, I will definitely use elements of it in future. If you watch the documentary, Willet uses the exact same template for his client and achieves excellent results for both of them by the film’s end. The strengths of Jeff’s program is its structured consistency, adding in little tweaks here and there to dial in a person’s physique to peak at just the right time. Following this kind of program removes all the guess work, along with the internal tug of war that so often accompanies contest dieting. In an upcoming blog, I’ll review the instructional DVD related to the documentary I bought.