Last time we talked to Cris, he was just about to get on stage for his bodybuilding competition at the NPC Elite in Greensboro, NC.

Cris’s show was last weekend and it was a huge success.  So today, we’re going to discuss his results, the lessons he learned, and how to “end” a long, hard diet phase. Let’s get right into the interview…

Ryan: First off, congrats buddy! Tell us about the show.

Cris:  What an experience……I forget sometimes how much of an adrenaline rush it is stepping on stage.  I would say everything went according to plan except for one thing.  I didn’t make Middle Weight.  Now at first I was so pissed off and couldn’t believe I was 178.8 but I knew if I had any plans of growing and getting better, Light Heavy Weight is where I belonged and what better day than today to battle with the big boys. 

NOTE: NPC Weight Classes look like this – 

  • Middleweight – Over 154 ¼ up to 176 ¼
  • Light-Heavyweight – Over 176 ¼ up to 198 ¼

RM: So rather than being the largest and heaviest guy in your weight class, you were actually the smallest and lightest. Some might think that was an error in strategy, but I know you guys had a gameplan to bring as much muscle to the stage as possible, regardless of weight class. You guys were thinking long-term, not just “win this weekend.” That’s so cool that you actually out-grew your weight class and were too big! That means monster progress over the last 2 years. What (or who) do you credit for that progress?

CE:  Heck yea man, 2 years ago I weighed in at 5:30pm with 5 meals in me at 171.4, this time it was at 7:30am with only 1 meal in me at 178.8.  Without a doubt I credit those mass gains to my coaches John Meadows and Shelby Starnes.  As I talked about in Part 1, these guys have pushed me to train harder and smarter as well as eating more clean food (as well as peri-workout nutrition) than I ever have in my life during my off-season.  In addition all my training partners over that 2 year span, you, Josh and Chip. 

RM: I’m going to emphasize that last part a bit. Sure, you had the best plan possible, but even that plan is worthless if YOU don’t do the work day in and day out. I know you are one the most consistent guys on the planet and that is a missing element in so many people’s lives. Simply being consistent for 2 years is a far tougher task than most realize. So diet-wise, how do you “come-off” your strict “contest-prep plan”? I think that’s another area most “dieters” (physique athletes and regular weight loss seekers alike) really mess up and ruin their sacrifices and hard-work.

CE:  As I was back stage waiting to go on for the Finals (had to be back at venue at 6pm, didn’t go onstage till 10:45) Shelby and I were emailing back and forth about the upcoming plan of attack.  Before I even went on stage I already had my full plan.

Now you know how OCD I am about diet and training, I already had chicken, steak, eggs, turkey breast, rice, sweet potatoes and Ezekiel bread waiting on my at home already prepared for when I got home on Sunday. (Notice the planning and preparation!) Once I got back to the hotel all I wanted was a hot shower to get that damn tan off so after that I was so jacked up that we decided to drive home that night.  Angela asked my where I wanted to eat and I was like all I want is hard boiled eggs and oatmeal.  So weird but that’s what I was craving.  I had been having cheat meals every week so I had no real desire for shit food, I wanted oatmeal with apples and cinnamon and I ate 2 cups worth and 12 whole eggs…………then polished a box of chocolate chip Fresh Market cookies, passed out till we got home.

On Sunday I took Angela to Longhorn and had a monster steak, sweet potato, cheese fries and we made some S’mores when we got home, but outside of that the remainder of the day I ate mostly diet food.  Then on Monday Josh and I trained legs so I started my off-season meal plan, because I wasn’t gonna have a bad lift.  Nothing fancy 6-7 meals a day, high protein, moderate carbs and fats at all meals.

RM: Haha, I can vouch for those Fresh Market cookies…they’re dangerous! So essentially, you had a relaxed but controlled night and full day afterwards, then it was right back to work. And it sounds like the plan going forward is the same foods as before, just a little bit more – exactly how we do it for our own clients. So what’s next on the training side of this? What areas of your body will you address and how will you do it?

CE:  Well the first 4 weeks post show, the mountain dog has me on a high volume, lowered intensity program just to make sure I don’t hurt myself. (Straight sets, no drop sets, partial reps, or bands/chains)  After that I will finish up his Program 9, Muscular Demolition which is by far my favorite of all the training I have done with him.

Week 1 Post-Show

As for weak body parts, everything needs to grow to be honest with you.  I have 19.45 pounds that I can gain and still be a Light Heavy Weight.  I got killed in the quarter turns and that’s just a lack of overall size.  But it terms of symmetry and balance, my back is still by far my lagging body part.  And you know what that means lots of rows, pull-ups, deads and hypers.

RM: Oh I know! Alright man, that’s all the time we have. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom and experience with us. Good luck this off-season and I look forward to smashing the weights with you!

Post YOUR Questions for Cris below.

Leave a Reply