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Brian Chamberlain

Brian Chamberlain

About Brian

Major Titles:


September 20, 1974



Contest Weight:


Off-Season Weight:


Starts preparing for a contest 5 weeks out

PreContest Training

Brian trains 5 days per week when preparing for a contest on the following schedule:

Monday: Chest, Light Triceps, Calves

Tuesday: Quads, Hams

Wednesday: OFF*

Thursday: Delts, Abs

Friday: Back

Saturday: Arms, Calves, Abs

Sunday: OFF

Brian definitely favors a lower set approach, preferring to get more blood volume in the muscle by using higher rep schemes.

“I will usually do three movements per bodypart, but only three sets of each movement. I don’t count warm-up sets in that number, however. I like to do a warm-up set on the first movement for each bodypart, but on some movements, like squats and deadlifts, for example, I’ll do two warm-ups.”

When it comes to reps, Brian usually pyramids the weight up, doing 20 reps on the first set, 15 on the second and anywhere from 8-12 on the final set. 

Brian has outstanding hamstring development and actually has a unique approach to the bodypart.

“I do regular deadlifts with my back workout every other week. I am so intense and go so hard on this movement that I don’t do any other hamstring work that entire week. I can tell you that the back of my body, from the base of my hams to my neck, is sore the day after deads. It’s a very effective exercise for me.”

On the following week, Brian does a more conventional hamstring workout. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Lying Leg Curls 3 x 20, 15, 12
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift 3 x 20, 15, 12

Brian’s off-season training differs a bit from his precontest approach.

“I will do a bit more volume before a show, using a little lighter weight and few more reps. In the off-season, I will do a few less sets and less overall volume.”

PreContest Cardio

“I do not do much cardio precontest. For example, during the three weeks before the North America, I did cardio a total of three times for only 30 minutes. In the past, I would typically start cardio eight weeks out and stop two weeks before the show. I learned a valuable lesson this year that I really don’t need a lot of cardio to be shredded. I think that allowed me to come into the show fuller and harder than I ever have before. I must have been stripping too much muscle in the past by overdoing my cardio.”

When he does cardio, Brian favors two methods, the Treadmill and hiking with his dog, Cook.

“When I use the treadmill, I walk with a slight upgrade.  I can only describe it as very low intensity. I also like hiking trails for cardio because it gives me time to spend with my black Lab. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. I spend time with her while getting cardio in. I don’t typically include traditional cardio in my offseason training regimen, but I guess you could say that I do cardio because I will do these hikes with her a few times per week. But, it’s very laid back, so I’m reluctant to call it cardio.”

PreContest Nutrition & Supplementation

Brian started his precontest diet for his pro-qualifying win at the North American, five weeks before the event. Here’s his exact precontest nutritional program:

Meal 1:

6 Egg Whites, 2 Egg Yolks

1 cup Oatmeal (pre-cooked weight)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

Meal 2:

6 oz. Pork Tenderloin (cooked weight)

¼ cup of Brown Rice (cooked measurement)

1 cup Mixed Vegetables (cooked measurement)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

Meal 3:

6 oz. Lean Ground Beef (5% fat) (cooked weight)

¼ cup of Brown Rice (cooked measurement)

1 cup Mixed Vegetables (cooked measurement)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

Meal 4:

6 oz. Pork Tenderloin (cooked weight)

¼ cup of Brown Rice (cooked measurement)

1 cup Mixed Vegetables (cooked measurement)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

Meal 5:

6 oz. Pork Tenderloin (cooked weight)

¼ cup of Brown Rice (cooked measurement)

1 cup Mixed Vegetables (cooked measurement)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

Meal 6:

6 Egg Whites, 2 Egg Yolks

½ cup Oatmeal (pre-cooked weight)

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter


  • Brian has a unique approach to cheat meals when he gets ready for competition.

“I have 3 cheat meals per week until about 2 weeks from the competition. To keep my metabolism guessing, I change the days that I have cheat meals. One week I may have all three cheat meals on the same day. Another week I may have two cheat meals one day and one the next. Another week, I may have one cheat meal on three different days.”

  • In terms of meal frequency, Brian eats every 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  • He drinks 1 ½ gallons of water per day.

Precontest Supplement List

  • Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Multi vitamin/multi mineral
  • Glucosamine/Condroitin joint support
  • Fat Burner
  • Aspirin
  • Milk Thistle

The Last Week 

Assumes Saturday prejudge

Food Intake and Water Intake

Brian will keep his protein relatively consistent throughout the final week, but he will play with the protein and fat intake based on how he looks and feels.

“I am usually somewhat sick of protein by the last week, so if I am having a hard time getting it in, I will make up those calories with more peanut butter. I will also base a lot of my protein and fat intake this last week on how I look in the mirror. I do use a much more methodical approach when it comes to my carbs and fluid intake the last week.”

Here’s exactly how Brian works those two components the final week:

Sunday 100 total grams of carbs, 2 gallons of water
Monday 100 total grams of carbs, 3 gallons of water
Tuesday 100 total grams of carbs, 3 gallons of water
Wednesday 100 total grams of carbs, 3 gallons of water
Thurdsay 100 total grams of carbs, 3 gallons of water
Friday 400 total grams of carbs, 1 liter of water
Saturday 100 total grams of carbs, 3 oz of water per meal

Training and Cardio

Brian will stop serious, heavy leg training 14 days out. Whatever cardio he is doing is also finished two weeks before the contest. Once he stop training on Tuesday, the rest of the week is reserved strictly for posing.

The Finishing Touches


Brian will start practicing his posing six weeks before the contest, but also notes that its importance increases when the show gets closer.

“Posing plays a big part of my conditioning before a show and it actually takes the place of cardio and weight training the last week.”


Brian starts tanning several times per week in the tanning bed about a month before the contest to start getting a base tan. He also feels that it helps him shed some extra water from his skin. On the day of the contest, he will use Dream Tan to complete his coloring.


Brian will use Muscle Juice for his final sheen before walking onstage. He will pump up and poses for about 30 minutes backstage.

“I start pumping up about a half hour before, i check my color then apply oil and check it again.”


Brian will try to arrive at the contest at least three days before the event to offset any effect the flight may have had on his condition.

Finish This Sentence…

The thing I like most about contest prep is…

“getting lean.”

The thing I like least about contest prep is…

“being hungry and tired.”

The first thing I want to eat after a show is…

“usually pizza and ice cream.”

Another athlete whose conditioning I really admire is…

“Dexter Jackson.”

The best condition I’ve ever been in was at the… 

“2004 North American Championships. I looked even better the week after!”

What keeps you motivated, focused and disciplined?

“My desire to win! I do not want to be a ‘could have been’ or a ‘should have been.’ I want more then anything to be the best bodybuilder I can be and live my dream.”

Spread the Knowledge

Larry Pepe is the author of the new book, The Precontest Bible, which can be viewed online at www.PrecontestBible.com. Larry can be reached by email at Larry@MuscleFlex.com.


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