The State of NPC Physique Competitions: Too Many Divisions!

Let me begin by saying I love bodybuilding.  Although I currently have no desire to compete again, I still love what competition is about – challenging yourself to be the best version of you possible.

Likewise, I’ve got nothing but love for the NPC (National Physique Committee) who sanctions the best physique competitions around.

So my critique of bodybuilding and the NPC comes from a place of much love :)  But with that being said…

There are just too dang many divisions these days!!

Just check out the name of one of the national competitions: NPC Junior USA Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini & Physique Championships…DANG that’s a mouthful!

Back in the day there was Bodybuilding (men’s & women’s)…that’s it.

Then in the late 80’s and early 90’s, a women’s division called Fitness was added.  That’s where the athletes are judge on their physique and on a gymnastics-type fitness routine.  Ok, cool.

[Read more…]

Can you Teach me to LIKE Exercise?

Per a question I received on Facebook, I thought I give a few pointers on what to do if you don’t like to exercise.

I know S, as we’ll call her, made the comment “Okay now you need to teach me to like exercise!!” more as a joke.  But since I’ve got some experience in this, both with myself and clients, I though I’d offer up a few strategies to, potentially, get you to liking exercise.

Dude, you clearly haven't read the rest of this article.

5 Ways to Teach yourself how to LIKE Exercise

1) exercise with a friend or group.  This is one of the main reasons CrossFit has become so popular – it involves group training with creates camaraderie.  And it’s important that this group or friend of yours holds you accountable and that you meet at a certain time.  By the way, studies confirm that exercising with a friend or group increases ones chance of success.

2) participate in a sport.  No offense to my homeboy Greg Liddle, but by sport I don’t mean Bowling.  I actually fully agree that bowling is a sport, but sadly it won’t do much in the way of helping you achieve your physique goals.  Instead, pick a sport that burns more Calories.  For example, tennis, basketball, boxing/kick-boxing, BMX, mountain biking, road biking, running (although it’s not my fave in terms of longevity, but I’ll save that tangent for another day), surfing, skim boarding, volleyball, golf (especially if you’re as bad as me and have to chase your balls around everywhere), or even dancing.

The point is, pick up a new sport or resurrect an old one you used to do (like I recently did with BMX).  You don’t have to be good at all, you just have to get moving!

How can you help but to have fun rollerskating!!

3) grind it out for one month.  This strategy is actually brilliant, and founded in science.  We are creatures of habit.  We don’t think about what we’re gonna do nearly as often as just doing what we’re used to.  Where do you go after work each day?  Where ever it is, you probably go out of habit.  And if you’re not in the shape you want to be in, then it’s not a very good habit for your physique, evidently.  The fix is simple, replace your old unproductive habit with a new, productive habit…like going to the gym.

The cool thing is, after about a month of going to the gym after work, you won’t even think about it any more…you’ll just go to the gym.

See how much FUN music can be?!

It’s all about creating the right HABITS!

4) treat yourself to a cool new iPod and fill that bad boy up with songs that energize you, and interesting audiobooks to entertain you during lower-intensity exercise. This tip right here has SAVED ME when it comes to fitness!

5) use the above 4 tips to stick to a sound fitness regime until you start to see the fruits of your labor.  I’m telling you – when you start seeing your body lookin’ good in the mirror, you will not even thinking about going back to your old ways!  Once you’ve been built really well, you’ll raise your standards in terms of what you’ll accept in terms of your physique’s appearance.  So get in bad ass shape just once, then you’ll be hooked…THEN working out is fun :)

Hopefully you’ll find at least a couple of these tips beneficial.

If you’ve overcome “not liking to exercise,” please share your tips down below.

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

Contest Prep Seminar with Dr Clay & Shelby Starnes: Registration & Info

Update: This event is SOLD OUT!!

2 Physique Coaches, 1 AWESOME Seminar!



a comprehensive, Contest Prep Seminar…

…for bodybuilders, figure competitors, bikini, physique, etc…

…taught by Dr Clay Hyght & Shelby Starnes



right across the street from the Golden Gate Bridge!

Sports Basement (Presidio) San Francisco
610 Old Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94129



  • Date: Saturday, May 21st, 2011
  • Time: 11am – 3pm


    Simply put, we want this event to be affordable for anyone.  That’s why it’s only $67 for pre-registration. Yes, that’s right, just 67 bucks if you register now.  ($97 at door, if seats are available)


    Reserve Your Seat Now – just $67!





    Seminar Details

    Shelby and I (Dr Clay) are going to fine tune the seminar to cover exactly what you attendees want to know and learn.  But here’s some of what we will cover…

    Dieting for Fat Loss

    Stripping the fat off while keeping the muscle

    *     Role of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs)

    *     Different styles of dieting – carb cycling, keto (low-carb), low-fat, etc.

    *     The role (and non-role) of calories

    *     Males vs. Females

    *     The role of Re-feeds & Cheat Meals


    Offseason Eating

    Gaining muscle while keeping fat gain to a minimum

    –          Role of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs)

    –          Calories Consumption Off Season

    –          Workout supplementation  (pre, during, & post)

    –          Different styles of dieting (carb cycling, steady macros, etc.)

    –          Offseason eating for the Endomorph

    –          Offseason eating for the Ectomoroph

    –          Offseason eating for Females


    Training & Cardio

    –          Training – bodybuilding vs. powerlifting (heavy vs light)

    –          Different training splits and styles of training (benefits of each)

    –          Different types of cardio (HIIT, LISS/SSC, etc.) and benefits of each



    offseason & precontest supplements

    Contest Peaking

    –          Water

    –          Sodium

    –          Fullness!  (glycogen)

    Special issues – stomach distension, tanning, posing, etc.


    Q & A

    you ask, we answer

    Purpose of this Seminar

    Our goal is simple: to share our knowledge & experience with you, so that you can look your absolute best come the day of your contest.

    Getting ready for a show is hard enough!  You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you’re doing the right things.  That’s why we want to help you, because we’ve both been there…many times…and we know how difficult it is to obtain accurate information pertaining to contest prep.  (FYI, that’s largely because good contest prep coaches tend to keep this info to themselves, which creates demand for their services.)

    But we (Dr Clay Hyght & Shelby Starnes) are different.  We don’t think this information should be “top secret.”  In fact, we want to teach the in’s and out’s of contest prep to others…including so-called secrets. And that’s precisely why we are presenting this seminar.


    Top 5 Reasons to Attend:

    • 5. You’re tired of guessing what to do and want to simply know exactly what to do (and why!).
    • 4. You’re a nutrition and training geek just like Dr Clay & Shelby and want to pick their brains.
    • 3.  You realize it doesn’t matter how good you looked the week before or the day after your show.
    • 2. You want to coach other competitors (for fun or profit).
    • 1.  You’ve always wanted to visit San Francisco and have your picture taken in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, but never had a good excuse…until now!



    Will there be registration day of the event? If any seats are left, registration will be $97 at the door.  But it’s not likely that seats will be left, so register ASAP so you don’t miss this unique event.

    Can non-competitors attend? Yes.  The information is geared toward those who compete or plan to compete in a physique contest.  But when it comes down to it, we welcome anyone with the desire to learn in order to better themselves and their physique.

    How do I get there?

    Sports Basement (Presidio) San Francisco
    610 Old Mason Street
    San Francisco, CA 94129

    is the address, and there is plenty of free parking available.

    Can I bring food/drinks? Heck yeah!  Sports Basement does sell quite a variety of protein/energy bars, as well as water and other drinks.  But feel free to bring your “food bag” or “cooler” so you don’t miss any meals.

    Will you help me with my posing? Yes, we will gladly help after the main seminar.  (Don’t forget to bring your suit or equivalent attire for better help.)

    Will you critique my physique? Yes, we’ll gladly do that, too, after the main seminar.  Much like Dr Clay’s Body Shop series at T-Nation, we will constructively critique your physique and tell you exactly what judges are looking for.  This way you can finely-tune your physique for maximum cosmetic appeal (small things make a big difference!).

    Will you guys be having another seminar? We have no plans to.  As you can imagine, it’s really, really tough to get two good coaches together for one seminar.  So, as much as we’d like to do more, I wouldn’t count on it.