My Road To The Arnolds 2018

My Road To The Arnolds 2018

My road to the Arnolds 2018 started a couple of weeks after IFBB SA Champs 2017 when I received my invitation. The work started immediately as I knew this was going to be a tough show with competitors coming from all over the world.


I started my diet 11 weeks out on the 4th of March right after our 3-day USN sales conference, where I took advantage of the last couple days of my off-season enjoying the lovely food they had for us at the conference! In 2017, I had prepped for 8 weeks before the 2017 IFBB Gauteng provincials where I won my heavyweight class. So, I wanted to give myself a bit more time for the Arnold Classic by doing a 11-week diet.


My diet basically consisted of plenty of carbohydrates in the form of oats, brown rice, maltodextrin and green apples. My protein intake included mainly chicken, fish and USN BlueLab™ 100% Whey Protein. My fats were limited to naturally-occurring fats in the chicken and fish.


I have an extremely fast metabolism which meant I had to keep carbohydrates relatively high and then cut down in small amounts on a weekly basis, after checking my body fat and sending progress pictures through to my coach, Roy Butterton. My protein intake remained the same throughout the entire prep at 320 g per day.


A typical day from the 7 weeks out mark included fasted cardio at 6 am while sipping on PhedraCut Lava Burn to keep my energy up and raise my core temperature. I would get home and have oats and BlueLab™ 100% Whey Protein, pack all my meals for work and get the day started.


Being on the road all day as a USN Sales Representative while prepping was tough. Luckily, I’m always very strict when it comes to prepping for a show. I never missed a meal or had any cheat meals in those 11 weeks. Sticking to specific eating times is essential. Your body functions best when in a routine.


This meant making sure that I ate before going into a store to do my usual duties – placing orders, uplifting returns and merchandising the store to USN’s high standard. Weight training was scheduled for 7:30 pm to allow for a quieter gym. I prepped my food in the morning, so that it was cold by the time I ate. You do get VERY tired of cold fish and brown rice after a few weeks, by the way!


The Arnold Classic was a fantastic, well organised event at a beautiful venue. Thursday was registration and weigh-in. As I got on the scale I was 800 g over weight for the Classic Bodybuilding over 180cm class. I only had an hour to lose that 800 g and return, which I did by walking outside for 25 minutes, already in a dehydrated state.


Saturday was D-day. I carbed up on sweet potato and rice cakes and was ready for action by 2 pm when we went on stage. My line up consisted of only 3 South Africans. Due to the high quality of the competition, I set myself a goal of placing in the top 6. I couldn’t believe it when 4th place was called out and it wasn’t me. Third place was awarded to a French bodybuilder and I still hadn’t heard my name. In the end, I achieved 2nd place, after an Iranian bodybuilder with amazing muscle maturity at 38 years of age.


I was extremely happy with my placing and would like to thank USN for paying my entry fee and supporting me through this awesome journey to the Arnold Classic 2018.


The hard work continues… I love living this brand!


Henri Swart

#teamUSN #MyUSN

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