Bodybuilding Contest Preparation
( Another use for the body fat % analyser)
The key to healthy and intelligent contest
preparation is to balance diet and training. Firstly, try not to carry
more than 15-20 lbs. above your contest weight during the off
season. You accomplish this with consistent low level aerobic work (
under 70% max. H.R.) done in the mornings before breakfast to better
target fat mobilization, and a
proper diet. Bulking up with a high fat diet is a thing of the past. Fat
consumption is not good for anyone.
Give yourself ample preparation time to drop extra body fat slowly,
thereby sparing lean muscle mass. Begin with a body composition test,
and use this measurement
technique weekly to monitor fat loss. To calculate your caloric needs
which will enable you to arrive at the weight and body fat percentage
you want on the day of the
contest you must determine your dietary requirements. This is the total
number of calories needed to maintain your weight based on your lean
body mass, body fat
percentage and activity level. Your approximate activity level based on
your recovery heart rate is:
100 BPM will burn 500 cal/hr training
115 BPM will burn 750 cal/hr training
125 BPM will burn 1,000 cal/hr training
Add 500 cal. for the average person's daily expenditures. Once you have
your body fat percentage, use these formulas to determine your lean body
WEIGHT x BODY FAT% = FAT WEIGHT
WEIGHT - FAT WEIGHT = LEAN WEIGHT
From lean body weight you can find your resting metabolic rate (the
number of calories it takes to keep you alive) by multiplying your lean
body weight by 11. For
example: at 200 lbs. and 14% B.F., your lean body weight would be 172
lbs. Therefore your resting metabolic rate would be 1892 cal. If you
workout with a recovery H.R.
of 115 BPM for 1 1/2 hours, you would burn 1125 calories, add 500 cal.
as stated above. That gives you a dietary base line of 3517 calories.
That is just to maintain your
Be careful not make a drastic change in your caloric intake. Drop
calories sparingly, no more than 500 calories a day. This drop in
calories should be in the form of
carbohydrates while on a low fat diet and being sure to maintain a
protein intake of 1-1 1/2 gram per lb. of body weight. Because you only
want to drop 1-2 lbs. a week,
you must choose a contest date far enough in advance to arrive at your
desired contest weight without severe dieting which would sacrifice hard
earned muscle. Once
you have adjusted your diet accordingly, do not change it during pre
contest training unless necessary. If so remember only 500 calories per
day mainly from
carbohydrates. At this time dietary fat should be at a minimum.
To assist your body in reducing body fat, add one set of 20-25 reps per
muscle group per workout. You should find your body fat decreasing while
lean muscle weight
increases. After another week, if body fat is not decreasing, add
further sets of 20-25 reps. Start with an additional set per exercise.
Continue to measure body fat weekly.
Meanwhile, keep up with continuous low level aerobic work, as well as
posing. You will want to pose not only for practice but also to educate
the muscles to contract to
their fullest. This will make you look harder.
Another technique that might help you to lose body fat is to increase
your aerobic sessions from 30 min. to 45 min. or to add another session
in the evening. If you are one
of the individuals who wishes to try carbohydrate depleting and loading,
start 10 days before the contest. Start the depletion stage on that 10th
day by attempting to
reduce carbohydrate intake to almost zero. Your diet will consist of
proteins. Your caloric intake should be stable. This will force your
body to use all available glycogen
stores for energy, and will cause your muscles to become flat. After 3
days of depleting, it is best to enter the loading stage. Maintaining
the overall number of calories.
You should begin to ingest small amounts of complex carbohydrates as
well as 1 gram of protein per lb. of lean body mass. The carbohydrates
should be eaten every
one to two hours throughout the day. During this time you should keep
your salt intake to a minimum. (You should be doing this anyway). You
should do an abbreviated
workout on Monday and Tuesday, as well as continuing aerobic work. You
should be practicing your posing (both free and mandatory) daily.
Take the last three days off before a contest, continuing with posing
and light aerobic work. Start two days out for dehydration by reducing
water intake by a third.
Reduce another third the day before, remember drastic reduction is
harmful and not recommended. The morning of the show consume a high
Approximately 4 hours before the show. Keep water intake to a minimum.
Consume small amounts of simple carbohydrates until you are required to
go back stage and
pump up. Continue to lift heavy to avoid muscle tissue loss while adding
high rep sets to cut up the muscle. With some careful planning and
strict diet and training,
reaching your desired weight and level of muscularity is within anyone's