jeudi 31 octobre 2013

Bodybuilding Contest Preparation

When dieting for a bodybuilding contest or a similar event, one of the hardest issues to get the mind around is the concept of losing body fat. This reduces overall body mass and psychologically this can look like losing size to the untrained eye, when your shirts are not so tight on you anymore and your face starts to look drawn and sunken in - the comments that are received are not always encouraging, like "you have lost a lot of weight" and "are you alright, you look ill." I can remember those words only too well, but I had a very good coach at the time who kept me on the straight and narrow, confirming that I was going in the right direction and that I should keep going with the fat loss. I would appear twice as big at 30lb lighter in bodyweight, but I had to get in shape for this to happen.
My suggestion on the above if your aim is to get into the best shape of your life for a bodybuilding contest or for personal reasons, is to ask someone you trust and who has been in good contest shape themselves to watch over you and perhaps check you once a week to make sure you continue to lose body fat. This process can be done by your own analysis, but the problem here is that when the brain suffers a lack of glycogen self judgement can become unclear and a lot can go wrong in the final stages coming up to a bodybuilding competition.
Gaining weight or body mass must not be mistaken for muscle tissue gain, although it is impossible to increase lean tissue without some fat gain and water retention, as these are part of the body composition. However it is possible to keep fat gain to a bare minimum making it easier when it's time to diet. Also an important note, in my experience and from the thoughts of fellow athletes, carrying extra bulk in the off season does not necessarily mean you can push heavier weights.
Optimal training can be obtained with a lighter body weight of about 10% over contest weight (ideal lean weight) and this seems to be adequate body mass for maximum strength. If you weigh much more than this off-season you will put unnecessary stress on the body; this can have a negative affect on holding lean tissue when dieting as the over-weight athlete has to diet more severely to lose the fat and at the same time this can result in greater loss of lean tissue. I found it interesting when dieting for a contest that my strength levels remained the same even on half the calorie intake and doing more work in the form of aerobics - I think it has a lot to do with mental attitude especially for a competitive athlete.
To summarize, make more of an effort to keep the bodyweight down after an event. Around 10-12% bodyweight gain from competition weight (or personal event) is enough to gain muscle in the so-called off-season. I guarantee that by doing this when you diet again you will look a lot bigger and fuller in the muscle in the end result.


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