Preparing For A Bodybuilding Competition

The majority of bodybuilders harbor a vision of contending in a bodybuilding competition. However, the trouble with this is that a lot of us don’t know how to correctly prepare for a contest. If this describes you, then you should be ready to go on a diet, and watch what you eat for several weeks, except you are one of the small numbers of bodybuilders who maintain around 7% body fat all year round.

First, you need to assess your body to see if you have enough time to prepare for the show. You can decide how much cardio needs to be done judging from your body fat levels. Body fat percentage will also determine how your training is to be done. The training part is easy because if you train heavy and with intensity, then you are right on track. Frequency can be between once every 5-7 days per body part.

Essential Contest Preparation Issues

  1. Rehearsing poses. Finding out how to pose and to pose properly is a necessity. You need to start practicing posing 10-12 weeks before a competition.
  2. Nutrition. You must refine your diet.
  3. Stage presence. This can help to score points as well as gain crowd support.
  4. Prepare to live with the judges’ decision

Persistence is what separates the winner from the quitter. Being persistent will make you stronger than any iron-pumping exercise could. You should have resolved your purpose to become a champion. Once you have a firm purpose of mind, you’re motivated to get into the gym with the determination to overcome the heavy iron pumping that you must endure. You must also have belief in your ability to win. Even if you don’t win, learn from your defeat.

The Competition Diet

The competition diet is perhaps the most complex element of contest preparation. When do you begin the diet? This depends mostly on your body composition and the date of the competition.

The difference between a good contestant and an exceptional one is all about conditioning. Supposing your caloric ingestion is 3500 daily, begin by slowly reducing it by 300 each week for four weeks – start doing this about 12 weeks out from the show. At eight weeks out, begin to supplement with protein, amino acids, and glutamine peptides. At the six-week point, begin your supplementation with thermogenic to speed up fat loss. Begin to carb load and carb deplete at four weeks out to shock your body.

Here is a sample contest preparation diet for the week before the show, the most critical of the diet stage:


A minimum of six small meals, all containing protein from a variety of sources. Complex, high fiber carbs until 2 p.m., after that, protein only.
1-2 gallons sodium-free water.


same as above


Same as Monday except for a slight reduction in the number of carbs. Absolutely no refined flour, rice, sugar, etc.
Take in up to 3 gallons of water.


Same as Wednesday, except for one thing: sodium has to be drastically reduced.
Try to take in 2 gallons


Same as Thursday with extra careful attention to sodium.
Reduce water to ½ gallon taken between morning and 6 p.m. Sip sparingly and only as needed from 6 p.m. on.


Very small meals containing no sodium. Many competitors will take raw hone and natural peanut butter backstage with them for quick energy and muscle fullness.
Sip only as needed. By now you should be dropping water, your abs should be very defined, and your muscular definition and vascularity should be very high. This is a very delicate balance. Do not try anything new at this point to alter this condition.

A contest diet can be incredibly expensive. Quality meats, supplements, and other specialized foods together with the quantity a bodybuilder needs can cost quite a bit. Dieting needs to be done gradually at first so that the body doesn’t respond negatively or lose too much size too quickly. By the fourth or fifth week of dieting, food options will become extremely limited.

The Perfect Tan

When it’s time for the competition you want each muscular detail to be plainly visible to the judges. Here are five easy steps to applying the perfect sunless tan.

  1. Remove hair: if you want the best application of the tan and you want it to go on properly and uniformly you need to get rid of the hair in the body parts you are tanning.
  2. Exfoliate your skin: this step is frequently ignored and leads to dark and light spots if not done.
  3. Apply tanner: put a quarter-size amount of self-tanner in your hand, rub your hands together and massage the tanner into your skin.
  4. Give joints special attention: dilute the tanner with moisturizing lotion to make application to the joints smoother and lighter.
  5. Drying: the drying process usually lasts about 15-20 minutes.

The State Of Mind

“Many are called, but few are chosen,” the Bible says. This is spot on when it comes to competitive bodybuilding. You have to be at your best on the day of the show to win at competitive bodybuilding. Making the resolution to participate is a tough one. We all want to develop our existing condition, and we’re in the gym because we’re not content with it. For some people, this dissatisfaction can be crippling when it comes to making the decision to compete. In order to compete as a bodybuilder:

  • You will have to make the decision early (sometimes as much as a year in advance).
  • You don’t have to be super-human to compete.

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