T Nation

12 Weeks too much for pre-contest cutting?

I have a contest coming up in about 12 weeks. Right now I am sitting at 12% bodyfat (6’4" 230 lbs). My goal is to reach 3-4% bodyfat by contest time, without losing any fullness. I plan to keep my caloric intake fairly high, but supplement my program with 5-6 days of HIIT based cardio. Is this too much?

Personally, I think you’re in that “panic” state that soooooo many competitors get into at the beginning of precontest. This “panic” state makes you want to overdo ALOT and may make you come into a contest flat. I’ve done it, too. 12% is good to be 12-weeks out.

Do keep your caloric intake high if you intend to maintain the 5-6 days of HIIT based cardio; however, really monitor (using the mirror) your physique. Keep in mind, that at this point, you should be posing your ASS off. You can easily substitute two posing sessions with HIIT sessions.

Hi. Not to increase your 12w-away-panic, but I do believe that you have actually 10 week. I think you should get in the proper shape a couple of weeks before the contest and use them to do the final adjustments. Of course, if you were so perfect-timed to achieve the contest date in the optimum, not one day more, not one day less, you wouldn’t be here asking. In regard to posing, I think you should also play an home-made-contest the more realistic you can imagine. And I literally mean: wake up at the time you plan to do, drive a distance that almost equal to the one of the contest place, pick out your bag from the car, walk in your house, take off your dress, weight yourself, dress up again, wait what you think you’re gonna wait, then put the color on, warm up, do your free poses, routine etc… well, you got the point. Can’t imagine how many things you’d make wrong if you haven’t rehearsed before (from leaving home your music, feeling dehydratation and not have anything to drink close to you, soil your suit…). Hope this helps, ciao.

Run do not walk to your local book store and pick-up a copy of Ripped. It will guide you through contest preparation. Add to that biotest supplements and you should do great. Best of Luck.

I agree with some of the things said by Trish (of course) and Mr. Z. Robbie, looks like I’m in a similar boat, in that I’m looking at doing my first show and it’s just over 12 weeks away. However, being it my first, I’d love to be peaked out about two weeks beforehand so there’s no last minute panicking or anything of the sort. I’m fortunate though to be no greater than 7-8% fat right now, and as Nate Dogg will attest, I have the capability to pull out the sharpest Ginsu knives and have shrink-wrap skin. So if I can get there with two or three weeks out, perhaps I can experiment with some loading or just continue at maintenance for a week or so. That last week really isn’t for dieting or making many drastic adjustments. Like Trish said, you should already be dedicating time to posing. Perhaps you can take time at the end of your training or just substitute one for cardio. You’ll burn a hella bunch of calories this way also; it’s like cardio itself, man! If you want to do the cardio, great, as I am a big endorser of such. However, I don’t think you should jump right in to 5 or 6 per week, but rather gradually increase. Good luck, Robbie, and keep us in tune with your progress.