Have a show in 2 weeks looking for some proven advise on carb loading and water intake. Thanks in advance.
Is this your first show? What experience do you have with carb deplete/load?
For the record - if you're in shape and look like you're right on track - I wouldn't recommend to do the carb deplete/load. What I do is get in "stage ready" shape a week out and eat "UP" until contest day. Which I usually have to by that time, anyways. Cuz, by then, I'm lean/ripped and need to fill out and maintain that muscle.
So, another question: Where are you at now in the way of appearance? And why do you want to do the carb deplete/load? Oh, and weight! The carb deplete/load cycle is dependent on bodyweight.
Being two weeks from the show, i would advise you to skip the carb load this time. Reason being, carb intake for loading purposes is extremly individual. I cannot stress this enough. The slightest mistake can ruin that ripped looked that you have works so hard for, leaving you smooth. What works perfectly for someone else, most likely will not work in the same fashion for you. You can get some sound advice that will give you some ballpark figures that you can play around with about 6 weeks out, but you need to experiment and see what works for you. I WOULD NOT CONDUCT MY FIRST CARB LOAD BEFORE A CONTEST. You need to find out what works for you first, and then once you got it down to a T, then you can implement it into your contest prep. I have some other tricks that can help you look even more ripped, by reducing water retention, and increasing vascularity. If you are interested then just let me know and i can either post the info or email it to you. No matter what anyone else posts on this subject, the best advice is the advice i just gave you. Its just too risky when you got a contest riding on it. I’ll do what i can to help you maximize your physique for the contest, but i do not recommend the carb load this time.
just wanted to bring this thread back to the forefront, as it was pretty far burried. dont think that bryan got a chance to read the responses.
After a little more thought, I have to also say that I question the whole thing of drinking only distilled water a week out from a contest. I really believe that if I had not done that the week of my last show, that my “stage ready” appearance would have been greatly improved. My next contest - definitely NOT going the distilled water route. Definitely.
However, I would seriously consider NOT doing the carb deplete/load - but just monitor carb intake. Always remember, that the final week of a show is a maintaining period. You should be giving your body rest - and the primary exercise would be POSING. Static poses. Man, I hope you're doing that now! If not, start! Trust me, it'll get you hard (okay, guys - you know what I mean). But week of a contest, posing should be the focus.
AND finally, no huge miracle is gonna happen, like dropping 5-10 lbs in two days. If you're not ready a week or two out from a contest - you're not ready.
Thanks for the sound advise Patricia and Joe. Joe if you could post some ideas for the last 10 days or so the would be appreciated. I have carb loaded twice before with very little success. Once on the Keto diet with Lyle M. recommendations and once following a high protien medium to low carb, low fat diet. Then loading with low GI foods for 2days. The water thing seems to worry me the most. Really looking for that thin skin look. By the way I’m 5’11" 196 @6% BF and natural. Thanks again for any advice.
for my last contest i spent the last ten days doing a lot of posing. The first five days I trained my ass off every day and then the last five days before the show I didn’t even lift a single weight you have to give your body plenty of time to rest before the show but still practice posing every day . I also carb depleted and then about 3-4 days prior to the show I began to carb up very slowly on low GI foods and cut my water intake to equal the amount of carbs I was taking in. I didn’t use distilled water but I did use sodium free water
no tap water. It worked well for me - I won my weight class and lost in the overall by one vote. That was my first experiment with carb loading but my father used to compete and he gave me a lot of good advice so I don’t advise experimenting this close to a show unless you have someone helping you who has done it before.
Patricia, You mentioned that carb deplete/load is body weight dependent. Would you explain please. Thanks
Its simple really. A larger bodybuilder will need to ingest more carbs during the carbing up phase than a smaller or female bodybuilder.
For instance a female bodybuilder may need only 140-170 grams during the carbing up, while a male bodybuilder could be from 200 to 235 (or more)grams. That would be the first day of carbing up - second day you would ingest more grams (male, like up to 400 grams/women up to 300), and more on the second, and so on.
The amount of days is also something to be considered. Some female bodybuilders begin on a Wednesday before a show. Some male bodybuilders begin on a Tuesday. Again, dependent on the size of the bodybuilder. And maybe now, "carb sensitivity"?
So many factors to consider when doing the carb deplete/load cycle. You have to remember for each gram of glycogen stored in your muscle cells, about 3-4 grams of water are stored along with it. So, ya gotta watch for "spillage". It would be best to try a cycle, if there is insistance on using this method for pre-contest, a couple of times in the year. Just to see how it affects *your* body.
Having had extensive experience prepping guys and girls for shows, I’ll make a few comments about it.
First of all, increasing carb intake over 3 days as commonly done never works as well as doing it the other way. Think about it, after you’ve depleted and hopefully done a depletion workout, insulin sensitivity and your ability to supercompensate is highest. This is the day to really boatload carbs. Your risk of spilling is highly unlikely, whereas your risk of spilling towards the end of the carb up, when you have already started filling out, is greatly increased. Think of it as a cup that you’re filling up. Initially you can pour a lot fast, but as you reach the top you need to slow down and pour just a little to top it up so you dont spill any.
As the carb intake continues insulin sensitivity decreases as should the carb quantity until on the 3rd day you are just topping it up. Carbing heavy on the last day often causes the spilling.
Another problem with carbing heaviest on the last day is that without water (which you've probably cut by this point) you'll never get a good carb up (especially if you're not using insulin) (3-4 g of water required for every gram of carbs). Not only that but sodium is also required for max glycogen synthesis and on the last day, this is, or should be, reduced. Leading up to the show sodium shouldnt be restricted and in fact should be kept high so that a small decrease causes water loss. Elevated sodium maintains high blood volume and gym performance, especially when one is low-carb.
I tend to go with a combo carb load / fat load. Fat loading definitely works amazing if done well.
So basically, after depleting I favor a full body depletion followed by 2 1/2 - 3 days of carbing, starting high and cutting back, with high water consumption. The final day before (Friday) is a low carb, fat loading day. You get a natural diuretic effect from the decreased carb intake on that day as well and you’ll continue to fill out even more. On this last day you eat just enough carbs to maintain blood sugar and the remainder comes from protein and lots of fat.
Generally cut your water around 18 hrs.
It’s worked every time so far.
preparing for comps,i usually drink alot of soy milk, giving me that smooth breast look,just adding my 2 cents.Toodles.
makes sense. Thanks Patricia
I’m not a BB, but just curious: do you guys lift weights right before a show to get a ‘pump’?
Thanks Eric for a great explanation. I’m going to try this type of loading. Right now I’m taking in about 90 grams/carbs per day and 300/protien, 65/fat. Starting tommrow I’m cutting to 40/carbs 190/protien and about 160/fat. I’ll do this till tues, perform a 2 hour depletion and start loading, high GI for at least 18-24 hours, then lower my intake till I wake up Fri morning. This is the part that gets tricky for me. If you could advise me on sodium/water/natural diuretics I would really appreciate it. Also the prejuding is at 2pm Sat. Maybe you could advise me what to do up to this time. Thanks Bryan
Hey Eric still hoping you throw some more advice my way!