I’ve made my own thread this time…no hi-jacking (sorry I dragged you in Patricia!). Anyhow, I’m looking to compete in my first contest this October (natural novice middleweight <172lb.), and I need some good advice as far as training, tanning, and cardio are concerned. As of today, Aug.30, I’m 176-177 at about 7.5% bf. I’m guessing that to be competitive, I need to be in the 5% range or under, which is uncharted territory for me (my previous low bf being just over 6%). Most of my fat loss has come from manipulating diet which, as of this week, is as follows: 2400 cals, ratio of 35pro/45cho/20fat, 6 meals a day. I cut my cal’s a bit too low a few weeks ago, and have now brought them back up a bit while still losing fat. If you have any tips, send them my way…I want to do it right the first time!
I don’t know much about it, but are going to do any sodium loading or other water manipulation tricks?
Wanted to say “congrats” on getting to this point - and good job so far!
Now, I wouldn't be concerned with BF%. Why? Well, cuz up on the stage it doesn't matter. What matters is how you look. In the previous thread, when I said "monitor" I meant to use the mirror. Seriously use the mirror. Gauge your progress under the harshest lighting. Even find a area in the gym to hold some poses. Right now, you should be posing. Hold poses for 15 seconds at a time. I like to do this for 30-minutes a night during precontest. It's quite a workout in itself.
As for diet - if you look to be on track, I wouldn't do any "tricks" like sodium loading, carb deplete/load, etc. It sounds like you are indeed on track. Also, if you've never tried the carb deplete/load - I wouldn't suggest it now. It takes practice. What I like to do is mess with my water intake a bit the week of a show. I do that no earlier - for fear of making my body hold water. I don't have to resort to the carb d/l or sodium manipulations, I just need to worry about maintaining my caloric intake the week of a show. Especially since I have a tendency to drop ALOT of weight during that time. Which brings up another point: with training, posing practice, everyday activities, dieting, and the stress of the upcoming contest, you're metabolism is going to be burning the week of a show. Remember that!
As for training, four weeks out from the show, all you should be doing is maintaining. I train as heavy as I can up until the day before a contest. What I do the week of a show is train only 2 or 3 days and just concentrate on posing. The weight training would consist of deads, benches, squats - maybe some leg extensions, armwork - you know just general stuff.
If the jump rope helps, then keep it up. Although you probably won't need to do it two weeks out. At that point, focus on posing, posing, posing!
I think that's all I have to add at this point! If you have anymore questions, give it a holler - I hope I've been helpful!
Yeah, davo…I’m reading up all I can right now about cutting water and sodium to get that shrink-wrap look. I’m not too sure what my strategy will be yet, but if I look good the week of the contest, I’m not going to do anything too extreme.
Great tips…I really appreciate your help! It’s always good to hear from someone who’s “been there, done that”. I see what you mean about the bodyfat not mattering very much - they’re not going to break out the calipers at the contest! I think I will continue to do the caliper tests weekly just for piece of mind and to keep track of my lean mass.
I’m going to start the posing, perhaps in the AM about 4 days a week in place of the skipping…and I’ll work on the “eyes closed” technique so that I get used to not seeing myself in the mirror (what a shame, eh?). As far as training, I’ve taken a few of Joel Marion’s points about maintaining heavy loads. I’m sticking to the big basics - a lot like yourself it seems - and alternate rep ranges of 4 to 6 with 7 to 10.
I wanted to ask you about supplements that have worked well for your contest prep in the past. Here is what I take right now:
Designer protein (AM and postworkout)
Myogen XP (a MRP powder), 33pro/12carb/1fat
Creatine (AM and postworkout)
Salmon oil caps and Flax Seed Meal (with my oatmeal)
I also just bought some green tea extract (I was drinking the actual tea previously), and have some caffeine tabs at the ready in case I need a preworkout boost.
I plan on taking Tribex/M for the last 5 weeks or so, and re-loading the creatine for the last week (or would the day before/day of the contest be better?). If you have any suggestions, let me know…thanks
PS Sorry for such a long post - just wanted to give you a bit more info!
Don’t worry about the length of the post - just appreciate the extra info!
On supplements, what I have used in the past? Vitamin C, Multi-Min/Vitamin and GABA. That's it. I've changed that in the last year, of course. My next show, I will be using Methoxy-7, GROW or Bioplex WP-I (a excellent protein powder) and Vitamin C, Multi-Min/Vita. Ko had read somewhere that it's good to discontinue the creatine two weeks out. If you're in contact with Joel - ask him ( I may also, I use creatine now pretty regularly!), about that. Joel had also posted once about a technique for producing vascularity on the day of the show - ask him about that also. It's very interesting. I usually imbibe some vodka the morning of the show - but I might give his technique a go.
It really sounds like you have a good grip on your precontest prep. A really good plus - especially for your first contest. The posing practice will be very helpful for you - as you will soon find out. There are many a competitor who, if all they would have done was practice that posing more, would have placed much higher or even won their class. I kid you not. Presentation is often overlooked during prep, and should not be. Hey, good luck and let me know how you do!
Hey, check out the “week by week” photos of Skip LaCour’s Precontest prep for his recent Team Universe Overall win. www.skiplacour.com/ assessment-photos- countdown-2002-TU.htm (eliminate the space at “/” and “assessment”).
Great link, patricia…skip’s legs are unbelievably cut and huge…I always knew he had big chest-shoulders-arms, but his legs are out of this world. That is extreme definition. It’s good to see how he changed over the course of his prep…I would say that I’m pretty much in line with him right now in terms of bodyfat% at week 7, (but with just a bit less mass!). I was wondering if you do any sodium loading/depletion like skip does. I wouldn’t mind trying it, but it seems that it may be a bit risky since I’ve never done it before. Your thoughts? Lastly, great photo(s)on the tmagpix site - it’s always good to see that someone can back up what they preach (which goes for ko as well). Do your parrots (I think they’re parrots - excuse me if they’re not) fly free in the house? Could be messy!
Sorry patricia - I just was rereading your other posts and saw the part about just relying on water manipulation (it’s been a long day!).
Hey, no prob! But, you know after reading that Skip began his sodim/depletion, what I thought, was EARLY. I then thought, “hey, he’s MUCH bigger than me”. So, it made complete sense. PLUS, Skip is very thorough and exact in his precontest prep. Which for you and I is helpful (cuz he posts his prep on his website). He’s also a kewl dude. I met him when I too, was competing in the '95 Team Universe. I didn’t make waves then, but hope to next summer!
Anywhoos, as for the parrots. Yeah, the grey guy, Yoshi, is a African Grey parrot. The big white guy, Kato is a Umbrella Cockatoo. They are two of five that we have. And yeah, they fly about. Our Avian Specialist told us that parrots generally live longer if you don't clip their wings - so, we don't - and they all fly about. Can the floors get messy? Not really. But we do have a area around the cages covered with rolledout linoleum. Ko's shoulders do, though. (I can hear the "eeeeeuuuuwwwws" right about now....). Beeg birdies are great to have around, though!
Oh, and saw your photo on the Tmagpix site. Very good. Oh, and if you're in line with him - great! And I wouldn't try the sodium deplete/load thing UNTIL you've gone through some practice. I'm VERY sensitive to sodium. So, I just use the water manipulation.
Bad News!! My contest has been cancelled due to “lack of corporate sponsorship”!! :(. Kinda sucks, actually really sucks since I was looking forward to it so much. I’d even chosen my posing music (a remix of the James Bond theme). The next contest in my area isn’t until April, which would be one damn long precontest prep period! However, what I’m going to do is continue as I would have done prepping for the contest just to see what works for next time around. Plus, it won’t hurt to try and get my body used to lower bf percentages. It’ll also give me an opportunity to get some good photos done…
Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks for all of your tips and helpful info…I’ll be sure to remember it for April, if I decide to compete then.
Hey Cam just wanted to say I saw your pic at the groups site and you look great. My wife also thouhgt the same thing. Excellent work!
Hey, Cam: that does indeed suck. BUT, you see a opportunity here and I agree with you, to take advantage of this time and play around with the diet. Of course, make detailed notes on what works and what doesn’t, etc. Frank Zane use to perform a couple of precontest preps during the year, to fine tune as well as try out new techniques. And since he’s a three-time Mr. Olympia, I think it worked for him!
But I also definitely find advantages of remaining somewhat lean in between shows. Especially being drug-free. I'll be in "precontest" mode about the same time as you, too - so we can certainly help use this form as a "support tool"!
Hey bro…thanks for the compliment - I appreciate it. I’ll get some new photos up by mid-October that should be even better (although not quite up to Random’s standard!). You have any pics to post?
Cam don’t be so hard on yourself, you may look different than Random but you look just as good. I have a pic somewhere I have to find it get it scanned and then get it up there. That will be a humbling experience for sure.