T Nation

Competition Info. Needed

March 29 is Judgement Day and it is also my first contest. I have a few questions that I really need input on.

The first is regarding tanning products. Which is the better way to go: DreamTan (by itself) ProTan base w/DreamTan over top or ProTan w/posing oil.

Second, as I start cutting carbs and soduim to begin dropping water, what are the best no/low carb foods that are also very low in sodium content that I should be eating the last few days?

Last, this past Friday I tried an experiment. I water restricted all day, then at 7:00 pm I ate 400g of carbs. Saturday morning, about 7:00 am, I ate another 200g of carbs. Much to my surprise, when I got to the gym and practiced my posing (about 10:00 am Sat.), it looked as though all my muscle disappeared! I mean flat as a pancake! Can anyone comment on this? My intent (based on the results of the experiment)is NOT to carb LOAD the night before, but simply eat about 50g worth of carbs in the form of shreadded wheat or white potato and the same in the morning before the prejudging. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, TenMan

Ohh Patriciaaaa…

I’m interested in seeing the replies to this…

Oh, Ike. You funny.

Okay. I actually have time now to post a response. Albeit a wee one.

ProTan or Dream Tan? It’s actually personal preference. Here’s a tip: EVERYTHING you need for your contest (oil, tanning color, posing trunks, etc.), you should have by at least 3-weeks out. You need to find out what would work best for you now in terms of color. I usually get a nice base via tanning bed. And I still use ProTan. But I do hear ALOT of good feedback on Dream Tan.

You also need to invest in a a Nutritional Desk Reference book. I have all the higher potassium/sodium ratio carb foods marked. For quick reference. Right before a contest, I’m eating potatoes (especially sweet), as my primary source of carbs. I also can handle watermelon and mangoes and depending on the season, will be eating those, too. And I’ve never had a problem with that, too.

During your experiment last Friday, were you sipping water as you were carb loading? And what type of carbs were you eating. The usual low-GI carbs? That could be what your problem was. Before a contest, after the weigh-in, I like to eat something High-GI and will even chow down a steak. I still sip the water; but will sip a bit more than usual. And I don’t drink the distilled stuff. AND you may need to have a nice carb meal before you go to bed to avoid the “flat” look. What are you looking at also, in the way of sodium intake now? Another thing is, depending on how hard you’ve been dieting, the 400g of carbs may have been NOT enough or needed MORE time for your body to fill out. Take in consideration your size. 400g would definitely be a tad bit too much for me (5’4", 118 contest weight).

At this point; Hell, three weeks ago, the mirror is your best friend. Monitor, monitor and monitor some more. Pose, pose and pose. First thing in the morning, pose. Before bed, pose.

Interesting…

Patricia, 400g is not too much for a competing 118lbs. You have in the past expressed that carb depleting and loading hasnt really worked that well for you and I have in the past said then it’s not being done right for your body. Someone your size would be eating over 500 on the first day in my opinion.

Anyway, not the issue right now obvioulsy.

I’ll still wait this one out for more replies. It’s neat to see how people approach the last week of a contest.

Thunder, I will be competing in 6 weeks at a weight of approximately 230 lbs. For
a Saturday morning pre-judging when should I carb up and how many carbs. My
first show I went with about 300 carbs on Thrusday and Friday after a 3-day
depletion. But, if Patricia needs almost 500, does that mean I need around 1,000??

Jason,
As I said in another thread, it’s a very individual process that needs to be tweaked for everyone. It’s tough to give a cookie cutter suggestion. I can usually make an adjustment just by watching someone’s physique change over the last couple days. You just learn to know what to look for.

However, I can give you some guidelines. Assuming 230 at about 5%, you’ve got it - 1000g of carbs on the first day of the carb up, which I’d suggest come Thursday, AFTER a full body depletion workout. Remember to upregulate the glycolytic enzymes of the liver a couple hours before the depletion workout. That 1000g of carbs should comprise 70% of your daily total for Day 1, with 15% coming from protein and another 15% from fat, up to a max of about 85g (all from EFAs later in the day).

So, that looks like the following for Day 1:
Carbs - 1000g
Protein - 215g
Fat - 85g
Calories - 5625

The biggest problem, actually I wouldn’t go that far, but one of the biggest problems with a bodybuilder’s approach to the last couple days, is that they don’t eat enough and just never fill out until a couple days after their show.

The first two meals after the depletion workout should be 1.5g/kg of LBM of maltodextrin and some liquid protein. Repeat that 2 hrs later. After that, move to solid, yet high GI carbs for the rest of the day. Things like rice cakes (white cheddar is good since it’s very high sodium), pretzels, potatoes. I’d also make sure two of the meals are oatmeal and pie filling mixed together. Keep them 6 to 8 hrs apart.

Water intake on this day, as with the week preceeding it (at the very least) should be through the roof – in the 10 litre range.

That should get you through day 1.

I had one guy tell me he went to Outback for dinner on Thursday night for a big steak and baked potato with the works and a piece of cheesecake for dessert. Then on Friday focused on dropping water while going back to clean carbs and protein like the previous days meals with the exception of Outback.

Jason, I’d save that for Day 2…about 3 hrs after you cut your water. Prime rib, french fries and cheesecake. Eat until you are really full. Just dont drink anything and watch how fast your body changes over the next couple hours.

Interesting info, Thunder. Just for comparison’s sake, what would be your recommendations for someone who is, say, 180 or so in contest shape? Just take a straight percentage of what you posted above, or do you figure it differently?

Since no one has addressed the tanning products, I’ll give you some tips. If your skin tone is dark or can get a bit of natural tan, use Dream Tan only. If you are light skinned like me and only burn. Use a base coat of Pro Tan with Dream Tan later. DO NOT use oil with Dream Tan. It has glitter (or something) in it to give you the perfect sheen! My personal program is to apply Pro Tan on Wed, Thur, and Fri nights. Then Dream Tan before prejudging. Shower and chill out between shows then a new coat of Dream Tan for the night show. I am super white boy, but with my program I always get comments on how great my color is. Hope that helps. Good Luck.
In faith,
Matt

I used a tanning bed for a base and then pro-tan. I wasn’t quite dark enough so I
need to add a coat for my next show. A lot of places won’t let you use dream tan in
the facility because it is messy. Hot Stuff spray gives you a nice shine, flushes your
skin, and helps pull it tight and increase vascularity.

So, Thunder, day 2 would be the night before the show correct? I really like the idea
of hitting Outback for dinner the night before!! BTW, thanks for all of your
feedback. I was disappointed at my last show that I looked better the week before
than I did the day of the show. I was way to flat. So thanks for the advice!

Matt: thanks for the tanning info. Just by coincidence, I applied a coat of Protan on Wed. nigh and again on Thursday night. This morning (friday), I coated over the top of this with the DreamTan. It is simply awesome!!! In all, it is exactly the darkness, tone, and sheen that I want! Thanks for the info.

Glad I could help! Good luck at the show!
In faith,
Matt

Char, I basically usually go with 10g/kg of LBM in carbs for the first day with that comprising 70% of total calories. The remaining 30% are split evenly between protein and fat, with fat not going over 85g. So for a competing 180lb guy at say 5%, I’d start with these numbers for Day 1 of the carb up:

780g carbs
170g protein
75g fat

(water and salt intake high)

Jason, the fat load meal would be in the evening of Day 2 of the carb up. On the second day I begin to introduce more fat to the carb up and then go to a full blown fat load once the water has been cut.

Of course, the carb intake on Day 2 isnt as high as it is on Day 1.

Thunder - Do you have gram and food recomendations for day 2 and the day of the show like you laid out for day 1? You can base it on someone 230lbs. to keep it consistent. Thanks, this is very helpful information.

Thunder, thanks for the very clear and helpful answer. You should write an article for T-mag on peaking for photo shoots and competitions. This is an idea that’s been tossed around a lot over the years, but no one’s ever actually sat down and done it. Seems like you’d be able to put one together pretty quickly, and it would fill a much-needed gap.

Thanks again.

Brewcrew, generally for Day 2, I cut the carb intake in half. So someone consuming 800g on Day 1, would drop to 400g on Day 2. This would comprise 60% of total calories with the remainder split evenly again between protein and fat - 20%/20%. As well, the carb choices also change on Day 2, with the exception of the oatmeal/pie filling meals.

Depending on what was being used diuretic wise, water could possibly still be sky high. Then again, maybe not. That part is very individual. Sodium would also still be very high.

These numbers are what I use not including the fat load. I don’t count anything from this meal at all.