T Nation

Final Week Pre-Contest Diet


#1

So thought I'd start a discussion about what to do the final week pre-contest?

I've read a lot of different protocols and ultimately I'd imagine it's up to the individual and also what they've been doing the last 12 weeks.

This is also for a natural bb'er as AAS use changes the equation.

  1. 3 Day Carb Up: This is the old-school tried and true. 2-3 day carb depletion then carb up Wednesday through Friday in decreasing fashion...say 400/300/200 or something similar. 2-3 gal water every day until midday Friday, then no or very little water 18hr pre-contest prejudging.

  2. Fat Load: To be used in addition to #1 or on it's own. So normal diet OR follow #1 thru Thursday. At this point you either fat load Friday night and/or Friday morning. The goal is the same. Removing water from under the skin. Since too much of a carb up leads to spillage the carb up ends Thursday instead of Friday. Like I said another version just as you doing a normal diet without carb loading then fat load Friday night/Saturday morning.

  3. Nothing: I think Beverly International recommends this. Don't do anything crazy. Continue normal diet as you'll have a high carb meal on Thursday anyway to top off glycogen stores.

Also:

Layne Norton #1: Low (100g under) carbs through the week then carb load Sat morning (4am to pre-judge 1 sweet potato every 2 hours). Then small pan pizza 2 hours pre-judge (fat/junk load)

Layne Norton #2: "Normal" (200-300) amount of carbs throughout the week. 2 gal water a day. Saturday, carbs every two hours. Maintain water intake (60oz from 1am to prejudge)

Many varied approaches it seems...


#2

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#3

Fat loading is indeed strange. A few of the pro's advocate it though, namely Toney Freeman. I still don't understand the science behind it.


#4

I think Scott Abel talks about this a lot. He says it's to do with the fact that your muscles can only take in so much glycogen, but there's no limit for fat, or some such thing. Again, I don't have a clue about what that means in terms of visual benefits, but that's what I read/heard.


#5

I've always been curious to fat load just to see what happened. I think its for added vascularity. Which I can attest to when I shitload, with junk food.


#6

Who you calling a 'fat load' snapperhead?!

S


#7

I've used the 1 day and the 3 day carb up and the latter works better for me. I don't see a lot of change with the 1 day carb load, the other makes me look fuller and more defined after a low carb period, whether it's short or long term. I guess my carb tolerance is about average, I'm not of those guys who can't handle more than 200, or those who stay ripped cheating several times a week; I can carb cycle with 250-300 grams of carbs for 2 or 3 days, then reduce it, otherwise I gain some fat.


#8

I've used the 1 day and the 3 day carb up and the latter works better for me. I don't see a lot of change with the 1 day carb load, the other makes me look fuller and more defined after a low carb period, whether it's short or long term. I guess my carb tolerance is about average, I'm not of those guys who can't handle more than 200, or those who stay ripped cheating several times a week; I can carb cycle with 250-300 grams of carbs for 2 or 3 days, then reduce it, otherwise I gain some fat.


#9

This article has always been helpfull:

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_diet_mass/shredded_in_6_days


#10

I followed this regimen for my show last May and came in looking damn tight, Thibs knows his stuff.

S


#11

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#12

Google: pre contest fat loading

Various discussions there.

I've read Thibs protocol front and back and most I've talked to say it's too conservative, ie: not enough carbs when loading and that it takes 2-3 days or up to 1000 carbs total to reach full supercompensation. You have to figure that when you are refilling glycogen stores you're still using some glycogen for energy during the day and especially during workout.

From what I've read the fat loading process works by increasing glycogen storage last minute. IE: you're already pretty topped off after 2-3 days of refilling and the fat loading gives the body access to energy substrates needed for the final push....or something like that. It's also supposed to help increase vascularity and dryness in the same way carb loading does...by pulling water in.

I'd love to hear comments from people who've done a number of shows NATURALLY and have used different protocols. It could be that Thib's works because it's conservative and most any protocol that's not stupid will work for first timers. That being said, the old school deplete/3-day carb up may not work for 1st timers as they may not have that understanding of their body yet so they don't know when they are one step away from spill over?

Then there's a protocol I've read from Layne Norton, he goes into why radical protocols aren't worth it, and even sort of from some Beverly guys...maintain moderate carbs and water the entire week. Carbs are stored with water so you need to drink water with your carbs. Then the last day you drink minimal water. You're still refilling glycogen as that process takes time (12-24 hours after ingestion) so if you're still consuming carbs Friday night/Saturday morning and limiting water then that's all you need to bring the water from the outside in.


#13

Cortisol ruined him? Be real. He wasn't as sharp as he should have been. If he was truly on point nothing could ruin him, let alone 'cortisol'.


#14

"Layne Norton #1: Low (100g under) carbs through the week then carb load Sat morning (4am to pre-judge 1 sweet potato every 2 hours). Then small pan pizza 2 hours pre-judge (fat/junk load) "

I used this approach for my first contest and spilled over.

I'm going to try the three day carb up next time around.


#15

Thanks for the input.

I'm going to try something next week as a trial run and see how my body handles the carb loading.

Since my current diet is low (50-80) carb during the week and a 400-500g carb load on Saturday I'm going to keep with that same idea but move it to Sunday and then gradually lower carb intake from then until Friday (amazingly enough, another one of Layne's protocols....he has written about quite a few).

So it would be something like this:

Sunday: 300g, high water, normal sodium (2-3g)
Monday: 250g, high water, normal sodium
Tuesday: 200g, high water, normal sodium
Wednesday: 150g, high water, normal sodium
Thursday: 100g, high water, reduced sodium (1.5g)
Friday: 40g in the morning (two pieces of fruit), low sodium <1g), then:
-cut water early/mid afternoon
-no carbs until after weight-in (7pm). This I think will prevent any spillover from happening when you've been carbing up over the last few days and have a carb-up coming.
-fill out meal (fat/carb/salt)
-potato every 2 hours until bed
-total carbs from weigh in to bed (150g?)

Saturday: awake 5-6am and make adjustments:
-Still flat? potato every 2 hours
-Holding water? fat ever 2 hours
-30-60min before show high fat/sugar/salt
-right before show sugar

Anyway, it's a work in progress.


#16

I would love to know how this works out for you!


#17

People react differently to stress dude.

I was practicing posing the day after a breakup and I was waaay soft, with a TON of abdominal water retention.

Sleep deprivation + nerves I can easily see that making the difference in a close comp.


#18

Fixed. This was back in 2009.