T Nation

Final Weeks of Prep. Does Scale Weight Matter?

So recently started taking up bodybuilding after 20 odd years of powerlifting and various other sports. Being 42 I needed a change. First show went ok, only had nine weeks of prep but was a good learning curve. Onto second and in a much better spot.

Now here’s the thing. My coach is obsessed with scales weight. Even three weeks left I’m literally not dropping weight, this is on 1200 cals a day plus cardio and weights. But every week I’m getting leaner and harder whilst not losing any size or muscle. I’m a trainer myself (new to the BB world though) so if I’m getting better each week do the scales actually matter? Surely it’s about the look right??

Are you competing in a weight class?

Definitely keep a record of your weight and strength in the final three weeks, or more. To that, add percent bodyfat, which I would recommend the skinfold test as the repeatability is high and the test is low cost. To those add descriptive notes on how you feel you look: as how sharp?, any noticeable water retention? Recent meal (last three days, or so) info should be considered. All of this is good historical information for future meets.

If your weigh-in weight is close to a weight class change, IMO, go for the best look and not a weight class you would like to compete in.


Yes thank you been writing little notes each week. I’ve noticed my body possibly after hard years of powerlifting, rugby and training in general just holds mature muscle! Like I said I’m getting leaner each week, but actually dropped a kilo this week through sheer dogged low calories and work rate.

Looking at my physique I’m never going to be one of those smaller boned wispy guys. Where the muscle hangs off them lol definitely in the broader, thicker type.

No no weight class (or age class unfortunately lol)

Just want to add that @RT_Nomad competed in BBing at a high level back in the day, and thus knows what he’s talking about.

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It is both, but I believe weight becomes less of an issue as the person gets leaner as time goes on because one has to assess whether diet and cardio are doing the job.

How are you doing this on 1200 calories. I competed just once at 173 and felt like I was physically and mentally ill on ~1900 in the last month!

My coach/friend and I tracked weight for everyday.

Maybe moderately high level is a better description. I could never have gotten a pro card.