T Nation

Fitness competition preparation

I’m new to the protocols for competition preparation, and I’m helping my girlfriend prep for a fitness competition in two weeks. I’m looking for advice on what to do the final days/hours before the show. Specifically, when to start using a diuretic (we’re using Taraxatone), what type of carb to use prior to the competition (she’s used pancakes and honey previously, but I feel there must be a more efficient source), and should I have her do a depletion workout prior to carb-loading? Her previous trainer had her eating low-sodium peanut butter the week before the show, is there any merit to this, and for what reason? I’ve seen several posts suggestion NOT to deplete sodium, what is the reason for this? How many grams per day of sodium should she be taking in per day pre contest? She weighs 106 and typically is VERY sensitive to any sodium in her diet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Eeeks, diuretics. That’s what I like about them fitness gals: they don’t want to be a bodybuilder, due to the drugs and having to get “too beeeg” - and now they take diuretics. ooops, different topic.

Uh, regarding your question on diuretics - I can't answer. I've never resorted to them (I'm a competitive bodybuilder - natural, I might add. No drugs, no diuretics). You might go to the "steroids and other drugs" forum for advice there.

As for sodium. It would not be a good idea to deplete sodium AND take a diuretic. Cramping could ensure if this is done. That's my opinon.

Contest prep is such a individually sensitive thing. It really is. Your question on your girlfriend's carb depleting/loading is dependent upon her size. If she's a big gal then carb up more (more days would be needed, also). Small gal? Less carbs, less days. As to what types of carbs - another thing dependent upon the individual. I prefer yams or sweet potatoes. Or just plain potatoes. However I don't believe in the carb depleting cycle. I just eat normally the week of a contest - in some cases, I have to increase my calories. I do like to eat a sort of meusli - it has a potassium to sodium ration of 2 to 1. I try to maintain a higher potassium to sodium ratio during the week of a show.

The only thing I can think of for the low-sodium peanut butter is the fat content. Fitness chicks don't have to get their BF% as low as a bodybuilder - maybe her BF% was getting too low and this was the safest route to maintain? Did she keep sometype of journal during her contest prep. If she did, great. Reference that. If not, she should start one now to reference the next time. How many shows has she done?

Messing around with sodium takes a lot of experimentation. Maintain a journal - that also desribes how she's looking before a contest, day of and afterwards. THIS will prove invaluable for her next show.

Thank you for the very thorough response, Patricia. I guess I never considered the diuretic we’re using, Taraxatone, a ‘drug’, since it’s OTC from Cytodyne, the same company that makes Xenadrine.

As for the carbs, she’s definitely small, at 5’ 3" and 106, and one carb meal is what she’s done in the past. She’s been eating about 30 grams of carbs per day for the past 6-8 weeks, with no salt added to whatever she may get naturally from her diet.

Her previous trainer had some pretty flaky ideas, definitely NOT a T-mag reader! I don’t understand the logic behind most of what he did, so I end up questioning EVERYTHING he did. This is her fifth or sixth show. Thanks again for the help!

Well, I’m glad my response was helpful - I have a tendency to “ramble on and on…”

What I learned about trainers: ask them the purpose behind everything. This is the best way to either learn, especially about contest prep - or learn to drop your trainer! If your girlfriend hasn't done so, I would also suggest to check out the mags that focus on fitness contest prep - like Oxygen or the NPCs' website.

In my original post, I was just rather concerned over the use of a diuretic. Especially for a fitness contest. I've never used diuretics in my contest preparations. I would rather just make sure I was in contest shape a week or two out, and make small adjustments thereafter (water consumption, sodium/potassium, etc.).

But good luck with the contest!