Joel and Thunder: Event Preparation

As you guys know, many of us on this site are not Bodybuilding Competitors. However, many of us (myself included) try to follow the healthy aspects of the lifestyle.

One of the areas that seems to be the most elusive to learn about (and a “secret” that even many competitors guard closely) is that final week or so prior to the contest, or “contest peaking”.

While we all may not be prepping for contest, we DO “prep” for pictures, reunions, vacations, dates, interviews… you name it…in an attempt to physically look our best.

You guys have alluded to some expertise in this area, so two questions: 1)Are there some basic “principles” of final week “photo” or “contest” prep? 2) Any chance of submitting a full length article to T.C. or Chris? (I have title for you already: “How To Look Good Nekkid For That Class Reunion!”)

Thanks, guys!

Nice idea; I’m sure I could write the article. I’ll see if they are interested.

This should be interesting. I’m debating on whether to try and answer this question, or just leave it alone and let Joel take a stab at it in an article. I’m also betting we have different approaches.

You guys might collaborate on the article…

I say both you guys submit something on this. I’d be curious to see how your techniques differ. It would be enlightening other way…

Thunder, please email me; if T-mag is interested, I’d be willing to possibly co-author something…we can share our views and see if that is possible.


Thanks, guys!

As I’ve read the brief glimpes of that final week from various competitors, four things seem to stand out:

  1. As Thunder said, approaches vary.

  2. The key is NOT high rep, light weight training combined with un-godly amounts of aerobics and dehydration, in order to get “ripped” (That much I know!). Actually these things can be VERY counterproductive to the goal of low sub-q water and fat over full muscles).

  3. Many people (including competitors) screw it up BADLY!

  4. That final week CANNOT overcome underlying weaknesses. In other words, if the previous months have not built a solid foundation of muscle, that final week ain’t gonna improve that!

    Not some long thread or article (at least not YET!)…but do you guys have some observations/basic principles?

Joel, I have no idea what your email address is. However, I’ll check one of your articles to see if it’s there.
Mufasa, you definitely have the basic idea. Too many people expect that last week to be magic, and while it’s pretty freaky how different your body can look in a matter of days, or even hours during the final week, if you’re not in shape heading into that final week, there isnt anything that’s going to save you. You’re simply not ready. It’s pretty easy to manipulate the water and glycogen stores, but if you’re still fat … well, you’re still fat and the effect is minimal at best at that point.

its at the end of my article; looking forward to hearing from you.

Well, one thing I’ve noticed is that carb-loading does not work for me. I kept a strict food diary (for about 5 months) for my contest, and I noted when I looked really muscular, veiny, flat, etc. Here’s the trend I noticed: I looked the best with a mild carb deplete, and a high water intake. But the timing was crucial–one or two days more of the carb deplete and I would start to lose my size.

Furthermore I have a little theory based on my observations: ecto-meso’s might do well with a slight carb up, meso’s might look best with a mild carb deplete (i fall in this catagory), and endo-meso’s with a harder carb deplete.

John, my opinion is that if you think carbing up doesnt work well for you, then you havent figured it out right for your body yet. Timing is critical and the way most people carb up really doesnt make a lot of sense, so I can understand why many would think carbing up doesnt work. I personally use a combined carb up/fat load as I’ve found this to be much better than a carb up alone, which still works if timed right.

uhhh…rather than title the article, how to look good nekkid for the class reunion…could we make it “How to look good nekkeid for the Family reunion” in true t-mag fashion of course. this thread is definetly going to get bookmarked by the time summer hits…

You want to look good nekkid for your family? Ummm… Are you from the Ozarks?

Any updates ,guys, on a possible collaboration and/or any word from T.C.?

Keep us updated!


These dieurtic/pharmaceutical/steroid timing “contest peaking” cycles used by the Pro’s are some VERY tricky things. First, the timing usually takes some individual trail and error (which will probably also be true for a “regular guy/gal” cycle). More importantly, the condition is almost impossible to maintain beyond the confines of pre-judging and judging.

Again, that may be true with the type of cycle I’m asking you guys about, but I would think that the swings in water and weight would not be as extreme.


I havn’t heard from him; if i dont, I’ll write it by myself, but I think his insight would help. I have tons of sources to write the article, however.

Joel, sorry for the delay. Things have been busy. I have a few people in some recently past, and upcoming shows. I’ll shoot you an email tonight.

Mufasa, very true. It is extremely individual, which is why it always gets better each subsequent time, (unless you happen to nail the timing the first time). Generally, though, you’ve got to work off a template of sorts and make modificatios based on what’s happening visually, and even that takes a good eye to catch subtle changes. Some people, for example have to cut water a bit earlier, while for others, that can lead to a disaster and have them holding buckets of water. Same goes for the timing ot the carb up. Last year I worked with a guy for the first time and during the final week, everything was going perfect. Friday at about 3pm I saw him and he was hard as nails and it looked like a tractor had ran over his ass, he was so dry and shredded. Saturday morning? Even though he was full and dry, he did lose a bit of that condition and the shredded glutes smoothed over a bit. Fortunately, he still won the Heavies and Overall. Based on that, I know to move everything forward for next time. It’s a learning experience. The good thing is that these are observations that everyone can make themselves, which makes it easy to make modifications when you try again.

Thanks, guys!

If you guys can get it together and convince “The Wild Man” (T.C.!), it should be one helleuva’ keeper of an article!

Good luck!

im also very intrested in this. Looking foward.