T Nation

Pre-Conest Carb loading ?

To all of those who have competed before, I have been reading on various forums on carbo loading days/weeks before the show, anyone who knows how and why this is done, would be greatly appreciated because I am very carb intolerant, I only consume anywhere between 100-150 carbs a day ( I am about 8 months away from my contest, but I have high bf% and need to start now) all advice greatly appreciated.

It’s good that you’re taking into consideration your current BF% and beginning your pre-contest prep. Kewl. As for carbo depletion/loading - I’m not a big fan of the whole process. Too big of a risk to mess up (coming in too smooth, too flat, etc.). So I just stay relatively lean year-round and still begin my pre-contest 3-months out. As for who could really help you specifically here? I’d say Vain. He’s the one who really knows about this type of stuff. The other guys I’d say would be Jason Norcross, Joel Marion, Heb - y’know the usual suspects of knowledge in the area of general nutrition.

Also, since you believe carbs are an issue for you, than hopefully you're getting to know the Glycemic Index and GI values of foods. You might also want to perform a "test run" of your carb deplete/load in about 3 to 4-months out from your contest.

In short, carb-loading is done to optimize pre-contest fat loss, while maintaining muscle pump. Usually carb-loading is done in conjunction with a keto-type diet. In order to more specifically address your question, I am going to need more info; what particularly do you want to know about carb-loading? Or perhaps should we address the diet portion (keto) as you mentioned you had a high body-fat and needed to get going on the diet. As per my experience and research, during a carb-load you should not exceed 450carbs per day in order to minimize any fat regain. This is of course done in the context of overall maintenance or twice diet calories depending on the timing of your load.


Thanks for the info, I just wanted to know why people who do it because carbs have always been an enemy of mine, ever since I heard about the Atkins diet when I was in 7th grade I have been carb phobic. Getting more familiar with the GI I do eat three P+C and three P+F meals with the advice from Joel. Thanks for the info, I’ll probably be asking more questions as I get closer and closer to contest

Well, Buffpac: keep the questions coming! I know how it can be during pre-contest and appreciate the forum for existing. I’ll be moving into pre-contest in August and will be posting any question or doubt that I may have here - so I’ll be right along with ya.

i find that oatmeal and all natural peanut butter fill me out the best. (ok pizza does, but healthy foods…)

I have compeated alot (lost count in the mid 90’s) and I have tried every approach known to man. What have I found that works for me came through trial and error. Thats what its about, learning your body. I would recomend a safe approach the first time out and get more and more radical each time until you find your own magic bullet. If you are going in at a lower carb level and your body does not tolerate carbs well, the first step is finding the ones your body does tolerate. I get flushed out with potatos, its probly a slight food aergy. Oats work great for me, so I go with oats. Watch your body with various foods and pick the ones you can tolerate. My other reccomendation is eat twice your normal carbs the Wednesday before the show. Cut 50% off that for Thursday and go low on Friday. This will prevent spill over and holding water. Its way to low to really fill out, but your better going in dry then spilled over. I will always sacrifice fullness for dryness. Any way dont go nuts, dont cut water too soon, sodium loading usually back fires and for gods sake no matter what be proud of your personal achievement. It takes balls just to get there.
Oh, and as a side bar use 5X5 training as covered by Jason Norcross and Joel Marion. If I have ever had a secreat weapon it is training heavy on the 5X5 system. These guys are right on with there info. Thats what I have been following t-mag from about #77 on, but almost never pipe in. There alot of good knowledge out here.

Joel had provided a brief description of a 5x5 program that would be performed over 5-days, rather than the 3-day that he had written about. I felt that the 5-day 5x5 program would make for a great pre-contest training program. He agreed. Maybe something to consider.