T Nation

Pre Contest Prep

There’s a great number of different strategies do look the best you can on stage

1)what have you tried?
2)do you play with water?
3)sodium?
4)do you carb up? When?
5)how do you train the week pre show
6)which muscles do you pump backstage, if at all?
7)tanning? Shaving? What when how?
8)anything else

  1. I would say avoid pumping up legs period, if you have weak points a nice pump might help to cover them up a little. For example i dont have the best shoulders or chest, when I competed I focused on really pumping those two muscle full of blood. I have decent biceps so I only did a litle bit of pump work for them.

  2. Tanning, I think there are a few options. I know a lot of folks say you should try and build up a base coat but some of the products are so great I dont think you need to. What I have used Spray tan, jan tana, and dream tan. Dream tan is my favorite and I feel it looks the best and if you are on a budget it is usually more cost effective than spray tanning/ visiting a tanning booth every week. I hated Jan Tana, I felt it was the worst color, it sucked to apply, just an overall poor experience with it.

Shaving, I would recommend if you are very hairy to start with an electric razor first to get most of it then take a warm shower and use a razor and shaving cream. Waxing is nice, doesn’t really hurt. I tried some of the at home kits and It’s a mess to do it yourself If you have the cash it would be worth it. I would say for waxing get done a week before the show, that way if you have any skin irritation it should subside by the day of the show and if you need to touch up you can with a razor, but you should be good to go.

  1. Plan an extravagant post contest meal and have fun, talk to people, make friends, these are your people.

Competition Trunks- I suggest getting more than one pair. I got one generic pair from www.andreascahling.com
and they were great, super fast shippers and a nice quality suit. I also recommend www.competitionsuits.com
for custom posing suits. Nina is a great lady and she will send you samples of any fabrics you might be interested in before you purchase.

what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?

1)what have you tried? Both my “mock” contest prep in 2010 and my actual contest prep were the same. I did a 3 day depletion and 3 day load.

2)do you play with water? Water was high 1 to 1.5 gallons until last day, water cut off in the evening. Only sips on show day. However, I would do it differently after judging how the first two experiences went. (see Competition Q&A thread)

3)sodium? Never worried about it during most of contest prep. However, it was intentionally higher during depletion and then lowered during the load.

4)do you carb up? When? Yes, 3 days out.

5)how do you train the week pre show? Last heavy session was 1 week out. Then depletion style workouts for 3 days (concentric based, high reps) then only posing last 3 days. I would do this a bit differently as well.

6)which muscles do you pump backstage, if at all? Chest, Back, Arms with bands and bodyweight mostly. I also did weighted ab works. I read that most don’t pump up their abs because it can be easy to blur the definition (like legs), but I figured I could get away with it because I have pretty thin abs.

7)tanning? Shaving? What when how? Spray tan. Shaved a few days before the show then maintained.

8)anything else? Yes, as posted in the Competition Q & A, I would be more conservative in the future. A hybrid of Layne Norton and Lee Labrada’s approaches would probably be what I would do. (basically taking in more water on the day of the show and not doing a crazy depletion protocol)

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?[/quote]

Be lean enough you don’t have to do any. : )

I prefer sled dragging for both upperbody and lowerbody. Great for recovery and also acts as “cardio”

I did zero traditional cardio leading up to my show.

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?[/quote]

Be lean enough you don’t have to do any. : )

I prefer sled dragging for both upperbody and lowerbody. Great for recovery and also acts as “cardio”

I did zero traditional cardio leading up to my show.[/quote]

So things like conditioning post lifting?

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?[/quote]

JM is a big advocate of : no cardio/as little as possible

as far as what I did with Skip it was something like

3weeks low intensity steady state 30mins 5x/week
then 2weeks low intensity steady state 45mins 5days week 2x/day

I liked it, I could watch my tv shows at night and the news when getting up in the morning haha

[quote]zraw wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?[/quote]

JM is a big advocate of : no cardio/as little as possible

as far as what I did with Skip it was something like

3weeks low intensity steady state 30mins 5x/week
then 2weeks low intensity steady state 45mins 5days week 2x/day

I liked it, I could watch my tv shows at night and the news when getting up in the morning haha[/quote]

what did you keep your heart rate at?

or

how hard did you go? hah

[quote]Waittz wrote:

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
what are you guys’ favourite forms of cardio pre-contest?[/quote]

Be lean enough you don’t have to do any. : )

I prefer sled dragging for both upperbody and lowerbody. Great for recovery and also acts as “cardio”

I did zero traditional cardio leading up to my show.[/quote]

So things like conditioning post lifting? [/quote]

No. Tire/Sled dragging was always a second session for me.

Lifting at 11am and Tire Sled at 4pm