T Nation

Precontest Question

Its getting to be springtime, and there are many bodybuilding shows coming up soon, and I’m sure a few of us are getting ready for them. I myself am getting ready for my first ever contest, an all natural show. I’m two weeks out right now, and I would just like to know from any veterans out there, if there is anything special I need to do in these last two weeks to come in looking my absolute best? I feel like I’m right on schedule with the bodyfat and all, maybe need to lose another 2 lbs, but thats it. Any advice would help me out tremendously!

Right now, with two weeks out, it’s all dependent on the mirror. And keep in mind this: when you look in that mirror, remember about lighting. Sometimes, competitors get hooked on that one mirror location in the gym, for example, y’know the one area where the lighting is “just right” and makes them look “freaky”. Well, avoid that one area. Go to an area, if there’s natural outside lighting in your gym, where the light is VERY direct. If you STILL look amazing there, then you should be on track.

As a general rule, you *should* be stage ready about two weeks out. At this point, if that's case, do not overtrain in the gym. Train to maintain what you have. Be very aware of your recovery times (as in, rest plenty). There are no such thing as "last minute tricks": you're either ready or not ready. Period.

Hi Patricia, you are the first other woman i see on the forum. I usually post in the drugs section. What contest do you train for now? I am Dutch and am in Amerika just now. I am 31 next month and am training for 15 years. My size is 6 feet and wiegh 195lbs at 17% BF. Do you train for fittness or bodybuiding competitions? There are no other serius women lifters where i train just now so if you would talk with me some that would be nice. janine

What is your opinion on Carb depleting/loading? Should I do it? I have read a good deal on it, and know all about watching the sodium as well, but is it worthwhile, and if so, would you do a 3 day deplete/load or something else?

The biggest mistakes I’ve made in preparing for bodybuilding competitions involve making lots of last minute changes in an attempt to improve how I looked. I would try and stick with whatever has been working for you and not try anything drastic. Carb depletion works to some degree for some people, but it takes practice and knowledge of your own body’s response to the process. Whatever you do, try to make detailed records of how you look leading into the show and make notes of what your diet and training entailgoing into the show. Write down exactly what and how much you eat, what supps. you use, how much water you drink, bodyweight fluctuations, and anything else you can think of. This will help you the next time you compete. If you felt you were flooded or looked a lttle soft, you’ll have the notes to reflect on and you’ll know that some changes need to be made. If you were very dry and tight, but looked a little flat, you’ll know that you need to make some alterations in that regard too. A good time to practice carb depleting is the weeks after your show. This sounds crazy and it takes a level of discipline to stay on the diet. A few days or a week after your show, get back on your pre-comp. diet and set a date that you will pretend to peak for a show. Shows are usually on Saturdays, so use a Satuday. Now try and tweak your prep to improve your conditioning in whichever way you feel necessary. Try and repeat this process as many times as you can manage in the weeks following your show. Most guys never try this cause they’re so burnt out from the contest prep period that they’re eating McDonald’s for a few weeks, but if you’re serious about learning how to peak for shows, give it a shot.

Poman: I don’t believe in the carb depleting/loading. Also, if this is your first show, and you have never tried the carb deplete/load - DON’T do it. It does require experimentation. Also, I’m probably smaller in size than you (assuming). So my carb cycle would be different than yours. How many carbs and how many loading days is dependent on your size. If you’re looking like you are on the right track now - don’t mess with that with the so-called last minute “tricks”. Alot of times they backfire on you.

Janine: I'm a natural competitive bodybuilder. I'm a year shy of 20-years of training and I'm 36. So, I don't travel into the drugs forum. I'm also 5'4", weight 120-122 lbs (don't really weight myself) and stay at 10-11% bodyfat when not competing. Where we (my boyfriend and I) train at, there are women - but they're the "I wanna be 'toned' " type. We pretty much keep to ourselves in the gym......

Hi Patricia, wow you have build a lot of muschle! With the proprotions of wieght and height you are much bigger than me. You have only 50lbs less muschle than me but 8 inches shorter. If you dont mind saying, what supplements have you used to make so much size naturaly? Have you used any prohormones?

Janine: The most in the way of supplements I’ve used is Vitamin C, Multi-Vitamin/Mineral and this year I’ve added Creatine and Fish Oil. That’s it. I just eat ALOT of good old fashione food. And Ko (boyfriend) and I have made it a goal this year to increase our weight training poundages whenever in the gym. So, I’m up to squating 275, benching 165, db incline press w/65 lbs (personal goal this past Sunday!),deadlifting 245lbs. I’ve never used pro-hormones, and never want to travel down that route.

I just make sure I have plenty of rest and food. And sometimes, BEER.