T Nation

Preparing for Amateur Bodybuilding Contest


#1

Hi Everyone,

First off T-Nation is my #1 site for training information. Love the articles and alot of the feedback/comments from the members here are great (mostly).

So with that being said, I'm going to be preparing for bodybuilding contest (drug-tested) in about 6 months. I did a novice bodybuilding contest about 5 years ago and did fairly well. Due to family, work and regular life stuff, I was not able to continue to consistently train to continue competing. I never stopped working out, but it was infrequent and not consistent. Anyways, it is what it is. The past few months I've been able to be consistent and have decided to do another contest.

It's a struggle for me to put good weight on, I'm 6'2" and when I competed 5 years ago at a novice level i weighed in at 173lbs (yes i know, very light :-\ ) The good thing is I can get lean, its just muscle mass I have problems keeping when i diet.

So the past few months I've been eating alot , and I've gotten up to roughly 210lbs (approx %15 bf), this is pretty heavy for me and I usually don't like to carry that much bodyfat but i needed to gain weight. My biggest struggle is my lower body, due to knee pains its hard for me to keep a high volume of lower body without it really killing my knees. Theres no secret i need to get my thighs up and especially my calves. I've started doing calves everyday , 2x a day.

So thats a quick background on myself. Again, i think T-Nation has some of the most knowledgeable members in the training field. I read alot of posts and every article out. So i come here to look for feedback and suggestions during my the next 6 months as I prepare for amateur bodybuilding contest. I feel very heavy, soft and just not how i am use to, typically. So even with 6 months out. I am planning on starting to being smarter with my eating. I plan in May to start diet prepping which would give me about 4 months and a half (18 weeks).

I will have pictures posted of my current self (this weekend) and I know i need to put more weight on, I'm just worried I'm going to get too "fat" so I'm trying to walk a thin line of watching my carbs but still eating alot.

I consume around 3500-4000 calories a day. Roughly 400 grams of carbs or more. and about 275 grams of protein (under a 100 grams of fat). This has helped me put weight, but again, not "great" weight, as my bodyfat has gone up. At 6 months out, I'd like to hear what you all think as far as how soon should i start "dieting". I drop weight fairly easily, which is good and bad. But I want to make sure I come in ready for the contest, so I'm thinking if should give myself 5 months to diet, and just one more month to try and add some weight.

I look forward to your comments/feedback/advice/suggestions. Thanks!

I'll be posting pics soon.


#2

Geez mate, we sound very similar in a lot of ways… Look forward to seeing your photos & progress


#3

Awesome man, ill be following, have you considered working with a coach because id recommend it, regardless of experience level.

Will wait for pics to comment on prep time


#4

@eatsleeplift - i definitely have considered a coach. Although from what I’ve looked into it may not be part of my budget. But if you have any recommendations, personal experiences I’d be open to look into.

Anyway, here are the pics. a relaxed, most muscular and front double bi. I’ve cut out my 2 slices of toast in the morning, but i may throw some more carbs around my workout. Again, not trying to diet yet, but I dont want to put bad weight on.


#5

relaxed


#6

MM


#7

Double Bi


#8

When i competed as a novice almost 5 years ago, i learned alot and got pretty lean. I’m hoping to do the same except retain more muscle mass. As i mentioned i weighed in at 173lbs when i competed. I would like to get as close to 185lb (although i know that may be done, considering im only 210lb and i havent even started dieting). I assume around 30lb loss during prep.


#9

Not looking too bad despite your height and what I was expecting :slight_smile: I figure if you can be smart about not losing any lbm in the prep process, you’ll come out ok.

S


#10

Thanks Stu,

And thats my concern. I want to give myself enough time to lean down slowly and retain as much lean muscle, but at the same time i want to keep trying to put more weight on. But with 6 months to go, trying to figure out how much time i should give myself is where I am struggling. I figure a minimum of 4 months to prep, maybe more.
How much prep time do you usually give yourself? how lean do you start when you start your prep?


#11

[quote]parrao79 wrote:
@eatsleeplift - i definitely have considered a coach. Although from what I’ve looked into it may not be part of my budget. But if you have any recommendations, personal experiences I’d be open to look into.

Anyway, here are the pics. a relaxed, most muscular and front double bi. I’ve cut out my 2 slices of toast in the morning, but i may throw some more carbs around my workout. Again, not trying to diet yet, but I dont want to put bad weight on. [/quote]

I am working with shelby starnes. Check out his rates just google his name and go to his website. I also have a prep thread going on so check that out too if you want


#12

[quote]parrao79 wrote:
Thanks Stu,

And thats my concern. I want to give myself enough time to lean down slowly and retain as much lean muscle, but at the same time i want to keep trying to put more weight on. But with 6 months to go, trying to figure out how much time i should give myself is where I am struggling. I figure a minimum of 4 months to prep, maybe more.
How much prep time do you usually give yourself? how lean do you start when you start your prep? [/quote]

I used to give myself 16-20 weeks to come in nice and slow. People talk about weight loss expected per week, and while that helps with an estimation of time frame, expect things to move fast at the beginning, but then towards the end there might not be any scale movement at all and yet plenty of improvements in the mirror for several weeks.

What helped me a lot, was realizing how far away from my contest weight I could let myself get, yet still be able to shred up in a given time frame. My stage weight at my last show was 178, and I would mentally cap myself at 200-205 lbs in the off season. So dropping 20-25 lbs in a 20 week period isn’t a really tough call. Of course I had a very good idea of how my own body would respond. For first timers I always try to factor in a couple of extra weeks for ‘hiccups’ or just bumps in the road.

Still trying to make progress is great, but don’t fixate on intentionally trying to push the scale #s up. I do believe you can make gains while cutting, but don’t try to tailor your diet to specifically support it. The chances are more than likely that you’ll shoot yourself in the foot conditionwise on contest day with such an approach. Try thinking of setting up your diet and cardio for cutting, but keeping your training for growth.

S


#13

Thanks Stu,

Definitely appreciate the advice. I am trying to find the right about of carbs/protein/fat numbers where I am not stuffing myself. Currently, I’m literally eating as much rice and potatoes (my main carb source) as i can. With my protein coming from chicken, steak, eggs and protein powder. But yea, I am going to give myself more than just 16 weeks to be safe. thanks again!


#14

Here is an average of my daily average intake, in which I montior through the “myfitnesspal” app. As you can see my carbs are pretty high. Fat relatively low, and I could probably get more protein.


#15

This is the percentage breakdown.


#16

I would try to eat more fiber, like 25-40+ grams especially with all the carbs you eat, and how little fat you eat. And your protein IMO is high enough but someone more experienced will probably chime in


#17

I agree, i know the fiber is low. I would attribute that to mainly my main carb source is white rice mainly. However, i do have oatmeal , and a weight gainer, kinda surprised it is that low. I gotta check to see if the app is calculating the correct amount of fiber.
For Protein, I prefer to get close to 1.5x my bodyweight, however since I am eating so much carbs, I am not too concerned, but once i start dieting, i will aim to get some more protein.