Pre-contest preparation can only rely on two aspects: the diet and the exercise. Bodybuilding competitions are extremely demanding and require what is known as a cutting diet and exercises. Cutting is what bodybuilders do once the winter is over, a time during which they built muscle but also gained fat. The latter has to go away to reveal a shredded body.
Starting the Cutting Diet
If you want to start the cutting and get ripped, you must read the following. First of all, examine your body and ask yourself how long it would take to get into the proper shape for stage. You may have a significant amount of fat to lose and you should be the one who knows how long it takes to fix that. As you are going to start working on it, you will have to avoid losing any muscle mass, otherwise your cutting is a failure.
Dieting for short periods is not going to ruin your musculature, but extending these or doing too much cardio (more than 1 hour per day) will. Aim to lose 1 lb a week and you’re in the safe zone. Going beyond that may mean affecting the muscular fiber. However, the cutting diet is just like it sounds: it’s about cutting a lot of the junk food, the sweets, the large carb meals, etc., that you used to eat. To avoid starving, get healthy snacks like protein shakes, nuts, and fruit.
Remember that conditioning is more important than size in bodybuilding contests. This is what the judges want to see. Diet will help you achieve that. A cutting diet goes beyond ‘cleaning’ your regular diet. Now you really need to track not just the calories, but the carbs, proteins and fats, too. Also, skipping meals is totally forbidden. Many people make the mistake of totally cutting the carbs and replacing everything with protein and fat. Without the carbs though, the body cannot get its glucose in a time of intense stress. Carbohydrates are broken down easily and will spare your muscles since your body will use these to produce the energy it needs. If you eliminate carbs, the body will have to utilize other sources to convert.
We mentioned the importance of carbs, but refrain from consuming these into that 2-hour window prior to workouts. If your system has just been loaded, it will not consume its fat but spare it.
As for the exercise, it’s best if you can dedicate each day of the week as follows:
- Monday for the chest and abdominals
- Tuesday for the biceps, triceps and calves
- Wednesday for cardio
- Thursday for the legs
- Fridays for the forearms and the back
If you’re active on weekends too, do some more cardio. Ideally, this is 30-minute short and never longer than one hour. On to the strength training, it’s the weight lifting that counts, but you also must focus on the large muscles and do heavy wrist curls, squats, bench presses, and other compound exercises. Do shoulder presses, V-ups, side bends and stiff-legged deadlifts. It’s important to keep your heart rate up at all times during exercising, therefore the breaks need to be short.
8 to 12 reps are enough, as long as you do 2-3 circuits, which mean going through all the exercises in a row. To improve, you may add more reps with time.
I recommend these Fat Loss supplements.
Your fitness pal