Pre-competition preparation is a specific period of training of bodybuilders which represents the culmination of all previous efforts. Most often this is a period of 12-20 weeks. This time depends on the particular availability and options of each individual. The period is characterized by special dietary, training, supplementation and regeneration regime. Those who went through such a cycle at least once and completed it until the finish line, experienced a big challenge and certainly the ideas of failure spread in their minds, but in the end there was the hoped-for joy of the achieved form and a sort of hive-off from the other average trainees. You do not have to be a competitive bodybuilder to test your abilities. We know a lot of fitness exercisers who train to get to the competition form only for themselves, for example before summer. In the following lines we will summarize the fundamental aspects of the pre-competition preparation.
Nutrition during this period is of the greatest importance. Based on the experience of competing bodybuilders, they attribute up to 70% of importance from the entire pre-competition preparation to nutrition. Do you wish to start with pre-competition preparation but do not know how? We recommend you to calculate the average daily amount of carbohydrates from the period before diet. You can do this by recording your daily carbohydrate intake for a week and then divide this value by seven.
2800 g of carbohydrates (week value) / 7 (days in a week) = 400 g carbohydrates a day in average
Perfect! We have a value of 400 g of carbohydrates a day, but we must realize that this value represents the sum of carbohydrates in the bulking period and we included sweets and other, not very suitable carbohydrate sources. This value will be replaced by quality sources of carbohydrates, such as rice, oatmeal and fruit. The first two products will accompany you throughout the whole preparation; fruit will be used at the beginning of the diet as an alternative to sweets. For calculation, we include a simple table to convert carbohydrates to rice and oatmeal. You need to know this value, because carbohydrates are key to further progress in the pre-competition diet. Their handling will be described in a separate article.
|Product||Amount of carbohydrates per 100 g (in raw state)|
By improving our diet we will take the first step and that is to purify it. In this step will already see positive changes on your body. We do not recommend reducing carbohydrates drastically to a low level, because by doing so, you risk losing muscle mass, decreased energy and a sharp drop in energy levels of the body. Consume oatmeal for breakfast, rice during the day. Fruit diet is recommended in the beginning of your diet, and only in the morning. Excellent is grapefruit, orange, pineapple, strawberries and other red berries. As for the vegetables, you can consume them in large amounts with each meal except for breakfast.
While the amount of carbohydrates decreases, proteins become the most important component of the diet in the pre-competition preparation and their amount is in the range of 2.5-3 g per 1 kg of body weight. Here, the selection is a bit more varied. The major role has chicken and turkey meat (breast), egg whites, tuna in brine, salmon, in the beginnings also beef and curd, and of course protein preparations. We recommend consuming egg whites for breakfast with oatmeal. For better orientation we attach a brief table:
|Product||Amount of carbohydrates per 100 g (in raw state)|
|Chicken breast||20 g|
|Turkey breast||22 g|
|Egg white||11 g|
|Beef tenderloin||20 g|
|Soft defatted curd||17 g|
If you train in the afternoon and before evening we recommend consuming purely proteins after your training and also before going to bed. Eating carbohydrates before bedtime is not appropriate. We mentioned that at the beginning of your diet it is possible to consume also curd (at bedtime), later you must replace it with a night protein, or a portion of meat.
Although it may seem that the consumption of fat in the pre-competition period is not appropriate, it is not entirely so. By removing fat from your diet you risk to deprive your body of important substances that play a key role in the secretion of hormones and are also important for the utilization of certain vitamins. We recommend consumption of marine fish, for example, one portion of salmon per day, or a handful of nuts per day, most ideal in the evening before you go to bed.
It means cheating in your diet. First we need to understand what it is and in what circumstances it is good to integrate such a meal or whole day in your preparation plan. The body is able to get used to the low caloric intake and responds to this deficit by reduction in metabolic rate. Cheat meal is a meal that is not at all diet (fast food, pizza, sweets, regular food from the restaurant). Its main purpose is acceleration of metabolism. In short: you do everything honestly, follow your diet, train enough and still you cannot achieve the expected results. It is time for a cheat meal, which will speed up your metabolism. Even the next day, when you continue on the prescribed dietary regimen, your metabolism is still accelerated. The result is improved fat burning and progress in training. In addition to mathematical results it has an impact on the psyche of an athlete. Cheat meal may also be used in pre-competition periods when you progress too fast and you do need to slow down.
Example of menu for a bodybuilder weighting 80 kg:
|Breakfast||100 g oatmeal + 5 eggs whites + 2 eggs yolk|
|Snack||150 g chicken breast + 100 g rice + vegetable salad|
|Lunch||150 g chicken breast + 100 g rice + vegetable salad|
|Afternoon snack||150 g chicken breast + 100 g rice + vegetable salad|
|Dinner||200 g salmon + vegetable salad|
|Before going to bed||250 g curd + 30 g nuts|
Training is very important, and especially its correct composition. Very often, we encounter the misconception that if you want to define your muscles you should train "with light weights and higher number of reps". WRONG!!! Definition training should not differ too much from the bulking training. What should be different is the intensity of training and the use of specific techniques for intensification of training, such as supersets, triple drop sets and giant sets. At the beginning, adjust your training to the system of 4+1, later 3+1. What is the most important in the process of purification of muscles from fat is cardio training. At the beginning we recommend to start with cardio after strength training (start with 5 minutes and add the additional 5 minutes every week so you get up to half an hour). When you reach this level, insert cardio in the morning on an empty stomach, this method is the most effective way of defining the muscles. The preparation can also include interval cardio thanks to which you burn fat even after its completion. In strength training, try to train with heavy weight, pay attention to the quality of performance of the exercises, use a pulley, machines, isolated exercises...
Follow the rule:
"Better to increase the volume and intensity of training than reduce food!"
Supplements and prohormones
In the pre-competition training they have a very important role in the promotion of anab. and regenerative processes. Prohormones (the PHs) have a very important position because of their extreme effects. During this period, we recommend products which do not bind water in the subcutaneous tissue and help to improve muscle definition and density. You can select a specific product here. You can find the dosage here. From the commonly available supplements, you will use in the preparation period especially the following: protein preparations, amino acids, BCAAs, glutamine, vitamins and minerals.
After training we recommend whey protein products with a protein content of 70%. If you prefer real quality, choose hydrolysed proteins. If you want to replace some of the dishes by a drink, or it is the last meal of the day, choose casein, whose absorption takes up to several hours.
Complex amino acids
The basic building units. In the pre-competition period, we recommend whey and beef amino acids which are hydrolysed. This will provide your body with enough nutrition in a very short time.
Branched chain amino acids (L-valine, L-leucine and L-isoleucine), which serve as fuel for muscle. It is through exercise that BCAAs are eliminated from muscles, and therefore they need to be replenished. Their importance is mainly in the period of reducing carbohydrates in diet. You will especially appreciate their ability to protect muscle mass.
It maintains a positive nitrogen balance, enhances the overall body immunity against diseases, which is very appreciated mainly in the period before the competition. As well as BCAAs, glutamine also protects our muscles against catabolism, that is, disintegration.
Vitamins and minerals
Regardless of whether you are in the preparation period or not, supplements in this category are very important. Ensure adequate intake of vitamin C, B and E, and find a sufficiently strong complex multimineral product.