You know that's exactly how you got to think, but let me tell you, you got to do it without being cocky or everybody around you will hate your guts. It's bad enough that you're gonna be a bastard just from dieting and training and the stress of getting ready for a show. You also gotta worry that those hard earned ten pounds are muscle and you won't lose them when dieting for the show.
When I first started training and competing, there was no cardio and nothing but red meat, tuna, chicken, or fresh fish. I still rely on these staples but I can now take more liberties with my diet thanks to knowledge and experience of what works and what don't. I still have to suffer for ten or twelve weeks, and yeah, that f*cking sucks, but that is what we as bodybuilders do.
To be successful, you need to hang on to as much of the precious muscle you have while trying to get shredded. This, my friend, is the hard part.
How do you do it? I'm gonna tell you. But what I'm gonna say here is no secret. Sorry to tell all you people that think there is but there isn't. The story is common sense and a shitload of trial and error (this is otherwise known as "experience"). Now there are always exceptions to the rule like guys who have super genetics and look great all of the time, who don't have to have any knowledge, and who diet for five weeks and walk on stage and win. Yeah, this happens but rarely.
So figure on having to bust your ass and be smart. I'm not saying you have to be a technical wizard with a degree in sports nutrition. You just have to combine some basics with common sense. Here are five tips that should you get started.
1. Adjust Activity Levels
Adjust your activity level when getting ready. Don't overdo it if you aren't taking in enough calories to maintain muscle. Also, don't overtrain. Most guys try to do too much. They add more sets while eating fewer calories. You do this, and you'll lose size.
Not sure how many calories you are taking in? Click here to find out!
2. Give Yourself Time
Give yourself enough time to get ready for the show. Don't shortchange yourself when it comes to time. Better to diet longer and be ready early than try to crash diet and get ready in a week. You should be ready to get on stage one to two weeks out from the show date, maintain things, and then just walk right in.
Check out other pre-contest preps. Click here!
3. Eat Right
Try to eat at least 1 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight while dieting for a show. Don't go nuts eating too little or too many carbs. You need to establish a baseline where you'll lose only about a pound or two at most in a week.
Protein Intake While Dieting Calculator
Generally speaking guys take in 20-30% of their total caloric intake from carbs. Figure out what works for you. Use the mirror to judge how you look and see what's going on with your body.
Carbs To Calorie Ratio Calculator
Use our easy Calculators & know exactly how many calories you are taking!
4. Eat Frequently
You want to eat small meals, at least six maybe seven a day. Again you need to adjust to what works for you-more or less food, more or less protein and carbs. Trial and error and enough time to find what works for you are the keys.
Don't expect miracles the first or second or maybe even the third time you do this. I'm not saying you may not get lucky and hit it right the first time, but chances are you won't.
Look at all this as a learning experience cuz that's exactly what it is. You may want to keep a food journal. Now I'm not saying run around the gym with a little notebook like these goofballs in some of these gyms these days. Just keep a running tab of calories, proteins, carbs and fats. This way, you'll know exactly what you're doing.
Bodybuilding.com has great Workout Journals you can use to keep track.
Let me get to my favorite activity, cardio. We all know cardio sucks. I hate cardio, I really do. But it is a necessary evil for almost all of us who want to compete. Be smart. During the diet phase of training, do the least amount of specific work to initiate change involving cardio training. What I'm saying of course is that more is not always better.
| The body can adapt rapidly to exercise, making this paramount for continuous body fat reduction. Again more is not always better right at the start.
My suggestion to you would be to start some type of cardio activity four days a week, thirty minutes a day with moderate intensity (let's say about 55% to 65% of maximum heart rate). See what happens. If you're happy with the changes, that's cool.
After about three weeks, if you want to become more intense, then go ahead. Increase the intensity to about 65% to 85% maximum heart rate. Make your adjustments when necessary using your heart rate, intensity, your mirror, and your scale. Use all these things as your guide. Remember your goal is to lose fat and not burn that muscle. Start slowly, see what happens, then adjust. It's all about trial and error. This is a basic and safe way to start and get max results. Good luck in your preps for your show.