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Here we are, the end of the diet. It's kind of surreal when you think about the fact that in a few weeks I will be eating whatever I want. I can't wait. But, I need to keep my head on. These last couple of weeks can make or break me. Here's a look at what the final weeks look like.
2 Weeks Out
I am basically doing what I've been doing all along for this week. However, I am increasing my water intake to 7 liters. I am doing this to suppress my vasopressin, or ADH (anti-diuretic Hormone) levels. I want to trick my body into thinking that it will constantly be getting excess water so that when I drop my water the day before the competition, my ADH levels will stay suppressed and my body will drop the water. I believe though that water is not that important.
When you think about it, there are no layers of "water cells" between the skin and the muscle that are going to store water and make you look soft. However, almost all the cells in your body have water in them. By depleting my water all I've noticed is somewhat of a tightening of my skin. I just think, if you look hard, you look hard. Simple as that. By dropping my water I just want to get a bit of that "crisp" look onstage. However, I don't feel it is as important as some believe, and if you're not careful and deplete too much you risk cramping.
As for my food, it stays the same. I am happy where I am and just want to tighten up a bit over the next two weeks. My main goal is just to keep my head together and try not to talk myself in circles worrying if I should do this or do that. I know what I'm doing works and don't want to change anything to mess that up. The pictures included with this article are from week 7. The next pictures you see will be from the show. Hopefully with a trophy!
1 Week Out
This is the most important week of the diet. I have decided to go with de-carbing. After reading about it however I am not going as low as I have in the past for my depletion phase. For those of you who don't know what de-carbing involves here is a quick explanation. I will drop my carbs six days out from the show and keep exercising. I do this to deplete my muscle glycogen levels. What this does is increase the amount of glycogen storing enzymes in my muscle cells.
Then three days before the competition I stop exercise and increase my carbs. This supersaturates my muscle cells with glycogen. Typically you will increase glycogen stores by approximately 30% above baseline.
This gives your muscles a fuller look and as well allows one to increase the amount of time before exhaustion. Here is what my final week will look like for carbohydrates.
100 grams/day from Shredded Wheat Biscuits. All carbs will be consumed before my workout and then cut off. My protein intake stays the same.
Training: I will do, an upper body workout on Monday consisting of two exercises for each, chest, shoulders, and Biceps. Tuesday I will do two exercises for each, back, triceps and legs, and on Wednesday I will do a full body workout with one exercise per body part to really deplete my glycogen stores. It's very important to stress that I am not going heavy at all in these workouts. I don't want to be sore on the day of the show at all. The biggest thing with these three days is to keep your head together. I feel flat, and it's hard to even get a pump. I am tired and the last thing I want to do is workout. But I have to. The whole point of this is to deplete my glycogen levels. After Wednesday is over it's time to carb up and supersaturate my muscle cells with glycogen.
I will be up nice and early. It reminds me of Christmas morning. I get so excited I can't sleep. I plan on waking up at 5:30 am and getting a bowl of oatmeal in me. I top this off with some syrup. With each meal I want to have some of both high glycemic index carbs, and low glycemic index carbs. Each subsequent meal is two hours apart. My protein intake stays the same. My other carbohydrate meals will consist of a medium sized yam (sweet potato) and some syrup over top of it. Here are my totals for Thursday:
Protein Total = 268 Grams/Day = 1072 Kilocalories
Carb Total = 410 Grams/Day= 1640 Kilocalories
Not included in this total is the tablespoon of peanut butter I had before I went to bed. I did this to start filling out and get some good fats in my as well.
Tanning: Thursday early afternoon, I took a long shower. I went over my whole body with a razor. Even places there is no hair I went over. I do this to get rid of all the little white hairs. These can affect how easily your
Pro Tan goes on. After shaving, I used an exfoliating cleanser. It is important to not moisturize before putting on the Pro Tan. I made this mistake my second year. The moisturizer had greasy oil in it that repelled the Pro Tan. Having somewhat of dry skin also helped absorb the Pro Tan better. I put on one coat with lighter strokes using the brush that comes with the Pro Tan bottle.
I've found that pouring the Pro Tan into a bowl and dipping the brush in is more effective. It is just hard to control where the Pro Tan spray reaches. I put the Pro Tan on with the help of my friend Larry Wallace. He has been competing for over 5 years and knows what he is doing when it comes to getting ready for a show. I will put on 3 coats of Pro Tan on Thursday. Wear loose clothing, and avoid seams.
I woke at 5:30 am and went upstairs to eat my oatmeal. My carbs and protein are the same as Thursday. At about 11 am, I have a rice cake with peanut butter and jam. I do this every 2 to 3 hours and let me tell you, it's delicious. As for exactly how much peanut butter and jam I use, I don't bother to measure it out. The only thing I want to watch is my sodium. The peanut butter fills me out nicely. Other than that, I had a protein bar which I snacked on. By the weigh in I am feeling full and tight. I only sip water when necessary and took a herbal diuretic (water shed). Friday at 6:30 it's time for the weigh in. This is a huge head game.
Everyone is looking at each other wondering if they are in their class or not. Everyone is looking at what other people are eating, wondering if what they are doing is right or not. I try not to look at anyone. I really hate when people try to psych others out. But it's all part of the sport I guess. I just choose not to. Everyone there has worked their ass off and deserves respect for that. After the weigh in, I keep eating, and then comes my favorite part. I pick up the hotel phone, and order a medium pizza. I have done this all three years and found it has worked great. Just two pieces of pizza, then it's off to bed. It's show time baby!!!
I will have a separate article on the day of the show, what was involved and how everything went. As always, keep training hard, and remember...
Train hard, see you at the gym,