How Should One Prepare For Their First Bodybuilding Competition?
Preparing for your first bodybuilding contest is definitely a big decision to make. Making this decision, I think one should be ready to do the following:
* Diet for a long period of time
- Dedicate themselves to making every workout like it was their last
- Neglecting relationships (including friends, I know its tougher for younger athletes and college students)
- Having a goal in mind that keeps them motivated on their monotonous journey to the stage
- If you get those severely in check, I feel as though the rest becomes a little easier.
The first and most important thing one can do to prepare, is evaluate their own physique. How lean am I now? How long do I need to diet to be ready? What type of metabolism do I have (endomorphic, mesomorphic, ectomorphic)?, and what body parts do I need to give more attention to, in order to have the most balanced and symmetrical physique I can when I stand on stage.
Setting Up A Diet:
- Determine how many weeks you will need to diet, in order to lose .5-1.5 lbs. per week in order to be contest ready come competition time.
- Keep protein no lower than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, and no higher than 1.5 gram per pound of
bodyweight. Some people here, like to think more is better; in essence if you are taking in too much protein that protein will become a fuel source before your already stored fat cells. Also important to remember, a diet is designed to lose body fat and maintain as much muscle mass as possible. NOT gain muscle.
Keep the carbohydrates from sources such as:
- Brown rice
- Dark green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, mixed greens, spinach, cucumbers)
- Slow digesting fruits (apples, oranges...)
- Regular oatmeal (none of the flavored kinds as they will contain sugars unneeded at this time)
- Any other whole grain foods you can think of.
The only time I see fit, to include any sugar or refined carbohydrate, is in the morning. Any other time of the day can cause insulin spikes unneeded, which will lead to more stored body fat.
Keep your protein sources lean.
- Ground turkey
- 93% or higher lean ground beef
- Whole eggs
- Egg whites
- Low-fat cheeses
- Skinless and boneless chicken
Fish is an excellent way to accelerate fat loss as the white kinds (orange roughy, tilapia, tuna, bass, sturgeon etc.) contain little or no fat and contain significantly lower amounts of calories while still giving you an ample amount of protein.
- Fats are always important. Healthy ones especially. Your fat should consist of around 20-30% of
your calories throughout the day and the best way I find to get them is from ALL NATURAL peanut butter
extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, macadamia nut oil and any of the Smart Balance Brand oils you'll find on your grocer's shelves.
Cooking with these provides an easy way to get your fat and keeps you from having to eat extra food. Although, if you want to incorporate fat sources from food, I recommend black olives, salmon, and avocado as primary sources.
- Keep it simple stupid. That's right. Be simple with your meal preparations and your food choices. Stick to the healthy sources you like and don't try to be to exotic when deciding which foods to buy.