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Anabolic Steroids Experiences

Anabolic steroids & bodybuilding experiences

Prepare to Win - By Layne Norton

Sunday, April 18, 2004

[Prepare to Win - By Layne Norton]

A unique combination of science and experience based pre-contest advice

Bodybuilder. The word seems more like a question than a simple word to me. What defines a bodybuilder? Is a bodybuilder someone who merely lifts hard? Is a bodybuilder someone who lifts hard and watches what they eat? Is a bodybuilder someone who competes in physique competitions? There will probably never be a good definition of the word “bodybuilder,” as everyone has their own. I believe everyone can agree upon the fact that those who choose to compete are a different breed than all other people who call themselves “bodybuilders.” Anyone who has ever attended a bodybuilding competition may wonder why there are so few competitors. Some classes only have 2-3 competitors! The simplest answer I can come up with is that not many people want to do what it takes to get onstage. Dieting 12-20 weeks, never missing a meal, cardio everyday, and energy levels so low that you don’t feel like getting off of the couch because you are constantly hungry waiting for your next meal does not appeal to the masses. I can personally attest to the physical and mental strain that contest preparation can put one through. However, I think another competitor at the gym I trained at summed it all up best when he told me, “I was in the marines. I did boot camp for 6 weeks… and it didn’t hold a candle to how hard preparing for a contest was.” Truly, competitive bodybuilders are a different breed. Lack of information about how to properly prepare for a contest also hinders many competitors. More information is easily available for non-competitors than for those that take the plunge to compete. This article will provide competitors information on diet, training, tanning, posing, and other competition related topics.

Obviously the most pertinent issue regarding pre-contest preparation is the diet aspect of preparation. It is not enough to just clean up what you eat, it must be far more drastic than that. When you see the winner of a bodybuilding competition onstage, rest assured they tracked their calories, carbs, proteins, fats, and never missed meals. If you want to do well in a bodybuilding competition, you should expect to do nothing less.

Before I begin talking about a proper pre-contest diet, we need to examine exactly how long a person should diet for a contest. The first thing that should be done is a “assessment” of your body. Look yourself over and be honest about your faults, strengths, and about how long you think it will take for you to get into stage shape. Keep in mind that if you think you have around 25 lbs of fat to lose, you are not going to be able to lose it all in 10 weeks and keep all of your lean body mass. Aim to diet as slowly as possible. The severity of your calorie deficit will, to a large extent, determine how much muscle you retain/lose. Short periods of high severity dieting (more than 1000 kcals per day below maintenance level) are not too muscle wasting, but prolonging them for more than a few days will certainly cause one to lose a good deal of muscle.

As a general rule of thumb, losing 1 lb of bodyweight per week will allow one to retain most of their muscle mass. One can probably lose up to 1.5 lbs per week and retain most, if not all of their muscle mass (provided their training and nutrition are optimized). If one tries to push their body to lose more than 2 lbs per week for any length of time, then they will begin to experience quite a bit of muscle loss. It is for this reason that I usually try to give myself enough time so that I only need to lose 1-1.5 lbs per week at most. For example, if someone is 200 lbs and has approximately 13% bodyfat and they would like to be at around 3% bodyfat for their contest, then they need to lose 10% of their bodyweight. This equates to 20 lbs for a 200 lb person. So I would recommend dieting for anywhere from 14-20 weeks depending upon how slowly one felt comfortable losing weight. If one is naturally ectomorphic(has an easy time losing weight) however, they may want to diet for a shorter period of time, and I would recommend a time period of 11-15 weeks. If one is naturally endomorphic (has a hard time losing weight), then they may want to lengthen their dieting time to 16-22 weeks. If this is the first time that you have ever done a contest then you would want to also give yourself an extra week as you will probably experience a hitch at some point along the way.

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posted by Frank Mori, Sunday, April 18, 2004