You decided to compete. Congratulations. It’s a big step. And an even bigger commitment. Daily workouts and weight lifting are not enough. You have to change your lifestyle to get in the best shape and not only look the part but represent it. Here is my advise on how to gain muscle, gain strength and crush your competition.
1. Plan + Prep
Every single meal you eat for the next several months has to be planned and prepared. You can’t think about food while training, you have to have it ready. I recommend my clients to prep all your meals at the beginning of the week. That way, you save time and energy, and use that time for extra cardio and weights. Another benefit: when you know what you are eating next, you won’t cheat and you won’t be hungry.
It’s very important to get enough rest during the contest prep. When you train with me, your body gets depleted and if you don’t get enough rest, you won’t recover and thus won’t reach your goals. Planning your sleep, just like you plan your meals is another must. With proper rest, your body will have more energy to train and burn fat.
Listen up. Condition. Condition. Condition. Why? Because conditioning – being ripped outperforms mass. Did you know that the best way to make it look like you gained 10 lbs of muscle is to lose 10 lbs of fat? The more conditioned you are, the more defined your muscles will be. You can actually appear more muscular than someone 20 lbs heavier than you.
Pace your contest diet, you never want to have to drop too fast into the show. If you diet for 8 weeks or less, you will be forced to reduce your calories and thus lose more of your hard-earned muscle. I say, take your time and plan at least 12 weeks to prepare. You will have plenty of time to get lean and not deplete your muscles. My clients who take their time dieting can actually be stage ready earlier and then, they can begin adding more calories back in. This will help you fill out and actually gain back some muscle fullness going into a show.
5. Work out smart
I know you want to lose as much fat as possible as soon as possible. Good for you! But you need to know that cardio can be catabolic and can cost some some mass. What do I do, you ask? Adding in some high-intensity interval cardio training on non weight training days can be the answer. On the days you do weight training you should stick with steady state cardio to avoid overtraining. I’ve found that females get more benefit from HIIT than males. Also people with less weight to lose. If you have a lot of weight to lose you’ll do better with steady state only.
Supplements will help you achieve your results faster. There are supplements to help you burn more fat, increase or maintain lean mass and muscular power output. They are considered to be part of your diet.
Get your diet in line first and foremost. You will be surprised how much faster your body will respond when you clean up your diet. With the right supplements your results will be noticeably better and they will help you get to the next level.