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  1. #1
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    Default 9 Weeks out - OCT 19th - November 3rd.

    Alright, it's been a good year. Great off season, quads a little better, hams better. Still not 100% but I feel good about competing this year. I have been doing a lot of experimentation with nutrition (timing) ,supplementation and split routines. The other change in my off season was that I kept it relatively clean, which seemed to be critical to a quick cut.
    I started cutting about 12 weeks out from the Winston invitational. I'm currently 9 weeks out and feeling good about things. I may through in a short clean bulk weeks 6-2 then 2 weeks out fish and veggies up to a carb up on tues, weds or Thursday depending on how flat I look.
    I know this strategy is untraditional but I would like to come in the show large and I believe that I am at a low bf percentage already. I hope that 3 weeks of hard HIIT twice daily and a very strict diet should get me to 5-6% for week 6.
    Here is a pic of 9 weeks out. Any advice would help. Also this picture was taken after a cheat meal; all you can eat sushi. I am 231lbs in the pic.
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  2. #2
    Bodybuilding Competitor
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    Have you competed before? Do you have pics of your previous conditioning?

    I ask because I'm not familiar with your history..

    In my opinion unless you are a very experienced competitor doing a clean bulk 6 weeks out of from a contest is a mistake. It would be safer to just cut more slowly.
    If it's not hard it's not worth doing...
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feed back Andre. In response to your question, I have only one OPA year under my belt two shows back to back. I have a thread here which speaks to it http://www.canadabodybuilding.com/sh...12-London-2012. I don't plan on clean bulking unless i'm diced 6 weeks out and i will not speed diet, my calories are always high. That being said im so tall and afraid to come in looking stringy

  4. #4
    Muscle Bound
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    Looking good Paul!

    Eric
    “Strong people make other people stronger. They don’t put them down.”
    "If success makes you arrogant, you haven’t really succeeded. If failure makes you determined, you haven’t really failed...''

  5. #5
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    I don't compete but from my perspective lower abs is the only flaw I see. I presume it's normal as you are still weeks out from the show. I would be happy to achieve the musculature you have one day.

  6. #6
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    Thanks chicken legs. I should actually use that as my screen name, lol. Honestly, for those who have seen me on stage my legs have improved drastically but they still need work. There is still a large discrepancy between upper and lower mass and I assume it will likely take another year to fully bridge the gap.

    As for fat, I have a significant amount left to lose but 4 weeks with HITT cardio and a sound diet should be realistic. One can never really know, it may take longer, let the chips fall as they may I guess. Chicken legs; in terms of fat you have to take into consideration that little bits of fat pockets store in odd places, including the fat on the gluts, rear lower back, lower abs and around the chest. My opinion is if you get on stage with fat that hangs you may as well go home.

    Back to my original question; if I can get that lean which I have before (at maybe 5% or less) what would stop me from clean bulking at a surplus of 500+, low GI carbs, lean proteins and EFA’s. I want to look great for the Winston invite but it is a trial run for the Ottawa’s. If I come in to watery in the Winston I can fix within the two weeks for the Ottawa’s. Technically that would give me a lot of time to come in perfect at the GNC Ottawa show. I’m floating around 230 in that pic, and am wondering if I can be a really heavy HW or a SH in October and a shredded 214ish for the Ottawa show.

    If anyone has experience with growing into a show I would like to know how you approached it and if any words of caution so I don’t make a critical mistake 2 weeks out. Does anyone drink water up to weigh-in; cut water after. What technique is used; natural diuretic; loop? Carbs intake to come in heavy and full but not full of water?

  7. #7
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    I agree - wouldn't clean bulk leading into a show. If for some reason one mis-timed there diet and was leaner way too early then yes, it probably makes sense to up the calories, or cheat more often. However, being 9 weeks out, and planning to get stage ready by week 6, then yoyo back up until 2 weeks, and shred from there, just doesn't sound like the right thing to do. If you feel ahead of the game at this point, the best thing to do is continue dieting but not 'suffering'. Ease back a bit and continue to lose at a slower pace, and/or enjoy a few more cheats here and there.

    It also will allow you to do a possible 'mock carb up' if you're ready a little early.

    As for cutting water, etc, everyone reacts differently. And everyone reacts differently at different times. Personally I will never cut water ever again until bedtime the night before. Do it if you are really aiming for a specific weight class, but honestly if you are using the show as a qualifier for the next level show, you're still better off weighing at the low end of a weight class looking better than coming in at the top end and looking a little worse. The same might not be true if all your after is a trophy. If you're simply trying to qualify for the next show, then I would think if you can't place in the next class up at a low weight, then you're not really ready for the next level! Not sure how good I explained that, but basically - if you're 226 on stage and placing 6th (not qualifyinig), but had you come in under 225 and placed 5th (qualifying), then you're still not ready - qualified or not!

    So to sum up, I'd continue the diet but constantly make sure you're not stage ready 5 weeks out. slow and steady better than yo-yo - particularly if you have the option and no before hand what your plan will be. 9 weeks out is not the time to worry about bringing up bodyparts. You recognize that there are improvements that could be made, but there will always be improvements to be made down the road. do those for the next show. You said you feel good about competing this year. if so, do it... as long as your brain is in it 100%.

  8. #8
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    growing into a show lmao. Biggest myth going.

    Unless you're a hyper responder (eg: Levrone) or had some considerable time off (eg: levrone/cutler) then you won't be growing into anything
    I lost 20 pounds...How? I drank bear piss and took up fencing. How the **** you think, son? I exercised.

  9. #9
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    Thank you, you are all experienced competitors and know what you are talking about so I will take your advice; slow and steady wins the race. I guess I will take it as a good thing that I am well on track in terms of fat and composition. I like eating a lot of clean sushi as a Sunday carb up so I guess I will keep that up for the next couple weeks, I can try to decrease the cardio as well.
    Steve_D, I can tell you one thing and that is my head is in this 100%. I have been preparing for this all year and have figured out how to balance my work life and home life, part of the reason why I stayed dedicated in my off season to a clean/no shit diet. The show is starting to consume my time more and more but it doesn’t have a negative impact on me psychologically, in fact I love prep. I do want a trophy, but I understand that I have to deserve it and deserve to the next level. The win is not the be all and end all but it certainly would be nice to have some validation. Anyhow, the fun is partially in the process so whatever happens, happens. I do want to bring my best; in terms of size and conditioning.
    I guess I don’t plan on growing into the show, just prevention of being flat.
    Let’s talk carb up. My first show people were telling me to carb up as far out as Tuesday and these were some seasoned competitors here in Ottawa. A trainer/competitor at a local gym had seen me on Wednesday and recommended that I carb up ASAP , she also told me that it may be too late. My coach initially had planned for a Thursday night or Friday carb up, but then agreed that I could start the Wednesday. I started with sweet potatoes and rice, switched to rice only on Friday; about 1 cup every 2 hours. I continued to lose weight over those days, and continued to lose weight Saturday even with the introduction of heavy carbs before night show. I had a huge meal after the show and instantly looked full but bloated; over the day’s that followed I looked really good. Full, abs were better, frame looked better. My coach did say I was very dry for the show, and I was, very dry and vascular but I felt stringy. Maybe I just don’t have the mass yet, I don’t know. Based on this scenario when should have I started my carb-up?
    In terms of carb sources after the show I was eating a lot of oats, making protein pancakes and protein cookies with oats/egg whites/protein powder and sweetener. Two days after the show I felt stage ready; does this mean I responded well to the oats over white rice?
    Sorry guys, I know I am being demanding here but your opinions matter. Thanks again. Paul

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kindofabigdeal8 View Post
    Thank you, you are all experienced competitors and know what you are talking about so I will take your advice; slow and steady wins the race. I guess I will take it as a good thing that I am well on track in terms of fat and composition. I like eating a lot of clean sushi as a Sunday carb up so I guess I will keep that up for the next couple weeks, I can try to decrease the cardio as well.
    Steve_D, I can tell you one thing and that is my head is in this 100%. I have been preparing for this all year and have figured out how to balance my work life and home life, part of the reason why I stayed dedicated in my off season to a clean/no shit diet. The show is starting to consume my time more and more but it doesn’t have a negative impact on me psychologically, in fact I love prep. I do want a trophy, but I understand that I have to deserve it and deserve to the next level. The win is not the be all and end all but it certainly would be nice to have some validation. Anyhow, the fun is partially in the process so whatever happens, happens. I do want to bring my best; in terms of size and conditioning.
    I guess I don’t plan on growing into the show, just prevention of being flat.
    Let’s talk carb up. My first show people were telling me to carb up as far out as Tuesday and these were some seasoned competitors here in Ottawa. A trainer/competitor at a local gym had seen me on Wednesday and recommended that I carb up ASAP , she also told me that it may be too late. My coach initially had planned for a Thursday night or Friday carb up, but then agreed that I could start the Wednesday. I started with sweet potatoes and rice, switched to rice only on Friday; about 1 cup every 2 hours. I continued to lose weight over those days, and continued to lose weight Saturday even with the introduction of heavy carbs before night show. I had a huge meal after the show and instantly looked full but bloated; over the day’s that followed I looked really good. Full, abs were better, frame looked better. My coach did say I was very dry for the show, and I was, very dry and vascular but I felt stringy. Maybe I just don’t have the mass yet, I don’t know. Based on this scenario when should have I started my carb-up?
    In terms of carb sources after the show I was eating a lot of oats, making protein pancakes and protein cookies with oats/egg whites/protein powder and sweetener. Two days after the show I felt stage ready; does this mean I responded well to the oats over white rice?
    Sorry guys, I know I am being demanding here but your opinions matter. Thanks again. Paul
    If you have enough time, play around with your weekly carb ups to see when you look best. Since my last show I've learned alot what works for me. I think carb/fat/shit load tricks are the least important thing in getting show day lean. getting as lean as you possibly can before hand should be number 1. Making sure you don't get flat number 2. Avoiding getting flat has a whole lot more to do with water than it does with carbs, sodium, etc. Learn your body.

    I had people telling me to use diuretics for my last show, which I didn't touch - in the end, I still lost way too much water, couldn't hold onto anything (my point is, don't listen to everyone because everyone has a different opinion). Some people obviously don't work the same and hold water like a camel. It's impossible to say the best method, as long as you follow the 100s of protocols that exist, they will all likely work ... if you're shredded! The minor differences that you may think you see in the mirror from 1 day to the next in the final week are actually a whole lot less visible on stage to the judges (as long as you're shredded to begin with). Getting dry sometimes means sacrificing fullness, some people that may work to their advantage, some people not. Again, its more of a trial and error thing to looking your best over time.

    Best thing you can do is get crazy lean - once there, hopefully you still have 3 weeks to go, then get even leaner

    Last week less is more. The body is amazing at knowing that your trying to trick it. So many people talk about peak week being the most important to getting the show ready look. I don't think that's at all the case. You should be lean enough and to the point that when you wake up you are scared of what you see. You should be peeing all night and dropping 7-8 piounds of water in your sleep. Waking up where you can hardly get down the stairs, skin tight, dry as hell... That's when you're ready - and at that point, you basically don't need to change anything in the last few days aside from making sure you have the proper energy to pose and get a pump.


    Just to add a little extra to this... I've seen/heard/read so many protocols in the final week. One thing that astounds me is people talking abotu 'carbing' up early - ie tuesday. In their protocol they eat something like 250g carbs a day for 2-3 days. minimal fats and protein... Seriously... that's barely enough calories to get a bikini competitor through the day - how is that going to fill out a 250 pounds bodybuiilder/?!~?! Latest one I heard was something about how carb loading was bad and fat loading fills muscles better. I read the article, sounded great and all, but then read the diet given... in the end, about 70% calories were carbs... So people either need to learn more about macros or take a course in math...

    Finally, I've done at least 20 shows now, all of which I've followed different approaches, all of them basically worked just as good as the last. Don't get me wrong, there are things NOT to do... but so many things you can do and still look your best. Sometimes its almost worth choosing the one that's funnest, or will put the biggest smile on your face. EX. would you rather eat french fries, or rice cakes with peanut butter.


 
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