Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Drug Free Competitor Tip of the Day
Too many drug free competitors, especially first timers, focus too much on weight loss and abandon the real goal of bodybuilding which is to build muscle - hence the name "BodyBUILDING"!
Your goal should be to build and maintain as much muscle as possible while getting as lean as possible. This is different than simply trying to drop weight.
If you are a novice competitor you should not be worrying about the scale during most of your preparation. Your goal should be to look your best by building and maintaining every hard earned ounce of muscle possible while targeting maximum fat burning. When you zero in on that look....whatever you weigh you weigh. Unless you have a few contests under your belt you really have no idea where the needle on the scale will settle at that point.
Stuart MacDonald in "I Want to Look Like That Guy" illustrates this process perfectly. When I started working with him to get him ready for the NPC Natural Michigan he was over 200 lbs and over 30% body fat. I didn't look at him and project the weight class he needed to be in. I did not devise a precontest plan that was focused on weight loss. I devised a plan that focused on building muscle and losing fat to achieve a "bodybuilding lean" physique onstage.
The only time we concerned ourselves with the scale was the last couple weeks before the contest. At that point if you are close to the cut off of a weight class then it makes sense to try and be at the top end of a weight class rather than the bottom. In Stu's case he was getting very close to the light weight cut off so we worked to get him into that class. (We ultimately succeeded but you have to see the documentary to find out just how close we came to missing! Talk about some unplanned drama!)
So the tip of the day is devise your pre-contest plan to build muscle and lose body fat rather then simply focusing on weight loss. If you follow a smart and proven plan you will not have to worry about losing precious muscle and can shift your emphasis to maximum fat burning. If you commit many of the common mistakes that a lot of natural bodybuilders do and focus simply on losing weight to make a weight class then there is no doubt you'll be setting yourself up to sacrifice muscle and not be all that you could come the day of the show.