This is a question I’ve been asked many times and the answer isn’t cut and dry. Personally I’ve heard testimony that favor both camps but I want to hear from YOU, personally, so that everyone can benefit.
What is your experience with birth control while training for a figure competition, especially during the final phase of cutting. I’m talking about the body fat in the lower teens. What are your personal views? Do you think that birth control has made it harder to lose body fat? Do you think it’s due to the actual birth control product or perhaps water retention? Have you found any good products/brands that work well for you?
I’ve love to hear your thoughts. Please comment bellow.
Research shows that the typical bodybuilding diet is fairly healthy (except for the reduced calories), if followed using a wide enough variety of vegetables. You would think that with such intense dieting that the body would be lacking multiple vitamins and minerals… although everyone is different, large deficiencies in vitamins and minerals is uncommon.
Problems: The problems start when you go on a diet that is too restrictive and limited In food selections. Your choices are already limited, therefore any further limiting of food can be detriments to your health. I just encountered this a few weeks ago when a competitor told me of a dangerous diet she was on. Hair falling out, fainting, diarrhea are just a few of the issues that comes with following diets that are too extreme and limited:
Diet where you are limited to eating only one or two foods a day
Programs that require you to drink the majority of your food in the form of protein powder or other powdered supplements.
Diets that try to manipulate water or cause dehydration
Programs that require tons of supplements (watch out for supplements ads in magazines and online) instead of food.
Diets that require you to eat fewer meals per day as opposed to more (the more meals you eat – the more fat you will lose).
Diets containing mostly foods of little nutritional value such as lettuce, crackers etc.
Dieting the right way before a show will insure that you are ready to fully recover and build muscle in the off-season (if that’s what you need to do)… otherwise it may take months for you to fully recover from a bad diet. The big misconception is that you have to do something extreme with dieting to get ready for a show. The truth is that extreme dieting is the quickest way to derail your competition goals.
You’re here to learn how to win your figure competition, right? One thing about me is that I don’t follow the crowd and really don’t care much what people think. When I first started training figure competitors I was shocked at the mistakes and misdirection of many trainers and their clients. I saw techniques and practices that I knew back in high school would not work.
I saw competitors compete for years and not get ANY better… some actually looked worse from one show to the next. I still see the same things going on today… and if you are not training and eating properly then you will struggle to make any progress. Do not get yourself confused with the genetically gifted competitors who can train incorrectly, stay up all night, eat poorly… but they are always lean and improve each show – most likely that ain’t you! You most likely have to work hard… real hard for everything you get. Therefore you can’t do things that stop you from making progress, if you do any of
the following …STOP IMMEDIATELY:
figure competition diet
If there was an easy way to diet for a show, trust me, I would have found it by now. Too many competitors think that dieting is going to be a lot easier than it really is. They look for the diet with the most food (or the trainer who promises fruit, bread and lots of other carbs throughout the precontest diet). Until you’ve followed a competition diet, you can’t really appreciate how hard it is. Once again, you can’t follow genetically gifted competitors and expect to get the same results. They can eat more calories than most everyone else an still get lean. How many competitors do I know who’ve gotten higher calorie diets from top level competitors who have more muscle, faster metabolism etc… what happens is that they often end up following diets that have too many calories for the average competitor who doesn’t have genetic gifts. They go into shows bragging: “ I got a diet from ___ ______ “ – but when they get onstage they are 8-10 lbs overweight!
I remember one such competitor last year. She had gotten a diet from someone who was way more advanced, much more muscle mass, faster metabolism etc. Anyway, as I was watching her compete, I was thinking to myself: “WTF happened to her?” and right at that moment the show’s promoter walked up to me and asked: “Wtf happened to her?” …it was classic! I don’t care who you get a diet from or how many competitions they’ve won… if the calorie content is too high you will not get lean enough to compete for any of the top spots.
If you think you are going to get lean following a 1500 calorie diet the entire time when preparing for a show then you need a reality check… cause it probably won’t happen. This is why I developed by figure competition diet program. It’s designed to take the guess work out of dieting for a show. If you follow the program you will not go into a show 10lbs overweight, waterlogged or bloated. The goal of my diets are to get you ready for a show… that’s it. You won’t be eating a bunch of bread, fruit, yogurt or all the other stuff that would make the diet more appealing.. like I said my goal is to help you reach your goal. So don’t look for the easy way out. Dieting is tough and you have to make sacrifices… this is
why so few women actually make it onstage… and it’s what separates you from those sitting in the audience.
If your goal is to build muscle in the off-season WHY WHY WHY would you do cardio in the off-season??? Now… if cardio is meant to burn calories/body fat (in essence, make you a smaller person) – WHY would you perform cardio when you want to gain muscle (get bigger). How is it possible for the same form of exercise to accomplish two completely opposite goals?
The fact is that cardio burns calories and should be used for that purpose only. Why then, do competitors
perform cardio in the off-season even-though they should be focusing on
There are a few reasons but the #1 reason is because figure competitors are afraid to gain too much weight in the off-season, so they decide to keep up the cardio. The reality is that you must gain a little fat when building muscle just to insure that you are getting enough calories to gain muscle. If you try to build muscle with a weight training workout in the
morning followed by cardio in the evening then it’s like playing tug-of-war with yourself, trying to run up an ice covered hill … you get the point! Get over the fact that you will gain some extra fat… and if you find yourself gaining too much weight then show some discipline and push away from the table – but you must make a clear delineation between off season and precontest training programs.
a) Precontest: Everything geared toward fat loss and muscle preservation, which means cardio is a large part of it, along with fast paced, high intensity fat loss workouts. Combined with strict dieting you can’t go wrong.
b) Off-season: Heavier lifting, longer rest between sets and more isolation exercises (ex, concentration curls, tricep pushdowns etc…). Plenty of rest …which means no cardio! As hard as it is for women to gain muscle, doing cardio would pretty much negate any gain from your building workouts because the energy and resources you deplete during your cardio workout can’t be used for building muscle… and you only have a limited amount of energy/resources each day.
Figure Competition tip #3 – Lifting like a bodybuilder while trying to lose fat for competition:
Figure Competition Training
Ok… regular weight lifting does not burn enough calories to be performed while getting ready for a competition. Now, if you are done for the day with your cardio and high intensity resistance training (using weights and bodyweight exercises in non-stop circuit fashion to burn fat) – THEN you can lift weights as much as you like the rest of the day. What I see is would-be competitors performing set after set of bicep curls, bench presses etc… and then getting on the treadmill for cardio. Regular weight lifting does not burn enough calories! That’s why bodybuilders can gain muscle from regular weight training – therefore you can surmise that regular weight training will do little to help you lose body fat for a competition. I’ve seem many women follow this type of training and come
into shows way off their mark…. 12 weeks (or longer) down the drain!
If you want to lose body fat then you need to train just for that purpose. Just because some big male bodybuilder can get lean following such a program does not mean this will work for most women… I’ve seen it fail more times than I can count. Leave weight training for off-season muscle building… you are not going to build muscle while losing body fat for a competition so get that idea out of your head.
Try my program by Clicking Here – it’s designed for women and it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee because I have so much confidence in how good it works! Good luck!
Figure Diet: the competitiondietis pretty basic. Lean protein, fibrous carbs (vegetables), complex carbs and good fats. The diet should be structured to change as the body gets leaner.
Meat: Chicken is the food of choice 80% of the time with fish and tuna being eaten 20% of the time. Some competitors switch to fish in the weeks prior to a show to help with fat loss.
Protein powder: Every competitor uses protein powder each day between, 2-4 scoops. Closer to competition, competitors will replace some of their chicken or fish meals with protein powder to keep fat loss going. You should choose a powder that taste good to you, otherwise you get tired of it real quick.
Supplements: A multivitamin once a day and protein powder, that’s about it for 95% of my competitors. Creatine should only be taken in the off-season. If i find that someone is taking creatine during precontest training, I will have them stop immediately because it makes you hold water.
Cheat foods: Peanut butter seems to be the big winner when it comes to cheating. Almost every competitor admits to cheating on the diet. 70% will choose peanut butter. Ice cream is enjoyed by 30% of competitors and potato chips are eaten by 40%. They say the best thing to do is make sure there is none of the ‘offending’ food in the house… otherwise it will be eaten.
Compliance with the diet: 99% of competitors cheat on the diet. I know a few who I ‘think’ won’t cheat… but I can’t be 100% sure. They often try to lie about it, but i get the truth eventually. Actually cheats are harmless and can be beneficial if kept to a minimum. The brain (psychology) and body (extra energy) benefits from the extra boost a cheat can give them.
Artificial sweeteners: 60% say they use some sort of artificial sugar or flavoring in their coffee (also about 80% drink coffee). These have to be eliminated the last week of a show because they can hold on to water in your body. You can lose 3 or 4 lbs just by eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet (depending on how much you use).