Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Preparing for your first bodybuilding or physique competition can feel overwhelming. Achieving that ripped, dense, and muscular physique on stage requires mastering many crucial elements, which can be confusing at first.

Having participated in over 20 bodybuilding contests and coached people worldwide for more than 25 years, I’ve learned what works for different individuals when it comes to diets, workouts, and supplements. I’ve developed a practical and healthy foundation plan that can help almost anyone look their best and impress the judges!

Before diving into the specifics, let’s talk about the off-season. If you’re serious about competing and aiming for the top, it’s crucial to maintain a body fat percentage that allows for a preparation period of 12 to 16 weeks.

The first four weeks (from 16 to 12 weeks out) should be a “break-in” phase. During this time, focus on cutting out junk food and maybe alcohol from your diet. Get used to eating six meals a day on a regular schedule. Keeping a healthy body fat level throughout the year not only makes competition prep easier on your body and mind, but it also helps preserve your hard-earned muscle mass.

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Weeks 12-9: Diet and Meal Plan

Below is a list of high-quality foods you can eat during the first four weeks of prep, along with a sample meal plan to help you see how it all fits together. As we move forward, we’ll adjust the macronutrient balance and gradually cut down on certain items.

This approach allows for steady weekly progress leading up to the show:

  • Proteins: You can have meals with lean beef, turkey, chicken breast, steak, egg whites, game meats, white fish, salmon, nonfat cottage cheese, and protein powders, up to three times a day.
  • Carbohydrates: Enjoy fruits, wholegrain bread, quinoa, rice cakes, pasta, cream of wheat, brown rice, white rice, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes.
  • Vegetables: Include all kinds, especially colorful and green ones.
  • Fats: Include avocado, cheddar cheese, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, fish oil, flax oil, coconut oil, and nut butters.

Now that we’ve covered what to include, let’s go through a typical day of eating for someone weighing 200 pounds with 10 to 12 percent body fat right now. time.

MEAL PLANS 

MEAL 1

  • | Whey/casein protein powder mix (approximately 2 scoops)
  • | Oatmeal (3.1 oz uncooked) 
  • | No added fats

MEAL 2

  • | Chicken breast (7.1 oz cooked) 
  • | Brown rice (6.7 oz cooked)
  • | No added fats

MEAL 3

  • | Tilapia (8.3 oz cooked) 
  • | Large mixed salad
  • | Olive oil (1 tbsp)

MEAL 4

  • | Whey protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • | White potato (10 oz cooked) 
  • F |No added fats

MEAL 5

  • | Top-round steak (7.1 oz cooked)
  • | Sweet potato (5.5 oz cooked) 
  • | No added fats

MEAL 6

  • | Casein protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • | None
  • | Natural peanut butter (2 tbsp) 

Totals = PROTEIN: 285g CARBS: 200g carbs ESSENTIAL FATS: 28g 

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Weeks 12-9: Supplements

Never forget that vitamins, no matter how much you take, cannot compensate for an inadequate diet or exercise regimen! But if everything else is in order, there are tons of great goods available on the market to help you get in the finest possible shape.

For this phase of your preparation, I suggest the following:

  • Creatine
  • Beta-alanine
  • BCAAs
  • Multivitamin / Minerals
  • Fish oil L-leucine 
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Weeks 12-9: Cardio

You know, there are some lucky folks out there with fast metabolisms who can stay lean without doing much cardio before a competition. But for the rest of us regular folks, cardio becomes a necessary evil. However, going overboard with it isn’t the way to go—it can actually make you lose muscle, which is definitely not what we want!

The key to a successful contest prep is to stay reasonably fit throughout the off-season.

In the early weeks of prep, I start competitors with a moderate amount of cardio and gradually increase it each week.

Also, from my own experience, despite all the conflicting advice out there, I’ve found that if your goal is to burn fat, doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach can be effective, as long as you take five to ten grams of BCAAs before it.

  • 12 Weeks Out
    • 30 minutes on non-workout days.
       
  • 11 Weeks Out
    • 30 minutes on non-workout days and 15 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 10 Weeks Out
    • 35 minutes on non-workout days and 15 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 9 Weeks Out 
    • 35 minutes on non-workout days and 20 minutes on workout days. 
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Weeks 12-9: Training

The goal when preparing for a competition is to keep all the muscle you’ve worked hard to build during the off-season. This means continuing to train hard while also adjusting your approach to stimulate muscle growth.

About 12 weeks out from a competition, I typically start using a training program I developed back in 2000 called Power/Rep Range/Shock, or P/RR/S for short.

I can share some example workouts you can do during the first four weeks of prep, although I can’t go into all the details of why this program works so well here.

Feel free to swap out exercises with your own choices, but stick to the rep ranges, tempo, rest times, and overall structure outlined in the program.

During weeks 12 to 9, you’ll focus on the first phase of P/RR/S, which is called the power phase.

MONDAY: WEEKS 12, 11, 10, & 9

  • CHEST
    • Flat Dumbbell Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Smith Machine Incline Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Incline Dumbbell Flye | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • BICEPS
    • Alternating Dumbbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/1/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Preacher Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • FOREARMS
    • Seated Barbell Wrist Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Hammer Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 2-3 min.
       
  • ABS
    • Seated Crunch Machine or Cable Crunch | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Lying Straight-Leg Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max | TEMPO: 3/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
       

TUESDAY: WEEKS 12, 11, 10, & 9

  • QUADS
    • Leg Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Hack Squat | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 4 min.
    • Single-Leg Leg Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 4 min.
       
  • HAMSTRINGS
    • Seated Leg Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Single-Leg Lying Leg Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • CALVES
    • Calf Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 2-3 min.
       

THURSDAY: WEEKS 12, 11, 10, & 9

  • BACK
    • Cable Row (underhand grip) | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Wide-Grip Pullup | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • T-Bar Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 4 min.
    • Deadlift | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 4 min.
       
  • ABS
    • Weighted Hanging Bent-Leg Hip Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Weighted Incline Situp | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 3/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
       

FRIDAY: WEEKS 12, 11, 10, & 9

  • SHOULDERS
    • Seated Bent Rear Dumbbell Lateral | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Seated Dumbbell Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Barbell Upright Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • TRAPS
    • Barbell Shrug | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • TRICEPS
    • Incline Overhead Dumbbell Extension | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Weighted Triceps Dip | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
       
  • CALVES
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Standing Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Stay Mentally Strong

You want to keep moving forward steadily. During your contest prep, the goal is to improve your physique week by week. This involves making small, deliberate changes to your training, diet, and supplements so that you look your best when it’s time for the competition.

The first four weeks of prep can be mentally tough. Why? Well, even though you might not see it yet, your body fat starts to drop after these weeks. Plus, your skin might still be adjusting from the weight gain in the off-season, which can take time to tighten around your muscles.

Instead of feeling more ripped, you might feel a bit smaller and less pumped up, making you wonder what’s happening. But trust me, if you stay on track, you’ll soon start seeing the results of your hard work! It’s all part of the natural process.

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Weeks 8-5: Diet

Here’s an updated list of top-notch foods to eat during Weeks 8 to 5 of your prep. Check out the sample meal plan to see how to mix things up. As we go along, we’ll adjust the amount of protein, carbs, and fats, and cut out more items each week.

This will help us keep making progress every week until the competition.

PROTEINS

  • Up to three meals a day can be made with 96% lean beef, 99% lean chopped turkey meat, turkey breast, chicken breast, steak, egg whites, game meats, white fish, salmon, nonfat cottage cheese, and protein powders.

CARBOHYDRATES

  • Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat, quinoa, rice cakes, pasta, carb powder, and whole-grain bread

VEGETABLES

  • any kind of green and colorful

FATS

  • Nut butters, avocado, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, olive oil, fish oil, flax oil, and coconut oilnut oil, nut butters 

DIET ADJUSTMENTS

In these four weeks, we’ve made some changes to the plan. We replaced 93% lean beef with 96% lean beef, and 93% lean turkey with 99% lean turkey. Also, we took fruits off the list of carbs and removed cheddar cheese from the fats.

Now that we’re getting closer to the competition, it’s important to cut down on overall fat intake and avoid fructose from fruits. Fruits are healthy, but when you’re aiming to lose weight, fructose isn’t the best carb choice.

We also removed cheddar cheese because we want to focus on essential fatty acids during this phase.

Also Read: Foam Rolling for Flexibility and Strength

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 8-5: Meal Plan

MEAL 1

  • P | Whey/casein protein powder mix (approximately 2 scoops) 
  • | Oatmeal (2.3 oz uncooked)
  • F | No added fats 

MEAL 2

  • P | Chicken breast (6.4 oz cooked) 
  • C | Brown rice (5 oz cooked)
  • F | No added fats

MEAL 3 (PRE-WORKOUT)

  • P | Tilapia (7.5 oz cooked) 
  • C | Large mixed salad
  • F | Olive oil (1 tbsp) 

MEAL 4 (POST-WORKOUT)

  • P | Whey protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • C | White potato (10 oz cooked) 
  • F | No added fats 

MEAL 5

  • P | Top-round steak (6.4 oz cooked)
  • C | Sweet potato (4.1 oz cooked) 
  • F | No added fats 

MEAL 6

  • P | Casein protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • C | None
  • F | Natural peanut butter (2 tbsp)

TOTAL = PROTEIN: 285g | CARBS: 165g | ESSENTIAL FATS: 28g 

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 8-5: Training

REP-RANGE TRAINING

In the first part of this series, I talked about the importance of training hard and with intensity as you prepare for a competition. However, it’s also crucial to change your approach every four weeks to keep your muscles growing.

We began with the “power” phase of my P/RR/S training plan, focusing on lifting heavy weights for fewer reps, controlling the lowering phase, and exploding upward.

As your body fat decreases, you’ll be doing more cardio and eating fewer calories, which makes lifting heavy weights riskier for your joints.

Now, we’re moving into the “rep range” phase. This part of the training plan will stimulate different muscle fibers and help build muscle through various methods.

MONDAY: WEEKS 8, 7, 6, & 5

  • CHEST
    • 60-Degree Incline Dumbbell Press | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Smith Bench Press (to upper chest) | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2-3 min. 
    • Weighted or Machine Dips | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Cable Crossover or Pec-Deck Flye | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2 min. 
       
  • BICEPS
    • 90-Degree Side Barbell Preacher Curl or Prone Incline Barbell Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Seated Incline Alternating Dumbbell Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/1/2 | REST: 2 min. 
    • Front Biceps Pose Upper Cable Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2 min. 
       
  • FOREARMS
    • Reverse Barbell Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2 min.
    • Single-Arm Dumbbell Wrist Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 13-15 (per side) | TEMPO: 1/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • ABS
    • Cable Crunch | SETS: 1 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Lying Bent-Leg Hip Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 21-25 or max | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Lying Side Crunch | SETS: 1 | REPS: 26-30 (per side) | TEMPO: 1/0/1 | REST: 2 min. or max 
       

TUESDAY: WEEKS 8, 7, 6, & 5 

  • QUADS
    • Leg Extension | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Barbell Squat | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 3 min.
    • Single-Leg Press | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 (per leg) | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 3 min.
    • Single-Leg Extension | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 (per leg) | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
       
  • HAMSTRINGS
    • Lying Leg Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Seated Leg Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/2/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Straight-Leg Barbell Good Morning | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Adduction Machine | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • CALVES
    • Machine or Smith Standing Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 7-9, 1x 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 13-15, 1x 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min. 
       

THURSDAY: WEEKS 8, 7, 6, & 5 

  • LATS
    • Close-Grip T-bar Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 3 min.
    • Incline Two-Arm Dumbbell Row (palms inward) | SETS: 3 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 3 min.
    • Seated Cable Row (underhand grip) | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 3 min.
    • Wide-Grip Pulldown or Assisted Pullup Machine | SETS: 13-15 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Stiff-Arm Pulldown or Pullover Machine | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/1/2 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • LOWER BACK
    • Partial Rack Deadlift from Knee Height | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 7-9, 1x 10-12 | TEMPO: 1/1/1 | REST: 3 min.
    • Weighted Hyperextension | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
       
  • ABS
    • Weighted Incline Situp | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2 min.
    • Hanging or Supported Straight-Leg Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Cable Side Crunch | SETS: 1-2 | REPS: 21-25 (per side) | TEMPO: 1/0/1 | REST: 2 min. 
       

FRIDAY: WEEKS 8, 7, 6, & 5 

  • SHOULDERS
    • Seated Dumbbell or Machine Press (palms facing inward) | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 3 min.
    • Prone Incline Front Barbell Raise (shoulder-width grip) | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Single-Arm Bentover Rear Lateral | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 1/0/1 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • TRAPS
    • Close-Grip Barbell Upright Row | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 7-9, 1x 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Dumbbell Shrug | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 10-12, 1x 13-15 | TEMPO: 1/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • TRICEPS
    • Incline Two-arm Overhead Barbell or EZ-Bar Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/1/2 | REST: 2 min.
    • Straight-Bar Pushdown | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Lying Single-Arm Dumbbell Extension | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/2 | REST: 2 min.
       
  • CALVES
    • Calf Press | SETS: 2 | REPS: 1x 7-9, 1x 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 | REST: 2 min.
    • Single-Leg Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 2 (per leg) | REPS: 1x 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2 min. 
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

As part of a well-planned contest preparation program, gradually increasing your cardio sessions each week will help you lose body fat while preserving muscle mass.

You can break up longer cardio sessions (40 minutes or more) into two parts. For example, you might do half of your cardio before breakfast in the morning and the other half in the evening, perhaps between your fifth and sixth meals. This is the cardio schedule for Weeks 8 through 5.

  • 8 Weeks Out
    • 40 minutes on non-workout days and 20 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 7 Weeks Out
    • 40 minutes on non-workout days and 25 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 6 Weeks Out
    • 45 minutes on non-workout days and 25 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 5 Weeks Out
    • 50 minutes on non-workout days and 25 minutes on workout days.
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 4-2: Diet

Next, we’ll focus on Weeks 4 through 2. We skip the final week, known as “peak week,” because it involves specific nutritional adjustments to perfect your physique, which we’ll cover separately.

Below, you’ll find an updated list of high-quality foods you can eat during this phase. There’s also a sample meal plan to guide you on how to combine these foods to achieve the exact macronutrient profile you need.

  • Proteins: Up to two meals a day can be made with 96% lean beef, 99% lean chopped turkey meat, turkey breast, chicken breast, steak, egg whites, game meats, white fish, salmon, and protein powders.
  • Carbohydrates: Rice cakes, quinoa, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, brown rice, and carb powder
  • Vegetables: any kind of green and colorful
  • Fats: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, avocado, flax, salmon, and coconut oils.

A FEW TWEAKS

The number of protein shakes permitted for the day was reduced from three to two at this point in the preparation, and cottage cheese was taken off the list. Oatmeal, spaghetti, cream of wheat, and whole-grain bread were taken off the list of carbohydrates. Nut butters were finally removed from the list of fats.

Why these tweaks? 

We removed cottage cheese because it’s high in lactose. Protein shakes are still okay, but limit them to two per day now.

All those carbs listed earlier are gone because they contain gluten, which can cause bloating and water retention in many people.

Lastly, I had to cut out nut butters. Some bodybuilders overeat them trying to stay full while dieting.

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 4-2: Meal Plan

MEAL 1

  • P Egg whites (16 oz uncooked)
  • C Oatmeal (2 oz uncooked)
  • F No added fats

MEAL 2

  • P Chicken breast (5.7 oz cooked)
  • | Brown rice (4.2 oz cooked)
  • F No added fats

MEAL 3 (PRE-WORKOUT)

  • P Tilapia (7.5 oz cooked)
  • | Large mixed salad
  • F Olive oil (1 tbsp)

MEAL 4 (POST-WORKOUT)

  • P Whey protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • C White potato (8.3 oz cooked)
  • F No added fats

MEAL 5

  • | Top round steak (5.7 oz cooked)
  • C Sweet potato (3.4 oz cooked)
  • F No added fats

MEAL 6

  • | Casein protein powder (approximately 2 scoops)
  • | None
  • F Natural peanut butter (2 tbsp)

TOTAL = PROTEIN: 275g | CARBS: 165g | ESSENTIAL FATS: 28g 

Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 4-2: Training

SHOCK METHOD TRAINING

In the beginning, when calories were still high and cardio was low, we focused on heavy weights and fewer reps with the “power” phase of my P/RR/S training plan.

From Weeks 8 to 5, we switched to the “rep range” phase. Here, the goal was to work your muscles from different angles with reps ranging from seven to twenty.

Now, as we near the end, it’s time for the “shock” phase. This method boosts natural growth hormone, speeds up metabolism, burns more calories, and helps keep your muscles strong. In simple terms, this phase aims to burn off fat and refine your physique!

MONDAY: WEEKS 4, 3, & 2

  • CHEST
    • Barbell Incline | SETS: 2 (Dropsets) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Smith Machine Bench Press | SETS: 2 (rest-pause) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Flat Dumbbell Flye | SETS: 1-2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Superset with Dumbbell Pullover | SETS: 1-2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1  
       
  • BICEPS
    • Prone Incline Barbell Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Superset with Dumbbell Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1  
    • High-Pulley Curl | SETS: 2 (Dropsets) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
       
  • FOREARMS
    • Wrist Curl | SETS: 1 (Rest Pause) | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1
    • Cable Reverse Curl | SETS: 1 | REPS: 10-12 (Dropset) | TEMPO: 2/0/1
       
  • ABS
    • incline Leg Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max Reps | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Hip Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max Hold Each Side | TEMPO: –
    • Superset with Side Plank | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max Hold Each Side | TEMPO: –
    • Machine Crunch | SETS: 1 (Dropset) | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1/1 
       

TUESDAY: WEEKS 4, 3, & 2

  • QUADS
    • Leg Extension | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12| TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Superset With Lunge | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Leg Press | SETS: 2 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 7-9  | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Smith or Hacksquat | SETS: 1-2 (Dropset) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
       
  • HAMSTRINGS
    • Lying Leg Curl | SETS: 2 (Dropset) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Adduction Machine | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1  
    • Superset with Stiff Leg Deadlift | SETS: 2 | REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
       
  • CALVES
    • Calf Press | SETS: 1 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 1-2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 1/0/1 
    • Superset with Standing Calf Raise | SETS: 1-2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 1/0/1
       

THURSDAY: WEEKS 4, 3, & 2

  • LATS
    • Pullup | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Seated Cable Row (to upper abs) | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Superset with Seated Cable Row (to lower abs) | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • One Arm Dumbbell Row | SETS: 2 (dropsets) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 1/0/1 
       
  • LOWER BACK
    • Partial Deadlift | SETS: 2 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 1/1/1
       
  • ABS
    • Cable Crunch | SETS: 2 | REPS: 16-20 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Superset with Front Plank | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max Hold | TEMPO: –
    • Leg Raise | SETS: 1 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: Max Reps | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
       

FRIDAY: WEEKS 4, 3, & 2

  • SHOULDERS
    • Seated Lateral Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 1/0/1 
    • Superset with Barbell Press  | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Reverse Pec Deck | SETS: 2 (Dropsets) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 1/0/1/1 min.
    • Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raise | SETS: 1 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
       
  • TRAPS
    • Barbell Shrug | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 1/1/1/1
    • Superset with Upright Row  | SETS: 2 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
       
  • TRICEPS
    • V-Bar Pushdown | SETS: 1 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Overhead Rope Extension | SETS: 2 (Dropset) | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
    • Lying Extension | SETS: 1 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 
    • Superset with Dip | SETS: 1 | REPS: 7-9 | TEMPO: 2/0/1
       
  • CALVES
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 2 (Dropsets)| REPS: 13-15 | TEMPO: 1/0/1 
    • Calf Press | SETS: 1 (Rest/Pause) | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 1/1/1 
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 4-2: Cardio

In a well-planned contest prep program, it’s important to gradually increase your cardio each week. This helps you steadily lose body fat while keeping as much lean muscle as possible.

You might find it helpful to split longer cardio sessions, like those that last 40 minutes or more, into two parts. For example, you could do half of your cardio session in the morning before breakfast and the other half in the evening, maybe between meals 5 and 6.

Here’s how the cardio schedule looks for Weeks 4, 3, and 2:

  • 4 Weeks Out
    • 55 minutes on non-workout days; 25 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 3 Weeks Out
    • 55 minutes on non-workout days; 30 minutes on workout days.
       
  • 3 Weeks Out
    • 60 minutes on non-workout days; 30 minutes on workout days.
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 4-2: Supplements

For the first four weeks of prep, I recommended a set of basic supplements that have been proven to enhance muscle endurance, strength, muscle retention, and overall health. These include L-leucine, fish oil, a multivitamin/mineral, creatine, beta-alanine, and BCAAs.

In the next phase, I suggested adding two more supplements: a pre-workout booster and a fat burner. These help increase energy, focus, and blood flow during workouts by speeding up metabolism.

As we near the end of prep, my focus shifts to maintaining muscle mass and promoting recovery. Improving sleep quality becomes crucial to handle the mental and physical stress of competition prep.

Considering this, you might consider adding:

  • All-natural herbal testosterone booster (containing such ingredients as fenugreek, ashwagandha, and Tribulus terrestris)
  • Cortisol blocker (containing phosphatidylserine)
  • Nighttime sleep formula (containing such ingredients as GABA, kava kava, valerian root, Mucuna pruriens, L-tryptophan, zinc, and magnesium)
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide
Bodybuilding Competition Prep Guide

Week 1: Peak Week

Here we are, just one week before your big day on stage! If everything has gone according to plan and you’ve given each workout, cardio session, and meal your best effort, you should already be looking competition-ready.

Instead of making big changes, this final week is about making small adjustments that will help you shine on the day of the competition. (I like to call this last week “Frosting Week”—it’s like adding a little frosting to a perfectly baked cake.)

While I could talk at length about peak week, let me summarize a few important guidelines for you.

TRAINING

please rewrite this paragraph in more conversational tone and use simple english also fix the gramatical mistakes and make it more redable and enjoyable “You will only train on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during the last week. Since legs typically take longer to recuperate than the upper body, there won’t be a leg session. Work out using the same routines as the previous weeks, but reduce the intensity to 80% to 85%.”

DIET

Eat the same diet you’ve been following on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, just like you did three weeks ago on training days. On Thursday and Friday, increase your carbs by 30 to 50 grams and decrease protein intake by the same amount. This helps add a bit of water and glycogen to your muscles, making them look fuller. Make sure to split your daily calories and macros evenly across all six meals.

CARDIO

In the final week, reduce your exercise time by half and focus on practicing your posing instead. Go through all the required poses, holding each for at least five seconds. Keep practicing until it feels natural and effortless for you.

SUPPLEMENTS 

Use your regular schedule for the last two days, at which time you will only require your fish oil, multivitamin, and sleeping pill.

SODIUM/SALT

You won’t employ such erratic strategies, even though many rivals go through a difficult sodium-loading and draining protocol during peak week. Although I do not advocate using excessive amounts of salt during preparation, there’s no reason to abruptly stop consuming any sodium during the days preceding a competition.

WATER

Throughout the last week, solely drink water; don’t limit yourself at any moment. You can cease eating till the next day after finishing your last meal on Friday night.

TANNING

It is imperative that you use three to five coatings of a high-quality tanning product throughout Friday’s daytime, followed by a final coat on Saturday morning.

Contest Day

Wake up early and have three meals before the pre-judging starts. Eat the same foods you had yesterday and make sure to drink enough water with each meal.

Stay calm backstage, but keep an eye on the schedule so you know when to start preparing to go on stage.

Warm up for about fifteen minutes with light exercises. Focus on doing high-rep sets of basic exercises to get a good pump. Practice your poses to keep your muscles looking toned.

Most importantly, enjoy the moment. Be proud of yourself for all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made to reach this point!

By admin

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