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Bodybuilding as a whole is making leaps and bounds since its inception. Where women hadn’t participated in the sport before, they now do. In addition to that, there are so many different competitions that it could make a person’s head spin. So, how do you handle training for bodybuilding competitions? Let’s take a look.

A General Breakdown

There are several stages of preparing yourself for a bodybuilding competition and most people need a support system or someone that will keep them accountable. That being said, here’s a general idea of what you’ll want to do in the different stages of bodybuilding competition preparation.

Phase 1

For starters, you’ll want to start off with a “clean” diet. Clean eating typically revolves around consuming whole foods instead of those that are convenient or over processed. This can be the most challenging part of the lifestyle change when becoming a bodybuilder. That’s because most of us are used to eating junk food or stopping at a local food chain even though we just went grocery shopping and are on our way home.

So, in this phase of training, you’ll want to essentially focus on calorie intake and starting to replace the junk food and take out with better healthier options.

Phase 2

Once you give the junk the boot, the next thing you’ll want to focus on is your aerobics. Basically, in this initial phase, you’ll want to focus on around 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. This can come in the form of walking, running, or even swimming if that’s your thing. When you start to notice a plateau in your weight loss, you’ll want to then focus on increased aerobics on your non-training days.

This phase tends to last for some time, and you’ll probably have to adjust accordingly as needed.

Phase 3

In this last phase, you may tend to lose weight slightly more drastically and that is because we are looking at carbohydrates. Rather than consuming an ungodly amount of carbs, you’ll actually want to reduce them. On days you’re not training it’s essential to reduce your carb intake between 50 and 200 grams. So, in other words, if you’re intake is somewhere around 600 grams a day this would mean on non-training days you’d eat around 400 to 550 grams of carbs.

In the event that this looks like its not getting you to where you want to be, then you may want to reduce your carbohydrates by 100 grams per day when training for bodybuilding competitions. Following these general ideas should get you to optimal competition physique.

But Wait, There’s More!

Off season is a term often used by those that don’t train year round. However, even if you’re not necessarily competing or training to compete there are things to remember.

6 to 12 Months

During this time frame, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind. For starters, you’ll want to find your shows and develop your off season training. This means lots of planning and preparation. Also keep in mind that with bodybuilding competitions even in the off season you’ll want to watch your foods and focus on cardio work three times a week.

Once you have all of that down, around the 6 month mark, you’ll want to start working on your poses. More specifically, the ones that will be mandatory. Doing this now gives you the advantage to target weak spots you notice. You’ll also want to book your appointment with the place you intend to get your “posing suit” from that way you’re not scrambling at the last second.

3 Months Out

This is where diet comes into play. At the three month mark, you’ll really want to hone-in your diet. Especially because it may differ drastically from your off season diet. This is where that phase one of eating clean comes into view.

It is also the time that networking and having professionals in your inner circle may do you good. Why? Because when preparing for a bodybuilding competition having someone who is experienced can really up your game. They can look at your poses, your overall physique and give you actionable advice.

If you don’t have that person in your inner circle that can help with this. Don’t worry. In today’s day and age, technology can come to the rescue. Take photos while doing your mandatory poses. This will allow for self-assessment and correction.

1 to 2 Months Out

This is the time in which you will most likely register for your competition. Keep in mind that you’ll want to keep receipts for this. Just in case something happens you then have the proof. Something that often ends up lost in the shuffle are membership fees for the competition organization. So, don’t forget those. Plus, you’ll also want to work on your travel plans if it’s not something close to home.

If you’re on the female side of bodybuilding this is the time in which you’d purchase things like tanning products and accessories for the big day. And if you’re on the male side you’ll want to start tanning in general just to help add definition to the muscles you’ll be showing off.

Before the Big Day

Over the course of the last few days before competition, you’ll really want to focus on practicing and staying focused. What does that mean? It means, sticking to your diet and exercise routine as well as practicing the mandatory poses. Once you hit the big day, remember to get to the venue early and check-in. Once checked in, find out what the schedule is and get ready to be a bodybuilding competition champ.

Muscle Up with SARMs

Now, in any time frame where you feel as though you’re not leaning out and getting the fit physique you want for the bodybuilding competition you’re working toward. You may want to consider using SARMs as a way to get out of a plateau. SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators and unlike steroids, they are more receptive in nature. Helping you gain muscle easier. You can check out some great products here if this is something that interests you.