A normal contest prep for a male bodybuilder is usually in the 10-12 week range – but if you remain lean year round (something I recommend) you are able to probably get away with half that. It doesn’t must be all that complicated. Drop carbs, up the protein and add some daily treadmill or stepmill sessions of 30-60mins. Throw some fat burners in the mixture. Rinse and repeat until slim.
Ok, maybe not that simple all the time, so let’s talk about girls. It usually doesn’t function very well if they try to emulate this strategy. Evolutionary talking, while guys are hunters who flourish on higher activity levels and fasting and gorging patterns, girls are nesters and gatherers. Women’s bodies are basically the greatest survival machine and via hormonal and neurobiological means have an advanced set of defense mechanisms against starvation and (too much) action. I locate girls’s bodies wildly fascinating and it has taken me many years to figure out the best way to get them contest thin, while retaining as much muscle as possible. And more pleasurable to be around as an extra plus.
So how do I go about solving the puzzle of contest dieting?
Firstly, patience! Take your time. This goes for both girls and first time competitors in general. Unless you remain really slender year round , double the time you believe you want for a competition prep. I’d say 20 weeks (yup, that’s almost 5 months) of slow and stable dieting is a requirement if you want to get really thin. Then you definitely won’t need to kill yourself with PSMF-type diets (basically veggies and protein and nothing else) and 2 hour cardio sessions because you’re not progressing as fast as you thought you’d. The first half of the diet might look like bit of cake (even if you can’t have any), and the upper body normally leans out nicely, but the stubborn fat deposits on your buttocks, hips and legs might take a full 8-10 weeks alone to get fine and tight.
For the first part of the diet when bodyfat is higher, I find low carb dieting (in my world this is below 80g per day) a fine introduction to get things moving. I may also get some quality weight training for the delts, back and glutes/hams in this period (the most important muscle groups for a female adversary) by dropping cardio to merely some simple walking. Meaning: 2 hour spinning or no intervals /aerobic classes – but more on that later. Two higher carb days at 150g or thereabouts or one concentrated around precedence muscle group workout days, only to keep the machinery and various enzymes upregulated for the reintroduction of more carbs later.
I add in some interval-based cardio at this point. I ‘ll keep carbs at a 120g minimum per day, and will keep omega-3 and 6 fats in there as they are essential, meaning your body can’t make them, you’ve got to source them through your nutrition strategy. As fats are vital to proper hormone function and general health this will only be for a short period. I scarcely do regular high- as they seem to be hardly predictable for women carb refeeds. Occasionally they work great, sometimes it takes up to a week to drop the added weight and it just feels like wasted time. I will, however, bump up carbs here and there if you get very tired or lethargic, in the range of 50-100g extra for 1 or 2 days, then drop back down. Slow, sluggish adjustments are the key. Try cutting calories too difficult and progress will always come to an unexpected halt. Attempt doing anything fancy, or wildly and randomly fluctuate calories, and frustrate both the competitor and me and progress may also impede or at least appear to be. Patience will be your best friend during a diet, so aim to lose only 1 pound 2 or – mm average if you use skinfold calipers -14 days. Instead of worrying about daily weight changes, they are not only inescapable but also ordinary – compute a running average. Take the amount of the last 5-7 daily measurements and divide by number of days to get the average. Do the same a week after and compare – it evens out the daily variations.
To give you an idea, calories are seldom dropped by more than 150-200kcals per week and more frequently simply 100kcals. Depending on how much training and cardio is being done, I will add more training instead of losing calories the next time an adjustment is desired.