How To Be A Cut Above The Rest
To be a cut above the rest in your bodybuilding competition you need to implement some standards in your fitness program. It’s no surprise that to get into competition shape you are faced with some challenges. You need to be committed to your diet and training all the way through. Some athletes can find contest prep a bit complex and others find it just downright impossible. If you have ever tried to prepare for a bodybuilding competition and find that you just keep falling off the wagon, you may just be going about it the wrong way.
Most competitors use an all-or-nothing approach in their prep. The problem with this do-or-die attitude is that when you carry all your eggs in one basket you don’t leave yourself any wiggle room. If you don’t have a back-up method when you hit a road block, all your hard would could be down the drain. The number one most overlooked factor in contest prep is not having anything to fall back on.
To be a cut above the rest you need to nail your diet. Your first step in getting stage-ready is to eat a clean diet of natural foods. Lee Hayward states, “Cut out all junk foods and eat nothing but clean foods. Such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, protein shakes, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc.” So, ideally you want to choose fresh, natural and even organic chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs for proteins. Try potatoes, brown rice, oats, and fruits for carbs. Go for broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and cauliflower for veggies. Use healthy oils, avocados, nuts and seeds for fats. These are high-quality food items that will help you be a cut above the rest on competition day.
As you diet down, it’s a good idea to limit breads, pastas, and processed foods. These food products are fine for off-season and general weight loss, but you will have a hard time getting cut and defined on them the last few weeks before your bodybuilding competition.
Once you establish your clean eating program you will need to create a structured macronutrient format so your body can utilized each and every calorie going into it. Successful competitors plan their meals ahead of time so they are never stuck in a situation where they can’t eat properly.
To be a cut above the rest you need to instill good training habits. While eating a clean and healthy diet free of processed junk is necessary to getting cut and defined, your training is an important aspect to your muscle development. Your contest prep training program doesn’t have to be complicated. Your training should be 4-6 days a week. Include compound exercises as well as some isolation movements so each muscle group gets targeted fully. Do 3-4 exercises for each body part using 3-5 sets. Also, just as your training time is important, so is your rest time. Be sure to get the proper rest so your muscles grow.
Cardio is another element to being a cut above the rest. Cardio workouts, while very helpful in reducing overall body fat, can be counter-productive if they are taken to the extreme. Your body type, stats, and diet all need to be taken into consideration when implementing a cardio program.
When you start your cardio program don’t make the dreadful mistake of jumping in with both feet, doing 45 minutes of cardio 7 days a week. Starting your cardio off on the high-end will only lead to burn out pretty quickly. It’s a much better idea to start your cardio off on the low end and build it gradually so you have room to build.
Benefits of Beginning Cardio Slowly:
- It allows you to add more minutes and even days when necessary
- It will keep your body off guard
- It prevents burn out
- It allows wiggle room to break through cardio plateaus
To be a cut above the rest you need to supplement wisely. Once you nail down your diet, training, and cardio, you can look into including a fat burning supplement if you like. Understand that supplements only work when your nutrition is established and followed continually. Supplements need a base of good nutrition and exercise so they work properly. Supplements should be used as an extra push in your prep, not the deciding factor.
Follow the above and stay committed, and you’ll be a cut above the rest in your competition.