Bodybuilding, Fat Loss, Contest Prep, Shred, NABBA, NABBA North West, Carbing Up

How To Carb Up For A Bodybuilding Show

This is probably one of the most controversial topics talked about in bodybuilding. There seem to be 100’s of ways to carb up for a bodybuilding show, and there are. I have talked and interviewed many highly decorated bodybuilders on this website as you might have seen, they all seem to do this process differently. I must admit I have dabbled with many different variations such as doing a 3 day carb up, lean carb up and once I did a dirty carb up. Then main conclusion to these little experiments was, they all work to a degree. However, you have to watch you don’t spill over on a 3 day heavy carb up and also keeping the waistline in check because of bloating can me an issue with this method and especially on the dirty carb up version. Now in this day and age of social media were everyone out there is a guru and makes out they know everything I have seen some crazy attempts at carbing up for bodybuilding shows. People eating cakes, cookies and all types of chocolate bars, I put my hands over my eyes and generally when it comes down to their condition on stage its normally lacking.

I took 10 years out of bodybuilding for personal reasons and when I came back I have become a qualified NABBA judge and now the Vice President of the NABBA North West. This has given me the opportunity to see a lot more shows and to see what the bodybuilders of today are looking like. It actually shocked me to see how few bodybuilders were in actual quality condition, I’m talking a handful out of 100 plus in the entire show. What has gone wrong? I was asking myself. Then I had an interview with a close friend of mine Barry Vormawah a NABBA Britain Champion and legendary bodybuilder. He was telling me that one of his lads who he had got ready for juniors and novices who coincidently had won everything including Worlds under the guidance of Barry, had gone to an online coach and he competed the next year. Guess what his condition was completely out and came on stage in the worst shape he had got on before. Is this a coincidence I was pondering to myself?  Then I had an interview with another legendary British Champion Bodybuilder John Bridge and he was talking about very similar stories.

So basically I went on a mission to diet down using the same 20 week diet plan that is on this website and show you guys how to carb up in a way that will make you hard, conditioned, dry and full on the day of your show. I have done a lot of studying in the past 10 years since I have been resting from bodybuilding so with my own knowledge from my previous show preparations, (were I was always the leanest on stage) and the new knowledge I have learned I dived into this full throttle.

One of the biggest strategies that I have picked up is that there are too many people just scared of carbing up as they think they will spill over and look awful. The main answer to that problem is getting ready at least 4 weeks out so you can gradually carb up and not worry about spilling over or getting a bloated tummy when you stuff yourself over a 3 day period. You must have seen lots of bodybuilders with bloated tummy’s? This can happen especially when the body is not used to certain foods like carbs in high doses and especially can happen when people dirty carb load. If your looking good eating clean carbs why change it when it comes down to the crunch and risk ruining your physique. You have waited this long to your show, so one more week can’t hurt you right.

So I started this process at 15 stone 4lbs with a body fat percentage of 14.49% curtesy of the fit 3D scanner in my friend Tom’s gym at True Grit in Hanley. Here are my measurements from that scan.

Measurements

Start Of The Diet

Weight

15 Stone 4 lbs

Waist

88.5 cm

Hips

102.5 cm

Left Bicep

39.6 cm

Right Bicep

42 cm

Left Thigh

64.5 cm

Right Thigh

66.1 cm

Muscle Gain, Bulked Up, Bodybuilding, Weight Gain,

The Diet

Calories

1948

Carbs

240g

Protein

196g

Fats

20g

So the diet consisted of the following:

Breakfast

  • 2 Wholemeal Multi-Seeded Toast (Dry)
  • 300ml Orgainic Non Pasturised Kefir

Meal 2

  • Chicken, Basmati Rice and Veg Pot O Gold

Meal 3

  • Chicken, Basmati Rice and Veg Pot O Gold

Meal 4

  • 30g Hydro Whey
  • 50g Ultra Fine Scots Oats

Meal 5

  • Chicken, Basmati Rice and Veg Pot O Gold

Meal 6

  • 30g Hydro Whey

So I’m not going to give you a massive blog about how I dieted and how much I lost each week, as this is a post about carbing up. If you want to see the dieting process go to how to get ready for your bodybuilding show article. Basically I stuck to my diet 100%, did my cardio 100%, and had one cheat meal (not day) every week.

I lost my body fat in 12 weeks and went from 15 stone 4 pounds to 12 stone 11 lbs, so basically 2 stone 7 pounds weight loss. This is considered normal for most bodybuilders over a contest diet. So when you’re planning your diet don’t get hung up on weight as you will always be lower than you estimate.

So here is the difference so far:

Measurements

After The 12 Week Diet

Weight

12 Stone 11 lbs

Waist

79.5 cm

Hips

96.3 cm

Left Bicep

37.1 cm

Right Bicep

39.9 cm

Left Thigh

56.7 cm

Right Thigh

57.9 cm

Bodybuilding, Fat Loss, Contest Prep, Shred, NABBA, NABBA North West

So now this initial fat loss stage has been completed its now time to start the Over Diet Week. This can also be termed the carbohydrate depletion week too. Basically the main objective here is to cut the carbohydrates in the diet and replace them for fats. We need to keep the calories the same other wise this will be a killer of a week.

If you don’t put fats in to replace the carbohydrate calories you will want to die by the end of the week. I have made this mistake in the past I must admit and its not pretty I can tell you. This process is necessary if you want to come on stage dry and hard, a lot of bodybuilders miss this stage out these days and then wonder why they don’t come on stage in condition. In my eyes its vital, its hard to do but it is most defiantly worth it. Also the cardio is still in this week to help deplete your glycogen stores. So here is the diet change that I did:

The Diet

For The Carb Depletion Week

Calories

1943

Carbs

10g

Protein

233g

Fats

104g

So the diet consisted of the following:

Breakfast

  • 3 Large Whole Eggs and 1 Large Egg White

Meal 2

  • 2 Scoops of Hydro Whey (After Fasting Cardio)

Meal 3

  • 130g Turkey Steaks and 3 Tea Spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Meal 4

  • 130g Turkey Steaks and 3 Tea Spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Meal 5

  • 130g Turkey Steaks and 3 Tea Spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Meal 6

  • 2 Scoops of Hydro Whey and 3 Tea Spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Meal 7 

  • 130g Turkey Steaks and 1 Large Whole Egg

Monday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 11lbs

The diet was set and I was ready for the challenging week coming up. My hour fasting cardio was still in too, just incase you were wondering.

I found today very hard this was more than likely because of the energy system trying to change from carbohydrate burner to a ketogenic fat burning machine. This can normally take 3-5 days so I was praying that things would get better. I felt tired and weak this also made my training suffer. My weight were virtually half of what I normally lift but this was to be expected. I decided to turn my workout into a chest and shoulder circuit style workout and try and get a pump. Eventually after 30 minutes something was happening and eventually I started to look ok too.

Tuesday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 8lbs

Today I felt better especially in my mood I must say. I came into the gym smashed my fasting cardio out and went to the scales. Lost 3 lbs so was happy the carbohydrate depletion was working. I had a can of Moose Juice in the fridge just in case I needed some energy as I was still working hard as a Personal Trainer all day. I didn’t need it to be fair as was feeling reasonably good. Later on I trained legs and smashed it so again was happy with my efforts. I did a hamstring dominant session as I had a grade 1 tear in my left quad 2 weeks earlier. Yes and defo felt them after I was sore all day, god help me for cardio tomorrow morning.

Wednesday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 6lbs

I felt better again strangely enoug . I went through little stages of tiredness as meal times were approaching but that was expected, so I just pushed through. I also stayed off the energy drink too, so all good there. After cardio I weight myself again and had lost another 2lbs so again the carbohydrate depletion was going the right way. Remember I’m planning on loosing around 7lbs of glycogen and water over this week so well on track.

I did notice general thinking skills were slower for sure, like counting reps for my clients the poor guys. I seemed a little slower in my thinking skills but mood wise was ok. In the past I did the carbohydrate depletion without adding fats, probably because I was scared of putting fats into my body. I was young and now I defiantly know better for sure. My good friend Pat Warner gave me this solid bit of advice as I was planning this prep and was the best thing I have done.

I was also starting to dry out and looking more hard each day which was encouraging. Nothing better than waking up and finding a new bit of detail in your physique. It makes it all worth while.

Thursday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 6lbs

Thursday was another good day. I smashed cardio again, in the past when I last did this Netfilx wasn’t around and it was such a grind. However, now the hour just passes by with ease it’s brilliant. I also trained back well and after the workout had a cheeky look in the mirrors upstairs in our studio and could see some good detail, happy days.

I was in a rather chatty mood today, I reckon the energy system switch was taking effect for sure. I was in a ketogenic state so burning fats was my major energy source, bring on tomorrow.

Friday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 5lbs

Ok this was my last day of cardio, this in its own right gave me the motivation to get through it. All those hours completed its quite emotional when you can stop I can tell you. After the cardio I weighed in again and had lost another pound, so that’s 6 pounds so far this week very close to our 7 pound prediction hey.

All this weight loss and still my calories were the same. I want to remind you that all I have done is swap my carbohydrate calories for fat calories.

I felt a little more tired today but my sleep has begun to suffer a little, this was not going to matter as I was seeing great results and as ever I was highly motivated. My physique looked flat as a pancake however, I was looking dry and hard and that is the whole idea of this process. It also motivates me when people are saying you are beginning to look like Skelator. My face had basically disappeared but again that’s the plan and means that you’re getting very depleted, dry and hard. This is what we want.

Saturday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 5lbs

Saturday I weighed the same I was keeping all my food on point too. I had my beautiful girls this weekend so I was active doing outdoor stuff with them. We even made a chocolate brownie and I didn’t touch it hardcore right ha ha. I was feeling ok energy levels were low but was in a good place, and ready for tomorrows picture.

Normally for me the weekends are the hardest to deal with as I have more time to think about food and the hunger. So I try and keep myself active and busy to take my mind of things. The worst thing you can do is sit down and watch TV because you will just think of food all the time I’m telling you. If you not going out do some cleaning, tidy your wardrobe just do something constructive to take your mind away from the food. This distraction method works for me loads and also it keeps your house in order at the same time.

Sunday (10g Carbs, 104g Fats)

Weight 12stone 1lbs

Sunday was here I got the children their breakfast and I had my eggs. Then we got ready and went to the gym for my weigh in and picture. I was shocked to see another 2 pounds come off so that was 8 pounds in a week. 1 pound over my expectations but as I was doing 1 hour cardio everyday and my protein and supplements were on point I would say I could have dropped another pound of body fat.

I was very happy with the picture as there is a big difference between this week and last week as you can see below.

Bodybuilding, Fat Loss, Contest Prep, Shred, NABBA, NABBA North West

The Carbing Up Phase

Week 1

Ok now we can get to the carbing up phase of this process. Its safe to say that most bodybuilders or physique competitors these days miss out the most important element of the depletion week which I went through before. Is this either because the knowledge is not there or are they all getting lazy these days I’m not sure. But when I came back to bodybuilding after 10 years out I was amazed how poor the competitors conditions were. This is why I have undertaken this project to show you how its done properly.

So the next step is to add 30g of carbohydrates each day and take out the same calories worth of fats. I have made this quite easy in my design of the depletion phase. So Im going to take out 3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil a day and replace it for 140g of sweet potato. This will sort put Monday to Wednesday out easily. On Thursday I’m going to get rid of my egg at night which was my favourite meal of the day unfortunately, and put in another 140g of sweet potato. Then on Friday I going to add porridge and hydro whey for breakfast and get rid of my eggs. Saturday will be more oats added to the hydro shake meal. Then from there on just adding an extra 30g of carbohydrates a day until my weight gets too were it was before the depletion. It will be interesting to see how long this will take. I just want to stress that I have taken out all cardio again. If I kept this in the carbing up would not be as effective.

Monday (30g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 3lbs

Monday is here and I was looking forward to my sweet potato I must say. It was also really nice not having to do cardio as well. As I said earlier I am taking out 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil from one of my turkey meals and just swapping it with 140g of sweet potato. My weight was the same and this was expected as 30g of carbohydrates will basically evaporate in my body at the minute.

We have the same calories again at this stage, as we only really are wanting to get used to the carbohydrates again so we don’t get all bloated and ruin our tummy lines. You see this a lot onstage when bodybuilders carb up too fast or dirty carb load. This is a bad idea because your gut bacteria are not going to be used to all the different foods and cause inflammation, hence the growth belly look. So my advise here is to stick to the same foods you used during your diet, we can sort out the gut health after the competition is over.

Tuesday (60g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 3lbs

Tuesday is here and another turkey and oil meal is being replaced with 140g of sweet potato like Mondays. This will make it 60g of carbohydrates today, again this will barley keep my brain alive but it will add up by the end of the week so all good. I weighed the same again this morning, again this was expected.

I am feeling quite good I must say only tired when I’m training at the minute so can’t complain. My job is not suffering at all in fact if anything I’m a little more focused and more chatty than normal so all goo here.

Wednesday (90g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 3lbs

I was the same weight again this morning, no surprise there as today is 90g Carb day. I was feeling good and to be honest looking a little sharper too. Im not training today so i’ll see what I look like when I train back tomorrow. Generally though I feel pretty good, even though I’m still not sleeping great I must say. I was looking forward to a nice chilled night of food prep and seeing my girlfriend.

Thursday (120g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 1lbs

Wow I have just weighed myself and I have lost another 2 pounds. This is crazy, I’m guessing the little carbohydrates I was eating over the last few days have stimulated my metabolism to burn more fat. I know that you need carbs to stimulate the glut-4 receptor of the fat cells to release fats to burn from my days at university but actually seeing it in real life is mad.

I have just trained back and I’m defo leaner for sure, there is more detail in my arms. I’m going to keep my eye on the weight for Friday as I might have to carb up a little heavier we will see.

On the note of mood and energy, I’m feeling fine and my mood is in good order too. The workout was hard still a little weak there but my carbs are still very low indeed.

Friday (150g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 1lbs

Last day of the week is here and today is the day were I could have porridge for my breakfast I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to this meal. Yes, and it was good, just a nice change and when there is something to look forward to at this stage it makes live a lot easier.

I came into the gym and weighted myself and was still at 12stone 1 pound. This is interesting as when I woke up and had a look at myself I thought I looked a little fuller and was half worried that I was on the way to being full. Now this is a lesson for a lot of you, when you’re in a dieting state of mind you brain will tell you all sorts of things like I’m ready now when you’re still flat as a pancake . This is why you need to track things like I am here. In the past I would have stopped carbing up like a lot of bodybuilders out there and looked hard and grainy for sure but if you’re not looking full then your wasting your potential. How many times have you woke up the day after a show and thought to yourself I wish I was showing today right! The plan is to get near or to my 12stone 11lbs weight before I started the depletion phase so by the scales this morning I’m miles away still.

I just trained my arms and finally after 2 weeks I could get a pump, happy is an understatement. I did a circuit style arm workout with 5 exercises and the weights were quite low still as the energy levels are still lacking but was looking good. I was looking full after the pump kicked in and lots of veins started to show themselves too. I am looking forward to this time next week I must say.

Also today I am feeling much happier in myself and the drained feeling of lack of energy is starting to disappear too. Last night I also slept much better which is helping for sure. In the toilet department I am finally doing no’2 which were weekly events when depleted and now with the increased fibre are more of a day to every other day event so that’s making me feel better also.

Saturday (180g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 0lbs

Straight out of bed this morning and made my porridge and hydro whey was amazing again. After making my better half her breakfast and a cup of coffee I jumped onto the scales to see what was happening today.

Wow I have gone down to 12 stone dead. I have lost another pound. Earlier I mentioned I could continue to loose body fat due to the carbohydrates this week being lower than the carbs I used to cut with which was 240g. Its also important to say the calories are exactly the same too so its unlikely that much muscle tissue would have been lost. Remember, I have also stopped my cardio which I was doing 5 hours a week too. This is no problem for me as I know in the back of my head that my carbohydrates are going up every day and I have no time limit to hit that weight. The main thing is that I continue to eat clean and on point and keep popping in 30g carbs every day until I hit that weight or feel mega full. Its also a good point to make that I haven’t got a bloated tummy and my body is slowly getting used to the increase in fibre and carbs again. This will pay off when you’re on that bodybuilding stage for sure. There are too many bodybuilders who look bloated because of silly carbing up methods and poor gut health. Just me patient and let the magic happen.

I feel pretty drained today especially towards the afternoon and evening  and was really looking forward to my porridge for my last meal. In the morning I looked good in the mirror but maybe slightly less sharp than earlier in the week. This will change as the glycogen stores start to increase in my muscles, which will begin to happen next week.

Sunday (210g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 1lbs

Today I woke up an didn’t feel drained for the first time all week. Could this be the turning point of this carbing up process? We will see shortly, breakfast was looming and I always weigh myself after breakfast. It is important to weigh the same time and with the same clothes on. Usually I get to the gym and weigh myself so I would have had breakfast by then and I am always in my gym clothes too.

Finally, I have gone up 1 pound, I’m guessing this is the point were I aim starting to store muscle glycogen again. This guide is for the muscle mass I have so don’t use this for yourself guys everyone is different as metabolisms will change. Next year I will be heavier so this figures will be higher again, but at least I have a good idea now which is pleasing to me.

Today I have added another 30g worth of carbs in my protein shake in the morning and this went down well I must say. I defiantly feel like I’m getting much hungrier too with the incase in carbs but I am controlling that no problem.

Bodybuilding, Fat Loss, Contest Prep, Shred, NABBA, NABBA North West, Carbing Up

After looking at the picture you can see that I have filled the muscles out a little. The chest is fuller and you can see the lats are loads bigger too. However, you are not ready at this stage look at the waist. It is a little bloated compared to the week before. Dont make the mistake of thinking you’re ready here.

We still need another week for the tummy to get used to the new food volume and let the inflammation from the shock increase in food disappear. This will happen by next week and I will also get leaner and fuller. Let’s get on with the next week hey.

The Carbing Up Phase

Week 2

Monday (240g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 2lbs

Woke up this morning feeling good this morning, this is because my sleep is defiantly improving each day my carbohydrates goes up which is good. No more zombie like days from the depletion week. So today I was adding 35g more sweet potato to my 140g of sweet potato so 175g over the course of the 4 meals. Today is the first day I have hit my carbohydrate values that I was dieting on previously.

I jumped down stairs and made my breakfast, this was inhaled as you could imagine as my hunger was increasing along with my sleep. It was time for the scales. I was another 1 pound up which is what I was wanting so happy days again.  Thats 2 pound in 2 days we are heading in the right direction for sure.

I was feeling very energetic today I must say and this made it very easy to glide through. I was feeling a little bit hungrier maybe because of the extra carbs I am keeping adding however, as I’m eating 7 meals a day this wasn’t a major issue for me.

The only discomfort I was feeling was a little gas was developing which rectified itself later at home. Im returning back to my regular self now which was a good thing. For tomorrow I’m going to start adding in a few digestive enzymes to see if that makes it feel a little easier to digest my ever increasing food load.

Tuesday (270g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 2lbs

Tuesday had arrived and today for my extra 30g of carbs I have decided to up both my first two meals which were oats by 25g of oats in each meal. I will defo have a digestive enzyme with the first meal as its now 100g of oats and wow was it a big portion, was feeling very satisfied after that.

I came to the gym for my weigh in and the scales are saying the same. I then thought back to last night and after spending quite a lot of time on the toilet I told myself that that’s got to be the reason. I’ll continue today with my increasing carbohydrate load and see what happens tomorrow. Also its the first day today that my carbohydrates are actually higher than when they were for my cutting phase so this will surly start to make a difference.

Today I started to feel tired as the day went on even with the increase in carbohydrates. I trained legs quite well in the evening despite that and still couldn’t get a real pump. So I have decided to increase the carbohydrates a little more each day otherwise I will nether fill out properly. Im going to try 60g extra per day and keep monitoring my progress from there.

When I got home in the mirror I was looking lean and full which as good even with the fluids in still. However, I know that when I wake up in the morning I would be again flat as a pancake. This is a common feeling for a lot of bodybuilders when they wake up for their shows, and most will more than likely be a little carbohydrate depleted for sure as the last thing is you want to do is spill over and smooth out your condition. However, i’m going to show you actually how much carbohydrates your body can take in so hopefully you wont be too depleted any more for future bodybuilding shows, and come in harder and fuller.

Wednesday (330g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 2lbs

I woke up and was in fact flat as a pancake. Its amazing how your metabolism works when you dieting and what happens to your body when you sleep. I do remember when I was competing back in the day that I had to stay up all night and eat to keep full otherwise I would flatten out before I got to stage. This was worse for me as Junior and Novice classes were always early on in the day so there wasn’t much time to feed on the day.

Today each turkey and sweet potato meal had 210g sweet potato in them and I was planning 5 rice cakes spread out through the day too. This was going to give me my extra 60g of carbohydrates.

I came to the gym and was again weighing at 12stone 2 pounds so this increase in carbohydrates was most defiantly needed. Im looking forward to see what happens tomorrow morning now too, as I’m not training today so I should take in most of these extra carbohydrates.

Also I want to note that today I felt virtually normal too which was good. I didn’t feel weak at any stage today, just a little bloated by meal 6. Even that was easing off so the body is adjusting to the food volume well.

Thursday (400g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 1.5lbs

Today I woke up and felt good again, I also had some good sleep too which was good too. I felt fuller but we will see what the scales say after my breakfast.

So I got to the gym and I was half a pound down. Interesting, I must really have a fast metabolism at the min because I added another 60g of carbohydrates yesterday and I didn’t train. I will keep adding the extra carbohydrates in so another 60g extra today and there will be a point were I will start storing glycogen for sure. The theory is saying 500-800g a day for a couple of days so I’m well under that. I’ll go with the science, however I was expecting to see a little weight coming on by now.

Today I’m on 400g of carbohydrates so let’s see if this will make a difference. I went on in the morning and bumped into a good friend of cleverbodybuilding.com Pat Warner and we had a little chat. Remember when your dieting your head will always be all over the place even if you’re not doing a show like me this year. We came to the conclusion that I should add some more fats into the mix as this will help the body take on the glycogen quicker. I went off to the shop and quickly purchased some whole earth crunch organic peanut butter. The idea was to put a smear on each rice cake during the days feeds.

As the day went on I must admit I was starting to feel a little pump here and there so fingers were crossed. I was due to train back today and was looking forward to it especially with a few more carbohydrates in my body.

The back session was a huge success I got a great pump and was feeling full. Probably a little softer than I would like but that’s because the fluids are still really high, and I’m a paranoid bodybuilder. I did a little posing after the session and was looking half decent I must say. I will be carrying this on till Sunday morning now and will see how I look for the photograph.

Friday (460g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 3lbs

I woke up this morning, after another good sleep I must add, looking virtually ready my legs looked like they had grown and I looked fuller all over. I was happy but lets see what the dreaded scales are going to say this morning. I was keeping an eye on them yesterday and I put on 6 pounds in the day. Last night I was looking awesome, however a little watery. Just get some eggs and porridge in me and ill head over to the gym.

Just been on the scales and it says 12 stone 3 pounds so that’s 2 pounds on yesterday. Well happy now its beginning too work nicely. I’ll keep upping the carbohydrates so another 60g in today and I’ll keep the peanut butter on my rice cakes too.

It has been a really good learning experience I must say as in the past there is no way I would have gone as high as this. I wonder if I knew how my body works with this test if I would have done even better on stage 10 years ago hey. Well we will have to put this new found knowledge to the test in a couple of years after I have put some muscle back on hey.

So I had a great training session today trained arms and was pumped instantly. My veins were bursting out and after the session I went and had a look at my condition.  I was looking nice and full and my condition was still on point. I was carrying a little water as have been water loading today so be interesting to see what I look like in the morning.

Saturday (520g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 4lbs

I woke up today and was looking forward to my plain porridge and eggs. I devoured this and was keen to see what the scales were going to say after.

I had put another pound on so my glycogen was still increasing and again was happy with this. Now weighting 12stone 4lbs I was about 7 pounds off the weight I started to deplete, so theoretically I could get somewhere near here. Last night I was somewhere close to that, I was keen not to spill over so I’ll see what my weight says later this evening. I am adding another 60g of carbohydrates today from extra oats and rice cakes as I need to keep my sodium down still.

I was weighing in at 12stone 13 pounds in the afternoon so was thinking I was getting there however, I was drinking a lot of water. I was planning to do a water load and cut at 5pm today. For my photo tomorrow I was going to treat it like it was the day of the show. I continued to eat as planned and was feeling really full, I could feel myself grow as the day progressed, it felt good.

When I cut the water at 5pm I could see myself drying out by the hour and by the time I went to bed I was 12stone 8 pounds, matching with what I was seeing I the mirror. If I stayed around this weight in the morning I would be happy for sure. Oh, I also had a few glasses of white wine to help me dry out too, which went straight to my head, always fun.

Sunday (580g Carbs)

Weight 12stone 7lbs

I woke up early to start eating and preparing all the food for today. Looking in the mirror I was looking pretty good, defo fuller but would like to be slightly more. A few meals and I should be ready for my photo. I had my breakfast with an extra 25g of carbohydrates in again, this was 125g of porridge oats, 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites.

I was still following the protocol of adding an extra 60g of carbohydrates a day. I weighed in at 12stone 7 pounds which was 3 pounds up, bearing in mind I was dehydrated this was good news so by now I’m guessing a 7 pound increase in muscle glycogen, close to my estimate of 10 pounds. I could have possibly lost a pound or two of body fat while I depleted and slowly carbed up, so this could be close to the mark. Guess we will see in the picture to come.

Bodybuilding, Fat Loss, Contest Prep, Shred, NABBA, NABBA North West, Carbing Up

As you can see from the picture there is a dramatic difference in the midsection and overall tightness. In a bodybuilding show this could be the difference between placing and not. I would defo be happy stepping on stage today I had the balance of fullness, dryness and tightness that we want. After a bit of posing the veins all started to pop out and the muscles pumped up very easily too. I guess this was mission success for me and the last 15 weeks, I will now focus on growing for the next year and see how muscle lean muscle mass I can add to my physique.

There are so many bodybuilders who come back from shows disappointed about their condition on the day and hopefully this article will help answer some of the questions.

We have learned that putting in more carbohydrates and a little more fat while carbing up will help you fill the muscle glycogen, dry you out and also tighten you up at the same time. We have also learned how to get the dry look by carbohydrate depleting, which also acts to make you more carbohydrate sensitive when you are filling out.

The main thing for me and speaking to so many bodybuilders is make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your show. I did this in 15 weeks, however if I was going to be competing I would always give myself 20 week because if your rushing you will end up entering your bodybuilding show either fat or depleted. Also the increase in cortisol levels as your panicking to get into condition certainly wont help.

Last bit of advice for you is once you have the correct plan, you will save yourself so much stress and anxiety by getting some advice and help from an experienced bodybuilder who has walked the walk at a high level and can give you honest advice along the way, this is worth more than gold in itself. Im talking about someone who has won championships at a high level and not the big mouth in the gym. We all ask ourselves like every 5 minutes when we are close to the bodybuilding stage am I still in condition and stress can make you smooth out too. An experienced coach can guide you through your feelings and thought processes because they have been there themselves and experienced them. I have been up and down all night the day before a show seeing if I have smoothed over and on the day of the show looking in every mirror possible to just check if my abs are still there. Its crazy but I guarantee you will go through these feeling guys.

Hope this post has been useful to you and you get some information out of it which you can use in the future. See you soon guys.