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Saturday August 18, 2018

Competition Training at Any Age - Part 6

Written by Scott "Old Navy" Hults
Training for your first Bodybuilding Competition at any age

Training for Your First Competition at Any Age

Step 6: The Final Two Weeks of Contest Prep


by Scott “Old Navy” Hults, NFPT-CPT

FAME WNSO, NGA & IDFA Natural Master Pro Bodybuilder

FAME, NGA and OCB Contest Judge


Note: This comprehensive article, written for the prospective competitive athlete is split into seven sections, any one of which can be reached through the following links. Special thanks to Scott "Old Navy" Hults for this well written and thoughtful article.


1. Introduction and Deciding to Compete.

2. Diet and Supplements

3. Training

4. Posing

5. Tanning and Grooming

6. The final two weeks

7. Considerations

Related Article:

Getting in Contest Shape

Getting in Contest Shape


The Final 2 Weeks: 

The plan during the final two weeks is to lose any remaining fat and water and to bring out the cuts and definition in your muscles.


First, you will act a little goofy.  Expect it.  This is due to a blend of a high protein and low carb diet.  The body needs carbs.  When you take them away or cut them back, you tend to lose a little of your thought processes.  Not enough to be dangerous to yourself or others.  It’s OK to drive, etc., but you might become a little forgetful. 


Week one of the two weeks is loaded with ground turkey and fish!  After a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean ground turkey, the rest of your solid meals consist of fish.  Fish and salad for lunch, fish and green vegetables for dinner.  The other two meals are protein shakes.  On Monday and Thursday, add a sixth meal, a carb load, consisting of a cup of oatmeal, a banana, a cup of broccoli and ½ of a sweet potato.  This meal is designed to fill you out a little so you don’t wind up looking flat on stage.  You want to look like Bluto, not Popeye.  Or if you are a girl, Betty Boop, not Olive Oyl.  The other part of this week’s diet is water.  Lots of water.  One to two gallons a day.  It seems like a lot, but if you keep a jug nearby, drinking from it and filling it when it’s empty, you can easily take in the water you need.  Try drinking filtered water or spring water.  Don’t be surprised if you visit the bathroom a lot.  You are flushing out your system and removing subcutaneous fluids while drinking this much liquid.  Stay away from too much coffee (one cup a day is OK) and stay away from alcohol during this training period.  Don’t snack.  You will have cravings.  Just focus on your contest.  Wouldn’t you hate to blame a loss in your contest on a slice of chocolate cake?


Your workouts this week should be moderate.  Use lighter weights with 8-10 reps per set.  Don’t go heavy.  You are weak due to the diet and doing heavy lifting could cause injuries.  Be careful in the gym.  Go slowly.  Watch what you are doing.  Stay focused.  Don’t get angry or impatient with others.  Do no more than 20 minutes of easy cardio per day.


Week two is loaded with ground turkey, fish, lean ground beef and grapefruit.  On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, after a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean ground turkey, like week one, the rest of your solid meals consist of fish.  Fish and salad for lunch and fish and green vegetables for dinner.  Again, the other two meals are protein shakes.  On Wednesday, eliminate the salad and vegetables and substitute grapefruit.  Fish and ½ a grapefruit works well.  Also on Wednesday add a sixth carb meal.  Same schedule on Thursday.  On Friday, the final cutting day, all five meals consist of 6 – 8 ounces of lean ground beef and ½ a grapefruit.


Your workouts this week should consist of pumping up in the weight room and then practice posing.  No heavy lifting.  You should have done your last leg workout no later than last Saturday.  Last Friday is even better.  Don’t do any cardio after Tuesday.    


On Saturday morning, before pre-judging, have yourself steak and two whole eggs.  Don’t eat the toast or hash browns.  Have a cup of coffee.  Just sip water as needed.  About 45 minutes before your contest, have a Snickers.  It will fill you out a bit and give you the boost of energy you need for pre-judging. 


Be sure to spend about 20 minutes back stage pumping up everything except legs.  Then, have fun on stage.


Choosing a Contest and Submitting Your Application

Natural Bodybuilding Organizations


Once you decide to train for a competition, before you begin, you should give a lot of thought to the type, size, location, and sanctioning authority of your event.  The largest amateur bodybuilding and fitness organization in the world is the National Physique Committee (NPC).  They run contests throughout the U.S. and abroad and offer opportunities to compete in the Pro ranks (IFBB). The only drawback to the NPC is their reputation for tolerating steroid use among their contestants.  All of their contests are non-tested events and you can expect many of the competitors to be “juiced” and massive as a result, giving them an unfair advantage. 


Given the climate of negative publicity surrounding steroid use today, many bodybuilders are turning to tested events, where competitors are screened for illegal muscle enhancing drugs, such as andros, steroids, prescription diuretics, testosterone boost and growth hormones.  These types of events give the athlete a level playing field in which to train and compete.  There are several national and regional organizations that offer drug-free programs.  One of the largest is the National Gym Association (NGA).  Another is International Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness (INBF) and Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness (SNBF).  The former requires seven years of drug free training and competition, the latter requires five years.  There is also the Organization of Competitive Bodybuilder (OCB) and the Canadian based International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA).  A large international organization of drug-free competition is the World Natural Sports Organization (WNSO) which includes regional competitions that lead to the annual FAME World Championships in Toronto, Canada in June and U.S Nationals in Miami in November.   The NGA, OCB, IDFA, INBF and WNSO offer opportunities for natural bodybuilders and fitness and figure competitors to turn Pro.  All of these organizations have web sites that list contest locations and requirements.  Most allow you to download contest information and applications.


If you have competed using steroids or other illegal drugs but haven’t for at least five years, there is a place for you in the natural arena.  You will have to pass a polygraph examination before your competition and be tested upon demand at any contest you enter. 


If you are just beginning and are looking to enter a contest, the first thing you should do is to attend one of these events in your area to see what they are all about.  It’s important for you to attend both the early morning pre-judging and the evening entertainment and awards event to get the entire flavor.


You should then check the websites for contests in your area that are listed well in advance, choose one, look for your age, weight, height and experience categories, see if there is a fit for you and download an application.  Read it carefully, make sure you have enough time to prepare (from six to 12 months, depending upon your conditioning and physical development).  If you are under 18 years-of-age, a parent must co-sign your Scott "Old Navy" Hults logoapplication.


One final consideration is cost.  Since these are amateur competitions there are no cash prizes, only trophies and medals.  A contest can be expensive.  You must pay an entrance fee and the required drug test, transportation, hotel, food and miscellaneous expenses, such as ordering contest photos or DVDs.  You can expect to spend around $300 for a local contest and double that if you have to travel and stay in a hotel and rent a car.  If you can find a training partner to enter a contest with you, you can half your expenses. 


After all is said and done, you can enter a contest and, win or lose, have the time of your life.  There is nothing like standing on stage, knowing you are as prepared as you can be, and pitting yourself against other like minded athletes.  It’s really cool.

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