Compared with the early days of bodybuilding in the 1950s to 1970s, modern bodybuilding has become a global phenomenon with heavy competition. To have a chance at winning requires dedication and knowledge of how to optimize your body. If you’re interested in competing, here are four prep tips to know for your first bodybuilding competition.
The weeks leading up to your first bodybuilding show are filled with a regimented routine of training.
Train consistently and appropriately. This is not the time to attempt repping your max or to perform movements that may lead to injury. Instead, stick to sets of eight to 12 reps, using consistent weight to improve your muscle density, toning, and striations. And don’t forget to increase cardio to target fat.
Make Every Meal Count
Anyone can go to the gym and train like a bodybuilder. However, diet and hydration are two crucial factors that affect the results you will see from your workouts. To prepare your body for a bodybuilding competition, you must stay well-hydrated and stick to a high-protein, low-fat diet. Stick to lean proteins, complex carbs, and some healthy fat sources for hormone control and joint health. This will ensure your training makes your muscles grow and show through.
Remember: it’s important to stick to your diet plan. That means absolutely no fast food or cheat meals unless directed by a trainer or you feel your body hit a plateau. Though such a strict diet may seem boring and difficult, to achieve success at bodybuilding, you must monitor and control every variable in your daily life—especially food.
With all the anxiety surrounding your bodybuilding show, you may get restless. However, don’t neglect the importance of sleep for your mind and body. It may seem obvious, but many people forget the significance of healthy sleep patterns for their health.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule of approximately eight hours a night helps your muscles release amino acids to further recovery. Additionally, sufficient sleep regulates hormones, energizes you for the next day, and boosts your mood. Since you’re already under a great deal of stress, the last thing you want is to feel sluggish and unmotivated due to lack of sleep.
Rest and Recover
Of course, one of the most important prep tips to know for your first bodybuilding competition is to rest and recover. Make sure to take active and passive rest days. On active rest days, you still engage in light physical activity, such as taking a walk. On passive rest days, you focus on avoiding physical activity. Instead, you can stretch or use foam rollers and massage guns to stimulate your muscle fibers and help break down knots or sore tissue.
While you are preparing for your first bodybuilding competition, follow these four prep tips. These tips will help ensure a positive, successful first experience.