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  1. #1
    Alissa Carpio Fit_Femme's Avatar
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    Carb Depletion for Fitness?

    I've been reading a lot of the posts in here and they pretty much all say the same thing - bodybuilders must carb deplete. But, what about fitness competitors? I want to come in really lean, but not too lean of course, but I also need energy for my fitness routine. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Alissa Carpio
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  2. #2
    Registered User jay1514929's Avatar
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    You are pretty much in the same boat as the rest of us. Just make sure you have the energy you require to perform your duties on stage. May I recomend you consult with a trainer, nutritionist or experienced friend? They may be able to help you the most because they know your body type,history,weak points/strongpoints, etc. Try to find someone who is encouraging, knowledgable, and experienced. I am sure most of the people here will recomend the same thing.

    Also, if you post a little more about yourself (height, weight, goal, pics etc.) People here will be able to give you much more accurate advice.

    Best of luck to you.
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  3. #3
    Member fitforlife's Avatar
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    Bump on what jay said. You should be on a low carb diet up until about 4 weeks of competition. Then, you want to pretty much eliminate carbs and salt from your diet only getting your energy from fats. You will live off of energy supplements for those last few weeks. Then, about 3-4 days out you will carb up to fill your muscles up and then carb deplete the last few days. I am BY NO MEANS an expert and have NEVER competed, but I have read a number of articles on this subject and they all pretty much follow this regime. But, if you are competing, DEFINETLY seek nutritional advice from a professional bb or nutritionlist. Good luck!
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  4. #4
    Recovering benchaholic freaker's Avatar
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    I've actually talked extensively about carb depleting, carb loading, water and sodium depletion on the FAP site. First off, on what fitforlife was saying, I wouldn't even do that as a bodybuilder, and I've competed in 11 shows. Now everyone is different and there are quite a few theories for carb depletion/loading in an attempt to look more difined on stage. I'm going to give you the basic bodybuilding method for peaking on satge and then give you an idea of how to apply it to a fitness competition. First off, you want to follow a fat-loss diet to get down to your ideal level of bodyfat. I don't know why fitforlife thinks you need to be low carb up until 4 weeks out and then totally eliminate carbs and sodium for 4 whole weeks. If he ever competes and does that, he will most likely lose muscle and cramp up like crazy during those last 4 weeks. The truth is that aside from losing bodyfat, you don't even have to think about carbs and sodium until a week out. Now some people use sodium loading and there are actually 2 entirely different ways to do this, in fact you can probably use both techniques in conjunction, but I don't think a fitness competitor needs to mess with that as much. The first sodium loading technique is to consume extra sodium anywhere from 3-7 days out then cut out sodium entirely(I've actually never used this method). The second sodium loading technique(which I've used with great results) is to cut out sodium 5 days out and consume extra sodium 20 minutes before going on stage(great for bodybuilders who are prone to cramping from low sodium). Now lets get into the important part with carb depletion/loading. Again, I don't know what fitforlife is talking about when he says you should carb load and then carb deplete for the last few days, it's pretty obvious he never competed because I've never heard of anything like that. Not trying to insult him, but damn that's just bad info. Around a week out, maybe sooner or later depending on how you react to carbs, you want to start lowering the carbs. You want to eventually cut out carbs entirely so you deplete your glycogen stores. At this point, you carb load, basically you eat carbs such as rice or potatos with every meal. Some people carb up in a day, some people take up to 4 days to fully carb up, every one is different. I take about a day and a half to fully carb up so I start carbing up Friday morning to look my best on Saturday. In addition to carbing up, most bodybuilders will deplete their water. You want to be drinking a ton of water about a week out and slowly lower your water intake while depleting sodium. You want to be drinking very little water the day of and day before the show. I also take an herbal diuretic(Dandilion or Taraxatone) from 4 days out, and I use glycerol(doesn't work for everyone). The final element to looking your best on stage would be consuming quick carbs about 20 minutes before going on stage. You can use candy, fruit, honey, or sugar. I use fruit and candy along with my salt(sodium loading).

    Now let me apply this to fitness. If you're doing an FAP show and are already very lean forget this because you don't need to be super lean because they will penalize you at FAP shows. If you are prone to holding water and are not super lean then carb depletion/loading can give you the appearance of being 2-3% lower in bodyfat. If you're doing an NPC fitness show, especially a big one, where they have fitness women doing bodybuilderish poses and want you to be really lean, then you'll probably want to carb deplete/load because even if you're very lean, your water balance may cause you to look smooth. The main concern with fitness competitors that differs from bodybuilders in terms of a show is the routine. You need to have enough energy to perform your routine. Therefore, you may not want to cut water as much, and glycerol may help to keep you hydrated and looking dry even with a higher water intake. You should have your routine down by the time you carb deplete so just take it easy those days. Once you carb back up, you will have enough glycogen in your system that the routine shouldn't be a problem. I know I've given you a lot of info, going far beyond the carb depletion aspect of peaking for a show, so if you have any specific questions or don't understand anything I've said, PM me.
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  5. #5
    Registered User jay1514929's Avatar
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    Bump on freaker

    For example, I am two weeks out. I dieted hard. At 8 weeks I had high protein MODERATELY low carbs and low fat. At five four and three weeks out I cycled carbs for 2 reasons. 1. Being in a state of Ketosis is a very efficient means of fat burning. 2. This 3 week period was a trial run for the week of. I needed to get an idea of my timing, your muscles do in fact appear flat on low carbs and full on high carbs when done right. For me tuesday wednesday and thursday morning low carbs followed by thursday night and friday high carbs. After weigh ins about 20 minutes before stepping on stage, I will have a High salt high sugar meal. I am afraid to go the junk (pizza) route so, I will have steemed beef and brocoli with white rice with salt and I can't beleive it's not butter spray (loaded with potassium, also good to prevent cramping) and a small snickers bar. But only about a 1/4 cup of ice cubes.

    Some may call this incorrect but I am using a recipe that has worked for others close to me and appears to work for me (so far).
    "The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."

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  6. #6
    I-WILL-OUT-WILL-YOU Blahzay128's Avatar
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    Great Post Freaker!!! Clear and Concise
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  7. #7
    Alissa Carpio Fit_Femme's Avatar
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    Wow! That's a lot of info. Thanks for all of that, it helped me out a lot. I don't have any pics to post but I'll give you my stats: 5'7 1/4", 130 lbs., 13% BF. My show is in early May and I want to get down to about 10% BF. I would start precontest diet in January.

    I've heard it's a good idea to try out some diets before the actual show diet, but I'm trying to add some muscle right now so I'm not trying to diet until January. Unless there's some way I can do this without interfering with my gains/training.

    I'm competing in a state NPC show and hope to qualify for a national show. If I feel ready, I'll give the USA's a shot, or else I'll just keep working on routine and training and focus on the Team Universe or Nationals. I already have a lot of experience being in front of people (cheerleader for 8 years, at national level) so I'm not too worried about that. My biggest worry is the dieting part to be honest!

    Again thanks for all the tips and I'll let you know how it all works out!
    Alissa Carpio
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    -Bodybuilding.com Writer
    -Personal Trainer & Competition Coach
    Websites: www.alissa.net & www.fitfigures.net

    "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)
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