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How to diet for physique competitions?

Contest Preparation
How to diet for physique competitions?

By Akshita Arora Bodybuilding or Physique athletes are judged on muscularity, symmetry, and conditioning (level of leanness). Preparing for competition involves a deadline to achieve minimum body fat levels while preserving maximum muscles. Therefore, the nutrition strategy for contest prep is slightly different from general fat loss. Calories: To lose fat, we need to be in a calorie deficit (i.e. eat less than our maintenance). But we also need to preserve as much muscle mass as we can. For this, ideally, we should be in a small (<15%) to a moderate (<25%) deficit, resulting in not more than 0.5-1% weekly weight reduction. Protein: Importance: Preservation of LBM in a calorie deficit state Recommended protein intake of athletes: 1.6 g/kg to maximize LBM gains with resistance training with an upper limit of 2.2 g/kg (1). Fats: Importance: Aids cell growth, hormone regulation, etc. Recommended fat intakes for athletes: 20-30% of total calories Carbohydrates: Importance: the preferred source of energy that helps in improving training performance Recommended carbohydrate intake for athletes: Carb intake for physique athletes can fall in a range of 4-7 g/kg, depending upon the phase of training or remaining calories after completion of protein and fats requirement. References: Helms, E. R., Aragon, A. A., & Fitschen, P. J. (2014). Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 1-20.

Faizan Khan

I have 2 questions 1. Small to moderate deficit from the maintenance calories? 2. 0.5-1% weekly weight reduction in pounds or kilograms?

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