Skilled bodybuilders typically meticulously plan their pre-contest coaching routine in the course of the low season. They make use of methods corresponding to break up system exercises, rigorously calibrated units and reps, and a various array of focused workout routines to maximise muscle progress and power. Their main goal throughout this section is to put the groundwork for peaking when it comes to lifting heavier weights and rising exercise depth as they method contest time. Sometimes, within the ultimate 12 weeks main as much as a contest, they implement a specialised contest food regimen. This food regimen focuses on shedding physique fats whereas aiming for a lean, outlined, and ripped physique that showcases their hard-earned muscle mass.
The truth that right this moment’s champions look so good is a testomony to how efficient these methods will be. Nonetheless, by years of statement, I’ve discerned an space inside pre-contest coaching that always bears room for enchancment. Particularly, this considerations the follow of abstaining from heavy weight within the week main as much as the precise contest. Whereas this methodology is usually employed, its potential influence on sustaining peak power and muscle activation in the course of the competitors is a facet worthy of deeper consideration.
Bodybuilders should practice heavy to construct massive muscle mass. How heavy depends upon issues like genetics, particular person power, and the physique half being labored. However the common method is for bodybuilders to go lots lighter the week or so earlier than competing. For instance, no extra heavy reps beginning Tuesday or Wednesday earlier than a Saturday occasion. Typically, beginning even earlier. The issue is a muscle made massive and exhausting by intense coaching will begin to get smaller and softer when it’s now not topic to that form of resistance. Every week and even just some days may not end in a major distinction. Nonetheless, there might be some minimal diploma of atrophy current.
Because the competitors approaches, it’s inevitable to expertise systemic fatigue—a cumulative results of intense coaching and the demanding pre-contest food regimen. This twin onslaught typically interprets to lowered power and diminished endurance, making a state of affairs the place your bodily capabilities may not match your standard peak efficiency. The definition of “heavy” when it comes to lifting weights shifts inside this context; what as soon as constituted a manageable load may now pose a major problem.
The exercises that propelled you to the competitors, which have been efficient and essential in your preparation section, may show extreme or overly taxing within the days main as much as the occasion. This disparity between your accustomed coaching routine and your current situation elevates the danger of sustaining accidents. Your physique, fatigued and probably weakened by the stringent pre-contest coaching, turns into extra prone to strains and accidents below the pressure of high-intensity exercises. Therefore, an important adjustment in exercise depth turns into crucial to mitigate the elevated vulnerability to accidents earlier than the competitors.
However to greatest maintain your muscle mass massive, full, and exhausting, my suggestion is a compromise: Hold doing comparatively heavy reps, however fewer of them. Simply do a restricted variety of heavy bench presses or squats, or different two-joint, “energy” actions, however not many units, and focus on the proper type to keep away from any probability of wounding your self. Doing just some heavy reps “reminds” the muscle as to what it took to stimulate its growth and retains it from dissolving throughout that final quick interval earlier than the Saturday competitors.
As the height of competitors looms, the fragile steadiness between preserving muscle mass and avoiding fatigue-related setbacks turns into paramount. Whereas conventional knowledge suggests a cessation of heavy lifting within the ultimate week, an alternate method emerges as a strategic compromise. It entails sustaining a reference to heavy weights however with calculated restraint. Limiting heavy, compound actions to some important units, guaranteeing impeccable type, serves as a reminder to the muscle mass of their progress stimuli with out inviting undue pressure or fatigue.
This compromise safeguards towards potential muscle softening or measurement discount in the course of the essential pre-competition section. Complementing these transient heavy units with lighter, sculpting workout routines and rigorous posing retains the coveted muscular definition with out sacrificing hard-earned features. Hanging this steadiness permits for muscle preservation whereas mitigating damage threat, thereby optimizing the physique for that pivotal Saturday showcase.