Water, water everywhere. So why don’t bodybuilders take a drink?
How many times have you been backstage at a show and seen someone with a face so sunken in that they look like Christian Bale from “The Machinist”? Or that one bodybuilder who is so flat when they do a quarter turn that they resemble a piece of paper? LOL - ok - well maybe not that flat, but you get the picture. The two bodybuilders in question have probably made one of the BIGGEST mistakes a natural bodybuilder can make, and that is cutting out water!
The reason why many natural bodybuilders get the idea to drop water intake the last few days before a contest is because they are mimicking their “enhanced” brothers and sisters of iron’s contest prep. Enhanced bodybuilders cut out water to counterbalance the effects of various drugs they take pre-contest. They drugs can cause water retention, which is an issue natural bodybuilders shouldn’t have to worry about.
The Reasons Why You Should Not Cut Out Water
Let’s start off with the simple fact that your muscles are composed of 70% water. You take out what is needed to be inflated or full, and then you’re left with deflated, and often soft looking muscles. That’s why many guys show up flat and smooth, come contest time. This person cuts out water sometimes as early as Thursday night, and most competitors will try and overcompensate by going nuts with carbs which only causes spillage.
And let’s not forget a very important fact...the human body cannot be tricked! If you try and cut water out the day before, and day of the contest, your body’s natural defense mechanism is to immediately retain water for survival. Think about the times during your prep when you woke up shredded and vascular. You probably drank 1-2 gallons of water the day before. Having enough water leading up to the contest will help keep your muscles full and looking hard. You have to make sure you take in jusssst the right amount of carbs to also help with fullness, but not to over-do it so you spill over. But carbohydrate intake during peak week is a whole other article in itself, lol.
So How Much Water Is Enough?
So if you agree that drinking water is necessary during peak week, then the next question must be, “so how much fricken water should I be drinking?" The answer is simple. On the day and night before the contest, drink your NORMAL amount! If you drink 1.5 gallons of water a day leading to the show, drink 1.5 the day before. The day of the contest is a bit tricky, because you want to make sure you're staying hydrated and full without going overboard and having to piss while you're onstage, lol.
When I peak someone for a contest, the exact amount of water varies from person to person. Some may take in 8 oz with meals and 8 in between, some are more or less depending on a few individual factors. So there ya have it folks, some pretty logical and sound advice on water intake on the day of your competition.
Ask Joe The Pro
Joe, with natural bodybuilding somewhat growing in popularity lately, do you think the sport will ever get as popular as the IFBB? – John from NY.
I don’t think we will ever shine like the IFBB guys do. Part of the reason is natural bodybuilding isn’t as much of a spectacle like our juiced brothers or sisters. Kai Green is 5’8", and in the off-season weighs over 315 pounds, LOL. I’m 5’9" and I got to the heaviest I ever was in the off-season at 220. Fans will pay money to see huge slabs of grainy muscle pose like the freakazoids they are!
How many of us can say we got into bodybuilding because of Dave Goodin or Jim Cordova? Very few! Most of us were inspired by Arnold, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, Lee Haney, etc. I do believe that we need more natural federations and more natural shows. Back in the 90’s I remember going to, or seeing posters for natural shows almost every weekend. The NPC had a slew of natural contests running in different states. We need options!
I believe the WNBF is a little restrictive not allowing any pros to compete in any other federation or appear in any other publication other then Natural Bodybuilding And Fitness. I think that’s a little crazy considering <a href="https://www.muscleandstrength.com/athletes>natural athletes</a> need all the exposure they can get! I would like to see more shows, more organizations and more prize money for the natural pros! We also need bigger venues, more mainstream attention including television and print.</p> <p><strong>Joe, what does your supplement stack look like?</strong> - <em>Denise R. from Houston, Texas</em>.</p> <p>I recently started “stacking” more <a data-cke-saved-href=" https:="" www.muscleandstrength.com="" supplements"="">supplements after doing more research and seeing some decent results my wife has gotten lately.
- Multivitamin. I take the Trader Joe’s brand.
- Vitamin D, for extra joint health and mood stimulation (especially first thing in the morning, lol). Some studies show it can help with concentration and also immune system function.
- Vitamin C for immune system function, cell repair - and it can help with recovery.
- Extra strength glucosamine for joint health. After years of pounding away at the heavy weights, I thank God for glucosamine every day!
- L-Glutamine powder. About 10 grams a day off-season, and 15-20 a day pre-contest. Mainly for recovery, immune system function and prevention of muscle catabolism.
- Creatine monohydrate. 5-10 grams for muscle fullness and strength.
- ZMA at night for deeper sleep and enhanced muscle growth.
- Pre-workout - either BSN Endorush, Fast Twitch or VPX Red Line.
- Whey protein. I use the Muscle Gauge Nutrition brand, and I use about 6 scoops daily.
- Post-workout. I mix one packet of powdered Gatorade with my whey. The powdered version contains dextrose and sucrose.
Hey Joe, are push ups a waste of time? – Steve R. from GA.
No, I don’t think push ups are a waste of time. I don’t think someone who exercises regularly will benefit from doing them every night, (unless you're about to take a PT test for the military, or a Police test). I would say push ups are great as a general warm-up for upper body work, or excellent for finishing up the chest by forcing in massive blood flow. Don’t lock out at the top while doing push ups, and keep the reps piston like, going up and down - stretching and contracting the pecs maximally. You can also do push ups with your feet elevated, to blast the upper pecs, or with your hands close together and the elbows “hugging” your sides to work the triceps. I like supersetting free motion fly’s with feet elevated push ups. The pump is unbelievable!