Things that bodybuilders do before a competition

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Bodybuilding is an incredibly intense sport, which thousands of men (and women) train extremely hard for before competing in huge events around the world. With famous bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno leading the way, more and more athletes are turning to bodybuilding to show off their training skills and strength. The reason bodybuilding is so intense is simply due to the incredible amount of preparation work that goes on before a competition. Here’s how a bodybuilder preps themselves for a competition.

The food

If you’re a bodybuilder getting ready for a competition, then you’re going to become obsessed by food for the next few weeks. And when we say obsessed, we really mean obsessed. This isn’t just calorie counting or piling up the protein; this is monitoring macronutrients and manipulating glycemic levels. Next level stuff! Bodybuilders cut down on sodium before a big competition, but we don’t mean just cutting down on the salt. Even things like eggs and dairy have too much sodium in them for a bodybuilder, so they have to go. A bodybuilders pre-competition diet is probably one of the most intense you’ll ever come across – and we’ve done juicing diets!

The training

Of course, bodybuilders train all year round, but they really up their game before a competition. Some can work for hours a day, just to get the boy that they hope is going to win them that coveted first place. Interestingly, a lot of bodybuilders will practice their poses in between reps. This ensures they feel comfortable with some of the over the top poses that they’ll be pulling on the day, while also helping tone some of their muscles (particularly the stomach and waistline). The end of each workout is then completed with something called a ‘stomach vacuum’ which is where you suck your abs in and hold your breath for 5 seconds.

The tanning

While a lot of thought and effort goes into the exercise and food preparation of a bodybuilder, it’s also important that they look good. A few weeks before a big competition, a bodybuilder will start getting their tan on! Many will opt for a fake tan as it means that they can protect their skin and ensure that their whole body (yep, all of it) is fully tanned. However, others will simply make their way to the nearest beach to catch some rays – they’ll just have to ensure the don’t miss any bits! Of course, there are always sunbeds too. A deep tan is a must for any bodybuilding competition; almost as important as the diet and exercise!

Getting boozy

Just before a competition, many bodybuilders will do something pretty strange indeed. They’ll drink a glass of wine! You might think that this is totally detrimental to all of that hard work in the gym, but there is a reason for it. The wine helps dehydrate the body (which is also why many bodybuilders cut out water just before a competition) and will also create that ‘vein popping’ look which is so popular in bodybuilding competitions. It’s important to note that dehydrating yourself is very, very dangerous, so please don’t try this at home.

There are whole forums and groups dedicated to bodybuilding, and many of these will have in-depth guides on how to prepare for a competition. While some may think that the lengths these bodybuilders go to is bordering on obsession, for many it’s just like any other sport. You work hard, train hard, and compete in the hope you’ll be the best of the best.

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