Bodybuilding is a very popular sport, but it’s not one that you’ll often hear spoken about on television or in magazines and newspapers. However, while it might not involve a lot of running around chasing a ball or spectacular hand-eye coordination, it does require a lot of preparation, hard work, and determination, all of which goes on behind the scenes. Training for a bodybuilding competition is far from easy and takes a long, long period of time too. Some people train for almost a year before hand, if not longer, all to make sure they’re in the right kind of shape! You have to be a very determined individual to make it to the final stages of a bodybuilding competition and have a very particular mindset. Here are five things bodybuilders do in the lead up to a contest.
Drink less water
Bodybuilding competitions can be incredibly dangerous; one of the things most competitors do is completely dehydrate themselves as close as they can to the event. The less water there is between the muscles, the tighter the skin will pull over them so the more toned and ‘ripped’ they will look; which is exactly what they want! It’s dangerous and not advisable, but it’s all too common among competitors.
Drink a glass of wine
A few hours before the competition, bodybuilders tend to drink a glass of wine, as this contributes to the veins coming to the surface of the skin, creating that ‘vein popping’ look all bodybuilders like to have when they compete. Wine also helps towards dehydrating the body too, as mentioned before.
Remove salt from their diet
Not just salt that you would pour over your fries, but salty foods such as tuna and eggs should also be cut out. Anything with a high sodium level is a no! This begins seven days before the competition and helps the body to look as toned and as muscular as it can for the contest.
Take magnesium supplements
It is not uncommon for individuals competing in bodybuilding events to take a whole variety of different supplements to help them achieve the look they’re after. One of the supplements that it is vital to take just days before the competition is magnesium, as this can help prevent your muscles cramping while you’re posing on stage. A cramp could ruin your entire look and performance, and nobody wants that.
Eat rice cakes
The only carbs you should consume within the 24 hours before the competition are rice cakes. Any other carbs will make you bloat and will also up your water intake. Rice cakes made from brown rice (not maize rice cakes) are completely dry carbs, so they will keep your skin tight across your muscles and also won’t bloat you, while still providing you with the valuable slow-releasing energy that comes with eating carbs.
The ultimate goal of a bodybuilding contest is to be seen to have the biggest muscles, tightest abs and the most bulging veins. In order to achieve this look, bodybuilders hit the gym hard every single day. But these tactics they do in the days before the competition create the illusion of even bigger, stronger muscles, even to the detriment of their health. We wouldn’t recommend severely dehydrating yourself, but would happily drink the wine.