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Length of prep - is there a right number of weeks?

pharma1

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For the competitors out there. How long is your typical prep?

Ive done 20 weeks for my first show ever, but I needed it as I was above 15% bf at the beginning. Ive also done 16 weeks and at the start was probably 11-12%, so the length of that prep was too long and I made a few poor choices towards the end as well, resulting in me losing too much muscle and not being able to really fill out properly.

For my fall show next year I am considering 12 weeks but I think this number is highly individual and can change for each individual depending on some key factors. Body fat % being one, metabolism and how you respond to certain compounds. The structure of the prep itself, and wether you are prepping for a show or for a season.

Anyone else have any feedback here? What really determines how long your prep should be? Is there an ideal number of weeks? Have you fucked up your own prep by going to long or short?
 

airman

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I always liked 16 weeks. First four weeks, just clean up diet a bit, nothing too hard. Then at 12 weeks out, turn things up. You are right about being ready too early. I've made that mistake in the past. While it looks cool being shredded 8 weeks out, by the time competition rolled around I was so sick of dieting and very much over dieted. I guess a good coach could help with that (slowing you down, increasing when needed).
 

b-boy

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Ideally I like 20+ weeks, plenty of time for almost any serious bodybuilder to get in shape, plus have time for small diet break (maintenance) if getting ready really early and easily.
 

Kaladryn

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I like at least 20 weeks also and ideally, I like to be fairly lean and only on TRT at my starting point, that way I can grow for the first part of the diet while I'm leaning out and keeping my metabolism high with lots of food. Keep in mind I'm just an amateur bodybuilder who has only done 5 shows though.
 

Fit2Serve

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i have tried several....
24 weeks
16 weeks
12 weeks
10 weeks
6 weeks

i found:
24 weeks- too long i end up cheating on diet here and there until 12 weeks out then get serious
16 weeks- see above reason
12 weeks- i think this is the sweet spot FOR ME i am kinda naturally leaner than most and not crazy hard for me to get lean
10 weeks- lil too short imo
6 weeks- too short i can still look good but never placed better than 3rd on a 6 week prep
 

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If you want to maximize performance and minimize stress, longer slower preps are best.
 

Kaladryn

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My favorite all time method is a 16-week progressive bulk cycle, then about 8-10 weeks at TRT doses while eating and training perfectly to maintain as much mass as possible to maximize sensitivity and give the body a break, then a 20-week diet and precontest progressive cycle.
 

luki7788

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for me personally 10-12 weeks max. usually I'm ready after 8
 

Elvia1023

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Dugbet

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Luki does short prep because his off season is also short.

Long preparations will exhaust you and you will start to fail in the diet because you do not see the end date, it is important to establish a finish day.

But you don't want to go too fast either because you won't lose all the fat you need to lose no matter how much you want to speed it up.
 

Ruhlfreak55

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My body loves to be a fatass so pretty much 4-6 weeks more than whatever I think the number should be. Probably going to plan 20 wks this next time even though I won't be near as fat as last time around.
Jesus, last time was 27 weeks (just added it up).
 

Elvia1023

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Luki does short prep because his off season is also short.

Long preparations will exhaust you and you will start to fail in the diet because you do not see the end date, it is important to establish a finish day.

But you don't want to go too fast either because you won't lose all the fat you need to lose no matter how much you want to speed it up.

Luki's offseason isn't short it's just he has a different approach and does mini cuts periodically during the offseason. In regards to time his offseason will be just as long as most competitors he just doesn't follow the traditional full on bulk without breaks for extended periods of time like most people do.
 

luki7788

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Luki's offseason isn't short it's just he has a different approach and does mini cuts periodically during the offseason. In regards to time his offseason will be just as long as most competitors he just doesn't follow the traditional full on bulk without breaks for extended periods of time like most people do.
Exactly. I wouldn't say my offseason is short, I usually competed once a year so I had a long offseason
 

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