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Recent Competition: Lessons Learned & Unanswered Questions

xcelbeyond

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I feel that I learned a ton in prepping for the contest I just completed. I just wanted share my thoughts and glean the members for information/answers to things I'm unsure of (yes, I'm still learning!).

My ultimate goal is to obtain the hardness that homonunculus and fathead have achieved for a contest! So - I'm hoping that they are able to provide feedback in this thread.

Carbs - Loading, Depleting, and General Intake
Here's my take on this. Carbs are needed to replenish glycogen, which fuels muscle. An abundance of carbs are preferred/used by the body over body fat. So - the key is to keep the muscle "full" yet not take in any more carbs than that as we want to use body fat for energy, not carbs.

In my "past" competitive years, I never attempted to carb deplete/load - but remember, I was never really a "successful" bodybuilder. I carb depleted Mon - Wed, then 150g carbs (same ones used throughout pre-contest diet) on Thur, then increased to 200g carbs on Fri. Late Friday afternoon I started adding in rice cakes with natural peanut butter and jelly (I go to bed early and rise early). I did the same thing with rice cakes, first thing in the morning. About 2 hours later I ate breakfast - a regular stack of blueberry pancakes with butter and lots of compote and syrup - YUUUUM! Also had 6oz (cooked weight - I actually snuck it into restaurant!) eye-of-round steak.

Water Load/Deplete, and General Intake
Now this carb program was also in tandem with water load/deplete. I know there's a synergy between this water and carb protocol but not sure of timing importance/reasons. Nothing but distilled water from Monday through Saturday evening. 3 gal on Mon, 2-1/2 gal on Tue, 2 gal on Wed, 1 gal on Thur, and only 16oz green tea on Fri and Sat. I won't go into diuretics as I really believe this varies in individuals.

The 16oz of green tea on Fri and Sat is really only enough liquid to get the handfulls of supplements down that I take every day! The only thing I drank with my Sat breakfast was sucking on the orange wedge they gave me!

Putting it Together
I took 350mg AMP about 2 hours prior to pre-judging. Then drank a bottle of Carbo-Force (finally - something to drink!) with 30g L-Glutamine and 8g Taurine. Now when warming-up for prejudging I REALLY started to cramp up! I was really at a loss as to what to do - so I just said a little prayer - it's all I knew to do! I made it through pre-judging without cramping.

During the time betweem pre-judging and eveing show (seemed like forever) I ate 6oz chicken breast, 1c green beans, and 4oz yams, 6 egg whites and ~2 yolks. Iended up finishing off my tea was was still VERY dry! By dry, I mean my mouth was EXTREMELY cotton-mouthed and my lips were chapped like they've never been! I sipped on additional 16oz distilled water, which wasn't in my plan.

Two hours prior to evening show I took another 250mg AMP along with 1/2 bottle of Carbo-Force with 20g L-Glutamine and 6g Taurine - this was more to prevent cramps than anything. During warm-ups, no cramps. When I was "on-deck" waiting to go on stage, my toes and calves started to cramp!! I made it through without cramping on stage.

My body just seemed "slow to respond" to these carb changes. Now in talking with the class winner about this, his experience is that if he carb depletes, he loses too much muscle. When I asked him about water use for "drying out" he aske what do I mean. This is where he said that problem is not water but fat, which holds water. This guy was as lean as homonunculus and I noticed he always had water with him that he was sipping on!

Here's a question: If you're able to shuttle your water from the skin into muscle, either with water manipulation and/or diuretics, why wouldn't you want to drink "some" water when carbing up? It would seem to make the carb-up more effective? Remember now, I didn't really binge on anything after the show other than some Sugar-Free Lemon Cake and Pedialyte. I justy seemed to be much fuller and vascular after doing this, without any bloat.

I don't think that more "time" is needed to deplete or load. It's like if you're not lean enough, that last carb deplete is not going to work miracles for increased fat-loss. It does seem like I sould load with "more" carbs and what I'm asking is what type - the same as used throughout precontest?

Diuretics
I used Spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic. I was warned - DO NOT TAKE ANY potassium supplements if you value your heart. On Friday I added Demadex (generic Torsemide), which I believe is a single-loop diuretic, which is not potassium-sparing.

My question has to do with the cramps. Given I was taking both type of diuretics, what could be taken to prevent cramps?

I look forward to the feedback you guys (and gals) have!

xcel
 

Fathead

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Boy

I'll have to read this post a few times before I respond two things I query about is the lack of water and as I said in another thread two many carbs.
 

Maverick

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Well usually,

to prevent cramping before or during a show after use of loop diuretics, most competitiors I know including myself have always used " slow K " which is a slow acting pharmacutical grade potassium and plain old magensium for aorund 2 weeks bore thw show. We start off iwth small incriments and work up so that when the loop diuretics like demadex or lasix are used there is enough potassium and magnesium in our system that will be left over to avoid cramping.

Also over on chad nicholls' muscle mayhem board his company DNA sells an anti cramping product. I have persoanlly never used it but I thought i would just throw it in there so that members here could go check it out. ( I am not hyping chad or his products, just merley letting out info)

Hope this helps,

Maverick
 

xcelbeyond

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Re: Well usually,

Maverick said:
to prevent cramping before or during a show after use of loop diuretics, most competitiors I know including myself have always used " slow K " which is a slow acting pharmacutical grade potassium and plain old magensium for aorund 2 weeks bore thw show. We start off iwth small incriments and work up so that when the loop diuretics like demadex or lasix are used there is enough potassium and magnesium in our system that will be left over to avoid cramping.
But - since I was taking spironolactone for 4 days, wouldn't it be very bad to have that additional potassium in your system?

xcel
 

Maverick

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Well..

Not really becuase for starters slow k is a ver slow acting potassium, so you can cut it off at anytime before you begin DIU to be okay, Second you stated in your post you took demedex on the friday before your show, so I just added the slow k as a way to avoid cramping becuase even with all the excess water being drained out you are still going to have enough potassium from the slow k build up to last you through the show to help avoid cramping.

Also i wouldnt advise taking slow k while begining diuretics even potassium sparring ones for that exact reason, becuase of cardiac arrest.


Maverick
 

anhedoniac

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Is diet Coke ever used in place of water the last few days to dry out?I seem to remember such a rumor.
Also over on chad nicholls' muscle mayhem board his company DNA sells an anti cramping product.
What are the ingredients?Does it contain quinine?
 

xcelbeyond

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Re: Well..

Maverick said:
Not really becuase for starters slow k is a ver slow acting potassium, so you can cut it off at anytime before you begin DIU to be okay, Second you stated in your post you took demedex on the friday before your show, so I just added the slow k as a way to avoid cramping becuase even with all the excess water being drained out you are still going to have enough potassium from the slow k build up to last you through the show to help avoid cramping.

Also i wouldnt advise taking slow k while begining diuretics even potassium sparring ones for that exact reason, becuase of cardiac arrest.
Maverick - do I understand what you're saying? I could take the slow k for a week prior to/up to when I begin Spironolactone? Sorry - don't know what DIU is abbreviation for?!?

xcel
 

YnotBhuge

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Hi Xcel I'm new to the board but I'd like to share my contest prep experiences with you. In my first 2 shows I used diuretics...looked flat no pump and in the second show I was starting to cramp. The following year when I competed I used a different method....no sodium several days leading to the show while drinking large amounts of water. Major difference..much more volume in the muscle...better vascularity. I can't use diuretics if I want to look full. Just my personal observation. BTW thanks for all of the advice you've posted to this board it has really helped me on my return to the sport.
 

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