12 Week Contest Prep Cycle
The ideal 12 week contest prep cycle is designed so you can lose fat and keep muscle. This is mastered through diet, cardio, and training. Sounds easy. However, you have to be strict and dedicated to all 3 in order to get the body transformation job done. I’ll cover how to master each below. Let’s go…
Contest Prep Diet Cycle
Your contest diet is the backbone of your fat loss success. The right diet format will allow you to lose fat and keep muscle. However, it can get more technical than that. Implementing a cycle pattern will trick your body to release body fat, nearly on command. It’s quite magical when you implement and watch the changes happen.
It’s best to start a contest prep diet in the 20% or less fat percentage range. If your body fat is higher, you should lose some fat first, before starting a prep plan. Otherwise, you’ll lose a good bit of muscle during the prep process.
If you are in a good weight and body fat range you can start on a carb-cycling format. It can look something like this:
Weeks #1 -#2 – carbs 200
Weeks #3 – #4 – carbs 150
Weeks #5 – #6 – carbs 100
Weeks #7 – #8 – carbs 75
Weeks #9 – #10 carbs 50
Weeks #11 – #12 carbs 25
This carb-cycling format slowly reduces carbs through the 12 week contest prep cycle. So, rather than slicing carbs out of your diet you simply manipulate the process and reap the benefit.
Contest Prep Cardio
This contest prep cardio format works in conjunction with the carb-cycling format above. Doing both in this manner burns the candle at both ends rather than eating up all your resources. You want to cycle your cardio so you gradually build it over the course of 12 weeks.
Weeks #1 -#2 – 3 times a week for 20 minutes
Weeks #3 – #4 – 3 times a week for 25 minutes
Weeks #5 – #6 – 4 times a week for 25 minutes
Weeks #7 – #8 – 4 times a week for 30 minutes
Weeks #9 – #10 – 5 times a week for 30 minutes
Weeks #11 – #12 – 5 times a week for 40 minutes
Now, you will notice as you go through the process of diet and cardio, your carbs lower as your cardio increases. This allows you to get the most out of each without crashing and burning.
Contest Prep Training
Your contest prep training should only change form your off-season as you get leaner and your strength is compromised. Your off-season training is heavy training in the 8-10 rep range. In your prep, there will be a point when your strength lessens. When this happens, just lighten your poundage a tad and do perhaps 10-12 reps. Only lighten weights when it’s necessary.
This is a rough outline of what a 12 week prep looks like if you are in the ideal body fat range.
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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
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