Looking for some peak week tips? I don’t blame you. Competing in a figure competition can be a downright frightening thing if you are a newbie. The journey itself can be lined with utter confusion and total fear of not doing the dieting and prepping process right. The biggest fear, however, is not being ready on contest day.
The mistake a lot of newbie’s make in their journey is reading everything possible about prep and peak week, and then trying to implement EVERYTHING they read. That’s a total recipe for a complete disaster. What works for one person may not work so well for the next.
Peaking is about being your absolute best for a short amount of time on contest day. To prevent you from making some costly last minute mistakes which can cause you to hold water the day of your contest, I’m going to share with you a few peak week tips to pull you in hard and tight for your big day.
Cardio the Week Before Your Show
All too often competitors will do cardio right up to the day of their show. This is a 100% absolute no-no! Cardio is very taxing to the body. Any trauma to the body can cause water retention. Also, cardio right up to your show will deplete your energy, the time you will need it the most. Over at Probodybuilding.com, Justin Edwards asks Eric Broser, “Is there ever a reason for a competitor to do cardio up to the day of the show? With proper planning this should never be necessary”
When you are 7 days out from your contest, the fat burning work is done. Your only job a week out is to simply dial-in, and you do that by manipulating your diet.
Light walking is fine, but if you continue with high-intensity weight training and high-impact cardio sessions all through the final week it will totally flatten your muscles and make you hold water under you skin.
Using the Same Prep Diet The Last Week
There are 3 phases to figure prep and stepping on stage. The first phase is your off-season training and dieting when you eat a little more and train heavier to build the solid muscle foundation you see on so many top-level and IFBB Figure Competitors such as Erin Stern, Nicole Wilkins-Lee, and Jelana Abbou.
The second phase is the actual figure competition diet, the 12-16 week phase where you watch your calories and macros more closely and focus on keeping your lean muscle mass and burning off any excess body fat.
The final phase is peak week, which seems to have become a very controversial topic these days when it’s been proven to work time and time again.
You don’t actually think the IFBB Figure Pros don’t implement some last minute tactics to trick their body to appear more muscular and leaner, do you?
To be figure-ready on your contest day you HAVE to change your diet the last week to force the body to change. It’s sort of like breaking a plateau. For example, when you have been on the same training program for a while and then change it, you will see and feel changes the changes.
When you make a change the final week before your contest, you will see changes, and those changes will be you getting leaner and harder. That’s a pretty good pay off if you ask me.
The Final Week is About Hitting a Climax
Many people are under the misguided impression that the final week is about fat loss and that it is an ineffective process. Nothing, but NOTHING could be further from the truth. Those who don’t understand the process will of course disregard it.
Peak week is the 7 days prior to your show when you deplete your muscles in order to fill them out for the day of your contest. It’s simply manipulating your water and carbs in such a way that you literally pull all the water from underneath your skin and direct it into your muscles cells, filling them out. This process creates full muscles bellies as well as cuts and definition.
A carb-depletion and loading process will give you the natural and unfair advantage on stage. It will allow you to show the judges that you did your homework and that you are the best on stage.
Don’t Be Left Behind…
These are the tried-and-true peak week tips. Seriously, if you want to be READY on your competition day, it’s necessary that you know, understand, and implement the proper peak week tactics based on your physique and stats.
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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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