बॉडीबिल्डिंग

1..CUTTING PHASE

BODY CUTTING PREFACE:

Trying to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time is impossible. It just can’t be done. This is why people who are trying to do both at the same time see no results and give up. You have to do gaining muscle and losing fat in phases. This phase is called the cutting phase, it is basically cutting away all the extra body fat that has been gained while on the bulking cycle. Things to keep in mind are that no matter how you cut down, you will almost definately lose some muscle size, its unstopable, unless your using sport enhancing drugs, but this plan is not for that so we shall leave that idea out! Not a great deal of muscle size will be lost, the majority of size lost will be the body fat surrounding all of your muscles, not just that bit on your gut you wish to lose! The whole of your body holds a general layer of fat around it so when you cut down, you will lose size on your arms, waste, legs etc Not to worry though, you will look and feel much better for it, your muscle will show through your skin much clearer, you will look more defined and appealing to the eye. You will lose that bloated look and hopefully get that six pack that you have always dreamed of having.

What we would like to achieve at this stage, is to bring the percentage of body fat down to somewere below 10% this is the percentage that reveals the abs. Also muscle fibres will appear more clearer and lines will start to show through on the chest etc

Cutting and dieting is extremely hard and takes a lot of work. Dieting is very important while trying to cut and cannot be ignored. It must be done properly and it must be always followed.

TIPS FOR CUTTING BODY FOR BODYBUILDING:

Drink plenty of water as mentioned in the bulking cycle, you should always keep hydrated! Also cut out the supplement creatine at this stage, it can hold water in your muscle which could create the illusion of no weight loss and make you look and feel bloated. You may want to supplement with caffeine at this stage quite alot as you will be tierd and lathargic alot of the time due to the fact your on a low carb diet and energy levels are low. Natural ways and probably the best way to supplement with caffeine is green tea, it is high in caffeine, can help to supress appetite and naturally helps the body to get rid of fat. Many weight loss supplements on the market today have green tea extract in them because it has such good results in helping to lose weight, it would be a mistake to miss out! As i said there are many fat loss and weight management supplements on the market today, some are absoloutely pointless and some have mild advantages to them. Be careful with these as alot of them are basically caffeine and green tea with a few amino acids thrown in and are highly priced. Some fat burners have something called thermongenics in them which mildly raise the body’s core tempreture thus raising metabolism, but nothing spectacular should be expected of these supplements. A good strict diet is unbeatable!

DIETS FOR THE CUTTING PHASE:

he cutting phase is a term bodybuilders use to describe the period of dieting leading up to a competition. While bodybuilders spend most of the year eating excess calories to build muscle, when a competition is looming, cutting calories is vital to help shed body fat and get as lean as possible for the stage.

Be Mr. or Ms. Moderate

A moderate approach to fat loss is best, according to the Sports Dietitians of Australia website, as cutting calories too quickly will result in muscle loss. On a balanced cutting diet you should consume between 13 and 17 calories per pound of body weight, notes bodybuilder, coach and nutritionist Dr. Layne Norton. You also need between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Fat should make up 17 to 28 percent of your calorie intake, with the rest coming from carbs, Norton adds.

Cutting the Carbs

Some bodybuilders prefer to go for a lower-carb approach, known as a ketogenic diet. This involves keeping carbs very low during the week — to roughly 30 grams or below — with higher protein and higher fat intakes, followed by high-carb, low-fat foods at the weekend. Dr. Mauro DiPausquale writes in “The Anabolic Diet” that this approach helps to optimally burn fat while retaining muscle mass. Typical low-carb diets are often high in unhealthy fats, however, which may pose risks to your health, warns Harvard School of Public Health. You could, however, switch to a keto diet with mainly lean meats and get your fat from oily fish, nuts and seeds instead, which would be healthier.

Fighting the Fat

As an aspiring bodybuilder looking to cut calories and get lean, you may be tempted to opt only for low-fat foods. While this does enable you to keep a higher carb intake, which may help your energy levels, going too low with fat can also be detrimental. Low-fat diets aren’t as satisfying, according to Harvard, meaning you could be left feeling hungry. Additionally, healthy fats such as oily fish and nuts play an important role in hormone production and overall health.

The Best Approach

By far the most sensible, effective approach to take when cutting for a competition is the one that fits your lifestyle and preferences. Avoid anything drastic by keeping carbs, fats and proteins in your diet and eating a variety of foods. Always check with your doctor before starting a cutting diet phase. As you progress, lose body fat and get lighter, you will need to reduce your calorie intake to keep losing fat. While the number of calories you need to eat and the quantity of food will vary from person to person, a sample cutting diet might be an egg white omelet on an English muffin with watermelon and kiwi for breakfast. At lunch, have a whole-grain wrap with tuna, olive oil, a large salad and a handful of walnuts, with ground turkey, mixed vegetables and a baked potato for dinner. Snacks could be cottage cheese with peanut butter and blueberries, a protein shake or crackers with sliced turkey, avocado and reduced-fat cheese.

BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENTS FOR CUTTING PHASE:

15 Tips for cutting phase success

Do not keep by any magazines diets – fast results have lot of negative consequences.
Remember that your nutrition plan is for whole life and it‘s not a diet!
Do not mix products without harmonization: do not eat meat with potatoes, rice or other starchy carbohydrates, eat just with vegetables. Do not drink immediately before meal and do not drink during eating.
Try no to eat after 7 p.m., if you really want to eat after that o‘clock then choose special protein cocktail.
Refuse “uneatable“ things: white bread, coca-cola, all of carbonated beverages, sugar – entrust, after some time you‘ll see what damage did you get from these products.
Try to eat more as possible fresh food, and remember that calories in fruits and in buns are really different, fresh calories are used in energy producing and not accumulating in organism, artificial calories – accumulating in organism in fat form.
Eat 5-6 times a day. If you force organism to starve, it reacts by accumulating food materials because it‘s not clear when will be the next time it gets food.
30-40 minutes, 2-3 times a week cardio workout is necessary. If you keeping diet plan, it does not mean that you can be lazy! (you can choose physical activity by your own wish, from yoga to aerobics)
Do not forget that during cardio workout fats are burning just when you doing moderate intensity aerobic work. Your pulse frequency has not exceed 70% from maximum heart contractions rate.
Purchase pulse monitor – if you don‘t drive with closed eyes in the city, so it‘s not worth to do it during the trainings.
Choose appropriate bodybuilding supplement for cutting phase, always consult with bodybuilding supplements specialists – just those people understand common bodybuilding supplements biochemistry, do not trust in promotional brochures – if it was suits for someone, it does not mean that it‘ll suits for you! It could be called as hole theory – hole could be called child’s blushed place near ocean and quarry hole, but for one fill need children shovel, for another need to hire heavy equipment.
Choose bodybuilding supplements from reliable sources, also from a world-class company, do not trust in „miraculous“ products – skupin pays twice!
Don‘t choose bodybuilding supplements by price and title!
There is no most effective supplement for cutting, every food supplement is effective differently by every personal case because of that you need to consult with specialists.
Drink water sufficiently, it doesn‘t let to accumulate natrium which „detain“water in organism. The approach „More you drink, more you swell“ – is WRONG!

 

2…..BULKING PHASE

 

WHAT IS BULKING?

It is usual to define the bulking phase of a bodybuilder’s diet by what it is not; however it is simply ‘a systematic attempt to gain muscle’. If you want to add ‘and strength’ to that sentence then that’s fine, just remember you can get stronger without adding muscle, but you can’t add muscle without getting even the smallest bit stronger.

Bulking and cutting are the productive phases of bodybuilding; bulking is the addition and cutting the subtraction. When cutting you are removing body fat while trying not to lose muscle – conversely in bulking you are trying to add muscle without adding too much fat.

BULKING CYCLE

This section is for the people who are interested in just bulking up; which in simple terms means eating more and training heavier in order to gain muscle mass and weight. A bulking cycle is mainly for the people who are naturaly skinny or have problems with holding weight due to an unbalanced or unhealthy diet. It can be also useful for people who desire to gain size on a particular muscle group that they have previously missed out, have struggled with or belive that they can improve on. The bulking cycle should basically consist of training hard, eating well and having plenty of rest.

Like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. I see many people who in an attempt to gain weight just start eating everything in sight, and thus, either overtax their digestive systems, thus not being able to eat several times a day, and/or simply start gaining too much body fat, as the case is for those without a hardgainer metabolism.

In order to gain quality weight the food and nutrients have to be of a high quality nature. Basically eating fatty foods like bugers, chips, take-aways and snack foods like fizzy pop and chocolate will not help in a bulking phase what so ever. These high fat, high carb, high sugar foods will immediately get stored as fat in the body which is not what you are trying to achieve. Gaining weight and muscle mass is not about gaining inches of fat at all, it’s about gaining even size in all areas of the body, thus making you heavier, giving you more power and energy to lift heavier, and grow bigger!

In this bulk up/weight gain learn the bulking up rules to gaining some solid muscle weight while minimizing fat gains.

STEP ONE:

Start eating around 1.5gs of protein per pound of bodyweight spread out over the entire day.

Depending on how much you weigh is going to mean that you may have to eat 6,7 or even 8 meals a day, but it is neccesary for muscle growth and repair.

Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like chicken, turkey, lean red meats, tuna, egg whites, mackarel, and salmon etc

STEP TWO:

Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight spread out over the entire day.

In order to gain muscle, a carbohydrate increase will be required to keep your energy levels high, and thus fuel your workouts, and in order to help shuttle the amino acids from your proteins into the muscle tissue.

The key thing to ensure that muscle mass is maximized as opposed to fat gain when consuming carbohydrates is to ensure that your intake of them is mostly from low glycemic index ones (slow digesting/released carbs) like brown rice, oatmeal, pasta and sweet potatoes. Limit the higher glycemic complex carbs rice pudding and simple carbs fruit for after the workout when the body needs fast released carbs and proteins in order to quick start the recovery and re-building process and also to help refuel the energy stores (glycogen levels in the muscle and liver) that have been drained. Carbohydrates should be split up evenly throught the day, lets say for average guy weighing 200lb, he will have a rough intake of 300/350gs of carbs, over 6 meals thats about 60gs of carbs per meal, preferably complex carbs, low GI as explained above.

STEP THREE:

Increase your intake of GOOD fats.

Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function. These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood!

BULK UP DIET:

Now that you know what to expect from a bulk up cycle, let’s cover how to design a bulk up diet:

PROTEIN:

Increase your protein intake to 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight. Therefore, if you weigh 200 lbs, you need to eat around 300 grams of protein per day. I have noticed that if I eat more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting I feel lethargic and have issues digesting the food.

Therefore, divide 300 by 40 and that will give you the amount of meals that you need to eat per day. In this example, the 200-lb bodybuilder will need to eat, around 7-8 meals per day spaced out with a minimum of 90 minutes in between meal and a maximum of 3 hours.

Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like:

Chicken
Turkey
93% Lean Red Meats
Tuna
Egg Whites
Salmon
CARBS:

Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. In order to gain muscle, a carbohydrate increase will be required to keep your energy levels high, and thus fuel your workouts, and in order to help shuttle the amino acids from your proteins into the muscle tissue (since carbohydrates increase insulin levels and insulin is necessary for the transport of the aminos into the muscle).

The key thing to ensure that muscle mass is maximized as opposed to fat gain when consuming carbohydrates is to ensure that your intake of them is mostly from low glycemic (low digesting/released carbs) like brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

Limit the simple, higher glycemic carbs for after the workout when the body needs fast released carbs and proteins in order to quick start the recovery and re-building process and also to help refuel the energy stores (glycogen levels in the muscle and liver) that have been drained.

Also, ensure that you eat half of your carbohydrates split between the times that the body is most receptive to them, which is the morning time (first meal) and post workout time. So for instance, our hypothetical 200-lb bodybuilder who is starting his bulk up plan at 300 grams of carbs per day (bodyweight x 1.5), will split 150 grams (half of the daily requirement) between the morning meal and the post workout meal (so that comes to 75 grams of carbs).

The morning meal carbs will be complex low glycemic carbs while the post workout meal will be half simple and half complex). The remainder 150 grams will be split in the remainder meals.

I always advise to refrain from eating complex carbs after 6:30pm (unless your post workout meal comes after that time) as your insulin sensitivity (body’s acceptance of the hormone insulin) goes down at night and therefore, one runs a higher risk of storing carbohydrate calories at night unless you train, in which case your insulin sensitivity is optimized.

Finally, make sure that you have around 15-20 grams of fibrous carbohydrates, such as green beans or broccoli, at lunchtime and 15-20 grams more at dinnertime as these will help to keep your digestive tract clean and ready to accept new nutrients, thus maximizing nutrient utilization.

FATS:

Increase your intake of good fats. Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function.

These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood!

In order to get your good fats keep the essential fats at 3 tablespoons per day for guys and 1.5 for women in the form of flax seed oil, fish oils or extra virgin canned olive oil. I split my fats between my two low carbohydrate meals, which are meal 7 and 8. The reason I like to do this is because they eliminate my cravings for sweets at night that come as a result of the reduced carbohydrate intake at this time.

Also, if I eat the fats earlier in the day with my carbohydrates, they completely kill my appetite and make it hard for me to consume the amount of carbohydrates that I need to eat.

THE BODYBUILDING BULKING UP PHASE IS OFTEN THE HARDEST

A Bulking diet is a high calorie diet which helps gain weight and builds muscle. With the gain in weight there is also gain in fat. This helps to protect precious lean muscle from being used up during workouts by burning up the extra fat. It also helps you to remain energetic even when on a low calorie diet later. A bulking diet should contain proteins, simple carbohydrates and unsaturated fats along with essential minerals and vitamins. Proteins are necessary to build new muscles and to repair muscle tissue later.

Carbohydrates provide energy and facilitate protein synthesis. Simple carbohydrates are digested more easily. Too much of hard to digest complex carbohydrates should be avoided and bad carbohydrates like sugary sweets, sodas and such should be religiously shunned.

Bodybuilders need testosterone and fats provide it. Fats are a source of energy and also facilitate the absorption of certain vitamins by the body. There are different types of bulking up. The style you should adopt depends on your body metabolism.

Those with low body metabolism should do clean bulking. In this you eat well keeping a strict watch on the amount of fat you consume. Staying clear of all junk foods, candies, chips and soft drinks is essential.

Those who have average metabolism can do regular bulking wherein you stay away from junk food and can eat chicken, steak, eggs, yogurt, skimmed milk, bread, beans and fruits. You should keep an eye on your fat consumption though.

The lucky ones with very high metabolism can eat anything edible. It’s the easiest and the most loved diet. But it is the wrong type if your goal is winning bodybuilding contests.

Your body type also decides as to how many meals you should take in a day. Each person has a different body metabolism and body type. So your diet must be planned accordingly.

The period of bulking up also varies from person to person. Some prefer to bulk up for 6 to 7 months while others bulk up for just 4 months or so and then cut the fat. This period also depends on the individual body type.

There are two schools of thought regarding bulking up in bodybuilding. The old school approves of it, while the new school does not. Modern scientific research has proved that it is unnecessary to bulk up. A proper workout followed by proper recuperation and scientifically planned nutritious meals and snacks will help to protect muscle from being used up for energy and you stay lean throughout the year.

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3.BODY SHAVING

 

SHAVING FOR BODYBUILDING

There are many sports where it is advantageous or required to remove body hair. If you plan on entering a bodybuilding competition, you must remove your body hair. People are always asking for shortcuts to getting ripped and muscular, well here is the easiest one of all – remove body hair. Its amazing how much more massive and definied a hairy person looks when they remove their body hair! Removing armpit hair not only makes your lats look wider but removes a large source of body odor.

Lets talk about the other options first:

Creams and chemicals. These might work for women’s peach fuzz but despite what the ads say, they don’t work on thick men’s hair. I tried this myself using a product specifically designed for men’s thick head hair, left it on twice as long as they said, and all it did was make the hair curly – oh that and burned my skin something fierce.

Waxing. Haven’t tried this myself but its gotta be painful. Also time consuming and expensive if you have it done.

Mechanical pullers. Torture devices designed by men, for women. These rotating heads rip the hairs out one by one so you can enjoy the agony of each one separately.

Electric razor (type used for facial shaving). Easy on the skin, no pain, but takes FOREVER.

Electric clipper (type used for cutting head hair). An excellent option. Removes hair rapidly down to 1/32″ and looks clean shaven from 8′ away. No chance of ingrown hairs. Unless you really need to be smooth, give serious consideration to just clipping and leaving the hair at 1/32″

shaving 3

STEPS TO SHAVE THE BODY

Before we talk about shaving, lets talk about what we are trying to avoid – ingrown hairs. The name doesnt properly convey how painful they are and how UGLY they look so lets talk about them. Here is what the hair looks like before we shave it off. If you shave it properly, the sharp, cutoff end is at the skin level or above so that when you apply pressure to the skin there is no discomfort or imflamation. When the hair grows, it has a clear path to free air and doesnt contact skin during its growth upward. To cut at the right level:

warm up in the warm/hot water till the goosebumps are long gone
shave with the grain, in this example, drag the blade to the left.

If you shave hard against the grain, in this case to the right, you cut the hairs off below skin level and they look like this. Imagine you have made the mistake of shaving your beltline against the grain. As you button your pants you put pressure on the skin and thousands of these little knives poke you – not plesant! You might be able to get away with against the grain shaving places where nothing ever touches (like your face) but certainly not elsewhere.

If you shave too close like the above image, then something very unpleasant can happen. If the cut off hair has been covered by dirt or solidified skin oils, the hair cant grow upward so it curls back under. This can also happen if the sharp cut edge of the hair catches skin on the edge of the channel as it grows. As the hair continues to grow, nasty things happen. A raised red bump appears, if you are lucky that is all but quite often they get infected causing something that looks like a big whitehead pimple. Imagine this covering your chest like a carpet, yikes. In some cases they get infected so bad that a trip to the doctor is required.

shaving 1

WHY SHOULD MEN SHAVE THEIR BODY?

If you’re interested in male body shaving, also known as “manscaping,” or just want to know why men should do it, men offer several reasons. Shaving has benefits for competitive swimmers and bodybuilders, and can also reduce perspiration. You may also want to take a razor to the fuzzier parts of your body to keep up with current trends, or because your girlfriend likes it.

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders and weightlifters often shave their bodies to show off the definition and contours of their muscles. In competitive bodybuilding tournaments, a smooth and hairless body highlights a bodybuilder’s physique. Having excess hair obscures muscle definition, and may affect how well bodybuilders do in professional competitions.

IS HAIRLESS MORE?

BODYBUILDER’S BODY

Certain athletes are known for gleamingly smooth physiques. “A hairless body shows a lot more definition,” explains Cynthia James, a body-shaving expert who works with professional bodybuilders, wrestlers and boxers. Hairs cast shadows, which tend to obscure muscle detail.

The best shaving strategy is to sit in a hot bath with a moisturizing oil, such as apricot or sunflower oil. Then shave against the grain with a combination of hair conditioner and shaving cream. You’ll have to exfoliate the skin every 24 hours-using a tough luffa sponge, or you’ll run into irritating ingrown hairs.

For those tricky nooks and crannies such as the Adam’s apple and the collarbone, lasering is a good solution. So is electrolysis, or zapping each follicle with an electric needle; it’s a tedious process that is too time-consuming for large areas. A less expensive option is a depilatory — a lotion or gel formulated to dissolve hair just under the skin’s surface. While they can be odorous and potentially irritating, one skin-friendly choice is Sally Hansen’s Sponge-On Hair Remover ($6). Results last for about a week.

shaving 2

HOW TO SHAVE BODY HAIR (MEN)

During the last 20 years more and more men choose to remove some or all of their body hair. First, it was the swimmers and bodybuilders, then all the athletes. Now even men who don’t have to show their body remove hair for different reasons. So if you are extensively hairy or your girlfriend prefers that you have smooth skin and you think that waxing is too painful, shaving the hair is a good option.

Get the things you’ll need. They are listed below.
Use the trimmer to shorten the hair as much as possible. Trimmers are easy to use and it’s hard to cut yourself with a trimmer. Go against the grain for a closer trim.
After trimming, go to the bath and wash with hot water for two minutes. Do not use soap because it dries the skin.
Put on the foam and wait for two-three minutes.
Get the bottle with alcohol and use it to rinse the razor from bacteria.
Get the razor and shave with the grain.
Put the foam again and wait for a minute.
Shave against the grain for a closer shave.
After that, take a bath with cooler water.
At the end, put on the aftershave.

 

 

4.BODY SHAVING

 

SHAVING FOR BODYBUILDING

There are many sports where it is advantageous or required to remove body hair. If you plan on entering a bodybuilding competition, you must remove your body hair. People are always asking for shortcuts to getting ripped and muscular, well here is the easiest one of all – remove body hair. Its amazing how much more massive and definied a hairy person looks when they remove their body hair! Removing armpit hair not only makes your lats look wider but removes a large source of body odor.

Lets talk about the other options first:

Creams and chemicals. These might work for women’s peach fuzz but despite what the ads say, they don’t work on thick men’s hair. I tried this myself using a product specifically designed for men’s thick head hair, left it on twice as long as they said, and all it did was make the hair curly – oh that and burned my skin something fierce.

Waxing. Haven’t tried this myself but its gotta be painful. Also time consuming and expensive if you have it done.

Mechanical pullers. Torture devices designed by men, for women. These rotating heads rip the hairs out one by one so you can enjoy the agony of each one separately.

Electric razor (type used for facial shaving). Easy on the skin, no pain, but takes FOREVER.

Electric clipper (type used for cutting head hair). An excellent option. Removes hair rapidly down to 1/32″ and looks clean shaven from 8′ away. No chance of ingrown hairs. Unless you really need to be smooth, give serious consideration to just clipping and leaving the hair at 1/32″

shaving 3

STEPS TO SHAVE THE BODY

Before we talk about shaving, lets talk about what we are trying to avoid – ingrown hairs. The name doesnt properly convey how painful they are and how UGLY they look so lets talk about them. Here is what the hair looks like before we shave it off. If you shave it properly, the sharp, cutoff end is at the skin level or above so that when you apply pressure to the skin there is no discomfort or imflamation. When the hair grows, it has a clear path to free air and doesnt contact skin during its growth upward. To cut at the right level:

warm up in the warm/hot water till the goosebumps are long gone
shave with the grain, in this example, drag the blade to the left.

If you shave hard against the grain, in this case to the right, you cut the hairs off below skin level and they look like this. Imagine you have made the mistake of shaving your beltline against the grain. As you button your pants you put pressure on the skin and thousands of these little knives poke you – not plesant! You might be able to get away with against the grain shaving places where nothing ever touches (like your face) but certainly not elsewhere.

If you shave too close like the above image, then something very unpleasant can happen. If the cut off hair has been covered by dirt or solidified skin oils, the hair cant grow upward so it curls back under. This can also happen if the sharp cut edge of the hair catches skin on the edge of the channel as it grows. As the hair continues to grow, nasty things happen. A raised red bump appears, if you are lucky that is all but quite often they get infected causing something that looks like a big whitehead pimple. Imagine this covering your chest like a carpet, yikes. In some cases they get infected so bad that a trip to the doctor is required.

shaving 1

WHY SHOULD MEN SHAVE THEIR BODY?

If you’re interested in male body shaving, also known as “manscaping,” or just want to know why men should do it, men offer several reasons. Shaving has benefits for competitive swimmers and bodybuilders, and can also reduce perspiration. You may also want to take a razor to the fuzzier parts of your body to keep up with current trends, or because your girlfriend likes it.

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders and weightlifters often shave their bodies to show off the definition and contours of their muscles. In competitive bodybuilding tournaments, a smooth and hairless body highlights a bodybuilder’s physique. Having excess hair obscures muscle definition, and may affect how well bodybuilders do in professional competitions.

IS HAIRLESS MORE?

BODYBUILDER’S BODY

Certain athletes are known for gleamingly smooth physiques. “A hairless body shows a lot more definition,” explains Cynthia James, a body-shaving expert who works with professional bodybuilders, wrestlers and boxers. Hairs cast shadows, which tend to obscure muscle detail.

The best shaving strategy is to sit in a hot bath with a moisturizing oil, such as apricot or sunflower oil. Then shave against the grain with a combination of hair conditioner and shaving cream. You’ll have to exfoliate the skin every 24 hours-using a tough luffa sponge, or you’ll run into irritating ingrown hairs.

For those tricky nooks and crannies such as the Adam’s apple and the collarbone, lasering is a good solution. So is electrolysis, or zapping each follicle with an electric needle; it’s a tedious process that is too time-consuming for large areas. A less expensive option is a depilatory — a lotion or gel formulated to dissolve hair just under the skin’s surface. While they can be odorous and potentially irritating, one skin-friendly choice is Sally Hansen’s Sponge-On Hair Remover ($6). Results last for about a week.

shaving 2

HOW TO SHAVE BODY HAIR (MEN)

During the last 20 years more and more men choose to remove some or all of their body hair. First, it was the swimmers and bodybuilders, then all the athletes. Now even men who don’t have to show their body remove hair for different reasons. So if you are extensively hairy or your girlfriend prefers that you have smooth skin and you think that waxing is too painful, shaving the hair is a good option.

Get the things you’ll need. They are listed below.
Use the trimmer to shorten the hair as much as possible. Trimmers are easy to use and it’s hard to cut yourself with a trimmer. Go against the grain for a closer trim.
After trimming, go to the bath and wash with hot water for two minutes. Do not use soap because it dries the skin.
Put on the foam and wait for two-three minutes.
Get the bottle with alcohol and use it to rinse the razor from bacteria.
Get the razor and shave with the grain.
Put the foam again and wait for a minute.
Shave against the grain for a closer shave.
After that, take a bath with cooler water.
At the end, put on the aftershave.

 

5..LESS WATER, SODIUM & CARBS:

 

In the week leading up to a contest, bodybuilders may decrease their consumption of water, sodium and carbohydrates, the former two to alter how water is retained by the body and the latter to reduce glycogen in the muscle. The day before the show, water is removed from the diet, and diuretics may be introduced, while carbohydrate loading to increase the size of the muscles through replenishment of their glycogen. The goal is to maximize leanness and increase the visibility of veins, or “vascularity.”

If you want to get into great shape and look sharp, then proper water balance in your body is important to you. Here are some things that can help you:

MAKE SURE THAT THE QUALITY OF YOUR WATER SUPPLY IS OPTIMAL.
Drink bottled spring water, or invest in an osmotic membrane filter to filter your local tap water. This is a small price to pay for the benefits of having pure, clean, low- sodium water every day.

MINIMIZE HIGH SODIUM FOODS IN THE DIET.
Pick up a sodium counter book at your local bookstore and familiarize yourself with the sodium content of the foods you eat. Eliminate excess salt from your diet.

drink-water_3

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE DAY. SPACING OUT YOUR WATER INTAKE IS BEST.
Remember that if water is in short supply, your kidneys will have a tendency to hoard water, causing fluid retention. So it is better to drink constantly throughout the day. I have a favorite saying that I like to tell my trainees: “To lose water you must drink water.”

TAKE A GOOD MULTIMINERAL TABLET DAILY TO ENSURE THAT YOUR ELECTROLYTES REMAIN BALANCED.
Electrolytes include: sodium, calcium and chloride in the fluid outside cells; potassium, magnesium and phosphorus in the cellular fluid. Electrolytes regulate many of the life sustaining processes of each of the millions of cells in your body.

PERSPIRATION AND THE INTAKE OF DIURETIC DRINKS SUCH AS COFFEE AND TEA CAUSE THE ELIMINATION OF ELECTROLYTES FROM THE BODY.
On a related note, one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac arrest in young, healthy athletes is the depletion of electrolytes.

. KEEP THE PROTEIN INTAKE IN YOUR DIET FAIRLY HIGH.
One gram of protein per pound of body weight. This can easily be accomplished by incorporating chicken breast, turkey breast, fish and lean meats in your diet, along with high quality protein powders such as my ProV60 Multipurpose Protein Blend, my Lean Pro 8 Super Premium Protein or my IsoLean Pro Whey Isolate Protein Powder. Along with electrolytes, protein helps regulate the water balance in your body. Proteins are water loving or hydrophilic. Water molecules tend to follow proteins. Without sufficient protein in the body, water in the bloodstream and vascular spaces leaks into the spaces between cells and the result is “edema” or water retention.

DO NOT USE DIURETICS UNLESS YOUR DOCTOR HAS PRESCRIBED THEM TO YOU FOR A SPECIFIC HEALTH CONDITION.
The use of diuretics can cause rapid loss of water from the body and can upset electrolyte balance, which can lead to serious health conditions and even death. Using drugs to rid the body of excess water can also lead to the false illusion of weight loss. Typically this type of weight loss (water weight) is quickly regained as soon as fluids are ingested.

 

6…POST COMPETITION

 

UNDERSTANDING POST BODYBUILDING COMPETITION PERIOD

You did it – you competed in a bodybuilding competition, and regardless of how you placed according to the judges, you should be extremely proud of your accomplishments. In fact, you may already be looking forward to another upcoming competition and wondering what you can do to best prepare.

At the same time, you’re probably feeling hungry, emotional, and thoroughly worn down after stepping off the stage, particularly if this was your very first body building competition. In reality, bodybuilding competitions are always extremely exhausting for the competitors, even if experienced professionals are accustomed to this type of exhaustion.

Fortunately, it’s possible to quickly recover from your pre-contest preparations and the rigors of the competition itself by incorporating some basic post-contest concepts into your diet, exercise, supplementation and rest routines. The post-contest stage of bodybuilding is all about recovery, replenishment, and rewarding yourself for the extremely hard work you’ve been putting in over the last several months or even years.

HOW TO BINGE WITHOUT SPOILING YOUR BODYBUILDING EFFORTS:

The following are some specific tips to follow to ensure that you binge in a way that helps your body recover and prepare for a return to growth and gains in muscle mass, strength, density and definition:

Drink plenty of water. Much of your pre-contest prep involved depleting water levels, and now it’s time to rehydrate. The more water you drink, the less likely you’ll be to crave junk food, since thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger. Drinking lots of water will also cause you to retain less water, reducing bloating.
Maintain a reasonable caloric intake. This holds especially true after your first day of binging, when you should be transitioning to your off-season eating habits.
Eat whatever you want for 24 hours in order to reward yourself, but don’t allow binging to go on for days. This is where the discipline you learned during your bodybuilding program will come in handy.
As a rule of thumb, initially return to how you were eating approximately four weeks before the competition date. This will help you to transition back to a somewhat higher-calorie diet.
Focus on eating plenty of protein.
Eat between six and eight smaller meals each day.
Avoid gaining more than 20 pounds over your competition weight if you’re a male, and 10 pounds if you’re a female. Ideally, you’ll want to minimize post-contest weight gain as much as possible.
Do something you enjoy to take your mind off of junk food cravings. Visit a friend, see a movie, go shopping – whatever gives you comfort and temporarily takes your attention away from bodybuilding.
Stay away from alcohol while you’re binging, as it will dehydrate you even further. Alcohol also has an extremely high glycemic index, meaning that your body turns it into glucose very quickly, messing with your metabolism in the process.

POST-CONTEST BODYBUILDING DIET:

Metabolic Damage:

During the course of the pre-contest diet your body goes through a complex series of adaptations to…as dramatic as it sounds… prevent you from starving to death. For example in scientific studies such as a peer reviewed case study of a bodybuilder several different physiological outcomes were witnessed. During the review the bodybuilding subject was preparing for a contest, whereby it was observed that his resting heart rate decreased so low that an ECG machine could not pick it it up, on top of that his blood pressure and body temperature all decreased in order to put up with the lack of available energy delivered from food.

Healthy Relationship with Food:

This article is not supposed to fear-monger the metabolic damage, rather provide some understanding and allow making educated lifestyle decisions. Food is an important aspect of our social lives and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a celebration meal with your friends or family after a show. Do not obsess about it and do not treat it as reward either, heave a healthy approach towards food, eat until feeling comfortable and do not feel guilty about it. However, once the day is over you should be getting back to the game plan.

Remember that bodybuilding does not end once the show does, it is a 24/7 lifestyle!

Reverse Dieting:

The concept of reverse dieting is not really new, but it recently became a new hype in the industry. It is simply a set period of time during which you methodically increase your calorie intake while reducing cardio – allowing the body enough time to catch up and use the surplus of food to restore the basal metabolic rate rather than dump it in your love handles. By doing so within few weeks you will restore body’s homeostasis and settle the cravings along with hunger before losing sight of your abs. This approach can not only be used by competitive athletes but also by fitness enthusiast who pushed their diet and training for a summer holiday, photo-shoot or maybe a wedding day, to find that their regiment is not-sustainable.

It is important to keep in mind that the degree of metabolic down-regulation (“damage”) will depend on how hard you pushed your body, the more drastic the diet and training the harder the crash. Also the rate at which the metabolic damage sets in will depend on how gradual were the nutritional and training changes, more rapid and unreasonable changes will speed up the process.

Therefore the reverse dieting protocol will greatly depend on how your pre-contest programme looked like. There is no set in stone guidelines, however you can use the template below to get an idea of what to do and make the necessary adjustments.

 

7…BODYBUILDING COMPETITION DAY

 

CHECK IN:

First part of the process is check-in. Most are the morning of. You’ll give your name and either be weighed or have your height checked. Sometimes you have to sign paperwork, but usually that process is done during the registration weeks before. They give you a swag bag (shirt, supplements, coupons, etc.) and your number. You step off to a waiting area and usually snack on your pump up meal.

After check-in is done they have a meeting for the competitors. They go over rules, poses, order of events and any other things they want you to know. After that is pre-judging.

BEFORE PRE JUDGING:

Depending on when your group is scheduled you either go back stage to get ready or sit in the audience to watch other competitors. About 30 minutes before stage time you’ll fix tan, hair and make up. About 10 minutes out from stage time you’ll start pumping up. Usually some squats, push ups, sit ups and a variety of light exercises with bands or weights. The goal of this is to increase blood flow to the muscles to help with muscle volume and definition.

STAGE TIME FOR BODYBUILDERS:

Walk out and stand in the front relaxed pose. They’ll call out the turns for the side and back relaxed poses. Next, they’ll call out the mandatory poses. If there are lots of people on stage they will rearrange everyone for better comparisons and call out the mandatory poses again. Hold each pose until they say relax. When they call relax go into the relaxed pose. When it’s all over they thank and dismiss you.

STAGE TIME FOR FIGURE:

The very first thing you’ll do is the model walk (also known as the T-walk). Corner, corner, center, turn and walk back to the line up at the rear of the stage. Once all girls have done their walk they call everyone forward to do the quarter turns. After that they thank you and dismiss you.

Bodybuilding is the same for men and women. Bikini and men’s physique are a bit different. They do a model walk, but they don’t have quarter turns.

POST PRE JUDGING:

After you are done with pre-judging is not the time to go crazy and eat whatever you want. The evening show and awards are still several hours away. Small snacks, a bit of water and watching the other categories are a good idea. During this time or right before the evening show are often when natural or drug tested federations will do their testing. Sometimes it is random and sometimes it is on suspicion when comparing the competitors against each other during pre-judging.

EVENING SHOW:

Like the morning it’s important to pump up before going on stage. They call out each division to display the competitors. For bodybuilding they may ask them to show a few poses before sending them back stage again. The top competitors for each division are called out to do a posing routine. After the routine everyone is called out on stage again. There might be a pose down where each person displays their best poses. Then they hand out the awards. First place for each division competes for women’s or men’s overall.

Figure does the same as the morning with the walk and quarter turns then are handed their awards. Like bodybuilding the first place finishers for each division compete for the overall title.

BACKSTAGE PREPARATION:

Visualize; days events, posing, relaxation techniques, etc.
Have last coat of tanning agent applied before arrival.
Frequently inquire of time remaining until stage presentation
Apply oil lightly; ask help for your back; always double check
Protect yourself from cold air or drafts; use a robe if needed
Pumping up
Pump up the last several minutes
Take your time between exercises
Pump up with weights, towel, and/or surgical tubing exercises
Incorporate floor exercises, if desired
Pump up weak body parts and side delts
Limit pump up exercises
2 to 4 exercises in circuit fashion
Avoid over pumping
2 to 3 sets per body parts
Avoid pumping quads and abs
unless extremely lean, just flex
Limit biceps pump
to maintain biceps peak

COMMON PUMPING MOVEMENTS

Delts
Lateral Raises
Upright Rows
Chests & Triceps
Push Ups
Dips
Flexing
Back & Biceps
Towel Pulls
Pull Ups
Flexing
Hams
Leg Curls (with tubing)
Flexing
Calves
Single Leg Calf Raises
Quads
Flexing and Posing
Abs
Flexing and Posing

The appearance of veins is further enhanced immediately before appearing on stage by darkening the skin through tanning products, and applying oils to the skin to increase shine. Some competitors will eat sugar-rich foods to increase the visibility of their veins. A final step is the use of weights to fill the muscles with blood and further increase their size.

THE LAST SECONDS

Wipe feet on towel to remove dust if needed
Disrobe if you are covered
Recheck your body for any streaks, splotches, sweat, etc.
Remember to relax your face, smile occasionally, and have fun!

 

8.COMPITION POSING

 

 

BODYBUILDING MANDATORY POSES

bb poses 1

Bodybuilding mandatory and compulsory poses on stage:

BODYBUILDING POSING PREPARATION:

Bodybuilding posing is usually one of the most ignored aspects of contest preparation. Competitors are so focused on their dieting and training that many don’t take the time to prepare an exciting posing routine. Some bodybuilders leave it until the last week to try and put something together. There are even a few brave souls who step on stage and try to “wing it.” It’s easy to spot the bodybuilders who don’t do their homework; they can’t even perform the mandatory poses properly.

If you hope to win or even place well in a bodybuilding contest, you must give your posing preparation the same diligence and dedication as training and dieting. You may be the biggest and most ripped guy on stage, but if you flounder around looking unprepared, your chances of winning, or even placing, will be greatly reduced.

MUSIC SELECTION:

The best posers select music that reflects their personality. It’s also much easier to perform a great routine if you like the song you are posing to. In a manner of speaking, your physique is your product, and you’re using the posing routine to ‘sell’ yourself to the judges. The judges award points in three areas: how well you hit the individual poses, how well your routine flows with your physique; and how well your routine flows with the music you have selected. If you have a rugged, muscular physique, music that is powerful and upbeat will be your best bet. On the other hand if your physique is more symmetrical than massive, slower pop music or classical music, will probably work better for your bodybuilding posing.

JUDGES EYE:

The judges will look for the competitors’ degree of perfection for perfect symmetry, overall muscular development as each muscle group relates to the total appearance, as well as the degree of body fat and water retention. The most outstanding competitor receives a score of one (1).

Famous competitions like Mr. Olympia and IFBB Pro Championship League ask the qualifiers to pose in front of the judges who then give their ratings to each individual that are added up to get the winner.

judging 3

7 BASIC MANDATORY POSES:

MEN POSES:

Front Double Bicep
Front Lat Spread
Side Chest
Side Tricep
Rear Double Bicep
Rear Lat Spread
Overhead Abdominal & Thigh
Most Muscular(several variations)

WOMEN POSES:

Front Double Bicep
Front Lat Spread
Side Chest
Side Tricep
Rear Double Bicep
Rear Lat Spread
Overhead Abdominal & Thigh
Although the lat-spreads are not required for the women, you could see the pose during pre-judging if requested by a judge. So practice them anyway!

 

9…BODYBUILDING POSING PRACTICE

 

posing practice 4

WHY TO PRACTICE?

Bodybuilding and posing. These 2 words used to be synonymous but over the past several years, as the physiques have evolved, it has changed drastically from the good old days when posing and physically displaying the body as a classical art form with ease and grace was an important and emphasized part of the bodybuilding equation. Now the routines of the top athletes are nothing more than hitting some hard muscle shots and wandering from one side of the stage to the other. There are a few athletes in the current crop that are exceptions to this rule but, as a whole, it seems to be the case.

The stage is our battle ground.

How do athletes in other sports get better?

They practice what they will be doing on game day. Hockey players skate and shoot a puck. Basketball players shoot hoops and dribble a basketball. These athletes all incorporate weight training and cardio conditioning but practicing what they will be doing on game day still takes priority. We, as bodybuilders, focus most on our gym workouts and cardio but when it comes to posing practice, it takes a secondary role. Our game day is the stage so shouldn’t intense posing practice be the main emphasis, above all else, to becoming the best bodybuilder you can be? Posing is to our sport like swinging a golf club is for a golfer.

TIPS TO MASTER YOUR BODYBUILDING POSING:

posing practice 1

SET AN ALOTTED TIME DURING THE WEEK TO POSE.

This is so self-explanatory I almost didn’t include it. The reason it’s essential is that as the weeks roll on, conceding to do only a few half-assed poses in your mirror isn’t going to cut it. Try to set at least 40 minutes two times a week to practice your mandatories.

The way I do it is block off a time shortly after my workout when I feel my my most pumped and then practice running through each pose as if it were the real show. I imagine the judge calling out the turn and then executing it, holding it, and then moving to the next one. You’ll find your ability to get comfortable in the pose and your stamina increase tenfold by setting up a dedicated time to pose.

MIRROR VS. CAMERA

This is another common error that bodybuilders make. They tend to use ONLY the mirror when practicing their posing. The only issue with this strategy is that on stage you won’t have the mirror to make adjustments. Did you really turn enough in that side chest? Did you pull your biceps above 90 degrees in that front double? You just won’t know until you get comfortable posing WITHOUT the mirror. If you haven’t tried it already go ahead and do a run down within you allotted posing time in the mirror. Then whip out your HD camera, Iphone, Webcam, or anything you can use to record yourself and run through the poses again. You’ll be amazed at just how different they look….and how much harder it is to get comfortable in the pose.

The correct strategy is to use a combination of both. Maybe do a couple times in the mirror and then a couple times on camera during the week. This will really help find your weak points in your posing and make adjustments. You can even use the camera first, do a playback of the video, and then correct the mistakes you saw in the mirror.

If you don’t have a camera you can use the poor man’s strategy. Pose in the mirror with your eyes closed. Once you feel that you’ve hit the pose correctly, open your eyes and see how it looks. This mind-muscle connection will enable you to relax on stage and stick your poses.

posing practice 3

POMODORA TECHNIQUE

This is a common strategy used by people attempting to reduce their procrastination habit, but I’ve adapted it to just about everything, posing included. The Pomodora Technique means taking a pomodora timer, turning the knob to 30-50 minute intervals and then working non-stop while the clock keeps ticking. This means no breaks, distractions, nothing (aside from some water…and breathing…ya breathing is pretty important).

STAGE LIGHTING

Lighting can make or break you when it comes to posing. Having a light blasting from the front or the back is going to be nothing like stage lighting so the straitions and adjustments your making to cater to the light will be nothing like what you’ll see on stage. The solution is to find some sort of down lighting or something that encompasses your full body and isn’t playing to any particular angle. Too many times I stood near bathroom lighting and thought my shoulder was too low simply because of how the shadows dropped off the shoulder closest to the mirror. It can really mess with your posing. There are a lot of people out there that recommend high powered lights as opposed to the dim lit CFL’s or standard light bulbs you find in most apartments/homes. I recommend just doing your posing during the day in a well lit room or even outside if you’re brave enough. Nothing better than the sun.

CORRECT ATTIRE

Posing trunks, posing trunks, posing trunks. Posing in your gym shorts isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to end up standing up too tall, not flexing your hip flexors, because you can’t SEE THEM or you’ll miss flexing your glutes in the reverse double bicep. If you don’t have posing trunks yet then you have two options.. Using some very form fitting underwear and rolling up the sides or testing out the waters in your birthday suit.

posing practice 2

DIFFERENT ANGLES

This is not something that many people focus on and it’s really only necessary if you are having some serious trouble with a particular pose. Try the pose from a different angle. This means that if you’re struggling with the front relaxed, try it from the side in a mirror or camera. You’ll notice if your hips are pulled back correctly, your back is straight, and how far you’re leaning forward or backward. Another example would be doing a side chest from the front to see if your using your back knee to press the hamstring closest to the judges correctly.

HIRE A COACH

This is the most important and easiest tip to follow. Posing is difficult….and a lot of times when you think you’ve got it…you don’t. Hire a good coach. They’ll be able to make proper adjustments and usually aren’t that expensive (well worth the cost…I should say). To find a coach surf through some of our other articles or just find your favorite bodybuilders that poses well and email them. A lot of the time they offer these services.

 

10…CRAB POSE/ MOST MUSCULAR

 

Crab pose

ONLY FOR MEN:

This pose will be required only for the men in bodybuilding.

CRAB POSE INTRODUCTION:

This one can be done in different ways, hands clasped in front of the body or the so called “crab” most muscular pose. Whichever one you choose, you will be required to flex your abs, chest, shoulders arms and quads to their max.

GET STRIATIONS & CUTS:

The contestant must stand with one leg slightly extended toward the judges, and assume a favorite of the following most muscular poses. Either the “crab”, hands-on-hips or partial crab (with one hand behind back) variations may be used. Side most muscular poses are not permitted unless instructed by the Head Judge. It is an excellent way to get striations and cuts into chest and quadriceps.

Crab pose 1

PROCEDURE FOR CRAB POSING:

With the Crab Most Muscular, you want one foot in front of you slightly. The Leg that is in the back will support most of your weight. Like in all other situations, you want your knees pointed out slightly in order to bring out the best quad sweep you can. Both legs need to be flexed hard and showing as much definition as possible. Many will choose to spike the toe of the foot in front to show the details in their calf. If you do spike your toe, just remember to keep flexing your quads, you do not want to lose definition in the larger muscle groups in order to show the minor details.

 

11..TATTOOS & BODYBUILDING

 

 

TATOOS – DISTRACTION FOR JUDGES:

Tattoos are an art form and an important expression of your individuality, BUT they can also be a distraction for judges if you are a competitive bodybuilder or figure competitor.

WHAT DO YOU SEE FIRST? THE TATTOOS OR THE MUSCLES?

Jim Evans

The little cutesy-cute strategically-placed ones aren’t so bad, but some of the larger full-torso, arm-length, or bizarre-looking tattoos can greatly detract from your physique or figure. You are supposed to be trying to display your body to best advantage – not your tattoo(s).

There is a reason why very few, if any, top bodybuilders or figure competitors have very large or prominent tattoos. They know that tattoos – or, for that matter, even birthmarks, pigmentation conditions (e.g. vitalago), or even a bad case of zits – can divert the judges from looking at what they should be looking at , and the voting among the top competitors is often so close that they don’t want leave anything to chance.

Tattoos 3

A LOOK BACK AT TATTOOS IN BODYBUILDING

Dorian Yates won the Mr. Olympia competition six times and had tattoos, but the placement of them could have been the trick. According to IFBB, there is no penalty for having tattoos in competition so long as they do not distract the judge when scoring. Dorian had his tattoos on back of forearms, making it a bit more difficult to locate then. You will not get points deducted for having tattoos, but you may not score as high if the designs take away from the definition of your muscles.

WORKING TATTOOS EFFECTIVELY DURING COMPETITION

Luckily, these days you can get painted before a competition by someone else or by yourself, a process that will hide most of the tattoo. Bodybuilder Lee Priest has numerous tattoos including on his face, but they are not noticeable during a competition because of both tanning and paint.

While tattoos used to be associated with the Navy or rock ‘n roll, they seem to have progressed to be “okay” in bodybuilding today. Of course, remember to still always offensive tattoos as your tan can come off and hurt your score should they offend the judges. Cheers to art in all of its forms, whether it be tattoos, bodybuilding, or both!

 

 

12…..STAGE ETIQUETTE

 

IMPORTANCE OF STAGE ETIQUETTE

“In the beginning, there was bodybuilding, and within bodybuilding, there were friendly rivalries – and it was good.” Ah, the good old days when bodybuilders were genuine friends, fought each other for victory and helped each other compete to be the best. Times have changed. Today, bodybuilding is more about winning at all costs.

That doesn’t mean etiquette and professionalism don’t still rule. In fact, if you listen to the private conversations of judges at the top contests, you realize they’re even more important than ever. Your conduct with your fellow competitors matters more than you realize. It influences your scores and placing in contests, and it earns you a reputation that can help or hinder you for competitions to come. Here are seven top tips, mined from behind-the-scenes conversations with the top judges at the top contests. This is a wish list of what competitors should bring to the stage, as well as a rap sheet of their top blunders.

POSE CORRECTLY

By the time you decide to compete, it’s expected that you can pose correctly and respond to the judges’ instructions. It’s remarkable, then, how many bodybuilders simply lack the ability to properly execute the most fundamental poses.

In fact, the situation has become so dire in recent years that one top judge at the Mr. Olympia was overheard asking, “Is it too much to ask these guys to simply give us the right pose when we ask for it?!”

A massive, outstanding physique goes only so far. Failing to execute the called-for pose suggests a fundamental lack of skill that demonstrates that you didn’t care enough to master the basics of competition. Or worse, the judges think you’re disregarding their authority. Master poses by practicing every day. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your physique receives a fair appraisal next to your competitors.

BE CLEAN

You need to present yourself in the best possible light. Show up on competition day prepared. Make sure that you’re clean-shaven over your entire body. Make sure that you’re not emitting odors. Shower prior to the show, and because it’s a long day, clean up as needed between the morning and evening shows. When you’re going onstage, ensure that you don’t overdo the posing oil. Avoid the use of scented products that can irritate the judges and your fellow competitors.

DON’T MAKE A MESS

Competition takes a lot of preparation and work, and though the use of towels, posing oil, workout bands and more can get messy at times, it’s incumbent upon you to show respect by keeping your assigned area as clean and organized as possible. Make sure that someone else doesn’t have to clean up your mess, because word gets around and you’ll forever have people talking about you in all the wrong ways. And don’t kid yourself: The stage manager and the judges talk, and they will always find out if there are any backstage issues with competitors.

DON’T STEAL

While the old days of bodybuilding are often idealized, not all was perfect. In fact, many competitors would use dirty tricks to throw off the competitors they liked the least. One of these tricks was stealing key items such as posing oil or towels at key times.

But those days are over. Whereas such actions were generally overlooked in the old days, today they’re grounds for disqualification and a ban from competition. Not only will messing with other competitors get you booted from the show, but it might even land you in a cell downtown. And if you’re ever allowed to return to competition, your reputation as a thief will stay with you forever.

IF ASKED FOR HELP, GIVE IT

In today’s bodybuilding world, there’s a tendency toward the “dog eat dog” mentality – and this is a huge departure from the old days of genuinely friendly competition and rivalry. It used to be that you hoped to beat your training partner, but if you didn’t, you hoped he beat the guy who beat you, and you tried to help him do it. Not so anymore. Today, it seems there is no other goal than winning. It’s as if friendship and camaraderie are an afterthought.

If you want to be the consummate professional who is thought of as a winner, you need to be different. Often, bodybuilders backstage will ask for help from other bodybuilders, and it’s a good idea to be as fair and friendly to your fellow competitors as possible, simply because you don’t know when you will need their help in the future. So, if fellow athletes ask you to apply bronzer or oil, help them if you can. If you do give them help, be sure to actually help them – don’t sabotage them by applying too little or too much bronzer or oil, or through any other tricks.

BE POLITE ONSTAGE

Often, in the attempt to be seen, bodybuilders may interrupt each other’s posing routines, and this is especially true in the free-for-all posing rounds. Some bodybuilders go so far as stepping in front of others. This does increase their visibility, but negatively. Most judges consider this kind of behavior rude, and do you really want to generate negative feeling from the people who pick the winners?

Be polite onstage. The fact is that the judging table already has a full view of the competitors onstage. If they want to do further comparisons, they’ll call out the bodybuilders they want. Don’t interrupt their evaluation process, thinking that it will score you more points. It won’t. Being rude will only cost you points, as well as the respect of your fellow competitors and the judges.

By being the consummate professional, you’ll make the judges remember you, and you’ll make their view of you a good one – making it more likely that they’ll want to see more.

TAKE YOUR TIME – NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S

At shows, you’re entitled to the stage time given to you and that’s all. Some bodybuilders forget this and try to stay onstage long after their number is up. Don’t be one of them. What it costs you in your scoring totals isn’t worth the extra five seconds of limelight.

The judges give you the amount of time they need to make a fair judgment – no less and no more. Therefore, when your time is up, exit the stage. Staying on longer will only anger the judges and your fellow bodybuilders, and will leave you looking desperate and unprofessional.