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Contest preparation should start 12 weeks before the event and just like you planned your muscle gain you now have to plan your presentation on the day of the event. Without describing the slow and sensible reduction of calories needed to lose the body-fat to look your best, you also need to adjust your training.

It should also be added here that your specific diet adjustments that you start 12 weeks before your contest date should also include your daily water intake. It is a well-orchestrated series of adjustments that need to be made including tanning, music and weight training as well as diet and water intake.

The first aspect is your cardio work that you, if you have never done cardio on a regular basis then starting 12 weeks before a competition is a good idea. Whether it is done on a treadmill, stationary bike or a stair-climber your cardio work should be a minimum of 30 minutes three times a week.

As the weeks progress you are tightening up by doing cardio five times a week and doing 40 minutes when you are 5 weeks out from competing. The last three weeks your cardio should be stepped up again to 45 minute five times a week. The same step up program will also apply to your weight training.

Weight Training should be well planned so that you are able to monitor your High Intensity Training (HIT) and your Volume Training very specifically. HIT training is done with heavy weights training in the 5 to 8 rep range. This type of training focuses on Type II fibers.

It is these Type II muscle fibers that fatigue quickly but can generate a lot of energy very quickly. Your Volume Training focuses on the Type I fibers with higher repetitions of 12 to 15 reps. Type I fibers are unlike the Type II fibers that give your muscles that voluminous look.

The Type I muscle fibers are smaller but it gives your muscles that hard defined look that the judges are looking for. It is important to note that the activation of the Type I muscle fibers come from an increased cardiovascular capacity which is why the increased cardio that you do is so important.

The contest training program is for 12 weeks before the contest with a final adjustment in the last two weeks. Training 6 days a week on this routine would be Chest/Triceps/Abs on Tuesday and Quads/Forearms/Calves on Wednesday and Back/Biceps/Abs on Thursday with Shoulders/Traps/Calves again on Friday. Saturday is a rest day and Sunday is reserved for training triceps or some other weak body-part.


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