Water and Peak Weak – that statement is the most misunderstood and confused concept amongst bodybuilders.
Before I go any further let’s think about what bodybuilders are doing at a competition. We are showing off our physique, flexing our shredded muscles to display our mass and symmetry. Now let’s think about water and the human body. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.
So now we know that muscles contain water – hold onto that thought!!
I am going to share with you what I have learned and what works for ME. I don’t want to start a debate but want to share my experiences in the hopes of helping new athletes that are preparing for their first competitions.
For my first competition I followed the no water rule for 24 hours prior to going on stage. I also followed the no carb rule and I remember looking at competitors with confusion when I saw them drinking gallons of water and one female competitor eating pasta. I was thinking man are they messing up (now knowing that I was the one really messing up). I had no idea what I was doing; I was just following along with what many competitors believe to be the only way to become stage presentable. I was told I would wake up in the morning amazed with how completely different I would look due to my lack of water and carbs. I woke up in the morning a bit disappointed – there was no WOW moment – but thought I looked OK. However, looking back at pictures I was flat and had no vascularity. WHY – because I was dehydrated!!
If you read my bio, you know that after my 1st competition I found my coach Eric Helms with 3DMUSCLEJOURNEY (3DMJ). Today he continues to teach me so many new concepts. Amongst those teachings were his methods on peak week and water consumption. I quickly learned that miracles do not happen during peak week and water dehydration is a thing of the past. I learned that I need to be show ready 3 weeks out so we can re-introduce carbs and drink plenty of water. More carbs sounds amazing after months of dieting – right!!! Following Eric’s program my peak week is now very different – my carbs are much higher then my show prep macros and vary from day to day. Under Eric’s guidance can you guess how my physique looks come show day? Full, hard, vascular, and stage ready!! Not only did I look better but my energy levels were higher and my mental state was better, more upbeat and confident. Since working with Eric I’ve earned two pro cards. I trust Eric and know that he wants me to do well and but also wants me to be healthy.
This picture of my back is 3 days before a show; full of water and carbs!!
This is such a complicated topic and I am not a scientist or expert so I’ve called upon the experts to help back me up. I’ve included two great articles for you to read. One by 3DMJ and the other by Cliff Wilson.
Common Contest Prep Mistakes
by Natural Pro Bodybuilder – Alberto Nunez
Rapid Backload Peaking: The Cliff Wilson Approach To Pre-Contest Dieting
Get absolutely shredded for your upcoming contest by following this peaking approach designed by top natural bodybuilder and trainer Cliff Wilson.
Rapid Backload Peaking: CARBS, WATER, and SODIUM