|Image 1: More often than not it's simply water that is keeping you from achieving the physique of your dreams. A profound morning vs. evening difference is characteristic of water, not fat being the last hurdle.|
Test, test, test, ... 1, 2, 3, ... how lean can I possibly be?
|You think you could use some advice on your own training, diet and supplementation regimen and want it from someone who obviously knows what it takes to build muscle and lose fat? You can reach out to Adelfo via Facebook.|
Hydration, dehydration, superhydration and simple bloating
One of the nastiest problems with peaking right at a bodybuilding show relates to the issue of water rentention. You obviously have to get rid of all subcutaneous water, to show off what Samir Bannout aptly labeled your "onion skin"... or to put it more simply, be the most "shredded" guy on stage. That being said, I have in the past often had issues with the water in my lower abdomen and my sides. The "bloating" in these problem areas usually goes away in the last month or weeks of my prep. And while time obviously is a major factor, here, I have hitherto found that cutting back the variety of my diet and sticking to meat and low- to no-starch veggies like cucumbers, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini is a surefire (and actually the only) way to get rid of these last milliliters of water. For this ends, even my beloved full-fat dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheeses) will have to disappear from my meal plan.
|Image 2: Recent picture showing me holding some excess subcutaneous water in my lower abs (left). Picture from a competition in 2009 showing me with minimal to no water in my lower abdomen (right).|
Three bullet proof tweaks to lessen the water-load
And though I hope not to have to resort to any tricks to get stage ready, I am planning to use the time to the 12-week mark to experiment with a few tweaks which will accelerate contemporary water loss and will enable me to lay out an appropriate strategy for the day(s) right before the contest:
- Stick to mainly lean meats (like chicken breast, tilapia and grass-fed beef) and light filling, low calorie, low carb, alkaline veggies like cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage, and zucchinis. Once I cut the starchy carbs completely, I start to notice my physique get leaner and grainier.
- Drink lots of water! I usually pound like 2 gallons/day leading up to the big day. Drinking lots of water and keeping a steady amount flowing through you, the whole day, will help you flush out that unwanted water.
- Drink some green tea everyday. Green tea also helps with expelling excess water - and, if you have been following the SuppVersity news, this week, you will also know that it can actually help you lose weight or at least stave off the potential holiday weight gain.
Image 4: The recipes are getting simpler, during the test run: Lean meat + no-starch veggie = Lean and mean physique and constantly lowered water retention... no dairy, no peanut butter, no... well, you know ;-)
But remember: These are only temporary, NOT permanent fixes. These little schemes will not help you lose weight or get lean. They will just help enhances your physique when you already have at a certain degree of body fat percentage and leanness. Shortcuts and quick fixes don’t get you the physique you want! Dedication, consistency, & balance do.
Exciting new and reliable staples in my supplement arsenal
Via Dr. Andro's contacts on the Mind & Muscle Forum, I got in contact with the guys from Purus Labs, who have been on the look out for people to test some of their newest products. All I have to do is to run an honest log and track my progress with how I am getting along with their products - sounds fair to me, especially because I think that the combination of D-Pol, Recycle and Slinshot will make a good addition to my regimen.
- D-Pol (D-aspartic acid):
Image 3: Slinshot, Recycle and D-Pol by Purus Labs are the latest generously sponsored additions to my supplement regimen.
For what purpose? With its proven effects LH secretion, the d-aspartic acid will hopefully help increasing my testosterone levels, which can obviously take a beating whenever you are dieting, because your body is trying to preserve body fat, so it shuts all other systems down in order to tend to more important matters like starvation.
- Recycle (natural test booster):
When and how? Will be taken in the afternoon & evening, one serving pre-workout and another serving later in the evening.
For what purpose? Recycle appears to be a good match for the d-aspartic acid in D-Pol, as it helps increase testosterone via a different pathway and will keep the aromatization into estrogen at bay and help reduce SHBG and thusly "free" the otherwise bound (additional) testosterone of their carrier protein. And though, I have not felt any low test-issues ever since I began intermittent fasting, I am hoping that the addition of the test booster will help with maintaining more of my strength.
- Slinshot (glucose uptake promoter)
When and how? Will be taken during my carb loads/ re-feed days with my biggest carbohydrate meals
For what purpose? I hope that it will help shuttle the carbs into the muscle more readily, especially on the non-post-workout meals, when the glucose-uptake sensitizing effect of my workout abates.
Image 4: The best fat burner is useless if you have not dialed in your diet.
- Anadraulic state: I’d have to say it’s working! My bench press is increasing little by little with every training session. My body feels and looks fuller and I have been getting really good pumps at the gym. This stuff is keeping me strong while I diet down, and I have also become accustomed to the taste. It’s really starting to taste like strawberry lemonade! Lol.