Monthly Archives: August 2009
Dehydration and Carb Loading Don’t Work, but Carb Cycling Does
I think carb cycling is great . It’s carb loading and depletion the week before the show, that I don’t believe in (see study results below).
Carb cycling (not loading) is one of the most effective techniques for losing body fat before a show. I found this out before I was a figure coach when I noticed that when regular clients would go off their diets for 3 or 4 days they would gain weight…. but if they went back on their diets they almost always lost the weight they gained PLUS another pound or two…. so i definitely believe in carb cycling. All my competitors use it.
Carb loading/carb depletion: is a technique used to try and fill the muscles out before a show by manipulating carbohydrate and water intake in the days before a show… sometimes drinking very little water and then an excessive amount. Research shows that it does not work. It seems everybody does this… it’s sort of a ‘must do’ thing the last week of a show.
Dehydration: all it does is take water out of the muscles and make you look flat. Big male bodybuilders can afford this but women can’t…. they need to have full muscles the day of competition. Trainers tell clients to dehydrate to get the water from “under the skin” .…there is no water under your skin. If you are too smooth on show day.. it’s NOT because there is too much water under your skin…. it’s because there is too much FAT under your skin. Competitors don’t like when I tell them this, as you can imagine. Getting lean involves consistency with workouts and diet… there is no other way! Like I say all the time: If you are not in shape by the last week before a show… there are no tricks to leaning out quickly!
Below is research done by Balon, Horowitz and Fitzimmon on carb loading to increase muscle size before a competition. Skip over the beginning scientific lingo and read the last 2 sentences:
Bodybuilders have used different carbohydrate loading regimens in conjunction with resistance exercise prior to competition in the belief that this would result in increased muscle size. To investigate this possibility, muscle girth measurements were obtained from nine weight-trained males before and after a control (standard isocaloric diet) and an experimental trial (carbohydrate loading). The latter regimen consisted of 3 days of intense weight-lifting while the subjects ingested a diet of 10% carbohydrate (CHO), 57% fat (F), and 33% protein (P), followed by 3 days of light weight-lifting and a day of rest while ingesting a diet of 80% CHO, 5% F, and 15% P. The control trial consisted of an identical weight-lifting regimen while subjects ingested an isocaloric (45 kcal/kg BW/day) diet. Body weight and girths (forearm, upper arm, chest, thigh, waist, and calf) were obtained before and after each trial in a relaxed and flexed state. The results indicate that an exercise/carbohydrate loading regimen had no significant effect on muscle girth as compared to the control trial. It is concluded that CHO loading has no additional advantage to enhancing muscle girth in bodybuilders over weight-lifting alone.
Everyone wants bigger arms but few women know what the best exercise is to get bigger biceps. Is it dumbbell curls? Concentration curls? Cable machine curls? Barbell curls? …uhhh Nope! The best bicep builder is underhand chinups!
Why? Because if you can raise yourself up with an under hand grip, this means you have lifted your entire body weight mainly with your biceps. That’s a lot more work for your biceps than curling two 15 lb dumbbells.
Now, there are a few problems with underhand pullups:
1) most women can’t do then
2) those that can will only be able to do one or two pullups
Solution: a) Start with underhand pullups on a lower bar (modified). this will build bicep strength without the need to support your total bodyweight. Once you build enough strength you can try regular pullups.
Solution: b) or you can have someone assist you as you perform pullups in the gym. You should start out by doing a small number each workout. Maybe you have someone assist you with 8-10 reps each workout for the first few weeks. Split this up over 3 or 4 sets (of 3-4 reps each set). This puts a lot of stress on the biceps so take your time and build your strength over 2 or 3 weeks before you increase the amount of reps you perform.
These exercises will build bigger arms than all the different bicep curl exercises combined! Your biceps will grow as you improve in the number you pullups you can do.