Review of Jacob's Pre-Contest Week Analysis - ABCbodybuilding

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Old 10-18-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default Review of Jacob's Pre-Contest Week Analysis

This will be my review of Jacob’s (The Prez) Pre-contest Week Prep article which can be found here:
http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/precontestweek.pdf

Disclaimer:

First off, this article is only about pre-contest week and is not an excuse for poor conditioning. Prior to pre-contest week, one should already be as lean as they need to be. That said, this article outlines a plan to manipulate water/carbs/sodium to try and bring your best physique.

I followed the plan (I will not rehash it, just check the article) to a “T”. And there were many variables that you are adjusting; carbs per pound while depleting, sodium loading in the early part of the week, sodium depleting at the end of the week, carb loading at the end of the week, water loading in the early part of the week, water taper and eventual cut off at the end of the week, macro nutrient intake on contest day.

I did not follow the articles sample diet. However, I did follow the macro nutrient breakdown and stuck with foods I was used to eating.

I also did not follow the articles sample workouts. I did use the basic concepts presented for the sample workouts in terms of trying to deplete glycogen, i.e. higher reps, focus on contraction. I feel I improved on the depletion workouts because I was able to use my tire sled to completely eliminate the eccentric portion of the repetition which (as stated in the article) can be detrimental to the carb load phase, so my final workout for example, was entirely concentric which enabled my muscles to take up glycogen more efficiently than if I was using eccentric motions as well. I did still utilize normal repetitions early in the depletion protocol but moved toward eccentric only towards the end of the depletion protocol.

The week starts out with depletions workouts, water loading and sodium loading.

The depletion workouts were tough, but actually not as tough as I expected. Considering you are working out with no carbs (and by the end of the depletion, basically no stored glycogen either), you expect to feel awful (and at times I admit it did!), but overall, drinking tons of water (2 gallons) during that phase helps you feel healthy and energized. I put the occasional energy rush packet into my water to:
1) give me some extra energy (i.e. caffeine, taurine) and
2) help me drink 2 gallons of water by giving it some flavor.

Sodium loading was no problem, I just would throw down a half teaspoon like I would with my BCAA power, swig some water and swallow it.

I was apprehensize about the carb load, 0.5 g per lb per meal x 6 meals came to over 500g carbs. 500g wouldn’t have been much for me 6 months ago, but I wasn’t sure how my body would respond after being low carb for so long. Luckily, my body reacted exactly the way the science of the article said it was supposed to; it sucked up the carbs into my muscles. I think (and hopefully you feel the pictures show) that I lost zero definition and actually gained in vascularity and some detail. I carefully assessed my physique through the carb load, in case I would get the dreaded “spillage.” However, it never came.

During the carb load, after each carb meal (so 6 times per day), I would do 3 sets of 10 second flexing in the mandatory bodybuilding poses. This was not outlined in the article, in fact, the article simply suggested to rest. However, based on CT’s recommendation (For Daryle Gee, not for me, lol!) at T-Nation, he suggests flexing hard after carb meals to help shuttle nutrients where they are supposed to go via non insulin mediated glucose transport. This made sense to me, plus it was a great way to:
1) practice my posing and
2) assess my physique (when I had the opportunity to use a mirror).

Regarding water during the carb load, you gradually reduce your water intake and finally cut it off the night before your contest. Basically, the science explains that the carbs are shuttled to the muscles due to supercompensation and they attract water to them, thus when you cut out your water, the carbs suck up subcutaneous water and help bring out the last bit of detail.

My wife and I could both see the increased detail come out on some of my more stubborn bodyparts, specifically my calves, thighs and triceps.

Finally, contest day, no water is allowed due to the above effect mentioned. And after several small meals, you take in your pre-event meal. The article wasn’t very detailed on this meal, so I actually read from other sources (Layne Norton’s diet article) that this meal (in addition to having a High GI carb) should also have a decent amount of fat and sodium, both of which appear to help with vascularity.

Final Analysis:
I felt I definitely achieved increased detail and vascularity thanks to the protocol outlined in the article.

I would do it again if I ever compete and possible even increase my carb load slightly since I handled them so well and actually weighed in 2.5 lbs lighter than before my carb load! Now, I am sure that was because I was depleting water, but maybe had I ate a few more carbs I could have sucked more water into my muscle instead of peeing it out. I can't say for certain, just a guess.

I am going to post pictures and a video, you may not notice the difference, but it is there and it may have made the difference in a placing or two had I actually competed.

Video:
Here is a new video, the first half is similar to my previous video, but I decided to add close ups. At 1:46 into the video, you can see the detail in my legs better on the close up, especially the sharpness on my calves which I did not have until the night before. You can also see increased vascularity of my upperbody.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQh5aa9jclI

Pictures: - unfortunately there is a difference in lighting
October 10, 2010 – finished up diet, pictures on left are from this date, weight 170, waist 31.25 inches
October 17, 2010 - Contest Day, pictures on right are from this date, weight 167.5, waist 30.75 inches

Close ups are also from October 17, 2010.

I add my own assessment, please feel free to add you own.

Front Lat – I can see increased detail in my quads

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Last edited by Commander; 10-18-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:02 PM
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Side Chest – increased chest striations, close up shows increased vascularity



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Old 10-18-2010, 03:02 PM
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Side Tricep – I feel like my tricep tightened up and detail is more visible trailing down towards the elbow



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Old 10-18-2010, 03:03 PM
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Rear Double Bicep – increased vascularity (especially in forearm), more detail on triceps and lower back



Ham/Calf – sorry, no comparison shot for this one, shows the separation on my calve, some detail of hamstring, the video does my calves more justice

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Old 10-19-2010, 01:21 AM
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Love the time and effort you put into researching it really shows, good stuff.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:39 AM
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Thanks, trying to help others...and let them know that the guys behind ABC know their stuff!
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:12 AM
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All I can say is WOW! You look amazing. What an inspiration! Thanks for posting this!
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:18 PM
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No problem Jake, thanks for writing the article!

I can now say from experience, that sodium and water manipulation does have an effect and I am glad I tried it.

Now I know how my body will respond if I do a show.
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