We are 14 weeks out from the Michigan Natural Classic Bodybuilding Show and it is time to start practicing poses and counting calories. Whether it’s your first show or your tenth — start safely preparing your body and your mind for the competition. 

Start off by evaluating yourself to determine how much fat you need to lose. What muscle groups you need to focus on for an even, stage-ready look. Determining these factors will help you put together a diet and schedule to prepare for the showcase. Be honest with yourself and set realistic goals that you can achieve.

Give yourself enough time to diet properly and keep things natural. Last-minute dieting will cause more harm than good. Maintain your lean protein intake and add carbohydrates from sources such as brown rice, dark green vegetables, slow-digesting fruits, and regular oatmeal. Don’t forget to include healthy fats — like avocado — in your diet. Check your body fat weekly to track how your diet is working. This can help you stay focused and adjust your diet as needed. Keep in mind that diets are to get rid of body fat, not gain muscle.

Depending on your personal evaluation and diet, your workout routine should mirror your goals. Need to burn more body fat? Adjust your diet and increase your cardiovascular routine to become leaner. In the weeks leading up to the competition, you need to maintain muscle without risking injury. You should not be overtraining in this period. You should maintain your regular routine with gradual, minor adjustments based on your goals for the showcase. Changing up your routine dramatically can increase your risk of injury and reduce your chances of success. 

Practice posing as soon as you can in your training program! Practice makes perfect and helps build your confidence on stage. Start working on your routine and the mandatory poses. After your workout, practice your poses by holding each one for 10 seconds. Then, as the event gets closer, start doing them every day. It helps to take pictures of your poses to tweak your look and see yourself in routine. If you can, have an experienced judge or experienced bodybuilder assess your routine and poses. 

Be smart and careful with your diet and workout routines — especially when making changes – to avoid any setbacks in your training or medical complications that will railroad your efforts. 

For more information about nutrition and training for the  Michigan Natural Classic bodybuilding show, please contact us here or call Lighthouse Nutrition at 616.216.2501.