Contest prep: What you do to maintain water (or lack thereof) during the show


Dec 3, 2013
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Get Shredded!
In the past I've had guys cut out sodium 4 days before the show, get a sweat on the night before, then not drink/drink very little during competition. However, we've always been concerned about the ability to maintain the "pump." Without fluid will the pump be as pronounced? Or are we doing this right?

Just looking for some feedback on what's worked for people in the past to help maintain that saran-wrap skin with strong vascularity, still feels like I'm fumbling in the dark.


Oct 22, 2012
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Ok - well this worked for me to peak for 3 shows over a 5 week period last year - 3 separate peaks.
You need to be ready - stage ready from a bodyfat perspective 2-3 weeks out. The last 2 weeks i added salt to all my meals which I normally would not do - it may have worked better if I kept the sodium high the whole prep but I didn't realize how good this would work.
The final week - peak week as they say - I kept salting all my food as I did the week before but the trick is the water manipulation - and this will get you nothing if you are not contest ready.. I carb depleated tues-thurs
Mon/Tuesday 1.5 gals of water ED
Wednesday 2 gallons water
Thursday 2.5 gallons
Friday try to get 3 gallons down.
@ 12 p Friday afternoon cut out all sodium
@ 9pm stop drinking water
@ Continue loading however you are doing it - I used a system of carb and fat loading - thru the night I was up pissin my brains out and every time I did I ate more of what I was loading on - drink only as much as you have to if needed to get the food down but keep it to a minimum.
I woke up the next morning dry as fuck. Now this is the condition you need to hold - I had my regular old 1/2 pot of coffee with more fat/carb loading HIGH SALT foods for breakfast. I was able to drink however much water as I needed leading up to pre-judging. Guy were looking @ me like WFT - how can you be drinking - all you are doing until about 2 hours pre -stage time is walking that fine line between what you need as far as food and water. About 1.5 hours before going on stage throw the salt back in - I shit loaded on empty calories that would not bloat me. Funyons, Pretzels, and drink as needed. If you are in shape show day is not as critical as you can up the sodium even earlier.

Now this is just what worked for me. The 2nd time doing this I guess I was so depleted during the Friday night after cutting water @ 9pm my whole lower body cramped all the way up thru my abs - my wife ran down to the hotel front desk and got 8-10 packs of salt and I slugged down all this salt water to try to balance things out. This was @ about midnight. I didn't have a choice - I had to stop the cramping - well even with all that salt I kept getting up pissing every 90 minutes - I was sort of worried how it would affect me - but I woke up just peeled and dry as the morning of the 1st show .

I ran into some guys @ the finals Saturday night, who had not had anything to drink since the Friday morning before. There are just all sorts of reasons why that should never be done - aldosterone being a major one.

Anyway this is what worked for me - everyone is slightly different and would have to be loaded differently depending on how they reacted to specific macros during prep - Hope it helps answer your question..
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