A bodybuilding competition comprises of a panel of judges and a group of competitors. The competitors are required to do group as well as individual poses to show their body cuts and muscle development. Unlike other strength and power showing competition, the judges judge each competitor on the basis of condition, size and symmetry.
Cutting and Bulking
The bodybuilders concentrate on muscle build up throughout the year and around three months prior to the competition, plan to lose body fat. The term bulking refers to the state where a competitor tries to remain in net positive energy balance intake. This means surplus calorie intake. Cutting refers to the remaining in net negative energy intake. This means intake of fewer calories than required. The main purpose of cutting is to oxidize as much fat as possible while preserving the muscle.
Before the competition
Almost a week prior to the competition, the bodybuilders alter their water, sodium and carbohydrate intake. This is to make variation in the water retention and lower glycogen levels in the muscle. One day ahead of the big day, water is removed from the diet and carbohydrate intake is increases to ensure increased muscle size. Before going on stage, tanning lotions and other products are used to make muscle development more visible. Weights are also used to make the veins bigger and prominent.
Muscles build up
In order to build muscles, the competitors rely on three methods
Weight training ensures muscle build up by prompting two conditions. Sacroplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Sacroplasmic hypertrophy promises the build up of larger muscles while myofibrillar hypertrophy gives the competitors athletic strength. While sacroplasmic hypertrophy is favoured by most competitors, they often cycle between the two in order to achieve a strong muscular physique.
The intense workout routines and increased muscle development requires the bodybuilders to have an increased calorie intake. The increased intake in combination with intense cardiovascular exercises helps in losing body fats.
The meals are divided into 5 to 7 meals a day. This means a proper balanced and nutrition enriched food intake every 2 to 3 hours.
Dietary supplements are also used in order to fulfil the high demands of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates and fat. The increased intake helps in increased muscle growth.
Rest is as important for a bodybuilder as a gym workout. The workout grows muscles while sleep and rest ensure muscle recovery and build up. Sometimes a massage is also added to the routine as a method to recover.