BookThe popularity of bodybuilding is at an all-time high, and the sport is continuing to grow. But seasoned competitors and beginners often have questions about how to look their best on show day. Written by expert bodybuilding coaches Peter Fitschen and Cliff Wilson, Bodybuilding: The Complete Contest Preparation Handbook will guide you through every step of the process to select a competition, prepare for the contest, and make the transition to the off-season. With no other book like it on the market, Bodybuilding offers you scientifically supported and experience-based guidelines to help you have your best show ever.
Bodybuilding takes the guesswork out of preparing for a contest and answers common questions such as these:
- How do I choose the competition and division that are right for me?
- What mandatory poses do I need to learn for my competition?
- What is the best workout to do during contest prep?
- What should I do if I start to spill over during peak week?
- How long is too long to maintain stage-lean levels of body fat?
The next chapters address posing, peak week, tanning, and a number of other topics that will help you bring your most polished physique to the stage. More than 60 full-color photos show body types for each division and each mandatory pose, offering a visual guide to the proper positions for each pose. You will also find information on how to handle the transition to the off-season.
With unparalleled detail, Bodybuilding is your go-to guide for bodybuilding success!
CE exam available! For certified professionals, a companion continuing education exam can be completed after reading this book. The Bodybuilding Online CE Exam may be purchased separately or as part of the Bodybuilding With CE Exam package that includes both the book and the exam.
AudienceBodybuilders of all levels as well as contest prep coaches and practitioners who prepare clients for competition.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Evolution of the Sport of Bodybuilding
Early Physique Competitions
The Early 1900s
Is it possible for bodybuilding competitors to compete in another strength sport (powerlifting, for example)?
The Late 20th Century
Chapter 1. The Art and Science of Bodybuilding
Misinformed Approaches to Contest Preparation
Many competitors at my gym use methods you do not recommend yet have been successful in their competitions. Why should I follow the approaches discussed in this book rather than what the guys at my gym are doing?
Chapter 2. Sorting Through the Sanctions
Drug Use in Bodybuilding
Untested Amateur Sanctions
If I am drug-free, can I compete in untested competitions?
Untested Professional Sanctions
Are banned substances taken for diagnosed medical reasons allowed in drug-tested competitions?
If I win a pro card in one sanction, can I compete in professional competitions in other sanctions?
Chapter 3. Breaking Down the Divisions and Classes
Can a competitor compete in more than one division at a show?
Final Word on Division Criteria
I feel like I may be able to compete in more than one division. How do I choose the best division for me?
Why are there multiple classes within the same show? For example, why are there three open men’s bodybuilding classes?
Can competitors make a living from prize money earned in professional competitions?
Can a competitor compete in more than one class at a show?
Chapter 4. The Reality of Readiness
As a new competitor attending a competition for the first time, is it important for me to attend a competition in the sanction in which I plan to compete?
Would you ever recommend competing with less time between shows?
Readiness for Contest Prep
Patience and Time Pay Off
Chapter 5. Show Selection and Timing: The Secrets of Preparation
Selecting the Right Show
What is the best time for me to start contest prep?
Appropriate Rate of Loss
Does my weight need to decrease to get stage-lean?
Benefits of Longer Prep Time
Determining Needed Prep Time
Do I need to select a show before starting contest prep?
Could I achieve stage-lean levels of body fat in less time than you recommend?
Chapter 6. Fueling Your Physique for Contest Preparation
What do I do if I fall off my nutrition plan for a day?
Are high-protein diets safe?
Should I be concerned about sugar intake during contest prep?
Individual Differences in Macronutrient Needs
What is the best way to accurately measure my food?
Vitamins and Minerals
Can I have artificial sweeteners during contest prep?
How should a woman handle weight fluctuations due to her menstrual cycle?
Chapter 7. Tweaking Your Physique for Contest Preparation
Increasing Energy Expenditure
Should I do cardio fasted?
If I am lifting weights and doing cardio in the same workout, which should I do first?
What is the mind-muscle connection I have heard about?
How many days a week should I be in the gym?
Do I need to train to failure? If so, should I do it in every workout?
Monitor the Need for Recovery
Sample Training Programs
Chapter 8. The Art of Posing
Bodybuilding (Men and Women)
Classic Physique (Men)
Posing Routines and T-Walks
Effective Practice Posing
Should I practice the poses in my posing suit?
Should I pose in a sauna?
Chapter 9. The Finishing Touches and Final Preparation
Do all competitions allow the same type of tan?
Do I need to get a base tan in a tanning bed before my competition?
Makeup and Hair
Other Logistical Details
Chapter 10. Peak Week Explained
The Mysterious Peak Week
Prerequisites for Effective Peaking
Terminology and Definitions
Peak Week Objectives
Peak Week Objective Nonstarters
Would you ever recommend that a competitor cut water during peak week?
Peak Week Strategies
Learning Your Load Look and Choosing a Peaking Strategy
Peak Week Training
Peak Week Cardio
Managing Your Physique on Show Day
What if I mistime my sodium, sugar, and pump up backstage, and I am too early?
The Perfect Peak?
Chapter 11. Contest Weekend: Strategizing for Success
Focus on What You Can Control
The Day Before the Show
How ready should I be when I arrive at the venue on show day?
Can I go out to eat after prejudging?
After the Show
Chapter 12. After the Event: Recovery and Recommendations
Competing in Multiple Shows
Physiology of Being Stage-Lean
Transitioning to the Off-Season
Does everyone need to regain body fat after a show?
Quotes“Cliff and Peter have established themselves as among the best at precompetition coaching. Together, they have written the most comprehensive book on the topic to date. Anyone interested in physique competition would benefit from giving it a read.”
Brad Schoenfeld, PhD, CSCS,*D, CSPS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA, Author of The M.A.X. Muscle Plan and Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
"This book is the how-to of bodybuilding! I'm a firm believer in knowing the science behind every aspect of competition; Cliff and Pete provide just that in Bodybuilding.”
Cyd Gillon, Two-Time Ms. Figure Olympia
"While there are other books on bodybuilding and contest prep out there, this is THE book that covers every topic in complete detail and has become the new standard for the sport. I recommend Bodybuilding not only to all my clients but also to any coach or athlete who wants to take their knowledge to the next level."
John Gorman, Co-owner of Team Gorman, Elite Trainer for 1st Phorm, and Author of Metabolic Capacity and Reverse Dieting
ExcerptsBack (or rear) double biceps pose
Preparing for the women's physique division
Should I be concerned about sugar intake during contest prep?