I'm going to be talking to you about my experience of peak week, and the way I went about incorporating water manipulation into the final 10 days before show day.
I competed for 2 years in Mens physique and also muscle model. It took me a whole year and 4 competitions to get the right remedy for me to peak for show day. I want to show you how I turned my body into a vacuum pack, so if you are thinking about competing, this may give you a good insight into what can be involved.
So, I'll take my last show of the year as an example. This was the British Finals. I had been prepping/dieting for 12 weeks to get down to what I would like to say pretty shredded. Each prep was different in terms of the time frame. It all depended on how my body fat % was looking to how long I needed to prep for. I would work out where i was and where I needed to be and from there I could work out how long it would take me. I always gave myself an extra couple of weeks to be on the safe side as you never know what may crop up.
So the protocol to ensuring my body was in the best condition possible for show day would start 9 days before. Obviously it started 12 weeks before with all the training and dieting, but the last little tweaks and manipulations would start 9 days prior comp day. I was competing on the Sunday, so 9 days before on the Friday I would start my water manipulation. This consisted of me drinking 10 litres of water a day. What is the reason for this you ask? I'll tell you the reason don't you worry ;)
So have you ever woken up after a night out, super hungover, but you take a cheeky look at yourself in the mirror and you look leaner? Well thats just caused by dehydration (lack of water) We all have what is called subcutaneous water (water which lies between the muscle and skin)
This contributes to looking a little bit soft, and stops us from having that super shredded vacuum skin look. Thats where water manipulation comes in. Yea you could just go on the lash the night before but it won't work as well.
So basically, when you drink copious amounts of water, your body thinks its getting enough water, if not too much and therefor flushes it out and doesn't deem it necessary to hold onto any. It can take upto a week for your body to fully get into this adaptive state. So then once you lower your water consumption or even stop consuming altogether. Your body takes a day or 2 to realise it is not getting that constant flow of water. In those 2 days, your body will keep flushing out all the water in your body. And as you are not drinking any fluid, all subcutaneous water gets drawn out leaving your skin super tight vacuum packed to your muscles, giving you that tight shredded look.
I actually have fairly loose skin and always hold a lot of subcutaneous water, so even when I'm super low body fat, i still look soft. I always remember the 1st time this method worked on me. It was the evening before the show. I had been carb loading for a couple of days and at 6pm I stopped my water consumption. I carried on carbing up, starting sipping on some red wine and within an hour my skin was vacuum packed to my body. I remember knowing what should happen, so I pinched my skin on my belly before hand and stretched it out about an inch and a half with ease. An hour later I tried pinching it and I could hardly grab hold of it it was that tight. I couldn't believe it, it felt insane and I couldn't stop looking at myself in the mirror and seeing how much my body had changed in just an hour.
So getting back to what I actually did. I started drinking 10 litres of water 9 days before the show. I drank 10 litres for a whole week. On the 7th day I lowered consumption to 7 litres. On the 8th day I lowered it to 6 litres and then fully stopped at 6pm before show. I would just have a little swig every now and then just to be on the safe side.
It is VERY important to know, if your are drinking all this water and flushing it out. You will be flushing out a lot of electrolytes from your body. Therefore while drinking all this water, I was taking electrolyte capsules, ensuring my food had a good sprinkling of salt and when possible, eating high potassium food such as avocado, bananas and mushrooms. This will stop your muscles from cramping, and ensure you're not deficient in important minerals and electrolytes which can effect overall health if levels are too low.
So with all that said, I hope you find some useful information in this latest blog. It would be great if you could leave a comment with your thoughts :)
Thank you for reading and have a great day :)