- Roger Zarate
On competition day, what is the best thing to eat before the evening show?
Your diet the last few days before a show can be really important and can make all the difference! Throughout my experience with competitions, I have learned some great tricks and techniques to get your body to peak at the right time.
The shows that I compete in have two parts: Prejudging and a night show. The prejudging usually takes place in the morning and the awards show is in the evening. The evening show is pretty much judged already and is for the fans, which can be a lot of fun. The prejudging is what you really want to focus on, in regards to peaking correctly. This is the first time the judges see you and it is important to have a good first impression.
Because I like to do things naturally, I use an old school, basic method for tightening up and “peaking” for a competition. There are some great natural ways to get your body to peak on the day of the show. Through trial and error you will gain experience to knowing when your body will peak. I seriously do not recommend any diuretic usage. Diuretics will pull out all fluids from your muscles and can cause cardiac arrest and even death. I have witnessed a few incidents where this has happened to competitors. They were taken away in an ambulance, which is not worth the risk.
What I have been doing for years, and has always worked, is staying consistent with the diet throughout the months leading up to a show. For most competitors, the last week of their diet is low carbs, or maybe even no carbs depending if they did their dieting homework. The last three days before a competition, which I call “carb-up days”, I begin to add carbs back into my diet, cut out all sodium, and keep my liquids to a minimum. This will cause your muscles to start getting that full belly look and will draw out any liquid you may have between your skin. Your body will draw it into the muscle giving you a dry hard look. For carbs, I recommend yams, brown rice, and no sodium granola. You can snack on these all three days. The hard part is keeping your liquids to a minimum and cutting out all sodium for the three days. If you have too much liquid or added sodium it will not work. (Had a friend wake up in the middle of the night because he couldn’t handle it any more and drank a gallon of water. He did not even place in the show the next day! For the carbs to work and dry you out your liquids need to be very low.
Get a good night sleep, every night, and stay calm. On the morning of the show I would have a good breakfast. I love a good steak! ( Eggs have natural sodium so I would skip the eggs ) And a multi-grain low sodium pancake tastes great. I would then pack some essential carbs for snacking before and throughout the show – a yam, granola, a couple of chocolate bars. Getting in any extra protein is really not that important, it’s all about the carbs at this point! Right before going onto stage I like to have chocolate bar. Chocolate is full of sugar which should bring out any vascularity. I also have used concentrated grape juice with honey which is packed full of sugar and will bring out those veins!
Between prejudging and the evening show I usually keep the fluids low and not go too crazy as far as eating, even though most of the competition has been judged. A nice big steak and potato with all the dressings, as well as ice cream are a great reward for all the hard work you have just completed!
Sometimes competitors have not carbed up enough for the prejudging and come in looking better for the night show because they have been able to get more carbs into their body. Experience is always a plus when it comes to peaking at the right time. It’s about knowing your body and what it takes to get it to peak for you at the right time. Too many carbs can cause you to”spill over” and smooth out and not enough carbs causes you to stay flat. Stress can also be a factor on peaking at the right time. Keep yourself calm and confident that you gave 100%. This is your day to shine and show off all your hard work!
1986 – 1st -NPC Mr. Southern Cal ( Lightweight)
1989 – 1st -NPC Cal. Novice and Overall ( Lightweight)
1992 – 1st – NPC Mr. Orange County ( Lightweight)
1993 – 1st – NPC Mr. California ( Lightweight)
1994 – 2nd – NPC Mr. North American ( Lightweight)
1995 – 2nd – NPC Excalibur ( Middleweight)
1998 – 7th – NPC USA ( Middleweight)
1999 – 1st – Mr. Los Angeles ( Light Heavyweight)
2008 – 2nd – NPC Excalibur ( Masters Middleweight)
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