• You're all caught up!

How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast

author image Christine Killik
Christine Killik has worked in the fitness industry since 2000 and has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for several fitness publications including “Oxygen” and “Maximum Fitness” magazines as well as Bodybuilding.com. Christine holds a diploma in journalism from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.
How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast
Weight loss entails a strategic approach for bodybuilders. Photo Credit Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

The art, sport and science of bodybuilding involves strategic approaches to get lean for competition day. To the outside world, it may seem as though bodybuilders possess lucky genetics or somehow defy the rules of weight loss. In reality, bodybuilders follow a well-orchestrated and detailed approach to lose weight quickly.

Reducing Calories

How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast
Lowering calorie intake is essential during contest preparation. Photo Credit gbh007/iStock/Getty Images

During a bodybuilder's off-season, when he is not getting ready for a competition, his sole purpose is to eat as much as his body allows and sometimes more. When a competition draws near, he reduces calories significantly. Canadian Natural Bodybuilding Champion Mike Kwao says that cutting calories is crucial to lose fat. Kwao ingests roughly 4,000 calories a day. When a competition approaches he lowers his caloric intake to roughly 3,200 calories daily. That allows him to maintain adequate muscle mass while ensuring the macronutrients he is eating are in a correct ratio.

During the off-season, Kwao doesn't stick to ratios. During competition preparation, he consumes 23 percent proteins, 58 percent carbohydrates and 19 percent fats to keep him energized and to maintain his muscle mass while shedding fat and losing weight.

You Might Also Like

Macronutrient Ratios

How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast
Increased protein consumption helps bodybuilders maintain muscle mass. Photo Credit phila54/iStock/Getty Images

To lose weight quickly for a show, bodybuilders lower their carbohydrate ratio while increasing their protein ratio. The increased protein helps maintain their muscle mass, and the lower carbohydrates help them to shed weight. A reduced carbohydrate diet has "several important metabolic and hormonal advantages that allow you to get leaner faster than a conventional baseline diet,” notes Tom Venuto, author of "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle."

Revamped Workouts

How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast
Bodybuilders will also revamp their workout routines before a competition. Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

To peak on his competition day, Kwao revamps his workouts by lifting heavy weights for higher repetitions to burn as many calories as possible. Not only does this shock his body, it also accelerates his metabolic rate after the workout session. These sorts of "shocks" are what allow weight loss to occur quickly. Simply put, a body gets adapted to a certain way of training. When a training regimen alters, as it does drastically with bodybuilders, the body is forced to use extra fat stores to keep up with the demands, resulting in weight loss.


How Bodybuilders Lose Weight Fast
Protein powders will help bodybuilders attain adequate protein levels. Photo Credit deymos/iStock/Getty Images

Most bodybuilders need supplementation to help meet the high requirements of protein during the lean out phase. Protein powders help bodybuilders attain adequate protein levels. In addition to protein, some bodybuilders will resort to more controversial supplementation such as thermogenic aids or what most people recognize as fat burners. They provide a thermogenic effect; however, there are too many risks associated with them that outweigh the benefits, Kwao and Venuto say. Do not take fat burners if you have any sort of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure and consult your physician before beginning any thermogenic or supplementation regimen.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


  • Mike Kwao; 2009 IDFA Pro Division Bodybuilding Champion; Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle; Tom Venuto
Demand Media