In competitive bodybuilding, contestants are judged on their muscle symmetry, size and definition. Superior muscular definition is the result of extremely low body fat levels. Sometimes, however, despite the absence of body fat, muscular definition can be obscured by water retention under the skin. To show up at your next competition with flawless definition, use a safe approach to losing unwanted water weight.
Raise your daily water intake seven days out to at least a gallon. While it may seem counter-intuitive to drink more water, you need to increase the rate at which you excrete water. A high water intake will also prevent your body from storing water under your skin.
Increase daily water intake to two gallons at three days out. Carry a gallon jug with you throughout the day to make sure you are constantly drinking.
Eliminate starches and sugars at three days out. Carbohydrates are stored along with water. Carb depleting will cause you to excrete more water.
Reduce your sodium at three days out. Salt often causes water retention. Until your contest is over, limit your sodium to below 1,000 mg per day. Refrain from salting your food during the last three days.
Increase daily water intake to three gallons at two days out. Keep carbohydrates and sodium low. You should need to go to the bathroom about every half hour.
Fast for the last day before your show. Cut out all solid foods, which can add weight and cause abdominal bloating.
Stop drinking water 18 hours before your competition. Your body will continue to excrete water at an accelerated rate.
Weigh yourself every hour throughout the last day. You should notice consistent weight loss throughout the day. Depending on your size, you may reach 10 pounds by the end of this day.
Use heat on the day of your competition if you are still holding water. A short stay in the sauna will let you sweat out the last bit of water under your skin. Use the sauna for no more than three 15-minute intervals. Take a break and cool off between each interval.
The combination of heat and dehydration can be dangerous. Stop the weight loss process immediately and seek medical attention if you begin to feel dizzy, disoriented or sick.
- "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning - 3rd Edition"; National Strength and Conditioning Association; 2008
- "ACE Personal Trainer Manual: The Ultimate Resource for Fitness Professionals, 3rd Edition"; Cedric X. Bryant and Daniel J. Green; 2003
- The Cornell Daily Sun: Wrestlers Weigh Weight-Cutting Options