Crunch week for a professional body builder

By David Tepera, March 20, 2019

For those of you who are new to my column, Tina and I are the oldest professional physique champions in Galveston County. During the past 3 years, I’ve competed in a total of seven competitions.

Just know, in the body building world, that’s considered a lot of shows because the extreme training and diet can take its toll on the body. Besides my son Dylan, Tina and I have decided to take this year off to focus on our growing business, but as always, will continue to lift weights and eat healthy.

People are usually fascinated when I explain the last week of dieting heading into a show. So, here’s a peek inside our world.

Most body building competitions are scheduled on Saturdays. Your body type and competitive category will determine how many weeks out extreme dieting is needed. For us, we stay relatively lean all year, so we don’t have to panic as we strip fat heading into a show.

On days 7 and 6, we drink up to two gallons of water, along with sodium and carb loading — each day after, dropping a half-gallon, with continual reduction of sodium and carbs.

On Friday, the day before the show, we are down to only half-gallon of water and two days without carbs. Believe me, by Friday night, we look horrible. Our muscle bellies are flat, body fat hovers around 5-7 percent, to which our skin shrink wraps around the body. You can see every muscle fiber and veins poking through our skin.

But here’s the kicker, the night before the show, we eat a large steak, baked potato, green veggies and a glass of red wine. Our bodies will absorb every nutrient, so by Saturday morning, our muscles are fully loaded, along with a small waist line.

We look absolutely amazing, and it’s a beautiful, freaky sight to look at. Check out our website for competition pictures.

Now, Saturday is game day, so we can only sip water infrequently throughout the day. There are two shows — one in the morning, and the winners in the evening. We have been fortunate to always be in the winners’ bracket.

The only time we eat on Saturday is 15 minutes before we walk on stage. We eat a small potato, rice cake or a spoon full of rice. Then, chase it with raw honey, and start pumping up with dumbbells or stretch bands. This will give your muscles a strong pump to dial-in their fullest.

Believe me, by Saturday night, our energy is completely depleted, and it takes every ounce of determination to squeeze out an exhausting posing routine.

So, as you can see, it’s not easy to be a professional physique champion. The discipline is off the charts. Next time you decide to start dieting, get in the zone and design your own crunch week.

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