Issue #30


by Juan Carlos Lope

2007 NPC Jr. Nationals

2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Review

2007 CBBF Fitness and Figure Nationals

2007 CBBF Fitness and Figure Nationals Review

20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Jeni Briscoe

Video Interview with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Jeni Briscoe

You are Doing How Much Cardio?
by Rebecca Slatt

Julie Lohre's Ultimate Abs DVD Review
by Kaisa Piippo

Jeni Briscoe, Tracy Royer, Jen Jewell, Marnie Holley, Nicki Pimm,

Video Interview with CBBF Bodybuilder Natalie Mulder

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Macey Boudreau

Monica Brant Secret of Beauty DVD Review
by Juan Carlos Lopez

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Nicole Boyne


You're Doing How Much Cardio?!?! by Rebecca Slatt

I keep getting emails from competitors who are doing extreme low carb diets and wondering why they are having to increase their cardio sessions to as much as 3 hours per day!  The answer to that question is very simple, but what I want to know is when do these competitors have time to work, cook, pack meals, shower, sleep, etc? 

Rebecca Slatt

This situation is really upsetting to me for a few reasons:  Reputable trainers are paid hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars to HELP a competitor diet down as healthfully as possible.  Rather than developing an individualized dieting and workout regimen for each competitor based on her unique needs,  the trainer will schedule a  one size fits all method of low calorie/carbohydrate diet and increase the cardio to ensure the competitor will be tight enough on-stage.  This is security that the competitor will be lean enough; however, the competitor will lose her muscle by starving to death.  Another thing upsetting about this is that the competitors are not educating themselves enough about nutrition to KNOW that they are under eating and over training.  In essence, these competitors are setting themselves up for a painful contest prep and a huge rebound post-show. 

To answer your questions about why you have to increase your cardio to such extreme lengths...well, to be blunt-you are slowing down your metabolism because you are not eating enough, which is why you are having to do so much cardio to make an inch of progress.  You are risking injury and illness.  You are stressing your body's glands and hormones and body processes. 

Remember ladies, that carbohydrates fuel your muscle glycogen stores.  How are you supposed to lift weights and complete your cardio sessions if you are not eating any carbs for energy?  Further, how are you supposed to recover from your workouts if you are not eating anything to re-fuel?  When you restrict carbs for more than a couple of days, you are severely depleting your muscle storage and your body will begin to burn MUSCLE for energy.  Muscle will be burned BEFORE fat! 

How upsetting is it that you have paid hundreds of dollars to your trainers/nutritionists and all they have done is starved you to death and increased cardio.  It doesn't take a genius to know how to be anorexic!

Low carbohydrate diets are effective in decreasing bodyfat but remember, the goal is to maintain your muscle and not use it for energy.  The best way to re-fuel your muscles with carbs during a depletion stage is by carb-cycling.  This is very simple really.  All you need to do is complete one or two days of low carbs (or no carbs) and follow it up with a higher day.  When beginning your diet, don't change numbers drastically, you will be surprised at how reducing carbs by 20-30 grams will make a dramatic change on your physique. 

Here are some carb cycle samples:
2 days low and 1 day high (repeat)
1 day low and 1 day high (repeat)
2 days high and 1 day low (repeat)
1 day low, 1 day medium, and 1 day high (repeat)

* you can vary your days however you feel works best for you according to your energy needs .

wks 12-10
low day=120 grams
high day=160 grams

wks 10-8
low day=100 grams
high days=145 grams

wks 8-6
low day=80 grams
high days= 135 grams

wks 6-4
low day=65 grams
high day=125 grams

wks 4-2
low day=55 grams
high day=115 grams

Remember protein, carbs and fat requirements are determined for your bodyweight and composition.

Be sure to get in your healthy fats-yes that means EFA's and flax oils.  I do not recommend peanut butter to competitors because that is only asking for trouble!

Although competition dieting is never easy, I promise you it will be MUCH easier if you cycle your carbs rather than starve yourselves and have to increase cardio to the point of sleeping on a recumbent bike!  You can check any scientific journal or ask any doctor out there. 


Back to Issues

About the Author...

Rebecca Slatt is a national level NPC figure competitor. She has was actively involved with bodybuilding.com and is now with HardFitness.com and will be adding articles every month. You can reach her thru email and ask her questions on the link below


© 2004 HardFitness Design All right reserved.