The purpose of this study was to document the physiological changes that occur in a natural bodybuilder during prolonged contest preparation for a proqualifying contest. During the 26-week preparation, the athlete undertook a calorically restrictive diet with 2 days of elevated carbohydrate intake per week, increased cardiovascular (CV) training, and attempted to maintain resistance-training load. The athlete was weighed twice a week and body composition was measured monthly by DXA. At baseline and every 2 weeks following CV structure and function was measured using a combination of ultrasound, applanation tonometry, and heart rate variability (HRV). Cardiorespiratory performance was measured by VO2peak at baseline, 13 weeks, and 26 weeks. Body weight (88.6 to 73.3 Kg, R 2 = .99) and percent body fat (17.5 to 7.4%) were reduced during preparation. CV measurements including blood pressure (128/61 to 113/54mmHg), brachial pulse wave velocity (7.9 to 5.8m/s), and measures of wave reflection all improved. Indexed cardiac output was reduced (2.5 to 1.8L/m2) primarily due to a reduction in resting heart rate (71 to 44bpm), and despite an increase in ejection faction (57.9 to 63.9%). Assessment of HRV found a shift in the ratio of low to high frequency (209.2 to 30.9%). Absolute VO2 was minimally reduced despite weight loss resulting in an increase in relative VO2 (41.9 to 47.7ml/Kg). In general, this prolonged contest preparation technique helped the athlete to improve body composition and resulted in positive CV changes, suggesting that this method of contest preparation appears to be effective in natural male bodybuilders.
Brandon M. Kistler, Peter J. Fitschen, Sushant M. Ranadive, Bo Fernhall and Kenneth R. Wilund
Andrew Pardue, Eric T. Trexler and Lisa K. Sprod
Extreme body composition demands of competitive bodybuilding have been associated with unfavorable physiological changes, including alterations in metabolic rate and endocrine profile. The current case study evaluated the effects of contest preparation (8 months), followed by recovery (5 months), on a competitive drug-free male bodybuilder over 13 months (M1-M13). Serum testosterone, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin were measured throughout the study. Body composition (BodPod, dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), anaerobic power (Wingate test), and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were assessed monthly. Sleep was assessed monthly via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and actigraphy. From M1 to M8, testosterone (623–173 ng∙dL-1), T3 (123–40 ng∙dL-1), and T4 (5.8–4.1 mg∙dL-1) decreased, while cortisol (25.2–26.5 mg∙dL-1) and ghrelin (383–822 pg∙mL-1) increased. The participant lost 9.1 kg before competition as typical energy intake dropped from 3,860 to 1,724 kcal∙day-1; BodPod estimates of body fat percentage were 13.4% at M1, 9.6% at M8, and 14.9% at M13; DXA estimates were 13.8%, 5.1%, and 13.8%, respectively. Peak anaerobic power (753.0 to 536.5 Watts) and RMR (107.2% of predicted to 81.2% of predicted) also decreased throughout preparation. Subjective sleep quality decreased from M1 to M8, but objective measures indicated minimal change. By M13, physiological changes were largely, but not entirely, reversed. Contest preparation may yield transient, unfavorable changes in endocrine profile, power output, RMR, and subjective sleep outcomes. Research with larger samples must identify strategies that minimize unfavorable adaptations and facilitate recovery following competition.
John Petrizzo, Frederick J. DiMenna, Kimberly Martins, John Wygand and Robert M. Otto
To achieve the criterion appearance before competing in a physique competition, athletes undergo preparatory regimens involving high-volume intense resistance and aerobic exercise with hypocaloric energy intake. As the popularity of “drug-free” competition increases, more athletes are facing this challenge without the recuperative advantage provided by performance-enhancing drugs. Consequently, the likelihood of loss of lean body and/or bone mass is increased. The purpose of this investigation was to monitor changes in body composition for a 29-year-old self-proclaimed drug-free female figure competitor during a 32-week preparatory regimen comprising high-volume resistance and aerobic exercise with hypocaloric energy intake. We used dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to evaluate regional fat and bone mineral density. During the initial 22 weeks, the subject reduced energy intake and engaged in resistance (4–5 sessions/week) and aerobic (3 sessions/week) training. During the final 10 weeks, the subject increased exercise frequency to 6 (resistance) and 4 (aerobic) sessions/week while ingesting 1130–1380 kcal/day. During this 10-week period, she consumed a high quantity of protein (~55% of energy intake) and nutritional supplements. During the 32 weeks, body mass and fat mass decreased by 12% and 55%, respectively. Conversely, lean body mass increased by 1.5%, an amount that exceeded the coefficient of variation associated with DXA-derived measurement. Total bone mineral density was unchanged throughout. In summary, in preparation for a figure competition, a self-proclaimed drug-free female achieved the low body-fat percentage required for success in competition without losing lean mass or bone density by following a 32-week preparatory exercise and nutritional regimen.
Lindy M. Rossow, David H. Fukuda, Christopher A. Fahs, Jeremy P. Loenneke and Jeffrey R. Stout
Bodybuilding is a sport in which competitors are judged on muscular appearance. This case study tracked a drug-free male bodybuilder (age 26–27 y) for the 6 mo before and after a competition.
The aim of this study was to provide the most comprehensive physiological profile of bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery ever compiled.
Cardiovascular parameters, body composition, strength, aerobic capacity, critical power, mood state, resting energy expenditure, and hormonal and other blood parameters were evaluated.
Heart rate decreased from 53 to 27 beats/min during preparation and increased to 46 beats/min within 1 mo after competition. Brachial blood pressure dropped from 132/69 to 104/56 mmHg during preparation and returned to 116/64 mmHg at 6 mo after competition. Percent body fat declined from 14.8% to 4.5% during preparation and returned to 14.6% during recovery. Strength decreased during preparation and did not fully recover during 6 months of recovery. Testosterone declined from 9.22 to 2.27 ng/mL during preparation and returned back to the baseline level, 9.91 ng/mL, after competition. Total mood disturbance increased from 6 to 43 units during preparation and recovered to 4 units 6 mo after competition.
This case study provides a thorough documentation of the physiological changes that occurred during natural bodybuilding competition and recovery.
Bodybuilders That Include Data That Allow Estimations of EA Throughout Contest Preparation Reference Subject Study design Supplement use TEI EEE Estimated EA (kcal/kg FFM) Effects on body composition Other effects Rossow et al. ( 2013 ) 26–27-year-old drug-free male professional bodybuilder • 1-year study • 6
Nura Alwan, Samantha L. Moss, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale, Ian G. Davies and Kevin Enright
Exercise Metabolism, 28 ( 4 ), 502 – 508 . 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0323 Kistler , B.M. , Fitschen , P.J. , Ranadive , S.M. , Fernhall , B. , & Wilund , K.R. ( 2014 ). Case study: Natural bodybuilding contest preparation . International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24 ( 6
Ahmed Ismaeel, Suzy Weems and Darryn S. Willoughby
/or were not currently in contest preparation. Subjects were recruited online from the social media outlets of Facebook and Instagram. Specifically, online flyers with information about the study were made and distributed on several popular bodybuilding pages. Recruitment involved obtaining the e
, calorie reduction, supplementation regimes and peaking strategies in a bid to lose fat mass while maintaining fat free mass. Research into the contest preparation regimes of bodybuilders is limited. The British Natural Bodybuilding Federation (BNBF) runs an annual drug free competition for elite