In around 3 weeks’ time I will be looking to prepare myself for a few shots in front of the camera. Apart from all the usual girly stuff like applying enough fake tan to paint a bus I will need to ‘’pump up’’ beforehand just to look sharper. To do this most people will plough through a plate of carbs every couple of hours 1-2 days before the photos, and then do the compulsory bicep curls before the camera goes click, click, click. Unfortunately if I carb up in the conventional sense I just look watery and soft because my body is awkward!! Of course, I am not the only one and I wanted to talk to you about a loading method which I find works well for me and many of my clients. In fact, I am told that a certain 6 times Mr Olympia followed a similar approach – ladies and gentlemen welcome to front loading.
What Is It?
Opposed to having a high carb day 24 hours before the photos you will have it as far as 72 hours away from the moment of truth. So if the shoot is on Saturday, Wednesday you would have a very high carb day. Thursday you would halve the quantity of carbohydrates and on Friday you would halve it again.
As mentioned above for those of us who hold water at the sight of carbs this is a great way of doing things because you are able to enjoy glycogen reload within the muscle, leading to a fuller look. However, you are also afforded adequate time to allow the water to go from underneath the skin.
The water becomes subcutaneous for those of us who are carb sensitive which means it creates a watery blanket underneath the skin. Front loading helps provide a solution to this.
How To Apply It?
Earlier I briefly touched on the application, but the truth is it all depends on your body fat levels and what diet up until this point you have been using. Below is a generic outline to front loading which I feel could help the majority of you.
Wednesday – eat 3g of carbs per pound of body weight
Thursday – eat 1.5g of carbs per pound of body weight
Friday – eat 0.75g of carbs per pound of body weight
Saturday – no carbs
Personally I would keep to clean carbohydrates such as brown rice, basmati rice, sweet potato, baked potato, oats and pasta for example. Unless your genetics are suited to it sugary carbohydrates can cause unwanted water retention in a short space of time.
Next time you’re thinking about getting ready for some photos, think of front loading.
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