A nutrition and conditioning intervention for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: case study
Robinson, Scott Lloyd
- Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,
Body composition | Metabolic health | Physique | Conditioning | Fat oxidation | Case Report | Sports nutrition | Food Science | Nutrition and Dietetics | QP
Bodybuilding competitions are becoming increasingly popular. Competitors are judged on their aesthetic\ud appearance and usually exhibit a high level of muscularity and symmetry and low levels of body fat. Commonly used techniques to improve physique during the preparation phase before competitions include dehydration, periods of prolonged fasting, severe caloric restriction, excessive cardiovascular exercise and inappropriate use of diuretics and anabolic steroids. In contrast, this case study documents a structured nutrition and conditioning\ud intervention followed by a 21 year-old amateur bodybuilding competitor to improve body composition, resting and\ud exercise fat oxidation, and muscular strength that does not involve use of any of the above mentioned methods.\ud Over a 14-week period, the Athlete was provided with a scientifically designed nutrition and conditioning plan that\ud encouraged him to (i) consume a variety of foods; (ii) not neglect any macronutrient groups; (iii) exercise regularly\ud but not excessively and; (iv) incorporate rest days into his conditioning regime. This strategy resulted in a body\ud mass loss of 11.7 kg’s, corresponding to a 6.7 kg reduction in fat mass and a 5.0 kg reduction in fat-free mass.\ud Resting metabolic rate decreased from 1993 kcal/d to 1814 kcal/d, whereas resting fat oxidation increased from\ud 0.04 g/min to 0.06 g/min. His capacity to oxidize fat during exercise increased more than two-fold from 0.24 g/min\ud to 0.59 g/min, while there was a near 3-fold increase in the corresponding exercise intensity that elicited the\ud maximal rate of fat oxidation; 21% V̇\ud O2max to 60% V̇ O2max. Hamstring concentric peak torque decreased (1.7 to 1.5 Nm/kg), whereas hamstring eccentric (2.0 Nm/kg to 2.9 Nm/kg), quadriceps concentric (3.4 Nm/kg to 3.7 Nm/kg) and quadriceps eccentric (4.9 Nm/kg to 5.7 Nm/kg) peak torque all increased. Psychological mood-state (BRUMS scale) was not negatively influenced by the intervention and all values relating to the Athlete’s mood-state remained below average over the course of study. This intervention shows that a structured and scientifically supported nutrition strategy can be implemented to improve parameters relevant to bodybuilding competition and importantly the health of competitors, therefore questioning the conventional practices of bodybuilding preparation.