Beach day coming up? Pool party? We all want to look our best, so here is a simple series of steps to follow on the days leading up to that big day.
It Started with Bodybuilding
This isn’t anything new.
Bodybuilders have been prepping themselves to look their best for competitions and, if you ask them, it is all about timing. Here’s what I’ve learned.
It should be noted here that what bodybuilders do before a competition isn’t healthy. I’ve heard reports of many of them passing out before, during or after the event.
What they are doing to their bodies at that point is not natural. That’s why they don’t look natural.
I am not saying that bodybuilders are lesser human beings. I mean, they’ve put tons of effort into achieving a goal and many of them do it and who the heck am I to say that I’m better?
These guys go to crazy extremes to do what they do, and I can appreciate that. It is just my opinion that they don’t look natural, and I think many of them would agree. Some of my mentors have been bodybuilders and I have learned a ton from them.
That’s why I’m writing this. Because I’ve learned how to do it from the bodybuilders themselves.
Water retention is the enemy.
Water retention is bad for muscle definition. It isn’t so much that we don’t like water, we just don’t like water outside of the cells. It is water in this specific location that makes you look “soft.”
And who wants to look soft?
How To Prevent Water Retention
Sodium is the enemy because it contributes to water retention.
Well, it is actually a really important electrolyte, and you’ll have problems if your sodium levels get too low. But high amounts of sodium will cause you to retain water. Therefore, you should make sure that you aren’t taking a ton of salt or salty foods leading up to your event.
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Methods of Shedding Water Weight
There are diuretics.
The word “diuretic” means, in its derivation, through urine. A diuretic helps you lose water weight through pissing it out.
There are plenty of chemical diuretics, but some natural ones are:
If you’re going to utilize any of the above options, you should research them thoroughly. Then, if you decide to use one of them, you should try it in a small amount long before “game day.”
If you have no negative reactions, then you can go up to the recommended dosage. This would be the smart way to go about things. Please go about this in a smart way. I get that what we are trying to do here is kind of stupid and vain, but that doesn’t mean you have license to shut off your brain.
A Note on Caffeine
If you’re going to utilize caffeine as a way to lose water weight, you should know that the effects are best if you’ve not developed a tolerance to caffeine.
Basically, if you already take a lot of caffeine, cut back or quit and then increase your intake the day before and the day of the event. This will cause you to urinate more.
A Note on Potassium
Potassium can be considered a diuretic.
There is an inverse relationship between potassium and sodium.
Also, if you are taking a diuretic, you are likely losing potassium through your urine. Hence, it is a good idea to take potassium supplements.
What we are talking about here is the fact that taking potassium supplements (within limits) makes water move into the cells and sodium supplements make water move outside the cells.
If you’re trying to look more muscular and defined, then you want water inside your cells.
Hitting the Sauna for Water Loss
You don’t have to rely on your kidneys to dispose of excess water.
Just hit the sauna and let heat do the work.
But, before you embark upon such extreme measures, you should consult with someone who’s done it before, a medical professional, or otherwise risk your own health.
This is not the easy way. It is common for wrestlers or boxers to cut their weight before a competition so they can fight in a lower weight class. If you know one, ask them what they do.
You’ll probably find that they exercise in a lot of clothes to promote sweating,
They’ll often even resort to spitting to lose a pound of water. Toss a jolly rancher in your mouth and let the saliva flow.
Don’t delude yourself at this point. If you’re spitting to lose water weight, you’re flirting with dehydration and a whole other group of issues.
Drink more water than you need to as you come closer to the day of the outing. Then, about 14 or 16 hours before, cut your water down to tiny little sips as needed.
Your kidneys will continue to rid your body of water as they usually do, but without drinking an excessive amount, you’ll be losing more water than you take in. It takes your kidneys a bit to adjust to the fact that you’re not still drinking water like a fish.
If you cut your water down slowly, then your kidneys will have a chance to adjust, and you won’t end up getting any benefits from this approach.
Pay Attention to the Color of Your Urine
Since you’re in the mindset of losing water weight so fast, you should pay attention to the color of your urine.
The darker it gets, the more dehydrated you are. You don’t want to get very dehydrated, or you’ll really start to have some issues come up.
If you’re going to a party, who wants to be the one who passes out in the pool and causes a scene? It’d ruin the whole gig.
Carbohydrates and Water Storage
Each gram of glycogen comes attached to three grams of water.
One method of losing weight is to cut the carbs for the last few days. You’ll feel sluggish if you’re going for your usual workouts, but you will lose the weight.
If you’ve cut carbs and are cutting back on water, please be careful, as this approach can lead to dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, and all sorts of other complications. It is your responsibility to know what your body can take.
Cut Your Calories
Now, there are foods that cause you to bloat and there are foods that don’t cause you to bloat. Cut your calories as a whole and eat only those foods that don’t make your stomach bloat.
I would recommend doing a trial a couple of weeks before the big day to see just how little you can survive on. The goal here is to cut back on your calories but still remain sane and healthy.
The other goal is to keep from eating foods that cause bloating. You’ll have to find out what works best for your body.
We are trying to reduce the overall volume of food in your digestive system, as well as the water and air that is really the cause bloating.
For example, drinking carbonated beverages will put more air in your digestive system. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol, etc. don’t fully digest and create extra gas in your intestines.
For me, beans and lentils always cause extra bloating. Anything with a lot of fiber will have a tendency to have a similar effect.
Experiment and work out some specific foods that work for you.
The Pre Pool-Party Pump
Before all bodybuilders go on stage, they do a bit of a workout.
The intention behind this workout is not the usual “stress the muscle so that it will grow stronger.” It is to activate the muscles (neurologically) and fill them with fluid (blood) so that they look their best.
The effects of this last hours, definitely not days. It is a temporary solution.
For this specific workout, I’m generally talking to guys who want to “pump up.” So, the exercises that follow are mainly for the upper body.
It’s very simple:
- Pushups – as many as you can do in a row without stopping
- Shoulder press – with light/moderate weights, as many as you can do without stopping
- Bent over rows – with light/moderate weights, as many as you can do without stopping
- Leg Raises – as many as you can do without stopping
There’s no special technique here. Just work the muscles with high reps and light/moderate weight.
This whole proposition is rather stupid and unnatural.
If you’re worried about getting that last bump at the bottom of your abs, then you’ve got too much attention on your body. But if you are willing to go through the physical and mental torture of all the above, then reap whatever benefits you can from that extra contour of definition.
I can appreciate the effort that bodybuilders go through, even if I don’t agree with it completely.
My struggle is that I try not to have people do things that are slightly unhealthy for them.
But I have also done these exact same things to look good for beach day, so I’d be a hypocrite if I kept the information to myself.