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How Long to Diet for Bodybuilding Competition

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Q: I am thinking out doing my first competition, how far out should I start my diet?

A: First, get your body fat checked by a local trainer. Typically, male bodybuilders start their diet 10-12 weeks out. Women 12-14 weeks out because they generally have higher bodyfat's than men because of their reproductive system. However if your bodyfat is already below 7-8% an 8-9 week diet may suffice . If you are above 10%, I suggest the 10-12 weeks. If you are above 12% bodyfat you may want to go 12-16 weeks on your diet. Some first timers cannot handle dieting this long, they get burnt out and quit. Believe me when I say it is the hardest part of bodybuilding. Because of this I generally start my client with a shorter diet like 8-12 weeks regardless of bodyfat, just so they can complete their goal of competing in their first show (unless I sense they can be very disciplined). Hope this helps.

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