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ADAM NUGENT: How to make prep simple

May 31, 2024

Men's Physique athlete joins frontdouble.com as columnist

PREPPING for a bodybuilding show is easy, or at least the foundations of the prep are easy. The difficulty lies in the adherence to your plan and the self discipline required. But there are things you can put in place to reduce the want to venture outside of your plan.

So here are my three key tips to making your prep as easy as possible.

  • Food choices - Your food choice during prep should very closely replicate the foods you consume in the off season. By doing this, you’re taking away (or at least limiting) any stress of sacrificing foods you enjoy. Now this will of course be determined by how clean your off season food choices are too. Sticking with similar food choices also helps to prevent digestive stress that can occur with new foods, particularly if you require large quantities. A supplement I use regularly is Strom Sports Nutrition DigestMax (vanilla) to help with my digestion.
  • Meal Structure - Meal structure has always been important for me during my preps and especially helped when calories are low in the final weeks. What I mean by meal structure is to base your meals around your activity levels during the day. For example, if you train during the evening, with the majority of your output compacted into a small window, keep your meals smaller in the morning. This allows your meals to be larger surrounding your activity window. This isn’t strictly ‘science’, but your body will be in a much better position to utilise calories following a higher level of output. And it will also stop you feeling famished, helping with adherence.
  • Don’t be so bland - Now some people will disagree, but keeping your food exciting can be the difference between falling off the wagon and driving that wagon to success. Using herbs and spices, as well as low-calorie sauces (Tabasco, Sriracha, low-calorie Tomato Ketchup etc) gives your food that taste boost that can actually lead to improved digestion. Make sure you stick to sauces that are zero fat. Otherwise the calories will begin to compound and disrupt your progress. I run my sauces right up to peak week. If you produce a look you want to bring to the stage with the sauces in, why cut them out?

As an added extra, another tip that can be extremely beneficial for most athletes is to prep your meals ahead of time. Most of us don’t have the time to make every meal fresh. So batch-cooking your meals will take away the unnecessary stress of cooking four, five, six times a day. This will also help to free up more time to spend with your family and friends. Or keep up with other tasks you can’t afford to let slip while prepping for your show.

These are just a few of the ways you can improve adherence and make your prep much simpler. The main thing is to find a method that works for you and stick with it.

Adam Nugent's column is In association with Strom Sports

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