June 1, 2021

Peak Week Recommendations for Bodybuilders: An Evidence Based Approach

Research by:

Escalante G., Stevenson S., Barakat C., Aragon A., Schoenfeld B.

Bodybuilding is a competitive endeavor where a combination of muscle size, symmetry, “conditioning” (low body fat levels), and stage presentation are judged. Success in bodybuilding requires that competitors achieve their peak physique during the day of competition.

To this end, competitors have been reported to employ various peaking interventions during the final days leading to competition.

Commonly reported peaking strategies include altering exercise and nutritional regimens, including manipulation of macronutrient, water, and electrolyte intake, as well as consumption of various dietary supplements. The primary goals for these interventions are to maximize muscle glycogen content, minimize subcutaneous water, and reduce the risk abdominal bloating to bring about a more aesthetically pleasing physique. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of evidence to support the commonly reported practices employed by bodybuilders during peak week.

Hence, the purpose of this article is to critically review the current literature as to the scientific support for pre-contest peaking protocols most commonly employed by bodybuilders and provide evidence-based recommendations as safe and effective strategies on the topic.

Read Full Article On: Research Gate

By: Chris Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSN