A common question people ask when starting out in competitions is how long they need to diet to get ready for a show. I recommend you get an Inbody or Bod Pod body fat test for the computation below to be as accurate as possible.
With proper application and derivation, it can provide fairly accurate results that are useful for estimating the time needed to reach your desired contest conditioning.
For the examples below, they are based on figure and bikini athletes.
Here’s how it works:
In this example, the competitor weighs 152 lbs. She has set a goal to be at 11% body fat for her competition.
Her test yields 18.6% body fat. 18.6% of 152 lbs is 0.186 x 152 lbs = 28.27 lbs.
So, she currently has about 28.25 lbs of body fat on her frame.
A body-weight of 152 lbs – 28.25 lbs = 123.75 lbs of lean body-weight (muscle, water, bones, etc.).
Using algebra – who said that stuff would never get used in the real world? – we find her goal of 11% body fat:
123.75 lbs/ x = 100% – 11%, or simply 0.89, 123.75 = 0.89x, 123.75/0.89 = x, 139 = x. So, about 139 lbs would be the target 11% body fat. As a check, weight of 139 – lean body-weight of 123.75 = 15.25 lbs of fat, and 15.25/139 = 10.97% (or 11% rounded).
28.25 lbs of fat now – 15.25 lbs of target fat = 12.75 lbs to lose.
Losing 1-2 lbs per week is a common rate of weight loss to shed body fat, while maintaining muscle mass. Losing weight too quickly can come at the expense of losing muscle tissue.
Following a progressive training program, you can figure on about 1.5 lbs lost per week for this example. It would take 12.75 lbs/1.5 lbs = 8.5 weeks of dieting to reach the target body fat level from this starting point. You can plug in your numbers and see how long you should allow for.
I suggest you add 2-4 weeks to the timeline to account for plateaus, illness or injury. Its better to be ready early than miss your mark because you didn’t have enough weeks factored in.
But there’s one important thing to know as a first time competitor…
It’s not just about your weight and body fat in the end.
It’s about how you look.
You have to ensure you are creating the shape, size, and symmetry for figure or bikini the judges want to see in their top 5 winners. So you need all 4 phases of training plus peak week to ensure you bring your best package to the stage.
One last tip, I recommend you stay in pre-prep or Phase 1 of Contest Prep Secrets until you are 10-15 pounds away from your goal weight.
All the workouts, diets, supplements, pro secrets, and support you need to make it all the way are in my step-by-step program. Click the link below to learn more: