There is a lot of talk about the Peak Weak, i.e. the week before a bodybuilding, fitness, etc. competition. Here there is a lot of pseudoscience around the manipulation of water, sodium and so on, with blunders for flag. It is also recognized muscle glycogen overload and so on.
Pre-Peak Weak, the week before the competition in bodybuilding.
However, doesn’t anyone talk about the week or weeks leading up to the Peak Weak? If it is already easy to make mistakes in the Peak Weak, in my opinion, even more mistakes are made in the days leading up to it, that is, for example, from day 14 to day 3-4 before competing, but hardly anyone talks about it.
What characterizes the diet of this phase
This phase is usually characterized by an obvious and severe caloric deficit, coupled with a drastic restriction of carbohydrates in the diet or even complete elimination. Under such conditions, the body can hardly use carbohydrates for energy production because its reserves are critical, as indicated also by decreasing blood glucose values. Body fat reserves are also close to the minimum amount needed for survival and can hardly be used for energy production either. Therefore, the classic excessively increased protein intake forces the human body to use protein for energy and also “gets used to” these conditions.
However, there is still a large energy deficiency prevalent in the body and, as the body becomes accustomed to “relying” on additional energy from protein, the “available” protein in muscle tissue can be catabolized and thus muscle mass loss increases.
The critical body fat percentage for this to occur may be around 7.0-7.5% from which both insulin and IGF-1 tend to drop below healthy reference values. Low IGF-1 and insulin levels will be followed by a rapid loss of muscle mass. Therefore, if competitions are more than 10 days away, there can be a serious and significant loss of muscle mass.
Therefore, consuming more protein (in excess) will be for energy in these conditions, so the common practice used of excessively increasing protein intake in these conditions is questionable, due to down-regulation of anabolic pathways. Not reducing carbohydrates as much will be a more effective strategy, as it will also help maintain physiological insulin and IGF-1 ranges.