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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marcella Shoot Prep, Phase 3 - Derek

The final pictures are coming in today, so without further delay I want to go into Marcella's final phase of photo shoot preparation!

To recap a little: after Marcella's Phase 1 routine she was losing body fat quickly, but also a lot of muscle. We quickly changed things up and her Phase 2 routine restored a lot of her muscle size, and she kept losing body fat so she was right on track for the shoot.

Her third phase had all the same focuses as mine (muscle definition, fat loss, etc) so I won't go into too much of the strategy detail on that. You can check out her routine here.

A major difference from her 3rd routine and my own is the upper body pace. While I was focusing on very high pace, high 'burn' workouts, Marcella kept to a more standard upper body breakdown with more rest and heavier weight to continue maintaining as much muscle as possible there.

Nutritionally we followed a carbohydrate-depleting and carbohydrate-loading cycle timed right before the shoot. What that means in plain English is that we went ultra low carb for the last 5 or so days before the shoot to really deplete our muscles, then a day and a half before the shoot we began 'carbing up' by eating large servings of things like sweet potatoes, oat bran, quinoa, and even a piece of pie! Hey, we earned it :). As the theory goes, in our depleted state our bodies were more efficient at absorbing carbohydrates, so this helped our muscles look more full and firm. To avoid the dreaded 'puffy' look that everyone should be familiar with after a night of sinful eating, we simultaneously dehydrated ourselves (minimal water and zero sodium intake) for about 18 hours before the shoot. This allowed us to have big, full looking muscles while keeping all the definition we had slaved so hard for. This carb cycling process is commonly used by bodybuilders to peak on show day, and I strongly advise caution with anyone wanting to try it. I will even go so far as to suggest avoiding the dehydration step entirely as dehydration is a very dangerous condition to play with.

So, there you have it. All our secrets of hard work and often painful dieting to get into the shape we were in. I will post the end results later today so stay tuned and keep training!

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