Nutritional peak week and competition day strategies of competitive natural bodybuilders

CHAPPELL, Andrew and SIMPER, Trevor (2018). Nutritional peak week and competition day strategies of competitive natural bodybuilders. Sports, 6 (4).

sports-06-00126-v2.pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (428kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


Bodybuilders utilize peaking strategies in a bid to fine-tune their aesthetics for competition day. The most prevalent peaking strategies utilized by natural bodybuilders are unreported in the current literature. Eighty-one (M - 59, F - 22) natural bodybuilders were recruited from competitions during the 2016 and 2017 British Natural Bodybuilder Federation seasons. Competitors completed a 34-item questionnaire designed to investigate peaking and contest day strategies. The questionnaire listed commonly utilized peaking strategies and provided additional space for qualitative information. Analysis of the data indicated that carbohydrate (CHO), water and sodium manipulation were the most commonly utilized peak week strategies. The consumption of high glycemic index CHO was the most common competition day strategy. Only 6.2 % of competitors reported following their regular diet the week prior to competition. The CHO manipulation strategies were similar to classical CHO loading, whereby bodybuilders attempt to maximize muscle glycogen concentrations. Furthermore, bodybuilders attempted to remove superfluous water by exploiting the diuretic/polyuria effect associated with water loading/restriction. The potentially deleterious effects of peaking on bodybuilders' health is considered and the efficacy of these strategies to enhance appearance is discussed. The findings of the present investigation are likely to be of interest to bodybuilders and their coaches.

Item Type: Article
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School > Department of Service Sector Management
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 12:05
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 08:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics