Sunday, 22 September 2013

Getting shredded in 6 days

Everyone wants to be shredded sometimes!
At the beginning of October I'll be going on a (long overdue) week long holiday, we're going on a cruise around the Eastern Mediterranean.
It's pretty hot over there, even at this time of year, so I may end up taking my shirt off or spending some time sunbathing by the on board pool.

With this in mind, I decided to try out a cutting technique known as 'drying out'. This is pretty common practice for competing sports models and physique competitors.
I'm looking at a 6 day process of loading myself with water while taking on a high protein low carbohydrate diet to make my body 'flush', then tactically carbing up at the end of the week as I completely drop my fluid intake. I'll also be training pretty hard in an attempt to become glycogen depleted.

I'm fully aware that the definition produced by this process will last 2 days at most, but it's a good excuse to experiment on myself.

Just for the record: These techniques will not make you look "ripped" if you are in fat! While most people can drop a significant amount of fat along with the water in these six days, this is not primarily a "diet." It's designed to help already lean people get super lean. It's also worth mentioning that this technique IS NOT a sustainable weight management program, it's purely a short sharp fix for an athlete / model to get in shape for a competition / photoshoot.
It's also worth mentioning that energy levels will be down by the end of this process and that a 'dry' or dehydrated body will not be performing at maximum efficiency.

Ryan Reynolds looking 'ripped'

These techniques are often used by actors to quickly get into shape for a topless scene. It's entirely possible that Ryan Reynolds used this type of fluid manipulation to increase his definition for this infamous scene in Blade: Trinity
(not necessary for this article, I just quite like Ryan Reynolds)

<EDIT> - If you intend to try this yourself, please be aware of the dangers of too much water. Please read about the effects I experienced and how I rectified them before even considering something like this - Day 3 pitfalls of too much water

Here's the programme I'll be sticking to this week:
(This schedule assumes a Saturday bodybuilding competition, photo shoot, or day at the beach)

Monday: 10 to 15 Litres of water, 50g or less total carbs

Tip: Buy three 5 litre bottles of water with a handle. This will let you see exactly how much water you have left to go. And the handle makes it easy to carry around with you everywhere — which you'll pretty much have to do to get in three gallons! 
Pro Tip: Don't ever be too far from a toilet / ditch / bush.

Tuesday: Same as above

Wednesday: Same as above

Thursday: Same as above

Friday: Begin a gradual carb-up. Today eat five or six meals, each containing 50-75g of carbs.
In the first one or two meals, have fruits as your main carbohydrate source. Starting the carb-up with fruit replenishes liver glycogen very fast. We believe that the faster liver glycogen is filled, the more effective the rest of the carb-up will be.

For meals three and four, move to starchier, faster-absorbing carbs (potatoes, pasta or rice if it's tolerated well). Meal number 4 should be at around 4:00pm.

Now the "fun" begins. Water intake should be cut completely at 4:00 or 5:00pm. One or two more meals should be consumed after you cut water. Have only one if you're already looking "full." Have two if not. These meals should contains carbs derived from simple sugars: pancakes and syrup, pie filling, waffles, chocolate, etc. (see, it's not all bad!)

Along with this simple sugar meal, have two tablespoons of vegetable glycerine (found in most health food stores). Also on Friday, take a herbal diuretic or black coffee (if it's not going to stop you sleeping). Although the proper thing to do is go by the label directions with these type of products, best results are usually achieved by taking three servings on Friday: one about an hour or two before you cut water intake, one when you cut intake, and one before bed.

Another trick is to take an Epsom salt bath (400g of Epsom salt in very hot water) for 20-30 minutes before bed. This is what bodybuilders did to help shed water before diuretics became popular. (The salt and mega hot bath drastically increase perspiration.)

Saturday (photo or beach day): Breakfast depends on how you look.

• Looking flat? Have another simple sugar meal.

• Looking good? Small portion of fruit and protein.

• Holding water? Protein only (shake with very little water).

Forty-five minutes before pumping up for your shoot, take in two tablespoons of glycerol in one can of full-sugar soda. 

Voila; hardly any subcutaneous water and muscles full of water.

I'll keep you posted on my progress, may also put up some before and after images.

Full article on this method from T-Nation can be found here:

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