7 Days to Ultimate Leanness by Chris "Swolecat" Janusz You’ve been dieting for a while now with great success. You’ve shed your layer of winter blubber and now you’re ready to show everyone the new you. Maybe there's a high school reunion you plan on attending and you've been focusing on looking your best. If you're lucky the theme will be Hawaiian, with beachwear encouraged. Sure it's vain, but it's fun to show all those women who wouldn't go out with you back in school what a stud you've become. (Abs can be the best revenge!) You can already see striations on your chest, a six pack now replaces the keg that was once there, and your legs look like tree trunks. All the hard work you've done leading up to this moment has paid off and you’re happy. But ask yourself, is there anything you can do this last week that'll make you stand out just a bit more than anyone else there? Maybe even stand out a lot more? You bet there is! It’s called "7 Days To Ultimate Leanness" and it puts the finishing touches on your physique. Will This Work For Me? The "tricks" contained here were learned in helping competitive bodybuilders prepare for their shows, but any person who's in relatively lean shape (can see abs when flexed) can benefit from this seven day course of preparation. This progression of physique-tightening days works well for those prepping for the lake, a big weekend BBQ, vacations, reunions, first date impressions, strip show performances, or for whatever occasion you want to look your best. If you're slightly bigger and can't see abs, the effects and final result won't be as noticeable as someone who's already relatively lean. Remember, this is a "fine tuning" prorgram, not an overhaul! Okay, so you have one week to prepare. What can you do to look your best seven days from now? Well, let me go over several key techniques we'll employ and what they aim to accomplish. Hopefully, since you're lean already, you have some kind of base tan. Nothing shows off a lean, hard physique like a nice bronze color. Seriously, the difference is night and day! If you don’t have a tan and you hang with Casper, you can always use an over-the-counter self-tanning application. Just make sure to try it out first so you don’t wind up looking like a Sunkist orange or Freddy Krueger. You want attention at this event, yes, but not because you're a laughing stock! Techniques Used Carb depletion and loading — Here we’ll take advantage of our muscles' ability to absorb up to one and half times more muscle glycogen after being in a depleted state. Along with our water restriction and skin tightening techniques to follow, this will create very large, full muscle bellies with cuts and striations. We'll carb load with very little sodium, thus ensuring full muscle bellies and literally no subcutaneous water (water between the skin and muscle) to blur definition Water loading and depletion — Here we'll trick our bodies into expelling excess water to get that paper-thin skin look, thus letting those exploding muscles almost burst through! For the first three days we’ll water load. The last three days we’ll slowly reduce our water while we continue to carb-load in a sodium-free environment. We'll be carb depleting during the sodium loading phase and carb loading during the sodium depletion phase. You’ll understand why as we move along. Sodium loading and depletion — This goes hand in hand with the water loading and depletion. You'll load up on sodium to get the body used to very high amounts for a few days. The last few days when you cut down your water, you'll cut out all sodium. It’s literally impossible to eat zero sodium, so that's the purpose of the sodium load. You'll make a little bit of sodium in the diet seem like absolutely nothing due to the three days of extremely high sodium intake. The result is your body letting go of every bit of subcutaneous water, leaving you dry, paper thin, and ripped to hell! You're also cutting out water as the days progress, but are still expelling it at the rate you were while water loading. This is key! There are a few supplements you'll need as well and they can all be obtained legally over-the-counter. Many may use other prescription diuretic drugs during this time, but that's not needed, nor is it encouraged. You can use just about any "water shed" type of over-the-counter diuretic. The info contained here will help you achieve your desired results, so dangerous drugs just aren't needed. The Countdown Begins! Our hypothetical event is Saturday, so we’ll begin eight days earlier, as there are some pre-seven day techniques we must utilize to make the final days very effective. So, for our Saturday event, we begin the second Friday before. All supplements will be taken in the same manner daily, with the exception of the carb loading phase. Protein shakes and bouillon cubes (used for the sodium load) are to be taken with the water you're allotted each day. You may also salt your meals if desired. The amount of water, carbs, protein, etc. you're to ingest will differ based on weight. The amounts below are indicative of a subject weighing about 220 pounds. You'll want to adjust up or down based on your weight. Remember, you should be in relatively good shape for this process to be productive. Let's say you're 10% bodyfat or less. Here's how you'd adjust the program, up or down, based on weight. These are general guidelines from instruction and experience; your individual needs may vary, so just use this as a starting point. Water: You'll want to adjust the amount of water by about 2-3 cups per every 10 pounds you deviate from our hypothetical example. Below I recommend two gallons per day because I'm using a 220 pound guy as an example. A 230 pound person would consume two gallons, plus those 2-3 cups. If one weighed 210, he'd drink 2-3 cups less than two complete gallons. Carbs: The depletion days would be the same as far as timing of meals. To figure out your amount, you should be eating an amount in grams that's about three times your bodyweight in clean carbs during the carb-up phase. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds, you'll need to eat 600 grams of carbs. This will differ based on bodyweight, but it's pretty accurate. Protein: During the depletion phase, you want to get about 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. During the carb load phase, you can concentrate on carbs as the main focus and get as close to your bodyweight in protein as you can. For these three days, you can consume just your bodyweight (or a little less) as the focus is the carb up. You need only enough protein for maintenance; we aren't building or rebuilding anything right now. Sodium/Salt: During the salt loading phase, all sizes of bodybuilders will benefit by salting all food and by using a bouillion cube in water, morning and evening. I've never seen this to be size dependent so there are no recommendations on how much salt you should have. The key here is making the body think it's taking in a ton of sodium, which it is. After this loading phase, you'll want to get as close to zero sodium as you can for those three or four days. It's impossible to consume no sodium, so the sodium load makes the body "think" it's receiving none at all, as it's used to extremely high levels. A little confusing right now, I know, but everything will click as we break it down day by day. Let's get started! Friday— Perform a quick two-set-per-body part workout utilizing high reps (12-15) followed by a posing session to "squeeze out" all that subcutaneous water. Post-workout have some kind of MRP (meal replacement powder) with about 25 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein. (Remember to adjust these numbers if you weigh more or less than 220 pounds.) For the second post-workout meal, have half a cup of oats and two chicken breasts. Take 300 mgs R-ALA and 50 mgs Vanadyl Sulfate (VS) with your MRP and second post-workout meal. (The ratio of carbs to protein is different than normal post-workout percentages, as usually it’s two parts carbs to one part protein.) Saturday — Perform 40 minutes of morning cardio, just enough to get a sweat going. You should not be stimulating the quads doing this cardio. The only carbs you should take in today are half a cup of oats at meal one and an MRP after posing practice at 5:00 p.m. Again, 300mgs R-ALA and 50mgs VS apply to both carb meals and all similar carb meals for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. You should shop for your water, bouillon cubes, ALA, VS, diuretics, rice cakes, honey, Raisinettes (yes, the candy) and other accessories today. Sunday — This is the first stage of the carb depletion phase. Perform 40 minutes of morning cardio. After cardio, take one bouillon cube: drop it in hot water and drink. There's usually about 2000mgs of sodium in each cube, so it’s pretty strong! Our sample 220 pound guy gets two gallons of water today. He'll use water from this two gallons to make his bouillon drink. Have half a cup of oats at meal one with three scoops of low or no-carb whey protein. Meal two will be flax oil and protein, meal three beef only, and meal four flax and protein powder again. Perform a workout doing arms (3-4 sets, high reps) at 4:30 or so, and have an MRP as post-workout meal number one and half a cup of oats and chicken for post-workout meal number two. The beef should be 8-10 ounces and relatively lean. At this stage, trim excess fat away. As far as your shakes, have three scoops of protein in each one, or about 60 grams of protein (again, for our 220 pound example). Use water from the two gallons in the shakes. Have another bouillon cube at night, also using water from the two gallons. Drink all of the water. This is very important! You want to totally flood the body with salt and water today. Monday — This is the second stage of the carb depletion phase. Perform 40 minutes of morning cardio. Today you won't eat oats at meal one, just have lean beef. Have a bouillon cube with meal one using water from the two gallons again. Meal two will be flax oil and protein; meal three will be beef only; and for meal four you'll have flax and protein powder again. Your workout today is chest and shoulders (3-4 sets of each, high reps) at 4:30 or so with posing to follow. Have an MRP for your post-workout meal, and one and a half cups of oats and chicken for post-workout meal number two. Again, have the bouillon cube at night. Tuesday — This is the third stage of the carb depletion phase. Perform 40 minutes of morning cardio. No oats at meal one, just lean beef again. Have a bouillon cube with meal one using water from the allotted two gallons. Again, meal two will be flax oil and protein, meal three will be beef, and meal four will be flax and protein powder. Your workout today is for back, traps, and calves (3-4 sets of each, high reps). Consume no post-workout carbs, just a regular low or no-carb protein shake (with no flax oil) for post-workout meal one. For post-workout meal two, have beef only. Take a bouillon cube and drink it down using water from the two gallons. Prepare chicken and sweet potatoes for the next day. You'll use fresh chicken breasts, not the frozen variety which have been drowned in sodium broth. This is one time it must be fresh! Wednesday — Now we enter the first stage of the no-sodium carb loading phase. Perform 40 minutes of morning cardio (last session of the program!). Water allotment today is one gallon. Meals should be eaten every two hours. Drink water after, not during, each meal to avoid bloat. Boil chicken in distilled water or bake plain and shred it up. Mix it in mashed sweet potatoes and make meals. Alternate chicken with potato, just potato, chicken with potato, etc. for your meals. Begin at 8:00 a.m. Your meal schedule looks like this: 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00. Take 300 mgs R-ALA and 100mgs VS with every meal. Take dandelion root and B-6 (or whatever diuretic supplement you chose) with meals one, three, and five. Thursday — This is the second stage of the no-sodium carb loading phase. No cardio today. Meals are every two and half hours. Water allotment today is half to three-fourths of a gallon. Drink water after meals to avoid bloat. Chicken and sweet potato are prepared in the same manner. Meal times are 8:00, 10:30, 1:00, 3:30, 6:00, 8:30. (6:00 and 8:30 both have chicken.) Take diuretics at meals one, three, and five again. If you look really bloated for some reason, double them in the late afternoon and take another double dose at night before bed. Don’t panic though, the next day is when you really tighten up and dry out, provided you’ve been following the above instructions to the letter. Friday — We now enter the third stage of the no-sodium carb loading phase. Again, no cardio. Meals are every three hours. Water allotment today is one-fourth of a gallon. (Yes, this will suck!) Again, drink water after meals to avoid bloat. Prepare food the same way. Meal times are 8:00, 11:00, 2:00, 5:00, 8:00. Chicken is eaten at every meal. Use discretion as to how much diuretic aid you use, and how much coffee to use in place of water to act as a diuretic. (Protein in every meal adds a diuretic effect as well.) A glass of red wine in the evening can also aid in expelling out some excess water the night before your "event," but you're not trying to get a buzz here! Saturday — Today is your day! Time to show off! Now, look at yourself and ask, "What can I get away with?" Some kind of solid, starchy carb once or twice, preferably two smaller servings. Have chicken with the first meal. Bring in faster acting sugars prior to your event in the car on the way or upon arriving at the event. This will bring vascularity into play and help absorb the starchy carbs into the muscles. Take sips of water only to keep your mouth wet. Chew gum to avoid dry cottonmouth. Raisinettes and/or red wine seem to bring out vascularity quite nicely, so try one or both of these. Don’t go overboard with the Raisinettes and prepare to stun all onlookers! Wrap Up The seven day prep period doesn't sound like fun, but I guarantee you'll look your absolute best. It’s these final seven days that can really show off the hard work you put into lifting and dieting correctly. The average weight loss this last week is five to eight pounds. Those of you who hold more water and are "thick skinned" will tend to lose far more. Some just hold more water than others! I recommend that you practice this once or twice before your event so that you can find out exactly what works for you by tinkering with the amounts. When your event is over, make the transition back to water/salt/food a slow one, as you don’t want to shock your body too much. Your body will absorb all of these nutrients at an accelerated rate and you'll want to watch out for edema (very bad bloating of the extremities). So, take it slow and you should be just fine. Remember, take pictures of yourself on your special day so that you have memories that will last a lifetime! Now go knock 'em dead!