Comp prep length all depends on the athletes conditioning before a show. For my first show I began my prep August 2015 and didn’t get on stage until March 2017. That’s a long time but that’s what I needed to get my body ready for its first show. Plus I was dealing with a lot of damage to my body from meds and cortisone I was prescribed for a debilitating back injury.
My second show prep was much shorter. Only 4 months after my first show I was back on stage. I allowed myself about a month of higher clean calories before I buckled down and began leaning up for that show. Every depletion you do your body knows what to do and it’s easier. I came in so much tighter and harder my second show by far. Even as close as the show was.
Competition prep also includes lots of meal prepping. Meal plans can change as often as once a week or even daily on peak week. Sending progress pictures and weight weekly to your coach is very typical and so important so they can help tweak menu items to help keep your body changing and making sure your metabolism keeps high. Eating every 2-3 hours is normal and 5, 6 or even 7 meals a days are typical.
Lots of training both weights and cardio. 45 minutes to an hour of weight training and 25 min of cardio or even fasted cardio is typical. Weeks leading up to a show you can expect your cardio to increase from 25 min to 45-60 min. If not more depending on how your body is responding.
Proper supplementation is important to keep your body healthy. Proper vitamins and nutrients are important. And rest. Sleep is so important for muscle recovery. Have a coach that is willing to work with you and helps you stay accountable for what you do. Make sure you get a coach that knows what they’re doing. Comp prep is a serious thing and having a coach that can dial you in on show day is so important. Being dialed in a day too early or too late is not helpful on show day. Everyone’s body is different so you need to also listen to your body during the entire prep.