INBA Danny Ghiglieri Shares 16-Week Natural Bodybuilding Contest Prep Transformation

INBA athlete Danny Ghiglieri
Image via Instagram @dannyghigs

INBA athlete Danny Ghiglieri shares a 16-week natural bodybuilding transformation from day one of contest prep to show day. 

Before natural bodybuilding shows, competitors undergo a contest prep, cutting calories to get as lean as possible. But, of course, every competitor’s training, diet, and contest prep look different. International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) athlete Danny Ghiglieri shared what it looks like to go from day one of contest prep to the day of a show 16 weeks out. 

Danny Ghiglieri recently received his Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) pro card after performing well in his natural bodybuilding debut show. At Ghiglieri’s INBA PNBA debut, he received second place in Amateur Novice Physique and second place in Amateur Open Physique. On Instagram, he compared a side-by-side photo of how he looked on day one of contest prep and show day 16 weeks later. Ghiglieri stated:

“My 16 week transformation in Natural Bodybuilding; Day 1 of prep —> Show Day. To boot, check out my 1 day transformation in not-so-natural tanning lol”

See Danny Ghiglieri’s full 16-week contest prep photos on Instagram below. 


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A post shared by Danny Ghiglieri (@dannyghigs)

Contest Prep

Contest prepping is imperative for natural bodybuilders who want to outshine their competitor’s on show day. It’s a short cycle before a show when athletes will diet hard and cut weight to be as lean as possible for the competition their preparing for. Some bodybuilders will start their contest prep sooner or later than others. For example, Danny Ghiglieri started his prep 16 weeks out, while others may wait until 12 weeks before a show. 

And many athletes will follow a similar approach to cutting weight. They’ll get into a caloric deficit and follow a strict diet while prepping for shows. Although, each contender’s nutrition varies. For example, Kayla Rowling was eating five egg whites, five asparagus spears, and a handful of mushrooms for breakfast to prepare for the Worlds Championships in Florence, Italy, on June 25, 2022. 

One thing a few natural bodybuilders have described during contest prep is the intensity and potential health consequences that follow. For instance, Amanda Martin said it leads to irritability, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances. And Ben Howard detailed his sleep disturbance after following a strict diet to prep his physique for the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) lightweight division.

Natural Bodybuilding 

Natural bodybuilding has many different federations, but the INBA PNBA is the largest federation and the only one to abide by the strictest drug testing standards–the World Anti Doping-Agency (WADA). Having WADA metrics ensures athletes’ safety–for those who obey the guidelines–and makes competition just for bodybuilders. Those who don’t are stripped of their title and prize money. Plus, they’re ridiculed in the Hall of Shame.

Many natural bodybuilders in the INBA PNBA joined because of the fair and strict drug testing guidelines. For example, PNBA Hall of Famer Chad Martin began competing in bodybuilding in 1999, but he quickly caught onto the fact that guys were starting to dope, giving them an unfair advantage. That’s when he did some research and found the INBA PNBA. 

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.