INBA athlete Marcus Koh compares how he looked pre-contest vs. post-contest two weeks later.
Bodybuilders look utterly different during shows than they do after them. Of course, that’s because they have to get down to extremely low body fat levels to catch the judge’s eyes and have their physiques stand out. However, this level of body fat isn’t maintainable, and shortly after, athletes’ body fat levels shoot up. For example, International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) athlete Marcus Koh shed light on how a natural bodybuilder’s physique can change pre-contest vs. post-contest (within two weeks).
Marcus Koh is an INBA Australia athlete who’s been awarded his Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) pro card. But he plans to make his pro debut by the end of 2023. And he hopes to represent Team Australia at Natural Olympia someday.
Recently Marcus Koh shared an Instagram (IG) photo comparing his physique before a show in Brisbane, Australia. And how it looked two weeks later. The images of Marcus Koh look like they could have been taken several months or even years apart. But Koh claims the difference in his photos is merely two weeks apart. Within two weeks, he went from weighing 71.6kg (pre-contest) to 80.6kg (post-contest). On IG, Koh stated:
“2 weeks later 71.6kg ▶️ 80.6kg Excuse the 5am morning puffy face* water retention showed no mercy once I was fed nutritious food by the folks after coming back from Brisbane”
You can see Marcus Koh’s pre-contest and post-contest photos below.
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As you can see, a bodybuilder’s body can look completely different within two weeks after a competition. An extreme diet and water loss will make an athlete lose a bunch of weight quickly. But, conversely, they’ll gain the weight back fast once they return to a more sustainable way of eating.
INBA PNBA athletes have been transparent about how strict pre-contest dieting is. For example, PNBA athlete and World Natual Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) champion Ben Howard opened up about the health issues he faced after an extreme pre-contest diet cut. Howard noted sleep disturbance, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, and a loss of muscle mass.
And INBA Australia pro bikini athlete Amanda Martin says that contest prep has serious health risks, including irritability, menstrual problems, low testosterone, sleep disruption, mood disturbance, fatigue, and strength loss. So besides bulking (gaining muscle), natural bodybuilders need to give their bodies a rest from cutting. So they can balance their hormones and increase longevity.
Every natural athlete follows a different nutrition strategy, of course. But one thing each INBA PNBA has in common pre-contest is a cut. So to be the lowest body fat on stage, competitors keep their calories to a minimum. For instance, 2x Natural Olympia Bikini Divas champ Kayla Rowling is prepping for the World Championships in Florence, Italy, this upcoming weekend–June 25. And she shared her pre-contest breakfast, consisting of protein (egg whites) and vegetables (asparagus and mushrooms).