PNBA Tamer Barakat divulges the changes he’s made to his training to preserve muscle mass.
When bodybuilders prep for shows, they have to get lean and lose body fat. Contest prep typically involves more cardio and a drastic cut in calories. While this effectively reduces your body fat, it can eat away your muscle mass. Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) athlete Tamer Barakat details his changes to his training for the 2022 natural bodybuilding season, allowing him to walk around with more muscle.
Tamer Barakat is the reigning Classic Physique Masters champ. And he’s the first vegan natural bodybuilder to sign a multi-media contract with Generation Iron, Iron Man Magazine, and the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) PNBA.
After getting in touch with Barakat, he said he’s cut down on cardio and extended his contest prep. Barakat stated:
“My prep has been very different this year then past, specifically,
I intentionally slowed down my weekly weight loss pace goal through extending my prep period and limiting my cardio. Net outcome is a big difference is muscle mass while still achieving better conditioning then last year’s.
Last year my weekly weight loss was 1-1.5lbs, doing cardio up to 45 minutes 6x per week which helped get shredded but did cost me some muscle mass loss, I was in prep for 9 weeks prior to my first show. Compared to this year, I stayed in prep for 15 weeks to my first show, most weekly loss was 1lb or less, my highest cardio week was 25minutes 4x per week, and overall I had more energy and stamina to lift heavier and keep my training intensity very high.”
Below is a progress picture update of Tamer Barakat comparing his show physique in 2021 versus 2022.
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INBA PNBA Pro/Am Team USA
The INBA PNBA Pro/Am Team USA natural bodybuilding competition is set to take place this upcoming weekend, September 24, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Team USA will be Tamer Barakat’s first show of the year. Tamer Barakat said for “peak week”–the week before a show where bodybuilders rigorously prep their physique–he’s been relying more on a caloric deficit and adjusting his macronutrient ratios compared to doing intense cardio. Barakat credits this strategy for substantially increasing the amount of muscle he preserves from a drastic cut. He praises his coach, Cliff Wilson, for this new contest prep strategy.
Tamer Barakat’s Nutrition and Training
Tamer Barakat’s diet is plant-based and consists of foods such as vegan protein, oatmeal, rice, quinoa, mushrooms, salad, and tofu.
Barakat performs a push/legs/pull split routine five days a week and changes his movements every six weeks. He said he incorporates Olympic lifting movements such as clean and jerk and snatches during the offseason since he believes it helps him gain strength and muscle.