by Craig Titus
While prepare for competitions, did you enjoy cheat meals or junk food meals? If so what were the benefits?
Ok, I’ll answer this question with a firm belief that cheat meals are not only beneficial but needed for a athletes sanity. First, let me say the best conditions I’ve ever obtained, the fullest my muscles have ever been while possessing the absolute thinnest skin, was achieved by using one cheat day every seven days. The operative word being “day” not meal. That’s right, I enjoyed an entire day of consuming whatever foods I desired once ever seven days. Think of it this way…when you first begin your contest prep your metabolism is similar to a fire, any fire, camp fire, forest fire, it doesn’t matter. Just think of a fire at home in your fire place. Remember, the fire is your metabolism.
So once all the wood is consumed by flames, it’s roaring really good and expelling a great deal of heat. But then as time passes by, the flames decrease little by little until the flames are barely existent and the amount of heat is extremely low. What do you do? You throw more wood on the existing flames causing the fire to roar again with even more heat being created…created by the new wood as well as the existing wood already burning. Some bodybuilders may not agree with this theory, or some may even say it’s a half baked theory. Thing is, it’s not a theory, its fact! I guarantee if you add a cheat day after extreme dieting for seven days, not only will your temperature literally dramatically increase, causing you to actually sweat but your metabolism will significantly speed up!! You sweat from the significant caloric increase because your metabolism is totally jump started and roaring. Just like the flames, as the days of extreme dieting and caloric reduction go by, your metabolism slows down and adjust to your current diet schedule. Then all of a sudden you’re eating pizza, ice cream and three quarter pounders with cheese. Consuming these additional calories, calories that are made up of fats, sugars and unusually high amounts of sodium cause sever confusion with your metabolism. The confusion is a good thing! Your body goes into over drive, just like the fire, working much harder to digest these additional calories using in ordinate amounts of energy putting your metabolism into over drive. As a result, your metabolism speeds up burning additional body fat and your muscle experience a much needed boost in glycogen. That’s just the physical affects of cheat day… more importantly, cheat days are beneficial to your sanity and over all well being. Let’s face it, any Pro Bodybuilder, or Amateur for that matter, literally turns into a crabby, ill tempered, asshole over time as a result of extreme dieting. We’ve all heard from our significant other what a jerk off we are as the diet becomes more extreme. Well, I got news for you, a good cheat day or even one cheat meal can fix that. A cheat day will get you right, get you nice and get that loving feeling back putting a much needed smile on your significant other face again. And then there’s fulfilling your husband’s or wife’s needs…as in sex. Anyone who has prepared for a competition knows all to well that your sex drive becomes nonexistent well into a contest diet…guess what? A good cheat day will fix that as well…Sanity people!! Not to mention you’ll burn more calories having, sex as a result of some good cheat meals. And for all you bodybuilders out there saying “dieting kills my sex drive”…shut up, you’re a liar and I’m not trying to hear it…that’s not what you girl is saying! A good friend of mine, Pro bodybuilder Jen McVicker used to say…”Craig, Sundays are for eating and fucking…” and she said this while preparing for competitions. That’s precisely why we would hit the all you can eat buffets on Sundays at a number of Vegas hotels. So people, it makes absolutely Zero sense to suffer from extreme Dieting for 16 weeks or more, when cheat meals or even days are absolutely beneficial, not only to your physique but to your sanity an well being as well. Lastly, obviously you don’t want to use a cheat day during the last 3 to 4 weeks prior to competition time…your cheat days will be your carb loading days to full out prior to pre judging. In any professional opinion, life is way to short without enjoying one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer…food!!
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Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.
2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall