Muscle control and posing are the pre-contest peaking secret, plus analyzing the body every day to decide the severity of training for that day. Nutritional analysis is also necessary, to the appearance of muscle tissue.
At the time peaking is required, all supplements must be discontinued and workouts must be cut back drastically, as well simplified. Pump, and pump only at this time. That is all that is required. No nervous energy should be used or catabolism will occur (loss of tone). The three-day period before the contest is the most important time for the peaking process to develop.
Workouts should be discontinued the last three days, posing should be intensified, and glycogen storage should be built up by using the three-day glycogen storing plan. This produces a full pumped appearance, which manifests itself by the ease of pumping when posing is practised. I have also found that backstage pumping is not advisable, due to the fact that a pumped muscle does not allow you to feel the muscles. This numbness does not allow you to feel the muscle and causes confusion when onstage.
You must at this time have perfect contact with your body, because without a mirror you are posing by feel only. At this time your confidence is important or it will adversely show during the posing routine. Also, after the pump goes down a very real lack of confidence takes place, and this is disastrous.
Without pumping before posing you will discover that posing itself produces a pump that can be recovered the second time you are called out onstage for a pose-off or bodypart exhibition.
I am sure that all who have entered physique competition will remember the day after the big night you always looked better and could not figure out why. Part of this phenomena is due to the fact that after the contest you probably went out and had your first carbohydrate meal, which is the key to producing that full pumped look.
I personally always had my photos taken from one to three days after competition, and was always amazed with the ease of pumping.
(IronMan, January 1984)