Competition prep has got to be one of the most mentally taxing things I have ever done. Once you start the diet, every craving you have ever had in your life all come rushing back. We are going to discuss the important factors of competition prep and how I chose to get ready for my first show.
As you know from roaming around on this site, I am not a believer in any form of dieting because of its temporary nature. With that said, the preparation in and of itself is a temporary ordeal that derives from my current nutrition lifestyle. (This is my take on Diets). I dialed my macros down to the “T”. Being that I decided to prep for a show earlier than the normal 14-20 week span, I had to make minor changes in every aspect of my personal nutrition.
I spent one day a week prepping all my food using the same methods of bulk meal prepping I have discussed before. This helped me to stay focused on other aspects besides food. (helpful tips on bulk meal prep)
As show time came closer, I did drop my carbs quite low but never took them out completely. When you lower your carbs to burn fat, the body compensates by lowering its metabolism. Carbs raise the level of insulin in your blood that results in energy entering the muscles as glycogen. The good thing about this method is that it provides you with a great amount of energy to make it through a workout on a caloric deficit.
TIMING WAS EVERYTHING. The down side to insulin spikes is that it can flush energy into hungry fat cells as well. Totally the opposite of what I wanted. So in order to combat this, I set times for my daily carb intake. I also had a Re-feed day every week.
My carb schedule looked like this:
-Mornings because of the fasting over night, and it really helps me keep a steady amount of energy through daily tasks.
-If I felt tired through out the day.
-1 hour prior to training.
-1-2 hour window following my workout I try to get the bulk amount (usually 55%+) of my carbs in.
WHAT I DID NOT DO… I did not cut out all carbs… I did not eat simple carbs…I did not eat protein bars….
Leading up to the show my training exactly the same as before. I really did not find the need to change much about the training I was doing. I did find my strength was lacking a little but that’s a given with any cut. I get the privilege of working out with Jim Smith at www.DIESELSC.com. So every workout is very upbeat and intense.
Cardio is the one thing I did incorporate more into my training. Both slow moderate as well as high intensity interval training (HIIT) brought me to where I needed to be come show time.
Nutrition and training come very easy for me; I basically eat, sleep, and breathe that stuff. So where I met the most trouble was making sure I was mentally prepared to step out on stage in front of an audience. Even though it is Men’s Physique, there still are a lot of unwritten rules you have to follow that dictate on stage success or failure. So for 20 minutes a day I find a quite spot to sit and visualize every step I need to take and every muscle I need to flex and hold. Visualization really helped me not only make the mind body connection but also allowed for me to come into my first show very confident.
We all know that posing for Men’s Physique is not as demanding as the normal Bodybuilding posing, but it still demands some attention. On my rest days, usually cardio days, I would spend time working on my poses and turns. The trick to Men’s Physique is to flex/pose with an effortless look. Every movement has to flow.
These are some of the tips and tricks I used to prepare for my show. It was a blast to be able to step on stage. They say that there is nothing like stepping on stage, and that is a FACT. I cannot wait to get on stage again!
I hope I answered some of your questions!
Until next time, IMAGINE with all your mind. BELIEVE with all your heart. ACHIEVE with all your might.