Wouldn’t it suck to spend a ton of money on preparing for a Bodybuilding or (insert division) competition only to scratch your head in wonderment after you don’t bring your best physique to the stage?
How could this happen? You shopped at Whole Foods Market for the highest quality proteins and vegetables. You never missed cardio or a training session, in fact - you even went over your regimented time some days here and there.
You looked good, but 2nd place could have been prevented as you still had just a tiny bit more back fat or water under the skin.
After the contest is over -- you cannot sleep that night in your hotel room,so you brainstorm what you did for this outcome.
You start questioning your metabolism, maybe your body is aging? Maybe you need to do even more cardio -or maybe less? What the heck didn’t quite click this time around?
Let Me Tell You-
After competing in over 30 + contests year after year - I have tried just about everything you can imagine. The first 5 years I was consistently nailing my conditioning, and able to peak at multiple shows back-to-back and other times spread out.
Something happened during my 6th year of competing that opened up my eyes from that point on… I missed my peak.
It actually seemed like an impossibility to me and my brain couldn’t compute the aftermath as I added up all the ingredients that went into that preparation and I should have been beyond my best!
I ended up doing more cardio than any other outing.
I ate virtually cod fish and spinach for 6 weeks straight.
I knew all my supplements were legitimate and working.
To do MORE than usual, and not hone in my “trademark conditioning”, placing my lowest to date was a nightmare and ego crusher.
Like you probably guessed -- I didn’t sleep that night and figured out my issues as simple as they are going to sound.
Simple Preventable Issues:
1) I overlooked my water consumption and didn’t calculate ingestion until a few days out.
What’s the big deal? - When you do not have what I refer to as “water goals” , you can not have predictable muscle fullness, dryness and performance. Namely the anti-diuretic remedy with water ingestion is key! This is painfully crucial especially dialing in your final 10 days.
2.) I didn’t eat ANY of my green vegetables during that diet, and consumed a powdered replacement drink instead.
What’s the big deal? - I do not have proof, but I strongly feel that when you eat cruciferous, fibrous vegetables during a dieting period - it detoxes the body and stimulates digestion and metabolism ,which could have a slight cumulative effect as the weeks add up regarding conditioning.
3.) I convinced myself that more cardio (jogging,HIIT, steady state,etc…) for 2-3 sessions a day could only equal better leanness.
What’s the big deal? - I ignored my tried and true instincts of knowing that MORE is not better for my unique metabolism, as I am an ectomorph. I would begin to look worse if doing too much cardio and not ingesting enough carbohydrates or high-carb days etc...
4.) I stayed sedentary all day due to a new salary position in a high-stress environment working 10-12 hours a day (50-60 hours per week).
What’s the big deal? - Gigantic game-changer for me here. I always worked on a sales floor and stayed on my feet all day. I was always high strung, and what you would refer to as a “fidgeter.” I had to slowly train myself to adjust to being sedentary and cope with non stop lethargy. This HIGHLY influenced poor blood flow throughout the body and downgraded total energy expenditure. I believe people will find it very difficult to get their stubborn lower back and glutes in shape when working a seated job all day.
My solution to EVERYONE is -- Build a standing station or buy a standing desk. You will never catch me working while sitting now. Ask any of my clients and they will all say that I am non-stop standing. You probably have pesky, stupid, lower back fat around your waistband if you’re stuck working a sedentary office job. Get your ass up and get your feet used to holding your fat ass up all day long!
5.) I internalized stress more than ever regarding new job, preparing to save money for a Wedding, and physical stress and nervousness for my upcoming competition.
What’s the big deal? - Not knowing how to cope with, and manage pent-up stress will overflow into your physical/cosmetic self. Slowed fat-loss, sodium and water hormone channels will be influenced, as well as glucose intolerance etc… I was a nervous wreck and finally faced some issues face-to-face and crushed the stress.
6.) I didn’t listen to the one person whom had been at ALL other previous contests when they told me to my face 3 weeks out: “Something isn’t right this year.” (I was butt-hurt and defensive towards them)
What’s the big deal? - When you do more cardio, eat zero carbs, and someone tells you that you look behind schedule,while you’re a stressed,emotional rollercoaster, it will surely rub you the wrong way. However, your gut knows when people are correct and you know internally that you indeed -- are not your best regardless of how much stuff you’re undergoing.
What I want you to take home from this information is that never get overly confident ,and deviate from the little things you know simply works for you. Cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s and don’t be up at 2 a.m. depressed in your hotel room wondering what went wrong. Be up at 2 a.m. celebrating your overall win with copious amounts of pizza and ice cream with your friends & family.