We’ve all heard the saying. “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Do you plan for what’s important to you? Whether it’s finishing an important project at work, getting a degree, or managing your own business, it all takes planning, setting goals and following through. There’s a process for everything in life. So what makes planning and setting goals to achieve a healthy lifestyle or fit body any different? It’s NO different! As a nutritionist, I always ask clients why they’ve decided to compete. Going through the process of getting ready for a show is tough and not everyone is cut out for the sport of bodybuilding, but if you’ve made the journey, you know what it takes. It takes dedication, and disciple to reach levels of leanness and fitness that most never think of. Whether you’re a first timer or veteran it’s never an easy process, but the process can get easier if you put living a healthy lifestyle in the forefront. The end of a season is the the perfect time and opportunity to reflect on the years accomplishments and if you don’t have it all down yet, don’t throw all your hard earned work away! The end of the season or post show competition is the perfect time to take advantage of what your body is prepared for to push yourself to a different level. No one physique is perfect without flaw and we all know what we need to improve on. Don’t take steps backwards, continue to move forward in perfecting the physique you were so proud of when you hit the stage.
When the season comes to an end. What now? In one of my blog articles I covered PCD, post competition depression and I’m hoping you’ve beat the possible slump. Being the smart competitor, I’m sure you’ve come up with your next blue print that includes a new plan and new set of goals. If not, it’s time to plan and set your goals! The holiday’s come and go and for many this time of year can be hard with all the parties and events that come with celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. It’s been a full year of dieting, workouts and cardio and now most feel the need to take a break, relax a bit more and eat and drink some of the foods they missed out on for months, right? Wrong! My advice is, if you can learn from your own history or the experience of others, DO SO. Let’s be honest. Speaking from experience and from what I’ve seen happen, the reality is; most have to experience in order to learn. Regardless of what road you take, don’t repeat history!
Some of the basics of getting through the holiday’s and any other time during the year is simple. PLAN. Being aware of your body and how it responds or reacts to certain foods and drinks is key. Plan for the special occasions and stick to the simplicity of eating “treats” and drinking “special drinks” in moderation. If you’re just finishing up the season and have managed to steer clear from binge eating and going over the top, congratulations! You’re on the right track. The foods you should be focusing on are typically what you would have consumed during your pre-contest phase, but more. Continue to focus on foods that are lean protein sources, fibrous-complex carbs and essential fats. All of the foods that are very beneficial to the post competition competitor. Consuming these food choices in the proper caloric range will definitely yield a better effect on a lean physique. Keep your workout schedule and cut out any long bouts of cardio and switch to high intensity interval training sessions 2 to 3 times a week.
Prepare It’s more than just nutrition and workouts. Don’t wait 10 weeks before getting started. The time is now. I’ve been on every side of the sport…judge, athlete, I manage a federation, manage a show and work with athletes. Through the years I’ve seen many athletes make mistakes, but have also seen athletes excel and better themselves with every show and as a competitor you need to make your mark once you’ve hit the stage. Using post competition momentum is the best time to continue perfecting the full package. It’s the perfect opportunity to make your physique the piece of art that turns heads for the right reasons. Competing isn’t only about nutrition, working out and cardio. It’s about “the FULL package!” It’s about leanness, muscularity, vascularity, symmetry, posing, presentation, the suit, the tan, the confidence and energy! It’s about being the competitor that causes the judges to drop their pencil. Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing an amazing physique step on stage that didn’t make posing a priority like they did their workouts and nutrition. Proper posing is what shows off the physique you worked so hard to attain. Why wouldn’t you practice to pose properly to show off your physique? When the head judge calls a “back lat spread” pose and all we see are shoulder blades, we can see which athlete has the lats and who has shoulder blades. Get the picture? We all know that stage lighting is harsh and without a proper dark tan, you’re shredded look will be a washed out look. A great tan will enhance the cuts and vascularity. Why wouldn’t you want to have a nice smooth dark tan to enhance your shredded body? Don’t sell yourself short on the things that might cause you to be noticed for the wrong reasons. Nothing is more impressive than to see a competitor come back the following year looking better and presenting their physique like a champ!
Make the realization and find the right mind-set to set your plan into gear now, before the holiday’s, before a new season and into the new year. Make your goals clear and real. Chip away at what you have created and perfect it. Start living the life of the athlete you have become year round, not only half of the year or for one show. Make your accomplishments permanent and take them to a different level. With the right mind-set and commitment to yourself, changes are sure to come. With few exceptions, some know what to do to make it through any time of year and continue on the path of making changes. What makes that gap between those who are successful and unsuccessful isn’t about information. It all starts with a goal, the realization, the mindset and attitude. It’s a mental game. Cultivating the above is a sure way to changing the “I want’s” into a successful reality. The time is now! Will you be the “full package” next time you step on stage?