As a coach and a long time competitor, one of the biggest struggles I hear is dealing with the off season. Some competitors feel as though they can be less disciplined and get lazy and sloppy with their diet. This is some tough love for those people.
It’s simply not true.
If you choose the bodybuilding lifestyle, there really isn’t an off season. It’s really just a different phase in your prep. Personally, I have had seventeen off seasons as of today and have trained many other athletes through there off seasons.
The off season is just as important as prep season for any competitor and I really want you to succeed. Here are my tips that have helped both me and my clients to make sure we are progressing every time we step out on that stage.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE OFF SEASON
- Cut cardio gradually by about 3 to 5 minutes each session.
- Increase calories usually by 100-150 calorie blocks a week. Also known as “reverse dieting”.
- Ask for the judge’s feedback. If legs are the weak area, make them a focal point in training. If you do a cheat meal weekly, do it on the day you train legs. This will get those extra calories on that day and build them.
- Remember food is not going anywhere.
“I dieted hard for 16 weeks I deserve a treat”
The only place that way of thinking will get you is dieting longer for your next competition. Not only that, but you will feel miserable in your clothes and your mental space will suffer for that. We live a healthy lifestyle. Training is the easy and fun part. Eating is the most crucial part.
YOU HAVE EARNED YOUR OFF SEASON
Of course, your off season doesn’t have to be as strict as a contest diet. You have earned an off season. You can make it special by adding variety with fruit, low-fat dairy and some things you wouldn’t normally have during a strict prep. Have a cheat meal every week or two and enjoy life. As long as you keep it in control.
Tammy Patnode is an IFBB pro physique competitor and NPC judge. She is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She offers contest prep, general training and weight loss programs for men and women that are customized for each client.
Tammy is one of our exclusive HerSUPPZ BRAND AMBASSADORS!
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