You train hard and follow a strict diet for 16 weeks before a competition. During that time you roam Pinterest pinning all the food you cant have. You make your boards of all the food you plan to consume once your competition is over.
Lets talk about that, the post contest binge. I know after a show the first thing I want is a big burger and a plate of nachos! That’s fine, but for many it doesn’t stop there. All of a sudden your one cheat meal turns to a day, then to a week. Before you know it you are up 20 pounds, your blood pressure is high, your joints hurt and you retaining enough water to fill a bath tub. 🤦♀️
OFF SEASON IS JUST AS IMPORTANT
I can’t stress how important it is to have a reverse plan in place coming off your show. Post show your body becomes a sponge to absorb fat. The worst thing you can do is eat like it’s your last meal before the electric chair and binge. It happens a lot. People back stage will have containers upon containers full of cookies and donuts, duffle bags full of candy and just plain crap.
☝My rule is all post show food is in a restaurant. Do not buy it. Once you leave the restaurant, it’s over. I have seen people gain 20 plus pounds in 7 days. I have even seen eyes almost shut from water retention, not to mention the stress it puts on your heart. Stopping or slowing your cardio and eating till there is no tomorrow is a recipe for disaster!
Nothing is more satisfying than your post show meal but have a plan. Get only what you love like nachos, a big juicy burger or a slice of your favorite pizza and have (or share!) dessert. I guarantee you will fill up surprisingly easy and your eyes will be much bigger than your stomach. Drink tons of water!
My rule of thumb to my clients is enjoy Saturday evening. Enjoy breakfast out and a meal with your family and again, drink lots of water.
MOVE & TRAIN
On the very next Monday after your competition start your reverse plan. If it starts a little bumpy it’s ok. Remember your goals for off season are just as important as your on season or when you are “in prep”. A good trainer will have discussed with you your weekly/monthly/yearly goals. A good trainer will have discussed with you what you need to improve on and what you should train. You don’t want to cut your improvement season down because you need to diet for 25 weeks instead of the typical 16.
7 transitional strategies for making off season enjoyable and plentiful.
1.Pound the the water once the show is over.
2. Enjoy a meal or two …love breakfast? Have it. The first Monday have a plan as to what you will eating just like in your prep.
3. Have your coach give you a post contest meal plan. This should be maintenance calories or a type of reverse diet. ( gradually adding carbs and fats back in over a course of weeks)
4. Lift those weights! This is the time to add muscle because your muscles are full and fueled. Hit those weights. Train, train, train…
5. Taper off your cardio but don’t stop entirely, taper 10 mins at a time.
6. Make off season goals. This is the time you use to improve your physique. Bring up a lagging body part by hitting it 2 times a week.
7. Don’t get so far out of shape that you don’t look like you train! Live the life style year round.
Following these tips will make your transition from contest prep to off season a ton easier!
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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