To those of you who are considering competing you may have heard the phrase “post comp blues” and to those of you have competed you may have experienced this to a certain extent. Before you even think about walking up on stage it is important to have a basic understanding of the mental and physical effects that restrictive diet and additional cardio is going to have on your body. There are thousands of different diets out there, trainers and competition “coaches”. In my opinion if your coach is starving you, running you into the ground with cardio and telling you to cut out carbohydrates then turn around, and run that booty in the other direction and find someone who takes a healthy approach to comp prep (such as our MW4her girls Nina, Alice and Summer!). Basically, the less stress that you can put on the body the better the result will be. If you want some great advice on the metabolic effects of dieting and cardio I highly recommend that you YouTube Dr Layne Norton.
When we finally lean down after months of hard work it's time to step on stage for judgment. We are prepared for the stage, but how many of us are prepared for what happens to us afterwards?
For me the post comp blues have two different aspects. First of all we have to deal with the physical changes in our body from being competition lean to putting on additional body fat. I believe in having “bulking” and “cutting” phases in order to maximise my muscle gains. I also love to train for performance and heavy lifts just aren't going to happen when my body is in deficit. A friend asked me the other day – “How do you deal with going from lean with abs to putting on more body fat?”. My response was – “I see girls that have bigger legs, glutes, obliques and delts than me and I want that. I know the fastest way for me to get there is by training heavy and eating big”. I really try to mentally embrace what I'm doing at the time. Also, before my last competition in March I was 7.2% body fat on a 7 point calliper test. As far as I'm concerned it's not healthy for a female to be that lean all year round but in saying that I don't get out of control during off-season. I would estimate my offseason body fat to be around 12%.
The second aspect of the blues is the mental effect and having no direction in what you are preparing for next. If you did not place in your division, you are often left feeling lost. Should I train today? Should I eat more than I usually do? But I'll get fat? Should I ever compete again? A train of ridiculous thoughts like this may run through your head after a competition.
From experience I have learnt that it is important to have a plan in place for off-season. I keep my weight regime the same, except I lift much heavier. I drop all cardio because, for me, it's just pointless. Doing cardio on off-season would just mean that I have to eat more. I know that I am eventually going to compete again in future so I just work on growing my body. I try to stick to a basic calorie plan but I pretty much eat everything in moderation. I don't feel guilty for it either. I train hard and should be able to enjoy the foods that I like. However you are training and eating remember that your HAPPINESS is key!!
Embracing the booty growth – 6 kgs plus since competing in March and still happy ? Mckenzie