Patiently Waiting For The Stage
So you want to compete?
... and you want to do it in 12 weeks
… and be ready to take first place.
… and want to grow your glutes and shoulders.
… and of course see that hamstring tie in come show day.
Let’s just say, you aren’t the only one. Many many clients come to FitBody Fusion to compete in a bodybuilding competition with the same intentions. Some with many years of experience and even some who haven’t lifted a weight in their lives before, IFBB Pros and amateurs.
Something that is important to ask yourself is: Is going to extremes really worth your long term health. Say you do get through this show and you do take first place and want to compete again. What is going to happen when you have already been dieting for months far below your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest)? What happens when you begin to just get smaller and smaller because your body is feeding off your muscles and you don’t want to take the time off to recover and increase your metabolism and muscle? You’ll inevitably hit a wall. Maybe it wouldn’t have been this way if you successfully reverse dieted prior and took your time to cut down before stepping on stage. We are here to help you get out of that spot or prevent you from getting into it.
Let me explain.
Are you in a good position to begin a prep? Things every coach should consider first, is if you are eating enough calories to begin. Now, this number is different for every athlete. I have had competitors drop weight on 2200+ calories, while other are gaining on 1500 calories. Many factors affect this such as hormonal imbalances, stress, and genetics. But that is a topic for later! The ideal calorie range to be maintaining at before starting a cut is between 800-1000 calories above your BMR. Otherwise, you risk plateauing which requires digging yourself into a bad caloric deficit that is tough to get out of to make your show date. By allowing yourself enough “calorie room” you can will be able to gradually drop calories and have wiggle room if progress starts slowing down. A reverse diet prior to beginning any prep is crucial! During this is the process you take to gradually increase your calories, while building lean muscle. Some even drop body fat during this process if followed diligently!
The second thing that should be considered is that amount of cardio you are doing before prep. This goes hand in hand with your caloric intake. If you decide to begin a prep when you are already doing 30-60 minutes of cardio daily, where can you really go from there? Your body is already adjusting to that amount of cardio. It is not ideal for maintaining muscle or sanity to push it and go to 1-2 hours a day for months on end! Plus who has time for that?
- You must be in a good starting point.
Aside from the CC’s (cardio and calories), how is your muscle mass looking? Muscle building is the hard part. Muscle cannot be built naturally while in a caloric deficit.
This is why it’s important to build and have a successful off-season before beginning prep. And remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally burn, which means the more you can eat! (:
Okay, I know I said CC’s and muscle were important, but this one really is too. This one is your view of food. I don’t mean appearance wise, I know most food looks good. But how is your relationship with food? Do you view it as bad? Are you scared of carbs? Do you lose control and binge? Or do you view it as the most important thing in your life?
Regardless of your situation or where you are at, we are here to tell you that we understand! Yes competing is a very extreme sport, but it doesn’t have to get to this point. With FitBody Fusion, our clients health will always always come first. We strive for our clients to have longevity in this sport and more importantly in life. It’s not a journey to the stage and then it’s over. It’s a journey and lifestyle that needs to be learned and lived on and off the stage.
- Muscle doesn’t grow during prep.