As a bodybuilder, the contest or competition is exactly what the lead up is for. As you are getting into the swing of things, the food, calories, and workouts change drastically as you go forward with the week, and day, of the competition. Here at The Group Real Estate, they totally back me up and make fun of the “boring meals.” Usually the competition prep starts at least 16 to 12 weeks out from the competition. This is all dependent on where you are in your look. One of the best things about going to Warehouse 13 gym here in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is they have all been there. They understand the process. There is a lot of weight lifting and some cardio leading up to the preparation time. There is a lot of food, built from chicken breast, fish, rice, sweet potatoes, veggies and the occasional cheat of a hamburger, slice of pizza and a cookie. Yup, one single cookie.
As you enter prep, it gets a little more strict. Occasionally you get a “refeed” meal, which lets you have a little extra carbohydrates. This is so you can see how it works in your body. As you will be carb-ing up the night before your competition. This lets you look, and feel, more full on stage. So the “refeed” meal tends not to be an actual cheat meal. As you get closer to the competition, you go into the final week before your competition. This is called “peak week.” It’s a depletion week, where you cut out things as the week goes on. The first few days, you are still able to have some sodium, the carbohydrates leave and get smaller, but the protein stays the same. As you go forward in this peak week, you will eventually cut out water, sodium, and much more. The start of the week, you will cut out supplements altogether. Sometimes this can be rough, as you start to rely on the pre workout and you are wanting that extra energy. One of the reasons that this is so miserable, is your workouts change. There is a lot higher reps, slower and controlled, and there is a LOT more added on to the workouts. The other issue, that can be tough for a lot of people, me included, is the cardio. One of the best ways to clean out the water and get the fat shed off is post workout cardio, and on peak week you add another 20 minutes, or so, added onto that. This, right here, is the part where I talk about how much Netflix I watch. It is definitely a time that gets me moving forward with the cardio. I know that the cardio is so important to my success, so I really love it and rely on it. But, don’t get me wrong, I also make sure to catch up on my shows at this time!
As the week gets going, eventually the sodium will move away, the water will start to be depleting as the week goes on, so that you achieve a “Dried out” look, so that the muscles will really pop, even more when you are on stage. As you are on stage, you want to achieve a look where you can see every single muscle, and you want to look as though you are conditioned beyond belief. One of the best parts of this, is at night time, and especially in the morning, you have the abs that you see in the movies. You have the veins that you always coveted. But the main downside, is you are hungry, and you are very tired. The tired feeling is where your mental fortitude comes into play when you are working out, on no energy, when you are doing cardio, on no energy, and when you are at work, writing blogs at a desk all day, on no energy.
As we go forward in peak week, though, this is where we test our mental fortitude. Some people have gone off the wagon and ate terribly, causing them to bloat, or causing them to lose focus and lose track of what the end goal. What peak week truly does, is it tests your mental fortitude, it tests your cravings, and it helps create a better person out of you. It teaches you a better form of sacrifice, if you are religious, it helps you come closer to your God. The mental fortitude that I, myself, have had to have through this peak week, is that I have found that if I put my mind to this and as I go forward with the right types of motivation that I have, I will succeed. When you hit your goals, no matter the goal, that is always a win!