The idea of training for a fitness competition and sculpting your physique to look the fitness model or bikini model might seem like a great idea and it can be really fun. There are so many categories and federations now that the choices are endless and finding a category that suits your physique has become an easier task. However, the preparation for the fitness competition is harder than most people think.
Have you been training with weights frequently and progressively for a year or more? In order to refine your physique and reduce body fat you need to use weight training as your main tool. Very simply muscle is metabolically active tissue and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
Most physique competitions are judged on the development and symmetry of muscle tone and (depending on the category) the mass and detail of that muscle. If you’re still on your way to your goal physique, prepping for a show will limit your ability to grow. Most competition preparation diets will require a caloric deficit and therefore, would be unlikely to enable any further muscle growth during that prep period.
What is your cardiovascular fitness like? Cardio can be an essential component of any competition diet strategy – using both HIIT and steady state approaches. Physical fitness needs to be at good level before beginning any kind of specific programming.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of any competition preparation! Diet is 90% of it! So it’s incredibly important before beginning a competition prep that you have a solid, balanced diet utilising different nutrient dense foods.
Do you know and track your food input? Understanding your energy balance is the first step to beginning a competition preparation diet.
Do you know which foods make you feel good and which ones don’t? Everybody is individual with different intolerances, tastes and utilisation of fuel systems. Food has to be fuel during prep – you need strategically timed nutrients to deliver the fuel the body needs for the task at hand – whether that be training or sleeping!
The competition diet (at times) can play with your mind. You will be hungry and it’s important that you have a balanced and healthy attitude to food.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
Competition preparation requires a significant amount of emotional commitment – adhering to a diet and training plan consistently requires a lot of dedication. It will reduce the time and energy you have available for work, social activity and life in general! Just be sure that although you can emotionally put your heart into the prep you don’t lose perspective. The show is one goal in the bigger picture of life!
Additionally, in my experience, progress is never linear. Consistency is key and you must be able to trust the process when the scales don’t move, or when you’re tired and hungry or hormonal. One reason why I would always recommend using a prep coach to keep you on track and focused.
Finally, a very big and very often unasked question is are you healthy?
Are you frequently visiting the doctor with infections or issues? Do you suffer with lethargy or digestive issues?
Although it’s not to say that prepping for a competition can’t be done whilst managing health concerns, the competitor must understand the impact that the condition may have on the progress and programming and vice versa – the effect a caloric deficit and increased energy expenditure could have on a health condition.
Competition is not for the faint hearted – so if you want to give it a go – GET HELP!
For contest prep from Chase Perfection contact us.