Comp Prep begins – 22 weeks to go

Finally it’s here! After nearly 20 very long hard months of surgery, rehab, recovery, more injuries, slooow progression, relapse and ongoing energy issues,I have at long last started my competition preparation. Its been such a long time since I last competed that most of you have probably even forgotten that I have competed before! Most of you only know me as someone who writes about and photographs competitions that other people compete at. Indeed I almost feel like that myself, I’ve forgotten what’s its like.

I know its going to be tough – I’m still battling injuries and have blood injections into both elbows next week, which means 3 weeks off training. How am I going to cut down if I can’t train? Am I going to lose too much of my hard earned muscle?

I also have a big overseas holiday next week – the blood injections are the day I fly which is probably not a smart move, but I’m trying to minimise my downtime.

I’m concerned about how I’m going to go with my diet whilst overseas – am I going to have to take food on the plane? I’m at home for a week which will be ok as that’s very controllable, even though it will upset my mother because I’m on my ‘funny diet’, but the 2nd week is in Italy. Again it’s a relatively controllable environment as I’m staying in a villa and this is where being a coeliac is a blessing – I can’t eat pizza or pasta, so I will have to stick to salads, but its not ideal.

By the time I get back it will only be 18 weeks to the ANB Vics and if I haven’t’ managed to cut down at all whilst away, am I going to have to hit it hard when I get back and risk re-injuring myself?

To say I’m a little concerned would be an understatement.

In the last 6-8 weeks I‘ve been deliberately and steadily increasing my calorie intake to increase my metabolic capacity (only found out the process had a name last week!) so that I’ve got plenty of scope for small adjustments when cutting without my body going into starvation mode, but I have put on rather more fat than I’d like – one of Aidens other clients remarked that I was looking a bit ‘chubby’ a few weeks ago…they were being diplomatic.

Last Fridays Dexa scan wasn’t holding back…hence the reason I’m starting my prep now rather than when I get back from holiday!

So whats the plan? At the moment I definitely don’t feel like I’m on a diet – in fact the people at work just can’t wrap their head around the fact the I’m ‘dieting’ when my morning snack is 3 times the size of their lunch!

morning snack

Yes, that is my morning snack…lunch is very similar only bigger with extra broccoli and an apple.

So far, I’ve cut my calories by about 10% to approx 2700 – 2800/day. I’ve dropped the carbs by about 30% (thank goodness – was starting to feel like a whale) and increased fats – I now get to eat almonds every day + almond butter every night and I have a cheat meal once a week – Aiden suggested I make it Friday night and I have something really crap like pizza. Initially I was very reluctant to even contemplate this, even though I understand the principle behind spiking calories once a week – I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat pizza for well over 6 months because it such low quality calories. I suggested that I make my cheat meal Friday breakfast instead and have my smashed avocado, feta cheese, mushrooms, bacon and egg on toast…apparently that’s not ‘bad’ enough!

Ugh. Pizza.

Ok, if that’s the plan, then that’s what I’ll do.

Mind you I’m sure that in about 5 weeks time I’ll be hanging out for my Friday pizza!

I’ve noticeably leaned down in the last week, but then that’s not difficult I was holding a lot of water and did look bloated. Aiden will do my skin folds every 2 weeks, I wanted him to take measurements every week so I can see progress and don’t get stressed – I really struggle with the concept of trusting the process, I need to see it working! Aiden doesn’t want me to get stressed if there is no change in a week.

Again, if that’s the plan then that’s what I’ll do…but I’ll probably get stressed about it either way!

We’re not changing my training at all! We tried that 8 weeks ago and I’m now nursing inflamed hips and hamstring tendons again as a result.

This holiday will hopefully do my body the world of good – it’s a wreck already!

My current split is brilliant – its so flexible that I can take up to 3 days off if my energy is not good and still get everything in. So I’m doing chest/bi, back/tri, legs (glutes mainly), shoulders/abs/calves…and NO CARDIO!

The cardio thing will be on an as needs basis and only if I’m not coming in as we expect.

That’s it really, its going to be a very steady gradual process, monitoring, nursing and tweaking accordingly – no extremes, no sudden drops in calories to ‘shock’ my body, no endless extra hours in the gym, and if it ain’t broke we won’t fix it.

22 weeks and counting…

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