In a former life in one of my many alter ego’s I used to be a computer programmer. Yes, I know, you’re already skulling that extra scoop of white lightning pre workout to keep you awake at the thought, but bear with me, this will go somewhere!
Now that I’m not a computer programmer any more,but am a Business Analyst….
(Aaargh!!! it gets worse! More white lightning!!!)
Look, I’m in I.T. Ok and in I.T there is a methodology called ‘agile’, I have posted about this before and it’s a particular methodology that I really enjoy using….it’s quick, high turnover, small chunks of work, fast paced, just enough information to get the job done and deliver something usable to the customer in short rapid iterations, showcase (present) your Stuff to the customer, get approval, get them using it and move on to the next small chunk of work. You work on ‘stories’, you groom them, flesh them out and work out the details, the when your current collection (iteration) of stories are finished, you check in with yourself and the team to see how you did.
You hold a retro…
Retro as in ‘what we did yesterday is sooooooo 3 decades ago…’
As with anything retro, some things worked, some things didn’t, some things should never see the light of day EVER again (thinking stone washed patterned jeggings here….in fact jeggings,full stop…and neon coloured thong aerobics gear….and…ok that’s enough, get on with it!)
and there are always some things could be improved upon.
I know a very select few of you are still in comp mode, but for the vast majority of us, this ‘iteration’ is done. How did you do? Did you go as well as expected? Did it all suck? Did you do better than expected? How was your conditioning, your prep, your diet, your energy, your training?
Do you know what you need to do to get it right next time?
As your resident Victorian, Australian intermediate and Agile ‘champion’ I strongly suggest you hold a retro on yourself.
The format of a retro is totally…informal, you sit on your couch, the beach, plugged in to your favourite death metal album, in your favourite cafe with a full fat mocha-frappa-latte-chino with 2 and a side of mud cake (you’re in off season! Chill out!)
You need something to write with, lots of colours are good and something got write on – the wall, the floor, back of a fag packet, spray can on factory wall….I don’t care, just don’t get caught.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
What went right?
What went wrong?
What could be improved?
Or another way of looking at it
The good, the bad and the ugly.
This is a legitimate exercise….do it, don’t just go through it in your head or go ‘yeah, whatever’, writing it down makes it real.
I can’t tell you the number of competitors I’ve been following and watching over the last 2 years, with all the shows, workshops I’ve been to, photographed and written about, but it’s a lot.
Yet I see some competitors who go round show after show and they don’t change. I’m seeing competitors with great physical potential not going anywhere or even going backwards. There are competitors who are serial offenders at not hitting their conditioning.
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m telling you as it is.
None of these competitors is holding their own personal retro…or maybe they are, but they are clearly not learning, changing, adapting from their competitions and results. Maybe they don’t care…I don’t know.
To my way of thinking that’s strange….why put yourself through a comp prep time after time, get results that don’t change or get worse and then don’t do anything about it? Maybe that’s just me, I always strive to learn, grow, seek new goals and challenges and if something appears to be broke, I’ll shake it until it rattles to find out why and then I’ll bust my arse to fix it.
So do it.
Write it down.
Look at it
Learn from it
Come back next comp with the weakness fixed and smash it.
Ok, now that I’ve got off my soap box, here’s my own personal retro.
Starting Weight: 64.5kg
BF%: approx 23%
Stage Weight: 53.7kg
BF%: approx 5-6%?
Fat Loss: 10.3kg
BF % Loss: approx 18% in 20 weeks
Muscle Loss: Minimal
What We Did Right:
– The whole prep! It was text book and it worked.
– Due to off season over compensation, early start was necessary – 20 weeks was a good amount of time, no extreme measures were ever required.
– Diet: Small frequent changes and tweaks kept my body guessing.
– Diet: No drastic calorie cutting – Aiden wanted me eating as much as possible for as long as possible to ensure my metabolism stayed in top gear. It worked. Perfectly.
– Diet: Fat loss consistent rate of 0.5-0.7kg for majority of prep.
– Diet: Never got down to starvation levels, always managed a relatively substantial amount of effective food. People at work could not get their head around the fact that my plate was always full of food right to the end, yet I was disappearing in front of their eyes. They could see it, but they couldn’t believe it.
– Diet: Weekly cheat meal, until 4 weeks out
– Diet: going fully ketogenic – cutting out all carbs early, approx 8 weeks from main comp. Totally works for my body, energy levels high all day, no peaks or dips.
– Diet: Carby cheat meal 2 days prior to comp to fill me out
– Diet: Big High Protein virtually no carb meal post comp gave me plenty of energy to back up in better condition the following day.
– Training: Increasing exercise intensity intra sessions rather than increasing number or duration of exercise did not deplete my energy levels or overtrain me and meant I recovered well, was always fresh, could take days off.
– Training: Max 2 HIITs/week and only for 2 weeks
– Training: Not overtrained so energy and strength good all the way through.
– Training: Not overtrained so recovery excellent.
– Training: Not overtrained so able to backup well – stamina excellent.
– Practice Comp: Allowed a trial run at the process – water loading, carb loading, tanning, hair/makeup, look, backstage routine, pump up process and timing.
– Practice Comp: Nailed process first time, allowed repeatability.
– Practice Comp – to get nerves out of the way, very much needed.
– My look – attention grabbing – best bikinis, crowd loved ‘Pink’.
– My Conditioning – perfect at each point in time (except the last show)
– Pumping Up Process – short intense bursts leaving it as close to stage time as possible, no pumping up constantly and for hours beforehand, wasting energy that will be needed on stage.
– Backstage attitude – relaxed until game time, then purposeful and efficient
– Posing: when I nailed it was excellent
– Physique: Legs!
– Physique: Shoulders!
– Physique: Back!
– Physique: Glutes!
– Competing: Trying out all the federations to find out what I’m best suited to
– Competing: always putting myself in the strongest categories, brings out the best in me.
What We (I) did wrong:
– Over competing – backing up on consecutive days in different states, cost me conditioning for the 2nd show which was the more important of the two.
– Entering wrong category at IFBB Vics, having to change on the day – not a good idea to piss off event organisers!
– TAN! Feedback at most shows was about tan, rather than physique.
– TAN! Backing up using different top coats resulted in blotchiness and cost a placing.
– Entering too many categories in a show – turns out more pressure brings out the best in me not more categories
– Posing – being told I looked arrogant when I had finally managed to relax and really get some confidence at first show was a bit of a kick in the guts
– Posing – allowing previous negative feedback to undermine my confidence in every subsequent event. Affected my performance prevented me showing my physique to the best of my ability.
What Could Be Improved:
– Physique: Biceps
– Physique: Abs
– Physique: Chest can improve
– Posing: Flow
– Posing: Stage Presence
– Diet: Do not blow out so much off season
– Diet: No more crazy diet experiments, we know what works for my body so stick to it.
– Competing: Do not back up on consecutive days in different states
– Competing: Allow a full day recovery if flying interstate, 2 days if international
See, it’s easy to do.
Have a go, you might uncover something you hadn’t thought of and it might just be the difference that makes the difference next time…