It’s finally here!
The last 7 days before my first comp, now I’m officially excited.
This prep seems to have been going on for an eternity, not sure why, because although I started at the same time as last year, I’m on stage 2 weeks earlier than last year, so its actually been shorter and I’m officially the leanest I’ve ever been – which is a point I only got to by the end of my competitions last year.
Maybe it’s because I only had half the fat to lose than I did last year and the changes have been much more gradual so there has been the added motivation of big changes on the scales. Last year we had a run of 12 weeks on the trot of losing 0.5 – 0.7kg, this year certainly for about the last 6 or 7 weeks I’ve lost 0.3-0.5 usually just in time for measurement day and in the last 4 weeks the changes have been by stealth…one day I look soft, then the next, hard as a rock, then soft again, then hard again, so the real progress has often been a bit lost in day to day fluctuations.
Nevertheless, the changes have been there and they definitely are real. 🙂
Check out my measurements
I’m really happy with how the measurements have come in – I’m down to 6.6mm on my thigh which is only 0.6mm off how lean they were in my novice season!
We’ve got a final measurement this week and I’ve come in a again from the last set, this is going to be interesting.
One big huge difference between last year and this year is how much food I’ve been eating, check this out!
Just 4 changes to my calories over 20 weeks!
The benefits of a good disciplined off season, ultra consistency with my diet, as well as knowing exactly what does and does not work for my body are really showing up here.
So it’s Peak Week, allegedly the most important week of the whole prep…for some it could also be known as ‘Panic week’. This is the week that can see great work completely ruined by trying to out smart your body. I’m talking about salt loading, salt cutting, potassium loading, carb depleting, carb loading, taking diuretics, water loading and water depleting, changing training for glycogen depletion…some people do ALL of this and then wonder why they looked better the week BEFORE their show. All of these practices taken individually can give wildly varying results, when they’re stacked together, why does it seem to come as a great surprise when the competitor turns up of stage flat and bloated or soft?
Bottom line, if you haven’t got your conditioning right before peak week, then doing any of these is not magically going to make it all come good.
I was googling for some good articles that might explain the reasons behind some of these often bro-science methods that somehow have become cast into stone as ‘what you must do for peak week’ and I came across some very sensible articles by Dr Layne Norton – busting some myths!
So what will I be doing for peak week?
Well, I think I learnt the best lessons in my novice year – and that is the quote from Myth Busting 1
Matt Nicholson’s mantra was – ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – and we didn’t have to.
Because I hit my conditioning before peak week.
This year we won’t be changing anything again – because I’ve hit my conditioning before peak week.
Now in my novice season and last year for the first few shows, I did water load, but since it didn’t seem to make any difference to my overall appearance whether I had loaded or not, then this year I won’t be water loading. Given that I drink 3-4 litres of fluid every day anyway, and on days that I have drunk less, I can still pee for Australia, then I know that if I reduce my water intake to about 1 litre from about 9pm the night before my comp, I’ll still be off to the bathroom every 1/2 hour like clockwork on the day!
I won’t be Carb depleting and carb loading either, because to all intents and purposes, I’ve been starchy carb free for the last 15 weeks (with the exception of my weekly refeed) so my muscle glycogen levels should already be virtually non existent. Being starchy carb free for such a long time, we’ve been able to watch exactly what happens when I do have starchy carbs. We’ve been able to see exactly how long it takes for my body to process the calorie spike and return to a hard and full muscle state, which puts us in the luxurious position of knowing to within a few hours when I should have my refeed this week.
Then it’s just a matter of topping up on the day and getting a massive pump.
My training will also not change one little bit. Every one of my training sessions is hard, heavy and intense, with conditioning as active rest to keep the heart rate up and bump up the intensity by several notches.
The other week, I was doing my conditioning circuit and one of the other trainers at the gym commented:
‘Looking really good. You work hard, don’t you?’
Yes. I do.
On both counts. :-p
Now, my training has got me to where I am now and as mentioned in Myth Busting 2 – why would I do anything different now? It doesn’t make sense.
Another lesson learnt from my novice season – by keeping my training exactly the same all the way through (hard, heeavy, intense) I actually GAINED muscle in that 7 week season.
Once I’ve completed my split (Thursday), I’ll stop training and just pose, pose, pose, so by Sunday my body will be itching for a bit of a workout and will be hyper responsive. Again, having had the luxury of 4 days off last weekend, on TuesdayI had a complete blood rush to my muscles within about 6 reps of the 1st exercise!
Bring on Sunday!
I don’t know about you, but in the last 7 days before a show, I want to focus on the show, I want to enjoy the last few days and really soak up every training session, and how far I’ve come. I want to get my tanning sorted, make sure I’ve got my bling, bikini’s, shoes, backup bikini and shoes. I want to check my make-up and hair bookings, the car hire. I want to get a final massage to ensure my muscles are in top shape and since I so enjoyed my staycation last weekend, I’m going to book myself into a hotel on Saturday night again to ensure I get a perfect nights sleep and can veg out watching crap TV! I want to make sure I know the running order, have printouts of the running order, know when I’m due on stage, know what our plan is for the day and a hundred other little details that have to be taken care of. I do not want to also have to be stressing about whether I should be decreasing carbs, increasing carbs, water or sodium, whether I should be upping my training reps, or weights or decreasing reps/weights – I want that all to happen automatically.
here’s an example of what I mean:
Too much to think about!
Maybe I’m actually just lazy 🙂
Speaking of which, it’s a beautiful sunny day, I’ve done my HIIT, had a bang up brekky so now I think its time for some sunbaking and reading the paper.
Happy Peak Week – make the most of it!