Figure Competition Diet

Post Comp Part 1: Retro!

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!)

jeggingsmix

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.

– Timing

– 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.

me2

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…

2b

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2 Weeks to Go – The Power of Cauliflower

I’ve always said I get my inspiration for my blogs from the strangest of places, but who’d have thought that a humble cauliflower could provide a valuable lesson!

Cauliflower

I was bored at work, and having logged my food for the day it was looking like dinner was going to be a bit of a skinny affair so I was rummaging around looking for lo cal, lo carb recipes to make my veggies a bit more interesting and I came across this one. I didn’t want to use eggs because that would have blown my calorie limit, but I thought I could substitute egg whites and get a bit of an added protein boost with no extra fat or carbs – sweet!

And it worked a treat! Baked (no oil!) cauliflower tortilla – yum and one head of cauliflower + 1 teaspoon of chia seeds made enough for 4 meals – even better!

The problem started when on Sunday I had 2 poached eggs, 5 grilled cherry tomatoes, 50g kale chips (baked with light spray of olive oil + pinch salt) and I put a small knob of coconut oil in a pan and flash heated the last remaining cauliflower tortilla – just like a pancake, the oil was simply to stop it sticking to the pan (I don’t use non stick pans due to the toxic oestrogen mimicking chemicals in the coating that leeching into your food. Xenoestrogens – google them and how they encourage fat storage on your legs…)

So it was delicious, different, comp diet friendly, it was post HIIT and it was meal 2 which I usually have some almonds with, but with the fat in the eggs and remnant coconut oil no almonds were required.

Then I posted it on FB…but I neglected some key details like: the eggs were poached, the tortilla was baked and only used a small knob of coconut oil to stop it sticking to the pan, the kale chips were baked…

Oh dear.

On Monday, Aiden pulled me aside and told me we needed to discuss my diet, because what was I thinking having fried food so close to comp and why was I using coconut oil? I was in a crabby mood anyway, so being pulled up for something that I thought totally fitted into my current set of instructions and hadn’t been discussed previously didn’t exactly go down well. So once I’d pointed out the missing details, as well as the fact that I’d never been told not to use coconut oil and I wasn’t a mind reader, I stomped off in a huff and took it out on the weights.

Now I should add here that in general, my food philosophy and Aidens are very much in alignment – this is why he gives me my set points and trusts me to make the right choices with my diet, because he knows I’m always going to chose raw, unprocessed, whole foods and high quality, effective calories over junk calories. Just because I can have pop tarts, or (insert processed food of choice), does not mean that I will choose it over quality whole foods.

It’s just not how I eat.

This is why I find comp diet so easy – it’s exactly the same as what I do every day, just less of it. Off season to me is just more of the same foods + berry fruit and sweet potato  for about 90% of the time – I’m not a complete angel J

Anyway, back to the offending cauliflower…

Weights thrown around, I was feeling much better and having thought it through I knew exactly where Aiden was coming from. In fact I think we both must have had the same realisation, because I was half way through writing down exactly everything I was doing with my diet in the tiniest of details when Aiden txt’d to apologise for upsetting me.  That was all cool and like I say, I totally get where he was coming from. We are so close to comp now, we have both worked so hard for so long, and it’s been a battle all the way to manage and work around my constant and ongoing injuries, but we’ve never let that stop us, and in a few weeks we’ll see the results of that hard work.

Neither of us wants to risk sabotaging that because some detail was overlooked.

Its funny, on Sunday I was saying to a friend that I was enjoying just how engaged and hands on Aiden has been through this whole prep. I think this incident, though trivial on the surface, shows that and it really highlighted just how important this is to both of us. Aiden’s instructions have been precise and specific all the way – it’s made the whole process incredibly easy.

This also highlighted another very important point – communication. Even though we constantly discuss everything to do with my prep, somehow we’d got onto different pages. Somehow, something hadn’t been communicated somewhere along the line and assumptions had led to misunderstandings.

Even though we are so aligned in general, with regards to what foods I was eating, we’ve never really discussed how I was preparing those foods.

As always the devil is in the detail.

The good thing about this is that having identified that there were differences in understanding, we have course corrected, got really specific and come up with some new instructions for the last few weeks.

So thanks to a bit of cauliflower, we’re back on the same page, new targets agreed and we’re all systems go for the final approach.

And the cauliflower?

Looks like my steamer is going to be getting a major workout!

🙂

Lindy’s Lunch Lesson

Its been 2 weeks since the ANB Get The Edge Worskop where Lindy Olsen very kindly told us her entire comp prep diet and like I said in my write up, that information alone is worth more than the ticket price. I also wrote a previous blog about the importance of having an off season eating plan to stop you blowing out after comp and piling on too much weight, which has the potential for long term health effects. I detailed how despite my best efforts of wanting to stay within 10% of comp weight I overshot somewhat and have since Christams been on a modified comp diet to get back to 55kg. My plan has been working – in 6 weeks I’ve lost 2.5kg, a perfect sustainable rate of loss – and this is with virtually no exercise. So I’m really happy with that. In the last 2 weeks though I hit a plateau, I got stuck at 56.7 – 56.9kg. Now in order to break through that plateau I was going to have to change something. Normally I would increase my exercise levels, but that is not an option for me right now – I had blood injections in my elbow last week and cortisone in my hammy yesterday, I’m not even allowed to walk for the next week let alone walk the 6k to the gym – so scratch increasing exercise levels. This leaves the only other option – tweak my diet.

Now this is where head space is so important – prevailing wisdom says cut the calories – in fact there’s an ad on TV right now that makes my blood boil it talks about Very Low Calorie Diets as being the best way to lose weight fast – idoits! 2 shakes a day + 1 meal??? fast track to fatsville!!

sorry it really makes me angry.

anyway – I didnt really want to cut calories – I’m averaging 1400-1500/day as it is so I thought, ‘you know what? I’ll try Lindy’s diet’

Now the thing that struck me about Lindys diet is the sheer volume of food she was eating – I couldn’t believe it 350g salad/veggies 4 times a day AND every 9th meal you get to eat whatever you like – thats right, up to 600 calories in a single meal!!! it totally flies in the face of ‘conventional’ wisdom!

(feel free to insert acidic derogatory comment of choice about conventional wisdom 🙂 )

Now I always like to use myself as a guinea pig – if I’m going to recommend anything to anyone, then I like to know that I’ve done it first.

Well thats whats I’ve done. In the last 2 weeks I’ve put myself on Lindy’s diet – same 100-120g protein/meal, about 300g salad/green veg at 4 meals/day and every 9th meal go nuts! I’ve had spag bol 3 times, chocolate twice (that a lot for me – trying to get the calories up!)m slices of toast with honey at night!

I’m an eating machine!

People at work see my morning snack and comment ‘bit early for lunch’, then when they see my lunch and ask ‘eating for 2?’ to which I generally reply ‘no, eating for 1/2’

and its working! after the 1st week I was 56.7 kg and then yesterday breakthrough! 55.9kg !

thats nearly 1kg in a week  woohoo!

and this is with NO EXERCISE!!

hope you all paid attention to Lindys Lesson’s – try it,

Legends are made in the kitchen!

🙂