The smell of the tan…The heat from the stage lights…“STRIKE A POSE”. We are right in the midst of competition season A! Many athletes getting on stage for the first time, seasoned veterans trying to beat their previous performance’s and “internet showdowns” being played out on stages far and wide across the land.
And for as much as we love competing…Who doesn’t love the Post-Comp?
When the job is done, we get to let our hair down, take some time off (if that is your thing), celebrate with family and friends and “wallow in your own self-misery”
Wait up… WHAT! For many competitors, the post-comp period is not one that is overly enjoyed.
The accomplishment of a goal brings forth a certain level of uncertainty (until the next goal is decided). But here, I am talking more about the Post-Comp BLOWOUT!
We have all done it (or will).
I remember when I first competed, it almost felt like a “rite of passage” to go-for-it at Pizza Hut. I deserved this, I worked hard for it and NOTHING was going to stop my inhalation of 18 slices of pizza and a loaf of garlic bread in 30 minutes.
I learnt a lot from that night…
But for many others, it can be unexpected. One thing leads to another, a big breakfast the day after the competition is still being consumed 3 weeks later, and what feels like all the weight you lost for the comp has instantly come back, and then some!
And nothing is more demoralising, more painful and even embarrassing, than going through this.
And I will tell you this for a fact; some may go through it publicly, but virtually all of us go through it privately.
So how do we avoid this? How do we keep our stage look?
First up, know that you can’t. That isn’t to say you cannot maintain peak physique condition. Of course you can. Just realise your competition look is exactly that, a precise period in time when the stars align and everything comes together for a single moment (or 10 minutes on stage).
The tan wears off…The excitement drops…But that doesn’t mean you need to gain 15kg of fat in a week (it’s NOT muscle, let’s be clear on that). You need to know what’s in store for you?
Plan your events
Post-competition, yes definitely go out and celebrate Win, lose or draw… getting to the stage makes you a champion!
Not everyone will get there, some try and some of those drop out along the way. So your accomplishment is worth celebrating
But your celebration doesn’t necessarily need to be an orgy of all 31 flavours at Baskin and Robbins
Plan your night with your crew. Go out and eat something that you enjoy, and celebrate in the company of those you enjoy being with.
And then, the next day get right back into your “routine”. Routine is important and one thing a competition preparation does is gives us a routine to follow. We as athletes become very regimented and structured
And one of the problems post-comp is all of a sudden we have this “what do I do now” phenomenon. Couple that with a desire to eat everything in sight (especially if you have been following the fish and greens approach), you may find yourself losing a little control.
Guilty as charged, I’ve done it myself! So plan your celebrations, and plan your post-comp week. You might be right back into the gym, or taking a holiday. Just try and add some structure and routine to help give you direction.
“Yeah bro, I have gained 5kg of muscle in my rebound”. No, you haven’t. Your weight gain is a combination of water and fat
Sometimes leading into the post-comp window we think we need to eat BIG to hyper-accelerate the muscle growth with the rebound.
Unfortunately, it’s more myth than anything.
I am not saying you cannot pack on the MASS… oh, you most certainly can. But let me paint an example for you:
- Athlete A competes at 88.5kg
- 1-week post comp is up to 105kg
- Peak at their offseason is at 110kg
- Competes the following year at 89.3kg
If they gained kilograms of new muscle post competition the year before, then they have had a disastrous year of training and following contest preparation to lose it all. That’s the only way I can see it.
Know what’s coming!
This is something many novice competitors don’t know.
Experienced guys and girls do because they have lived through this many times…but for the novice it is all new and exciting.
The post-comp week can be a real glum period, and yes the post-comp blues is a REAL thing!
The hype of the competition dies off…The tan fades away…All the messages, the attention and the “celebrity within your own circle” drops away…And who is left… just you!
Often, those outside don’t understand you are here to pick up your own pieces.
So where do we turn? Donuts are my friends!
A good coach will be there to help and guide you through this process as well, being one of the many advantages of not going into this alone.
Play it smart
Played smart, an effective post comp period can be a fantastic experience!
You don’t need to get fat to get your strength back. You don’t need to hide your physique away and continue to deflect questions like “didn’t you compete last weekend?” You really can walk around with a pretty darn handy physique 365, and avoid the post-competition blow out all together!
You just need to prepare for success instead of being surprised by failure!