Sounds crazy right? Well, I actually prefer competing in multiple shows in a short time period and heres why!
- we are already primed and ready
- our stage presence improves as we become more relaxed
- you can make the most out of your prep and allow for proper off seasons
- we are already in the zone
It can be hard on the body at times and the feeling of exhaustion can be overwhelming. So how do you go about balancing water retention post show and following peak weeks back to back? First off, WATER is the most important factor during this time (for me). Wether you keep water in through out your peak week or pull, we will experience a little to a lot of retention. Drinking 1.5-2 gallons of water for about two days is the best method for me. It flushes out retained water and helps your body balance out. If your shows require flying (which most pro shows do) then this is even more important.
Eat clean starting the day after, resume cardio and a full body workout the next day. Usually we have increased our carbohydrates for anywhere from 1-4 days before a show and have fully restored glycogen levels. Resuming your assigned dietary protocol and training should allow you to be right back to normal quickly. Depending on your feedback or goals for your next up coming how, your diet should adjust to meet that goal. Even the slightest changes such as adding or removing one extra carbohydrate or fat source to a day can make a difference. Many physiques improve when they do back to back shows. Some physiques can start to deteriorate even with a huge influx of calories. Knowing your body and its capacity is key. Knowing when to turn it off based on feedback or placing is also important.
Here are 15 tips I use to help make my weeks easier when I am traveling each weekend for competitions.
- meal prep extra food to bring with you the day of your show and day after or order modified healthy meals to meet your needs.
- consume electrolytes post show to help your body rehydrate
- Have already prepped food ready to eat when you return home ( I freeze food before I leave).
- get enough sleep to help your body recover
- I don’t consume artificial sweeteners, powders, gum, diet soda etc during peak week or even a month if I am doing multiple shows.
- don’t fully unpack your suit case. I wash sheets but keep most items in luggage as your taking off again really soon.
- allow yourself to arrive at least one whole day early so you can train and get cardio done ( if your needing too) and allowing your body to regulate post fight as many swell or retain water even a little
- wear a compression belt to keep core tight ( some may think this is silly, but I do every time)
- pack food in zip locks and freeze one days worth of food. Leave some meals unfrozen that you will need for your travel day. The frozen foods will keep your cooler cold and eliminate the need for ice packs which can often be removed by TSA if they start to melt.
- Always carry food with you and keep your supplements, competing suit or trunks and heels with you on your carry on ( lost luggage happens and sucks when your suit is missing)
- water. Yep, I said it again. Very important! probably the most important factor during peak week.
- epson salt baths help pull water and great for leading into a show or post show
- post show skin care, exfoliating and tan removal. Ensuring your next tan is even will require quite a bit of soaking, scrubbing and prep. I like using E-rayz by Liquid Sun Rays. It is a tan remover that works well. If you don’t have this product, baking soda works well too. The trick is long soaks prior to scrubbing with these products.
- keep your week simple between shows. Eliminating extra stress and activity levels to a minimum will help preserve energy
- Super Colon Cleanse. Often with flights, jet lag, water manipulations and more…. regularity is affected. This natural supplement found at trader joes and many grocery stores allows for “movement” the next morning ( usually 12 hours later.
Be sure to listen to your body and document your physique each day. Compare pictures to the same time the week before to assess your path. Make adjustments to your diet based on your conditioning or communicate with your coach closely during this time. Logging weight and progress pictures are two key gauges to go by. I have hundreds and hundreds of pictures on my phone of my physique that are down to the day and sometimes hour. I often resort back to past pictures taken mid day or night time to assess myself at a particular point. Doing back to back shows often require more manipulation therefore, looking at back helps you determine where your at.
As soon as you are either mentally, physically (or both) taped out… you should stop with your prep and focus on your off season. Once we go past our threshold, we can become sloppy with our prep, our physiques can look tired and there is simply no gas in the tank. You want to always show up with your best physique you can bring to the stage. Your mind and body will tell you when you have had enough. Wether thats one show, two or 5….listen to your body closely.