Hey there, it’s been a while. I am currently three days out from my first figure competition and I finally had some down time to check in on the process.
This has been a 17 month journey to get here and it required not only a lot of time and dedication, but to empty my cup , reorganize my thinking, and trust the process. That last part was a lot harder than I thought.
Although my focus in coaching and training has always tended more towards the athletic side of things, we are never too far from the goals and practices of training for aesthetics. Nor are the two mutually exclusive. But just as perfecting technique on a single lift or throw requires a myopic focus on seemingly unimportant details, the same is true when creating a healthy and aesthetically balanced physique.
I will be writing more on my whole experience with this natural contest prep, but I will leave you with some thoughts on the things that surprised me the most.
1. When you tell people you are in the process of losing weight a lot of people feel the need to tell you how much weight you need to lose, how to do it, and will openly criticize your appearance, your methods, and your timeline with very little prompting. Thankfully there are also people who will simply say, “wow, you look great!” Be those people.
2. The reason us strength athletes hate cardio is that we are deconditioned and aren’t nearly as fit as we imagine ourselves to be. I thought differently, but even just moderate regular cardio resulted in decreases in my blood pressure and resting heart rate. And I have a lot more energy than I used to.
3. Until today, I haven’t really been hungry. I’ve been tired, even light headed from the decrease in carbs over time, but my lowest calorie day on this prep was still over 1300 calories. And it was one day. And I’ve lost over 30 lbs of fat while building muscle. I thought this process would be an awful spiral into deprivation, hunger, and sadness. It wasn’t easy, but it wasnt bad.
4. Bodybuilding made me stronger. Yep. Not saying it’s the only thing, but it helped me rehab a lot of injuries and fix the chinks in my armor. Is my max squat bigger? No, but once I get back to training that it just might be. I do know that I am throwing farther and higher now than ever before.
Finally, I don’t honestly know how I will do this weekend. I don’t know how I will look after the carb reload and water cut, I am not that great at posing, and well, it’s my first time. I do know I am proud of myself for sticking it out and having the guts to just get up there and do it. And I am so very grateful that I found a great coach to help me.