|2nd and 3rd place, but still damn proud of myself|
You must be so excited for your first show, I was too. But what comes next?
Here are some things that you have to brace yourself for:
- The hardest thing for me was the water depletion as you can't drink the last day prior the contest. But the day post-contest you will be shocked... because you gained so much weight...
Well, gaining weight after your competition shouldn't make you freak out. If you have cut water for your show, it's pretty normal that, when you drink water again, you gain this amount in water weight, especially if you also enjoy an epic cheat meal, which you deserve. Don't panic, it's only WATER weight, NOT fat.
- Ask you coach for a reverse-diet:
If your coach hasn't mentioned this, ask him. Especially when you're a beginner, it's important that you get back on track as soon as possible, all step by step. Plus, having a guidance after your competition will stop you from going crazy with bad , yet so yummy, food. It's very improtant that you stop eating crap no later than 36 hours post-contest as your body will start to store everything it gets in order to fill up its reserves.
- You will hardly be satisfied with your physique:
Once you have been in the best shape of your life, it can be extremely hard to feel happy with your body again. Anything other than your stage-shape makes you feel 'fat' or 'soft'. Trust me, you are NOT.
You are just at a more maintainable shape. Staying stage-lean for a long period can be extremely dangerous for you health as your body is at its limits. And catching a virus before your show or at a very shredded state is anything but fun, believe me.
When I was 1 week out of my first show, I caught a gastro-intestinal infection and I felt like crap. I had no energy, was dehydrated and I was so happy when the infection was gone one day prior the show. Of course, on the one hand I lost more water which made me look leaner, but on the other hand this could have turned out really bad. So no matter how great you looked on stage, make sure to be satisfied with your post-competition shape as well. Because after all, you still look freaking amazing!
- What the hell do you do with your time now?
You spent so much time in the gym. You hit the gym in the morning for your fasted cardio, in the later afternoon for your second gym session, you followed a very strict diet, you stayed at home recovering from your training sessions and did nothing else than sleep, train and eat (maybe going to work too)... And now? Less cardio, no strict diet anymore, maybe even a week off from training... What should you do with your life now?
Well, I have a great advice for you: Spend time with your family and friends. I am sure they missed you a lot during your prep as you couldn't enjoy a get-together at the restaurant , nor at the cinema as sweets and temptations were lurking everywhere. They will be happy to have a lovely YOU back.
- Cardio, is that spanish?
Even though you don't have to hit a fasted cardio session every morning, try to keep your cardio up. This will help your body to adjust. By all the means, take a week or even two off from gym. But I would recommend to keep up for some daily cardio. This doesn't have to be a 1-hour hiit session, where you are dripping in sweat. Walking your dog, going for a hike or simply enjoying a bike tour is already enough.
- You may look like a snake shedding its skin:
Depending in which federation you compete, you may have a very dark tan which doesn't come off evenly. This may also depend on the tan you use and how many layers you put on. Getting a great scrub and a scrub-glove makes it easier for you to get rid of that tan. Try to get it off from your hand, face and neck first, as people will probably think that you have experimented with a bad self-tanning lotion. And don't forget to put on a moisturizer afterwards, your skin will thank you. (If you still need advice for your stage tan, this post might be interesting for you )
- 'Did you win?'
You will be asked the most annoying questions after your competitions; 'did you win?' 'how much money did you win?'. Just be honest and don't be afraid telling them if you didn't won. Winning is not everything. This is much more than just a trophy. Getting through a competition diet, getting on stage and completing what you've started already makes you a champion. Try to explain this to your family and friends. They will be proud of you anyway.
In Bodybuilding, no matter what category you compete in, you will get more butt-kicks than trophies. Stepping on stage with your best possible shape makes you a winner and getting a trophy is just like the cherry on top of the cake.
- Set new goals:
Setting new goals or higher ambitions after your first season will keep you motivated and will keep the post-show blues from indulging too much. Post-contest blues have to be taken seriously. You will feel lost, unmotivated and sometimes even a little depressed. Try not to let these bad thoughts consume you. This is pretty normal as you have been so enthusiastic for your show. Try to stay positive.
- Get feedback:
Don't bother the show organiser as they probably get hundreds of emails for feedbacks. If you want feedback, look at the official stage photographs. This is how you can best assess what you need to improve. Ask you coach for a feedback, and don't get upset when he critizies you, you should be open for contructive critics. Decide on a game plan for your next show. This will keep you motivated as well.
- You cannot please everyone:
Bodybuilding is a subjective sport. YOU have to be happy with the way you look. YOU are the one who has to walk around with this amazing body for the rest of the year. You simply cannot please everyone. You only have to please yourself
That said, I wish every athlete a great autumn season. Do your best and rock the stage.
|No abs, bloated as hell. But who cares?|
|So happy about my cheatmeal breakfast in last autumn after the Universe contest.|
|Yes, indulging after a show is pretty awesome.|
|Smiling and happy me again, with my dad.|