Updated: May 11, 2018
As I am eating a meatball (insert heart eye emoji) I am also realizing that I am in the last phases of my competition prep. I am going to talk about the last 5 weeks of prep and what I have been through and I will touch on the next 3 weeks coming up.
5 weeks ago I was in a panic. I did check-ins with my coach in person and once I was able to sit down and evaluate it all myself I was not impressed and knew the rest of my prep would be tough. I needed to make huge improvements. I am very realistic when it comes to competition prep and rarely let myself get inside my own head, so when I say I was in a panic it was for good reason. After that check-in I started paying more attention to how my muscles felt and how hungry I was and when my hunger was happening. I'm not just talking surface level 'my muscles feel sore' or 'yes I am hungry, no I'm full' I was paying attention to how they felt while performing exercises, while I rested, after workouts, before workouts, and everything in-between. After monitoring and trying to track this for a week I realized I was slightly sore or felt like an average person would feel after performing a workout, which in my case is bad. I'm in competition for a show my training program is more intense and should have me feeling very different than an average person who workouts. Also, I noticed my hungry was kind of none existent. Again, bad. You want to be hungry because this shows a good metabolism.
The action was to develop a plan to boost my metabolism and change up my training so my muscles felt thoroughly used after each workout. Which I did through some changes in my programming and incorporating carb cycling.
The carb cycling really helped. The purpose of carb cycling or what you might hear people refer to as a re-feed day, food bump, or even cheat day is to boost your calories or carbs (in my case carbs) during a period of steady dieting. I will have a controlled carb spike in my diet once a week. This helps fuels my workouts, fills my muscles back up with glycogen and also lowers cortisol. A hormone called leptin is also increased which is what ultimately speeds up your metabolism. Another added benefit is Dopamine levels are increased because you feel a sense of ease and fullness due to the extra food.
The result of doing this trimmed 2 inches off my waist and dropped my body fat percentage. I have included pictures to show you the difference. Left is before the I switched up my training program and before carb cycling and right is after doing it all. These photos are 3 weeks apart.
Moving forward with these next 3 weeks I will only do one more carb cycle and then I will increase my water intake to start my water depletion. Also, I will cut out salt to help the water depletion and dry out before I step on stage.
Until then, tootles!