**First up – the winners of the GOOD Hemp protein samples. Thank you all for entering and taking part. My five winners – chosen at random – are Anna, Karryann, BarnesFitness, Helen G and Dorthe Nielsen. Please get in touch to organise sending me your postal addresses.
As bodybuilders, we spend so much of our year dieting (or maybe it just feels as if we do!) that it’s quite a novelty to be eating at maintenance or even at an excess. But this is body building, after all, and you can’t grow if you’re always dieting. My Facebook is full of such status updates at the moment, from bodybuilder friends for whom being off the competition diet is still a novelty. “If your abs are showing, you ain’t growing” is my current favourite. The point, of course, is that you’re not going to make any significant improvements in physique unless you back off the diet, eat up, and give yourself the chance to grow. Diet is for condition. Eating is for muscles!
My Mum is currently building a house. (I promise this is all one blog post, I haven’t just pasted two different ones together. Bear with me). For months, the structure was hidden behind roof-height scaffolding, which was covered in thick plastic. You couldn’t see what was inside. You could see a vague house kind of a shape, and of course we all knew she was building a new structure. We’d seen the plans and had regular updates. But, from the outside, it just looked like a big rectangle of scaffolding and plastic. Until the big reveal…
That, to me, is what off-season is like for me as a bodybuilder. It’s about building a structure, even if the finished item is under wraps, waiting for the scaffolding to come down.
I no longer look as I did when I stepped onstage for this year’s competitions, that’s for sure. But that version of me is still here, it’s just underneath. It’s still with me, I carry it around wherever I go. There’s just an extra me on top of it! And that extra me is helping to build the stage version of me to something bigger and better, ready for the big reveal.
On Facebook the other day, a few of us took this house analogy and ran with it. We were all under scaffolding and tarpaulin, we declared, working hard on our foundations and structures (and, for some, internal redesign and plumbing). We don’t care that from the outside it looks like a bit of a building site. After all, this is the building part of bodybuilding.
“I’m going to be a lovely art deco 1930s building next year,” I posted. “Streamline Moderne, lots of sweeping curves and long lines but with solid hard corners too. Lots of metal and sparkly glass, nice smooth finish. Ha! You? Some kind of big timber structure made out of solid oak?”
My bodybuilding friends indulged me, posting the kind of building they’re constructing under their winter scaffolding. We had some Colonial mansions, some solid oak beams and even an updated shed.
How about you. What kind of body are you building? There’s a certain beauty in scaffolding, you know. Strong, stable and supportive.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.