Let’s say you eat pretty healthily all year round. You train regularly. Perhaps you do cardio in your off-season. Maybe you prep some meals and count your macros even when not officially prepping for a bodybuilding competition.
So, what exactly marks the transition from off-season to contest prep? Is it a switch of mindset? A drop in carbs? An increase in cardio? Here’s my top 8. (PS – the serious answer would definitely be “a switch in mindset” – but maybe that’s another blog post for another day.)
You know you’re in contest prep when…
You lick the lid of the shaker bottle
Every time you open your shaker bottle to drink a post-workout protein shake, you lick the little flip-top bit of the lid. Otherwise you might miss out on 0.0000001 grams of your sweetest meal of the day!
You don’t think it’s unreasonable to rescue food from the floor/washing up bowl
Just me? Hope not. The 5-second rule doesn’t just apply to food fallen on the floor. It also extends to green beans in the washing up water, protein powder on the work surface, radishes in your handbag, chicken in the glove compartment. It’s fine! It’s just a bit of dirt. Or fluff. Or… something. What is that?!
Lists, spreadsheets, apps and countdowns
Data becomes your new best friend and your latest obsession. You have a training journal, a diet sheet, a vision board, an app for your food, a countdown timer to your show, a funky chart to show your fat loss… etc etc etc.
Everyday tasks become all about prep
See my previous blog post. I’m not just mowing the lawn, fool! I’m getting in some extra cardio! Pshaw!
You become just a little bit obsessed with tan
Popping a layer of fake-tan on become a valid activity for a quiet Friday night in.
Little luxuries are no longer on your radar.
These can be different for everyone, but a good example might be milk in your tea or coffee. Sure, a little bit of milk won’t make much of a difference, but things soon add up, and little things become big things… So, no more milk for you.
You develop an obsession with food shows on TV
Personally, I can’t do this to myself whilst I’m dieting, but I know plenty of bodybuilders watch more cooking, baking and foodie shows on TV when dieting than when they could actually potentially eat the food themselves. Also in this category: baking for others aka becoming a “feeder”.
Your Pinterest use increases 800%
And all your pins involve peanut butter, waffles, pancakes, lemon drizzle cake and other things which you are adamant you will either make or seek out once your diet is finished. You don’t, of course.
Have you ever “prepped” for a show or perhaps a photoshoot? What were the little details which delineated “before prep” and “prep”?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.