The cold hard truth… and soooo many weight reps to show for it.
After 6 months of prep life, getting back to “normalcy” was definitely a challenge, honestly more so than I anticipated. Denying myself during prep of so many things which were previously part of my everyday life (from fun foods to the freedom to schedule my day without 1-2 gym visits) became the norm. So when I was suddenly faced without an immediate prep timeline to follow, it was overwhelming and hard to say no to so many delicious carbs/sugars/etc. Also, everyone who supports your choice to prep wants to celebrate the hard work for 6 months! (Thank you all!!) However, full disclosure… I’m pretty sure I didn’t handle the Oreos as well as I should have. Hence the phrase “hindsight is 20/20”.
After a few weeks FAR off the wagon (seriously, if this were Oregon Trail everyone died of dysentery), I hauled myself back into the gym on the regular with my diet (mostly) under control. Then the big decision: When will my next show be? That’s right, I loved the (tiring and often painful) challenge and I’m going back for more! After all, I have medals to win and goals to achieve.
First, to tackle this off-season properly and address the newly rediscovered fluff, (cough… cookies… cough) while gaining muscle in the correct areas. I personally did not want to have a huge “bulk” season which would leave me needing a more drastic prep to cut later. To each their own, but this is the lifestyle off-season choice I am making.
Judges’ feedback from my 2016 shows told me I needed to gain more muscle in my glutes and be more conditioned. They loved my overall presentation, suit, appearance, etc., but glutes rule this segment of the industry.
So how much time do I have to build? Looking ahead, I personally don’t wish to prep over the holidays. I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family and it’s my favorite time of year. Therefore, the April 2017 St. Louis show, which is one of the first major NPC shows in my region, is not one I will do. I’ll be aiming to compete at the May 2017 (Wichita) and June 2017 (Kansas City) NPC shows, the same shows I did in 2016. Therefore, I’ll begin my next prep in January 2017.
Last season, I was a member of a coached team. I enjoyed being part of a team, but am currently training myself in the off-season. It’s a bit more work and a bit more of a challenge to do my own training and nutrition research. However in doing so, I have learned so much more about this sport and industry. It is truly addictive! Knowledge is power and I’m hoping it powers me through this growth season.
So what to do for 2017? Will I prep myself or be part of a team again? There are pros and cons to each and each have their own journey. As for my 2017 goals? Medals, trophies and lots of each of course! ;) I aim to beat myself. This is a subjective sport and much like my previous world of pageantry, you can only beat yourself, be your own best, bring your best package possible to stage. Then, everything is in the hands of the judges.
So that’s my goal. Beat myself, be my best, win. Wish me luck friends!