The realities of preparing for a physique competition are not like the bodies you see on stage. Everyone needs all the shreds until they understand that the work needed to get them is not a piece of cake (like the one that haunted you and your taste buds day and night).
Two members of Team Bodybuilding.com, Abel Albonetti and Brian DeCosta, recently participated in the show, and in light of their success, they want to share a little truth with you: years of training and experience do not necessarily make the preparation easier. You can think differently, based on the aspiration and positiveness that they demonstrate on social networks, but this is a completely different component of preparation.
"You cannot think that it will be easy. Many people think so, and these are people who never look as they should, ”says Albonetti, who recently finished third in his physique for men in the NPC Adela Garcia Classic.
Let's be clear. This does not deter anyone from competing if they are considering it, but it may be useful to know what is on the horizon so that you can prepare for uncontrollable factors and accept what is inevitable as a competitor in bodybuilding.
Here are the main tips Albonetti and DeCosta should know about when preparing for the contest:
1. Be alright with feeling like shit
“The inevitable reality is that you have to face low power consumption, a bad mood, fog in your brain, and a dull, muffled, 70 percent version of yourself,” says Decosta, a recent speaker at INBF Natural. Muscle Mayhem Competition.
It may seem tolerable until you reach this point in a few weeks, but with the right guidance you can fight it. Good trainers will help set these expectations so that, firstly, you won’t be surprised when this happens, and secondly, they can be a reliable voice when you need to dissuade from the ledge.
DeCosta says he sees people fall off the wagon all the time because they don’t see it happening, and hunger and low energy take them by surprise. This applies to the gym, and your workouts.
“You won’t be so strong and you won’t get a pump every time,” he says. “Give him what you have, but know that your productivity will not be up to par.”
Abel Albonetti, one of the gym's most addicted guys, admits that even he struggles with motivation to enter the gym in preparation for the competition. It’s easy at the beginning, when the results come a little faster and easier.
“I like to train – I like the feeling that you have – and when you prepare for the competition, the first four weeks are not so bad. However, for the last 4-6 weeks, you’ve been suffering from all the training, and to be honest, they suck, "he says." You just have to force yourself to get there and start training. Just know that it’s normal.
2. You are probably not going to look the way you want
DeCosta also noted that dieters will often be convinced that they lose muscle and size when this is not necessarily the case. In their body there is not much water and carbohydrates. Until the system is replenished, you should take a flat and even soft look of your muscles – and do not let your twisted mind overpower you.
“This is a rule of thumb that my coach shared with me, and I find it true: the worse you look in the middle of preparation for the competition and closer to the end, the better you will look on stage,” says Decosta. , "You may not look what you want, until the week of the show, or even the day of the show, if you do everything right."
Albonetti noticed the same thing with advanced competitors such as himself and beginners, panicking over how they looked. In this way they deviate from the plan and try to adjust things when they should not. If you have a good coach, you should keep up with your protocol.
“You work very hard, do cardio a lot, and then look in the mirror and look not as good as you looked last week. You are more flat and full, ”he says. “But you have to trust the process. This is a mind game that you must pass by. ”
3. Tune in to victory
Now we are talking about small details. Do you want to win? You must pay attention to the little things.
“I put all of my Signature supplements in a pill container in advance or in my gym bag. I always know where they are, and I make the habit of taking them at the same time every day, ”says DeCosta.
Sleep is another area where saving is easy, but when you do, it can make recovery and fat loss difficult. DeCosta sleeps like everything else. When your life is in order, or at least the parts that are in your power, it is easier to devote most of your mental abilities to preparing for the competition.
“Keeping a calendar for life is of the utmost importance,” he says. “I freely plan meals, because my days can change, but since I cook, they are ready for me when I need them, and I have no excuse to skip.”
4. Be busy in your free time.
It's easy to let your mind go off with what your next meal will be, or with all the desserts and pasta that you cannot eat at the moment. When you are at work or in the gym, you are busy with business, so it is very important to be busy even after hours.
“For me it’s the job of editing or doing something outside the home, even if it’s just going to bring coffee,” says Albonetti. “It will still be difficult, but this is to be expected. Just work your mind wherever you can and focus on training. ”
As in life in the offseason, there is such a thing as a too tight schedule. Rest is the key to recovery, with which you will already struggle.
“You have to find a balance because over-employment can cause stress and cortisol,” says Decosta. “This is the place where self-awareness comes – know that“ too much ”is on your plate. Replace your sitting time when thoughts of food come and go for a walk. Look for a creative outlet. Spend time with friends. "
5. Lean into higher rep ranges
Albonetti notes that you want to lift as much weight as possible in order to maintain muscle mass, but when you contract, you will lose strength.
“I’m constantly trying to keep my size and getting harder, but when in a few weeks I’ll start doing more workouts in a circle with 15-20 reps in the morning instead of cardio,” he says. “This will not replace my regular workouts later, but it can help burn calories and still activate these muscles, rather than just walking on a treadmill.”
DeCosta also found mental reinforcement in a game with higher reps, evoking a feeling of better workout when he can't lift as hard as usual.
“Performing 15-20 reps is better for muscle and cardiovascular endurance. It definitely helps me sweat well. You also run the risk of injury if you try to lift the same weight as with more fat. ” on your shot, "says DeCosta.
Sometimes DeCosta goes to the gym to just have fun with a bunch of repetitions. This gives him confidence and re-illuminates this motivation, stimulating muscles in a new way. And speaking of a new muscle stimulation …
6. Do not be afraid to mix up workouts
The ultimate goal of preparing for the competition is fat loss, right? No matter how you do it, as long as you do what you need to build the body needed to win on stage. That's why DeCosta recommends switching your workouts when your brain feels burned.
“No matter how you do it, the fact that you work with the muscles is good. Therefore, if you do not enjoy the workouts, turn it on. But keep the intensity high and hit all muscle groups. ” "he advises." I think the fun you can get in training, not regulated, makes it easier to regulate nutrition, which is ultimately the most important. "
Albonetti notes that this does not mean that you should try a completely new training style from what you have done in the past. As mentioned above, mixing in higher reps is still weight training, but don't give up what worked for you.
“You need to continue to do what you have been doing the last few months – you know what helped you grow in size – and just let the cardiovascular system and diet be what makes you slimmer,” he says.
7. Peak week – no time for fuss
The peak week may be one of the trickiest parts of the competition preparation process. Unfortunately, incorrect movements can ruin your view on stage. If you are a beginner, it may take a few shows before you understand what exactly works, and each show may also be different.
“If I go to a show and I'm not as thin as before, I won’t eat as many carbohydrates as I get into it,” says Albonetti. “If I enter not super crushed, my body absorbs everything I eat and spills. But if I go there with excellent preparation, I will need more food. Honestly, it was only 3-4 times, when I was actually this patient, that I was able to eat a hamburger last night, and then looked better.
He explains that beginners should avoid obsessions, which many professionals recommend. When you are new to this, most likely you will not become as thin as you should be.
“When I was younger, I said,“ Oh, yes, I will follow this guy’s peak week protocol. ” So I would go to eat 500 grams of carbohydrates depleted for four days, as they said, and then I went on Thursday and Friday before the show and ate 500 grams of carbohydrates on both days, and suddenly went to the show looks worse than I did a week ago, ”says Albonetti.
8. Have more why
You have already heard the cliche: “Do it for yourself” and “Find your why” – a couple of popular ones. It sounds like a bunch of BS, but only when you start to be ready for the show do you realize how useful this thinking can be.
“I shoot every workout and all sets,” says DeCosta. “When I appear in the gym and I don’t have enough motivation, I think:“ I am going to publish this training so that thousands of people can see it. I will do my best. ”
Taking responsibility is also an important component of this. If you just need to have a date on the calendar to help you stick with something, so be it.
“You must have a deadline, date and time for this day,” says Decosta. "If you do not, and you have not shared your goal with people, during low discipline you will say:" Eh, I’m not betrayed anyway. " Do not be such a person. "
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