Everyone will want to think that pre contest is the most important time of the year for a competitor – and my pretty gosh darn firm opinion for a long time for almost everyone is this is flat out not true.

The offseason is by far more important, especially for the natural athlete.

Not everyone has the finances to keep a coach for the entire year, or they would rather “do their own thing”

This is cool, fine and dandy – but being in the competition scene for 6+ years now, I have seen some trends of the persons whom choose to adopt this approach.

  1. They most of the time wind up looking the same
  2. Their improvements, if any, are minute
  3. The most important of them all -> their “what the heck, I had a whole year (or more!) to improve?” Is very high, then:
  4. They feel very defeated, and some times, give up competing entirely.

So – how do we conquer this, outside of being “on” the entire offseason, and avoiding all of 1-4 to the best of our ability?

First off, if you haven’t, I would recommend reading my blog , “The Quick N Dirty guide” for social events.

Then, here are some pretty easy (and lazy!) idea to keep your ship sailing in the right direction:

  1. Get your protein in. Yep, this sounds easy to do, but if we don’t track it to some degree, I have seen many fall short on this, then the available amino acids for muscle growth just aren’t there, resulting in less than optimal results. 
  2. Have your training intensity through the roof. If you’re not going to be eating “correctly” and following a fairly strict plan for your goals, you have better frigging kick out the jams in the weight room. Now, being intense doesn’t mean necessarily throwing around monstrous weights 7 days a week – but I do mean harnessing technique, and progressing. 
  3. Not getting to such an extreme Bodyfat that you are at such a weight you are not only uncomfortable, but that will make dieting for your next show an living hell.
  4. Enjoy other hobbies as much as you can, while you’re not having to be as “mega strict”. Have that glass of wine with a friend, have that New Years eve bash you’d want to attend, go on that week long surfing trip you want.
  5. Eat more cals than you burn. Outside of the classic “binge, cardio, under eat the entire week until repeat”, Make sure you are getting enough food in. This is more of a problem for ladies than men, but if you don’t get your metabolism up and roaring before your next show, you’re going to have to do more extremes to product the same results next time
  6. Don’t compete in every show possible. I have had potential clients come to me, that do 2-3 shows per year, and wonder why they’re not progressing – I would , outside of very special circumstances, stick to 1 show a year. Look at it like this – 12 to 20 weeks of prep, which is 40 to 32 weeks of offseason to improve – so not even a full year to attempt to regain metabolism, and make improvements. 
  7. Resist the urge to start cutting because you feel “fluffy”, out of shape, or something similar. This also comes along with not doing the “super/dirty” bulk, and keeping the Bodyfat in check. But , if you decide to cut hard for 4-6 weeks, thats cutting into your already precious offseason time, down regulating your metabolism. 
  8. “Just winging it” for your program in the gym won’t get you very far, so having something built for you , your body, and your goals becomes increasingly important. There are some great programs available for free, but spending some $ on a program from a credible (hiiiii!) coach could make a whopping difference. Taking *some* time off being on a program can be great for the body and the mind – but for the entire offseason, it’s not optimal by any stretch.

There are more, but those are the things you can take into consideration for now.

Enjoy yourself, and avoid the “omg my goal is so far away” mentality as much as you can. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your metabolism, body, or mind.

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