So here is the short of it –
Fitness never ends. Just think how flat out silly it is to be in shape for one day.
Or – in our cases , in shape for a couple minutes on stage.
I have always liked this quote , and I don’t where I got it –
“Compete because you workout. Don’t workout because you compete “
So for the “what’s now ? What’s next ?”
You. That’s what. We have a couple options:
- Pick a show for a goal, and use this. I’m not the biggest fan of external goals solely as the reason we stay on track and workout. However they can be useful as a direct motivator.
- Take judges feedback, or your look for your photo shoot , or even just a new level of condition/shape you’ve achieved , and now it’s time to beat that.
- This is sometimes harder for girls , but learn to love and embrace the off-season. This is where we improve metabolism, work on feedback / goals into making an even better physique , optimizing sleep patterns, feeling stronger, having more energy and more. This is cool enough on it’s own as it is
- Have a fitness related, not as extreme goal. This could be taking up hiking, maybe some rec sports, and have FUN. I think some of us forget sometimes that we should be weight training etc for fun ! It is enjoyable.
- Do more non fitness related things. Yes, be friggin’ social. Yes, this is a goal. Maybe you wanted to do that vacation you always wanted and go exploring. Maybe you wanted to take an online course. Maybe you wanted to learn the guitar. There is no reason this can’t be something valid to do, along with the more energy/more time you have not being in the gym as much. Yes, this is me saying cut down on cardio and even training volume. Give the mind and body a break.
- In the same vein as #5, get back into things you might have taken a bit of a break from, such as a book club, paint nite, skiing, power shopping (that’s mine!). I’ll make one more note to say it does not have to be all super mega fitness oriented. We sometimes forget that as well that “other” things are fun – not just competing.
I ask you to sit down, and dig into your “what now?” A bit more instead of genuinely feeling lost – because lost isn’t it. A good coach (that’s me !) will give you a plan in hand , ask you “what’s next ?” And be able to help out with this.
Goal setting is awesome when done right , and will make the gym fun again.
Just think too when you are eating everything you see and thinking you were “deprived” of things or “weren’t allowed things.”
Yes, you were. You were allowed anything you want.
You made the *choice* to not eat “everything.” Mot me. You made the *choice* to do the show, not me. You made the *choice* to eat the things on the plan I gave for you, not me.
This, in itself, is all powerful.
Yes, some post show goodies and things you might not have wanted is great. Beneficial psychologically, and most of the time, physiologically.
Also–and this is a big one–the gym/ cardio /eating well is NOT punishment.
You didn’t sign up for a show and say “Yep, for the next 12-20 weeks, I have decided I want to punish myself and pay someone to do it.” Nope. You wanted to do this, so doing the same things, aka the gym and eating right for your body is also not punishment. Turning cardio into punishment, and “having” to go to the gym instead of “wanting” to go to the gym, is a dark path and one we won’t go down.
If you didn’t place how you wanted, we have 2 choices as competitors – let that crush us, or let that motivate us. Some people fly into their offseason like a bat out of hell, more than determined to get back up there and be the 2.0 or 3.0 of themselves.
I’m going to flip the switching on what you might see in your typical “oost show” advice, and I will hammer this home (whether this was your first show or your 17th):
It is OKAY if you do in fact want to maximally enjoy things non-fitness.
Through numerous chats with my clients and competitors, I will ask them if another show is what they want. I have seen some kind of wild obligation competitors feel they need to do because they’ve placed, or that they “need” to improve for the stage. Most of the time? This wild obligation is not of their own thoughts.
People might tell you to keep going, you have potential, and more. We also seem to forget this is what we want to not – not what anyone else. Just as it’s never too late to change careers in any capacity, it’s always okay to change into something new, and make a fresh start.
Not only that, but it’s also okay to “back off” on the hardcore training/dieting.
So what’s next? You are next. Whatever you want to do, and fitness does not have to be your identity.
Fitness is always here.
There are always more shows.
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