Monday, October 27, 2014

Chill Out ... It's Just Peak Week

Hey Fit Fam ...

This post will really only be of any interest to my fellow BIKINI competitors .. but read on if you wish :)

I certainly don't want to step on any toes, down any of your methods, make you question any of your coaches methods, etc.  As you all should know by now, my blog is simply MY experience, what works for ME, things I've researched and info I have gathered from interviewing "experts" on certain topics. This is my little space on the internet full of MY OPINIONS that I think will help people achieve and maintain a BODY FOR LIFE .. not a body for stage or event. Take it ... leave it ... agree ... disagree. Just keep an open mind!! 

With that said .... HAPPY PEAK WEEK to any of my readers that are competing in my coaches show (Music City Muscle) this Saturday!  It's looking to be a pretty massive show and I'm so stoked to be the emcee at finals on Saturday night. Please come and say hello or introduce yourself if I don't already know you!! I am sad I can't compete, but since I won Overall Titles at  National Qualifiers, I am ineligible to compete in any Non National Qualifier :( 

Okay .. let's chat about Peak Week for a second. I have heard some pretty outrageous diets/methods for "show prep" .. but the ones that really make my jaw drop are what some people do during "Peak Week"!!!  I see so many people post about how they dread it, how hungry they are, how thirsty they are, how totally drained they are from all the two-a-days they had been doing, how they look forward to finally "carbing up" because they haven't had carbs in weeks/months. Heck .. I even have seen people talk about how they can't even have black coffee! Go ahead and tell me I can't have coffee ... I dare someone .. haha!!!! I also see where girls tend to cut out ALL sodium, all condiments, etc. Oh and let's not forget the "Fish and Asparagus" all day long (breakfast to dinner) diet. No .. just no. I would die if my coach made me do that, haha!! I just get so sad .. because do you really ENJOY doing all of that?! If so .. go for it I guess ... but if not please know it really doesn't have to be that way! It's Peak Week ... not HELL week!

People ask me about my Peak Week all the time. Well ... you want to know how my Peak Week looks? It's actually much EASIER than my normal day to day grind!!! There is no dreading Peak Week at my house!! My last lifting workout is two days before the show. So that means if a show is on Saturday, my last day lifting is Wednesday, meaning I only lift 3 days that week!! Whoo hoo!! I do a cardio class that Thursday and Friday upon waking and nothing on Saturday (day of show). Doing two days of cardio is really the only thing that "gets me"...but only because I don't usually get up that early during the week. My normal one cardio session/class I usually do each week is on Saturday "mornings" around 10 or 11am!! So having to go on a Thursday and Friday and then still having to go into work means I have to get up a couple hours earlier than usual ... which leaves me a little more exhausted than usual. But other than that ... there is nothing I "dread" about Peak Week itself! Okay .. the nerves .. I start getting nervous .. and doubting myself .. that sucks! Oh and if it's an OUT of town show .. I am a ball of stress! I get SUPER STRESSED because of the packing and getting my house/dog sitters all lined up, etc. I really have to work on that .. haha.

Okay, back on topic. As for water ... I drink MORE water most the week actually ... then I slowly start tapering it back down to the norm (which is around a gallon) all the way up until the night before the show! Yup a gallon of water the day before show! For one show we did taper a little bit more, but discovered my skin seems to dry out TOO much, so we added it back in! But even then I was still drinking more water the day before my show than the "average" person! Show day .. I have myself some coffee that morning (usually a Venti Blonde Roast Starbucks, complete with Stevia and even a Sugar Free pump or two) and sip on water as needed throughout the day. Speaking of meals .. they still stay consistent all week. I may cut out some veggies that personally make me bloat or can have the tendency to make my stomach cramp .. but foods and food amounts usually stay pretty much the same! As I've said before .. this has been the case for ALL of my preps. None of my macros ever drastically change from week to week since my goal is usually to maintain and look pretty much the same year round. At times we will make my fat higher if I start getting too many striations (not something judges like in Bikini), or lower my carbs just a tad so I'm not giving my muscle any more fuel to GROW. We make very minor adjustments based on where MY body is and what works of me personally (each body reacts different to foods)  ... but nothing every changes more than a few macros. SO little that I honestly never even notice! Let's just say my carbs have never been less than 3 digits ... ever, ever, ever :)

On show day sometimes I eat my usual whole foods and other times I stick with the "PB & Rice Cake" staple .... just because it's easier and keeps me from getting too much of a "food belly" (I get one really bad usually). My breakfast stays the same as it does every day -- my yummy Mug Cake (oats, egg whites, fruit & PB). Other than that .. no changes!!! I don't take any crazy strong water depletion pill .. maybe some Dandelion Root .. but that is it! Since my skin is pretty thin .. I understand why some people go for something stronger ...but what I DO NOT understand is BIKINI girls cutting out their water drastically. Research this some .. I think you will find that it may be doing OPPOSITE of what you are hoping to do!

Everyone is different. Some people hold more water than others -- I get that!! But you have to be careful doing crazy stuff. If you aren't ready ... you aren't ready ... and no amount of pulling water is going to help you on stage and ESPECIALLY in the long run. I mean .. do you really want to do all that just for 10 min on stage .. only to BLOW UP after?! Kinda defeats the point .. doesn't it?! So what.... you get bragging rights and a trophy?!? Wouldn't you rather KEEP what you worked hard for?!? Same goes for your bikini contest prep. I have preached this .. but if you are doing crazy two a days, an hour of cardio every single day (many ppl do more) .. that is fine. But the question is ... can you keep it up after the show?!?! If not .. what will happen?! How are you planning on tapering off and maintaining afterwards?! I'm not willing to risk that! Slow and steady ... slow and steady ... SLOW AND STEADY!! 

I've heard HORROR stories backstage about the effects "Peak Week" have had on girls bodies/minds. Many people stop drinking water (or drastically cutting it) as early as like Tuesday or Wednesday. One of the girls I met was telling me about how she does this (stops drinking water on Wednesday). She was also telling me about her bladder and kidney infections she got after her last show ... ummm, you think?? Another girl was upset because her boyfriend wasn't going to be there to watch because they got in a HUGE fight that week because she was "so moody" from being so depleted!!!  I'm sorry but I just don't get it. How can this sport be fun, healthy and beneficial in the LONG run if you are doing things that make you (and those around you) miserable?!

So ... my peak week advice ... really look at what you are doing and ask yourself if it sounds healthy. If it doesn't .. chances are it's not. So you have to decide if it's worth the risk. If you have a coach, then hopefully they are guiding you in a positive way. If you trust them and their tactics .. go for it I guess. But if you ever feel like what you were doing is dangerous .. or just doesn't sound "right" .. look into it before you do another show under their guidance!  If you don't have a coach .. please don't resort to "google"!!! These old school bodybuilding methods aren't necessarily "the gold standard" anymore for a reason. Plus ... keep in mind many of them aren't designed for BIKINI girls!! What we do isn't the same thing a bodybuilder would do or even a female physique or figure competitor.  So just use caution when using the world wide web as your guide.

Gonna wrap up in saying that I have seen so many people say "they just don't know what happened" show day. They say they liked the way they looked leading into a show and then come time to shine .. something went wrong. Well ... what is it they say ... if it ain't broke don't fix it?!  Peak Week shouldn't be a time to resort to crazy tactics or make major changes. Especially if you have never tried them before and aren't sure how your body will react. Trust me .. that tan you are going to get goes a LONG way in showing off those muscles .... and some minor HEALTHY changes will go a long way as well!!  No need to make yourself sick, damage your body, or piss off everyone around you in an attempt to take home a trophy!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!! Get out there and SHINE!!!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

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