There were a lot of important things both mentally & physically I had to do to prepare for a physique competition. In order not to “burn” myself out, I made gradual changes over time.
Sure I know what you are thinking…
Easier said than done or in this case easier typed than done. But you would be surprised how much easier your health and fitness goals might be if you make more gradual changes over time.
I used the “gradual changes concept” to prepare myself for diet and training I would be enduring for 3 months before show time.
I’ve personally seen so many people dive into training or dieting just to fall out a short time after. I didn’t want to fall victim of this, myself so I came up with the top 7 things I did to prepare for a physique competition.
And surprisingly a lot of them occurred long before my eventual “D-day” or start of my diet.
Also in case you missed my first post: https://gymjunkies.com/10-reasons-why-i-decided-to-do-a-physique-competition/ .
Here they are below…
#1 Picked A “D-Day”
Let’s get one thing straight while I was “gliding” into this whole thing, I still needed to pick a day to get started. I had to mentally say this day would start the rigorous training & dieting.
So I thought about it for a bit and said what a better day than July 4th America’s birthday, seemed like a fitting day since alcohol would not be involved in training. So I smashed a hamburger and tipped a couple back with friends and had a hell of a time.
It was nice to have a last “hurrah” before game time. In fact, both Livestrong agrees and supports my point “You gain an advantage for your diet plan when you pick a specific date to start your diet. By choosing a particular date like your birthday or the first of next month, you have set and defined your goal — and setting realistic, personalized goals is crucial to dieting success”.
#2 I said Goodbye To Starbucks
I have to admit I love Starbucks, just like the other millions of Americans. Every morning I wake up, walk around like a zombie, take a couple snap chats and drive to Starbucks.
In fact, I was so addicted at one point I would have 2-3 in one day.
Now, of course, depending on what you order from Starbucks this could be a really bad thing or just a marginally bad thing. In my personal case, I ordered a vanilla latte, so this stacked up to about 250 calories per drink.
Not horrible but if you’re consuming 2-3 a day your looking at 500-750, that’s a couple meals! Not to mention 200-600 mg of sodium, 50-150g of sugar and 5-15g of fat!
What did I do to solve this problem and support my caffeine addiction?
Simple switched to unsweetened black & green tea . That was an easy way to cut a whopping 750 calories out of my daily diet!
#3 Slowly Stopped Drinking Alcohol
Even though I had mentally picked a day to start dieting & stop drinking (July 4th) I had already started to scale back months before this. Mainly because I wanted to be healthier, I knew it killed my gains and oh yea I had to for physique competition.
I figured this was a much more realistic approached instead of just stopping cold turkey and to date (8/6) it really has worked well. I rarely have the urge to go out on the weekends and as a result, have a much healthier and productive weekend.
Oh, yea one other perk? I’m now probably cutting an additional 1,500-3000 calories out per week.
#4 Warned Everyone Around Me
You have to learn to understand your body and how you react to putting stress on it. Since I’ve trained for quite some time and have also dieted before I know I’m extremely sensitive to calorie restriction.
The slang term “hangry” defines to me.
Because of this I specifically went out of my way to contact my family & friends and let them know that during the period of July, August, and September I would be dieting & training.
I think it’s important to let the people around you know if you are working towards a certain goal regardless. Your close friends & family will be more considerate & tolerable towards you during this period of time!
#5 Took Selfies
I know sounds lame but to be honest I’m really glad I had taken selfies throughout the last couple of years training. This created a decent log for me to go back and look at the progress or lack of progress over the years.
In fact, there are tons of free apps you can download to track your progress as well. Here is a list of the top 100 http://appcrawlr.com/ios-apps/best-apps-progress-photos.
Personally, I just used Snapchats moments to track my progress day by day during the 3 months of training. This seemed the most logical as I already was using snapchat to begin with and I could easily access moments to track my progress.
It’s important to track your results during training or dieting so you can see your results and progress. It’s a nice reminder that you’re making progress towards your goal!
#6 Got a Trainer
Although I am I certified trainer and have been training since I was 17 years old, it helps to have some guidance.
I think mentally it’s nice to show up and just go through the motions, that way you can focus on just working out! You would be surprised on how much mental energy you spend on counting or planning your workout, it’s best to just go through the motions and do what you are there to do, LIFT.
Call me old school but if my trainer can’t lift more than me then there is a slight chance I won’t listen to them. That’s why when I met Richard it was a good fit; he was a former bodybuilder and was a beast!
Moral of the story if you’re going towards a goal, it’s best to have some guidance along the way to keep on track!
#7 Determined What My Calorie Maintenance Was
Ok, this is a must! If you plan on dieting to any degree you must determine what your calorie maintenance is!
Ok so how do you do this? Thought you wouldn’t ask…
For myself here is how the equation worked:
Men who want to calculate their BMR using the Harris Benedict equation should use the following formula: (12.7 * your height in inches) + (6.23 * your weight in pounds) – (6.8 * your age in years). Add 66 to the total for the BMR.
Here’s an example. Let’s calculate the BMR for a 30-year-old, 6’1” (73”) man who weighs 218 pounds. It would look like this: 12.7 times 73 (inches) equals 927.1. Then, multiply 6.23 by 218 (pounds) to get a total of 1,358.14. Your third calculation is 6.8 multiplied by 30 (years). This third number comes to 204.00.
Take the first two numbers (927.1 and 1,358.8) and add them up. They total 2,285.9. Then take that number (2,285.9) and subtract the third number you calculated (204.00). That works out to 2,081.9. From there, add the 66 (constant given above). The total is 2,147.9 calories. That is the number of calories needed to maintain normal body function each day, not including additional physical activity.
For those who are sedentary (meaning little to no exercise), multiply your BMR by 1.2. If you are lightly active (you exercise one to three days each week), you should multiply your BMR by 1.375. Moderately active (you exercise moderately and/or play sports three to five days per week) means you should multiply your BMR by 1.55. Very active (you engage in strenuous sports or intense exercise six or seven days a week) means you should multiply your BMR by 1.725. Extra active (you engage in very physically challenging jobs or exercise) means you should multiply your BMR by 1.9.
Using our sample BMR calculation for the man in the previous section, you would start with his BMR of 2,147.9. Let’s say he claims to be very active. You would multiply 2,147.9 x 1.725. This yields 3,705.13 calories per day. That should be his caloric intake.
So I had determined I needed 3,705 calories for the number of calories needed to maintain normal body. From there I deduct 500 calories a day for a calorie restriction 3,705 – 500 = 3,205 a day.
For more information you can check out this post How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight?
All in all, you can see that the changes might have been small tweaks to my daily lifestyle. However all of them mixed together have started to make significant changes on my body.
Whether you’re training for a physique competition or just simply trying to lose some extra pounds small gradual changes make a big difference over time!
Curious to hear more about my journey to the fitness stage?
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