Looking Hot in the So-Called Offseason

Featured Writer: Rachel Z. Walton

After the lights have dimmed, the sparkly bikini has been put back into storage and the immediate post-competition treats have been consumed… what now? It can be a confusing time for competitors who have dieted and trained for weeks to now go back to normal. Is there really such a thing? Yes there is, but there are common misconceptions about what should and should not be done during this normal time. First of all, we need to define what normal is. If normal is the way an average North American eats and adopting that sedentary lifestyle – then no, that’s not what the off-season is for. It, in fact, presents a great opportunity to work on weak points on the physique without being completely exhausted from a very restrictive diet. It is not an excuse to eat whatever you see because you are trying to build. The off-season is no excuse to not follow a healthy and clean eating plan full of all the nutrients and good calories you need to improve your physique.

Do not allow yourself to get out of shape, this will just mean that you will need more time and preparation before you decide to hit the stage (or the beach or whatever event) again. Plus, you will feel better about yourself and have less risk of falling into the blues and wishing for the body you had when you were at stage weight. Implement more calories into your diet, but make sure that they are of quality. Cheat meals are fine! Do not beat yourself up about them, but remember that gains in the offseason will not come from eating nutritionally bankrupt foods. In addition, you never know when a photo shoot or potential marketing opportunity for yourself will arise – so avoidance of getting out of shape In the first place will make it easier to be camera ready when the time calls.

The flip side to this is to not be following a restrictive diet with cardio twice a day year-round (including the offseason). Your body does deserve a break, and to continue on a contest diet and training plan after the show date puts you at risk of overtraining and actually wasting your hard earned muscles away! The offseason is a great opportunity to mix up the training regimen and implement rest days where you had none before. Enjoy being able to lift weights and not feel dieted. Enjoy feeling strong again!

The most important thing to do is to have a plan of what your goals are of the offseason before you even enter it. Figure out if you want to have a more developed back, stronger abdominals or a heavier squat. Remember that there is life after you step off the stage and you can look beautiful both on and off of it.

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2 Responses to Looking Hot in the So-Called Offseason

  1. Angelique says:

    Great article! I agree 100% about everything you said. A lot of competitors go crazy with eating after they are done, which makes losing weight that much more stressful for their next competition. Always eat clean, not just part time.

  2. The public doesn’t understand what it takes for competition. It is quite stressful physically, emotionally, and mentally. The diet puts all of us into zombie mode barely able to think. I am in bodybuilding and now realize after the new Physique Division has launched that is where I need to be.
    I agree with your analogy about off season nutrition. It is critical for development and to avoid disease states with metabolic changes from poor food.
    Yearly goals are the anchor for all of us to remember; yes I wrote that in my blog and I will continue to push myself to achieve the goal I set.

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