Prepare for everything to change. One of the most difficult aspects of training is the impact it has on your social life. You quickly learn that most social events revolve around food or drinking.
You end up making the choice of either forgoing social activities or attempting to modify your behavior while participating in them. Depending on the company, this can be difficult. You’ll find some people will attempt to pressure or sabotage you. It can be friends, family or even your own spouse. However, you need to remember that you are among the mentally elite. You are learning and applying a mental fortitude that 99.9% of the population cannot handle.
Alcohol is one of the worst possible things for your goals. Many people attempting to lose weight do not realize negative the impact alcohol has. Now that you’ve read the chapter on diet, you’ll be able to understand the caloric impacts of alcohol. Remember that 3,500 calories equate to 1 pound of body weight.
A 16 oz beer is 208 calories. That means if someone drinks 1 beer every other day, they will put on 1 pound of body weight a month; 12 pounds a year! There is nothing in alcoholic drinks that turns into muscle (it breaks down muscle) so all of that will become fat. Research from Penn State shows that alcohol decreases protein synthesis by 15% to 20% after 24 hours. It also impaired IGF-I or insulin to stimulate protein synthesis by 30% and 60%. *
* Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine
Work, social life, family and any number of outliers can compromise sleep. During sleep, your body recovers, repairs and grows. While sleeping, your body releases a spike of IGF-1 and testosterone. This creates a natural, highly anabolic environment. Sleep deprivation decreases the activity of protein synthesis pathways and increases the activity of degradation pathways. The result is loss of muscle mass thus hindering muscle recovery after damage induced by exercise and injuries. *
In other words, if you don’t get adequate sleep, you will not grow.
It is also recommended that you nap for at least an hour during the day.
* Centro de Estudos em Psicobiologia e Exercício, São Paulo, Brazil
Prepare for Many New Activities
- Food Prep: To be successful you will be prepping all of your meals in advance. You may also choose to hire a meal prep company like Simply Prepped Nutrition or ProTrain Food for Fitness. This is a huge time saver but of course will cost a bit more, averaging about $8-$11 per meal. Prepare to eat every 2.5 – 3 hours.
- Sleep: 8-10 hours plus a 1 -2 hour nap
- Bodywork: Posing, stretching, deep tissue massage, chiropractic, Graston, yoga. This will be explained more in the next chapter
- Training: 2 times a day. Typically, a cardio session and a weight training session
- Contest Logistics: Create a posing routine, purchase a suit, booking tanning, make-up, and travel plans
To be successful, you must assess your daily routines and eliminate extraneous activities. Eliminating TV will, sports games, social activities, social media and really every form of entertainment and leisure activity will be necessary.
Some people may argue that it is possible to maintain a normal lifestyle. These people are not competing in the Olympia.