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Pre Competition Nutrition

 

What is Prep? Prep is the term we use in the sport for the phase when we strip away fat to reveal our hard-earned muscle. Or to put it another way, it means dieting whilst you are low on energy due to being in calorific deficit.

 

The duration of your prep is as personal as the diet itself.  Mine was 15 weeks.  Some athletes may take longer and few could , albeit unlikely less .

 

Staying Focussed

 

It's really tough staying focused on the goal, which for me of course means being in calorific deficit for about 15 weeks. This is where my positive mindset helps me, even though I get extremely tired sometimes.

 

One thing to mention is the issue of eating different meals to friends and family, and having to resist the temptation of eating off your plan, such as – not having a slice of cheesecake when they do! Family will offer you something they are having, that's only natural and they only mean well, but I had to really explain to them that this was my choice and I am not prepared to sacrifice my goal. One of the tricks I learnt, that helps to keep temptation at bay, was to prepare all my food the night before. 

 

Another important element to remember is the difference between eating for normal training and eating during prep. I always had in the back of my mind that without food or fuel I would not be able to achieve or develop the physique that I wanted. But of course that is what the normal training phase is for, so I learned to keep that separation clear in my mind – more fuel to body build during the normal phase, then reduced fuel in prep to reveal what's there!

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Targets

 

I discuss with my coach at great length the targets for a competition.  This includes carbing-up, food for the day, weight targets etc. Everything is always planned out weeks beforehand. You cannot under any circumstances leave any of this till the last moment.

 

I needed to learn how my body responded to the minute changes in my 'macros'. Macros ( your intake of protein, fats and carbohydrates) is a whole subject on its own by the way, I will revisit that later for you.

 

To finish on a lighter note, you will never be fully prepaired for something seasoned athletes call ‘Prep Head’. This is when the simplest of tasks become difficult and very amusing to your support team, friends and family. One of my favourites was wearing my slippers to the gym! I could easily go into more details but I want to remain as professional as I can with such anecdotes.

Love Pearly xx

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