12 Expectations of Prep- Part 1
This is a list of experiences that might happen to you while you are prepping for a competition. These are good things to keep in mind before you dive into contest prep. We created this list to give you some good expectations you may not expect from prep, but things you might also want to understand. This list may make you laugh, because you can do some pretty funny things on prep. It might also make you a tad sad because although we are being lighthearted we also want to be realistic. Enjoy!
Trying weird food combinations
One thing you might find yourself experimenting with is weird food combinations. We gathered a few examples from our coaches here at Atlas Nutrition and here are a few combinations we just had to share. Cinnamon on your tilapia, crystal light powder on your green beans and of course… peanut butter on your chicken. Hey don’t knock it until you try it and when you are in contest prep, anything sounds good!
Telling people NO
This is a big one! And interestingly enough you will see this far too often. I’m not sure what it is that makes people want you to step off from your discipline but it will happen. It might even come from those who are cheering you on or the ones closest to you. You will experience peer pressure and others will try to get you to fail. They will ask; “Why not just one drink?” or “Why not just one bite?” and even “Just come out with us, you don’t have to drink/eat!” well one bite can’t hurt right? Well this is where you might be wrong. Every little bit counts when you are striving for exceptionally low body fat. And as far as going out and not participating in the activities your friends are, let’s be honest… might as well just remove yourself from the temptation.
Oh this one is a funny one! Okay so when your body is depleted and you are entering LOW body fat you are probably on a very low or even no carbohydrate diet. This can cause a little bit of an energy deficit to your brain which can lead to forgetfulness, spacey, low reaction time. The brain runs off glucose which comes primarily from carbohydrates, with low to no carbohydrates your glucose numbers are dramatically decreased, therefore the brains energy source is dramatically decreased. Some of the funny examples we came up with at Atlas Nutrition was getting to the gym and then realizing you forgot all your workout gear, so you end up turning right around and heading back home to go get it. Also grabbing your coffee mug from the cupboard, filling it with coffee, to turn right around and put it back in the cupboard. Then wonder where your coffee went? Yup, this stuff happens!
You will experience diet face. What’s diet face? Well this is where you are so low in body fat that even your face is affected. It is looking extremely slender and maybe even some caved in cheeks, or even cheek muscle striations. Your body has pulled from all possible fat storages and as you become leaner and leaner it will pull from areas you didn’t even think had fat. You might look like a zombie but hey your body is looking good. Amazing what we will go through to step on that stage!
Being cold all the time
Ahhh being cold on prep, yup this is a good one! Even Tony Polidoro our heaviest bodybuilder coach with Atlas Nutrition gets cold on prep. With such low body fat you lose all your ‘insulation’ and the body experiences temperature changes more dramatically. Tony was even telling us how in mid-July he was preparing for a competition and he was wearing long sleeves and hoodies as he was driving around town doing errands… yeah mid-July, imagine that!
Clothes not fitting
Your clothes will begin to sag. All your favorite clothes will start to fit much differently. Although this might sound like a very exciting thing in the beginning it will increasingly become annoying as your always adjusting your clothes, even your underwear won’t fit the same! The common consensus with the coaches here at Atlas Nutrition is that we all have two wardrobes. One we will call “prep clothes” for competition season and another we will call “bulking clothes” for when we want a little extra cover up due to the extra ‘fluff’ we may put on in the off season.