Monday, September 23, 2013

Peak Week

by Kris Pitcher

Welcome to your peak week! I'm super excited about this topic, because for this particular local show...IT'S NOT MY PEAK WEEK! But it is yours so let's get a few things straight, and make a few reminders.

This is where most people screw up. They've spent 16 weeks or more carefully dieting, working out and putting themselves through the rigors of contest prep. They've selected their favorite suit, done countless rounds of posing practice, maybe put together a routine...have every detail down. And it all comes down to this week.

The problem is nine out of ten people giving advice don't know what the heck they're telling you to do. The other one is getting their information off some thread on line (or a blog - gasp!).

Seriously though most people get all squirrly and mess up the very last week of their prep. They either drink too much water, or not enough. Or they load with fat, or carbs when they've never even tried that before. Or they use diuretics and end up in the emergency room because they followed very bad protocol.

They quit eating salt, or start eating salt...they decide to do a "detox cleanse", a body wrap, or even a coffee colonic. No stank you. Usually people don't know the first thing about timing any of it. Here's the thing about peak week. It's different for everyone.

Just as prep is different for everyone, so is the week leading up to your show. That's why you can't take general advice and apply it to yourself. When you work with a good coach, they try things out on you to see how you respond.

This isn't just for the fun of it. Although we do like science. It's to find out how your body responds. Re-feed meal? It's to see what you look like after you load with carbs, or fat, or whatever it is you were instructed to eat.

Carb cycling? It's not just to confuse you every day when you are packing your meals through the week. It's to train your body to deplete and then take in carbs. It's done at a specific timing, to mimic what will work for getting you in the right shape on show day.

Pretty smart? That's why you hire a coach. So, listen to your coach during your peak week also. If they tell you to do something, get with the program and do it. Drink a gallon of water a day. That doesn't mean half a gallon. It means one gallon. There's a reason for that. And if your coach isn't willing to teach you's either because they don't know, or they don't have time. Either way, you need a new coach.

No questions are stupid, especially during peak week. Can I have hot sauce? Can I make substitutions in my meal plan? Can I have a pre-workout? Can I have extra shakes? Do I really have to drink my water? Can I eat broccoli? Do I have to eat all my meals? All very important questions to ask your coach.

Peak week is all about precise timing. The goal is to create very specific reactions in your body by manipulating your macro, and micro nutrients so that you look a certain way...on Saturday morning for pre-judging. It's. All. Timing. We need to get it right.

We also shouldn't be doing anything drastic. If you're ready, you won't be doing drastic things the final week. If you're not ready...I don't care how much water you drop, you'll still be fat. Sorry.

Ideally, we are easing into the weekend of the show. Easing. That's right, your coach told you to rest. Rest. Your muscles actually need to rest, to reduce inflammation, to circulate blood and nutrients in order to get the right look. Still running? Sitting in the hot tub? In the tanning bed? Get a new coach.

A few friendly reminders. No more lotion on that big old skin of yours, except your face. You want your skin nice and dry to soak up the tanning product. Remove the hair. All of it. Everywhere. The lights are bright and the tanning product will make all those little tiny hairs light up like a tiny chick. No one wants to be that girl.

Guys, please shave your feet. Details. The judges are sitting eye level to your feet, or there about. We don't want to see any spiders down there. You men's physique guys are lucky, but bodybuilders...all hair, everywhere. Please stand on your head and make sure you get all of it. Please.

Control your schedule this week. When you can, take Thursday and Friday off. You will be depleted and maybe a little crabby. Keep that away from work. You should plan on resting, watching movies at home, packing and re-packing your contest bag.

Ladies, you'll have appointments, nails etc. clear your calendar and try to relax. Big tip: Being thirsty makes people crazy and crabby. If you're "dropping your water" plan on being real thirsty. The kind of thirst that will make you throat punch your favorite person. And no, you cannot chew gum.

Other stuff people might not have told you? It's hard to pee with tanning color on. You can pee through a paper cup, like a funnel. I've never had luck with this. Put a handful of paper in the bowl and it will reduce splashing. Sorry guys, but we got the short end of the stick on this one. Wait, that didn't come out right at all...

Anyway. It's not easy, and it can be frustrating. So, use seat covers or wrap the seat with plastic wrap so at least you can sit down. Another thing they might not have told will be so happy Saturday morning if you can poop.

Crickets? If you've competed before, you know what I'm talking about. You're going to tell me about it, you'll be so happy. I know. I've texted about it's going to be that exciting. Trust me.

You might not sleep very well Friday night. That's normal. You'll be anxious, excited, thirsty. Plan to have a very long, but fun, day on Saturday. And you might wake up Saturday, or show up at the venue and guess what! You get your period. Don't worry, I've got you covered on that one too.

Stress makes strange things happen and it wouldn't be the first time...I don't care what you did with your pills. No stress about any of it. You're ready! Besides, you got through your peak week! See you at the show!

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