by Kris Pitcher
It's inevitable. You're going to get fat after your competition. You might even know this in the back of your head. In fact, we've even come up with a new term for it..."reverse dieting". Please poke my eyes out right now.
The truth is, we can't keep our contest body. It's not realistic. It's not going to help us make progress and get better. It's not going to be good for our metabolic systems, for our metal state...or for our friends and families. We simply cannot diet year round. It's not realistic.
Maintaining a constant state of caloric deprivation wears on us. A 16, 18, 20, or even 12 week contest prep cycle is a lot to ask of yourself. Now, once we get that contest body I know what happens. We like it. Of course we like it. It's awesome! It's attention getting. We may even take home some hardware.
The best case scenario is you and your coach have a solid plan for you to follow RIGHT AFTER your contest. This is essential. To think you can just go from complete structure to no plan is crazy. You can't handle it and you'll be up to your elbows in cupcakes before you can yell the safety word.
What you want is a nice slow gain. You will get fat. You need to. Your body needs fat to make hormones, transport fat soluble vitamins and a score of other functions. But there's a limit. We used to think fat didn't really do anything...it just was a storage place.
We know that fat is a very active "organism" and the scientific community is reclassifying it because of it's effect on our hormonal profile. We want to control our offseason gains. At six weeks post USA's, I'm up 9 pounds. Nine. Not 30 pounds.
I'm controlling what I eat. I'm doing my cardio. I'm in the gym lifting. I have goals of what I want to make progress with. People have actually greeted me with, "I thought you'd be all fat!" Now, they mean that in the nicest way, but rebounding is a choice.
You're going to get fat, and the rate and intensity at which you do that is entirely up to you. Entirely. As I slowly put a little size back on, I can feel my body changing. Carrying an additional 9 pounds feels different when I walk.
It feels different in my clothes. But I'm also stronger, I sleep hard, and I'm on the upswing of offseason making good changes. Don't be surprised after your contest as your body begins to change. Make the mental shift to change your personal goals along with it. You can't get better if you are constantly dieting. I'm excited for the positive changes I'll make even as I get...a little fat. *smile