If you’re like me, you may be interested in competing in a few local contests throughout the year. However, it’s important to remember that although most contests are healthy, they’re not exactly healthy contests. For example, in one of the smaller contests I compete in, I’m required to drink a bottle of 100% fruit juice. The reason for this is because the competition is for a healthy lifestyle, and the juice needs to be 100% fruit to make it healthy.
It’s not often that a food blog is referred to as “Healthy”, but that is exactly what this site is about. This is a site dedicated to healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy recipes, and making healthy choices. I have tried to choose only the best and most nutritious foods, and I am here to share my findings with you.
We are all aware of the world’s obsession with healthy eating and healthy living. There are a number of diet and lifestyle plans that are being advertised as the best way to lose weight, improve your health and lead a healthier life. From a purely nutritional point of view, the diet plans that are advertised are good, but if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, what are you actually doing? Are you really making any improvements in your life? Or are you just following a diet and skipping the hard work that should be involved?
It’s essential to know the difference between exercising for looks and training for health, whether you want to compete as a bodybuilder/figure competitor or simply want to lose body fat as quickly as possible.
JB’s note: In my twelf years as a high-performance coach, I’ve seen that many people who workout regularly and eat well eventually contemplate competing.
Perhaps you’re one of them. Perhaps you’ve contemplated working with a coach and competing as a bodybuilder, fitness competitor, or figure model? Perhaps you’ve pondered entering a powerlifting competition. Perhaps you’ve thought of running a marathon.
And maybe you believe that these are “healthy” activities. If that’s the case, there are a few things you should be aware of.
So sit back and pay attention as Krista Schaus, a natural bodybuilder, drug-free powerlifter, and Lean Eating Coach, guides you toward a healthy knowledge of the competitive process.
Is extreme competitiveness bad for you?
Men and women go from all over the world to seek my guidance on how to reach the competitive stage in a “healthy” or “balanced” manner. That has, in a way, become my thing. Yes, as a high-performance coach, I’ve paid my dues. And as a strength and physique competitor.
But I’ve also spent a significant amount of time studying about health and physiological function from some of the finest in the field, including Charles Poliquin, Dr. Berardi, and others. And I’ve made it my goal to assist individuals in finding a way to strike a healthy balance between the two. To become optimally strong for powerlifting, maximally slim for physique competition, and maximally fit for running while avoiding injury.
These “extreme” hobbies, such as physique contests or marathon running, may not seem to be harmful at first glance. As a result, most individuals see them as the natural conclusion to otherwise healthy activities such as lifting weights or running.
However, there’s nothing natural or healthy about running to the point where you can’t walk for two days afterward, or about dieting to unusually low body fat levels.
Krista, the coach, is a strong, slim, and fit lady.
Getting super-lean and balancing out the scales
Younger women, for example, have around 25-30 percent body fat, whereas elderly women have about 30 to 35 percent. Younger men have an average body fat percentage of 12-17 percent, whereas older males have an average body fat percentage of 15-20 percent.
As a result, achieving the body fat levels of a bikini model (12-15%) or a bodybuilder (5%), requires fighting millions of years of evolution. And the tremendous volume of exercise required, along with the minimal amount of food required to achieve this degree of leanness, is very stressful. Particularly if the negative energy balance isn’t properly handled!
Long-distance running is the same way. The same kind of negative energy balance is created by logging all those miles.
Musculoskeletal injuries are frequent during the pre-contest/pre-competition phase for this reason. Hormonal issues such as adrenal exhaustion, sex hormone depression, and more are common.
I’ve seen a lot of people come to me after having underprepared in the past due to a lack of knowledge or misunderstanding. Their metabolisms, hormonal systems, digestive health, sleep cycles, body views, and food connections have all been harmed. It’s really very depressing.
But don’t assume that just because some individuals don’t prepare properly for competitions, it’s impossible to do so. After all, these issues are completely solvable. That is exactly what I do. Every contest preparation period begins with the assumption that competing is never healthy. Then I try my best to control the competing’s imbalances and unhealthy character.
Is it good to compete?
Okay, so competing has certain risks. But, surely, there must be some advantages? That is, after all, an essential issue. And the solution is entirely up to you. Competing may be very helpful in certain situations. It’s a poor idea in other situations.
Pushing beyond our comfort zones and what we believed was possible has resulted in some of the most profound physical and personal development for myself and my clients. Growth comes from overcoming obstacles.
Indeed, everyone should find their version of preparing and practicing for “the stage” at some point in their lives…or many times.
Coach Krista is in great shape for bodybuilding.
However, not everyone has to pick this vehicle to broaden their horizons and achieve more success. There are many avenues for personal development and numerous chances to push oneself. Physique competitions, endurance events (triathlons, marathons), and strength/power events (powerlifting, olympic lifting) are just a few ways to train, push, and peak.
However, each of these scenarios entails risk, dedication, sacrifice, and, yes, varying degrees of imbalance.
And what we receive at the end of the day isn’t always what we anticipated. Some people consider competition to be the final goal, only to find out that it is just the beginning. There is no such thing as a “end.” You just raise your sights or concentrate your attention on other things, and you see things in a new light than before.
“For Good” is one of my favorite songs from the show Wicked. “I don’t know whether I’ve been changed for the better, but I’ve been changed for good,” says one of my favorite lines.
This also applies to competing. It will alter you – whether for the better or for the worse is another matter. You are also the only one who can determine the solution to this one.
However, whatever you choose to accomplish and how far you push yourself, you must educate yourself and be prepared for the good, the terrible, and the ugly. Also, be prepared for the unexpected. And, now that it’s healthy, natural, and simple, let go of any fantasies.
A new fitness goal: Always be 3-6 weeks away from your next workout.
Let me be completely honest with you about something. When it comes to bodybuilding sports, certain people have an edge. Those who find getting ready for physique competitions simple are those who are naturally slim; those who go around with a body that is close to contest-ready all year. In essence, they’re 3-6 weeks away from being ready for a year-round competition.
That’s precisely what I want to be when I grow up. Indeed, it has always been my aim to be a well-rounded representation of everything I love most — strength, leanness, health, and fitness. In concrete words, I want to be able to engage in or compete in virtually any kind of health and fitness activity at any time.
- I’m just 3-6 weeks away from being able to walk onto a lifting platform.
- If I want to step on the stage – I’m only 3-6 weeks of training (& dieting) away
- I only have 3-6 weeks of training left if I want to compete in a CrossFit challenge.
- I’m just 3-6 weeks away from being able to join in a team sport.
Perhaps this is what the majority of individuals in the health and fitness industry aspire to. Perhaps the most essential aspect of the competition isn’t the competition itself. Perhaps it’s being strong, athletic, and slim enough to participate in a variety of sports with little training.
Now, apart from the pleasure (and ego boost) of knowing that you’re physically able to engage in most activities at any time, there’s another significant advantage to constantly exercising for physical readiness. Your preparation period is considerably less taxing on the body when you exercise year-round and remain “3-6 weeks away.”
Consider this: losing 10-15 pounds for a competition takes a lot less time (and a lot less of a lifestyle change) than losing 30-40 pounds for the same competition. It is not necessary to have a large negative energy balance. As a result, you may continue to consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods while also cleaning up your diet and increasing your exercise routine.
Food, health, and body composition
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not flawless. In the past, I’ve missed my period while exercising. And, following a lengthy time of contest preparation, I’ve struggled with overeating. But I’ve learnt from my errors. And I’ve set up a decent method presently.
First and foremost, I make certain that I choose my fights wisely. Each year, for example, there are a number of events in which I would want to participate. But, first and foremost, I must pick the most essential ones. If I attempt to do too many, or if I try to do an event when I’m exhausted from other work and personal obligations, the combination will certainly throw me off. As a result, I’ve learned to just say no.
Second, I make sure that I have a dietary plan in place for the “off-season,” “contest prep,” and the days after my competitions. There aren’t many times when I simply “fly it.” Because it’s risky to wing it. A little more becomes a lot more. You’ll be bingeing and out of control before you realize it.
– It’s a top-secret weapon of mine.
The greatest thing I’ve discovered for staying on track all year; for both maintaining my off-season leanness and avoiding the post-contest bounce is.
That isn’t me “selling out.” It’s just me telling it like it is, based on my personal experience and that of the rivals I’ve worked with.
Intuitive eating, carb cycling, macro tracking, quasi-fasting, cheat meals, vegetarian cuisine, detoxes… and more have all been tried. And PN has done the finest job because of the following:
- There is a mechanism in place to assist you.
- Individualization is incorporated into the system.
- Unless you need to troubleshoot, there’s no use in calculating calories, grams, or weighing meals.
- The strategic goal is to improve body composition and health.
I use PN all year, with a few minor adjustments and personalization changes when a competition approaches. My athletes and clients follow suit.
Finally, it seems to me that many gym members regard physique competitions in the same way that recreational runners do their local marathon. It takes on the status of a holy grail.
They forget that there’s things to accomplish before racing headlong into such an event when they set this milestone objective. It’s necessary to do some self-examination. It is necessary to seek professional guidance. Along the process, some significant compromises must be made.
So, whether you’re considering of entering your first physique contest, powerlifting competition, or marathon, we urge you to “just do it,” as we say at PN. However, there is one condition. Do it correctly the first time!
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