5 Steps to Transition From Contest Prep to Off Season

You worked your butt off dieting down, doing cardio daily, lifting like there’s no tomorrow, and looked phenomenal on stage. After the high of competing, now what?!

Step 1: Contact the Judges

Whether you won the overall or placed dead last, there is always room for improvement. I found it very useful to contact the judges and ask exactly how I can come in better and what it’ll take to win.

Make sure you send in photos of yourself in different poses. Email the promoter of the show and ask him/her for feedback and to forward your email to every judge. You can find the promoters email address on the NPC News Online website.

Sample email:
John,
I had such a wonderful time competing at your show last weekend. I wanted to know if I could please get feedback from you and all the judges on what I can improve on (conditioning, symmetry, posing, hair, makeup, etc.) I am attaching a few photos of myself. Thank you very much, looking forward to hearing from you and competing at your next show.

Regards,
Sumeet Sahni
Open Bikini Class C (4th place, #254)

Step 2: Set Your New Goal(s)

Now, using the information you’ve gathered from judges and what look you noticed they were leaning towards at the competition, you can make a goal.

After my first show, my goal was to put mass everywhere and work on my posing. After my last show, my goal is to put mass on my calves, not to put anymore mass on my upper body, only pose with legs crossed, and to make sure I don’t come in overly conditioned (too lean).

Step 3: Determine Your New Diet

It’s really important to make a transition diet plan for post competition BEFORE you even compete. The last thing you want is to be bingeing and have no structured diet after your show.

I gave myself a week post show to have a few cheat meals and then got on my off season diet.

Your off season diet should be based on what your new goal(s) are.

Step 4: Plan Out Your Cardio

What will your offseason cardio look like? What will the frequency, duration, and intensity be?

Personally, I like to do about 3-4 sessions of HIIT a week.

Step 5: Prepare For Your Physique To Change

This is the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. After having ripped, veiny abs for 5 months, they have disappeared! Be mentally prepared for your body to change fairly quickly post show.

My weight usually goes up 3-5 pounds within the first month of off season and from then on I usually slowly gain weight, if my goal is to put on muscle, until it’s time to diet down for a show. If my body fat gets too high, I go on a mini diet during my offseason.

Making a post show plan for yourself will make your transition into the offseason mentally, physically, and emotionally easier! Make sure your off season plan is well thought out and productive.
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