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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How I Walked In and Out Feeling Like a Winner!!!

Wow!!!! Last weekend was incredible. I WON 1ST PLACE IN CLASS C!!! I competed against 18 other beautiful girls.
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Ok, now on to the juicy part of the journey. Everything about this prep felt right. My diet was on point. I WAS NEVER STARVING! I had carbs in every meal of mine, except for occasional zero carb days, I was only doing 30 minutes of steady state cardio, and my strength was almost the same as my off season.

Why?! How?! Well, I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s because I took a 1.5 year off season, lifted crazy heavy weights and always went HARD for my workouts, put on 10 pounds of muscle mass (my morning of the show weight went from 107 lbs to 117 lbs, same body fat), slowly increased my calories to increase my metabolism (I always stuck to my diet, only 1 cheat meal, even in the off season), and barely did cardio.

Don’t be afraid of getting a little soft, gaining weight, and taking time off from competing to make gains. I promise, you’ll get lean again and competitions aren’t going anywhere.
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What else did I do?
– I visualized winning every single day.
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– I made sure that when I worked out, no one out there could possibly be working harder than me.
– I practiced posing ALL THE TIME. Even when standing in the kitchen prepping food.
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– I promised myself that I would present a totally different package (hair, makeup, posing, suit) to the stage.
– Lastly, and probably one of the most important things, I didn’t look around or compare myself to the girls that day. I kept to myself, focused on my goal, repeated to myself…Either I have it today, or I don’t. I’m going to present all the hours of hard work, every single perfect meal, and every thought about winning on this stage. There is no point in even getting nervous… I kid you not, I never got nervous that day. Everything was out of my hands and I felt so relaxed and confident.

I walked in and out feeling like a winner!

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It’s so important to make numerous goals when getting ready for a show. Some of mine were:
– To put on muscle mass, especially on my lower half
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– Control my mood swings
– Not cheat (unless it’s a planned weekly cheat meal)
– Keep a very positive attitude
– Give my workouts my all
– Not compare myself to other girls, which lead to me going Instagram free for the last 4 weeks of my prep.
-Learn to ride the wave. Some days would be easier than others.
– Really, truly believe in myself

When you establish goals to get you through your prep and you succeed with them, it’s hard to not walk into show day feeling like a winner.
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