It’s November 18, 2013 and it’s snowing crazy. It is nearing the end of 2013 and what a year it has been for me. I switched gyms and moved my personal training business out of my home to my current home gym Snap Fitness Leduc. I started to train for the Masters and Alberta’s in Feburary 2013 and competed in June 2013, placing second in both shows. I made a huge decision to coach this year which was not an easy decision to make. Coaching is tough and you have to be confident in your ability to get an athlete ready for a physique show. I made the right decision and coached my clients Leslie and Nicole to their first show, with Leslie winning first place in Women’s Physique! It was a crazy ride but I enjoyed it so much.
I’m currently in my off-season prepping for 2014. I’m focused on my off-season more than ever so I thought I would share a bit of what my life is like and what my goals are and where I am at.
After placing second at the Alberta’s in June I made the decision quite quickly that I wanted to compete again in 2014. I want to make improvements in my conditioning so I am working with Ron Partlow this off-season, paying more attention than ever to my conditioning. Off season to me is more important than contest prep. Now is the time to tweak my physique the best I can. I reversed dieted out from the Alberta’s to avoid rebound but mostly to build my metabolic capacity so that when it comes to contest prep time my body will be primed to diet. Over the last 8 weeks I have continued to add calories every week to build my metabolism even more. I have reached my caloric intake goal and managed to stay lean which was my ultimate goal. I want to add a few pounds of muscle before we diet so that too is coming along quite well. I’m strong in the gym training 6 days per week with my cardio limited at 2 – 3 days per week, 20 min HIIT sessions. My intensity is key in the gym at all times. However, I have felt that my shoulders are a weak link and training legs can be a chore. So with that in mind I set up training with Ron, having him kick my ass and take that intensity level up a notch with both muscle groups. He created two wicked workouts that I am currently cycling in and I love it. I have always struggled with training shoulders but not now. Leg day, well let’s just say I have always enjoyed leg day but now more than ever I love it! I’ve hit personal bests on both the leg press and my dead lift and I can see it in my leg development. My core is also a weak link but with all my dead lifting, I feel strongly that my abs will be blocks come contest time! I can only hope for DLB abs!! (wishful thinking!!)
Off season is so important! It is not the time to stay contest lean, it is the time to build. This does not mean “bulking up” to the point that you can no longer see definition. This is my opinion. Why work so hard to diet down to let it all go to shit. Condition in the off-season for me will make or break my condition in my contest prep. I have stubborn body fat that I carry in my quads and my glutes so I have been very focused on my nutrition this off-season. Ron created a plan and I have stuck to it! I eat to grow with lean muscle gains in mind. I have made good gains and I am so proud of that. I follow his plan and I eat only one cheat meal per week. I eat over 2200 cals (average) on my workout days and about (1800) on my non workout days. I don’t feel deprived and I don’t ever feel guilty about enjoying a cheat meal either. I don’t eat and then end up in the gym trying to burn it off. I don’t binge. I eat to enjoy the atmosphere around me and I eat because I know it works.
This is me now, today! I’m 129lbs and so happy. I’m not ripped! This is me! This is off-season! I don’t need to be in contest shape year round, I don’t want to be. Yes, it’s nice to be ripped for the summer no doubt but when I’m ripped my calories are restricted more, I am doing more cardio and a cheat meal is rare. It happens but not often enough. Off season is designed to make improvements no matter what sport. Set goals during the off-season to keep you on track. I did! I do!
I’m accountable each and everyday to myself and to Ron. We are both incredibly busy trainers so I don’t waste anyone’s time. I love being accountable. It keeps me focused and on track. Having Ron tell me that it’s good to see me eating a lot and staying in shape makes me feel like I’m doing something right. His vision combined with my discipline, we make an excellent team. I can’t thank him enough.
I give him a lot of credit but I am finally giving myself credit too. I am disciplined, I am focused. I am going to be 39 years old tomorrow and I what I see in the mirror is not what I had visioned I would look like or how I would feel. Nearing my 40’s isn’t as scary anymore. I have my knowledge, focus and discipline to keep me on track. I have my family and friends supporting me every step of the way. I am so fortunate and everyday I am thankful.
So take it from me. Use your off-season to your advantage. Be smart and be focused! It does not matter what sport or goal you have in mind. Off season is vital to your overall performance and success!
Train hard, train with intensity. Eat to grow!