You will gain up to 8lbs overnight. If you have cut water for your show the chances are after purely drinking again you will gain this amount in water weight. Especially if you indulge in a cheat meal after the show. Don’t freak out, this is normal. And this is water weight, NOT fat!
Your coach should write you a reverse diet. If they haven’t already mentioned this, ask them. You need to get back up to your maintenance calories ASAP but you need to do this gradually. Also having a diet in place post show will stop you going crazy with bad food.
You will now never be happy with your body! Once you have been in the best shape of your life, anything other than stage shape and you will feel “fat” and “soft”. Trust me, you are not. You’re just at more of a maintainable shape. To everyone else, you still look freaking amazing!
You probably won’t know what to do with yourself. Less cardio, not as strict a diet, maybe even a week off from lifting! What the hell do you do with your time?!
Keep up your cardio. This will help the body slowly adjust. By all means take a week or so off from lifting but I always recommend my clients keep up some form of daily cardio. It may be shorter sessions than pre comp but it’s something.
You may look like a snake shedding its skin! Depending on which federation you compete with you may have a very dark tan and this does not come off evenly! Scrub until you can’t scrub anymore!
Everyone will ask “Did you win?”. “How much money did you win”. Be honest and don’t be afraid to tell them you didn’t win. This is so much more than just a trophy.
Set a new goal. This will help you stay motivated and keep the post show blues from being too consuming.
Post show blues are real! You will feel lost, unmotivated and even depressed. Try not to let them consume you and understand that this is normal. See point 8 and try to be positive.
Some say it’s physically impossible to get fat in the few days post show so don’t be afraid to enjoy a few treats. But your body is also super sensitive, so use this time wisely. This is the perfect window to grow and increase lean muscle mass so use this to your advantage!
Get feedback. Try not to bother the show organiser as they get hundreds of emails but always order the official stage photographs. This is how you can best assess what you need to improve on for next time. Your coach also has a say here so talk things through with them and decide on a game plan for next time.
Remember this is a subjective sport. You CANNOT please everyone. Have an idea of what you need to look like for the class you are entering but at the end of the day, you have to be happy with the way you look. You are the one who has to walk around with this body for the rest of the year.
Win or lose, be proud of yourself! You worked super hard to get on that stage so whatever the result, give yourself a pat on the back!
Written by Su Farrell