My 10 tips for a good prep!
This week I’m going to tell you first-hand experience on how you can make the most out of your prep. I have also discussed this with my peers and got the most relevant information so I can help you enjoy this crucial stage.
As you can see, I’m still having fun, training clients, travelling, and, of course, training hard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a human, so I get the odd day when I feel a bit lazy or my energy isn’t at its highest but focus demolishes any excuses.
So here are my top 10 tips:
1. Plenty of food
Prep shouldn’t mean you should starve yourself, listen to your body and pay attention to yourself. Are you eating enough (or too much) to sustain your body? How is your energy? I’m currently eating 9 meals a day, 200-250 grams of protein rich food per meal.
2. Always prepare your food the day before.
Not necessarily cook it, unless you have to, but always prepare. Make sure you have enough, make sure you can weigh it, make sure you allocate time to eat and make sure you buy more for when you need it. I usually buy in bulk, freeze it all and defrost what I need the day before, and cook in the morning for the whole day.
3. Stay calm
Stressing yourself and your body during prep is a major route to failure. The increase of cortisol will cause your body to hold on to water so learn to manage stress. I go on walks around the block to get fresh air, see my friends and have down time, go to the cinema, and sometimes meditate.
4. Monitor your progress
Just ask friends, relatives, and anyone you can that will give you some indication. Some will tell you what you want to hear, some will be hypercritical, and some won’t have a clue about what they are telling you, but you can then get an idea of what areas you need to improve. I usually ask everyone in the gym and I filter out the nonsense by using common sense. If 3 or more people say the same thing then I start to look at it closer.
I usually start practicing my poses well early in the prep. Why? Because I want to be extra confident when I step on that stage, and secondly, because I want to see progress. Every week I record myself posing so I can see exactly what needs to be improved.
6. Stay motivated
Keep the momentum, it’s very easy to feel like you don’t want to do it anymore, and that’s what will affect your performance. You need self-belief, you need dedication, commitment, and consistency, which is achieved by motivation. Read books, watch Arnold videos, look at your competition and analyse yourself.
I’m all for balance and having fun but when it’s time to get serious I get serious. My priority at the moment is to get on that stage and give my best so I can qualify. Everything I do has to be in perfect alignment with that. Say no, no excuses.
8. Make time for fun
This can drive anyone crazy. Yes, we do need to focus but fun is also important. We are not machines. If you like going out at the weekend, go out at the weekend, but moderately, don’t drink and don’t go every weekend. It goes back to point number 7.
9. Cheat meals
Cheat meals are ok! Cheat days are not as ok, it can set you back. It all depends how much your body can take. I would advise, if you have to have a cheat day have it at the start of the prep but be very prompt about reducing the amount of bad meals.
Yes, my favourite part of prepping. When I’m not in the gym, eating, or having fun, I’m resting. This is so important, you need to allow your muscles to regenerate their cells in order to grow. This process only happens while you rest.
Bonus tip – This is your time to push yourself to the limit and exceed any limitations!