Gaspari Nutrition

Ava Cowan

Post Competition Game Plan

It's been 4 days since I have been back from Madrid, Spain.  Today I finished putting away the last of my clothing, bought groceries, the laundry is folded and put away and now, I am basically playing catch up with emails and blogs.  In this blog, I want to share some of the ways I handle post competition everything.  Recently on Face book I was asked how I handle post competition "rebound".  As far as I know the rebound that is being referred to is the weight gain that is put on immediately once more caloric food is introduced after depleting and consuming very minimal calories all the way up to a show.  That process which usually takes months, has the body in a state of practically starvation.  Then when a  surge of calories, sodium and water is reintroduced, the body is quick to hold on to everything, as a means of survival and protection.  The body doesn't know when the next time it will be fed this much.   I am not going to get into the technical aspect because it is always debatable, and there are so many free resources that experts discuss these topics.  Google is your friend!

What I got from the question was more along the lines of how do I deal mentally with my body getting fuller and how am I affected by the immediate physical changes mentally.  First, I know it coming.  And second, I know when to pull it back in, and get back on track with my training and nutrition.  And that happens to exactly what I am going through right now.

Here is my plan.  I give myself a break for 3-4 days, and usually the most calories I consume are actually at the airport.  I come home right after I compete and that is the time I eat some junk, plus most airport food  is not good for you anyway.  Returning home from Spain, my options were even more limited.  There were baguettes with a single  thin slice of really fatty ham or salami.  Some tiny fruit juices, and pastries.  The last stop on my quest for food there happen to be a lone chocolate doughnut.  The afternoon was quickly approaching and nearly all of the sweets were gone.  You know I grabbed that doughnut!  I think it was the only doughnut I have had all year, those are so bad for you!  So I had it and I am glad it was only one.  Once you know just what donuts do the body, they lose the appeal for me anyway they have.

Fast forward to being on the plane, the person before me got the last meal that contained meat.  I normally buy at least a few balance bars and eat those as a meal in a real pinch, but those were not available in Spain.  So it was a little rough, but I certainly didn't stress about it.  My plan of action was to get home, get the house restocked with the same food I was eating before I left, and to just start over.  So yes, I did retain water, but it is balancing back out by today.  I found an all inclusive 7 day cleanse for the colon, liver, skin, blood, lungs, stomach, toxins, kidneys and it also kills any potential parasites.

I had so much to do I didn't get back into the gym until last night.  Not training kills me, so  I did a nice long upper body workout.  And I hit it hard and heavy and boy it felt good!  Tonight,  I will do a pretty extensive lower body routine, and some cardio after.  I am charging my I touch as we speak.  So those types of actions such as giving yourself only a few days off, but then jump back in is my best advice to the person who asked the question.

The chemicals released also make you feel good should you feel a bit low.  There is a "fall off" period which I am in now, that leaves you feeling like "now what".  So you make plans, set schedules, goals, photo shoots, weigh ins anything that keeps you accountable.  And it is imperative to stick to a program while keeping the calories somewhere around where you were at about 4 weeks out.  More but nothing crazy, so the metabolism can adjust little by little after the "bender".

There is a little "airport" leeway, but now much.  Once those muscles, liver and blood's storage of glycogen  is full, that is when fat begins getting stored for later use.

That's is it for me today.  Back on track, and ready to work!

I'll check back in soon!

Here is a picture from Spain from the show.  Really very kind people, I really enjoyed my time there.

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Marlies D from Coquitlam, BC
Hi Ava, congrats on your Arnold competition. I would like to know what you eat/drink 2-3 days prior to the competition? I will be competing in my first Figure comp in 3 weeks and 1 day!! Thanks Marlies
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