Updated: Apr 17, 2020
It's been a while since my last Newsletter and the world is a very different place but there is no need to pack it all in. Here is what I have done to keep myself on track and focused for the next 12+ months...
My new goals
The other day I sat down and worked out my new goals for 2020-2021 as they have somewhat shifted due to this lockdown. My long term goal remains unchanged and that is to compete (in 13 months) in the ICN All Female Classic here is Melbourne.
But how I am going to get there now has somewhat changed. Pulling out of my show in May this year has given me the opportunity to focus on building more lean muscle in my off season and then come back next year with the vision to compete in a new division for me (Fitness) and also stay in the Sports Model division (as I did well in that category last comp). The criteria of competing in the fitness division is generally the entrant can look harder (in terms of muscle definition and is allowed to have a six pack showing). The judges have recommended that I work towards entering myself into both the Sports Model and Fitness divisions for my next comp.
This is excellent feedback as it gives me something to focus on and work towards over the next 13 months. As we are in lockdown, my goal of building more lean muscle is going to take a lot more time than I first anticipated due to the lack of weights I have available but I am confident that I will get there in the end. Yes you can still build muscle with next to no weights it just takes a longer period of time. It takes slowing down the different movement patterns and focusing on holding and squeezing the exercises in the right places to increase fatigue and progression overload.
In these uncertain times (which may go on for a while now), you need to get creative and learn to adapt with what you have available.
So my short term goal is to work on getting out of my recovery diet (post my comp). After I finished my last show my calories went from 1500 – 1900 (400 calorie increase) straight after my show.
The reason my coach decided to put me on a recovery diet as opposed to a slow reverse diet is to make sure my metabolism didn’t adapt and to get me out of a calorie deficit quicker so I could get back to a healthier state both physiologically & psychologically. This also allows me to start my off-season progress straight away. I can begin to work on optimising the opportunities to gain more lean body mass & make progress now rather than later (note: if I was doing a slow reverse diet, this can take up to 12 weeks +++).
I must say even though I had a big increase of calories right after my show, my weight gain has been very minimal (only about 1.5kgs). Please note: This is not the same for every athlete as everyone’s body adapts differently in this situation.
My recovery diet will typically last anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks in duration (post show) & initiates with a caloric surplus of 400-1000 kcals above my maintenance or until I have reached 5-10% above stage weight. This method also eliminates most of the excess cardio. Whereas in the reverse diet, cardio most likely still needs to be included to avoid and minimise fat gain.
So once I have finished with my recovery diet, I will just focus on going into a calorie surplus and putting on lean muscle. I will continue to train at home 5 days a week for as long as we have too and focus on progressive overload. I will keep my daily step count of around 10,000 steps per day.
Once lock down is over, it will be back to the gym to work on building back up my compound lifts which I haven’t been able to perform in however long.
I think it is really important (more than ever) to write down your new goals and lock them in. Make a commitment to yourself that are going to stick to them and make sure you make them happen.
For me, it is so important to continue with a coach to keep me accountable because let’s face it when are you working out at home it is very easy to check out. Having someone keeping me accountable is very important to me both mentally and physically.
I am very excited to have these new goals in place and get me back on track after the interesting week we all had last week. I have a new direction but I know in the end I will get to my end goal but just somewhat differently than what I had anticipated 2 – 3 weeks ago.
Stay safe everyone and if you have lost direction why don’t you work on writing down your new goals and want you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Then break them down into short and long term goals. It really does help!! Trust me..