It's officially peak week of my first WBFF show!
This past week has been the most challenging yet. Not so much physically, but moreso mentally and emotionally. As the date draws nearer, self doubt is increasing and to be quite honest, I was feeling pretty down about the way I looked for the majority of the week.
You always want the best possible outcome and we are our own worst critics. I may have set up slightly unrealistic expectations for myself as to how I would look on stage. Prep requires a hyper-focus on the way you look and that can be mentally exhausting as you start to hone in on every imperfection or area of improvement.
Some of it was physical and there are definitely areas that I wish I could improve upon, but a large majority of it was also mental. I am feeling a bit better entering this week and one of my main goals going into peak week is to work on talking myself up and owning my physique. Regardless of how I look or don't look, confidence speaks volumes and will be apparent on stage.
I will preface this by saying that I am in no way lean enough or hard enough to compete in many bodybuilding and physique federations out there, but the WBFF has a different standard than many other federations.
The reality of this prep is that I haven't changed drastically from beginning to end. That was sort of the point, though I am always striving to make steady and consistent improvements to my physique.
Throughout the entirety of my prep, I have only dropped about 200 calories (all of which I ended up adding back in as I was getting a bit too small). I have only increased my cardio by about one boxing session/wk and my workout frequency or intensity hasn't changed at all compared to prior to prep.
This sounds crazy for someone who is supposed to be on prep but the reality of the matter is that my prep hasn't been a matter of weeks or even months. I have been 'prepping' and working toward my current physique for YEARS on end with consistency and hard work.
I keep my nutrition in check (for the most part) year-round.
I train my ass of year-round.
I do my best to take good care of myself year-round.
I have found a way and a balance that allows me to maintain a physique that I am happy with and can continue to build upon year-round forever. This means that when I do want to dial it in a bit more, I don't have to do anything crazy or extreme.
At first, this is a hard concept for even me to grasp. I feel like if I want to prep or 'earn' a placing like all of the other beautiful women on stage, then I have to drastically increase workout intensity/frequency or implement a typical prep (restrictive and extremely low calorie) meal plan. But, I did none of this. I prepped in the gym for years before I ever decided to do this show and that is what is really going to allow me to showcase a physique I am proud of and feel good in on stage.
No, I didn't do a typical or restrictive prep for a number of weeks or months. I have been 'prepping' to bring about my current physique for years and years.
And here is what that physique looks like at one week out:
Weight: 115lb weekly average
Waist: 23 in
Hips: 35.25 in
The goal over the last few weeks was to fill out more. I dropped my calories too soon for this prep, which resulted in me looking too small and flat a little bit too far out from show and I wanted to correct that. I was successful in accomplishing as much fullness as possible without putting on any more body-fat, at the expense of losing a little bit of midsection definition. The goal for this week will be to keep stress levels low, keep workouts hard and consistent and keep my nutrition dialed in and stay on top of diligently hitting my macros (at maintenance or possibly the slightest bit of a deficit) to bring in a little bit more definition in the midsection again while maintaining this fullness.
I know from experience (with this prep and prior) that small changes can be made in just one short week at this level of body-fat so I am not overly worried about it.
Diet (for the past 2 weeks)
Upper Body Days (1-3x/wk): 40F/300C/160P
Lower Body Days (3x/wk): 40F/400C/160P
Rest Days (1-3x/wk): 40F/250C/160P
I was able to fill out a bit more with another week on these current macros, though I did incorporate more rest days over this past week which meant more days with the lower macros.
Mon: Full Leg Day
Tues: Full Upper Body Day
Weds: Rest Day
Thurs: Full Leg Day
Fri: Full Upper Body Day
Sat: Leg Day (Glute Focus)
Sun: Full Upper Body Day
Cardio: 12-15k steps/day.
I took the beginning of last week completely off from training and only aimed to hit 10-12k steps/day. This actually didn't feel very good WHILE I was doing it as I just wanted to train for the emotional release (prep feels were really getting to me), but I felt much better on Thursday when I did return to my normal training. I was stronger, got a better pump, and felt good leaving the gym again.
I plan to keep my nutrition and training almost exactly the same for this upcoming week with the exception of possibly slightly lowering carbs (by a matter of about 10-25 grams per day depending on how I am feeling and how much activity I got in that day) to maintain fullness while dialing in the waist.
My training will actually remain pretty high intensity this week as well.
Many people drop training completely or severely lower the intensity for peak week. I can't remember the last time a week off or a significant drop in training intensity resulted in me looking better by the end of the week and I KNOW I always look my best after a good week of training, so I will keep my training the same this week.
Keeping things as consistent as possible this week will help to keep my stress levels low, avoid any 'guesswork' about how I will respond to different things, and enable me to use the information I have been gathering along this 'prep' to come in with my best shape possible on show day.
Peak week water/carb/sodium intake:
I plan to do a pretty hard training day on Friday directly before the show (which is on Saturday at 5pm) along with a higher carb day (350-400 grams as usual for my more intense training days). On Saturday, I will assess how I am looking and maybe have some carbs in the morning, but I will consume light meals consisting of mostly protein for the remainder of the day. With having a high carb day prior to show day, my hope is to bring in muscles that are full, but not too spilled over. I am usually able to achieve this when I consume high carbs followed by a good sleep. I consistently look my best the mornings when I consume the majority of my carbs at night prior to bed (with the exception of my carb intake surrounding workouts).
I won't be cutting water at all for peak week, with the exception being that I will only sip water as needed on show day.
My sodium intake will also remain consistent throughout the week and I won't be trying to 'drop water' via diuretics, teas, water pills, etc.
The ONLY real difference I am making to my diet is that I will be completely cutting out all dairy and artificial sweeteners this week. These can sometimes cause a bit of distention at the midsection and/or digestion problems and even though I don't usually notice digestive upset with these things (which I happen to consume quite a bit of), I want to completely eliminate the risk.
3-5 grams creatine/day
Pre-workout: (most) lower body days only
1300mg Ashwagandha Root
A really important takeaway from this prep is that it didn't go perfectly. There were times when I got too small/flat, times when I overdid refeeds and 'spilled over', times when I was feeling confident with my physique, and times where I wanted to quit altogether because I didn't look the way I wanted to.
Despite all of the ups and downs, I didn't freak out or make any drastic or premature changes. I noted when changes needed to be made and adjusted accordingly.
Things won't always go perfectly, but nothing is un-fixable.
I will place a huge emphasis on posing this week, knowing that that is one of the most drastic things I can really change at this point. Other than that, it is what it is for the most part. There isn't really a lot I can do to build a ton of muscle or lose a ton of fat in one week, so I just have to own and be proud of what I have to show for my training and nutrition up to this point.
Wish me luck, and I will be back next week one last time with the results and some closing thoughts!