Visions of Pancakes Dancing In My Mind
Thanks to the greatness that is the internet, I’ve enjoyed reading the contest prep training logs of fellow columnists for EliteFTS for years.
Between a mutual respect and understanding of what they go through, their years of experience, use of wildly different approaches to getting stage-ready, and being able to see what’s going on inside their head has proven to be a great learning experience for me.
From the a writer’s perspective, reading what is quite blatantly brain-dump after brain-dump, it’s made me envious.
I know how gratifying and enjoyable it can be to simply write.
Write without thinking much of structure.
Write without considering whether or not there’s tangible lessons.
Write from a liberated, unencumbered perspective with the intention of simply taking the thoughts in my head, and pouring them onto the page.
Which is exactly what I’m experimenting with when it comes to this particular piece.
There will be a “hard” contest prep update coming next week with the usual nitty-gritty on where my training, nutrition, cardio, supplements, and the like are all sitting. For today however, I simply want to write, and spill the thoughts in my head surrounding this prep.
It’s not all sunshine and roses
I’m gonna level with you here. Pep is at the point where things are getting tough. I wake up with legs feeling like what I imagine dragging around lead cinderblocks would be like. Still, I have to get my ass to the gym to spend 45-60 minutes on Sweaty Sally (my favourite spin bike). For two or three 2 to 4 hour periods throughout the day, I have to find the mental energy to buckle down and attend to my incredible clients, write, and handle anything else that comes my way.
Yet, I can’t complain. I’m twisted enough to enjoy this whole process, and nobody is forcing me to do this. I well aware of what competing entails, and there comes an odd sense of satisfaction on the first day that the “heavy legs” hits, or waking up and seeing a cut that wasn’t there the night before.
At the time I hit ‘publish’ on this, I’m sitting 4.5 weeks out from the big dance, and while I’m anxious to be doused in spray tan, sit around the night before watching Seinfeld while filling up on Uncles Ben’s rice, rice cakes and jam, now is the time where my tunnel vision truly sets in, and “Monk Mode” takes over.
All my energy is funnelled towards pushing through cardio, doing what I can to get a pump in the gym, ensuring my nutrition stays on point, and staying on top of my clients.
Case and point, my daily schedule as it stands right now is:
I’ll usually wake up around 730am, then dive into…
- Coffee + Work
- Food + Coffee + Work
- Train + Cardio
- Food + Die
- Food + Work
- Reading & Slumber
By “food” I’m mostly referring to salad at this point, and I aim to be in bed reading by 930-10pm. Glamorous, right?
I can’t speak for all competitors, but for me it’s much easier to block everything out, and focus solely on what I need to do in order to keep moving ahead – at least for these final weeks.
“Don’t you get hungry?”
Well, yeah. I mean, that’s 100% unavoidable, and hunger only heightens as the weeks go on. That said, it’s part of the process. If you can’t handle a little hunger and restriction, competing ain’t for you.
Not to mention that for as much as I love food, I’m able to flip a switch come prep. My goal is to not just *make* it to the stage this year. My goal is it win. That means food, cardio, training become tools to getting the job done.
Competing is a choice, and a privilege
One thing I try to catch myself on and do as little as possible is complain.
Complain about hunger, rock-bottom energy levels, awful gym sessions, or the inevitable brain fog. Not out of some stoic pride, but because competing is something I choose to do. The “problems” that come with doing so are all problems that I chose to have. In my eyes, that incinerates my right to complain about any of the negative side effects.
There’s visions of pancakes dancing in my mind
That being said, I do know exactly where I’m going for a pancake feast as soon as this mission is over. Which is another “weird” mindset shift that has now happened numerous times over this prep, and last. I pick up where habits, quirks, and start thinking of foods that I’ve never actively sought out before.
Last year it was bagels and cheesecake. This year it seems to be pancakes and doughnuts.
What I find a little “weird” part is that these aren’t cravings. I’m not thinking of them ‘round the clock. I don’t feel remotely close to breaking from my diet and burying myself in them. Rather, they’re simply the foods I want most when all is said and done.
Contest prep does weird things to your mind.
And so it is.
PS. 4 out of 5 lifters will let their rationalization hamster run wild. Convincing themselves they’re making progress…yet you build no muscle, and burn no fat. The 5th lifter joined the MASSthetics Clan and put the information within the (free) Hypertrophy Handbook to good use. He no longer has to rationalize his progress. It simply happens. Click here to become the 5th lifter, and let me know where to send the prestigious Hypertrophy Handbook.