Peak Week Advice with Melissa Bumstead

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One of Canada’s best homegrown talents, Melissa Bumstead reveals all she’s learnt from consistently coming into shows in unbelievable shape and peaking at the right time come contest day.

1) Best advice for peak week?

Ideally, you should be ready before peak week begins so no crazy changes should be going on here.  You don’t want to start throwing in changes when you’re 1 week out and all of a sudden you look worse or your cortisol levels spike.

Let’s be serious: no one is going to lose a serious amount of fat in one week so peak week focus is more about water and carb manipulation to make sure on show day you are at your best.

Keep your stress low! Whatever that means for you. If that means spending time alone, do it. If that means surrounding yourself with the people in your life that make you feel good, do it.  

A lot of my peak weeks start with a visit to my parents place on the water to just reset and recharge and get some good love from mama.

I like to spend peak week pampering myself: hair, nails, facial, massage, things that make me feel good and are relaxing.

After that, just trust that you’ve already done the work and that you and your coach have ensured you are ready to rock that stage.

2) What stage out should you start your prep?

For me personally, I have never started a prep later than 20 weeks out. I have started 10 pounds away from stage weight and 30 pounds away from stage weight.  

In any case I would rather more time than less. This also allows room for more refeeds and a slower reduction in calories, which I find, works way better for me mentally as well as physically.

3) What key strategies do you use to give you/clients an edge on the competition?

Don’t rush anything! Don’t rush fat loss, don’t rush growth, and don’t rush success. This is only going to prevent you from living in the moment and actually enjoying the present.

Good things also take time.  

Think long term, especially if competing is something you want to do for a while.  

It is also healthier to lose or gain weight at slower rates and more maintainable when we do so.

Remember we are choosing to compete and are lucky to get to do so, so don’t take anything for granted!  Don’t even take the struggle for granted! When you’re hungry and tired prep is probably working.

Lastly, and most importantly, keep your health as your top priority.  I truly believe if you’re healthy you will feel good and from there you will look good.

Everyday I take my Project AD Grazed and Fiber+, along with Project AD Heart+ and Liver+ along with my other vitamins.  

Eat whole, healthy foods that fuel your body and make you feel good!


The saying “health is your greatest wealth” is especially true for those of us who take the gruelling journey to the stage. Take Melissa’s advice seriously and ensure the full AD Wellness range is part of your arsenal as you rock the stage.

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