Posted By Brad Rowe on October 10, 2018
IFBB Pro Brad Rowe outlines the key factors that contribute to a successful contest prep and how to be in your best condition on stage.
The Importance of the Off-Season
One of the biggest overlooked factors in a successful prep, is a successful offseason!
As a prep coach, I absolutely hate having to take on a client with less than 10 weeks to go. It takes time to get to learn an athletes body. But more importantly, you have no idea what the athlete was truly doing in the months leading into it.
There is a fine balance with a productive offseason. You want to utilize that time to build tissue. In order to do so, you must be in a caloric surplus.
I myself have always teetered on the edge of being too lean/not eating enough to be productive. Not only do you inhibit putting on tissue, but you are already at a lower caloric intake and probably doing a decent amount of cardio which makes it hard to pull more calories and add more cardio without chewing up that hard-earned tissue and stressing the body to a point that metabolism becomes shunted do to stress response.
Now, on the other hand, the “eat whatever you want and do no cardio” approach is not beneficial at all either. Not only is it a huge hit on health to carry excessive body fat and un-needed weight.
But you are now at such a high bodyfat that you have to really cut calories and push cardio that you are more likely to chew up hard-earned tissue and suppress metabolism.
Not only that but you are typically going to kill insulin sensitivity which inhibits your bodies ability to shuttle blood glucose, making fat loss harder and risk of diabetes and heart disease higher.
So as you can see, truly a successful prep has a lot to do with how successful your offseason is and how rested you are!
Being run down going into prep (not getting enough sleep, overtraining) are also detrimental to a successful prep.