The Importance of “Off” season
The Importance of “Off” season
If you’re reading this, then there’s a fair chance you’re every bit as obsessed with exercise and fitness as I am.
And, That’s not really a bad thing most of the time. It means you’re probably quite healthy. But it also means that sometimes things are going to get tough. And these tough times are almost always going to come immediately after some of your greatest moments.
WHY? Because life is like that. Every peak must be followed by a valley, or it wasn’t TRULY a peak.
Back in the day, before year-round competition, athletes had this thing called the off-season. They would finish their last game or event of the season, then take a while off to let the body rejuvenate.
“The longer the event, the longer the recovery needs to be.”
The Post-Competition Plummet
Training is a little like being given immunization. You are given a small dose of the disease so you can build up a resistance to it. But then, if your training is well planned, you’ll be given a slightly larger dose and be forced to recover from that. And this goes on and on, with you receiving bigger and bigger doses until you find yourself at the start line of something that scares the crap out of you.
Side Note: If Your Goals Don’t Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough
That thing that scares the crap out of you is a good thing. Challenge builds strength, both of body and mind. But that big challenge is going to leave you feeling flat afterwards. The reason why is pretty simple. As you get close to the event, the body masks all the fatigue from training with pure adrenaline. Day after day, your body goes to the well and draws more out so you can keep pushing forward. But once it’s all over and your body doesn’t need to do that? Boom. Flat on your face.
The Importance of “off” Season
What we usually see when someone finishes a show is they go out and have a nice cheat meal with family and friends, which is fine and I actually encourage it. Then Sunday comes and there’s breakfast and a few more meals off the plan, which is fine as well. The problem people run into is they actually go WAY off the deep end and eat way past being comfortably full, and they continue this eating into the week after the show and beyond. Once you fill the muscles up after a few big meals you will quickly start to spill over into the fat cell. I have seen people (myself included) put on 20 lbs in the week after the show, never to get it off until finally we’re forced to diet again when we really should be focused on making improvements at this time. the reason this happens is becuase most of us have a metabolism that is slowed down from dieting and it cannot process that amount of calories that quickly so it stores a lot of the cals as fat at an alarming rate.
This is why Reverse Dieting works and works well. It’s important because it will 1. Restore a slowed metab, and restore the metabolic capacity to diet for a show again 2. Fill the muscles back out and after contest dieting making for a much more appealing physique (which mentally is a nice boost when you are not aiming for a show but you really like the way you are looking- lean and full) and 3. Keep you lean in the offseason so you don’t have to diet so long and hard next time. It’s the situation all competitors should strive to be in- leaner in offseason (within 20 lbs of stage weight), metabolism fired up on higher calories to support the next prep, and a nice off season of lean growth.
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