As many of you know, if you follow me on other social medias (if you don’t- click here and follow me) i wanted to have this blog post up last night…however WordPress decided to delete the entire blog post when i was about 98% finished… Not a happy camper needless to say. But here we are again. Hopefully i can make this post as good as it was the first time, if not better. So take 2….
It has been a while since i have done a post for my Bikini Prep Series. I was trying to take some time to figure out what a helpful topic would be. This past weekend all my social medias were filled with countless competitors going through their show day experience. It is now competition season and a lot of individuals, myself included, are going to be competing in shows. Before they can step on that stage, they must go through weeks of meticulous dieting and training… How do you they know the end is in sight and show day is right around the corner? Two words… PEAK WEEK.
You may have heard the saying that Peak Week is “where the magic happens”. Ehh, i tend to disagree. At one week out from a show, aka peak week, you should be more or less “ready” for that stage. Peak week is not supposed to be a time to try to lose 5-10 lbs. It is not about losing fat. It is a time to relax, recover, and focus on feeling good about yourself so you are ready to step on stage. I want this post to give you an idea about what factors are sometimes manipulated during Peak Week such as diet, carbs, training, water, and sodium. This is not a “how to” in regards to manipulating these variables (that is what your coach is for). Which brings me to a very important point… When it comes to peak week, you need to LISTEN TO YOUR COACH. You have trusted them with your body, training, and nutrition thus far and now is not a time to deviate and try to change things yourself. Now, if your coach is trying to have you do something super drastic and crazy, obviously you need to question that. However, if you have a qualified coach, whom you trust, who’s bringing you into the show looking lean and mean, trust them.
With that being said, I’m going to give you a little bit of insight into why several variables may be manipulated as well as my experiences during peak week..Lets get started…
Carbohydrates. Yes, carbs. After weeks of dieting on low carbs, finally some carbohydrates are likely to be added back into your diet. Carbohydrates help to fill out your muscles so you don’t look “flat” on stage. More carbs means fuller muscles. However, this is a fine line to walk and isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you do not eat enough carbs, you may find yourself looking “flat” and “stringy” on stage.. Eat too many and you may find yourself looking “watery” or “soft”. The amount of carbohydrates you get to eat/not eat will depends on your body’s specific response. Not everyone gets to walk into the show eating 300g of carbs. There are many ways that carbs can be manipulated. Some coaches carb load in the beginning of the week, i.e. front loading, and then adjust according later in the week. Other coaches decrease carbs in the beginning of the week and add carbs back in later. My coach decreased carbs until Wednesday and gradually added them back in at the end of the week. Different protocols work best with different individuals.
Food Choices. This seems like a good time to mention the foods you are eating since i just mentioned those added carbohydrates. As many of you know, i followed IIFYM my entire prep. I ate what i wanted, when i wanted, you know, as long as it fit my macros. However, during peak week i did have more structure. My coach told me what foods to eat and i would take pictures after several of my meals. This allowed my coach to gauge how my body was reacting to certain foods.You want to be careful what foods you choose to eat. Now is not the time to try a food you haven’t eaten before. Often times, you will see dairy and artificial sweeteners eliminated. This is because (you should know this by now…depending on the individual) these foods may cause bloating. You will want to choose foods that you know will not cause you to bloat or cause other GI distress.
Water. Water is another variable that is often times manipulated during peak week. Excess water, in the body, can cover the muscles..which you do not want come show day. Not all competitors cut water. But, some individuals drink more water in the beginning of the week and taper down towards the end of the week. I was still drinking a gallon of water a day during peak week. I did cut back on water a little bit the day before and the day of show day. Personal preference.
Sodium. Excess sodium can lead to water retention and water retention, as i stated above, can cover up the muscles you want so desperately to show off. Some manipulations to sodium include having moderate sodium at the beginning of the week and decreasing towards the end of the week. but never eliminating sodium completely. During my past peak week, i tracked sodium just to make sure that my consumption was not excessive leading up to show day. It is not necessary to eliminate sodium completely from your diet.
Training. Training is also likely to change leading up to show day. In the beginning of the week, training is likely to be about the same as usual except using a wee bit lighter weight- about 80%. It is important to keep training during peak week because you want to keep glycogen inside of the muscle. However, if you are lifting too heavy it can leave you feeling sore and holding water- both of which you do not want. Towards the middle/end of the week, you typically see workouts become shorter with higher reps and lighter weight. Now, what about cardio? Cardio also decreases as peak week progresses. Adding in extra cardio, towards the end of the week, will deplete your muscles (which you do not want) and will result in you looking flat on stage. So pretty much the exact opposite of what you want. Typically, the last workout before show day is either Wednesday or Thursday. Again, depending on the individual.
As all these changes are going on with your diet and training, there is a lot of other things going on during Peak Week- especially for us females. From different appointments to last minute details-things CAN get hectic. Here are some of my tips for how to stay sane and RELAX during the home stretch.
My first tip would be if you are able to take off a week from work/school/etc, or even take some time off Wednesday through the weekend- DO IT. That will help to eliminate outside stress which i always find to be very beneficial during Peak Week. The less outside stress the better. If you aren’t spending your time focusing on those outside stressors you will be able to focus on the other to-do’s and appointments below:
- SLEEP. I am putting this one at the top of the list because it is that important. You want to make sure that you are well rested come show day. Take naps if you can. Get to bed early. Now, is not the time to stay up late. Your body needs rest for proper recovery and you will want to get those hours in so you wake up feeling fresh and ready to go come show day. Show day is longgggg so get those zzzz’s early in the week.
- Eye Brow Wax: i would recommend getting this done in the beginning of the week just in case of any irritation.
- Hair Appointment: I always opt for a hair cut and color during peak week. If you want extensions during this time, get it done. Whatever will make you feel sexy and confident on stage. I would not recommend going to a salon you have never been to before.. You don’t know how it will turn out and if it ends badly, you’ve got yourself a peak week melt down (lol been there done that). I also would not recommend changing anything drastically..stick with what you know looks good on you, that you know you can flaunt.
- Teeth Whitening. Not necessary but who doesn’t like pearly white teeth? I opt for at home whitening strips to help whiten my teeth for show day. The dark spray tan does help teeth appear whiter but i always like a little extra help. Personal preference on this one.
- Stuff Your Bikini Top. As the President of the IBTC, this is a must for me. If you haven’t done this prior to peak week, you definitely need to do it now. Stuff your bikini top with either pillow stuffing or rice, to give the illusion of tatas. Stuff it to your hearts content and play around with them…push the girls up and give yourself some cleavage. I would recommend wearing your suit top around the house so it gets used to the shape of your body. Now, if you have fake boobs (i am jealous) this excess level of stuffing isn’t exactly necessary for you.
- Shaving. If you are competing, you’ve probably heard that you have to shave your entire body. Yes, you are correct.. your ENTIRE body. This means your legs, your back, your booty, your chest, arms…you name it, you shave it. Now, what if you have fine blonde hair you ask? SHAVE IT. If you do not shave your entire body, the spray tan will stick to those little, fine hairs and will not absorb properly into your skin. You’ve been warned…this takes forever. Make sure you have lots of hot water and maybe a friend to help you reach those hard to reach places (lol). I would recommend doing this on Wednesday night so that you are able to do any touch ups on Thursday or early Friday morning. I would not recommend waiting until Friday because it is very time consuming and can leave your tan a funky color.
- Prepping Your Skin. Very very important. It is important that you prep your skin for your spray tan. This will allow for the spray tan to go on evenly. Your tan can make or break you on stage so don’t jeopardize your placing but not prepping your skin properly. Here’s how. A week out from your competition, or even two weeks, start exfoliating your skin. I used a basic scrub that i found at walmart for this. Make sure to get those areas where you have rough skin such as your knees, elbows, feet, and hands. This will help your tan go on evenly. Once you get out of the shower, moisturize. Your skin needs to be hydrated. You do not want dry skin come tanning time. Also, keep in mind that when you go to get tanned on Friday, you cannot wear deodorant or lotion. Lotion will cause the tan to not absorb into your skin. If you are wearing deodorant, your tan will turn green. Yes, green. You have been warned….
- Posing. You need to be practicing your posing this week. Practice, practice again, and practice some more. You cannot practice enough. Even if you think you have your routine down pat, keep practicing.
- Last Minute Shopping. This is inevitable at some point during peak week. You will need to go to Walmart and/or Tarjay for those last minute show day necessities. (I will be doing a separate BPS blog post on what to pack with you come show day..so keep a look out for that). If you’re lucky, your coach may tell you to pick out your favorite candy bar to have handy for before you walk on stage (carbohydrates help to fill out your muscles, remember?). My coach told me to pick my favorite up and what did i choose? Reese’s duh. I would recommend going Thursday or so after you have your Show Day Plan from your coach. This will save you from having to make multiple trips to the store.
- Confirm Appointments. If you are opting not to do your own hair, tan, or makeup, chances are you having someone else do it. Take the time to shoot them a text or email to confirm the date/time/location of your appointment. This will save you last minute stress of the unknown. This will also help you make sure all your ducks are in a row and you do in fact have tanning, hair, and makeup appointments lol.
And last but not least, RELAX. You have spent months being rigid with your diet and training and all the hard work is done. You are ready. Don’t doubt yourself. Be proud of yourself and all the handwork that you have accomplished. Prepping for a show is a win in itself. Enjoy the last push before show day and walk up on that stage with your head held high.
Hopefully this blog post gives you a little bit of insight into how to go about tackling Peak Week and all that it entails. Competitors, what tips do you have for peak week that i may have missed? Do you have any other questions about peak week that you would like answered? If yes, comment below.
Thanks for checking out my Bikini Prep Series and keep checking back for more,