The Art of War

Create the perfect game plan for competition.


Creating your competitive strategy is somewhat similar to the military carefully calculating and planning a battle strategy necessary to win a war. Although the objective seems easy enough— kick your enemy’s ass and win—soldiers cannot just go in, start fighting, and try to figure out what comes next as they go along. Developing the perfect strategy means everything; it means the difference between winning and losing.

Making the transition from off-season to contest dieting, in many ways, is the same. You are going to war with your body and with your competition, and getting to the competition stage seems simple. You know that at some point in time, usually around three to four months out of a show, you start your diet, so it’s automatic, right? Unfortunately, this is where many competitors lose ground from the get-go, as the conversion is far from being as simple as flipping a switch and telling your brain it’s time to shift gears and go directly into diet mode. Most competitors have a diet or a list of foods that they know are needed to strip away fat and hold onto muscle, and they have a schedule of set eating times, but for many, that’s where the plan ends. Knowing how to properly plan your contest strategy in terms of diet, cardio, and making necessary adjustments to meet the demands of your ever-changing physique can certainly make or break your entire contest prep process.

For most, the first two to three weeks of contest preparation are also the most crucial in terms of learning how your body will respond to the plan as well as the most important for identifying the types of changes you will need to make to your program in order to achieve the desired results. Obviously, the diet is what everyone places the most importance on when preparing for a competition, however, diet alone doesn’t win the competition. Knowing how long to diet, when to change up your diet, how much and what kind of cardio to do are just a few of the variables in creating a well-rounded and winning contest prep. Here I will outline the necessary steps needed to smoothly transition from off-season mode to contest prep and how to fill in all the gaps in between the beginning of the diet to the day you step onstage. With proper planning and preparation, you will always be your very best onstage and capable of winning any competition war!

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