30 Sep 2018 ICN NATIONALS – LESSONS AND EXPERIENCES OF HEALTH RELATED TO NATURAL PHYSIQUE COMPETITION
Health and its importance in bringing your best to the stage!
This entry I am going to give insight into my own personal experience with NATURAL PHYSIQUE PREPARATION FOR COMPETITION and HEALTH ROADBLOCKS
Over this long weekend my partner Elisha and myself competed in the natural ICN State Championships. It was their biggest show to date with a huge line up of competitors in numerous divisions.
I’ll explain the details of our preparation and the hurdles further down but this was also needed for myself as I have prepped many physique competitors, even been awarded for my work on numerous occasions but never actually did a competition myself……. that box is now ticked and I can fully understand the process.
Back to the prep!
So this Journey started 15 weeks ago. There were a couple of reasons for myself:
- As above for business and understanding
- Personal drive
- I NEEDED A GOAL WHILE I OVERCAME A HEALTH ROAD BLOCK
For Elisha in her own words:
” I am a shy individual that has put other first for a helping hand but this was something that I wanted to do for myself to achieve and set out for a healthier lifestyle and change mentally and physically. The preparation was a roller coaster of emotions mentally and physically but have come out stronger and made myself proud with the achievements of the preparation. This has opened the door for a dream to future competiting in different competitions and better way of life”
Now heres some backing on these health issues and progress:
- On the left I noticed I was never hungry, only eating once a day after work (I worked from 4.30-8.30pm at night…… Something was going on….. I am no intermittent faster
- My body composition slowly changed its LBM and Body Fat status…. even though I was still eating healthy and training
- I had zero energy, surviving off cortisol (Stress) and adrenaline to get through my coaching sessions.
- For elisha I was always aware there were some underlying health issues for herself, through preparation this became more noticeable
- Though doing the basics of dropping foods and increasing energy output her weight and progress would stall….. I knew something else was up. She had constant exhaustion and bloating. Through basic lab analysis I found cortisol (Stress) 3 x the normal limit through out the day! and also her HCL (Stomach acid) low… ROAD BLOCK FOUND.
For Elisha we decided to still do the preparation. I formulated the plan to target the symptoms, this involved specific supplementation, functional nutrition and food selection. Stress management was a key player as well. She was on anti biotics twice during the preparation – the start and 2 weeks out!
Notice I said TARGET THE SYMPTOMS… I was still convinced there was a cause… But we wouldn’t know until we did the proper testing and the stress was alleviated post competition.
She still did a phenomenal job even with these challenges: Placing 3rd and 4th (like me) out of 22 girls. Still losing 10kg of weight over the time and a big change in body composition.
This was out outcome of 15 weeks of preparation. I placed 3rd and 4th out of a huge lineup in the Mens Physique Category.
For myself and at the start of my preparation I had to get checked as my quality of life was de-grading. After some testing with my functional doctor we found that I actually had 2 INTESTINAL PARASITES! Both in my small intestine and large intestine…. Problem Found.
Basically my body was in PRO-INFLAMMATORY hence shutting down many systems due to the invaders. I have helped many people with intestinal issues so I was aware of the process that came.
Now doing a physique competition while fighting health issues is something I would not recommend (now that I have even experienced myself). The first half of my preparation I was on anti bionics, I still was never hungry even though food increased, which should of stimulated my hunger hormones.. so it was hard to gauge my metabolic rate and if the parasites had caused issues with my thyroid (a problem I am testing for this week). Food selection was limited as I had a low carb tolerance, which is not what you want for efficient muscle growth or energy and had to have specific supplements for health rather than performance.
Still mentally I had to complete this goal, I needed it on a personal level….. though physique competition RAISES STRESS when in reality we want to REDUCE STRESS to HEAL
Coming into the final week I was cleared of the parasites. Still the damage was done as my digestive system was not efficient, bloated and I felt “flat”. I was on low calories, training 2hrs a day x 7 days a week but still no hunger and just didn’t feel on point. Final “Peak Week” was hard to gauge as once again my carb load was limited, neurotransmitters cooked and still no gauge of metabolic rate…. I am suspect that I was still pro-inflammatory. Either way I competed and still mixed it with the top guys placing 3rd and 4th out of a field of 30. Not bad BUT I could of come in better which I will next season.
My Personal Lessons and Experiences:
- Any major health issue will be a major player in progressing for any body composition goals.
- Solving this Health Roadblock should be your number 1 priority if you WANT TO OPTIMIZE your body composition goals and have a easier prep mentally (Take it from experience)
- For all physique competition preparation with health issues: Get these sorted first outside preparation
Besides all above, this was a awesome experience as now I can relate to health issues in preparation. Both Elisha and myself still loved the process as it bring us closer and added some drive to push.
Physique Competition without these issues is hard. But I believe and have seen if you are healthy and leave a longer timeframe to prep for competition: 16-24 weeks depending on starting body composition and training age…. It can be a easier prep due to the fact of not having to go so aggressive and aiming to be in shape before the big day.
Whats next for both of us: We have a list of tests now to go through to get our health in check… But from today we are in preparation for Season A which is 5 months away. We will come in 100% better with these issues solved.
I am out. Sushi is waiting