MARIE ALLEGRO - "You Are Stronger Than You Think"
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Competition Perspective…Under your control or not so much? Pt 3
How to get perky glutes!
Competition Perspective…Under your control or not so much? Pt 2 Why are you competing?
Competition Perspective…Under your control or not so much?
Congratulations…You just did your 1st fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 5

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Stronger Than You Think

March 2013

Congratulations…You just did your 1st fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 3

 
Return toregular eating habits
 
After about 16 weeks of deprivation from your favorite foods (hamburgers/ice cream/chocolate…) the first thing you want to do after stepping off the competition stage is devour anything in your sights.  But is that the smartest thing to do? 
 
Speaking from experience, I understand nothing would make you feel better than a huge plate of fries or a bowl of ice cream.  However, after weeks of dieting your metabolism has slowed down and the water depletion the last few days before your competition can cause your body to go off course.  You will need to slowly add back regular food and water into your eating habits to avoid your body from bloating.
 
Here are some thingsthat worked for me and my clients.  Slowly add back the following:
 
·Water - As you depleted water out of your diet for the last three days before your competition, your body is craving it and will soak it up as quickly as you drink it.  To avoid your body from swelling up, I suggest the following:  
1) Slowly drink about 1 quart of water once you step off stage.  Stay with about a quart for a few days.                
2)  After about 5 days, add another 4 – 6 ozs every couple of days.      3) After 10 days, you should be back close to ½ gallon of water.  If your normal intake is higher than ½ gallon then you should be back to it about 2 weeks.
·Sodium – Though the RDA recommends no more than 2400 mg a day, your body has been deprived of sodium the last few days before your competition.  To avoid your body from swelling up with the addition of water and sodium, I suggest slowly add about a few 100 milligrams of sodium every 2-4 days after your competition until you reached your usual intake. 
·Carbohydrates - Just like water and sodium, the last few days of “carb depletion” before your competition (except for the loading up phase), your body is craving for carbs.  This is another aspect of your food intake that needs to be slowly added back into your diet.  To avoid bloat, if your contest prep had your carb intake about 25 – 75 grams a day, I would suggest the following:
1)Increasing your intake to 100 grams a day for about a week. 
2)After about 7-10 days, increase to 150 grams of carbs a day. 
3) You should be back to your regular intake of carbs in about 2 weeks. 
·Calories– If this is your 1 competition, I recommend working with a nutrition coach with experience with this type of preparation.  Your nutrition coach should have a pre-contest plan and post- contest plan as well.  If your diet consisted of 1200k, your nutrition coach should have a plan ready for you to slowly to add a few hundred calories every few days once your competition(s) are over.  I had my clients add about 100 calories every 3-4 days.  If my clients’ caloric intake was about 2000 calories prior to contest dieting, I would have them back to that amount in about 2 weeks.
·Sugar/desserts/yummystuff – This should be a no brainer.  One serving, once a week…
 
This is the third post in the series “Now What?”  If you missed my previous post, check here.   Check back soon for my next installment… Avoid body dysmorphia and depression.  If you have any questions on this topic or any other questions, please contact me at marie@marieallegro.com.
 
* Please be awarethat I am NOT a registered dietician.  All the above suggestions are strictly from my clients’ and my ownexperiences.  

Congratulations…You just did your 1st fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 2

How to adjustback to a less hectic workout schedule
 
As soon as you wake up the Monday after your show, you realize you don’t need to hit the 1st of 2 cardio sessions a day anymore.  You also realize you don’t have to train 6 days a week of weights and cardio at an hour a clip each.  Wow!  Almost three hours are given back to you. 
 
How do you adjust your workout to a less hectic schedule?  After you take two weeks off from the gym,  for a few weeks:
  ·Go back to one cardio session a day at 30-45 minutes 4-5X per week
  ·Choose a less impact cardio to give your joints abreak
  ·Do a total body conditioning program 2 – 3X perweek
  ·Choose lighter weights for your total body conditioning program
After 6- 8 weeks working out with this suggested program, go back to your regular weight training program.  Whether it is a 3 days on and 1 day off or 2 days on and 1 day off program, your body should be rested enough to go back to hitting it hard.  You should also have gotten feedback from the judges and start working on the body parts that need improvement.
 
If you are working with a trainer/coach, you should start a new plan for the upcoming shows/year within a month.  After a month of not thinking about competitions because I want my clients to just breathe a second, we hit the ground with a new plan. "Failing to plan is planning to fail".  Something to think about when prepping for a competition!
 
This is the second post in the series “Now What?” If you missed the 1st post in this series, go here to read it now.  Check back soon for my next installment…Return back to regular eating habits. 
 
If you have any questions on this topic or any other questions, please contact me at marie@marieallegro.com.

Congratulations…You just did your 1st fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 1

You just stepped off stage of your 1st competition.  You dieted, trained, posed and walked for the last 16 weeks (or more).  You scarf down your 1st hamburger, milk shake or whatever you have been coveting the last few months. Now you realize that you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn on Monday morning to hit your cardio or weights.  Thank God!  What a relief!  Or is it? Over the years, as a competitor and coach for several competitors, the following is what I have experienced and found helpful to return to a less hectic schedule.  Over the next several posts, I will be sharing steps to:
  1. Adjust back to a less hectic workout schedule
  2. Return to regular eating habits
  3. Avoid body dysmorphia and depression
  4. Rekindle relationships
 
After 22 years of dieting and training for competitions, I experienced many episodes of up and down moments of self doubt, depression and body image issues.   After putting everything into perspective, I have come to realize that I am okay!  With the information that I will share, I want to help you avoid the pitfalls that I have experienced.
 
This is the 1st post of this series.  Check back soon for more information in regards to topics mentioned above.  If you have any questions on these topics, please contact me at marie@marieallegro.com.    
 
 
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