Over the past 2 weekends I competed at INBA Sydney Superbodies and INBA Brisbane Classic. Even though I had competed last year in Season B, no prep is ever the same and each one brings its own challenges…

It was 6 weeks to go until INBA NSW Super Bodies and I had decided to go separate ways with my coach. He had been looking after my diet and training for the previous 5 months and in that time I had learnt a lot in comparison to my prep for season B. An accumulation of a few factors was just not sitting right with me, so my biggest learning curve of all…. Is always trust your gut.

Unfortunately, I was left in a position of now being stuck between a bit of rock and a hard place. I couldn’t engage with a new coach at 6 weeks out, as generally you need to be working with a coach for around 16-20 weeks prior to a comp, to ensure they can understand your body and what needs to be achieved, but I didn’t want to give up as I’m not that type of person though most importantly I wanted to also set a good example to each and every one of my clients. So I decided to undertake my own fat loss phase; where I set out a plan of attack with my nutrition, training and body requirements over the next 6 weeks based on my own knowledge and previous comp prep experience.

Rather than using a super strict “clean eating” approach, I took upon a more flexible approach to my nutrition and did IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). Which allows you to still eat the foods that you enjoy and be able to attend social events, as long as you plan ahead and make the foods I was eating fit into my daily calorie and macronutrient goals. I found this to be a much better approach for both my mental and emotion state and was actually able to fit a Grill’d Burger into my macros a week out from my comps! Thank gosh it fits!

During my last prep, I found that sleep and stress were two huge issues for me so I made sure I placed extra emphasis on these factors. Sleep and stress go hand in hand, why you may ask? If you’re not getting enough sleep your body starts to release more cortisol, which has a number of negative affects on the body two being loss of muscle and body fat retention, especially on the lower abdominals. By supplementing these two issues using ATP CortX (helps to lower cortisol levels) and Poliquin Uber Inositol T (concentrated magnesium which helps with sleeping, anxiety, or mood issues), I found they were managed a lot better and as a result was able to reduce body fat in my stubborn area, the lower abdominals.

Even though I had developed a methodical plan and was mindful of what adverse effect these stressing factors would have to my body, it’s hard not to have a ‘HOLY Freaking SH*T am I going to be ready moment on multiple occasions?!’
Everyday life and running your own business are also additional factors that come into play which has heightened the importance and emphasis that I now accommodate into my client’s regimes also.

Comp prep is another level of stressfulness, as you have an extremely tight timeframe to events and when you are emotionally invested to meeting that strict deadline and requiring to possess particular aesthetical features then it is all human to allow those doubts creep in. In the end, I achieved the desired result and came in at below 7% body fat and placed at both competitions! There is also a factor of uncertainty associated with these types of competitions that all competitors go in and should always keep at the forefront of their mind. It is a judge’s decision and their personal opinion of your package that is brought to stage on that day. Sometimes you may not have enough shoulders, enough oblique striations to their particular liking which is where the difficulty and most times disappointment lies in these events.

In reflection would I prep myself again, I doubt it. Having a coach helps to take away the above mentioned stress as they are a third party prescribing what is best for you to achieve the desired outcome of being stage ready! It is also important to have additional goals after comp! Having performance, professional and personal based goals has allowed me to positively jump back into post comp life with more focus and determination then ever! Having even more knowledge and understanding gained from this experience has allowed me to grow as person, businessman and coach. The remainder of the year is full of professional development, courses, charity events, enjoying an array of training methods/regimes and some big results to come from the FITA-U community!

Left: 4th place in Men’s Fitness Model Open at INBA NSW Superbodies.
Right: 5th place in Men’s Fitness Model Open at INBA QLD Brisbane Classic.

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