I can hardly believe that there are only 3 weeks until the BIG show—the 2012 Bikini Olympia. Prep is going great—but, as always, the 3 – 4 weeks out mark is the most challenging. It’s at this point that I start feeling the collective impact of my training and the diet, as I have less energy, my joints are achy and I start getting clumsy (I have a few sweet bruises to prove it...lol). However, it’s not my first rodeo, so I anticipate this and make sure to do the following:
1. Have A Positive Focus. I know things will get tough during this timeframe, so I just accept it and try not focus on it too much. If you hyper-focus on things that aren’t ideal, you can become seriously cranky as well as a major drag to be around. So, whenever I feel myself starting to whine about being tired, etc., I remind myself of how grateful I am to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympia and of all the positive progress I am making. It’s amazing how the content of the conversations we have with ourselves and others can either generate energy and joy or suffocate it.
2. Rest More. To help combat the exhaustion during these final weeks, I make sure to rest whenever I can. I try to get in bed earlier each night and decrease my weekend commitments. In fact, I love to squeeze in a weekend nap on the couch with my fur kids.
I honestly think rest/sleep is one of the best things you can do to decrease the number of tough prep days and increase the number of fabulous ones. AND…with more rest comes fewer clumsy run-ins with gym equipment. Thus, fewer tubes of arnica gel are needed to help heal the resulting bruises. Sigh.
3. Consistently Stretch. While in the heat of prep, I am constantly looking for non-essential things to cut back on to make more time for training, cardio, endless grocery shopping and rest. However, stretching is not one of them. I used to rush out of the gym and skip it, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s the only way to keep my joints feeling good and my body recovering rapidly. In addition to typical stretching, I use the foam roller daily focusing on my lower body (especially those IT bands) and back. I also take an Omega blend, glucosamine/chondroitin, glutamine and BCAAs (Aminolast) to support my joints and recovery.
4. Surround Myself with Happiness & Love. This one is pretty simple. During this time, I am really deliberate with how I spend my time. While it’s not always possible, I try to invest my time in people and things that generate positive energy. I find quiet time to read uplifting things, train with my best girlfriends and hubby, interact with my coaches and talk to family daily.
For more reflections and information about my prep for the Bikini Olympia, check out my Bodybuilding.com interview.
P.S. While the 3 - 4 week out mark is always the most challenging for me, I can definitely say that Detonate has taken the edge off a bit giving me a boost in energy, quieting my appetite and supporting my mood. Love it.
Until next time – keep pushing toward your best!
IFBB Bikini Pro
WIN THE DAY™ at FitnessRx for Women
Jaime Baird can be contacted for appearances throughwww.fmg-fitnessmanagementgroup.com