So it’s that time of year again when PREP is about to start!
You need to start dropping that extra fluff to reveal all your hard work and become a lean bean for the stage 🙂
YES, it involves 100% dedication, 100% discipline and all the will power you’ve got, but the most important thing to consider is ‘Am I doing what is right for me?’
Lots of people will be under the impression they have to follow the unwritten rules of ‘contest prep’ which quite frankly could be putting you at a disadvantage if its not right for you.
Below are some of the biggest myths of cutting which I just can’t handle people believing:
Strictly NO carbs in the evening:
Eating carbs in the evening does not make you store more fat! Its based on the suspicion that your metabolic rate slows down when you sleep so you will not be utilizing them throughout the night. This is only true if you are ‘overweight/obese’ which I am pretty sure most healthy athletes who consider fitness as their lifestyle wont be. Actually, our metabolic rate increases throughout the night. (Yipeee!)
Making sure you are both evenly distributing and hitting all your macros is actually the thing you should be worrying about.
No sauces or sweetener WHATSOVER
Oh god, this is not necessary…! Clearly don’t flood you meals with sauces or condiments, but seriously you don’t need to remove them completely. Some people prefer to, and that’s fine! But that doesn’t mean you HAVE TO. Just track them in your macros if you have them frequently. Fair enough, maybe the last week you should remove (because of salt levels) but its really not necessary throughout the whole prep.
So many people who start their prep think they have to do fasted cardio every morning. Again, this is simply not true. So the theory is that exercising fasted means your body utilizes more fat cells as energy. (Yes, if you’re doing very low level intensity, for longer than 90 minutes – Like we have time for that)
BUT if you’d rather complete a much shorter (30 minute) medium intensity workout, you will actually burn more kcal predominantly from fat cells in the period after workout, if you consume food beforehand! (impact of EPOC) This way you get short cardio sessions, and you get breakfast beforehand! There is no RIGHT or WRONG way, but I am just reassuring you , you don’t HAVE to do fasted cardio. Its a myth. I never do.
Low Carb Diets:
‘If you want to get lean, you need to go low carb’ This is not the law. Although it seems to be when people get advice to cut. Again, there is no right or wrong but you have to do what is right for you. If you like eating more fats, and having less carbs then this is fine. BUT there is also nothing wrong with following a higher carb, low fat diet. This is what I follow all the time on prep and I always successfully lean down. I actually find it helps hold onto more muscle because they get fed by my lovely carbs 🙂
Super low kcal diets and hours of cardio a day:
If this is what your plan is then girl…you need a new coach! If you want to successfully burn off all your muscle and months of hard work, then this is how you do it. You will end up unhealthy, exhausted and with no muscle left! Cortisol levels will be through the roof and you will turn ‘skinny fat’. You will also rebound very badly after the prep stops, which is not a healthy way to live.
You need to be in a kcal deficit (burn more than you consume), this doesn’t mean eating only 1000 kcal a day and doing 2 hours of cardio.
These are just a few of the most common things I hear all the time which people assume they have to do. Some of them may well be in your plan for your own reasons, and if they work for you then great! (Apart from my last point!) But please be assured, you do not have to follow ANY of these unwritten rules to have a successful cut.
We are all unique 🙂 Listen you your body and work with it.
Until next time,