The Saga of a Week 6 Slacker
6 Weeks until my next competition. Here’s my progress picture:
Show prep is going well and I’m enjoying the process because it feels like I’m getting back to normal. (Eat clean six times per day, strength train 4x week, do a ton of cardio, etc.) Over the course of doing all these competitions I’ve discovered something about myself: If I’m going to slack off it’s going to happen around week 6. For your reference, here’s what happened another time during week 6 of my show prep for the Arnold: I Skipped Cardio.
Robin (my trainer) has noticed this quirky week 6 slacker trend of mine too (this is the third show he’s worked with me on). This is what Robin looks like normally:
He’s been getting on my case for not pushing myself hard enough, but in fairness to me, he keeps setting the bar higher.
Let me give you a little backstory here. Ask any bodybuilder what their weight is and they will give you two numbers, their off season weight (mine is 118-121 lbs.) and their show weight (mine is 100-110 lbs.). During show prep (the 12 weeks leading up to a competition) the bodybuilder will slowly lose weight from their off season number to their show day number by changing up their macronutrients and increasing their exercise schedule. You don’t want to go crazy during the off season, eating junk and gaining an extra 15 lbs. because if you do that, you have to work that much harder to get in shape and your show prep diet will be miserable (I speak from experience.)
I’m one of those emotional eater types, so I gained weight after my mom died in May and it took me about two months to work it off in time for my pole fitness competition (’cause who wants to lift an extra 10 lbs. up a pole when you don’t have to?) Anyway, after the competition Robin set a limit – I wasn’t allowed to let my weight get above 121 lbs. for the rest of show prep.
This was a totally reasonable limit, so reasonable in fact, that I managed to drop to 119 lbs. Did Robin clap? Or cheer? Ha!
“OK, your new bar is to not go above 115 lbs.” Whaaaaa?
The thing is I’ve been stuck at 119 for two weeks now, so he called me out on it (among other things) yesterday. This is what Robin looks like when he’s pissed off:
“Did you do your back and shoulder workout and cardio on Monday?”
“Just cardio in my garage. Rylee had strep throat, so I stayed home from the gym.”
“What about the dumbbells in your garage? Did you use those?”
“Uh, no?” (I could have mentioned that I was really tired and went to bed early, but he was in a bad mood, so I stuck with short answers rather than totally valid
“You’re six weeks out, you can’t skip workouts.”
“And 119 is not 115.”
“I know, I’m trying…”
“Yeah, I know you know,” he said curtly cutting me off. “So stop “trying” and reach your goal.”
We go to the dumbbell area to do seated shoulder presses. He lifts up 10 lb. weights. “You probably lift these on your own.” He puts them down shaking his head and hands me the 20 lb. ones instead. I could try to lie here, and be like, “No! I totally lift the heavy weights on my own!” but who am I kidding? It’s week 6, I’m a really bad liar, and I’m already smirking a bit for being busted.
I start lifting. You know two 20 lb. weights actually equals 40 lbs. and that’s really heavy? And you know how I have my odd little quirk about slacking off around week 6? Well Robin has a little quirk about not knowing how to count. Like he’ll tell me to lift 12 reps and then when I get to 12 he’ll say, “3 more” and I’ll do 3 and then he’ll say, “5 more” and 12+3+5 = 20 reps and not 12. And when I try to be helpful and point out his lack of mathematical skills the 12 reps tend to magically turn into 30 reps, so we just both pretend like he’s good at math.
“Are you sure you’re focused on this competition? ‘Cause now that you’ve had a taste of victory you’re not going to be happy unless you come home with a trophy.” (I won 3rd place at my last competition.)
I was going to say ‘I know’ but decided against it, because God knows how many ’12 reps’ would really equal if I did. “I like show prep. It’s calming. I’ll be ready. When I tried on my bikini and heels the other day for progress pictures I felt really good.” He pulled the cables back up, which made me happy because they were really difficult to pull and I had no idea how many reps I did at that point.
“I don’t want you to feel really good. I want to you to feel great when you have your posing suit on. So what are you going to do today to get back on track?”
I had to think for a beat. “I’ll do my food prep for the week. Tilapia and asparagus works for me. I’ll reach my goal.”
How about you? If you’ve been slacking a bit like me, what are you going to do today to get yourself back on track?”
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two. Her book, “She’s Losing It!” is available at Amazon.com.
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