Five ways to prepare for a competition

1.Get a coach or follow a generic program If you are serious about competing and want to do your absolute best get on a program that you believe will help to get the results you wish for. Pick one that suits you, there is no point following an elite program if you are only just starting and haven’t mastered all the movements. Pick the right scale for your level. Always start with the basics and build up towards more complicated movements. There are heaps of different online programs that you can get for free. It will work if you put in the work.  For a more tailored program whether it’s developing strength, gymnastic skills or more cardio based, etc. Find a coach who will program for your individual needs.  Finding the right coach isn’t always that easy, it needs to be someone you trust and can rely on no matter what. Feel comfortable talking to him/her. Share your goals and set up a plan together.  2.Sort out food intake / weight months before the comp  Food during training:  Always eat to perform! Meaning if you need to lose a few kgs then make sure you do it progressively months before the competition. Don’t start a crazy diet 2 weeks before competing. You want to feel energised for training and fueled to recover from hard sessions.  Tips to get your nutrition on point: 
  1. Track your food use an app like MyFitnessPal
  2. Adjust your macros to the volume of training
  3. Eat Whole Foods as much as possible
  4. Don’t under eat 
  5. When on a diet to lose weight aim for a 300 kcal deficit/day 
The week before a competition make sure you're eating enough even when training volume is down. You don’t want to be depleted of energy before entering a competition.  During competition: 
  • Prep food day before competing 
  • Prioritise carbs and protein during the competition. 
  • Don’t try anything new - stick to what you know
  • Always have water with you, don’t get dehydrated! You should never feel thirsty! 
After the competition:  If it’s a multiple day competition then make sure you get your fats in during your dinner. Have a big meal to make up for the deficit you were in during the day.  3.Sleep / recovery  If you’re not sleeping minimum 8 hours than chances are you won’t recover or perform your absolute best. What ever you do make sure you're sleeping 8-12 hours in the weeks leading up to the competition.  The night before it can be nerves that will keep you up at night, don’t stress about this too much you will have enough adrenaline on the day. If you had your hours of sleep and food in order when training you will be ready to compete no matter what happened the night before. How to sleep and recover better: 
  • Don’t go to bed hungry, eat carbs before bed
  • Sleep in a cold / pitch black room 
  • Go to bed early 
  • Have earplugs if you travel 
4.Enjoy the process / training towards the competition Although the competition is the end goal it’s important to be in the moment with training and enjoy the process.  5.Listen to your body  “Listen to your body” means:
  • If you feel a niggle come up, don’t let it linger in the hope it will go away by it self
  • Didn’t get good sleep last night, take it easy during training and don’t beat yourself up about it 
  • Have rest days that are actually rest days. Stay away from the gym during this day
  • Feel sick? Add an extra rest day and take it easy for a couple of days 
  • Feel really good, don’t over do it. More isn’t always better. 
By; Carmen Bosmans, Performance Coach