Peak week is here!!! This is the final week before stepping on stage and I’ve found it to be both the easiest and hardest week of all. On one hand, I’ve put in all the hard work in the gym already (not putting any more mass at this point!) and I’m just cutting down and shedding water weight. However, the combination of the final cardio sessions and zero carbs makes even the simplest bodyweight exercise difficult, and I’m working really hard to muster some energy left over for posing practice and other final prep.
Here’s an article from Bodybuilding.com about peak week and water/sodium manipulation that’s worth a read if you’re interested in more information.
Final To Do’s
- Prep for tan – detailed instructions here (from Absolute Touch, the company I booked with) including exfoliating, moisturizing, shaving and not wearing deodorant!
- Print off registration form
- Go to Athlete’s Meeting the day beforehand
- Arrange timing for hair and makeup (carpooling with fellow competitor Stephanie!)
- Packing food, makeup and other items for show day
- Take epsom salt baths to relax 🙂
Last Week – Workout, Diet and Posing Program
Only 1 fasted AM cardio session (as opposed to 3 cardio sessions) and light weighted exercises/high reps followed by plyometrics. I will only be walking in the AM for the final few days.
My diet: I am still eating 6x/day, increasing my water again, and consuming only white fish and asparagus. I will be adding yams and rice in the final day before the show and also show day – pretty bland! Mustard has been such a life saver to give at least a semblance of taste to these otherwise very boring meals. Midweek, someone threw out my food at lunch and I was panicking over what I could possibly eat as a substitute that would still fit my plan! Luckily, I had my amazing coach Jennifer who responded right away to my panicked texts about what I could have to eat instead, and my fellow first time competitors Stephanie and Frances provided some much needed empathy! In the end, I went to the local pub on campus and had them poach me some cod.
Thank you Koerner’s Pub! I didn’t ask for the rice (since I couldn’t eat it) but I think the chef felt like adding it anyways because the fish and kale only meal didn’t seem substantial enough, haha!
Every night I was practicing my posing routine and Eric would film me so I could send clips to my coach! I’m so incredibly lucky to have him helping me and giving me feedback. He was super jet-lagged from his business trip to the Netherlands (previously blogged about how it was probably easier that he wasn’t around!!) and I am really grateful for his support <3!!
As I mentioned previously, making friends who had been through this process or were going through a competition prep, was also really key. I was messaging Frances and Stephanie multiple times during the day!
Some Example Texts:
Tuesday – Celebrating the end of fasted AM cardio
Me: If we’re on the same program then no more cardio from here onwards (other than walking!!) I’ve never been so slow and tired but it will be easy here on out. We have already put in all the hard work for the past several weeks. Yay!!
Frances: SO HAPPY that the intense fasted cardio is done and over with WOOHOO!!
Me: Oh and I shaved my arms yesterday. That was super weird
Stephanie: Haha I know that took me so long!
Frances: Yeah I shaved everything – was in the shower for so long lol!
Wednesday – Going a little crazy over food
First with Stephanie
Stephanie: Omg I’ve been looking at food all day – two more days, the hard part is over!
Me: I’m glad I’m not the only one! Everything is going to taste so good!
Then with Frances!
Frances: Can’t wait to go out and eat after our show!
Me: I wonder what will be open. I want something amazing – like a crazy sushi roll. But there aren’t many that are open late!
Thursday – Planning outfits and other logistics
Me: What are you wearing?
Stephanie: Sweats, black shirt. Remember no bra or underwear after your tan because of marks!
Frances: I have a lot of shopping to do!
Friday – Tan and Athlete’s Meeting!
I started the morning with a final light bodyweight workout and then packed all my food. I got these cute little tupperware containers that perfectly fit my 2oz of chicken of small portions of rice and yams. After packing food, I went to the nail salon to get a manicure and pedicure and then off for a 3pm tanning appointment.
(Most of the athletes were wearing baggy clothes or pjs so as not to ruin their tans! Plus, we were all pretty tired so wearing comfy clothes helps!)
Tip: Don’t bring a back pack! I put it on after the tan and immediately, one of the ladies told me to take it off or I would get indents! Sure enough, I was splotchy already. However, the ladies also reassured me that I would get this fixed tomorrow at the touch up tan and again before stepping onto stage.
I met up with Frances and Stephanie after we each got our tans and then all of us ate our food (packed in convenient protein-on-the-go bags and containers!) before the meeting.
This picture captures our differing views on our chicken and rice to go:
During the meeting, we were given a demo of the posing routines for various bodybuilding classes, and then we all got measured by height.
I was put into the 5’2 category and exclaimed, “I thought I was taller than that!” to which the show volunteers laughed and said, “Everyone thinks they’re taller!”
I wonder if my restricted diet made me shrink. Or, maybe it’s the fact we all are shorter at the end of the day! After writing down my show height (and therefore what class I would be in, Bikini Class B) I went to pick up my badge. Number 191!!!
At the end of the meeting, each of the athlete’s were gifted a swag bag! It was like christmas and halloween 🙂 I met Tarik, the organizer of the show, last week at posing class who promised we would all get the best athlete swag bags ever.
Yes he delivered!
Frances introduced me to Michelle and Amanda who were also competing in the Bikini class and we sat around together and went through our goodies. We even traded flavours!
Checking Out My Tan and Swag
This is the darkest I ever been – it is actually kind of ridiculous! I’m told it will keep on getting darker over the next 12 hours. I put spare bedsheets all over my bed so as not to stain my white covers too terribly.
Sharing the News with Friends
It wasn’t until the final eve of my show that I posted online to share the news and express my gratitude to those that had helped be along the way – posted the same shot I used for last week’s blog:
A shot from posing class last week as several of us would be competing in our very first bodybuilding competition – Popeye’s Fall Classic (taking place tomorrow, Nov.12th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre!).
I’ve kept this latest personal challenge of mine pretty quiet, but now, this will explain why I’ve been having chicken for breakfast, why I’ve been so determined to fit in morning cardio (all that biking!) and why I had to bow out of some dinner plans .. Among other things 😂
Along this 14 week competition prep, there have been many ups and downs, and times where I felt the sport can be quite lonely (like when you’re at the gym at odd hours like 1 am or 5 am to fit in a workout) and it’s been very different from my other typical social sports (Field hockey, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing)! But throughout the process, thanks to my amazing coach Jennifer, I’ve learned so much about myself, the sport and met some fantastic people and new friends in the process 🙂
There are a lot of close friends in the picture right there, that I met through bodybuilding, and their positive and encouraging attitudes have been just the inspiration I needed to get through these final weeks!! Frances and Stephanie – so glad I met you two through Jennifer and that we could support each other!
To my experienced and passionate competition friends : Katelyn you gave me my first glimpse into the world of bodybuilding, thank you!! Tania thanks for the hang out sessions and getting me fun new protein powders to try 😉 Lauren – thanks for helping me stay grounded 🤗
Lastly, wanted to extend so much gratitude to the friends who I’ve shared my journey with and have been encouraging all the way! I’m so touched and lucky to even have some of you come out tomorrow!! ❤️❤️❤️
So grateful for my friends!! What a positive way to go to bed!
One final bonus of the evening: Coach said I could have a rice cake! I don’t even like rice cakes in everyday life but on this evening – it tasted amazing!
Bodybuilding Journey Posts
- 14 Weeks Out – My Journey to my First Bodybuilding Competition!
- 7 to 5 Weeks Out – Accomplishments, Picking Out My Suit and Getting Tips From a Top 10 Canadian Competitor
- 4 Weeks Out – Watching my First Bodybuilding Competition – Vancity Showdown!
- 3.5 Weeks Out – Applying this Determination to Other Areas of my Life – Biking to Work Even in the Rain (and my first accident)
- 3 Weeks Out – That Prep Life – Easier If Single? Tips from Another 1st Place Competitor
- 2 Weeks Out – Another First, Making New Friends and Being Real
- 1 Week Out – Last Posing Class, Motivation and Discipline
- Competition Date! My First Bikini Competition – Show Day
- Post Competition Reflections –
Comment below if you have any other questions about Peak Week!