After a very long year of competing throughout the year, I’m so happy it’s finally off-season. I started my competitive season early in 2017 for the Arnold International, and I haven’t really put on the brakes until after my recent win at the Phoenix Europa, so this was the perfect time for a break from the strict competition prep.
I enjoyed my short two-week break from strict dieting, and I think it’s important to give yourself some good downtime once in a while to recharge both physically and mentally. I find this sort of break helps me when it’s time to start pushing back into full-force competition-prep mode.
Since it’s finally off-season, it’s been fun getting to enjoy some foods I wouldn’t normally eat, but with fitness being my lifestyle of choice as well as my career, I’m back on track now with a few months until the 2018 Arnold International. Even in the off-season, it can be tough making sure you get quality food when you’re away from the kitchen, so I’ve been keeping RawFusion protein bars in my SAN gym bag. Keeping them around means that I never skip meals, so my blood sugar levels don’t drop after my tough off-season weightlifting sessions and routine skill conditioning/practice. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Coconut Crunch flavor, but anything chocolate earns brownie points from me.
I’ve got my eyes on earning an invitation to the Arnold International in Ohio early next year, so I’ve been taking all the necessary steps to make improvements going into the next competition season. For me, that means a lot of fitness skills practice plus heavier weightlifting and less cardiovascular work for now.
Competing in fitness takes a big toll on your joints because of the high-impact gymnastics movements coupled with various jumps and holds. I’ve been avoiding injuries at all costs, so one of my favorite supplements right now is Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM. Every pound of extra weight is added stress on my joints, so I’ve been taking this daily because of the off-season pounds I’ve put on.
I’ve also been taking BCAA Boosted prior to training and NAG (N-Acetyl-L-Glutamine) post workout. The BCAA Boosted has caffeine to keep my energy, intensity, and focus high as well as branched-chain amino acids to make sure I’m not losing any lean muscle. The NAG is potent form of L-Glutamine that helps with my post-workout recovery and muscle cell volume.
As always, thanks for reading!
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