Now is the PERFECT time to start thinking about body composition and getting ‘ripped’ for summer. You know you want it, I know you want it, I want it. There’s something also inherently funny about how when the sun comes out in Britain, we all realise we want to pull our finger out and make the change to looking better! 😀 I do anyway…
The reason why NOW is the perfect time is because many sporting seasons, events and competitions are starting to come towards the final stages of completion so natural Nutritional Periodisation takes precedent. Nutrition Periodisation falls into three stages:
1: The Prep Cycle (pre-season) – the stage of nutrition where we assess what needs to be done and build up to a working program for ‘in-season’. This involves a range of things but is an area where you can drive building the basics of good nutrition prior to driving the competition stage.
2: The competition Cycle (or ‘in-season) – The stage of nutrition where you’re starting to eat to aid your goals or performance, where the majority of the changes occur for your goal or where you’re simulating nutrition for you ‘competition’ or ‘sporting’ moment. You actually do this if you consciously drive more carbs for more intensive periods of training or competition anyway. You’re thinking about the nutrition required for your required efforts!
3: Transition Cycle (off-season) – This is the area of nutrition where you’ve come off the end of the competition phase or intensive sporting period of choice, you may find that it’s difficult shifting from the ingrained competition nutrition you’ve been following for so long. Therefore this is the stage where we literally transition to a new training or nutrition load, be it driving recovery in the form oif a ‘nutrition break’ for a week or even a reduction in calories if your training load is much lower.
This is nutrition periodisation in it’s most basic form – a simple cycle of pre, during and after the intensive sporting/active periods. Naturally we’re about to enter the transition cycle the closer we get to the summer period when intensive areas of sport come to a close.
One key fact too is that you also can’t avoid how peak summer time is 4-5 months away, so if you’re not going to consider it now you may find your goals a bit harder reached the later you leave it.
If you’re into CrossFit you know very well the last 5 weeks of competition have probably taken their toll. With such an intensely Central Nervous System hitting time it was paramount that nutrition was on point. What’s more is that you probably need a bit of a break from nutrition or ‘dieting’. This also applied to any intense sport or competition too, even a nutritional cycle like above, read on! 🙂
If you don’t give yourself time tor recover from an intense period of activity you’re actually ticking the box to allow burn out to creep in and throw hormones completely off-whack:
- Your metabolism will slow
- Cortisol will increase
- Testosterone is at higher risk to decrease
Before you attempt to plunge yourself into a calorie deficit after your intensive period of activity it’s now increasingly apparent how good it may be to actually take a ‘nutrition break’ for a week and reset those hormones, eat a few carbs and just generally recover.
If I told you that eating more carbs or calories could contribute to an increase in testosterone, or that testosterone could then help to create a healthy cortisol balance and that BOTH of these greatly aid you and your potential cut. Would you allow a little break to come in? Will you give yourself permission to put your body in the BEST place it can be to aid your goals for that holiday?
I would – and I did. I recently sprained my ankle two weeks before the end of the CrossFit open, reducing my training load and screeching my competition phase to a halt. Instead I took this opportunity to mentally unwind and remove stress, eat what I want, SLEEP, recover sufficiently from my previous training load and subsequently start my cut in a really good position for my holiday in September.
This ALL applies to whatever sport you’ve been doing. If you’ve been going hard for so long, sitting in a deficit for a while or coming to the brink of your mental capacity with it all, it may be a good time to have a week off if you’re considering driving some sweet body composition goals for the summer.
Now’s the time
So I’ve told you some of the benefits of a break after an intense period of activity. All i’ll leave to end with are the parting words of how now is definitely the time to think about body composition goals. By giving yourself 3-5 months of time before you want it you can choose to make it a patient progress. I have a client today starting his cut phase for a holiday in two months. I reckon we can make some change but ideally there could’ve been more time. We’ve both agreed that to optimize the time we have, discipline is paramount and I know he’ll smash it, see that testimonial in a few months.
By giving it as much time as possible we can sit in less of a deficit for longer. I’d much rather sit in a calorie deficit of 250 calories for 4 months than a 500 calorie deficit for 2 months. 3500 calories in a pound of fat you would lose the same amount of body fat if no other factors were involved, just in a harder more strained environment.
You’ve smashed your in-season goals. You’ve built the muscle, toned up, gained the strength, smashed the aerobic capacity. Give yourself a pat on the back and make sure you’re in a good starting position to chase your next goals. If you don’t apply rest into the equation anywhere, you’ll end up with a suffered body composition and possibly a subsequently affected start to your in-season goals after the summer.
So let’s charge up your summer shred and enter in the best possible way! 🙂
As always – thanks. Leave a comment and feel free to get in touch with me on any avenue where I’m at!
Check out my new training program on Instagram and, doubtlessly, weightlifting fails and nutrition… 😀
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Really excited that today is the start of not just my new nutrition cycle, the cut for holiday, but also some personal programming from @crossfit3d for helping me build some strength on the side. # I've always enjoyed weightlifting and my new programming is heavily built around it. Not pushed my clean and jerk in 3 months and did a one rep max at 90kg whilst nursing a dodgy ass ankle! # Loving the focus now though. Bring on the next 12 weeks of programming and SO hyped to drive some strength gains 💪🏻💪🏻 #chargenutrition #health #fitness #nutrition #macros #macronutrition #macrofriendly #macrocounting #iifym #fit #fitnessfood #fitfamily #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #workout #gym #cardio #train #training #healthy #instahealth #active #strong #determination #diet #getfit #exercise #olympiclifting #weightlifting