As the clock ticks, here’s my weekly update on my preparation for the Arnold Classic Europe – one of the biggest IFBB events!
With only 5 weeks to the show, my training programme now has a bit of steady cardio after every workout (as opposed to pretty much no cardio during the maintenance phase). As with most competitors the weapon of choice is the stepper or stairmaster. This cardio machine has the magical ability to burn more fat than the stationary bike or threadmill and also to make time pass slower…. yup slow boring torture 😊 but you do walkaway with a firmed butt and tighter calves!
I still do weight training 6 days a week, focusing more on the back and legs (twice a week). And on the 7th day I have 40 mins of steady cardio. For my last competition I did do strongman circuits once a week which is basically HIIT with weights 🙂 This time however we are taking a more steady cardio approach.
Up until now my diet has been fairly high in carbs (bless those sweet potatoes 😍), however things are about to change as we get closer to show date. I have 6 meals a day + 1 protein shake (post workout), mainly consisting of fish, chicken or beef with a mix of vegetables. Over the past few weeks (8-6 weeks out) my macros have been: 170g of protein, 100g of fat and 30-100g of carbs depending on the day (high carb day vs low carb day).
Depending on how my body responds my diet will change more often now in the last few weeks, in fact waiting to receive my new meal plan this weekend 😅
Cravings? I’ve learned to ignore them… But there is one thing keeping me going: all the bread and churro a I’ll eat when I am done!
Lifestyle & the mind game
Unfortunately for my, as with my last comp, this one coincides with a fairly busy period at work. That means getting out of the office on time can be a bit of a challenge. I still do get home around 7.30pm, but spend more time winding down in front of the TV (and getting ready for the next day) than I can afford too. In the end something has to give, and this time it is sleep. I’m currently getting on 5-6 hours of sleep (on a good night) compared to 7 hours during my last comp prep. However, I do get to spend more time with friends & family (and the TV of course!). So far, I’m getting by just fine but I do aim to increase my sleep in the coming weeks… Fingers crossed!
Since this is my second competition, I do feel much more relaxed about it. I know exactly how things are going to go down on the day. I have less posing work to do, as I am no longer a complete beginner. I’m looking forward to it, both with excitement to be part of such an even (hello Arnie!) and with the anticipation of what I’m going to do with my free time after the competition (read: planning my next fitness challenge!).
Yes, I can’t wait!