Competition Prep: Week 1-3 Plan-Plan-Plan

Hi Guys,

Today was the first day I was feeling up to getting out of the house. I had fever, chills, stuffed and runny nose, headache, the whole flu shebang or cold . Whatever it was, I am glad I am finally feeling better. It’s been a week overall outside of the Zumba training. I was sick, have not been sick like this in a very long time. I think I picked something up when I went to TACFIT teacher certification. Anyway, being sick I guess let me take a breather and realize that even though I thought I had a plan for getting ready for the NPC Competition on August 25, I still did not have all the details that I was agreeing on. Plus making things more complicated is the RKC training that is coming up. Bottom line is that due to travel and sickness I am two weeks into my competition prep but not really prepping. I also have to take into consideration my other trainings that are coming up (Yoga and Pilates). It never is simple is not it 🙂 But it is worth it. Besides the weight-loss and freedom that I got to enjoy life, I also had a really bad case of sciatica. I could not walk, sit, or sleep without being in an excruciating pain. And it got so bad that when I used to drive first my thigh and my glutes will start hurting, then another leg will start hurting and eventually they both go numb from pain, then my left hand stating to go numb as well. But I am much better now with the help of Yoga and myofascial trigger point release techniques. You ca check out the Top Fitness Equipment Essential for the tools that I use. I am pain free most of the time if I keep doing my exercise and massage, I even can go more then several days without doing anything and still doe snot hurt but I try not to push it because then it catches up and let me know that I have been neglecting myself.

Anyway, going back to what I was talking about, being sick gave me time to think what is it that I need to do. It will be 5 months until the competition starting this Sunday, and I have YogaFit training (YogaBack). I only have level 5 and 1 one-day workshops left, and volunteering requirement is covered since I am teaching at the YMCA (I am also subbing this week so two classes on Saturday morning).

So, I looked and tried as objectively as I could, with the help of my bf, to evaluate where I am. I have been eating clean but high in carb (they are the good kinds but still). I also have been doing a lot of HIT and plyo (love it, love it). The reason why  I was eating a high-carbs meals because of HIT is very toxic for the system and I needed the energy to keep going. I also looked over my old routines and diet. I was mostly following high-protein nutritional plan, the one things is that I had to increase the cardio to keep seeing result last year and was doing 45 stairs 5 days a week in addition to HIT, Plyo, and weight training. Frankly, I have not touched a cardio machine since my last competition prep. I just cannot make myself do it. It’s brain numbing. I tried, honestly, but failed miserable after 3 min. I just have to address the cardio and food intake, and it has to be methodical to get the results that I want.  Then, I remembered that I read an article in the Fitness Physique about the reverse pyramid, and made so much sense that I scrambled to find the magazine (I am a fitness magazine/books/manuals hoarder – embarrassed to say), and after reading it over – hurray – it still made sense. Finally, I felt so relieved that I have plan, I kept talking to my bf until 12 am and we have to work the next day. I usually go to bed at 9pm right after putting my son to sleep, I am grouchy is tired. Not good – instead I sleep for 8 hours and I am a much better person to be around.

The article recommendations on reverse pyramid made since because there was a carb deficit to be created at the very beginning of the training. It is perfect because I’ve been carb-loading so I will not feel it as much and re-fueling days will keep me going. I am scaling down on training to 3 days a week and only to weight lifting (going back to basics – never fails), another reason why I will be able to go lower carb since I will need as much when I am not doing HIT. I will, however have a quality carb and protein before and right after the weight training session. Also, the calories intake will increase every 3 to 4 weeks as well as the training volume and intensity. Makes total sense, vs what I did before. Ok, I did not go like most competitors do and ate almost nothing I just upped the cardio last time and that is why I was still able to eat 3ooo  to 3500 calories a day. I will end up in that region by the end of the month 5 but with  huge difference – the way I arrive there – cycled mycro-nutrients and periodized training.

Here is the plan for the next 3 weeks (I will be updating the routine and nutritional breakdown every three weeks or so depending on the results that I see, so stay tuned) :

Week 1-3:

  • Weightlifting: 3 whole body workout on non-consecutive days a week | Intensity: Heavy, Mid, Light | 3 warm up sets & 1 work set | 20-25 reps
  • Flexibility: Muscle Flow or Yoga
  • POP Nutrition: Low carb for 3 days | Re-feed every 4th days with extra 300 quality fat/carb at nighttime meal (e.g., protein shake with peanut butter with oat bran and chia seeds or high-fiber muffins)

Day 1 Workout:

Weightlifting Workout | Heavy 100% | 3 warm up & 1 work set | 20-25 reps

  • Barbell Squat
  • Straight Leg Deadlift
  • Leg Press Calf Raises
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Low Puller Row
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull-down
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Dumbbell Scull Crusher
  • Dumbbell Biceps Curls
  • Decline Bench Leg Raises

Stretch and enjoy a post workout snack.

Sample Low-Carb Menu:

Carb Consumption
Lower Carb
  • Cappuccino w/1.2 Vanilla Soymilk
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbs grated cheese
  • 1 Slice Ezekiel Bread
  • 2 cups Steamed Broccoli
  • 1 cup Steamed Seafood Medley
  • 2 tbsp Guacamole
  • 1 Slice Ezekiel Bread
  • 2 cups Steamed Broccoli
  • 1 cup Steamed Seafood Medley
  • 2 tbsp Guacamole
  • 1/3 cup of Brown Jasmine Rice
Before Workout
  • 1 scoop BCAA w/1 cup of water
During Workout
  • 3 scoops BCAAw/3 cups of water
Post Workout
Before Bed

Note: On the 4th day we are re-fueling so add 300-400 calorie snack. Here are a few samples:

  • bran muffin with 1 tbsp peanut or any unsalted nut butter,
  • flax/chia seed and oat bran with your protein shake,
  • 1/4 cup of nuts with raisins or prunes,
  • granola bar snack, or
  • 1/2 cup savory oatmeal.

One thing, if you are just starting a nutrition and workout routine I will not recommend to go low carb right away. You first need to work toward establishing a solid nutritional foundation and allow your body to get used to working out. Check out POP Nutritional Plan to see how you can make small changes that will last a lifetime. Also, feel free to use the above routine but scale back to 3 sets and focus on proper form. The moment you cannot hold it slow down and make sure you are using proper alignment techniques and are not going to hurt yourself in the long run. We are eating well and training so we can  to live happier and longer not being in pain or keep going to a chiropractor. Also, check out Mike Riptoe for a great technique for a squat and dead lift – no more lower back pain- and actually really tight glutes if you keep at it. After using his technique you will keep coming back for more squats 🙂 Here are squat and deadlift videos but he has more detailed ones on the youtube as well as power clean, and etc.


Esse Libere Fitness – Free To Be Fit