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Elite Physique

Dan Kennedy

Educated at the University of Western Ontario, Dan employs his degree in Kinesiology as the foundation of his personal training business Elite Physique. He’s also a National level bodybuilder and judge. Dan’s earned a reputation for his knowledge and his tell-it-like-it-is approach to performance enhancement!

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4 Pre-Contest Tips for an Elite Physique

Much can be said about getting in shape for a show, I’d like to share four strategies that will make your contest prep easier and in turn yield better results on the podium.

Pre-Contest Tip 1:
Adjust Your Schedule

During progress season, most athletes will structure their training and eating around their daily activities. However, when the hammer drops and prep starts, smart competitors structure their day around their training and eating. The focus has to be on getting in cardio, hitting the gym hard, and consuming meals on time. Obviously, you must work for a living, but most successful competitors set the show as the top priority and work all other activities around the main goal of stepping onstage in killer condition.

Pre-Contest Tip 2: 
Clear Your Schedule 

Successful competitors ensure that their prep isn’t interrupted by other activities. It makes no sense to schedule a vacation in the middle of prep. Why would an athlete on a contest prep plan do this? A client may swear up and down that he or she will remain 100 percent committed while at an all-inclusive resort, but it just never happens. Dieting on vacation sucks and defeats the whole purpose of time away for rest and relaxation. And don’t think you can have an extended weekend away. Don’t. Just don’t. Save your getaway for after stage day and focus on the task at hand.

Pre-Contest Tip 3: 
Pick a Backup Show

Yes, it sucks to have to postpone your show due to unforeseen circumstances, but sometimes life gets in the way of even the best of plans. Ensure that you have a plan B that’s within a couple of weeks of the main event. Two to four weeks is ideal. That time frame should allow you to tighten your physique enough and not extend your prep into your precious progress season. Focus on the main show, but know that there’s always another show within striking distance.

Pre-Contest Tip 4: 
Give Yourself Plenty of Time

I can’t stress being ready early enough. Having to rush into a show leaves the body with a beat-up and tired look. Forcing the body to transform too quickly never yields positive results. Being ready early will permit most competitors to reduce cardio during the final weeks and eat into a show. Backing off on cardio and adding calories as show day approaches will give the body a more rested and stress-free look. This strategy also allows loose skin to tighten on older competitors and athletes who have recently dropped a lot of body weight. This is the perfect prep scenario and what all athletes should aim for. 

Hopefully, you’ll implement these prep-tested strategies for your next show. They’ve proven invaluable for our clients over the past 15 years, and I know they will serve you well. I’ve only touched on a few strategies for successful contest prep in this month’s column. If you’re looking for prep coaches who care, give us a shout at www.elitephysique.ca. 


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