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Tammy Strome is a Transformation Coach, Fitness Intuitive and IFBB Pro with 17 years in the industry as a Transformation specialist, Life Coach and Supplement Expert. She uses a combination of science, insight and intuition to help her clients sculpt their bodies and transform their lives. For more info on Tammy please visit her website at www.tammystrome.com or follow her on social media at FB: TammyStromeIFBBPro, Instagram @tammystromeIFBBPro and Twitter: @tammystrome
How to reach your Peak Potential
If you’ve ever taken to the stage, you likely know there’s a real thrill to the process and the end result of stepping onstage to present what you have worked so hard on. This often keeps competitors coming back for more. This is when you may start asking yourself what your peak potential is.
What is peak potential?
I define it as the ability to reach optimal dialed-in stage-level conditioning. This could be in a single show or between shows in a competitive season.
How many shows are okay?
To be perfectly honest, there’s no cut and dry answer. The number of shows one can safely do in a year will really depend on a few factors:
1. Health status, including genetic risk factors
3. Training, supplement, and nutrition program—on-season and off-season
4. Stress level (e.g., work demands and family commitments)
5. Support of family and friends
6. Chronic stress earlier in life (e.g., childhood trauma, etc.)
7. Daily mind-set (e.g., your attitudes and beliefs)
Competing never occurs in a bubble. All of the above factors come into play when determining your “peak potential.”
Generally, if someone is in good health and follows a proper off-season protocol with a good on-season strategy, then one to three shows should be doable. I see no point in doing a show if your body isn’t responding optimally. It’s telling you that something isn’t right. It frustrates me to see people restricting calories more and pushing more when they should really learn to just listen to their bodies. As a competitor, I’ve been there and I know it can be hard to turn off, but it’s a crucial skill to learn.
Competing has a cost
Over time, continually peaking for shows will take its toll on your body. This alone will likely reduce the number of shows you can do in a year. Hard training, contest-prep diets, and the bodybuilding lifestyle in general are significant stresses on the body.
It can speed up the aging process, slow recovery, and disrupt the delicate balance of the endocrine system.
The smartest approach is to really listen to your body and evaluate your life as you enter into each show.
Here are a few things that can help improve your peak potential.
1. Get adequate sleep in the off-season and in contest season—8 to 10 hours per night.
2. Maintain a positive and balanced mind-set every day.
3. Rest from training at scheduled intervals, especially during illness or injury.
4. Practice meditation and deep breathing strategies to balance nervous system activity and reduce risk of burnout/overtraining.
5. Consume a nutritionally dense off-season diet so your cells get what they need. I’m tired of people thinking it’s wise to binge on junk in their off-season. Make clean eating a lifestyle.
6. Reverse diet when you’re coming out of a show to minimize stress and replenish the body.
7. Follow a holistic approach to competing, and strive for health and happiness in all facets of your life (separate from the stage).
8. Support the body in a holistic way. Monitor and support adrenal health and the hormonal system as a whole. Support your gut and liver function, and detoxify the body at least quarterly for better cellular function and self healing.
9. Follow a properly developed contest-prep program. Train smart and follow a diet that doesn’t eliminate anything nutritious too early.
For more information about contest dieting from Tammy Strome, and it's repercussions on health, click here!