My first contest in 2012. Only took 7th place, but I learned to eventually take advantage of my Rebound during off-season!
Imagine this: You just stepped off the stage of your competition. Your adrenaline is pumping. The energy in the building is electric.
All the work you have put into your diet and all the hours in the gym have culminated into your body looking the best it’s ever looked.
You’ve consumed what seems like an endless stream of chicken breasts and egg whites. In the gym, every rep, set, and workout has created the body you now see in the mirror.
But once you walk out the doors of the competition, your off-season begins. There are no more bright lights or cheering crowds in the near future. Just you and your body.
Some guys take this period as a time to let loose a bit and let their mind and body adjust back to living a “normal” life.
Others decide that they want to beat all of those other guys in the next competition and stay committed to maintaining the condition of their body.
The only question is: which one are you?
In my time training to be a 3x Olympia Physique World Champion, I’ve seen guys make a ton of mistakes immediately following a competition.
Mistake #1: Taking Off During the Off-season
Here’s a quick note – I HATE the word “off-season” to describe this time of year. When he was playing, people would comment how Michael Jordan would always come back from his off-season with new moves they had never seen before. That’s because Jordan knew the off-season was the best time to GROW his game.
It’s the same with bodybuilders. The off-season should be your grow season.
To properly rebound (or bounce back) after a competition, you need to maximize the next 18-21 days. This time period is when your body is most susceptible to change (good or bad). It’s the most anabolic time in your training. Use it to gain the muscle mass that will turn you into a monster that will terrify your competitors at your next show.
Mistake #2: Gaining Sloppy Weight
Look, I get it. Training for a show takes ultimate discipline. It doesn’t just tax your body, it taxes your mind. So I understand the desire to go nuts with your diet after a competition and eat everything you’ve been holding back on the last 3 months or so. The problem with binging on bad foods is that the weight you gain from those foods will be sloppy. You won’t even be gaining muscle mass, just fat. And you can’t shape fat.
Resist the urge to eat whatever you desire in order to pursue something you desire even more: the title at your next competition.
After a show, I like to relax A LITTLE BIT with my diet by eating what I want for the first 1-2 days. During this time, I’ll eat all the foods that have been calling out to me for the last three months. It’s important though, to not let 1-2 days turn into 1-2 weeks. That’s the spirit and heart of a true champ!
Mistake #3: Staying Dehydrated
Before a show, you want to get excess water out of your system and tighten the skin around your muscles. But after a show, you don’t need that dry look anymore. Your body needs to rehydrate.
Rehydrating will help your body regulate its water levels. What that usually looks like is drinking 6-8 liters of water per day. Once you start to work more sodium back into your diet, the water you’re drinking will help prevent bloating and discomfort.
21 Days to Rebound the Right Way
If you overlook the off-season as being a time to simply “rest” and turn into the best time to grow into the monster you want to become, you’ll have an advantage that only others wish they could overcome.
If you want to really set yourself up to maximize the 21 days right after your competition, check out my ebook: . It includes tips for your diet and mindset along with the exact routines I use when I rebound.