The Show Is Over! Now What?

Anyone that has competed has dealt with the feeling of being let down after a show. It doesn't matter if you win or lose; a certain feeling of sadness or being lost can follow a show. This state can be summed up as the post-contest blues.

When you are training for a show it almost consumes you. You eat, sleep, and breathe for that show (for a total of roughly 12 weeks). There is so much that goes into preparing for a show. Once that show is over, a lot of people will wake up the next day feeling lost and sort of out of control (this feeling can linger into the weeks following the show). You don't have a specific diet to follow, you don't know when you want to get back into the gym, and you just really don't know what your goals are.

To help with these feelings of hopelessness I would recommend having a game plan not just for your show, but for after your show. Put a check list together of what you want to do/accomplish after your show (have this done ahead of time):

Do not go crazy with food/sweets after your show. Have a nice hearty meal after you compete and drink plenty of water. Just take it easy, your body has been dehydrated so watch those sodium-laden foods. You don't want to rebound and blow up.
Have in mind how many days you want to take off before heading back into the gym. I wouldn't recommend jumping right into it the day after, but I wouldn't take weeks off either. Give yourself a few days to let your body rest and regroup.
Think about your goals for your training/diet. Are you taking your off-season or do you have another show coming up?
If you are taking an off-season get with your trainer or draw up a plan yourself with goals for your physique. Be sure to follow an off-season diet. Of course you don't have to be as strict and you can allow for cheat meals, but you still want to have structure and good nutritional value to your meals.
Make sure you have a limit of how much weight you allow yourself to gain (8-10 lbs is my limit) Off-season is where you make all the changes to your physique, so the name "off-season" isn't really the best name for it. It isn't time off, it is time to bust your butt and make improvements to your physique.

Of course you may add a few more points to your list, but this is just an example. No matter what you do, do not let the post-contest blues get the best of you.

Just remember, you cannot walk around in contest shape year round, it just isn't healthy. Nor is it healthy to eat like crazy and put on 25 pounds of unnecessary weight. All that does is make it harder to get off the next time you diet down for a show. It is all about balance and moderation.

Just make sure you have a game plan! Don't forget to have fun with it; we do this because we love it!

Stay fit and God bless!

Jessica Paxson-Putnam
IFBB Pro Figure Competitor
2006 New York Pro Champion
ON/ABB Sponsored Athlete

The author is a compensated ON Sets and Reps Athlete, however, the views, opinions, and comments expressed here are those exclusively of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Optimum Nutrition.
Leave a Comment
Jul 27, 2007
Thats a good idea right there... I'll be sure to do that after my schools show.
Cindy Martinez
Aug 01, 2007
Great article Jess!!