Figure offseason? Does it even exist?
By Team iForce Nutrition
The sport of figure has changed over the years. I have been working with figure competitors for over 6 years and I’ve seen the desired look go from hard and shredded to softer, yet muscular. On the national level, the successful competitors have a lean, muscular physique, yet soft and tight. This look can only be achieved with time and dedication. If you’re dieting for a show, you are most likely dedicated, but what about in the “offseason?”
The term “offseason” is loosely thrown around anytime a competitor is not dieting for show. Many bodybuilders use their offseason to “bulk up,” by consuming too many calories for their body, but figure competitors don’t have that luxury. The sport of figure is not about being as big as a house, so the ladies competing have to find a balance between training, eating, looking and feeling good. “Bulking up” is not a term used in the sport of figure.
As a coach, I like to encourage my athletes to relax in the offseason. This is the time you get to go out to eat with friends and you don’t have to measure your meals, embrace it! Enjoy it, as long as you are doing what you need to do to accomplish your figure competition goals.
Every athlete needs to focus on their weaknesses.
Depending on your body type, you may be looking to build muscle, build development, work on symmetry and balance, or maybe you weren’t lean enough. So, what should your figure offseason look like?
First, I recommend you do your research!
Learn what a carbohydrate, protein and fat ACTUALLY are and how your body uses them. They are called the macronutrients and they’re awesome!
Learn what it means to really “eat clean.”
Eating clean is eliminating the processed and manufactured foods loaded with extra sodium, sugars or fillers. For example, instead of eating apple-cinnamon pre-packaged oatmeal, get the tub of plain oats and dress them up yourself. (Look for “The Clean Eating Diet” book for a more in-depth explanation.) Then, form 5-7 meals a day based around your protein intake. Try to make sure the first thing you put in your mouth at every meal is a protein.
Train your butt off!
Hard work shows on stage. Consistency also shows on stage. If you’re not sure how to train for your specific goals or body type, seek help from a coach. Find one online or in your area. Email me, I’d be happy to help! You should be resistance training 4-5 days a week. Perhaps, hire a coach just to keep you accountable.
Don’t skip the cardio.
Cardio is an important piece of the offseason. Even though you don’t have to measure your meals or do 2 hours of cardio, that doesn’t mean you get to skip cardio. Cardio will help keep your metabolism moving and maintain, or even develop lean body mass. Cardio should be done 4-6 days a week.
Pose! Pose! Pose!
You may not be in show shape, but continue to practice anyway. The more comfortable you are offstage, the more comfortable you are on stage, the better you do in front of the judges. Pose at least once a week. Play with angles in the mirror, and find the best ways to pose your body.
In figure, even though you’re in the “offseason,” you still have to train, do your cardio, eat well and pose! In my opinion, the women that make eating clean and training a lifestyle, the more success they see on stage. The tricky part is finding balance. Be sure you’re not over-analyzing things. So sit down, make a plan, stick to it and relax along the way to getting your trophy at next show!
With cutting edge supplementation, it is easier to stay in shape all year round. Start using DEXAPRINE™ and body fat doesn't stand a chance! It works great in the off season too, as you can allow yourself some “cheat” meals and still feel exceptionally good about yourself!