By Janea Munoz
It is getting closer and closer to the end of my much-needed off-season. This has been the longest off-season from competition prep that I have ever taken. My last show was in mid-June and I won’t start official in-season prep for spring until February 2018. This will have given me a solid eight months of solid transformations.One question I get asked a lot is,“What is the reason for taking an off-season?” Well, for me, and I want to say — for a lot of other competitors, it’s a chance to allow the body to slowly reverse diet back into normal caloric intake without screwing up your metabolism, thyroid, body, etc...
Coming out of a competition my caloric intake, in the carb department, is very low and by slowly increasing this, it allows my body to adjust carefully without throwing my entire body into shock. I will talk more about that come the end of my Emerald Cup prep!
Another reason is after each show I ALWAYS talk to the judges and get as much feedback as possible on what worked, what didn’t work and what improvements I need to make for my next planned show. This information allows me to really focus during off-season to achieve those improvements. Off-season allows me to really grow and transform my body. That is one major thing I will tell any competitor, ALWAYS get feedback — especially if competing is something you want to continue doing. Our bodies are meant to change. I love seeing how different my body looked from when I started to now.
I take off-season very seriously for that reason. I will then sit down with my coach and we will talk about the feedback I received. We then create a game plan for my off-season. My workouts and caloric intake will change based on what is needed — and my check-ins with my coach are set up. Of course, as off-season progresses, things are always changing, so when that happens, I just make adjustments as needed.
I have about 16 weeks left in this off-season. To most, that would sound like a long time still. But to me, it really isn’t. I have so much to keep up with, especially with my lower back issue. That in itself has put me out of commission for about two months.
I only have four months left of getting my body to what I want. It can be a downer of course, I was also in the middle of transitioning from one job position to another which required a lot of long hours, split shifts and working two jobs until my previous position was filled. I am not one to make excuses for myself as to why I didn’t work out this day or that day. Remember, life happens and that is OK. It’s really how we react and handle each situation that gets thrown at us.
With the lack of gym time and stress that feels like is still pretty high, a huge factor in all of this has been my nutrition. I may not have been able to get to the gym six times a week like I am used to, BUT I have kept my food on point every day. Did I indulge here and there? Yes I did, which is OK.
Overall, my meal prepping is what I will say is going to be what saves these last few months of my off-season. So please, if any of you find yourself in situations like this, I am always here for pointers and tips.
All in all, I have about eight check-ins with my coach before we dive into spring prep and I will be posting and sharing what will be happening over these next few months. There is so much that goes into all the glam that is seen on stage. When you put the time, work and effort —and you get out on that stage — it is all worth those five to 15 minutes.
Stay motivated, focused, determined and disciplined. Do this for you and show everyone that hard work and passion pays off.
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