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  1. #1
    RX MEMBER sy2502's Avatar
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    Default post comp rebound

    Hi,
    I competed in early Feb, I did a 14 week comp and lost 13lbs, completely natural not even a fat burner. The diet was very reasonable, a sort of IIFYM with a fairly wide choice of foods (i.e. lean meats, healthy grains, healthy fats, etc). I was very strong throughout the prep and actually gained muscle during the prep, so it wasn't one of those crash diets that destroys metabolism.
    The 2 weeks after comp I went a bit crazy and ate far too much, but after that I regained control of my diet and hunger. I thought if I could stay within 6lbs or so of comp weight I'd be happy. Instead I kept gaining weight at the rate of almost 1lb a week. So I thought I would go back on my comp diet and lose the 5lbs that separated me from my target weight. Well, even back on comp diet I am still gaining about 1lb a week. Now I really am confused.
    I am back to pre-comp weight so I am not so ballooned to the point I seriously freak out, but I sure am starting to worry.
    Does anyone have any idea what may be going on, and what I should do?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator sassy69's Avatar
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    I have several questions:
    What competition did you do?
    What was your starting weight ?
    your stage weight & bodyfat?
    How tall are you?
    What age are you?
    What was your daily calorie intake on the comp diet?
    How much were you eating for those 2 weeks after the show?


    Basically it doesn't have to be all that extreme a diet to still experience some post -show rebound. The whole thing is that you stayed on a strict regimen, restricted calories and probably restricted variety of food for 3+ months. Slow, incremental changes in weight & bodyfat using food & exercise to dial into your show day. And then you toss it all and start pounding food for 2 weeks.

    The body needs time to come out of a show too, and it is particularly important to do it basically in the same slow, steady rate, in reverse of your dial in protocol. Simply because the body cannot accommodate sudden changes in the types of food it has been processing - particularly if you go from an ultra clean and scheduled diet, to a bunch of randomly eaten, processed, high fat / high carb / high sodium food. The first thing the body will do is react by retaining water. And from personal experience, it is mostly in the lower legs. (Which really sucks...)

    You can't really gain "fat" in a matter of a week or two so its really probably more of water weight that you're dealing with, and then probably some additional fat as your metabolism slows down trying to process the big change in diet.

    Here's some additional reading if you're interested, particularly an article I found years ago that goes into gory detail about what the female body goes through coming out of a strict competition prep:
    http://forums.rxmuscle.com/showthrea...ition+syndrome

    We spend so much time and effort dedicated to prepping for a show, particularly your first show, hitting your body w/ something it probably has never had to deal w/ before, along w/ the stress that inherently accompanies the whole process. But there is frequently not much thought put into what happens the minute you step off stage, except what junk food you're going to start pounding the minute you get to sit down. Me personally - my first show I was aware of the post-show effects. But I got completely distracted by a break up w/ my boyfriend at the time and a series of incredibly stupid things that happened immediately after my show and a 4 hour drive back home. By the time I got back into my neighborhood, I was so disgusted w/ the whole pile of shit that I'd gone thru that I stopped at the grocery store before I even got home, and bought $60 worth of every type of junk food I ever wanted to try. And I spent the next 6 days lining up all this shitty food in front of the couch w/ the TV going and went in sequence eating it all for 6 days. By the 6th day I had gain back the 18 lbs I spent 4 months losing. All in my lower legs. MISERY.

    So yea, been there, done that. NEVER do it again.

    For you, I would suggest maybe starting on your competition diet again - but just as a place to start and get your body under control and eating a more regular diet of clean food. And keep it up for a couple weeks so your body has time to get itself organized. If you are still experiencing some water retention, you could probably try some easy OTC diuretics - either very simplly eating more asparagus or other vegges that are natural diuretics. Or get some water pills or dandelion root supplements to help . However stay hydrated using these. Also don't use them for a long time - just a couple days specifically if you are still holding a lot of excess water that doesn't seem to want to let go.

    Don't panic or try doing extreme changes in your diet to get back to where you'd like to be. Just get back on a structured plan and your body will sort itself out and get back to where it can comfortably maintain.
    "The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."
    ~Jack Lalanne



  3. #3
    RX MEMBER sy2502's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Sassy, much appreciated.

    I competed in Figure in a local NPC show.
    My starting weight was 137lbs. I am now back to this same weight.
    Stage weight 124lbs, not sure about the body fat, my coach guesstimates 14%.
    I am 5'6".
    I am 41 years old.
    My calories all the way until 4 weeks out was 1540 cals a day, in a 40/30/30 macro split (40% protein, 30% carb, 30% fat). 4 weeks out I went down to 1500. I followed my diet to the letter.
    In the 2 weeks after comp I ate a lot of junk, basically all the things I was craving. I certainly gained a ton of water, my fingers felt like sausages.

    The interesting thing is that I think I look better now that I am back to pre-comp weight than I did then, much less cottage cheese on my butt, and I have gained muscle both during prep (however impossible that may sound, but I was setting personal records all the way to 2 weeks before comp) and after competition, which is great. But still I have gained quite some fat too, pretty sure that roll on my stomach doesn't flex LOL!

    Initially I was saying the same you wrote, that my body just needed to get used to normalcy, but it's been 5 months now, shouldn't it be enough?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator sassy69's Avatar
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    Yea, I'm gonna say that 124 lb at 5'6", at least to me, is really small. If you've kept your weight around 135 for most of your life, I'd venture that's where your body likes to sit (metabolism adjusts well to maintain that" So if you've gone back to where you started, I think that's a healthy maintenance weight. If you want to compete more in Figure, I'd probably tell you to spend some time building, so that you are gaining good quality muscle. I'm 5'7" and I started prep for my first show at age 35, starting at around 150. I really felt like a bag of bones at that weight. I competed around 7% bodyfat.

    Particularly w/ intentional, well-targeted training and diet off-season, you can get to a really great body composition - if you want to compete again, you probably have a nice start on muscle development from the first show. I would get some structure to your program - like run a "clean bulk" - basically eating regular (not strict diet), but putting your carb days on the days you're lifting heavier / larger muscle groups. W/ the controlled eating, you can grow your lean muscle mass, drop the bodyfat and be in a great place to do another competition cut.

    Just a thought. At the least, if you're still not feeling like your body is doing what you want it to, try a carb cycle diet - doesn't have to be ultra-strict, but just clean and eat your complex carbs on days you're lifting big, and more fats on the days you're not lifting big. You should at the very least, see some shifting of where your body is holding its fat - i.e. your jeans should fit looser in the waist, tighter in the quads, etc.
    Last edited by sassy69; 06-03-2014 at 09:58 PM.
    "The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."
    ~Jack Lalanne



  5. #5
    RX MEMBER sy2502's Avatar
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    Actually I was 146lbs when I started lifting and very slowly recompositioned over a couple of years. But you are right, I seem to sit well around 135. Going into my first NPC competition as a natural athlete I knew I wouldn't be the biggest lady on stage, so I tried to bring a well rounded package with good conditioning and I guess it worked since I took 1st place in my height class Over 35, 2nd in Over 35 overall and 3rd in Open. But you can bet it was an eye opener on how much more work I have to do! I just wish I had got into BBing earlier in life, not in my 40s when everything goes downhill.

    Thank you for the suggestion of carb and fat cycling, I never tried that, so maybe that's exactly what I need to whip my fat into submission!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator sassy69's Avatar
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    One of the things that there is just no way around is "time spent" to build good quality muscle maturity. Personally I think a lot of people get caught up way too early in competition and it all becomes about competition and not about sufficient time to develop good quality muscle mass .Then they spend the rest of the time jumping from show to show and never getting a reasonable off season to build and maintain.

    Anyway, the point is that you've started! Keep at it and it is the consistency, and of course, fueling for your goals, that will get you there!
    "The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."
    ~Jack Lalanne



  7. #7
    RX MEMBER sy2502's Avatar
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    I have much respect for people who compete several times a year, I don't know how they do it. It was such a commitment that turned my life upside down! I am not talking so much about the impact on myself, I can grind my teeth and do what I have to, but the friendships I neglected, and the strain at home, and how unproductive I was at work... As I say, huge props for those who do it, but I can't see myself competing more than once a year.

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    Super Moderator sassy69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    I have much respect for people who compete several times a year, I don't know how they do it. It was such a commitment that turned my life upside down! I am not talking so much about the impact on myself, I can grind my teeth and do what I have to, but the friendships I neglected, and the strain at home, and how unproductive I was at work... As I say, huge props for those who do it, but I can't see myself competing more than once a year.
    I"m fascinated that these people have cash laying around for mega multiple entry fees, travel, tanning, hair/makeup, etc. I'd also like to know what job allows them to do that, and do they expect to gain a massive income as a result of maybe getting a pro card?
    Last edited by sassy69; 06-05-2014 at 06:21 PM.
    "The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."
    ~Jack Lalanne



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    I'm prepping for my third show this season - (Since May) and honestly I have to really psyche myself out for this next week's final prep. But after that I am done until November or maybe next May. Definately need a long break. But I was building towards qualifying for a July show and hopefully I will get a shot at it but if it's not meant to be then I will be happy to bulk up and get ready for later this year.

  10. #10
    RX MEMBER sy2502's Avatar
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    Actually, as a little update, I have been on a relaxed version of my comp diet for 3 weeks now, and I am happy to say that after the initial weight gain the 1st week, the weight is in fact slowly coming off. I am really glad about that, nobody wants a permanent metabolic screw up

  11. #11
    Super Moderator sassy69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Actually, as a little update, I have been on a relaxed version of my comp diet for 3 weeks now, and I am happy to say that after the initial weight gain the 1st week, the weight is in fact slowly coming off. I am really glad about that, nobody wants a permanent metabolic screw up
    I still believe the body is incredibly resilient and it takes A LOT to really jack up your metabolism. And I'd be willing to bet that people make it a lot worse than just a basic rebound by panicking and doing other extreme things that just make it worse.

    Glad to to hear you now have things heading in the right direction!
    "The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."
    ~Jack Lalanne



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