Well it is a few days before your contest and you are stressing out, running around trying to get errands done, getting in your last workouts, cardio and trying to finish up anything at work that you don’t want on your mind before show day. You have prepared for this contest for many weeks, sometimes months, and it feels like things are coming to a head fast! Be careful, this is a common scenario for many competitors right before a big event and it can spell trouble the day of your event.
Too much activities and anxiety can cause stress hormones to rise, and in these final days before a contest it is essential for any competitor to reduce all the stress on the body, both internal and external. Scaling back workouts and cardio is the first step in this process but you must also put actions in place that will allow for a reduced stress environment. This means no running around like a chicken with its head cut off getting hair, nails, shopping, and so forth done at the last minute before contest day. This also literally means putting the body at rest. Physically being at rest for prolonged periods of time is an important part of getting those stress hormones to lower in the body.
After weeks of increased cardio, high intensity workouts, and stressful dieting, the bodies stress hormones are at their peak levels before a contest. This can cause water retention, muscle loss, and generally give the body a very sub-par look on stage. Reducing these hormones is important to looking your best on stage. Small things can mean big changes on stage. So relax…literally… relax before a contest and only worry about eating, drinking your fluids (or not drinking them in some cases), and feeling at ease that your work is almost done.