Years ago I first wrote that contest peaking is about management, not magic. I’d like to wrap up this series with a discussion of strategy. Professional team coaches, entrepreneurs and even military leaders understand that success is more likely if they pick apart every conceivable scenario and put in place contingency plans. They also know that if the process still unravels, they’re going to have to wing it—and they’re okay with that. They’re going to have to rely on their educated, trained, experienced, thinking brains to pull them through the unexpected.
Hmm, I think we can learn something here.
I like to include training on the day before the show and sometimes even on the morning of the show.
The concepts I discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this series, which appeared in the November and December ’14 issues, are based in physiology, but don’t forget that biology is dynamic. Just when you think you have a handle on carbs and water, mineral manipulation (or not) and timing, your body decides to play a different game. If there’s anything you should expect it’s calling more audibles than Peyton Manning.
Before we get to how to recognize and make changes to your plan, let’s pull training into the mix. Peak-week training traditionally has been crammed into the first half of the week to deplete the muscle of glycogen, a failed strategy that assumes severe carb depletion, which makes matters worse. When you need the best recovery, you don’t eat carbs for three or four days? When you want to decrease insulin sensitivity to reduce the risk of spillover, you’re doing the opposite?
In Part 1, I discussed why I don’t drop carbs that low during peak week, but I also think that training should remain steady through the week, with little deviation from your norm. You need to account for travel days, but as you train through the week, there shouldn’t be days when your carbs are so low that you’re not replenishing your glycogen. I like to include training on the day before the show and sometimes even on the morning of the show to make sure the dynamic nature of glycogen being used—and then being refilled, pulling water into the muscle—is leveraged in my client’s favor. Even so, I have to consider carbs in the context of the entire week and against the backdrop of the person’s body type.
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