Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Rebound


Posted by PicasaThe weeks following a competition can be really rough for some people. It's called the "rebound"  it hits some hard, and it hits others even harder.
I guess it can be similar to postpartum blues, you may feel depressed, unmotivated, you over eat, or eat things you wouldn't normally even consider putting on your plate. Some find that getting back to the gym is difficult.
The worst for me has been the psychological effects of gaining weight. Now, at competition time you weigh less than is healthy, bodyfat is abnormally low, and it is virtually impossible to maintain this for long.  You have to gain weight, just to get to where a normal, healthy person should be.
It's tough to see yourself as a sleek, svelte, beautiful human specimen one day then several pounds heavier only a couple weeks later. I gained 9 pounds in 2 weeks, then I lost 3 for a net gain of 6.
I think I do a fairly good job by allowing myself to eat almost whatever I like for a few weeks, but I maintain my schedule of eating and don't gorge all day long (I actually did two of those days).

I only took two days off from the gym afterward, then launched right back with a new program which gave me something to look forward to, changing things up helps.

Although I am now only 6 pounds heavier, I still put myself through torture thinking that I have gained too much, when in reality I still look fantastic. I can't help it, it's part of the "dark side" of competing in a body conscious sport. Your mind plays really stupid tricks on you. Sometimes, it's hard to get a grasp on what is real and what is all in your mind.
 
You can see this in all competitors, just look at our Facebook posts, we all talk about enjoying a simple treat like the world will come to an end, and luckily, we all try to keep each other in check.
David tells me all the time that I look great, in fact, I even know I look better with more weight on, it's just when that belly is soft, I get kinda freaked out for a while. It usually takes me about 5 weeks, then I get it all back into perspective.
Yesterday (Saturday) I looked forward to the gym as I could spend as much time as I wanted to and not worry about being late for work, or cutting my training short. It was leg day, "Quadzilla Lite #3" and I was looking forward to a really hard workout. Here is what I did:

Front Squat 5x8 @ 135 pounds (40 reps)

Back Squat 5x10 @ 155  pounds (50 reps)
RDL's (Romanian Deadlifts) 5x10 @ 135 pounds (50 reps)

Leg Press 3 Drop Sets 20 reps @ 405 pounds, 30 reps @ 315 pounds, 50 reps @ 225 pounds.
 
Leg Extension 5x10 @ 90 pounds (50 reps)

Pistol Squats 3x5 each leg with a 12 kilo kettlebell (15 reps)
Walking Lunges 5 sets of 30 seconds walking, 30 seconds resting holding a 20 pound dumbbell in each hand.
This was my hardest "Quadzilla Lite", I saved it for Saturday so I would have enough time. I put the reps down to emphasize how many times I moved my legs in this workout, and if you add it up, not counting the lunges, that was 320 repetitions. With weight. At 6 am. Actually it took me an hour and a half so 6am to 7:30am. That's a lot of reps.
I then had to get my cardio in. I don't do much cardio typically; however, as I have gained so much and am still not in a frame of mind to accept it, I have been trying to lose a bit before I level off.
I headed over to the stair mill for a 20 minute interval session.
There was a woman on the stairmill next to me when I climbed up, she appeared to have been there a while. About 10 minutes later, she climbed down and went to an elliptical in front and started on that. She wasn't in bad shape at all, but nothing striking about her came to mind.

As I ended and went to toss my towel into the bin, she leaned over to speak to me:

Woman: "Are you a trainer here?"

Me: "No, I am not"

Woman: "I have been looking at you thinking to myself 'that is the body I want!'"

Me: "thanks, that's great to hear, but I am just coming off a competition, I compete in Figure, so I am looking almost as good as I get, and it won't last that long" (we then talk about the difference in Bodybuilding and Figure).

Woman: "Really?! You compete?! I can see that, you look fantastic, I would love to look like you."

Me: "Well, I will tell you what, start lifting weights. What I don't do much of is cardio."

Woman: "Yes, that's what a trainer here told me too."

Me: "Look around you, look at the people you see doing cardio all the time, they don't look very good do they?"

Woman: "No, they don't that's for sure."

Me: "I started lifting weights when I was 40, I am now 49, you can do it too."

Woman: "I am 44! I can do that. I woke up this morning and said to myself 'you are awake, start your program now!', so I am here."

Me: "You know, a good cardio workout is running up and down bleachers if you can, you don't need to do it long, it hits your whole body, great for the butt, it is a great workout."

Woman: "I will try that, thanks!"

We then chatted a bit about training and frequency and I then excused myself.
Encounters like this happen frequently, although this one was really needed. It came at a time when I was not yet recovered, I hadn't emotionally "rebounded" fully. I am still trying to see myself accurately, as others do. I needed this stranger to help me, I needed the assurance, the boost to my self esteem, I needed another woman to ask me how to look as good as I do.
I will get there, it won't be long, but it is still a struggle for me everyday.

Fortunately, I don't suffer through the binge eating and massive weight gains that many others do. I think that most competitors who do struggle with this are those who had eating disorders at one time, or have struggled with weight and perhaps were extremely overweight at one point in their lives. For those women, the "rebound effect" may be all too familiar and all too haunting.
If you see yourself here, think about this, give yourself a break, shoot me an email if you want to talk. You know you still have a physique more stunning than 90% of the world's population, don't forget it!
Enhanced by Zemanta