While most fitness competitions are currently on hold due to COVID-19, some are looking ahead to plan to compete at a future event. But competing with the best requires your body to perform at its peak. Whether you are training for an endurance-based aerobic competition such as a marathon or you are getting ready for a weightlifting event, you have several proven, low-cost strategies at your disposal to safely (and legally) get your body in prime condition. Here are the best ways to prepare physically for an upcoming fitness competition.
Optimize Your Diet
You are what you eat. Diet is arguably the most important aspect of preparing for a fitness competition. Of course, personal trainers, nutritionists, and sports physiologists have differing opinions on what constitutes the “optimum” diet for the athlete who will soon step into the ring or onto the field. What all of the experts agree on, though, is the critical importance of developing an eating protocol and sticking to it. So, find what works for you and makes you feel your best and stick to it.
Hydration is essential for optimal performance. The human body, after all, is 60% water. During intense exertion (such as during a fitness competition), you lose enormous quantities of water that must be replaced.
However, keeping track of your water intake is not only important on competition day; you also run the risk of chronic dehydration in training. Many athletes may not even realize that they are not getting enough water until it is too late and the physical toll of limited water begins to mount.
The exact amount of water that we require for ideal physical function varies. Generally speaking, when it comes to proper hydration, men perform and feel their best when they consume 3 liters in a 24-hour cycle and women do best with around 2.2 liters of water. However, this changes based on your physical activity, so work with your trainer to find the right amount for you.
A hydration IV drip therapy regimen can help athletes who are preparing for competition. Through an IV drip, nourishing electrolytes, vitamins, supplements, minerals, medications, and pH-balanced water are delivered directly into the blood where they deliver an immediate beneficial effect. This can help ensure that you’re properly hydrated when your competition comes. It can also help you recover after your competition.
During training sessions leading up to a big event, most athletes want to track their performance. Perhaps you’re looking to track your bench pressing in advance of an upcoming strength competition. A weightlifting app can help you track your progress and identify areas of weakness for more optimal training. You can find other apps and programs to help you with your specific tracking needs.
Injuries are perhaps the biggest concern for many trainers in the months and weeks leading up to competition. No matter how refined a training plan is, even a small injury can sideline preparations. Include lots of pre-training stretches, use appropriate safety equipment, and don’t take unnecessary risks.
Competitions are a big deal, and they can be exciting, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Stay hydrated, watch your diet, track your gains, and take proper safety precautions. If you follow these four tips, you’ll be in prime position to do your best on competition day.