If there's one mantra that holds true in bodybuilding, it's "Put in the work, and the results will come." As an IFBB Bikini Pro, I firmly believe that it's the relentless dedication to this principle that helps us grow and come back stronger and better. The improvement season is a critical phase that sets the stage for our future performance. Here are the strategies I'm employing to make the most out of my improvement season and put in the necessary work:
1. Customized Training Program
The first step I've taken is to follow a training program specifically designed for me, based on the feedback from the judges in my last competition. This program is targeted to improve areas that need attention and further refine my strengths. Each workout is not just about training intensely but also training with intent, bringing my full focus and determination to every rep and set. I’m also taking it a step further this improvement season by working in-person with a trainer once per week to allow me to shut my brain off, do as I’m told and push myself to the limit!
2. Nutrition - Eating to Grow
Food is fuel, and during the improvement season, it's all about 'eating to grow.' I'm adopting a 90/10% split between whole foods and "fun" foods. This approach ensures that I'm nourishing my body with nutrient-dense foods for muscle growth and recovery while allowing some flexibility for the occasional donut or treat.
3. Prioritizing Sleep and Recovery
Sleep and recovery are non-negotiables when it comes to optimizing growth. I'm ensuring to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, giving my body ample time to repair, grow and rejuvenate. Additionally, I'm incorporating daily stretching and mobility work to support my muscles and joints and enhance my overall performance. Supplementing with MaxEffort Sleep as well as Kula CBD products have also been helpful to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be primed for my next day!
4. Consistent Posing Practice
Practicing posing isn't just for pre-contest prep. I'm keeping up with posing practice several times a week even during my improvement season. This routine helps me assess my physique changes and fine-tune my routine, ensuring I'm stage-ready when the time comes. This is when I LOVE getting new posing suits from Kitty’s Bikinis, I can choose fun fabrics that make the process a little more fun and the adjustable ties and straps make it perfect for those improvement season gains!
5. Living the Lifestyle
Living the lifestyle of a professional athlete or bodybuilder isn't just about the hours spent in the gym. It extends to every choice I make - from my nutrition to my sleep schedule, to my mindset. Even during the improvement season, I'm consciously continuing to practice the habits and routines that align with this lifestyle.
The work we put in during the improvement season plays a crucial role in shaping our future performance. It's a season of growth, learning, and laying the foundation for the next competition. So, let's put in the work now, embrace the process, and prepare to come back better than ever! Remember, the efforts we invest today will pay dividends when it's time to step back on that stage.
Coach Kiki McClellan