1. Spend significantly more time OUT of a calorie deficit than IN a calorie deficit. Doing so will help you maximize muscle gainz, keep hormones, and metabolic rate in a good place for the future.
2. If your goal is to make improvements in your physique between seasons, you will need to spend more time in a place where hormone levels are 'normal', training performance is productive, and you’re not tried/feeling like crap. This typically means longer off-seasons, and less time dieting.⠀
3. Contest prep/fat loss is not linear. Ideally, give yourself a ‘buffer’ (additional time) rather than basing your timeline off an estimated rate of loss. This will help with stress, lean body mass retention, and if progress stalls, you’ll have time to break past plateaus and implement things like diet breaks.
4. What is your goal? To bring the best possible version of yourself? If so, you need to consider variables like offseason length, offseason weight gain, starting body comp, prep length, rate of loss, etc.
5. Contest prep is easy compared to an actual hardship.
6. Dieting past single-digit body fat is an extreme goal and it requires a high level of consistency and sacrifice. For longevity as an athlete, it’s imperative to have times where you’re more flexible between contest seasons. That way, when you start a fat loss phase/contest prep, you’ll be ready.⠀
7. Depending upon your timeline, you may diet through birthdays, celebrations, holidays, etc… That being said, if you are approaching competing in a ‘healthy’ and sustainable manner you should be taking longer offseasons (1-2+ years) and not dieting every year.
8. Having a support system is seriously underrated.
9. It takes roughly ~4-6 months for metabolic rate and hormone levels to recover in a drug-free athlete assuming body fat is regained. If you got stage-lean this is the minimum amount of time NEEDED to recover, before even considering going into a deficit/starting another prep.
10. Enjoy the process! 🐦 #WhateverItTakes